This report covers the South African coal mining sector and coal testing laboratories. It provides comprehensive information on the size and state of the sector in 2017 and 2018, factors influencing the sector’s success, and industry developments and corporate actions to end-April 2019. There are 46 companies profiled including 19 testing facilities. Profiled companies include major coal miners such as South32, Glencore, Sasol and Exxaro Resources, and many smaller producers such as Kuyasa Mining and Londani Coal. Profiled coal testing laboratories include the South African Bureau of Standards, which is implementing a turnaround plan, the details of which are discussed in the report.
The Coal Mining Sector and Coal Testing Laboratories
The South African coal mining sector produced 252.3 million tons of coal and contributed 2%, to the country’s gross domestic product in 2017. The combined value of local sales and exports reached R139.4bn in 2018, and more than 86,900 people were employed in the sector. The country was ranked as the seventh largest coal producer in 2017, accounting for 3.3% of the world’s coal production.
South Africa remains a significant consumer and exporter of coal, but coal production, exports and investment in the sector have been stagnant since 2008, despite the country’s large reserves. The industry faces major challenges including environmental requirements, rising costs, lower investment levels and inadequate water and rail infrastructure. The sector is also significantly affected by developments at Eskom, including its investment in cost-plus mines, and the draft Integrated Resource Plan for electricity which reduces coal’s role in favour of renewable energy sources and gas.