BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa

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BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton, operates a three coal mines in the Witbank Coalfield, Mpumalanga Province. (BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa was, up until the end of January 2007, known as Ingwe Collieries Ltd.[1]).

BECSA produced approximately 31.7 million tonnes in 2008/2009[2], down from 48 million tonnes the preceding year. (The company produced 51.6 million tonnes in 2006/2007). However, the company has two major mine expansion projects under construction.[3]

BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa states on its website that it "is one of the largest suppliers to the seaborne energy coal market. This coal is sold into Europe, the Far East, India, Africa and South America. Coal is also sold to South Africa’s local utility company, Eskom. BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa is one of Eskom’s largest suppliers."[3]

In its 2009 annual report the company stated that it sold 73% of its output to Eskom. The remainder is exported via the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, which the company holds a 24 per cent share in.

BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa's operations are just one small part of BHP Billiton's coal interests.

Coal mines

BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa's operating coal mines are:[3]

The company also operated the Douglas Mine, of which Xstrata plc held a 16% interest, which produced 3,184 million tonnes in the 2008/2009 financial year. The mine reserves were merged with the Middelburg mine and the operations rationalised under what the company refers to as the "Douglas-Middelburg Optimisation (DMO) Project".[4][3]

In its 2009 annual report the company states that "the reserve lives of the BECSA mines at current production rates range from 12 to 22 years."[5]

Coal projects

In its 2009 annual report BHP Billiton lists a number of potential thermal coal mines as "projects". It also lists several other deposits under the "miscellaneous" subheading. (It appears that the company uses the term "projects" for potential mines where a "measured resource" estimate has been determined while "miscellaneous" is applied to deposits at an earlier exploration stage where the resource has only been indicated or inferred.)

The South African projects listed are:[6]

The deposits listed under the "miscellaneous" sub-heading are:

Contact details

6 Hollard Street
Marshalltown
Johannesburg
South Africa

Postal Address
P.O Box 61820
Marshalltown 2107
South Africa

Tel: (27 11) 376 9111
Fax: (27 11) 834 2228

Articles and resources

References

  1. "Ingwe announces name change to BHP Billiton Energy Coal SA", Mining Weekly.com, January 29, 2007.
  2. BHP Billiton, 2009 BHP Billiton Annual Report, BHP Billiton, September 2009, page 48.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 BHP Billiton, "BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa", BHP Billiton website, accessed June 2010.
  4. BHP Billiton, "BHP Billiton Approves Douglas-Middelburg Optimisation Project", Media Release, February 29, 2008.
  5. BHP Billiton, 2009 BHP Billiton Annual Report, BHP Billiton, September 2009, page 48.
  6. BHP Billiton, 2009 BHP Billiton Annual Report, BHP Billiton, September 2009, page 90.

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