Klipfontein coal mine

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The Klipfontein coal prospect is a small coal deposit in the Witbank coal field approximately 20 kilometres south of Middelburg. It is part of the Wolvekrans-Middelburg Complex in the Mpumalanga Province.


The map below shows the approximate location of the project.[1] It is about 20 kilometres south of Middelburg in South Africa's Mpumalanga province.

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In 2009, the rights to the deposit were held by Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL).[2] On its website CoAL states that the deposit contains 1 million tonnes of coal in two seams and that the "quality is suitable for both export and Eskom markets."[2] (CoAL rebranded in December 2017 to MC Mining.[3])

In its 2015 prospectus, South Africa Energy Coal included Klipfontein as part of the Wolvekrans-Middelburg Complex, explaining that

"The current configuration of the WMC is the result of a series of mergers and the acquisition of various separate collieries (Albion, Vandykesdrift, Boschmanskrans, Driefontein, Steenkoolspruit, Douglas, Wolvekrans, Goedehoop, Hartebeestfontein and Klipfontein) over an extended history. This has involved multiple changes of ownership including holdings by Witbank Collieries Limited, TC Lands, Anglo-Transvaal Collieries, Barlow Rand Group, Rand Mines/Randcoal, Shell, BP, JCI, Gencor, ICC, Ingwe, Billiton International and BHP Billiton. SAEC currently owns a 100 per cent interest and operates the WMC."[4]

A social impact assessment published in July 2015 recommended the Klipfontein extension of the Wolvekrans-Middelburg Complex proceed.[5]

The prospectus also explained that SAEC was spinning off from its parent company, BHP Billiton, into a new entity called South32.[6] SAEC was owned by South32 Ltd (92%) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment consortium led by Phembani Holdings (6%), but was sold off by South32 in August 2019.[7]

In August 2019, news reports indicated that South32 is in the process of selling the Klipfontein-containing Wolvekrans-Middelburg Complex to Seriti Resources, an African mining company, for between $300 million to $350 million.[7][8] As of early September 2019, the deal had yet to be approved by the Department of Mineral Resources.[9] Mail & Guardian further reports speculation that, "should the deal be concluded, Seriti would become Eskom’s second-biggest coal supplier, at 32.5% — about 39-million tonnes — of the state-owned utility’s coal procurement spend."[9] Miningmx reports "Seriti has been chosen as the preferred bidder; it is not yet the de facto owner," and will spend the next 12 months finalizing the deal.[10]

Project Details

  • Owner: South Africa Energy Coal
  • Parent company: South32 Ltd (92%) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment consortium led by Phembani Holdings (6%)
  • Location: About 20 km south of Middelburg, Mpumalanga province
  • GPS coordinates: -25.8994440, 29.4605560[1] (approximate)
  • Mine status: Operating
  • Start year:
  • Mineable reserves:
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Mine size: Part of the Wolvekrans-Middelburg Complex, see Middelburg mine
  • Mine type: Open-cast
  • Production:
  • Additional proposed production:
  • Equipment:
  • Number of employees:

Resources and articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 South32 UK Prospectus, South32 Competent Persons Report, 11 Mar. 2015, page 66.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Coal of Africa Limited, "Other projects", Coal of Africa Limited website, accessed May 2010.
  3. Coal in southern Africa: MC Mining, new name and new focus, Mining Review, 6 Mar. 2018
  4. South32 UK Prospectus, South32 Competent Persons Report, 11 Mar. 2015, page 70.
  5. Klipfontein Section of Middelburg Mine, Jones and Wagener website, accessed Oct 2019
  6. South32 UK Prospectus, South32 Competent Persons Report, 11 Mar. 2015, page 1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 South32 closes door on its SA coal business, IOL Business Report, 23 Aug. 2019
  8. South Africa’s Seriti Resources Wins Bid for South32 Coal Assets, Bloomberg News, 20 Aug. 19.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Big deal over ‘strange’ coal mine meeting, Mail & Guardian, 6 Sep. 2019.
  10. SA’s national interest played a pivotal role in Seriti winning the rights to SA Energy Coal, Mining MX, 9 Sep. 2019.

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