Universal Coal announced that the first phase of its New Clydesdale Colliery (NCC) has now been successfully commissioned. In 2014, the company opened the 2.8 million metric ton per year (mtpy) Kangala coal mine. The second mine positions Universal as multi-mine coal operator producing both domestic and export coal for South Africa. IchorCoal NV holds a 30% interest in Universal.
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 mtpy of export quality thermal coal. Universal expects NCC to reach full capacity by December. Commercial agreements for the offtake of product have now been finalized, according to the company.
“This represents a momentous milestone for Universal Coal and our partners, and is the culmination of the hard work of both management and employees…, in achieving the laid out re-commissioning of NCC,” said Tony Weber, CEO, Universal Coal. “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 mtpy of [raw coal] to our production profile.” Phase 2 development at NCC continues to advance in line with long-term offtake discussions, and will be an open-pit development adjacent to the Roodekop project.