Coal exploration and mining company, Canyon Coal is looking to extend the current one year life of mine (LOM) at its Phalanndwa Colliery, an open-cast operation located some 20km outside Delmas, Mpumalanga, by a further eight years.

According to chairman and founder of Canyon Coal and MD of Menar Academy, Vuslat Bayodlu, the coal industry in South Africa is “alive and kicking”.

Apart from Phalanndwa Colliery, the company currently operates four other coal projects: Ukufisa Colliery, Khanye Colliery, Hakhano Colliery and Singani open-cast Colliery.

The Phalanndwa Colliery, which was established in October 2010, began operating in January 2013 and currently mines over 100 000 tonnes of coal per month.

“As it stands, Phalanndwa Colliery has 7 months remaining,” said GM of Phalanndwa Colliery, Alan Mabbett. “We are busy with shaft extension which will extend the mine life by another 8 years.” In addition, the miner is engaging with other minerals rights holders in the area to extend the LOM by a further 15-20 years.

In order to access the coal, the company removes around 200 000m³ per month of waste rock and soil.

In March 2015, the miner established its own mining services company (Canyon Mining Services) which took over from contract miners.

According to Mabbett, given the need to increase coal volumes, sub-contractors are being used on ad hoc basis.

Canyon Coal mines two pits at Phalanndwa Colliery and undertakes simultaneous rehabilitation of the operation.

The project consists of three coal seems namely: Two upper seem, which is approximately 0.7m thick; two main seem, which is about 3.5m to 4m thick; and the two lower seem, which ranges from 1.5m to 5.2m in thickness.

Side-bar: New developments in 2019

Canyon Coal’s Springfield operation, located in Vereeniging, will commence in 2019 and mining will take place through open cast methods, producing about 6 000 000 tons of ROM coal per annum.

By Tshepo Monyamane

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