Dec 2017 Exxaro
state of affairs


Unlocking the Waterberg has been a key part of the Exxaro Coal strategy since 2007. In essence, the aim of this initiative has been to establish the required infrastructure (rail and water) to enable the Grootegeluk Complex to export up to 18Mt of coal via the Richards Bay Coal Terminal over the long term. With Phase 1 of the Mokolo water augmentation project completed and a new 10-rail agreement in place with Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), the focus is now on increasing the production capacity at Grootegeluk to produce export grade coal.

The aim of the GG6 Expansion Project is to increase the production of semi-soft coking coal for export by converting the existing GG2 single-stage beneficiation plant into a double-stage beneficiation plant. The additional 1.7Mt/annum of product will meet the RB1 specification (6 000kcal).

The project business case is summarised in diagram 1.

The business case of the gg6 expansion project.

The project scope starts with an upgrade of the ROM feed circuit from 3 900tph to 4 500tph. Flexibility will be improved by installing upgrades to the feed silos. Efficiency will be improved by narrowing the size fractions of the coal being fed to different parts of the plant. Dedicated beneficiation plants will be created for each size fraction. To achieve this, a two-stage beneficiation plant (a small coal plant) will be constructed for an intermediate size fraction. The remainder of the coal will be beneficiated in upgraded drum and cyclone modules of the existing GG2 plant. A dedicated two-stage plant, utilising reflux classifiers and spirals, will also be established in the GG2 plant to treat ultrafine coal. The existing stockyard will be expanded to accommodate the increased product volumes. Some of the stockyard coal will be loaded onto trains via the new rapid load out station (an associated project).

The scope is summarised in the photographs below.

The project was approved by the Exxaro Board in March 2017 with a budget of R4.8m. Construction started in May 2017. The project is currently within budget and on schedule to be completed by December 2020. Key milestones include completion of the new small coal plant by April 2019 and completion of the new stacker by March 2019.

Scope of the GG6 expansion project.