Belfast coal mine

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The Belfast coal mine is an opencast South African coal mine, owned and operated by Exxaro Resources.[1] It is located 10 km southwest of Belfast in the Mpumalanga province.


The map below shows the exact location of the project. It is located 10 km southwest of Belfast in the Mpumalanga province.

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Belfast mine is situated on the far eastern edge of the Witbank coalfield, and is adjacent to the N4 highway connecting Pretoria and Maputo.

According to Exxaro,

"The Belfast mining right was executed in October 2013 and registered in March 2015. All pending licensing appeals lodged against the operation were resolved in 2018."[2]

Mining Weekly and Miningmx announced that the mine began operating 6 months ahead of schedule.[3][4]

According to Exxaro, the mine is a "a digitally connected mine" where "Belfast maintenance teams can remotely monitor and track all the devices and access performance data."[5] It has four operating opencast pits with the latest addition, Pit 4B, opened in 2021.[6] The LOM (life of mine) of the Belfast mine was 17 years for the first phase, making it a high value-add coal project in the Mpumalanga region and greater South Africa as it bolsters the local coal business. The LOM has since been adjusted downwards to 12 years. A potential second phase could take Belfast’s LOM to 2043.[7]

The Belfast plant primarily produces A-grade, export-quality coal (typical 6000 kcal/kg) at a projected volume of 2.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and a secondary-quality product (typical 21.5 MJ/kg) for local use or export of approximately 0.5 MTPA.[6]


According to Exxaro's 2021 report, there are prospects for additional opencast pits and an underground mining section in the Belfast Expansion Project area. (The Coal Reserves at Belfast mine only fall within the southern portion of the total coal resource with about 80 million tonnes of the resource located to the north and outside the LOM.) The pre-feasability study is underway, with outcomes expected in quarter three of 2022, confirming if the study will proceed or terminate.[6]

Project Details

  • Operator: Exxaro Resources
  • Owner: Exxaro Resources
  • Location: 10 km southwest of Belfast in Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • GPS Coordinates: -25.838062, 29.987495 (exact)[1]
  • Mine Status: Operating
  • Production: 2.7 million tonnes per annum[1]
  • Total Resource: 121.9 million tonnes[6]
  • Mineable Reserves: 39.9 million tonnes[6]
  • Coal Type: Subbituminous (thermal)
  • Mine Size: 5,818 hectares[6]
  • Mine Type: Surface, opencast
  • Start Year: 2019[5]
  • Source of Financing:
  • Number of Employees: 6,000 direct and indirect[5]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Belfast, Exxaro website, accessed 7 July 2022.
  2. PROSPECTING AND MINING TENEMENT INFORMATION, Exxaro Resources Limited Mineral Resources Report 2018, Exxaro website, accessed 5 Nov. 2019.
  3. Exxaro’s Belfast mine starts production six months ahead of schedule, Mining Weekly, 12 Sep. 2019.
  4. Exxaro Belfast project produces first export coal six months ahead of schedule, Miningmx, 13 Sep. 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 BELFAST COAL EARLIER THAN EXPECTED, 12 Sep. 2019, Exxaro website, accessed 5 Nov. 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Exxaro Resources Limited Consolidated Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Report 2021, Exxaro website, accessed September 2022.
  7. Belfast Implementation Project, Exxaro website, accessed September 2022.

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