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South Africa: Coal of Africa Seeks Rail Partnership

Bheki Mpofu

Johannesburg — COAL mining group Coal of Africa recently confirmed that its talks for a public-private partnership with Transnet Freight Rail to boost future export capacity were still in progress.

The company is listed in London, Australia and on the JSE, but its key projects are in SA, where it owns coal mines at Mooiplaats in Mpumalanga, and Vele and Makhado in Limpopo.

The company has been working on ensuring that it has suitable routes to export coal through nearby ports. It said it was still in talks with the state- owned rail group to increase its access along the Maputo rail corridor and into the Matola terminal in Maputo, Mozambique.

Coal of Africa said it was talking to Transnet Freight Rail in order to ensure the availability of rail capacity to match the port capacity that the company had recently secured from Matola’s owner, Grindrod. Coal of Africa’s export capacity through the Matola terminal stands at 1-million tons a year.

This is expected to rise to 3- million tons by late next year, with further potential to reach 13-million tons after an additional 10- million-ton expansion by the creation of a new, dedicated coal export terminal.

The company wants to secure the use of the Maputo corridor as a viable export route for coal producers, and as an alternative to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The Richards Bay Coal Terminal is one of the world’s largest coal export terminals, and is in the process of increasing its capacity to about 100-million tons a year.

“Although terms and conditions have yet to be finalised, Transnet Freight Rail and Coal of Africa are committed to the process, and are exploring all options to ensure a solution is found that will meet the overall objective of facilitating the use of the Maputo corridor as a viable export route for coal producers, and an alternative to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal,” Coal of Africa said.

Source: (South Africa)        Image:

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