Grassroots shareholders celebrate black-controlled manganese mine’s R300m dividend

A flashback to 2003 when Ntsimbintle's Saki Macozoma, seen holding some of the hard grey manganese metal mined from the sands of Kalahari, turned the first sod at the Tshipi mine.

A flashback to 2003 when Ntsimbintle’s Saki Macozoma, seen holding some of the hard grey manganese metal mined from the sands of Kalahari, turned the first sod at the Tshipi mine.

Against the background of rising calls for radical economic transformation in South Africa’s mining sector, particularly transformation that benefits the country’s communities, grassroots shareholders of the black-controlled Ntsimbintle were last week able to celebrate the Northern Cape manganese mining company’s latest R300-million dividend payout – and also look to a new Kalahari manganese project on the horizon.

Ntsimbintle, headed by struggle veteran Saki Macozoma who was imprisoned on Robben Island from 1976 to 1982, is a manganese mining and exploration business born out of South Africa’s own transformation in 2002, when the government announced it wanted to broaden ownership of the country’s strategic resources.

The one-time Robben Island prisoner has been at the forefront of developing Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining’s 2.4-million-ton-a-year Tshipi Borwa mine, and Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online was in the sands of the Kalahari with him at its sod turning in 2003, along with Pallinghurst mining luminary Brian Gilbertson, who was instrumental in turning South Africa’s former Gencor mining house into BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company.

Pallinghurst company Jupiter is a 49.9% shareholder of Tshipi é Ntle and the positioning of Tshipi Borwa in the lowest cost quartile at a time of rising manganese prices, resulted in Tshipi making its maiden R1-billion distribution in March.

With the manganese price remaining strong over the past few months, Tshipi has agreed to distribute a further R500-million to its shareholders in September, which will result in a total shareholder return of R1.5-billion this year.

Tshipi is one of the newest mines in the 35-km-long and 15-km-wide manganese belt of the Kalahari, which is to the hard grey metal what the Bushveld Complex is to platinum and what the Witwatersand gold basin was to gold.

During the first four months of this year, Tshipi achieved monthly production volumes capable of supporting an output of more than three-million tonnes of manganese ore a year and exported more than any other producer in South Africa.

The 500 km2 manganese field that hosts it is said to contain 20-billion tons of manganese ore at grades of 20% to 48% manganese, compared with China’s largely-below-20% grade, with lower quality manganese requiring more electricity.

Technically and geologically, South Africa has superb manganese that others can only dream about – large, thick, shallow, homogenous, continuous seams.

Tshipi’s close-to-surface manganese is mined relatively cheaply, with all the initial R1.7-billion funding that kicked the project off coming in the form of foreign equity capital, in the realisation that steel needs manganese and hardly any development takes place in the world without steel.

Ntsimbintle says in a release that dignitaries, shareholders, business luminaries and VIP guests gathered in Kathu on June 22 to honour its communities, particularly those surrounding the mine, and to commemorate the broad-based forming of Ntsimbintle in 2003 by nine black groups that have since broadened to 16, many of them from within Northern Cape’s grassroots communities.

The John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust – previously known as the Kgalagadi Rural Poverty Node Charitable Trust and  made up of members directly from the Kgalagadi district – focuses on youth development, people living with disabilities, HIV/Aids, poverty alleviation, and women and children.

This trust, a 14.44% shareholder of Ntsimbintle, is chaired by Cynthia Mogodi, who played a leading Ntsimbintle directorship role even during Mining Weekly Online’s 2003 visit.

To date, the John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust has received dividend payments from Ntsimbintle of R46.2-million, which has greatly empowered the trust to carry out its mandate of championing sustainable socioeconomic solutions for Kgalagadi’s poor and needy.

Among the trust’s key socioeconomic initiatives, says Ntsimbintle in the release, are a human resource development foundation, bursary scheme, multipurpose centre and community radio station.

The mine also does its share in socioeconomic development through its social and labour plan, with some of its projects including a teacher development programme, a bulk water supply project, an enterprise development project, learnership programmes and university bursaries.

What is being looked forward to is the 51% Ntsimbintle-owned Mokala Manganese, which has an 80-million-tonne manganese resource, 12-million tonnes of which is amenable to opencast mining.

A feasibility study has been completed on the proposed project and the award of a mining right is imminent.

Ntsimbintle has also reached agreement with Lehating Mining and its major shareholder, Traxys Projects LP, to amalgamate into one mine the Lehating mining right and a future mining right within the Wessels prospecting area.

The upcoming Lehating/Khwara amalgamation area hosts one of the few remaining high-grade (49%) manganese deposits in the Kalahari manganese field.

“It’s an honour to be part of such an incredible journey of transformation, and to finally see the vast mineral wealth of our country being shared more equitably among the people than ever in our history,” says Macozoma, 60, whose first job in 1982 was as a soils analyst with Blasting & Excavating in Port Elizabeth, the city of his birth.

But his analyst tenure was shortlived as the police did not want him to have access to explosives, which led to his joining of the South African Council of Churches.

