Our underground mining operations are at Bosjesspruit, Brandspruit, Middelbult, Syferfontein and Twistdraai (all in the Secunda area) and Sigma (near Sasolburg). As some of these mines are approaching the end of their useful lives, new developments are underway to ensure continued supply through our Mine replacement programme. This ongoing project is being undertaken to replace 60% of Sasol Mining’s operations in Secunda by 2020 at a cost of R14 billion.
The first of these new replacement mines is the R3, 4 billion Thubelisha shaft which was inaugurated in May 2012 at Twistdraai Colliery. This shaft will eventually comprise an operation delivering more than 8 million tons of coal per annum (MTPA) over 25 years. This is the first milestone in the large scale replacement of our operating capacity. The shaft will supply coal to both Sasol Synfuels and export customers.
The Impumelelo mine, which will replace the Brandspruit operation, is set for first production in 2015. It will be ramped up to produce 8.5MTPA, and can later be upgraded to supplying some 10.5 MTPA. This coal will be used exclusively by the Sasol Synfuels plant.
An underground extension of the Middelbult mine is also on the cards, with the main shaft and incline shaft being replaced by the Shondoni shafts. The first coal from the new complex is expected to be delivered in 2015.