Makhado hard coking coal project, South Africa – update

Image of Makgado cola project drill core

Photo by MC Mining

7th July 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Makhado hard coking coal project.

Limpopo, South Africa.

Project Owner/s
MC Mining has 67.3% interest in the Makhado project through its subsidiary Baobab Mining & Exploration, with the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa owning 6.7%, seven local communities owning 20% and the remaining 6% held by a black economic-empowerment industrialist.

Project Description
Makhado is a fully licensed and shovel-ready steelmaking hard coking coal project.

Proven and probable reserves have increased from 69-million tonnes in the five-year implementation plan, released in August 2022, to 106-million tonnes in the updated life-of-mine (LoM) plan and a coal reserve estimate released in June 2023. This is because of the detailed mine designs completed for the East pit deposit in preparation for mine start.

Steelmaking hard coking coal has increased from 13.7-million tonnes to 22.5-million tonnes.

The LoM plan incorporates the exploitation of all portions of the East, Central and West coal deposits that are mineable by surface mining methods.

Production is estimated at four-million tonnes a year of run-of-mine (RoM).

Coal handling and processing plant capacity is estimated at four-million tonnes a year, which has resulted in planned yearly sales of 64 midvolatile steelmaking and hard coking coal of 801 000 t and yearly sales of 5 500 kcal thermal coal of 620 000 t.

Total saleable coal products are estimated 41-million tonnes over the 28-year mine life.

Potential Job Creation
The project is expected to create about 650 permanent employment positions.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at a 6% discount rate, of R6.8-billion and internal rate of return 37%, with a payback of about 3.5 years.

Capital Expenditure
Total LoM capital is estimated at R2.49-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
The time to first production is estimated at 18 months.

Latest Developments
Steady progress has been made with critical early works activities, in line with the implementation plan, to advance the project towards the start of production, including the start of works with regard to the power supply overhead transmission line; the construction of a bridge across the Mutamba river to provide access to the project site; the order placement for key long-lead items; and progressing with the selection of mine-operating contractors.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Minxcon (BFS and potential alternative development scenarios for Makhado); and Erudite (detailed planning for a full process design for Makhado).

Contact Details for Project Information
MC Mining, tel +27 10 003 8000 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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