The chemical and energy company Sasol officially opened a R5.6 billion colliery in its host province Mpumalanga, it said via a statement on Friday.
"Meaning 'success' in isiZulu, Impumelelo is one of three world-class mines Sasol has built in the last decade as part of its R14 billion mine replacement program and includes Thubelisha and Shondoni. The inauguration was attended by Minerals Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, "said the statement.
Impumelelo would have capacity to produce 10.5 million tons a year and currently employs 1,760 people, most of them from nearby communities in Mpumalanga.
"In addition to sustaining some 4,000 jobs, the new mines are critical to securing coal supply to Sasol Secunda Synfuels Operations of up to at least 2,050," said Sasol joint president and CEO Bongani Nqwababa.
A unique feature of the mines is the investment in technologically-advanced measures that Sasol made to ensure the safety of its employees as well as the environment, said the statement.
"These include Proximity Detection Systems on our production electric trackless machines, which warn and eventually stop the machine from operating when a person is too close," said Nqwababa.
Another technology measure is an electronic trigger LED flickering light system to enhance underground safety precautions. This system visually draws miners' attention when there is movement in the roof. Other investments are in a variety of noise reduction technologies.
Sasol's mining business, which falls under its upstream portfolio, is the third largest coal producer in South Africa with an output of some 40 million tons per year. The business contributes 13% to Sasol's earnings and is integral to the global integrated chemicals and Energy Company's long-term sustainability, said the statement.
– African News Agency (ANA)
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