Industry Q&A: Coal Exploration & Production with David Premraj
Posted: 09/27/2011 12:00:00 AM EDT | 0
Mining IQ presents an exclusive interview with David Premraj, Corporate Development at Beacon Hill Resources Plc about coal exploration and production at Mozambique.
Q. Would you please give our audience an overview of the Minas de Moatize process plant to date?
David : Minas Moatize is currently one of the few operating coking and thermal coal mines in the Tete Province of Northern Mozambique, one of the world’s largest undeveloped coking coal regions. Beacon Hill acquired management control of Minas Moatize in May 2010. Since taking management control we have focused on developing a larger open pit mining operation that is targeted to mine 4Mtpa run of mine (ROM) coal and produce 2.35Mtpa of saleable coking and thermal coal whilst continuing to produce from the existing underground mine.
Production has now been wound down from the underground mine and the Group has begun mining from an initial open pit mine. This initial open pit has been developed alongside what will be the main open pit mine. The produce from this open pit is being washed at our mobile wash plant which has been constructed and commissioned (which is on the mine site). The mobile wash plant has been purpose built for Minas Moatize in South Africa and has a capacity of 120 tonnes per hour. The wash plant is a modular unit that includes a double roller crusher, dense medium separation plant and a fines treatment plant. The plant is able to treat ROM coal with a feed size of <400mm and supply four saleable sized coal fractions. This plant has allowed the Group to produce Minas Moatize’s first washed export grade coal.
TWP Australia Pty Ltd are currently finalizing the Definitive Feasibility Study for Minas Moatize. This study will incorporate the mine design (design of main open cut operation) and main coal handling and preparation plant (washplant) design.
Q. Can you please elaborate on 2 opporunities and 2 challenges with this project?
David : The main challenge with the Minas Moatize Project is logistics – getting the coal to the port of Beira for export. The rail line is in the final stages of rehabilitation and we have currently commenced a trucking operation to truck the coal to port.
The main opportunity is to export coking coal to key export markets such as India. The coking coal market is strong given the high demand from markets such as India and China.
Q. What were the major design considerations for Minas de Moatize?
David : When we acquired Minas Moatize is was already a producing underground mine. The main objective was to develop it into a larger open pit mining operation. The main design consideration is to develop a mining operation that allows the coal to be mined and transported to the port efficiently and cost-effectively. TWP Australia Pty Ltd are assisting us with the mine design for the main open cut mining operation (as part of the Definitive Feasibility Study).
Q. What prompted the decision to modularize?
David : (Because) we could build the plant in South Africa and transport it to the site.
Q. What are the expansions and new plant plans for the future?
David : As discussed above, we are in the process of designing the main coal handling and preparation plant (as part of the DFS). Out target is to produce 2.35Mtpa of saleable coking and thermal coal.
Q. What do you feel is one major consideration that mining companies in Mozambique or considering entering there need to consider above all in their business plans?
David : Logistical infrastructure is a key challenge in Mozambique. Producing a product is one thing, but the real challenge is getting the product to your customer.
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