Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 January 2009 – Miranda Minerals – a JSE-listed mineral exploration group based in South Africa and focused on developing mineral resource opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa – says its subsidiary, Sesikhona Kliprand Colliery, has been granted a mining right for its Sesikhona project in KwaZulu-Natal.
A company statement released here confirmed that the Sesikhona mining right had been granted over four contiguous farms covering approximately 884 hectares, and situated in the KwaZulu-Natal district of Dannhauser.
The statement explained that the Sesikhona project was the first of a number of Miranda’s coal projects in KZN which were expected to be coming into production within the next 18 months. “As the first of its projects to convert from exploration to mining status, and with its positive impact on the group’s cash flows and exploration objectives, the granting of the Sesikhona mining right represents a defining moment for the group,” the statement emphasised.
Sesikhona – owned 88% by Miranda and 12% by the Kliprand local community – entered into a joint venture agreement with Ilhosi Project Mining earlier in 2008, wherein Ilhosi agreed to mine the deposit and pay Sesikhona an annuity income of R50 per tonne of coal mined. In addition, Ilhosi will make an immediate upfront payment of R5 million, in addition to the non-refundable R1 million already paid.
It is anticipated that Ilhosi will begin mining within the next 60 to 90 days, as the bulk of the infrastructure has already been put in place.
Miranda CEO Ron Nel commented: “The award of our first mining right will unlock value at Sesikhona and move Miranda into a revenue-producing exploration company with positive cash flows”.
First phase drilling identified a coal resource of approximately 5.4 million tonnes of a high grade anthracite, that will be mined using open cast mining methods at a rate of between 30 000 to 50 000 tonnes per month. Second phase drilling will begin in the course of the first quarter of this year to extend the size of both the open cast and underground sections of the resource, which management believes will extend the life of mine to at least 20 years.
Miranda has submitted two further mining right applications to the Department of Minerals and Energy for the Amajuba project – also situated in the Dannhauser area – and the Uithoek project in the Glencoe area.