Universal Commissions Second Mine in South Africa
Located in the Witbank basin, NCC is being developed in two phases, with production initially focusing on the Diepspruit underground area. The operation is now ramping up to Phase 1 nameplate capacity of 900,000 mt/y of export quality thermal coal. Universal expects NCC to reach full capacity by December. Commercial agreements for the offtake of product has now been finalized, according to the company.
“With NCC now up and running, we have a second ‘leg’ to stand upon in terms of cash flow sources. We look forward to achieving steady state production for Phase 1 before year’s end, as well as progressing the Phase 2 open-pit operation, which could add a further 2 million mt/y of [raw coal] to our production profile,” said Tony Weber, CEO, Universal Coal.
Phase 2 development at NCC continues to advance in line with long-term offtake discussions, and will be an openpit development adjacent to the Roodekop project.
In related news, the Brakfontein project (50% Universal) recently received all licenses required for development. Located about 20 km south of the company’s Kangala Colliery, the project has reserves of 9.1 million mt and resources of 87.6 million mt. The company has completed a feasibility study showing the potential for integrating it with the existing infrastructure at Kangala.