Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 January 2009 – Strategic Natural Resources plc (SNR) – an AIM-listed junior resources company formed to exploit strategic energy-based demands in South Africa – says its 74%-owned subsidiary, Elitheni Coal (Pty) Limited, has been granted an exclusive full mining licence enabling it to commence underground coal extraction at its Indwe coal deposit in the Eastern Province.
A statement released here today confirmed that, having established a mineable in-situ reserve of approximately 100 million tonnes of coal, the Department of Minerals and Energy had formally granted an exclusive full mining right to Elitheni.
It added that this would provide Elitheni with the sole right to extract and sell all the coal proven up over the entire 92 squ km of land in the phase 1 and 2 areas of its Indwe deposit. The Elitheni team had been diligently working over the past year to ensure that all requirements of the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 had been met, and that the DME was satisfied with all Elitheni’s submissions.
To date Elitheni has completed prospecting over only 25 squ km of the 92 squ km of its Phase 1 and 2 Areas, but has identified sufficient reserves in this area to supply its first contractual obligation to Indwe Power (Pty) Limited – an indirect subsidiary of Independent Power South Africa – for 1 million tonnes of coal per annum for a period of 20 years.
Commenting on this major step forward, SNR chief executive Jeremy Metcalfe said: “This will now enable Elitheni to move from pure exploration to undertaking major coal production and – based on our results so far – we believe there is a greater abundance of coal reserves over this vast area to which we now have full rights.”