031110 A new study has found that SA coal reserves have been significantly downsized since 2003.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 453

Johannesburg - Mining group Exxaro said on Monday it had acquired South African coal assets of French oil company Total for $472 million (R5 billion).

Exxaro, South Africa's second-largest coal producer which also has interests in iron ore and base metals, signalled earlier this year that it was looking at buying Total Coal South Africa (TCSA) to grow its business.

TCSA is the fifth-largest coal producer in South Africa and the majority of its output is exported to Asian markets such as India and China.

Total said in a statement that the sale was part of the group's 2012-14 asset sale programme as it focuses on its core activities.

Exxaro shares were up 1.37 percent at 143.19 rand as of 14:00 SA time. - Reuters