DAPHNE MASHILE-NKOSI, who will chair Kalahari Resources, helped develop Eyesizwe Coal, the Sipho Nkosi-backed coal producer that eventually merged with Kumba Resources. And in another corporate mutation, it was the coal assets of Kumba Resources that were reversed into newly listed diversified mining firm Exxaro Resources.
Mashile-Nkosi, who also chairs the Women’s Development Bank, wants to add, however, that she’s not the wife of Sipho. “Sipho asked me to join him in 1998 to help start Eyesizwe Resources.” The similarity in surnames is just coincidence.
In fact, Mashile-Nkosi was born in Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga, about 4,5km from the town that was built on gold mining.
“My grandfather was a foreman at the mine,” she says. It’s interesting to note that those gold mines, considered defunct for years, are now being worked again by Simmer & Jack Mines as the commodity boom gathers pace.
As chairperson of Kalahari Resources, Mashile-Nkosi has firstmover advantage over the $6bn Renova Group, a Russian firm that said in October it wanted to spend $1bn building a manganese mine and smelter in SA. That development may yet come, but Kalahari Resources doesn’t feel the delicate manganese market will be tipped into oversupply by the developments.
“The world steel market is about one billion tons/year, and it’s continuing to grow at about 4%,” said David Wellbeloved, technical director of Kalahari Resources.