GCT collectively has more than 50 years of experience in the SA mining business, with more than 25 years’ experience in the South African inland coal mining and supply market.
Although GCT primary focus is discard dump reclamation and site clean-up, as a result of understanding the many hurdles facing prospective coal mining operations opening in Southern Africa, none more so than obtaining sufficient and ongoing water and electricity supply, cognisance was taken of these needs to mine many years ago and research into technologies to provide additional products and services beyond the reclamation of clean coal was undertaken.
Once the shortage of water, power and economically feasible coal mining projects in SA is equated together, it is becoming exceedingly difficult for new mines to open and current operating mines in SA to remain productive and profitable due to the low commodity sale prices of 2014 and 2015.
As a result of this power shortage, many IPP (Independent Power Producers) have attempted to enter the power supply arena in South Africa over the last several years with no success, other than the implementation of renewable energy projects. The reasons are many, none more so than all IPP’S to remain competitive, will require the cheapest and most reliable energy source available, which is still low grade coal supply.
Unfortunately this coal generation IPP scenario unfolding will result in a shortage of low grade coal supply being available to the national power producer effectively increasing the power supply crisis within SA moving forward beyond 2015. GCT has therefore specifically targeted unusable coal dumps for reclamation, thereby giving GCT independent control of the eventual clean coal supply feed and the end use thereof as the original low value product in the dump has zero inherent value and no end user value.
Fine coal immaterial of quality has a limited end user market value and therefore GCT designed all associated processing plant and “bolt on” technologies to ensure a use for the onsite fine quality product being produced through the process.
This GCT project plan includes research into production of the following products and services arriving from “bolt on” technologies during or after processing:
Reclamation of magnetite from slurry
Extruding or pelletizing clean coal and by products
Power production form clean coal and discards
Pig Iron manufacturing from clean coal
Smokeless fuel from clean coal
GCT, to also alleviate competing for an energy feedstock with other energy producers entering the IPP arena, is able to research using the onsite fine coal feedstock from discard slurry and spiral to generate onsite base load power for use by the mine, or to sell onto the local power grid. The power generation units are low RPM turbines powered by the throughput of arriving clean coal from the GCT reclamation process, with a target to produce between 10MW and 20MW of onsite power. Simply put the mine can continue operation over the life of mine, on a generator run on reclaimed slurry supply, instead of using high cost diesel to run diesel generators.
This complete GCT reclamation plan will allow coal mines to open in remote areas far from the national power grid, or become either independent of the power grid, or to become a Net exporter of power to the national power grid wherever they are located close enough to connect.