The objective of the project was to explore the opportunity of using the gas from the Lephalale Cola Bed Methane (LCBM) low-pressure gas field as a diesel replacement for the Anglo mining operations within South Africa and Botswana (yellow-plant conversions from diesel to LNG).

Further, the aim has been to identify a commercially viable scenario that can be permitted and that adds value to the Anglo operations through the reduction in working costs and the emissions associated with the use of diesel.

The feasibility study was initially set up as follows:

  • Gain an understanding of the diesel consumption figures on the various business units within the Anglo business units operating in South Africa and Botswana. These included:
    • Anglo Coal
    • Kumba Iron Ore
    • De Beers
    • Anglo Platinum
  • Gain an understanding of the fleet configuration or large energy consumers used on the Anglo mines
  • Develop a profile for the potential uptake of the LNG as a diesel replacement (demand curve)
  • Develop the supply scenarios to meet the potential demand curve mentioned in the point above
  • Prepare a financial business case for the above

The study plan has not been executed in the manner planned due to the limited availabilityof diesel consumption and fleet information from the target Anglo operations.

As such, the focus of the study was adjusted to consider scenarios for the development of the LCBM well field as a replacement fuel, in the form of either CNG and / or LNG.

Following which the supply scenarios will be used to assess the two take off scenarios of Sishen Mine and Mogalakwena Mine, as potential demand scenarios.

The following scenarios were identified to be developed under the updated mandate:

Scenario NumberTechnical DescriptionNumber of Wells DevelopedForecast sustained LNG Production (tons per day)
1AUtilisation of the existing 5 spot infrastructure and available gas for the generation of power.Existing 5 spot2,5 tpd
1BUtilisation of the existing 5 spot infrastructure and available gas for the production of CNG.Existing 5 spot2,5 tpd
2AThe initial development of the 37 well field (including the second 5 spot) located on Nooitgedacht farm to produce CNG.373O tpd
2BThe initial development of the 37 well field (including the second 5 spot) located on Nooitgedacht farm for the production of CNG and LNG3730 tpd
3The development of the 15 000ha defined under the Anglo surface rights for the production of LNG834470 tpd
4The development of the 83 384ha making up the entire LCBM asset to produce LNG2076900 tpd

Services Provided

  • Supply analysis
  • Gas Demand Scenario Development – The gas demand scenario deals with the potential of utilising the gas extracted from wells to offset the diesel consumption at identified Anglo American operations.
  • LNG Transport Logistics assessment
  • On-Site LNG Storage and Refuelling
  • Financial Analysis/Business Case – The financial analysis for the development and commercialisation of the gas field considers the entire supply chain, from the well field to use on the truck. In order to achieve this the supply chain was analysed in its component parts, as follows:
    • Extraction of natural gas
    • Distribution of natural gas to a central liquefaction point
    • Liquefaction of natural gas into LNG
    • Transport from the LNG plant to the mine site
    • Fleet conversion and site infrastructure for usage of LNG
  • Opportunities and Constraints Assessment
  • Environmental Planning – Environmental planning assists in providing insight and guidance on the environmental regulatory processes, opportunities and constraints associated with the various development scenarios identified.
  • Basic Design
  • Review of current permits and approvals and

Prepare legal register, including needs for specialist studies necessary for the commercial units