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Average realised domestic sales prices for some of South Africa’s large miners are around $14-24/t, according to Argus calculations. Unit costs on a fob basis will vary considerably depending on the individual firm and mine. But some of the larger miners’ average costs are likely to be around $30-45/t, Argus estimates.
22/1/2021 South Africa’s export competitiveness, however, faces limitations from the quality of its coal, which tends to have high ash content and low calorific value. In addition, Eskom, the domestic utility, eats up close to 125MMT of domestic coal production annually a figure expected to rise to 160MMT by 2020 due to the government’s continued supply security concerns.
Mining production in South Africa fell 2.8% year-on-year in September of 2020, following an upwardly revised 3.8% decline in the prior month and compared with market expectations of a 1.5% drop. It was the seventh consecutive month of decreases in mining activity but at the softest pace in the current sequence, helped by the further relaxation of lockdown restrictions.
mining and deep underground mining are the two basic methods of mining used in South Africa. Approximately 51% of South African coal mining is done underground and about 49% is produced by open-cast techniques.
15/1/2021 China is buying South African coal at a time when analysts are forecasting a buoyant average coal price of $100/t for the first half (H1) of 2021. The purchase of South African coal
22 ESI AFRICA ISSUE 2 2004 COAL ECONOMIC FACTORS The South African coal industry is very sensitive to international coal prices. Almost 30% of the yearly saleable production is exported. It produces about 55% of the total revenue accrued by the industry.
Figure 2: Coal Mining in South Africa Production by Type, Bituminous and Anthracite (Million Metric Tons), 2000–2020 13 Figure 3: South African Nominal Coal Prices (US$/ Metric Ton), 2000
Made in South Africa Coal Prices Directory Offering Wholesale South African Coal Prices from South Africa Coal Prices Manufacturers, Suppliers and Distributors at TradeKey Coal Prices Exporters, Suppliers & Manufacturers in South Africa
Mining costs, e.g. for diesel fuel, also fell at the beginning of the year, though fuel prices rebounded in mid-2020. Mining saw increased cost for safety measures and social distancing measures related to the pandemic, while coal prices remained low.
Pravin Gordhan, South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister, publicly threatened the coal mining industry of South Africa with what he calls “serious conversations” about the cost of coal. As Eskom’s shocking year-end results were released, Gordhan was clearly distressed with the 17% increase in the cost of Eskom’s primary energy, of which coal increased by over 14% per unit.
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