By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS (NADN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- Botswana based coal miner – Minergy, that owns and operates the Masama Coal Mine in the Mmamabula coalfield, sent abroad its first coal by rail to South Africa on July 17th, 2020. The coal was loaded onto trucks and transported 60km to the rail at Tshele Hills, where the first of three trains – bound for an industrial client in the cement sector in South Africa – set off.
Precisely, the first train comprised of fifty wagons with each wagon carrying about fifty tones of coal product, correlating to about 2,650 tones in total. The Chief Executive Officer of Minergy – Morné du Plessis says, this is a notable feat not only for Minergy but also for the export of coal from Botswana.
“To watch the first train of export coal being loaded and knowing that the product reached the client is certainly something to celebrate.”
He expands that, the first export was made feasible by the obligation of and funding to develop the siding collected from Botswana Railways. “This method of transportation of coal greatly aids efficiency, cutting out time-consuming border crossings and minimizing exposure.”
Energy continues dedicated to confirming skills transfer, training and the establishment of chances for local business in Botswana. To this point, a tender process for the transportation of coal from the mine to the rail siding was opened, which will encompass participation by local transporters. In this vein, some local transporters were already used during this initial move of coal product from the mine to the rail siding.
Thus, Minergy spotted that, an offtake consensus for regular supply to the South African client’s coal yard will soon be in place. And the decision of this supplementary offtake agreement is not only valuable to help modify Minergy’s client base, but it also exemplifies Minergy’s first primarily rail delivery client offtake agreement.
Authenticating this, with its now confirmed capacity to delivery product to clients by rail, Minergy will also propose alternatives with industrial customers in the Western Cape that have rail yards affixed to their operations. Morné du Plessis suggests that, the second train is being filled up and should be in South Africa at the start of the weekend.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent