Kumba’s Kolomela mine first product shipped ahead of schedule

POSTMASBURG – Kolomela, the new 9Mtpa Kumba Iron Ore mine near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape has added another major achievement to its already excellent track record.  Not only is the mine development within budget and boasts an excellent mine and project safety record of 22 Million Lost Time Injury (LTI) Free Hours, it also started dispatching product to the port of Saldanha five months ahead of schedule and shipped the first ore for sale to customers in China.

The first production train left the Kolomela load-out station carrying 34 200 tonnes of ore on the 860km journey to the port of Saldanha on the 07th of December 2011. This follows the 342 wagon test train that arrived in the port of Saldanha on the 20th of November 2011 and the subsequent acceptance of the rail line by Transnet Freight Rail from Transnet Capital Projects.

The railed ore was stockpiled at the port of Saldanha ready to be dispatched to customers in Europe and Asia.  “The first shipment of 100 000 tons of Kolomela Lump left the port of Saldanha on 19 December 2011 on its journey to the port of Qingdao in China, from where it will be sold to Kumba’s existing customers.  This shipment is a significant milestone towards achieving the production ramp-up schedule of 4-5Mt (million tonnes) in 2012 and the expectation of reaching full production of 9Mtpa in 2013,” says Chris Griffith, CEO of Kumba.

The first train leaving Kolomela Mine was witnessed by the Kumba Board and ExCo members. Allen Morgan, acting Chairman of the Board, thanked the whole team for delivering a world class project. “We are extremely proud of the project and operations team, Transnet Freight Rail and all the contractors for delivering this project safely and in record time.” said Allen Morgan. Some of the main contractors that contributed were Hatch, GLTA, Tubular, BEW and Concor.

“This was a collaborative team effort from Kumba Projects, Kolomela operations and Transnet and could not have been achieved without the dedication and enthusiasm displayed by the teams”; said Francois Louw, Executive head of projects at Kumba.

“This line is the first of this length that Transnet has built in 36 years, and achieving this ahead of schedule and within budget is testament to the commitment of their Capital Projects team. We are proud to have partnered with Transnet in enabling the growth of Sishen, Kolomela and Saldanha”; says Chris Griffith.

“The delivery of the Kolomela project is in line with the Kumba growth strategy of ramping the South African production up to 70Mtpa by 2019”; concludes Chris Griffith.