HomeMiningIt’s been a perfect yr for Menar, says chair Mpumelelo Mkhabela


JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Regardless of its many demanding situations, 2022 has been an overly a hit yr for the Menar staff of businesses.

“We larger manufacturing at our operations, maintained our cast protection document, and made excellent headway within the construction of our new tasks,” Menar chairperson Dr Mpumelelo Mkhabela instructed Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview. (Additionally watch hooked up Creamer Media video.)

Menar is a non-public funding corporate with an actively controlled and rising portfolio of most commonly mining belongings. Its enlargement technique combines acquisition, greenfield undertaking construction and organically rising current operations.

Heading in the right direction to exceed a once a year product goal of two.4-million heaps a yr is the gang’s Khanye Colliery in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng, and its Phalanndwa Colliery in Delmas, Mpumalanga, is definitely on tips on how to exceeding its centered two-million heaps for the yr.

Importantly, each those operations had been in a position to mine and procedure important tonnages whilst keeping up protection information.

On the staff’s Kangra coal mine, in Mpumalanga, the brand new Udumo Adit – the place development started on 6 April 2021 and was once finished in January 2022 – has produced its first coal. Construction of Kangra’s Kusipongo reserve may just prolong the life-of-mine (loM) for any other twenty years no less than and permit it to proceed to enhance the native communities very meaningfully.

Additionally being sped up is the advance of Belgarthen A, any other adit undertaking, which can additional prolong mine existence and supply further task alternatives in a rural space the place unemployment is rife.

Beneath construction at Zululand Anthracite Colliery in Emakhalathini, about 100 km from Richards Bay in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, is the brand new Mngeni shaft, which has a useful resource of one.2 million heaps and an expected mine existence of two.5 years.

In any case, East Manganese has enabled the gang to realize perception into manganese dynamics, in addition to the Northern Cape’s social and regulatory house. “We are hoping to take the teachings learnt into our subsequent manganese undertaking,” Mkhabela commented.


The loss of trains to move coal to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal has been the main unfavourable of 2022.

Even though Transnet Freight Rail is continuously bettering teach availability, vehicles are nonetheless having for use to move product to port.

Trucking is way more pricey than rail and this is a price that the corporate is having to soak up.


Menar plans to speculate closely in new mining tasks till 2025. Its major near-term goal is to make sure the whole licensing of Bekezela, the place mine construction funding of R1.5-billion is deliberate.

With a 22-year LoM, there’s optimism that Bekezela will take pleasure in the federal government’s plan to chop purple tape. The undertaking will make use of 320 other people without delay and create vital financial spinoffs.

The specified licences for the Gugulethu undertaking had been got and an funding of about R600-million is deliberate for Segment 1 of this construction, the place development is underway. Gugulethu has an estimated LoM of about 50 years, according to run-of-mine manufacturing of about 200 000 t a month from opencast spaces, and 200 000 t a month from underground sections. The entire undertaking will create 430 jobs for local people individuals.


The outlook on coal shall be influenced by means of a number of elements, with Mkhabela highlighting the primary of those as international power necessities.

2nd on Mkhabela’s record is international financial restoration, which is continuous to be hampered by means of sporadic Covid lockdowns in China and Russia’s warfare in Ukraine. 

3rd on his record is the truth of local weather exchange considerations as signified by means of COP27. “This implies coal’s unpopularity will proceed to realize momentum, however this should be weighed towards the truth that the transition to renewable power assets is fraught with many coverage and technological uncertainties.

“You don’t want to be a local weather exchange denialist or anti-coal lobbyist to understand this indisputable fact that, when the chips are down, coal is the default reliable power supply. However we don’t be expecting the foyer towards coal to die down.

‘In truth, after COP27, it is going to run complete steam. Nevertheless it received’t prevent many nations, together with the ones thinking about plenty of ‘local weather finance’ preparations, to default to the ever-dependable coal when want arises.”

Finally, logistics, in his view, shall be large consider 2023. “In 2022, South Africa didn’t absolutely take pleasure in the top coal costs owing to logistics constraints, no less than to not the level that its friends in coal mining have – equivalent to Indonesia and Australia.

“But when Transnet’s undertakings are anything else to head by means of, there’s a actual probability that the location will toughen, and we would see extra South African coal entering the export markets,” Mkhabela added.

Mining Weekly: Is your diversification technique nonetheless on the right track?

Mkhabela: Maximum no doubt it’s. We have now virtually finished our drilling programme within the space the place we plan to put money into creating a brand new manganese mine. We’re in session with plenty of stakeholders. We imagine we’re heading in the right direction to make the announcement within the new yr. 

What’s your evaluation of the federal government’s tackling of bureaucratic purple tape?

We really feel that growth has been made up to now. Then again, so much nonetheless needs to be achieved for South Africa to as soon as once more be the chief in attracting international direct funding into its mining sector. However we’re aware that this may take effort and time and we as soon as once more reiterate our enhance for the federal government in its efforts to cut back bureaucratic purple tape this is keeping the sphere again.

What will be the unmarried maximum vital recommendation you could give the federal government to develop mining funding?

All you wish to have to do is to toughen investor self belief and create a well-founded belief that the entire South Africa is dedicated to tackling its unemployment disaster. One simple manner to try this is to put into effect a carrot-and-stick means: speedily approve trade licences and threaten to revoke them if buyers don’t use them. Mining licence processes have advanced however water and environmental authorisations now appear to be the largest hold-up to funding and task introduction.

Are there any geopolitical trends that you are expecting to affect your trajectory?

The continued Russia-Ukraine battle is sadly not going to finish any time quickly and this will almost certainly have the largest affect, for higher or worse. Even supposing the warfare ends, Ecu nations are not going to believe Russia on its fuel provides, and they are going to most probably proceed to hunt choice assets of power provide and coal will proceed to play a task. The warfare and the following Western sanctions imposed on Russia, which diminished its provide of fuel to Europe, has introduced coal again into the mainstream. A number of EU nations are extending the lifetime of coal crops scheduled for closure, reopening closed crops, or elevating caps on their running hours to cut back fuel intake. Nations equivalent to Denmark, the United Kingdom, Italy and others are as soon as once more purchasing coal from South Africa.

What drives your self belief in South Africa as an funding vacation spot?

South Africa nonetheless has the whole thing going for it, regardless of present demanding situations. It’s a number one carrier vacation spot, a regional production hub, essentially the most industrialised nation in Africa, and it has a wealth of herbal assets. Its established shipping infrastructure, refined monetary and regulatory environments, coupled with its established production sector make it ultimate for multinationals taking a look to determine a base for industry with the remainder of the continent. It additionally has a modern Charter and an unbiased judiciary. Its mature, available criminal device supplies simple task and recognize for the legislation and assets rights, and the Coverage of Funding Act supplies home criminal coverage to international buyers.

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