African Energy Resources (ASX: AFR) has successfully demonstrated the suitability of coal from its Sese Thermal Coal Project in Botswana to be used as fuel for industrial boilers in a recently completed trial.
A 15,000 tonne bulk sample was excavated from part of the Measured Resource earlier this year and has provided coal for beneficiation test work, export trials and combustion testing.
Sixty tonnes of raw coal from the bulk sample was recently trucked to South Africa where it was crushed and processed through Gecko Mineral Processing's pilot‐scale air‐separation plant to provide information on air plant performance and a beneficiated product for combustion testing in boilers.
The processed coal was screened to "peas", a 6 by 25 millimetre sized product, and three random samples sent to ALS Chemex Witlab facility for coal quality analysis.
Bagged samples of the sized coal were sent to GH Boiler and Energy Services in Johannesburg for the combustion trial.
Sized Sese coal was fed onto the boiler's chain‐grate by means of an overhead hopper, and introduced to the boiler as a replacement for the boiler's standard 25.5 megajoules per kilogram feedstock.
The following key observations were made:
- Sese coal was observed via a peephole and was seen to ignite and combust well.
- The process and efficiency was monitored throughout the trial and indicated that Sese coal combusted favourably and successfully with no adverse impact on the boiler.
- The boiler was able to generate heat and steam satisfactorily using Sese coal.
- Stack emissions were noted and recorded as clear throughout the test.
- Soft and friable clinker was seen at the back‐end of the chain‐grate and was not detrimental to the boiler performance or ash recovery.
Importantly, all of these observations confirm that Sese coal is therefore compatible with and suitable for use in industrial chain‐grate boilers.
Sese Measured Resource
Just last week African Energy defined an initial Measured Resource for its Sese Project of 651 million tonnes following resource modelling by the company's consultants.
This means around 94% of the Sese Project's total 2,517 million tonne Resource is now in the higher confidence Measured and Indicated categories.
The Measured Resource is contained in two blocks - Block-B and Block-C.
Coal in the Block‐B Measured Resource is of interest for the Sese Export Project due to its potential for low strip ratio, higher in‐situ calorific value and higher washing yields than other parts of the deposit.
Block-C coal is favoured as the source of fuel for the Sese Integrated Power Project due to its proximity to existing infrastructure and proximity to solid basement for the power station footings.
This coal can be used as a raw coal feedstock for a power station, or can be washed to produce an export product and a middling for use in power stations.
Botswana contains one of the world's largest undeveloped thermal coal provinces, and Sese is one of the 15 delineated coal resources in the country.
Studies have demonstrated that Sese has the potential for the lowest run of mine operating costs in the country.
Botswana's Coal Roadmap, and African Energy's business plan, is focused on delivering three core businesses - export coal, export electricity and domestic electricity.
Importantly, the east coast of Africa is considered an ideal location from which Botswana's coal may be ultimately exported to Asian markets.
The market for Sese coal includes domestically with existing industrial customers and nearby markets, with this demand set to grow as new customers enter the market as new mines and businesses develop.
There is also a growing regional market in Southern Africa, with the Power Pool facing net regional electricity generating deficit as Eskom exports scale back.
Then there are the export markets where demand remains high, especially in India, with few undeveloped coal provinces capable of meeting this demand.
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