Exxaro makes good on multibillion rand SA Investment Conference commitment

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Coal mining giant, Exxaro, has invested at least R17 billion of the R20 billion the company committed to invest during the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference.

This was revealed by the company’s Executive Head of Projects and Technology, Johan Meyer, at the mining giant’s Lephalale based operations in Limpopo.

The company utilised the funds on eight mega projects, which created some 6 712 jobs – nearly 60% of which were sourced from communities where the company’s mines are based.

“The 6 712 were the people on site. There were 70 000 people that we estimated worked in, [for example] galvanising the steel, manufacturing specific pieces of equipment… [for] these projects. Just imagine 70 000 people…not our own workforce. It’s a workforce that can build the country, that’s building those skills,” Meyer said.

The eight mega investment projects that Exxaro undertook are:

  • A R5.3 billion investment into the Grootegeluk Mine Complex expansion;
  • An extension of life project for the Matla Mine, worth R3.5 billion, is still ongoing;
  • The Belfast new mine development worth R3.3 billion;
  • The life of mine extension project of Mafube mine, in a joint venture worth at least R1.9 billion;
  • The Grootegeluk Rapid Load Out Station project, to the tune of at least R1.3 billion;
  • A R600 million investment in the Grootegeluk 'Discard In Pit' Project Backfill;
  • The Leeuwpan LifeX Project, and
  • A R340 million investment into the Exxaro Coal Centeral Seam 4, which has extended the life of the mine by at least 15 years.

A ninth project, which would have built the 630MW Thabametsi Power Station, was cancelled after the project’s environmental approval was officially overturned by the high court.

Meyer explained that the company envisions that the investment made will have an impact on communities for decades to come.

“The R17 billion is not a point solution. It’s about the journey of that project that we design, execute and give it a legacy [for the next] 15 years, potentially 20 years, for the community to benefit from.

“It’s not about the [money] that we have successfully spent on time and on schedule; it’s the creation of empowering better lives in the context of the life of the mine that was extended by 15 years.

“It is 15 years that people can [earn a living] on that project. The Leeuwpan Life Project is the same. That specific project of R500 million also extended that life of mine by 12 years. Just think about it. That’s 12 years earning a salary and spending that in the community. That adds significant value for the community,” he said.

Meyer encouraged other leading companies to make their commitment during this year’s investment conference, due to be held on Thursday this week.

“Leadership needs to dream about the future of South Africa, together with government and the President [Cyril Ramaphosa]. Dream more, do more and live more. That’s what we need in this country.

“I think there’s so much to do in South Africa to build the economy… and to power better lives. So from Exxaro’s point of view, are we done? No, I think we’ve just started,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za