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Greenfields Coal Exploration in Southern Africa

Mining exploration came to a halt in Mozambique in southern Africa when civil war broke out in the seventies. Only since 2002 have companies started to conduct exploration work again. Last year, SRK began evaluating coal deposits east of the town of Tete, in the Tete province in Mozambique.

Tete, which lies just southwest of the Cahorra Bassa Dam on the Zambezi River, boasts summer temperatures that often exceed 50ºC with 90% humidity. The rainy season, which runs from November to March, limits exploration work, particularly drilling. As a result, the majority of work can only be undertaken from the end of March to October.

SRK has completed a regional geological evaluation, coal geology evaluation and the scoping of further exploration studies for its client, Black Gold Mining Lda. This undertaking, which required an evaluation of previous exploration work, leading to an interpretation of potential target areas for further exploration, was used by the client for marketing purposes.

Another similar project, also situated in Tete – Strata Capital Plc’s Ncondezi coal project – required an evaluation of previous exploration work leading to an interpretation of potential target areas for further work and the design of a suitable exploration program.

Landsat and Aeromagnetic interpretations, as well as aerial photography interpretations, have been done to determine the extent of coal-bearing strata and the structural regime. The team has designed a drilling program based on the results of the interpretations. When drilling is completed, a 3D geological model and coal resource evaluation will be done.

Also, the Osho Group of Companies has 33 prospects and concessions throughout the country, of which the majority are for coal. They stretch from just south of Maputo to the Tanzanian border, to as far east as the top of Crook’s Corner of Kruger Park and Tete, through to the coast of Mozambique. This exciting project requires evaluation and recommendations for further work. It is truly a greenfields project, carried out in extremely remote areas with virtually no infrastructure.

Andy Birtles:
Grant van Heerden:

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