Coal blending and mixing – is that the answer?

April 9th, 2015, Published in Articles: Energize


The Fossil Fuel Foundation will be hosting a one-day conference titled “Coal blending and mixing – is that the answer? Preparing coal for the market place when single seam products are insufficient to meet the need; risks – potentials – compatibility” at the Glen Hove Conferencing centre, 52 Glenhove Road, Melrose Estate, Johannesburg, on 23 April 2015.

With the advent of many new or smaller coal mines, and increased requirements for Eskom, export and local industries, the need arises to produce larger quantities of coals for the market place by combining together products from different sources, in one form or another This can be successful or disastrous. This course seeks to outline the fundamental issues, potentials, and principles and practices of successful mixing and/or blending for the marketplace.


  • To outline the in depth nature of coals
  • To understand issues with different seams
  • To consider the difference in blending or mixing
  • To understand the impacts thereof – the good and the bad.
  • To establish what component is compatible and what is not.
  • To define additive and non-additive coal qualities and parameters and link that to the properties/characteristics of a mixed coal and its behaviour during utilisation.

Who should attend

Geologists and mineral resource managers, mining and mineral processing engineers, marketing officers, industrial users of coal, Eskom and Sasol, coal exporters and traders, infrastructure and logistics officials, researchers in coal.


Gerhard Esterhuizen graduated from the University of the Free State with a BSc (Geology) and BSc (Hon. Energy Studies) from the University of Johannesburg and has spent 28 years with Sasol Mining in its geology department and strategic capacity management department.  He was responsible for the management of coal exploration programmes, new business development and the training and development of geological personnel and has written many technical training manuals.

During 2002 he entered the private sector as an independent consulting geologist and has managed various exploration programmes on behalf of local and international exploration and mining companies and state owned enterprises in southern Africa.  He is a coal specialist and advice companies on the development of exploration business plans, management of the exploration programmes, potential utilisation of the coal products and risk analyses.

Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) procedures and techniques to apply are not always well-understood by many dealing with coal. Esterhuizen has assisted many companies to employ Best Practice and to perform work to set standards. He has represented companies as a technical expert in a court of law to resolve disputes, and has been a guest or visiting lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand since 1992.

Esterhuizen has also presented many national and international papers at conferences on various topics.  He is currently writing a text book for the southern African coal geologist to facilitate a better understanding of the coal exploration business and the integration with sound mining-geological practices.

Contact Course Secretariat, RCA Conference Organisers, Tel 011 483-1861,




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