South Africa

Kolomela Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Iron Ore
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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SnapshotKolomela is a predominantly direct shipping ore (DSO) operation with a crushing and screening plant treating high-grade (Fe = 61%) run-of-mine, and a small-scale UHDMS facility treating medium-grade (50% = Fe < 61%) run-of-mine.

At Kolomela mine dense media separation (DMS) plant placed on care and maintenance in December 2023.

New Kapstevel South project at Kolomela is progressing to plan and is close to completion. All major construction activities, including the mining infrastructure area and the construction of the evaporation pond were completed in the second half of 2023.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Exxaro Resources Ltd. 20.4 % Indirect
Anglo American plc. 52.5 % Indirect
Kolomela mine is wholly owned by Sishen Iron Ore Company (Pty) Ltd.

Sishen Iron Ore Company is owned by Exxaro (20.4%), Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. (75.4%), and other (4.2%).

Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. is 69.7% owned by Anglo American plc.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Banded iron formation

Summary:

The Kolomela ore deposit is located on the southern ends, of the iron ore belt in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The Kolomela mine orebodies comprise hard, high-grade, conglomeratic and laminated haematite orebodies. The ores have been preserved as three separate orebodies within basinal and graben structures up to 2km long, 400m wide and 300m deep.

The only BIF present at Welgevonden appears to be that of the Kuruman Iron Formation, with the Griquatown Iron Formation having been removed by erosion. The main structural characteristic in the west of the Welgevonden area is the Wolhaarkop Dome, an overturned anticline replicating the larger Maremane Dome, which occurs in the east of the deposit.The ore bodies are intensely folded and faulted, and are preserved within erosional remnants that are not as continuous, but are of similar structural types to those encountered at Sishen.

Two tectono-stratigraphic settings for the ore bodies have been defined by Alchin and Botha: a palaeosinkhole-hosted setting applicable to the Ploegfontein, Leeuwfontein and Klipbankfontein ore bodies; and a synclinal basin setting applicable to the Welgevonden and Kapstevel ore bodies. Marginal deformational effects, thought to be related to the ~2.2 Ga Kheis event, occur towards the west of the deposit and decrease rapidly to the east. The scattered nature of the ore bodies at Welgevonden could be due to the removal of upper lithologies by erosion and/or due to smaller, less connected underlying palaeosinkhole, pseudo-graben and synclinal structures. The Sishen South deposit is also much smaller than the main ore body at Sishen and early exploration estimates put its mineable ore reserves at approximately 25% of those at Sishen.

Iron ore at Kolomela is associated with the chemical and clastic sediments of the Proterozoic Transvaal Supergroup. These sediments define the western margin of the Kaapvaal Craton in the Northern Cape province. The stratigraphy has been deformed by thrusting from the west and has undergone extensive karstification. The thrusting has produced a series of open, north-south plunging anticlines, synclines and grabens and karstification has been responsible for the development of deep sinkholes. The iron ore at Kolomela has been preserved from erosion within these geological structures. These structures are therefore important exploration targets.

The Transvaal Supergroup lithologies were deposited on a basement of Archaean granite gneisses and greenstones, and/or lavas of the Ventersdorp Supergroup. In the Sishen-Postmasburg region, the oldest rocks of the Transvaal Supergroup form a carbonate platform sequence (dolomites with minor limestone, chert and shale) known as the Campbell Rand Subgroup. The upper part of the Transvaal Supergroup comprises a BIF unit, the Asbestos Hills Subgroup, which has been conformably deposited on the carbonates. In places, the upper portion of the BIF has been supergene-enriched to Fe = 60%. The iron ore/BIF zone is referred to as the Kuruman Formation. The ores found within this formation comprise the bulk of the higher-grade iron ores in the region.

Four distinct high-grade iron ore types have been described at Kolomela in the various separate iron ore deposits:

• High-grade (Fe-rich) laminated ore, which constitutes the main ore type and comprises alternating micro bands of high-lustre haematite with equally thin, porous bands of lower-lustre haematite and specularite. The primary lamination of the precursor BIF is still preserved, suggesting supergene enrichment (in situ replacement) of silica by iron.

• High-grade (Fe-rich) clastic-textured ore, comprising alternating haematite and specularite layers, thicker than those of the laminated ore and characterised by distorted, wavy bedding and occurs as lenses and massive units.

• High-grade (Fe-rich) collapse breccia-type ore, comprising angular fragments of laminated and clastic-textured ore in chaotic arrangement. The fragments are cemented by fine-grained specularite and haematite. The brecciation is probably as a result of karstification of the underlying dolomites, i.e. the collapse breccia ore is the product of sudden, brittle collapse of laminated and clastic-textured ores into underlying solution cavities and is preserved in deep sinkhole structures.

• High-grade (Fe-rich) conglomeratic ore, comprising poorly sorted, rounded to sub-rounded haematite pebbles and clasts in a ferruginised matrix representing, which usually occurs very localised and is considered to represent ferruginised Gamagara conglomerates.

• In addition, material defined in the geological models with an in situ 50% = Fe < 61%, comprising ferruginised BIF, conglomerates and collapse breccia material, is termed medium-grade ore.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits2024202320222021202020192018201720162015
Iron (hematite) Mt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1314141312
All production numbers are expressed as lump & fines. ^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics2024202320222021202020192018201720162015
Waste  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe63.2 Mt56 Mt55.6 Mt50.2 Mt45.7 Mt
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Stripping / waste ratio  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe4 3.5 3.4 3.7 3.1
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe15.8 Mt16.1 Mt16.2 Mt13.8 Mt
Total tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe79.1 Mt72 Mt71.8 Mt64 Mt60.6 Mt
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Production Costs

CommodityUnits2023202220212020201920182017
Cash costs Iron (hematite) USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 18.7 / t   18.8 / t   18.1 / t  

Financials

Units2023202220212020201920182017
Capital expenditures M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 1,337   896  
Revenue M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 17,972   11,665   11,723  
Operating Income M ZAR
EBITDA M ZAR  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 12,513   7,443   7,481  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 18, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 15, 2024
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....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Apr 7, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 18, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 18, 2024

EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2022
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Aerial view:

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