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Final Green approval stage for new Mpumalanga coal-mine

17 Sep 2013

The final environmental reports for a proposed new coal-mine in Mpumalanga province are out for public comment.

GlencoreXstrata’s proposed Zandbaken coal-mine project is 20 km south-west of the town of Secunda and 30 km north-west of Standerton, Digby Wells Environmental says in a media release.

The public are invited to comment on the final environmental-impact report and the environmental management programme until October 7.

The final scoping report has been in the hands of the Department of Mineral Resources since May.

The newly merged GlencoreXstrata entity is to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in the last quarter of this year.

The synergies created by the merging of the coal divisions of the merged companies are expected to reduce the costs of the combined entity by $567-million in 2014.

The merger creates the world’s leading seaborne thermal coal business, combining a multi-region, multi-quality production base of more than 120-million tons marketed through the group’s global support infrastructure.

Some $65-million of the $576-million saving will be the result of corporate restructuring and the company is targeting a production cost of $50/t free on board (FoB) on average across its thermal coal business globally.

The coking coal business aims to reduce its FoB cash cost by 28%.

The combined entity has a strong base with close on 35-billion tons of resources on a measured, indicated and inferred basis and 3.9-billion tons of reserves on a proven and probable basis globally.

Projects include the eight-million-ton-a-year Tweefontein life-extension project, also in Mpumalanga, and the Zonnebloem project, which adjoins the now integrated Optimum colliery.

The company’s 3.6-million-ton-a-year Wonderfontein project is expected to begin producing next year.

GlencoreXstrata coal marketing head Tor Peterson said the current oversupply of coal in the market should be seen against the planned coming on line of 1 600 more coal-fired power stations in 59 countries by 2020.

The integrated GlencoreXstrata is managing 155-million tons of production a year, 80-million tons out of Australia, 46-million tons out of South Africa and 29-million tons from Colombia.

The company expects to be managing 179-million tons by 2016.

In South Africa, it sells 25-million tons of thermal coal  into the domestic market and 20-million tons into the export market.

Source: www.miningweekly.com