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OVERVIEW

Mining The North West has close to 300 active mines.

SECTOR INSIGHT Impala Refinery Services is now a division of Impala, not a subsidiary.

T

he price of platinum has been as high as $2 000/oz but since 2017 it has been less than half of that for most of the time. In August 2018 the mineral was trading at $815/oz. This trend has had a major impact on the large mines in the Rustenburg area. Some assets have been sold, others have undergone major restructuring. There are nearly 300 active mines in the North West and the sector still makes a big contribution to provincial GDP although that percentage is now below 30%. About 18% of total employment in the province is in mining, with many support industries relying on the primary sector. Impala Platinum (one of whose operations is pictured), will spend R2.7-billion over two years to scale down production from 11 shafts to six lower-cost, profitable, shafts. In FY 2016, Impala produced 629 900 ounces of platinum. The company has also made Impala Refinery Services (IRS) a division, where it used to be a subsidiary. The change related to licences. IRS smelts and refines concentrate and matte and recycles auto catalysts. During 2018, Sibanye-Stillwater ticked two important boxes in its quest to merge with Lonmin, which would make it the secondNORTH WEST BUSINESS 2019

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biggest platinum producer in the world. Both the Reserve Bank and the Competition Commission gave their approval for the deal. The Competition Commission wants Sibanye-Stillwater to create an agri-industrial programme in Rustenburg to compensate for job losses that will occur. This is Sibanye-Stillwater’s second major purchase of platinum assets at Rustenburg. The company earlier bought Anglo American’s Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited (including three mine shafts, two concentrating plants and an on-site chrome recovery plant). The Evraz Group has sold its 78.8% in Brits-based Vametco, a mine and plant that produces vanadium. Bushveld Minerals, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market in London, is the buyer. Manngwe Mining has developed a new iron-ore mine near Brits. The Assen mine, which has a measured resource of about 20-million tons, will sell its product to ArcelorMittal South Africa. Anglo American Sefa Mining Fund supported Manngwe Mining’s exploration phase. The black-owned company wants to purchase iron-ore assets in neighbouring Limpopo.

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North West Business 2019  

The 2019 edition of North West Business is the ninth issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2009, has establi...

North West Business 2019  

The 2019 edition of North West Business is the ninth issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2009, has establi...