Mineral mining is a significant part of South Africa’s economy. And while other minerals create significant revenue, there would be a literal countrywide blackout without coal mining.
Here are some quick facts about coal mining in South Africa.
South Africa relies heavily on coal for its energy needs. The national electricity provider (Eskom) generates more than 90% of the nation’s power. Ninety percent of that comes from its coal-fired plant. It would be impossible to run industries and light up homes without coal – at least in the foreseeable future.
The coal mining industry injects tens of billions of Rands into the economy. Coal exports bring in needed foreign revenue. The industry also boosts other sectors of the economy by buying locally-sold machinery and other supplies.
Before the pandemic hit in late 2019, the industry employed over 90,000 people. Considering that these workers provided for their families’ needs through coal mining, about half a million people relied on coal for their livelihood.
Although those numbers shrunk with companies closing down to comply with government regulations, they are steadily picking up again.
There are several coal mines in the country, primarily in the North Eastern region.
List of Coal Mines in South Africa
We scouted the region to find some well-known coal mines.
The mine employs 3,200 people. It’s in the Limpopo province inside the Waterberg Coalfield. The coal deposits are relatively close to the ground surface, so mining is open-cast (also called surface mining). As of late 2022, Exxaro Coal runs the coal mine and will continue to do so for some time. It’s not too far (only 25kms) from Lephalale town, where there are hotels and restaurants and other attractions.
Mafube Coal is an open-cut mine located in Mpumalanga, just 20 km North of the Eskom-owned Arnot power plant. Anglo American Coal and Exarro share a 50/50 ownership of the mine complex.
Matla Coal Mine
The Matla Coal complex consists of three mines employing 2,500 permanent workers. It’s an underground mine focused on thermal coal extraction. Matla has one of the world’s largest coking coal deposits, and the coal from the mine serves Eskom’s power plant.
Leeuwpan is another open-cut mine. It’s relatively small and employs 600 workers aside from the contractors.
Tshikondeni is an underground mine that employs close to 800 workers, according to Exxaro Coal. It’s in Mutale, Limpopo.
Arnot Coal Mine
The Arnot coal mine has both open-cut and underground sections. Its proximity to Eskom’s Arnot power plant allows it to provide the plant with coal at competitive prices.
Although coal mining has ceased at the mine, it still operates as a washing plant. The plant processes coal brought in trucks. Processing involves screening, crushing, and washing.
Goedgevonden Coal Mine
This surface mine is located near Ogies, in Emalahleni, Nkangala, in Mpumalanga. It started as an underground mine but later included the open-cut method.
Coal Mining Equipment
If you’ve worked at a coal mine, you know that proper equipment is just as crucial as qualified workers. The right machinery can also mean safety for mine workers.
Coal mine operators know just how important their choice of equipment is to the mine’s production, efficiency, and sustenance.
But different mining methods require various mining equipment. For example, you need a dozer belly plate jack when removing and replacing dozer belly plates to keep your fitters safe for longer. Underground mines require underground mining equipment, etc.
Here are some of the mining equipment all coal miners need.
- Continuous miners
- Scrapers, etc.
With such a high potential, the South African coal mining industry needs to know that the equipment they invest in is quality and guarantees high efficiency and durability.
That’s where Nsimbi Equipment Traders comes in —providing mining equipment solutions. We are a world-renowned company with headquarters in Johannesburg. Our goal is to provide South Africa and other countries with world-class equipment and to boost the coal mining industry to reach its peak.
Aside from offering tools and machinery, we also provide 24-hour support for our clients. New clients can trust us to visit the site and to advise on the best equipment for their location and type of mining.
So, if you’re looking for mining equipment — drilling tools, underground machinery, trucks, etc., reach out, and we’ll be happy to assist.