Perth, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 November 2010 – Firestone Energy “’ the independent Australian exploration company focused on developing coal projects in South Africa “’ says it is adamant that the proximity of infrastructure to its planned open-cast coal mine will aid cost-competitiveness in the Waterberg coal region.
Releasing an update here , Firestone and its joint venture partner Sekoko Coal said they were confident that their project was the most cost-competitive coal project, second to Exxaro ’s Grootegeluk.
The Firestone-Sekoko project is the closest to the existing infrastructure, including water pipelines, electricity connection points and rail. The mine being developed is only 5km from Grootegeluk’s existing mine pit, and also only 10km away from the Medupi power station.
“These benefits will provide cost-effective propositions to potential off-takers such as Eskom’s Waterberg power stations, especially if Eskom acts on its strategy to develop and accept new coal suppliers in addition to Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine,” the update added.
“The rail experts designing our rail spur have confirmed that the distance to connect to the existing Transnet Freight Rail line is about 7km using design parameters that comply with TFR’s requirements,” it said. “Work has commenced on the environmental application for the rail link.”
The existing water pipeline from Mogol dam to Grootegeluk and Matimba power station, as well as serving Lephalale town, passes about 15km from Firestone’s proposed initial pit. The second pipeline, which will serve Medupi, will also be installed in the vicinity.