Aviva Corporation, the company that is prospecting some coal resource in Mmamantswe area, said its scoping report results beat its own expectations as probable mine reserves hit 70 percent of the estimated resource.
“To achieve almost 70 percent conversion from resources to probable run of mine reserves exceeded our expectation,” Aviva Chief Executive Officer, Lindsay Reed, said.
He added, “The strong reserve position, together with an 8GL per annum water resource and outstanding infrastructure confirms Mmamantswe as a very attractive fuel source for an Independent Power Project.”
The Perth-based energy producing company is tri-listed on the Australia, Botswana and London stock exchanges.
The company aims to be one of the trail-blazing independent power producers in BotswanaÔÇö an operation that has been reserved for government entities until recently.
The Mmamatswe deposit ÔÇô near MochudiÔÇö is a resource of 1 billion tonnes with an estimated reserve of 895 tonnes of coal, according to the scoping study that was commissioned last year.
“The recently Scoping Study completed by SRK showed the reserve could support 2000 mw of power generation for 40 years at a low stripping of 1.0:1 (bcm/t). The low stripping ratio and sulphur content of 0.38 percent are significant advantages for Mmamatswe deposit,” the company said in a report filed with the stock exchanges.
The Mmamatswe concession area— which is some 110 kilometers north of Gaborone — fell into the hands of Mawana Minerals (Pty) LimitedÔÇöa company owned by the late Paul Ramaloto and his family in 2006 after the discoveries made by BP in the 1980s.
He later invited Aviva Corporation to a joint venture that would see the Australian company owning 90 percent subject to the fact that it covers full financial budget for prospecting up to a bankable feasibility study.
So far, available record from Department of Geological Survey indicate that the area has two different types of coal, soft coalÔÇöused for cooking– similar to that at Matimba and Grootguluk mine in South Africa, at a depth of 70 meters and deeper, that has coal with similar rock characteristics to that of Morupule and Mmamabula.
Aviva comes at a time when the country is estimated to have coal resource of 200 billion ÔÇô enough to supply the power hungry southern African region, which is at the initial stages of industrialization.
“Aviva has now completed all the requisite technical studies to apply for registration of Mmamatswe Project as a sub-project of Botswana Power Corporation. Registration as a sub-project of a utility is a requirement for access to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) network,” the company said, pointing out that it is optimistic that the application will be filled within the second quarter of this year.
It said the timing will coincide with the release of the regional integrated resource plan that is due to be published in June. The plan is expected to come with a detailed plan outlining the power purchasing from Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and across the border.
“Technical studies have been completed confirming the viability of coal reserves, preparations, mining, power generation, transmission and water supplies. This project is well placed for development when South Africa has completed its power procurement planning,” Aviva added.