Anglo American has launched Zibulo Colliery in Mpumalanga, South Africa, its first major project worth $517m to be completed under its empowerment company, Anglo American Inyosi Coal.

Formerly known as the Zondagsfontein project, Zibulo will supply both domestic and export quality coal.

Construction of the mine began in 2008, and when fully commissioned, Zibulo will deliver 8 million tons per annum (Mtpa) over a life of 20 years, with 7 Mtpa from its underground mine and the remaining 1 Mtpa from its opencast pit.

Saleable production will be about 6 Mtpa, constituting both thermal export product and domestic product of 3 Mtpa each.

The Anglo American Inyosi Coal is owned by a consortium comprising of 86% disadvantaged South Africans and more than 50% women participants.

Zibulo is also part of a 16 Mtpa run of mine joint venture washing plant, known as the Phola Coal Processing Plant, a 50:50 joint venture between Anglo American Inyosi Coal and BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa.