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African Business 2020 edition

  • Text
  • Agenda
  • Business
  • Invest
  • Union
  • Industry
  • Sustainable
  • Development
  • Regions
  • Trends
  • Sectors
  • Afcfta
  • Trade
  • Investment
  • Africa
  • Global
  • Continent
  • Projects
  • Economic
  • Infrastructure
  • Countries
A unique guide to business and investment in Africa. Global Africa Network is proud to launch this inaugural edition of African Business 2020 at a time of energetic planning for a prosperous future for the continent. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 is much more than a document about a hoped-for future, it contains concrete goals and deliverables. The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the development finance institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB) are already rolling out valuable projects that are changing the reality on the ground in vital areas of the African economy. Perhaps the most significant event of recent times is the signing by African leaders of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) which will bring together all 55 member states of the African Union and cover a market of more than 1.2-billion people. African Business 2020 has articles on all of these recent trends, plus overviews of the key economic sectors and regional and country profiles. In 2019 Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize for peace-making efforts in his region. The economic dividends of peace are beginning to be felt. In 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa assumed the mantle of AU Chairperson. He brings to the role considerable experience in conflict management, constitution-writing and seeking consensus. Global Africa Network is a proudly African company which has been producing region-specific business and investment guides since 2004, including South African Business and Nigerian Business, in addition to its online investment promotion platform

FOCUS Palabora Mining

FOCUS Palabora Mining Company A tale of a Chinese-owned mine that sparkles with hope. Palabora Copper (PC), also known as Palabora Mining Company (PMC), celebrates 64 years of operation this year (2020) – making it one of the oldest mining operations in South Africa. Since its incorporation in 1956, PC has been South Africa’s sole producer of refined copper, although the mine has other by-products such as magnetite, vermiculite, sulphuric acid, anode slimes and nickel sulphate. Despite its age, the mine still promises a prosperous future. Rio Tinto owned PMC, a PC mother-company, until 2013. When Rio Tinto left, PC was protected from potential jeopardy by the South African Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and in the majority, the Chinese Consortium, which is made up of HBIS, Tewoo, General Nice and the China-Africa Development Fund, which got involved through Smart Union Resources South Africa. This resulted in the Chinese Consortium owning 74% and the South African government owning 26%, jointly through the Industrial Development Corporation, the Black Empowerment Consortium and PMC employees and local communities. The new owners continue to maintain the mine’s compliance with South Africa’s regulatory requirements. When the Chinese Consortium acquired PC in 2013, PC was facing two ostensible scenarios: (a) culmination of the life of mine, and (b) no overhauling of the smelter, which was outdated and facing shutdown. Occurrence of the first scenario would have resulted in the loss of employment for more than 3 700 employees (direct and indirect) while the second scenario would have lead to the loss of employment of more than 700 employees off-stream (smelter). Soon after the sale transaction, the new owners fostered partnerships between PC, Chinese and other international and South African companies in various areas such as economic development, trade, skills and technology transfers to achieve ground-breaking and substantive results in extending the life of mine, refurbishing the AFRICAN BUSINESS 2020 38

smelter and building a floatation plant. The investment entails the development of a new underground block cave mining area known as Lift II together with supporting underground infrastructure and a large-scale new ventilation shaft. At the time of the acquisition, PC was already a wellestablished underground mine, having transitioned from an open-pit operation in 2002. The mine has maintained an average production (as per its design capacity) of around 45 000 tons per annum (tpa) of copper rod (beneficiated from 0.55% copper). The entirety of this production is generated from the Lift I block cave mine situated around 400m below the open pit. After conducting the necessary studies, it was determined that the establishment of a new block cave mine – Lift II – would be feasible in extending PC’s life of mine to around 2033. PC employs an average of 3 700 employees (Lift I and II) and seeks to remain industry competitive through its favorable conditions of employment and socio-economic development initiatives. The fact that the company regards this as important is reflected by the manner in which the safety and health of employees is observed, and in the investment made into socio-economic development initiatives in the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipal area. Lift I – Palabora Copper’s mine that sustains its sparkle Senior Manager for Ore Extraction and Processing, Expect Ntsepe. PC acknowledges that for it to continue being efficient, profitable and at the forefront of employment practices in the local mining industry, it needs solid leaders supported by unyielding and competent teams to safely extract and process its minerals. In the copper stream, in the Lift 1 block cave mine, an experienced strategist and collaborative technical miner who is an inspirational rock in his own right leads the team. This strategist is Expect Simlindile Ntsepe, a Senior Manager for Ore Extraction and Processing. Expect leads a great team and pushes it to safely extract copper from PC’s underground resource for the benefit of downstream performance, ultimately ensuring that copper is available for sale to PC customers. Expect is also PC’s 3.1(A) Appointee, meaning, he is a qualified and competent custodian of PC’s employees’ health and safety in terms of the South African law (Mine Health Safety Act, 29 of 1996). A tested Mining Engineer with a BTech in Mining Engineering and a Higher National Diploma in Metalliferous Mining, both from the former Technikon Witwatersrand, Expect rose through the ranks in the mining industry over more than 17 years. He held a number of technical, supervisory and managerial positions before becoming a Senior Manager for the Mining and Concentrator Division and PC Executive Committee (EXCO) member. His experience embraces practical mining operations, planning and designing of underground 39 AFRICAN BUSINESS 2020

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