Recently minted Ikwezi Mining is progressing operations quickly in South Africa and has now executed agreements to acquire 70% of two prospecting rights in the Waterberg Coal field.
The rights cover five farms, and are expected to yield coal for both export and local markets. The prospects cover an extensive 5700 hectares, and already have a significant exploration target of 2 to 4 billion tonnes.
The coal fields in the Limpopo province of South Africa are split into the Springbok Flats, Waterberg, Limpopo and Soutpansberg coal fields. The Waterberg Coal field trends east-west and extends westward into Botswana.
The coal seams are developed in both the Vryheid and Grootegeluk Formations, and coal occurs in 11 zones averaging 115 metres in thickness.
Ikwezi said that the upper seven zones consist of alternating bands of coal and mudstone of varying thicknesses averaging in total to 60 metres, with the lower four coal zones having an average thickness of 1.5 metres to 5.5 metres.
The Waterberg coal field contains predominately thermal coal although in certain areas of the field there is also a coking coal fraction that can be derived.
Importantly, mining is relatively easy in the field as the deposit lends itself to large scale opencast mining of very low strip ratios.