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Statement re Opencast Mining

By 04.22.2008November 4th, 20232008, Announcements2 min read

22 April 2008


Bisichi Mining’s subsidiary commences open cast mining at Black Wattle Colliery

Bisichi Mining PLC (‘Bisichi’), the mining company with direct coal mining
operations in South Africa, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Black
Wattle Colliery (‘Black Wattle’) has commenced open cast mining on a portion of
its coal reserves. The area being mined contains high yielding export quality
thermal coal that will be mined over a 24 month period. There are additional
significant open cast reserves at Black Wattle for which Department of Minerals
and Energy approval will be sought at a later date.

Bisichi has owned and operated Black Wattle in Middelburg, Mpumalanga since
1994. In 1999, Black Wattle became one of the first coal mines in South Africa
to achieve Black Economic Empowerment status.

Andrew Heller, Managing Director of Bisichi, said: ‘The start of open cast
operations at Black Wattle represents an important landmark in the mine’s
development. Open cast mining will lower the average cost of production,
increase washing plant yields, and will allow Black Wattle to mine its reserves
more flexibly. Once the site clearance and the removal of overburden are
completed, first coal is expected in June, with the benefits of full production
being realised in the second half of the year. With the strongest coal market
in recent history, open cast mining at Black Wattle could not have come at a
better time.’

For further information, please call:

Andrew Heller/Tom Kearney, Bisichi Mining PLC 020 7415 5030