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Limpopo Business 2018-19 edition

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A unique guide to business and investment in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Launched in 2007, the 2018/19 edition of Limpopo Business is the 10th issue of this highly successful publication that has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Limpopo Province. Limpopo has many investment and business opportunities. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there are special features on developments in the transport and logistics sector and a focus on tourism. Interviews with industry leaders in development finance from the Industrial Development Corporation and the Small Enterprise Development Agency share their insights into the state of the provincial economy. Investment news related to mining, telecommunications and development finance is carried in overviews of all the main economic sectors. The publication also has a comprehensive register of all provincial government and municipal contact details. Updated information on Limpopo is also available through our monthly e-newsletter - which you can subscribe to at

FOCUS Mining a unique

FOCUS Mining a unique and valuable resource A workforce of nearly 5 000 maintains a complex operation at Palabora Mining Company. Development Corporation (IDC), a black empowerment consortium, PMC employees and local communities. Palabora Copper (Pty) Limited is an incorporated operative subsidiary of Palabora Mining Company (PMC), a copper mine that also operates as a smelter and refinery complex in Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, Limpopo Province. PMC successfully extracts and beneficiates copper and other by-products and provides the local market with 85% of its copper requirements. Ownership The mine is 80% owned by a Chinese consortium comprising HBIS, Tewoo, General Nice and CADFund through Smart Union Resources South Africa. The consortium has consistently reinvested in the mine and its facilities since assuming ownership. The rest of the percentage is jointly owned by the South African government through the Industrial History Some two-billion years ago, a series of violent volcanic eruptions, which took place over a period of millions of years, gave rise to a rich body of minerals, which became known as the Palabora Igneous Complex. The unique ore body outcropping at a small saddleback hill (and two nearby volcanic pipes) contains a unique variety of minerals. Smelting of copper occurred in the district prior to the discovery. Copper of remarkable purity was produced in the Phalaborwa area as early as the eighth century. The development of modern mining activity started at the beginning of the 20th century when several geologists noted the occurrence of the phosphate-bearing mineral, apatite, in the vicinity of Loolekop. Since its incorporation in 1956, Palabora Copper (PC) has been South Africa’s sole producer of refined copper, although is also mines other by-products such as magnetite, vermiculite, sulphuric acid, anode slimes and nickel sulphate. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2016 2018/19 56

FOCUS Mineral resource The company owes its origin to the unique formation known as the Palabora Igneous Complex. Nowhere else is copper known to occur in carbonitites as is the case at Palabora Copper, and a host of other minerals such as phosphates, vermiculite, phlogopite, magnetite, nickel, gold, silver, platinum and palladium also occur. Palabora operates a large block cave copper mine and smelter complex employing approximately 4 990 employees for both Lift I and II, with a balanced and diversified workforce. The refinery produces continuous cast rod for the domestic market and cathodes for export. Useful by-product metals and minerals include zirconium chemicals, magnetite and nickel sulphate as well as small quantities of gold, silver and platinum. Palabora Copper has developed a US0-million underground mine with a production capacity of 30 000 tons of ore per day. Palabora also owns a nearby vermiculite deposit which is mined and processed for sale worldwide. Vermiculite is a versatile industrial mineral with hundreds of uses. Investment Soon after the sale transaction to the consortium in 2013, the new owners fostered partnerships between PC and Chinese 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 smelter and building a floatation plant. To this end, the consortium approved R10.4-billion to extend the life-of-mine, R878-million to refurbish the smelter to ensure that PC continues to produce copper rod, and R261-million to construct the floatation plant to improve copper recoveries, operational efficiencies and lower operational costs. The smelter refurbishment project and construction of the floatation plant are implemented in partnership with China’s Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (BIGRIMM). Skills transfer In addition to technology transfer, BGRIMM has contractually committed to employ 90% of unskilled labour and 80% of the semi-skilled labour from the Phalaborwa area and transfer new skills to PC employees who work at the smelter to empower them to operate and maintain the refurbished smelter once completed. Before commissioning and construction of the floatation plant, PMC’s Executive Managers and Senior Managers travelled to China for fact-finding and comparative-analysis missions on floatation plants built by BGRIMM. As part of resource sharing, skills and technology transfer, BGRIMM has subcontracted work to various South African companies. Going green The company is a certified ISO 14001 business that subscribes to world-leading practices. Located directly adjacent to the world-renowned eco-tourism attraction, the Kruger National Park, PMC coordinates several onsite wildlife management and cultural heritage programmes as part of its ongoing sustainability drive. Over the past years, PMC has retained a record of being one of the safest mines in South Africa and Africa. This is particularly due to our stringent SHEQ regulations and procedures in place and the effective management of contractors on site. The future PMC is undertaking a life-of-mine extension project known as Lift II. The project aims to extend the life of the business up to 2033. The project includes the magnetite reclamation and beneficiation study aimed at creating additional revenue from the legacy stockpile. Approximately R10.4-billion is expected to be spent on finalisation of the project, which includes the smelter expansion and the floatation plant. For more information: 57 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2018/19

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