Tegeta Resources has started mining at its Brakfontein Extension colliery in Delmas, Mpumalanga.
Tegeta was formed in 2006 to identify and develop the mining assets of the Oakbay Investments group, especially coal. It holds several prospecting rights in Mpumalanga, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, directly or through associates.
The company mines and markets coal through its three operational entities: Tegeta Exploration and Resources, Tegeta Resources and Idwala Coal and has a turnover of over R15 million a month.
Tegeta executive Jacques Roux says the mine’s opening, coupled with the adjoining and fully-functional Brakfontein mine, will soon see the company’s coal output rise to over 200 000 tpm.
“We have completed our first blast, opened the pit and are in the process of building stock. We hope to start supplying the national power utility by January,” says Roux.
He says the company is confident of exceeding its 200 000 tpm target to Eskom. “With the demands that we place on ourselves and our operations, we actually want to double this within three years and are confident that we can achieve this.”
Tegeta currently holds an off-take agreement with Eskom for the supply of 2.4 Mt of coal per year. In February Brakfontein mine became operational and has since exceeded its output to Eskom every month.
With a workforce of 120 at Brakfontein, Roux says this figure will rise to over 180 once Brakfontein Extension is fully operational. “This is a great boost to the local economy as it will create more jobs. Almost all of our employees are from the local community and this bodes well for local development and sustainability. Our strong focus on woman-in-mining has also seen a significant number of female operators being employed at our mine. ”
Roux says that plans are also afoot to build a multi-million-rand crushing plant at the mine. This after a R10 million plant was built at the Brakfontein mine in August that has enhanced the consistency of the quality of coal being dispatched to Eskom.
“Our long-term growth strategy is designed around building world-class infrastructure to ensure smooth operations. As we have already discovered, building such a plant will wholly improve the consistency of the quality of coal daily being supplied to Eskom. The construction of the plant will be made up of both local and international components.”
Roux says this is key to running an effective operation as it allows Tegeta to enhance the quality assurance process while also reducing cost as it would not have to rent crushing equipment.
He says: “This is important as Eskom requires a certain size for its coal as it could negatively affect its processes if the is oversize. Previously, we have had to inspect each truck individually to ensure that the size is correct.”