South African coal miner and distributor Wescoal has supplied first coal to domestic and international markets from its flagship operation Elandspruit.

The Elandspruit mine is situated in Mpumulanga, 10 km west of Middelburg, and is processing material at the Muhanga plant – recently commissioned for Wescoal.

Acting CEO, Waheed Sulaiman says initial mining operations started a few weeks ago and total production from the mining division will be ramped up to produce approximately 335 000 t of run-of-mine (RoM) per month during the final quarter of the current financial year.

“This is equivalent to approximately 4 Mt of ROM on an annualised basis. In addition, we have now successfully operated our processing plant with feed from Elandspruit and the results are very much in line with expectations.”

The Elandspruit mine earns its flagship title within the Wescoal stable because it boasts reserves of over 34 Mt and a lifespan of 12 – 15 years; however Sulaiman points to the need to address present market conditions.

“The outlook for commodities remains constrained.  Fortunately we are not too exposed on the export market which is in the front line of this depressed situation but nevertheless we are taking a very pragmatic approach in the short-term with a view to our medium to long-term sustainability.”

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