Oxeye has identified an opportunity to use UCG technology to extract value from its Sterkfontein coal resource, and PPM was appointed to complete a Concept Study in August 2015. The UCG process can be used to exploit previously marginal coal deposits by converting the coal resource into energy by gasifying the coal “in situ” underground. UCG is chemically similar to surface gasification of coal which is common practice for synthetic chemicals and fuel production, and the resulting gas, called Syngas, can be used commercially as feedstock for the production of chemical, fuels, electricity or heat.
The Concept Study reviewed the financial potential for the development of a new mine using UCG to generate Syngas suitable for power generation, and determined, on the basis of indicated and inferred Resources, and only accessing the No.4 seam, that there are approximately 91million tonnes of coal available for the UCG process; adequate for a power station of up to 400MW.
The Concept Study indicated that there is sufficient financial incentive to take this project to the PFS and BFS levels of study.
PPM is one of a select few project management companies that has the independent expertise to undertake studies for future UCG projects.