Botswana Stock Exchange-listed Minergy has exported its first coal by rail to South Africa with a second train being loaded and is expected to reach client at the start of the weekend.
According to the company, the initial train consisted of 50 wagons, with each wagon carrying approximately 53 tonnes of coal product, equating to roughly 2, 650 tonnes in total.
The coal mined at the Masama coal mine, was loaded onto trucks and transported 60km to the rail siding at Tshele Hills.
Minergy, owns Masama coal mine which is located in the Mmamabula Coalfield of Botswana.
Minergy chief executive officer, Morné du Plessis said this is the first of three trains bound for an industrial client in the cement sector in South Africa.
“To watch the first train of export coal being loaded and knowing that the product reached the client, is certainly something to celebrate,” he said.
He added the feat was made possible by the commitment of and funding to develop the siding received from Botswana Railways.
“This method of transportation of coal greatly aids efficiency, cutting out time consuming border crossings and minimising COVID-19 exposure,” he said.
du Plessis said Minergy remains dedicated to ensuring skills transfer, training and the establishment of opportunities for local businesses in Botswana.
“To this end, a tender process for the transportation of coal from the mine to the rail siding was opened to include participation by local transporters. Some local transporters were already utilised during this initial move of
He added it was without doubt that infrastructure and by extension railway acted as key enabler of economic development, a catalyst for business and a facilitator of employment creation.
It is envisaged that an off-take agreement for regular supply to the client’s coal yard will soon be in place.
“Conclusion of this additional off-take agreement is not only important to further diversify Minergy’s client base, but it also represents Minergy’s first predominantly rail delivery client off-take agreement. With its now confirmed capability to delivery product to clients by rail, Minergy will also pursue opportunities with industrial customers in the Western Cape that have rail yards attached to their operations.
“This was not only a great day for Minergy but a momentous day for the Botswana coal industry,” said du Plessis,
Last year Minergy successfully raised P90 million funding from Botswana Development Corporation as well as the Minerals Development Company of Botswana.
The funding was said to be sufficient to bring Masama coal project into production as they have steady state of operations.
The initial funding include bridging finance provided by both parties amounting to P70 million for a period of six months which will be refinanced through long-term agreements with both parties.