South Africa’s Exxaro Resources has received “numerous” requests from European countries wanting to sign supply contracts after the European Union (EU) proposed sanctions on Russian coal, Reuters reported.

Exxaro said it has the right quality of coal for the European market, but that current production has already been allocated, and South Africa’s struggling rail network means miners will not be able to export more to meet the increased demand.

“South African coal producers are able to produce more coal, but significant work will need to be done to improve logistics in order to ramp up coal supply for export,” Exxaro said.

State-owned rail company Transnet’s capacity to haul mineral exports has been limited by cable theft and vandalism, which resulted in a 14% decline in volumes in the year to March 2021, compared to the previous year.

South Africa’s coal exporters expect a 10-million-metric-ton (mt) increase in Transnet capacity this year, following the introduction of 40 additional locomotives by the utility in March.