Makhado coal mine

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This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.

Makhado coal mine is a coking coal mine project in Limpopo province, South Africa.


The map below shows the exact location of the project, near Mudimeli, in Makhado municipality, Vhembe district, Limpopo province.[1]

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The Makhado coal project is a coal mine project in Limpopo province, owned by MC Mining, formerly Coal of Africa Limited. It is the company's flagship project. The mine has estimated recoverable reserves of 188.3 million tonnes (Mt).[2]

The project was granted environmental permits in 2013. However, Coal of Africa Limited had severe cash flow problems in the following years, and was unable to start mining at any of its projects, including both Makhado and Vele.[3] In July 2016, the company was granted an amended environmental permit; in September 2018, the project's permit was amended to include transport of coal via road.[4]

In March 2019, MC Mining received approval from its board of directors to move forward on the project. At the time, the company stated that it was lining up financing, and would begin construction in the third quarter of 2019. The mine is scheduled to start operating in June 2020.[4][5]

In April 2019, Mining Journal reported that MC Mining "got the news that the appeal by a "narrow interest group" against the Makahdo EA amendment allowing for the transportation of coal to Musina by road rather than rail, had been unsuccessful."[6]

In June 2019, Mining Weekly reported that ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) agreed to buy 350,000 t/y of hard coaking coal from Phase 1 of the Makhado coking coal project. The offtake agreement is conditioned on confirmation that the funding necessary to develop Phase 1 is secured as of December 15, 2019 and that delivery will begin within six months.[7]

In July 2019, Mining Review reported that MC Mining received approval by the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa for a term loan facility to fund the construction of Phase 1 of the Makhado hard coking coal project.[8] MC Mining expects construction activities to begin in Q3 CY2019.[8]

Project Details

  • Owner: MC Mining, Industrial Development Corporation
  • Parent company: MC Mining 95% (Baobab Mining & Exploration 69%, Makhado Colliery Community Development Trust 20%, Yoright Investments (Pty) Ltd) 6%), Industrial Development Corporation 5%[8]
  • Location: Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, 36km north of Makhado and 80km southeast of the Vele Colliery
  • GPS coordinates: -22.803733, 29.962367 (exact)[1]
  • Mine status: Proposed
  • Start year: June 2020 (Phase 1); ~CY2022 (Phase 2)
  • Mineable reserves: 188.3 million tonnes (Mt)[2]
  • Coal type: hard coking coal and export-quality thermal coal
  • Mine size: 8,190 hectares[9]
  • Mine type: Surface
  • Production: ~0.54 million tonnes per year of hard coking coal and ~0.57 million tonnes per year of export quality thermal coal
  • Additional proposed production:
  • Equipment: Conventional truck and shovel mining[9]
  • Number of employees: 650 (expected)[2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 MC Mining Annual Report 2019, 23 Oct 2019, MC Mining website, accessed Nov 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Makhado Project, MC Mining website, accessed October 2019.
  3. Coal in southern Africa: MC Mining, new name and new focus, Mining Review Africa, 6 Mar. 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Makhado Project, MC Mining website, accessed June 2019.
  5. MC Mining gets approval for Makhado coal mine development, Mining Technology, 14 Mar. 2019.
  6. Jacqueline Holman, Good news for MC Mining's Makhado, Mining Journal, 17 Apr 2019.
  7. AMSA Signs Offtake for Coking Coal from MC Mining's Makhado Phase 1, Mining Weekly, 19 Jun. 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 MC Mining secures funding for Phase 1 of Makhado, Mining Review, 15 Jul. 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Makhado Coal Mine, Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, Mining Technology, accessed 22 Oct. 2019.