Having identified the significant opportunity for the beneficiating and briquetting of thermal coal fines in the African coal market, White Energy established River Energy JV Limited (“River Energy”) in 2009.

River Energy is a joint venture established by White Energy and Black River Asset Management (“Black River”). Black River is an independently managed subsidiary of Cargill Group, a private equity fund that seeks to identify alternate investment opportunities for its shareholders.

The River Energy joint venture merges White Energy’s technical, design and operational skills with Black River’s investment acumen and transactional expertise.



River Energy will seek to commercialise opportunities in the African coal mining industry that leverage the BCB technology.

The key elements of the joint venture are as follows:

  • River Energy JV Limited is established which is owned 51% White Energy and 49% Black River;
  • River Energy is funded 51% by White Energy and 49% by Black River;
  • River Energy holds the exclusive license to use the BCB technology in the African continent.

With a mandate to pursue coal upgrading opportunities (sub-bituminous and bituminous coal fines) in Africa, River Energy established a South African operating Company (River Energy South Africa Pty Ltd: “RESA”) in 2011. RESA has and continues to focus on the commercialisation of the BCB technology for the purposes of recovering and briquetting discarded thermal coal fines in the South African market.

RESA is currently focused on the traditional coal fields in South Africa’s Witbank region where significant amounts of fine coal are discarded annually into well managed tailings dams close to power station users. The cost and environmental issues surrounding the operation and maintenance of tailings dams is driving major miners to look to solutions like the BCB technology which can turn an environmental liability into a revenue stream while improving the overall mine yield.

RESA’s business model in South Africa is to build, own and operate the projects in which it is involved, an approach that is resonating very well with the resource owners, particularly in the current economic environment.

Current Status

The current status of RESA’s projects are as follows:

  • River Energy has constructed a small fine coal beneficiation plant at the Woestalleen Colliery as part one of a two-phase project;
  • River Energy has secured the right to build a BCB plant at the Woestalleen Colliery, subject to further due diligence on the project as part two of a two-phase project;
  • River Energy continues to work on specific projects with a number of other major producers in the Witbank region

To support the business rollout in South Africa, RESA has a small team of people split between Johannesburg and Witbank providing on the ground support to the above projects, as well as developing the project pipeline in South Africa. Technical support is provided by the White Energy Technical Team based in Australia.

Visit our Office Locations page to contact our RESA Office.