Morupule Colliery Project – a 1.5 million-tonne-a-year operation

Shumba Power Plant (Artists Impression)

Located 10-15km South of Botswana’s only operating coal mine and perfectly positioned to road and railway infrastructure, the MSM will produce export quality coal for local and regional industrial users. Shumba has formed a partnership with a leading independent global trading house for the marketing of all export product. This collaboration will deliver advantage of scale and combined expertise with marketing and logistics expertise in the global and local coal markets.

Both the ESIA and mine feasibility study are underway for the MSM. The project has a measured value of 110 million tonnes, an indicated value of 173 million tonnes as well as an inferred value standing at 2.16 billion tonnes bringing the total JORC compliant resource value to 2.45 billion tonnes.

The project has over 1.2 billion tonnes amenable to open cast mining with 83% of the resources coming from the Morupule main seam. Study results confirm robust economics across all Morupule South development scenarios. Benchmarked against other southern African domestic mines, Morupule South’s mining costs and coal quality is predicted to be one of the lowest cost in the region.

The mine produces 5,731 Kcal/kg of coal with approximately 20% ash produced indicative seam yields of 75% and 78% from the SLB and SMB seam respectfully. It also produces 6,209Kcal/kg of coal with approximately <15% ash produced indicative seam yields of 56%             and 51% from the SLB and SMB seam respectfully. These coal seams are fairly flat with floor dips ranging between 0-6 degrees with an average dip 1,4 degrees. The thickness the seams from an average of 0.6m for the SSB seam, 2.6m for the SLB seam, 1.9m for the S2B seam,10.3m for the SMT seam, and 7.3m for the SMB seam.

The SMB will be the preferred targeted seams for underground exploitation and all seams for potential open cast operations where the stripping ratio is favourable. The qualities of coal in the opencast blocks are idyllic for CFB boiler technology 16-21MJ/kg with an average probably around 17.5MJ/kg and the average sulphur values below 1.5%. The stripping ratios are low (below 2.2m3waste /tonne of coal) and the mining cost will also be very low. The washability of the coal is currently unclear however, each seam will have its own properties. Various products may be produced through selective mining and washing.

The MSM operation will be a Truck and Shovel open cast mining operation and production levels can easily be adjusted to meet market demand. Depending on the market demand, production may begin at approximately 50ktpm and escalate to 100 or 200ktpm.

The emphasis for this mine is currently only on the easily accessible opencast mineable resources however, when underground resources are targeted, a selection of the Morupule Main seam will be mined with RAW coal qualities of 21-23MJ/kg at an average seam thickness of between 4 and 5m or the maximum that a continuous miner can take (5.5m). Bottom coaling may also be done to mine even a thicker seam.  A similar quantity of ROM tonnes (5m selection at conservative 50% extraction) can also be easily mined from a selected portion of the Morupule Main seam than from the OC but at a better quality.

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