Exxaro changes coal development plans

[miningmx.com] — EXXARO Resources (Exxaro) has modified developments plans for its huge coal resources in the Waterberg following release of the draft National Integrated Resource Plan (NIRP) in October 2010.

This was revealed by CEO Sipho Nkosi in the announcement of Exxaro’s results for the year to end-December released on Thursday.

Exxaro increased its revenues earned in the year to end-December by 14% to R17.2bn and pushed up net operating profit by 52% to R2.6bn – excluding the R1.4bn impairment charge made against the KZN Mineral Sands operation in 2009.

Headline earnings per share doubled to 1,495c and a generous final dividend of 300c has been declared taking the total dividend for 2010 to 500c (200c).

Nkosi said the group’s proposed greenfields Thabametsi mine will now be developed as a smaller-than-planned operation focused on supplying coal to an independent power producer (IPP) that Exxaro is helping to develop in Limpopo.

Orignally, Thabametsi was intended to supply coal to Eskom as part of Eskom’s planned multi-site base load IPP programme.

Nkosi commented, “The draft NIRP 2010 does not cater for any new coal-fired power generation development until 2027.

He added that, because of the delays in the various power supply initiatives, Exxaro’s focus was now on first developing a smaller mine at Thabametsi for coal supply to the Limpopo IPP.

“First coal production could be expected by 2015/16 but is dependent on the Limpopo IPP and water development schedules.’

Nkosi added the facilitation for the development the Limpopo IPP – which would be a 600MW to 1,200MW coal-fired power station – continued.

He said non-binding term sheets for the offtake of 1,150MW of electricity have been signed between Exxaro and industrial customers.