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Continental Coal commences production from Penumbra mine in South Africa

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South African thermal coal production, development and exploration company Continental Coal has achieved first thermal coal output from its Penumbra Coal Mine in the country.

Underground operations at the mine add to the two other operating thermal coal mines of the company.

Continental CEO Don Turvey said that first coal production from the Penumbra Coal Mine is a significant milestone for the company after 14 months under development.

"Penumbra will soon be making its first export thermal coal sales and generating its first cashflow," Turvey added.

"It is set to be a long-life and low-cost operation which should generate significant and sustainable returns for shareholders."

Hosting reserves of 5.4 million tons and resources of 68.3 million tons, the Penumbra mine is projected to generate 750,000 tons of ROM coal a year over an initial 10 year mine life at nearly $57 a ton.

Coal from the mine will be transported to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal by rail and sold under existing off-take agreements, with export sales scheduled for December 2012.