More jobs as new mine gets go-ahead

Tamlyn Stewart

Tamlyn Stewart

It's full steam ahead for ArcelorMittal SA. The steel giant has just wrapped up a $432,5million deal to develop a manganese mine in South Africa.

ArcelorMittal SA's joint venture with Kalahari Resources and the Industrial Development Corporation will form Kalagadi Manganese, which will develop a manganese mine and an ore treatment complex in the Northern Cape, and a smelter complex at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape.

Coega Development Corporation chief executive Pepi Silinga, said yesterday: "The involvement of a major player like ArcelorMittal SA gives a sense of credibility that (Coega is) able to institute a project of that nature. It will certainly create jobs."

Silinga added that Coega was focussed on the metallurgical industry and had the necessary infrastructure to support the industry. "Mittal has been moving relatively fast. Metal-based projects can take years to finalise."

The project has been on the cards for more than a year but was only finalised yesterday.

ArcelorMittal SA said drilling had confirmed enough high-grade manganese ore to support the mine for more than 20 years after it starts work in 2010.

"We have an offtake agreement with ArcelorMittal - they will buy 50 percent of the product produced by Kalagadi Manganese," said Simphiwe Vilakazi, legal advisor for Kalagadi Manganese.

"And we have a business assistance agreement with them. ArcelorMittal can provide the company with the skills we need to take the project forward.

"We want to get previously disadvantaged people trained and make sure the company has the capacity to carry on the business in the long term," he said. - With AFP