Penumbra coal mine was scheduled to produce its first coal early in the fourth quarter of this year, Continental Coal said yesterday. The company had set aside a contingency fund of about $4.5 million (R38.2m) to cover any potential cost over-runs. The Penumbra coal mine in Mpumalanga, which is set to become Continental’s third thermal coal mining operation in South Africa, is set to produce 750 000 tons a year of run-of-mine coal that will be beneficiated through the adjacent Delta processing operations, which comprise a 1.8 million tons a year coal processing plant and the 1.2 million tons a year Anthra rail siding. Sales of 500 000 tons a year of high-quality export thermal coal are forecast to be railed to Richards Bay Coal Terminal from the fourth quarter. The Sydney-listed shares ended flat at 9 Australian cents. – Staff reporter