He later hit the high spots as Transnet’s head and sat on the boards of some of South Africa’s top corporate companies.

Celebrating transformation where it’s needed most


The calls for radical economic transformation in South Africa’s mining sector, particularly transformation that favours the country’s communities, are rising in their urgency, their frustration and their exasperation.

So it was with no small measure of pride that dignitaries, shareholders, business luminaries, and VIP guests including Inside Mining, gathered on 22 June 2017 at the Kalahari Country Club in Kathu, Northern Cape to celebrate the success of a truly transformed South African mining investment company.

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Green Light Given to First Stage of Major Protein Precinct

SOMERSET could soon be home to the Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct, a multi-million dollar master planned protein production hub at Coominya, with Council today approving the first stage of the development.

The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct site is designated as the Coominya Food Production Investigation Area under Council’s Strategic Framework and will be developed on more than 1100 hectares.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the development, which would be the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia, was well planned, strategic and would bring huge benefits to the region.

“This is great news for our community in that it will bring more jobs to the region and showcase Somerset on the international stage through production, exports and hospitality modelling,” Cr Lehmann said.

“Council received five submissions about this development during the public notification period and each of these submissions was in support of the development.”

BVPP director Duncan Brown said the company had undertaken proactive community consultation prior to submitting the development application with Council.

“This will be a staged development that includes intensive livestock production with poultry, game birds and beef, processing, training, research and hospitality facilities,” Mr Brown said.

“The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct will be the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia, with on-site training and R&D facilities, and will deliver on state and local government visions for a strategic food production area at Coominya.

“It will provide jobs for Queenslanders by putting food on the plates of emerging middle classes in Asia and beyond.”

The first stage of the development, as approved by Council, is to develop to RSCPA standards, eight poultry sheds and a hatch to dispatch quail operation, including nine quail sheds and an export-accredited quail processing facility with the capacity to process up to 15,000 birds per week.

Stage one will also include the restoration and rehabilitation of Spring Creek, which runs through the property and into the Brisbane River, and the start of a Certificate IV livestock/food production training program for students.

The application involving the master planning of the precinct is yet to be lodged with Council.

Rich reward for excellent matric results


RESULTS REWARDED: Businessman and benefactor Saki Macozoma with former Ndzondelelo High School pupil Nangamso Jonas and her mother, Lindelwa

Hard work scores former pupil R10 000

A Zwide matriculant’s high marks paid off when a prominent Johannesburg businessman made good on his promise to give her a R2 000 reward for every distinction she received in her final examinations.

And because Nangamso Jonas, 16, did so well in last year’s matric exams, she is R10 000 richer.

Safika Holdings chairman Saki Macozoma, 59, formerly of Kwazakhele, made the promise to Nangamso when he visited Ndzondelelo High School before their June exams.

He said should she pass with three or more distinctions, he would give her R2 000 for each.

Macozoma – who has been investing in the Bay’s townships for the past 15 years – said it was important for him to make a difference in these communities as it would have a ripple effect on the greater community.

“I come from a school like this one and I am of the view that our children should be motivated from time to time to aspire to greater things,” he said.

“I am very proud that she kept her promise and worked hard to achieve what she set out to do, because it is not about the money, it is about self-motivation.

Protein precinct is a grand plan

Unicom Emergency Response Messaging System: LNG Plant

This article describes a system developed, supplied and installed by Unicom Pty Ltd for use in an LNG plant in the Middle East enabling messaging between different communication devices to achieve a seamless, timely exchange of critical plant information.

As Neil Young advises us, “rust never sleeps”. Such is the plight of many technology systems around the world. As soon as you take your new shiny state of the art widget out of the box, its updated replacement is anywhere from a thought in a bright mind to a prototype on the test bench. It could even be available at the same supplier that you just purchased your new shiny state of the art widget from! Like rust, technology never sleeps. These new widgets carry the promise of capability, speed, reliability and redundancy and with that allow the tech savvy of our word to provide us with capabilities which enable us to be more productive and therefore drive better business outcomes. However, as time progresses and systems continue to perform, upgrades are not on the agenda. And when “if it aint broke don’t fix it” applies, the rust starts. Rust can be undetectable until the structure gives way and you fall through the floor. Read more

Trakka introduces sophisticated new vision enabling systems for vehicles

Safika’s partner Trakka Systems, is already well-known for its sophisticated helicopter-borne critical vision systems. Now the company has introduced a family of high-performance, integrated vision-enabling solutions built around Trakka’s gyro-stabilised camera systems.

Trakka’s team of experienced industry professionals has a proven track record in the design, manufacture, installation and support of vehicle-based Integrated Optronic Solutions (IOS). Its systems are specifically designed for integration into armoured vehicles, and have been developed for advanced situational awareness, route clearance and improvised explosive detection (IED) detection capability. 

TrakkaCam’s inbuilt software can also blend images to exploit features from different sensors providing imagery of activities that otherwise would go undetected. All of its systems can be interfaced with moving map systems and secure data links. These attributes enable operators and command centres to share mission-critical information in real time whilst providing enhanced situational awareness via augmented reality overlays or pure synthetic views. Advanced aesthetic design and weatherproof construction allows the TrakkaCam to perform under the harshest environments.

