Exports to benefit coal firms

SOUTH Africa's main coal terminal, which is expanding to become the world's largest, will assign capacity to junior miners in line with the upgrade of the railway lines leading to the port.

SOUTH Africa's main coal terminal, which is expanding to become the world's largest, will assign capacity to junior miners in line with the upgrade of the railway lines leading to the port.

Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) is due to expand its export capacity to 91 million tonnes by the end of this year from 76 million tonnes, but transport to the port may dictate how much of that new capacity can be used.

Last year, RBCT exported 61,8 million tons of coal, partly due to delays and derailments on the coal lines and as Transnet struggled to bring all the necessary coal to the port.

Transnet Freight Rail is investing heavily to upgrade infrastructure to export up to 81 million tonnes, but has said it would refuse to invest more if returns were not guaranteed by long-term deals.

RBCT said junior miners would be assigned allocations in line with TFR's improvements.

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