Kangra Coal, a subsidiary of mining investment company Menar, plans to extend its Kangra mine, in Mpumalanga, through the Kusipongo project. The Kusipongo resource is situated directly west of the existing mine and is expected to extend Kangraís life-of-mine (LoM) significantly.

The Kusipongo mining right has an underground resource of about 44.3 million metric tons (mt) of coal and based on the latest resource statement, has an estimated LoM of more than 20 years, said Menar KwaZulu-Natal Operations COO Bradley Hammond.

Kangra was awarded a mining right for the Kusipongo resource in 2017 and is in the final stages of obtaining the necessary environmental approvals for the different adits needed to access the available resource.

The resource comprises predominantly underground reserves with a few open-cast areas. The current mining right authorizes underground mining within the north-eastern section of the right area. A Section 102 application has been lodged for three adits and opencast areas, which will allow for access to the underground reserves.

The opencast mining areas consist of the Twyfelhoek (north-east section), Donkerhoek (north-west section) and Balgarthen (southern section) pits, which will collectively produce about 1.1-million mt of coal.

The Twyfelhoek adit is in the final stages of authorization, with only the mining works program approval still outstanding. Construction will begin later this month.