Kumba re­ports no fa­tal­i­ties in half-year to June

‘Im­prove­ment in all key safety in­di­ca­tors’

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Di­neo Faku

KUMBA Iron Ore, Africa’s largest iron ore pro­ducer that sup­plies the global steel in­dus­try, said it had zero fa­tal­i­ties in the half-year to June af­ter two em­ploy­ees died in two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents last year.

Kumba chief ex­ec­u­tive Themba Mkhwanazi, said: “I am pleased to re­port that Kumba has de­liv­ered on our key ob­jec­tives set for the first half. Kumba was fa­tal­ity-free and im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly on all key safety in­di­ca­tors.”

The zero-fa­tal­ity rate comes as Kumba’s to­tal pro­duc­tion im­proved 23 per­cent in the half-year to June fol­low­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion the re­vised mine plan at Sishen Mine in the North­ern Cape.

Weak iron-ore prices last year re­sulted in Kumba im­ple­ment­ing the plan and re­struc­tur­ing the op­er­a­tion.

Kumba in­creased its pro­duc­tion guid­ance for this year to be­tween 41 mil­lion and 43 mil­lion tons, with Sishen pro­duc­ing be­tween 28 mil­lion and 29mil­lion tons of product and 155 mil­lion to 165 mil­lion tons of waste as a re­sult of im­prove­ments since the re­struc­tur­ing at Sishen.

The Kolomela Mine, also in the North­ern Cape, was ex­pected to pro­duce be­tween 13 mil­lion and 14 mil­lion tons this year, aided by fur­ther im­prove­ments in plant ef­fi­ciency and through­put rates, the com­pany said.

It said that waste guid­ance at Kolomela re­mained at be­tween 50mil­lion and 55mil­lion tons for the year.

Mkhwanazi said the suc­cess­ful ex­e­cu­tion of the re­struc­tur­ing and the new mine plan had in­creased the mine’s flex­i­bil­ity .

“The new mine plan, op­er­at­ing model and sig­nif­i­cant fleet pro­duc­tiv­ity gains of 57 per­cent helped to drive Sishen’s im­proved per­for­mance,” he said.

Mkhwanazi said that Sishen had fo­cused on in­creased op­er­a­tor train­ing and equip­ment op­er­at­ing hours through higher at­ten­dance rates, dif­fer­ent shift pat­terns and more ac­count­abil­ity at the su­per­vi­sory level.

“Through these mea­sures and a com­mit­ted work­force, the mine has been able to re­duce its re­liance on con­trac­tors,” he said.

Kumba has backed the Cham­ber of Mines’ ur­gent in­ter­dict to have the Min­ing Char­ter re­viewed and set aside.

Mkhwanazi said: “Kumba is sup­port­ive of the le­gal course of ac­tion be­ing fol­lowed by the Cham­ber of Mines, with the ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive of ar­riv­ing at a ne­go­ti­ated so­lu­tion that is prac­ti­cal to im­ple­ment, and that pre­serves and en­hances in­vest­ment in what is a crit­i­cally im­por­tant in­dus­try for South Africa.

“In the ab­sence of new in­vest­ment, South Africa will fail to de­liver the eco­nomic growth re­quired to cre­ate greater lev­els of em­ploy­ment and so­cio-eco­nomic up­lift­ment for the ben­e­fit of all South Africans,” he added.

Mkhwanazi said Kumba was com­mit­ted to meet­ing South Africa’s trans­for­ma­tion ob­jec­tives and had been a long-stand­ing con­trib­u­tor to trans­for­ma­tion.

He said the com­pany had an ef­fec­tive 29 per­cent em­pow­er­ment share­hold­ing, and R57.4 bil­lion of pro­cure­ment had been with em­pow­er­ment sup­pli­ers.

The Sishen min­ing right was granted by the De­part­ment of Min­eral Re­sources this month, and the process to amend the right would now pro­ceed, the com­pany said.

PHOTO: SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI

Themba Mkhwanazi, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Kumba Iron Ore, says the com­pany sup­ports the at­tempts by the Cham­ber of Mines to have the new Min­ing Char­ter re­viewed.

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