Sasol inaugurates new mining shaft in Mpumalanga
22 May 2012
Today Sasol officially inaugurated its R3,5 billion Thubelisha Shaft at the Twistdraai Colliery in Mpumalanga. The shaft, situated in the north-east of the Secunda complex, will supply coal to Sasol Synfuels, the export and domestic market.
The current Twistdraai Colliery shaft system has reached its economic limit and requires relocation of the shafts to the Thubelisha shaft. The new
shaft will extend the life of the Twistdraai Colliery beyond 2039.
Sasol Mining, the sole supplier of coal to Sasol Synfuels, entered the coal export market in 1995 with the establishment of Twistdraai East and West, together with the Twistdraai Export Plant, to beneficiate and supply coal to the export market. Sasol Mining operates one of the world’s largest underground coal-mining complexes and produces over 40 million tons of coal annually with
more than 90% of the coal mined being beneficiated by Sasol to produce high-quality synthetic fuels and a wide range of chemicals.
“Our mining business is not only the foundation of Sasol’s South African operations, it is also a key component to ensure the country’s energy security
and is a vital contributor to the country’s growth and development goals,” said David Constable, Chief Executive Officer, Sasol Limited.
The project will sustain 1600 jobs at the Twistdraai Colliery and at the peak of construction more than 2000 workers were on site. The bulk of the workforce
was drawn from local communities in the Gert Sibande District Municipality.
“Sasol Mining has entered a period of intense capital replacement and will replace 60% of our operating capacity in Secunda in the next eight years. This capital replacement comes at a total cost of R14 billion. The Thubelisha shaft is the first milestone in this large scale project,” said Hermann Wenhold, Managing Director, Sasol Mining.
Thubelisha will comprise an operation delivering more than 8 million tons per annum (mtpa) over a lifespan of 25 years, from a maximum of 12 coal production
sections. The shaft consists of surface buildings, coal conveyance infrastructure, workshops and a full shaft system.
“Sasol Mining, in the recent past, has seen great improvements in its safety performance, following the implementation of a comprehensive safety improvement
plan. I am pleased by these successes, but fully realize that we require a consistent and unrelenting focus on safety to sustain these achievements,” added
The total conveyor belt length is approximately 20 km, making it one of the longest conveyors in the country. The shaft will have an underground and surface infrastructure to support 12 production sections and an underground and surface coal handling facility. Once the shaft is fully operational, 1600 employees will be deployed to the shaft.
Notes to Editor
Statistics to the project:
- The team operated and covered an area of approximately 21 sq km;
- The distance between the extreme points of construction is some 36 km;
- Rainfall average = 711 mm p.a. Highest site rainfall measured = 1 012 mm
p.a. with highest monthly rainfall of 280 mm;
- Maximum number of people on site was 2 050;
- More than 2,67 million cubic meters of earth was moved;
- Over 4 000 tons of steelwork was fabricated and erected;
- Over 34 500 cubic meters of concrete was poured;
- Over 19 km of electrical sleeves installed; and
- The conveyor belt system consist of over 28 000 idlers.
Sasol may, in this document, make certain statements that are not historical facts and relate to analyses and other information which are based on forecasts of future
results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements may also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. Examples
of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding exchange rate fluctuations, volume growth, increases in market share,
total shareholder return and cost reductions. Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "seek", "will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour" and "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and there are risks that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. If one or more of these risks materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. You should understand that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors are discussed more fully in our most recent annual report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on Form 20-F filed on 12 October 2012 and in other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The list of factors discussed therein is not exhaustive;
when relying on forward-looking statements to make investment decisions, you should carefully consider both these factors and other uncertainties and events.
Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date on which they are made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.