Morupule Coal Mine makes a break into SA markets

Morupule Coal Mine (MCM), the only operating coal mine in Botswana in Palapye, was recently awarded a contract to supply coal to PPC Slurry located between Mafikeng and Zeerust in South Africa.

The tender award comes after a year of concerted effort to break into this lucrative market and following the submission of a tender bid by MCM in December 2013 and supply of over 14 000 tonnes of coal for plant trials during the period December 2013 to March 2014.

MCM’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Tumelo Molefhe, stated that “being awarded this tender is a milestone in the growth of MCM and also affirmation that we are a world class coal producer. The tender is for duff coal supply for an initial three year period commencing 1 April 2014. This supply agreement makes PPC the largest washed coal off taker and the second largest MCM customer after BPC. In the long term, it is the intention of both PPC Ltd. and MCM to establish a strategic partnership to supply other cement manufacturing plants in South Africa and to also support their expansion into other Southern and Central African countries”.

She went on to state that this tender, together with other exciting prospects that they expect to close within the next few months in other regional markets, is also in line with the Mine’s strategic intent to grow its footprint in the Southern African region in particular, as Botswana is centrally located to service these markets. Coal has a wide range of applications with the most prominent being its use to generate energy (thermal) and in metallurgy and manufacturing.

In an interview with the General Manager of Morupule Coal Mine, David Kgoboko, he stated that, “we must also give due recognition to our strategic partners who will provide the rail logistics, being
Botswana Railways (BR) and Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) who also participated in this tender. The collaboration between the three parties enabled us to offer a competitive delivered price to PPC Slurry.

Going forward, it remains our intention to continue to partner with regional rail operators to offer competitive, effective and efficient rail logistics and supply chain management solutions to our customers in the regional and export markets”.

“PPC is delighted with the new partnership and aims to forge sound supply and service relationships with Morupule Coal Mine and Botswana Railways and we believe that this will ultimately serve as a key industrial development between the two neighbouring countries”, concluded Robert Fleischer – Group Category Manager. Coal has been identified as one of the country’s key future Economic drivers. Already, plans are at an advanced stage for a 300MW “Brownfield” power station, which will require additional coal from MCM.
The Mine is also working closely with the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) to implement the Coal Roadmap which is an ambitious strategy to ensure that Botswana exploits and utilises its abundant coal resources in a sustainable and commercially viable manner.