Kumba becomes sole owner of Sishen mine
Kumba, the South African arm of mining giant Anglo American, has announced this week that the Department of Mineral Resources has granted a remaining undivided share of the minig right for the Sishen mine to Kumba’s very own subsidiary, Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC).
SIOC, drumroll, is now the sole and exclusive holder of the right mine iron ore and quartize at the mine.
Commenting on the news, Themba Mkhwanazi, CEO of Kumba said “Kumba welcomes the news of being awarded the residual right for the Sishen mine. As our track record shows clearly, Kumba is fully committed to transformation and will continue contributing towards the achievement of South Africa’s developmental objectives. We appreciate the work of the Department of Mineral Resources in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion.
A few facts about the Sishen Mine
It is located around 30km away from the town of Kathu in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Sishen is one of the largest iron ore producing open pit mines in the world at 14km long. The very first ore was produced at the mine back in 1976 following the completion of the 862km Sishen-Saldanha railway line.
Mining operations actually date back further to 1947.
Sishen makes up the bulk of iron ore production across Anglo American, with the company producing 44.9Mt of Iron Ore in 2015.
The mine actually holds a record for the company, in 2010 it produced a record 41 million tonnes of iron ore.
There are enough reserves at the mine to sustain a 19-year life of mine.
With the exception of the South African government, Sishen mine is Northern Cape’s largest employer, with a total of 8,233 employees by the end of 2012 – 2014 period.
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Zimbabwe targets £8.8bn mining industry by 2023
Zimbabwe’s government plans to fast-track exploration, evaluation and digitalisation of selected reserved mining areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development as part of wider measures to achieve a £8.8 billion mining industry by 2023, according to a senior government minister.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said other plans include stopping the issuance of special grants in the reserved areas under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development until the exploration and evaluation is complete and a robust value addition program for diamonds is implemented.
Mutsvangwa was speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing on December 15.
She adds that the issuance and renewal of special grants for energy should also be based on the financial and technical capacity to value add all types of coal, as well as for ideal exploration of Coal Bed Methane.
For renewal of special grants, consideration should take into account the period the Special Grant has been held as well as plans with milestones for value addition of the special grant, Mutsvangwa says. She adds that the Zimbabwean government expects gold to drive the mining sector in order to achieve the ambitious target, with the precious metal expected to contribute approximately £2.96 billion to the overall target.
Mining is one of Zimbabwe’s major contributors to its economy, alongside agriculture, which is the mainstay. The mining sector accounted for more than 60 percent of the country’s foreign currency receipts in 2019, and contributed around 16 percent to national Gross Domestic Product, the Chamber of Mines says.
The country’s mining industry is focused on a diverse range of small to medium mining operations. The most important minerals produced in Zimbabwe include gold, asbestos, chromite, coal and base metals.
Zimbabwe expects its economy to expand by 7.4 percent in 2021 from a projected contraction of 4.5 percent this year, due to the effects of drought and the COVID-19 global pandemic.
When presenting the 2021 National Budget in November this year, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said that the mining sector is projected to rebound by 11 percent next year after surviving a COVID-19 induced shock that saw the sector contract by 4.7 percent in 2020. In September, mining bans in national parks were introduced, according to news agencies.
He added that the National Budget would allocate £1 billion towards the operations of the ministry for planning, promotion and exploration, data capturing, and automation, among other key mining processes.
Other factors necessary for the achievement of the £8.8 billion target include a stable macroeconomic environment, policy consistency, and availability of long-term capital to fund mining projects along the entire mineral value chain, the minister said.
Stopping "illicit financial flows" from gold smuggling is another key issue to address, according to media reports.