OVERVIEW In 2018, Trans Hex sold two mines to LOR Diamonds, a blackowned company led by women, but will continue to mine the property as an independent contractor. The Kimberley International Diamond and Jewellery Academy continues to provide training with a total of 406 graduates having so far passed through the academy. In a recent development, De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa awarded KIDJA an amount of R500 000 for bursary students. Ten diamond processing bursaries will also be supported by Alexkor for local Richtersveld communities. Quartz Quartz is used in the manufacture of semiconductors, fibre-optic cables and ceramics. Fused quartz improves the efficiency of solar powered devices and quartz glass is used in the manufacture of photovoltaic cell manufacturing. Positive tests have been done at Riemvasmaak where the silica content is 99.98% in some places. Difeme, a black start-up, will mine the quartz with technical help from Mintek. Investors are sought for the development of processing and beneficiation plant for high-purity quartz. Iron ore and manganese In 2019, Sitatunga Resources purchased the East Manganese project on the Hotazel-Kalahari ore belt from Southern Ambition. Menar Holdings, which controls a majority share in Sitatunga, is mostly invested in coal. Afrimat, a listed construction materials supplier and industrial minerals group, has added open-pit mining to its portfolio with the R322-million acquisition of the Diro mine, which had been in business rescue. The Diro mine has proven run-of-mine reserves of 10-million tons. The overwhelming majority of the world’s manganese comes from the Postmasburg and Kalahari regions of the Northern Cape. Assmang has two manganese mines in the province: Nchwaning and Gloria. ONLINE RESOURCES Minerals Council of South Africa: www.mineralscouncil.org.za Mining Qualifications Authority: www.mqa.org.za National Department of Mineral Resources: www.dmr.gov.za Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism: www.economic.ncape.gov.za South African Mining Development Association: www.samda.co.za NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2019/20 50 The Northern Cape produces more than 84% of South Africa’s iron ore. The province has two major iron belts, from Postmasburg to Hotazel, and running through Sishen and Kathu. Sishen is the most important iron-ore mine in South Africa, where operations include extraction and four beneficiation plants. The availability of natural resources, labour and infrastructure (including the Sishen-Saldanha railway line), make Sishen the ideal location. Kumba Iron Ore has the huge Sishen facility at Kathu and Kolomela. Assmang, a joint venture comprising African Rainbow Minerals and Assore, mines at Khumani. The company will spend R2.7-billion on upgrading its Gloria mine. South32 is very active in the Northern Cape. The Hotazel Manganese Mines is made up of two mines, Wessels (underground) and Mamatwan (open cut), and the Metalloys manganese smelter. The company has 30% of the product from its mines processed at the smelter where a managese alloy is made. Hotazel is also the site of a relatively new manganese mine, Tshipi é Borwa. Tshipi e Ntle Manganese Mining (Tshipi) is a joint venture between Pallinghurst Co-Investors (led by Brian Gilbertson) and a black empowerment company representing several groups called Ntsimbintle Mining.
Working smart to unlock more value INTERVIEW Deshnee Naidoo, CEO Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), expands on plans for the company’s new Gamsberg Mine. Deshnee Naidoo How is Gamsberg Mine digitally advanced? For VZI, the digital transformation is not something that is planned in years to come, but one that is taking shape today. The next wave will be in the integration of systems to enable our teams to make data-driven decisions to find efficiencies, improve planning, lower risk, create safer working environments and unlock more value from our resources. When do you expect to be operating at full capacity? Gamsberg Phase 1 has a Life of Mine of 13 years. Four-million tons a year of ore will be produced from Gamsberg’s open pit and 250 000t/y of concentrate from its concentrator plant. By March 2019, we achieved a mining rate of over five-million tons of ore and waste combined. Concentrate volumes are in the process of ramp-up as the Gamsberg plant reaches full steady state by mid-2019. BIOGRAPHY After a 20-year career at Anglo American in various roles, including CFO of Anglo Thermal Coal, Deshnee Naidoo was appointed CEO of Vedanta Zinc International in 2014. Her responsibility covers operations in South Africa and Namibia, the now closed Lisheen Mine in Ireland and Copper Mines of Tasmania in Australia. In May 2018, Deshnee was appointed to the board of the Minerals Council of South Africa, a first for a woman in South African mining. Do you have plans to build a smelter and a refinery? In parallel with the Phase 2 mine and plant, we are looking at developing a modular smelter/refinery beneficiation complex, which would represent an estimated direct capital investment of USD-800 million. The complex would be the first integrated zinc manufacturing facility in South Africa and the largest in Africa. External factors that will make a critical difference include power security, competitive power tariff, an offtake for the 1 000 tons of sulfuric acid the complex will produce every day and an efficient freight transport solution. This will have to be supported by an aggressive spatial development plan for the region. When will a decision be taken on investing further? Vedanta has already committed that Phase 2 of Gamsberg will get underway as soon as is economically and logistically feasible. Phase 1 was executed with a much larger project in mind. We estimate that up to 12 000 direct and indirect jobs will be created in Phase 2. How does Vedanta view its responsibility to the people of the surrounding area? Vedanta has always viewed the communities surrounding our mines as partners and stakeholders. Making sure you contribute to improving the lives of the communities around your operations is simply the right thing to do. 51 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2019/20