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Universal Coal increase North Block Complex ore reserve by 98% in South Africa

Coal News - Published on Tue, 18 Dec 2018

Image Source: Mining Review Africa
Universal Coal Pic announced a JORC Code complaint update to the Ore Reserve for the North Block Complex in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa of 55.5 million tonnes. The updated Ore Reserve represents an increase of 98.4% (or 27.54Mt) on the previously announced 27.96Mt SAMREC Code compliant Ore Reserve01. Universal completed the acquisition of NBC, the Company's third fully-operational colliery, in early November . Since completing the acquisition, the Company has commenced increasing production towards the Company's monthly production target of 200 thousand tonnes per month (“ktpm") of saleable product.

The Company reported that 208ktpm was produced for the month of November. Production levels for the year to date at NBC by the previous owner averaged 140ktpm. The November result demonstrates the achievement of a significant improvement by the Universal operational team since NBC's acquisition. Universal is confident that November s rate of production can be maintained going forward, with all saleable coal product expected to be sold for domestic supply to Eskom.

The increased production rate at NBC is in line with historical production rates (over the years between 2013 and 2017) which averaged a ROM production of circa 3.5Mtpa, similarly with sales of around 2.7Mtpa<2). The development of the adjacent Paardeplaats Project is expected to commence in FY2020 (subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals). Paardeplaats is anticipated to be a lower quartile cost operation, with a substantial resource base to increase the current reserve well in excess of the current 55.5Mt ROM over a life of mine in excess of 15 years at an average stripping ratio is 2.82:1. The volumes contributed by NBC, will increase Universal's current annual coal production of 5.1 Mtpa(3) from its existing collieries, to an annualized forecast of up to 7.5Mtpa.

Mr Tony Weber, Universal’s CEO, said that "The delivery of a 98% increase to NBC's Ore Reserve is a tremendous achievement by our operational team and further validates the strategic rationale to acquire the NBC project. The quick turnaround to full production at NBC has been well executed and proves the ability of the management team on site. It is prudent to say that the mine has transitioned well under the new management and we are proud to include the NBC under the Universal Coal banner. With historical production levels now restored at the North Block Complex, the project should add up to 2.4Mtpa to the Company's production outlook for the next 15 years, significantly bolstering our saleable product pipeline. We look forward to providing updates on further operational developments achieved within the Company's suite of fully-operational collieries."

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 18 Dec 2018
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