Exxaro con­cludes BEE deal

Col­liery ven­ture set to cre­ate em­ploy­ment

Sowetan - - BUSINESS NEWS - Mpho Sibany­oni Busi­ness Re­porter

MIN­ING gi­ant Exxaro Coal has sold off its ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion plant in Mpumalanga to a con­sor­tium that is 51%-owned by black peo­ple.

The con­sor­tium of Lurco Group and Burgh Group hold­ings con­cluded the sale and pur­chase agree­ment for the ac­qui­si­tion of the Inyanda Col­liery, which will wash the coal, in Johannesbu­rg yes­ter­day.

The trans­ac­tion will also in­clude the min­ing rights, as­sets and a pri­vate rail sid­ing and re­sult in the ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion of 25 mil­lion tonnes of coal for the lo­cal and ex­port mar­ket over the next five years.

The head of the Burgh Group, Quin­ton van der Burgh, said Inyanda al­ready had off­take agree­ments that were not less than five years to sup­ply the prod­uct. He, how­ever, de­clined to di­vulge the value of the trans­ac­tion.

This means Exxaro in­vestors and other stake­hold­ers will only find out about the value of the trans­ac­tion at the com­pany ’ s an­nual re­sults pre­sen­ta­tion next year.

The chief fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor of Lurco, Aubrey Chauke, said they could not con­firm the num­ber of jobs the trans­ac­tion would cre­ate at this stage. Lurco chief ex­ec­u­tive Elling­ton Nx­u­malo said the busi­ness would be aligned to the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan.

“This is about bring­ing ev­ery­one into the main­stream of the na­tional econ­omy, mean­ing the cre­ation of jobs is im­por­tant to us,” he said.

Nx­u­malo said the aim would be to drive skills de­vel­op­ment by making the plant a ben­e­fi­ci­at­ing com­plex.

“This ac­qui­si­tion en­ables us to meet sig­nif­i­cant de­mand for qual­ity coal, both lo­cally and abroad. We will source, ben­e­fi­ci­ate and move coal from our own re­serves, that of the Burgh Group as well as other re­serves in the eMalahleni coal fields,” he said.

Van der Burg said the con­sor­tium wants to es­tab­lish it­self as a ma­jor player in both the lo­cal and ex­port mar­ket. “It ’ s about es­tab­lish­ing that foot­print, putting our­selves where the mar­ket de­mands our at­ten­tion and our fo­cus ... we are able to adapt and re­spond in a way that our com­peti­tors could not. Part of that so­lu­tion is to en­sure that we have a hub like Inyanda on­line op­er­at­ing ef­fi­ciently and op­ti­mally,” he said.

Na­tional Union of Minework­ers of SA ’ s Richard Mahlangu said they would sup­port the con­sor­tium if the com­pany cre­ateed jobs.

Mahlangu said Exxaro re­cently re­de­ployed work­ers from Inyanda Col­liery to its other oper­a­tions.

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