Against the background of rising calls for radical economic transformation in South Africa’s mining sector, particularly transformation that benefits the country’s communities, grassroots shareholders of the black-controlled Ntsimbintle were last week able to celebrate the Northern Cape manganese mining company’s latest R300-million dividend payout – and also look to a new Kalahari manganese project on the horizon.
Ntsimbintle, headed by struggle veteran Saki Macozoma who was imprisoned on Robben Island from 1976 to 1982, is a manganese mining and exploration business born out of South Africa’s own transformation in 2002, when the government announced it wanted to broaden ownership of the country’s strategic resources.
The one-time Robben Island prisoner has been at the forefront of developing Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining’s 2.4-million-ton-a-year Tshipi Borwa mine, and Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online was in the sands of the Kalahari with him at its sod turning in 2003, along with Pallinghurst mining luminary Brian Gilbertson, who was instrumental in turning South Africa’s former Gencor mining house into BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company.
Pallinghurst company Jupiter is a 49.9% shareholder of Tshipi é Ntle and the positioning of Tshipi Borwa in the lowest cost quartile at a time of rising manganese prices, resulted in Tshipi making its maiden R1-billion distribution in March.
With the manganese price remaining strong over the past few months, Tshipi has agreed to distribute a further R500-million to its shareholders in September, which will result in a total shareholder return of R1.5-billion this year.
Tshipi is one of the newest mines in the 35-km-long and 15-km-wide manganese belt of the Kalahari, which is to the hard grey metal what the Bushveld Complex is to platinum and what the Witwatersand gold basin was to gold.
During the first four months of this year, Tshipi achieved monthly production volumes capable of supporting an output of more than three-million tonnes of manganese ore a year and exported more than any other producer in South Africa.
The 500 km2 manganese field that hosts it is said to contain 20-billion tons of manganese ore at grades of 20% to 48% manganese, compared with China’s largely-below-20% grade, with lower quality manganese requiring more electricity.
Technically and geologically, South Africa has superb manganese that others can only dream about – large, thick, shallow, homogenous, continuous seams.
Tshipi’s close-to-surface manganese is mined relatively cheaply, with all the initial R1.7-billion funding that kicked the project off coming in the form of foreign equity capital, in the realisation that steel needs manganese and hardly any development takes place in the world without steel.
Ntsimbintle says in a release that dignitaries, shareholders, business luminaries and VIP guests gathered in Kathu on June 22 to honour its communities, particularly those surrounding the mine, and to commemorate the broad-based forming of Ntsimbintle in 2003 by nine black groups that have since broadened to 16, many of them from within Northern Cape’s grassroots communities.
The John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust – previously known as the Kgalagadi Rural Poverty Node Charitable Trust and made up of members directly from the Kgalagadi district – focuses on youth development, people living with disabilities, HIV/Aids, poverty alleviation, and women and children.
This trust, a 14.44% shareholder of Ntsimbintle, is chaired by Cynthia Mogodi, who played a leading Ntsimbintle directorship role even during Mining Weekly Online’s 2003 visit.
To date, the John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust has received dividend payments from Ntsimbintle of R46.2-million, which has greatly empowered the trust to carry out its mandate of championing sustainable socioeconomic solutions for Kgalagadi’s poor and needy.
Among the trust’s key socioeconomic initiatives, says Ntsimbintle in the release, are a human resource development foundation, bursary scheme, multipurpose centre and community radio station.
The mine also does its share in socioeconomic development through its social and labour plan, with some of its projects including a teacher development programme, a bulk water supply project, an enterprise development project, learnership programmes and university bursaries.
What is being looked forward to is the 51% Ntsimbintle-owned Mokala Manganese, which has an 80-million-tonne manganese resource, 12-million tonnes of which is amenable to opencast mining.
A feasibility study has been completed on the proposed project and the award of a mining right is imminent.
Ntsimbintle has also reached agreement with Lehating Mining and its major shareholder, Traxys Projects LP, to amalgamate into one mine the Lehating mining right and a future mining right within the Wessels prospecting area.
The upcoming Lehating/Khwara amalgamation area hosts one of the few remaining high-grade (49%) manganese deposits in the Kalahari manganese field.
“It’s an honour to be part of such an incredible journey of transformation, and to finally see the vast mineral wealth of our country being shared more equitably among the people than ever in our history,” says Macozoma, 60, whose first job in 1982 was as a soils analyst with Blasting & Excavating in Port Elizabeth, the city of his birth.
But his analyst tenure was shortlived as the police did not want him to have access to explosives, which led to his joining of the South African Council of Churches.
He later hit the high spots as Transnet’s head and sat on the boards of some of South Africa’s top corporate companies.
The calls for radical economic transformation in South Africa’s mining sector, particularly transformation that favours the country’s communities, are rising in their urgency, their frustration and their exasperation.
So it was with no small measure of pride that dignitaries, shareholders, business luminaries, and VIP guests including Inside Mining, gathered on 22 June 2017 at the Kalahari Country Club in Kathu, Northern Cape to celebrate the success of a truly transformed South African mining investment company.
SOMERSET could soon be home to the Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct, a multi-million dollar master planned protein production hub at Coominya, with Council today approving the first stage of the development.
The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct site is designated as the Coominya Food Production Investigation Area under Council’s Strategic Framework and will be developed on more than 1100 hectares.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the development, which would be the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia, was well planned, strategic and would bring huge benefits to the region.
“This is great news for our community in that it will bring more jobs to the region and showcase Somerset on the international stage through production, exports and hospitality modelling,” Cr Lehmann said.
“Council received five submissions about this development during the public notification period and each of these submissions was in support of the development.”
BVPP director Duncan Brown said the company had undertaken proactive community consultation prior to submitting the development application with Council.
“This will be a staged development that includes intensive livestock production with poultry, game birds and beef, processing, training, research and hospitality facilities,” Mr Brown said.
“The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct will be the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia, with on-site training and R&D facilities, and will deliver on state and local government visions for a strategic food production area at Coominya.
“It will provide jobs for Queenslanders by putting food on the plates of emerging middle classes in Asia and beyond.”
The first stage of the development, as approved by Council, is to develop to RSCPA standards, eight poultry sheds and a hatch to dispatch quail operation, including nine quail sheds and an export-accredited quail processing facility with the capacity to process up to 15,000 birds per week.
Stage one will also include the restoration and rehabilitation of Spring Creek, which runs through the property and into the Brisbane River, and the start of a Certificate IV livestock/food production training program for students.
The application involving the master planning of the precinct is yet to be lodged with Council.
RESULTS REWARDED: Businessman and benefactor Saki Macozoma with former Ndzondelelo High School pupil Nangamso Jonas and her mother, Lindelwa
Picture: ATHENA O’REILL
Hard work scores former pupil R10 000
A Zwide matriculant’s high marks paid off when a prominent Johannesburg businessman made good on his promise to give her a R2 000 reward for every distinction she received in her final examinations.
And because Nangamso Jonas, 16, did so well in last year’s matric exams, she is R10 000 richer.
Safika Holdings chairman Saki Macozoma, 59, formerly of Kwazakhele, made the promise to Nangamso when he visited Ndzondelelo High School before their June exams.
He said should she pass with three or more distinctions, he would give her R2 000 for each.
Macozoma – who has been investing in the Bay’s townships for the past 15 years – said it was important for him to make a difference in these communities as it would have a ripple effect on the greater community.
“I come from a school like this one and I am of the view that our children should be motivated from time to time to aspire to greater things,” he said.
“I am very proud that she kept her promise and worked hard to achieve what she set out to do, because it is not about the money, it is about self-motivation.
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