Mar 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:30 AM, Mar 24, 2017

Universal to develop second coal mine

Universal Coal (ASX: UNV) will start development of a second coal mine in the Witbank coalfield at its Roodekop project in South Africa.

Following a water licence being granted the coal miner has all the approvals necessary to begin developing the second mine.The Roodekop project has a total resource of 84.3 million tonnes with a proven reserve of 10.6 million tonnes.

Universal CEO Tony Weber said: “With our Kangala mine operating at steady-state and delivering to schedule, we are delighted to now have all the licences in place to commence development of our export-focused project, Roodekop.”

Universal is also set to acquire the New Clydesdale colliery that sits adjacent to the project, which will fast-track the activities at Roodekop to start before the end of the year.

“In essence, the combined New Clydesdale colliery and Roodekop contain sufficient coal resources to support the installed two-million-tonnes-per-year processing capacity at the colliery for the foreseeable future, with a significant proportion of production able to be beneficiated for the export market,” added Weber.

The development of both Roodekop and New Clydesdale will bring Universal Coal closer to becoming a mid-tier coal producer.


Statoil and Exxon Mobil discover gas offshore Tanzania

A new natural gas discovery has been made by partners Statoil (OSE: STL; NYSE: STO) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) at the Giligiliani-1 well offshore Tanzania.

An additional 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was discovered, bringing the total in-place volumes of block 2 to around 21 trillion cubic feet.

Nick Maden, senior vice president for Statoil's exploration activities in the Western Hemisphere, said: “This discovery has proven the gas play extends into the western part of block 2, which opens additional prospects.

“Our success rate in Tanzania has been high and opening up a new area will be key to continuing our successful multi-well programme.”

This discovery is the seventh in block 2 and the rig Discoverer Americas will drill the Kungamanga prospect, located in the centre of block 2, next.


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