Progress on Continental Coal’s Penumbra Coal Project in South Africa as part of the EPCM contract to develop the underground room-and-pillar coal mine is well under way, after commencing with site work in September last year, reports Adam Wilkinson, project manager and mining engineer, TWP Projects. Located near Ermelo, Penumbra will be CCL’s third thermal coal mining operation in the country, and is expected to produce 840,000 metric tons per year raw coal, primarily for the export market. First coal is expected to be reached by end September 2012.
Earthwork commenced in full force with the pre-split and box-cut blasts taking place in October. The box-cut, which is 17 m deep, will access two declines approximately 390 m long, to a depth of 65 m—one will be equipped with a conveyor and the second will serve as a trackless man and material decline. Work on the declines commenced in January 2012, which will also serve as the primary ventilation intakes of the mine. Two coal production sections are planned, each equipped with a continuous miner; and three shuttle cars, suitable for low to mid seam mining heights.