South Africa

North Block Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Coal (thermal)
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotNorth Block Complex (NBC) consists of three mining sections namely Eerstelingsfontein, Glisa and Paardeplaats.

The North Block Complex (NBC) is a multi-product open cast operation that has solidified itself as a reliable supplier of high-quality export thermal coal for the export market and domestic coal for ESKOM, South Africa’s power generator.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
TerraCom Ltd. 49 % Indirect
Universal Coal and Energy Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (operator) 49 % Indirect
Ndalamo Resources (Pty) Ltd 51 % Indirect
The operating and management agreement for North Block Complex (Pty) Ltd (NBC) expired on 31 October 2021. From and after this date the direct operational management and control of NBC changed to the NBC board of directors, which is equally represented by shareholders as noted below:

• Ndalamo Resources (Pty) Ltd (51%) (Ndalamo) – 2 board representatives; and

• Universal Coal and Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd (UCEHSA) (49%) – 2 board representatives (sole ultimate shareholder is TerraCom).

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Sedimentary

Summary:

The coal measures of the North Block Complex occur on the eastern edge of the Witbank coalfield, within the Permian-age Vryheid formation of the Ecca Group in the Karoo Sequence. The Witbank coalfield is situated in the northern part of the Main Karoo basin and extends about 190km west-east between Brakpan and Belfast and about 60km north-south between Middelburg and Ermelo.

The main Karoo Basin:
- Was filled between the Late Carboniferous and Middle Jurassic periods;
- It is lithostratigraphically subdivided into the Dwyka, Ecca and Beaufort Groups, succeeded by the Molteno, Elliot and Clarens Formations and the Drakensburg Formation (volcanics);
- The coal bearing Ecca Group has been divided into three sub-units: the Pietermaritzburg; Vryheid and Volksrust Formations.

The Witbank Coalfield:
- The coal-bearing Vryheid Formation attains a thickness of 70m to 200m in the Witbank Coalfield;
- Here the Vryheid Formation consists of five coarsening-upward sequences with coal seams associated predominantly with the coarser grained fluvial facies at the top of each sequence;
- The No. 5, 4, 2 and 1 coal seams are of economic interest.

NBC (Glisa) mine resource area is close to the eastern edge of the Witbank Coalfield, in the northern part of the main Karoo basin. All Witbank Coalfield seams, i.e. S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5, occur in the Glisa area, with S2, S3 and S4 being economically important. Stratigraphy consists predominantly of the different coal seams separated by fine and medium to coarse grained sandstone, with subordinate mudstone, shale, sandstone and carbonaceous shale.

The thickness of the coal seam ranges from 0,5m to 3,1m, averaging 2,3m. The coal seam is overlain by medium to fine-grained sandstone with shaly bands. On top of the whole succession is overburden material comprising sandy soil and regolith. The average total depth to coal is relatively shallow at 10,7m and the maximum depth to top of coal is around 17,8m.

The main target Seams (S5, S4, S3, S2, & S1).

At Glisa, the S5 and S1 is sporadically developed while the S4, S3 and S2 is fairly well developed and consistent throughout the mining area extending approximately 3.5km along strike and 2.5km perpendicular to strike with an approximate average combined seam thickness of 15m.

The depth of cover to the S4 seam ranges from 2.3m in the northwest to 16m in the southeast.

The depth of cover to the S2 seam ranges from 25m in the northwest to 45m in the southeast.

The depth of cover to the S1 seam ranges from 28m to 45 in the northwest.

At Eerstelingsfontein, the S2 occurs as an erosional remnant on high ground, at shallow depths extending approximately 1km along strike and 2km perpendicular to strike with an approximate average seam thickness of 2.2m the depth to cover ranges between 10.5m and 18m on average.

At Paardeplaats, the S1 occur as thin bands while the S5 is only developed in the eastern part of portion 30, which is the area of interest. The S4, S3 and S2 seams are fairly well developed and consistent throughout portion 30, extending approximately 1.5km along strike and 1.5km perpendicular to strike with an approximate average combined seam thickness of 9m.

The depth of cover to the S4 seam ranges from 11m in the northwest to 38m in the southeast.

The depth of cover to the S3 seam ranges from 17m in the northwest to 49m in the southeast.

The depth of cover to the S2 seam ranges from 28m in the northwest to 60m in the southeast.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits20232022202120202019201720162015
Coal (thermal) kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,5892,9632,8572,870
All production numbers are expressed as clean coal.

Operational metrics

Metrics20232022202120202019
Coal tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,049 kt of ROM coal
Stripping / waste ratio  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe9.21

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Financials

Units20232022
Revenue M AUD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Gross profit M AUD  ....  Subscribe
Pre-tax Income M AUD  ....  Subscribe
After-tax Income M AUD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
EBITDA M AUD  ....  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 16, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 16, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 16, 2023

EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2022
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2021
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2020
...... Subscription required 2019
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2018

Aerial view:

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