Exxaro strengthens coal export position at RBCT

Exxaro Resources has reached agreement with BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA) to purchase from BECSA 1 Mt/y export coal entitlement through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT). The rights accompanying this entitlement will become effective on July 1 and it is in addition to the 2.5 Mt/y RBCT entitlement that Exxaro was awarded through RBCT’s recent subscription process and 0.8 Mt/y acquired following the merger with Eyesizwe Coal.  On completion of the RBCT Phase V expansion scheduled by the second quarter of 2009, Exxaro will acquire a further 2 Mt/y of export entitlement through the South Dunes Coal Terminal Company. This will result in Exxaro’s total entitlement increasing to 6.3 Mt/y.

“Exxaro’s export entitlement at RBCT is aligned with our growth objectives that include obtaining a strong position in the export coal market. It matches increasing export production from our existing mines and new mines such as Inyanda and the Mafube JV,” said Ernst Venter, Executive General Manager of Exxaro’s coal division.

Exxaro is a diversified resources group with interests in the coal, mineral sands, base metals, industrial minerals and iron ore commodities, formed through the re-listing on the JSE of Kumba Resources in November 2006 as part of an empowerment transaction in which Kumba’s iron ore assets were unbundled and listed as Kumba Iron Ore, and the non-iron ore assets were merged with the assets of Eyesizwe Coal and re-listed as Exxaro.  Exxaro is one of the largest suppliers of coal to Eskom, and is currently exporting some 2.5 Mt/y of coal through its present entitlement at RBCT and the annual lease of additional entitlement.  

The Inyanda open-pit mine is under construction near Witbank in Mpumalanga. Full production of 1 Mt/y of A-grade thermal coal for the export market is expected to be reached during 2008. The Mafube JV is a 50:50 joint venture between Exxaro and Anglo Coal, situated near Standerton in Mpumalanga. Construction of the Mafube expansion project is progressing well, with first product from this 3 Mt/y open-pit mine expected in October 2007.