Coal mine set sights on Europe
Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) are in hot pursuit of an exciting new partnership, with the coal producers in talks with Poland over a game-changing deal to supply the Eastern European nation with the in-demand black rock.
Although he did not delve into detail, MCM General Manager, Edwin Elias, revealed negotiations were progressing promisingly.
Updating the media during a tour of the mine last Thursday, Elias explained the fall-out from the Russia/Ukraine war has forced several western nations to look to Africa for their energy needs.
Russia is the world’s sixth-largest coal producer. However, last month the EU approved an embargo on the import of Russian coal as part of a new set of sanctions against the Vladimir Putin-led regime.
Desperate to cash in on this imminent void, with global coal prices more than double what they were at the start of the year, MCM are working hard to increase production.
“There is a shortage of coal supply in the market hence the production increase because the current production may not be sufficient enough to meet the demand,” revealed Elias.
Giving an update on Project Motheo, which commenced last November, Senior Project Manager, Lefika Moagi, explained the current global shortage was mainly caused by limited investments in new coal mines as well as restrictions from the financers who fund coal projects.
He also noted there was a rapidly rising demand for coal in Asia.
To address the gap and take advantage of premium coal prices, which currently sit at USD336 (P4,050) per tonne – a figure that is forecast to increase as the year goes on – Morupule invested on Motheo project.
Outlining the initiative’s objectives, Moagi said, “To increase the capacity of Morupule from 2.8 to 4.2, enter new markets – particularly Europe and Asia – and to increase our market share regionally. The capacity of Motheo from an open cast point of view is 1.4 but scalable up to 4 million tons per annum. The processing plant is constructed at 1.1 but scalable up to 1.8 million tons per annum.”
If all goes according to plan, Moagi revealed they will commission the project’s second phase, the building of a coal washing plant and product handling facilities, towards the end of July.
“We conducted our first blast activity in February and have successfully carried out 11 to date,” added Moagi.