Chapudi coal project

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The Chapudi coal project is located in the Soutpansberg coal basin in Limpopo, South Africa. It is about 30 km due west of Mudimeli, in the Makhado local municipality and Vhembe district municipality.[1]


The map below shows the exact location of the project, which is about 30 km due west of Mudimeli, Makhado local municipality, Vhembe district municipality, Limpopo.[2]

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Originally, the Chapudi coal project was a joint venture project of Rio Tinto and Kwezi Mining looking to develop a 1.04 billion tonne coal resource.[3] The deposit is located in the Limpopo (Soutpansberg) coal basin of South Africa.[1]

Rio Tinto and Kwezi Mining began exploring for coal in the area in 2003. In 2008 the company announced that the joint venture "has drilled about 90 boreholes in the project area, and conducted geophysical surveys to aid the geological interpretation. A total of 12,400 metres have been drilled to date. The central part of the project now has sufficient drilling coverage to define a measured and indicated resource. The rest of the project area has been drilled to inferred resource status."[1]

The company stated that "the coal has been demonstrated through test work to be suitable for combustion to generate electricity. Rio Tinto and Kwezi Mining are currently investigating the feasibility and economics of establishing a mining operation to feed coal into a power station. They are currently engaging with Eskom, and a number of Independent power providers to this effect."[1]

In November 2010, Coal of Africa (CoAL), now known as MC Mining, agreed to buy Chapudi from Rio Tinto,[4] and on 13 May 2012, the deal was final, at which point Chapudi's total resources were 2,118 million tonnes,.[5] The new owner submitted mining right applications for three projects -- the Chapudi, Mopane and Generaal projects, which together make up MC Mining’s Greater Soutpansberg Project (GSP).[6] The GSP is near the Musina–Makhado special economic zone (SEZ) designated by the South African government for the development of metallurgical plants and a coal-fired power station.[7]

In December 2018, MC Mining secured the mining right for Chapudi,[8][9] which caused MC Mining's shares to rise.[10]. However, the Chapudi mining rights were appealed.[2] MC Mining is still waiting to hear on the mining rights for the Mopane and Generaal Projects, the other two-thirds of the Greater Soutpansberg Project.[2]

Project Details

  • Owner: MC Mining (74%)[8]
  • Parent company: Rothe Investments (Pty) Limited (26%)[2]
  • Location: about 30 km due west of Mudimeli, Makhado local municipality, Vhembe district municipality, Limpopo
  • GPS coordinates: -22.881211, 29.661589 (exact)[2]
  • Mine status: Proposed
  • Start year:
  • Mineable reserves: 1,318 million tonnes[2]
  • Coal type: Coking and thermal[8]
  • Mine size:
  • Mine type: Open pit
  • Production:
  • Additional proposed production:
  • Equipment:
  • Number of employees:

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Rio Tinto announces a coal resource of over 1 billion tonnes at Chapudi", Rio Tinto Media Release, 5 Feb 2008, available on Mining Weekly website, accessed Nov 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 MC Mining Annual Report 2019, 23 Oct 2019, MC Mining website, accessed Nov 2019.
  3. "Rio Tinto mulls sale of SA coal project -source", Reuters, July 11, 2010.
  4. Gareth Carpenter, Coal of Africa agrees to BEE ownership deal for Chapudi project, S&P Global Platts, 6 Feb 2012.
  5. Rio Tinto Annual Report 2012, p. 55 & 59, Rio Tinto website, accessed Nov 2019
  6. Brendan Ryan, MC Mining granted mining right for the Chapudi coking coal project, Miningmx, 11 Dec 2018.
  7. Luke Daniel, A look at China’s big plans for Limpopo and why locals should be concerned, The South African, 12 Sep 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Staff writer, MC Mining secures mining right for Chapudi coal project in South Africa, NS Energy, 11 Dec 2018.
  9. MC Mining receives mining right for Generaal project in South Africa, Mining Technology, 5 Nov 2019.
  10. Staff reporter, MC Mining rises 50% on Chapudi mining right, Mining Journal, 11 Dec 2019.

Related articles

External resources

Rio Tinto Presentations to Investors

External Articles