Amplats launches R474m chrome recovery plant in Limpopo

The Anglo American Platinum mine in Rustenburg, North West. Picture: AFP PHOTOS

The Anglo American Platinum mine in Rustenburg, North West. Picture: AFP PHOTOS

The plant will be owned and operated in a joint venture between Amplats and Baphalane Siyanda Chrome company.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) on Wednesday, launched a R474 million chrome recovery plant at its Amandelbult Complex in Limpopo to produce commercial grade chromite concentrate.

The new plant was constructed, financed and commissioned by Amplats in 2016 to continue South Africa’s dominance of this commodity in the global market.

Amplats signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Baphalane Ba Mantserre community, coming into a partnership to own and operate the plant in line with the miner’s commitment to broad-based empowerment.

It would be owned and operated in a joint venture between Amplats’ wholly-owned subsidiary Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited with a 74% shareholding, and Baphalane Siyanda Chrome Company (BSCC) with a 26% shareholding.

The Baphalane Ba Mantserre Community that surrounds the Tumela and Dishaba mines within the Amandelbult complex owns 75 percent of the share capital of BSCC, with the remainder owned by Siyanda Resources and Mega Chrome Management as technical partners.

Amplats general manager of projects, Etienne Espag, said the plant was expected to reach steady state production of about 700,000 tonnes by the end of first half this year.

“It took us about two years to get it from conception to production. [The plant] is designed to do about 700,000 a year. We have already created and secured 110 jobs with the opening of this chrome recovery plant,” Espag said.

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Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith said the joint venture with the Baphalane Ba Mantserre community was directly in line with the miner’s strategy of empowering surrounding communities through value-generating transactions.

“This transaction will create long-term, sustainable empowerment and aligns with our strategy of identifying capital-light projects to generate further value from existing assets,” Griffith said.

Siyanda Resources chairperson Lindani Mthwa said his company was bringing in its expertise to the initiative.

“We bring our proven expertise in chrome extraction to this exciting new venture. We are proud to partner with Anglo American Platinum and the community of Mantserre,” Mthwa said.

“We believe that this partnership has all the ingredients to succeed now and into the future.”

Amplats’ Amandelbult Complex social and labour plan initiatives include the provision of water and sanitation infrastructure, provision of equipment for the local health clinic, and others.

– African News Agency

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