(Cape Town, 07 February, 2023)

Transnet Freight Rail and Kalagadi Manganese Resources (Pty) Ltd today signed an agreement to ensure sector transformation through helping emerging miners access new markets.

Transnet’s Group Chief Executive Portia Derby signed the agreement with Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, chairperson of Kalagadi Manganese Resources (Pty) Ltd, at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town today (07 February 2023).

Emerging miners are usually excluded from export markets as they cannot access rail services. Coupled to that, they also do not have the required capital to invest in a loading facility accommodated on rail services.

As part of Transnet’s emerging miner enablement project and this new agreement, Kalagadi Manganese Resources (Pty) Ltd has offered to make its rapid load-out station available for use by emerging miners who have been allocated rail capacity from Transnet.

This would specifically enable new emerging miner entrants in the manganese export sector, to which Transnet has ensured availability of 2mtpa of rail and port capacity from 01 April 2023.

Emerging miners currently transport their commodities on roads, which presents various challenges. However, access to rail operations is more efficient as trains have a quicker turnaround time.

The Kalagadi Manganese Resources (Pty) Ltd rapid loading station can turnaround Transnet trains in four (4) hours against the rail service design of 12 hours. Its station is next to the Kalagadi Mine farm in the Hotazel, Northern Cape province. Derby says Transnet wants to work with established and emerging manganese miners collectively in the interest of the South African market. The country has 80% of the world’s manganese reserves. Derby says they want to ensure the market does not collapse.

Mashile-Nkosi says their company does not want emerging miners to experience the same hardships they endured. She says she understands firsthand the pains of being an emerging miner and also a woman who has often been told she does not belong in the man’s world of mining.

Mashile-Nkosi says emerging miners would benefit from the railway access because using the road from the Northern Cape to the Eastern Cape where their commodities are exported is narrow and leads to accidents.