Engineering and project delivery company DRA has secured a $4.5m first phase contract from Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga for the coal preparation plant of the Belfast Implementation project in South Africa.

The scope of the contract includes design and engineering of coal processing project, including a two-stage dense medium beneficiation plant, a fine coal dense medium section for fines treatment, slimes filtration system, and associated product handling systems.

Work on the project is likely to be completed in a year after attaining all the required approvals.

DRA CEO Paul Thomson said: "Our association with the project goes back to 2008 when we were involved in early studies.

"Since that time, we have worked very closely with the Exxaro team through the prefeasibility and final feasibility study stages."

"The contract has been awarded to DRA on a lump sum basis following a competitive bidding process.

The plant is expected to produce thermal coal for domestic market as well as high-grade export coal.