Please refer to the below video for a representation of this capability.

Safika to create multi-million Rand protein production hub

Safika is a partner in The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct (BVPP), a multi-million rand protein production hub to be developed on more than 1100 hectares at Coominya in Australia’s Brisbane Valley.

BVPP will encompass intensive livestock production, processing, training, research and hospitality facilities, The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct (BVPP) has identified the growing Asian middle class as a prime target for specialty poultry produce, built on strong consumer interest in quality Australian goods.

From Robben Island to Somerset

A vision for future economic development in the Somerset region

The business breakfast hosted by the Somerset Region Business Alliance at Cormorant Bay Cafe on Tuesday was a great opportunity to get a glimpse into Somerset’s Future.

Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct Pty Ltd (BVPP) is preparing a Development Application for a multi-million-dollar master planned protein production hub on more than 1100 hectares at Coominya in the Brisbane Valley.

BVPP is a family-owned company, stretching back through four generations of farmers in the region. It recently attracted a project partner in South African-based investment house Safika Holdings, which is a significant minority shareholder in BVPP.

The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct site is designated as the Coominya Food Production Investigation Area under Somerset Regional Council’s Strategic Framework and BVPP Director Duncan Brown told the audience of local business people that plans were well advanced to lodge a Development Application for the project in mid-2016.

“This will be a staged development that includes intensive livestock production with poultry, game birds and beef, processing, training, research and hospitality facilities,” Mr Brown said.

“The Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct will be the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia, with on-site training and R&D facilities, and will deliver on State and local government visions for a strategic food production area at Coominya.

“It will provide jobs for Queenslanders by putting food on the plates of emerging middle classes in Asia and beyond.”

Mr Brown said BVPP was committed to local buy policies for staffing and procurement in support of Somerset Regional Council’s Economic Development Plan 2015-2020.

Executives from Safika Holdings visited the Coominya site and spoke at a Somerset Regional Business Alliance breakfast today.

“BVVP is the first Australian agricultural investment for Safika and demonstrates the new international capital that innovative projects like ours can bring to Queensland,” Duncan Brown said.

Senior executives Sakumzi “Saki” Macozoma and Moss Ngoasheng from South African-based investment house Safika Holdings gave inspirational presentations to the meeting (see 45-minute video).

Founded in 1995, Safika Holdings Pty Limited is an influential South African investment holding company headed by two of Nelson Mandela’s former fellow political prisoners Sakumzi ‘Saki’ Macozoma and Moss Ngoasheng.

In 2003, when the South African government decreed that major businesses must ensure a certain percentage of their shareholding be held by black people, Safika became the preferred Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner for a number of prominent South African companies. Their head office is in Johannesburg.

Sakumzi “Saki” Macozoma

Sakumzi Justice Macozoma (Saki) (born 1957) is a South African former political prisoner who served 5 years alongside Nelson Mandela on Robben Island. He is now one of South Africa’s most prominent businessman and a leader in civil society.

In 1996 Saki Macozoma was recognized as a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. Two decades later and Mr Macozoma, now 58, is one of South Africa’s most prominent business figures.

Saki Macozoma is chairman of Safika Holdings, an international investment house based in Johannesburg.  Safika is expanding into Australia, Singapore, China and Pacific Rim countries, where it holds interests in finance, education, agriculture, aerospace and communications.

Saki Macozoma is president of Business Leadership South Africa and serves in the 50-person International Business Advisory Council (IBAC) of the B20.

His previous roles include as chief executive of New Africa Investments Limited, managing director of Transnet and chairman of the South African Presidential Business Working Group

Moss Ngoasheng

Moss Ngoasheng also served eight years as a political prisoner alongside Nelson Mandela. Born to an impoverished rural family in the arid northern reaches of South Africa, Ngoasheng (pronounced in-gwa-sheng) has been an anti-apartheid activist, an underground guerrilla, a political prisoner, a Marxist academic and until June 2000, President Thabo Mbeki’s influential economics adviser.

He is currently Safika Holdings’s chief executive and one of South Africa’s most distinguished businessmen.

A former economic advisor to South African presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Moss Ngoasheng is chairman of SABSA holdings, a subsidiary of SABMiller, and director of Wingate Group Holdings and Business Leadership South Africa.

Moss Ngoasheng is a former consultant to the World Bank and National Housing Forum (South Africa) on aspects of economic policy. He has lectured on sociology at the University of Natal and was a director in the Department of Economic History at the University of Cape Town.

Moss Ngoasheng articulated the investment philosophy of Safika Holdings as one in which they take  a long term view by entering into partnerships with people, not businesses, but they especially favour family businesses as they have a very strong connection with the community and with the area in which they operate.

They see their investment in the Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct in social as well as economic terms.

It will be a partnership with the Brown family that also benefits the wider community.

When this project gets off the ground it will be a great boost to Somerset’s economy, providing jobs and training for local residents and especially our young people.