'Rising demand in coal will play a key role in Africa's development'

Experts said coal remains the most cost effective and available source of energy for developing countries.

Mining Indaba in Cape Town. Picture: @MiningIndaba_JM.

CAPE TOWN - The Mining Indaba has heard African demand for coal will play a key role in the industry's future.

Anglo American Coal CEO Themba Mkhwanazi was among those who discussed the role of the commodity on the continent yesterday.

Slumping coal prices have not affected the commodity's future prospects in an energy-hungry society.

Mkhwanazi said coal remains the most cost effective and available source of energy for developing countries.

"We're seeing in the developing world, for example in Africa, the cement industry is driving demand for electricity."

He says coal will remain at the forefront of energy supply because of the challenges renewable energy sources face.