Mining investment company Menar plans to build on its successful turnaround of Zululand Anthracite Colliery when it participates in the development of another anthracite mine.
Menar reached an agreement with Coalvent and African Onca to partner in the development of the Riversdale Anthracite Colliery (RAC) project near Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal.
Like Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC), which is situated in the north of the province, the RAC project will produce low sulphur, medium quality anthracite coal.
The coal deposits are estimated to be just over nine million tonnes with the possibility further expansion in future beyond the estimated mine lifespan.
The agreement with Coalvent and African Onca was signed after the two companies acquired Rio Tinto’s shares in RAC.
“Our involvement will ensure that this very sound investment which has a huge potential is turned into reality when we start operations after all the regulatory processes have been completed. We have been inspired by the excellent relationships we have cultivated with all stakeholders in the province,” said Menar managing director Vuslat Bayoglu.
The fast-growing Menar bought ZAC from Rio Tinto in 2016 and turned it into a thriving operation whose product is sought in competitive international markets including Brazil and the United States.
The Zululand Anthracite Colliery is the sole producer of prime anthracite in South Africa.
Menar’s COO Bradley Hammond said the RAC will in many ways complement ZAC.
He says: “Not only are we bringing into RAC our experience in the extraction of anthracite; we are also bringing our market exposure. RAC’s products will be complementary for the ZAC’s customers as well as new customers that we target to supply.”
Menar, which has been growing its portfolio of assets through acquisitions and new mining developments, is planning to expand the ZAC operations by sinking additional shafts.