Shondoni Colliery officially open

Mr Gwede Mntashe (Minister of Mineral Resources) and other dignitaries cut the ribbon at Shondoni Colliery.

EVANDER – Mr Gwede Mntashe, Minister of Mineral Resources, has vowed to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds and upcoming entrepreneurs to get involved in the mining industry.

He said the time has come for local entrepreneurs to quit narrow thinking and to think broad and globally.

Mr Mntashe said transformation is not a compliance issue, but transformation is a business imperative.

He said getting people who were previously disadvantaged into the sector will ensure transformation.

He was speaking during the official opening of Shondoni Colleries Mine on Thursday, 5 July.

Mr Eric Kholwani, MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, and Ms Thandi Ngxonono, mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality, also attended the event.

Shondoni Colliery is part of Sasol’s R14 billion mine replacement programme.

Shondoni means a place of wealth and replaces Sasol Mining’s Middelbult Colliery which has reached the end of its lifespan.

Sasol Mining is South Africa’s third-largest coal producer and runs one of the world’s largest underground coal-mining complexes.

It produces over 40 million tons of coal annually of which more than 90 percent is used as critical feedstock for the production of Sasol’s high-quality synthetic fuels and a wide range of chemicals.

Mr Bongani Nqwababa, Sasol’s joint president and CEO, said the R14 billion mine replacement programme supports Sasol’s strategy to operate its Southern African facilities until 2050.

He said the programme commenced in 2009.

“It is also part of our capital expenditure in South Africa which, over the last five years, has amounted to more than R94 billion.

“Modern in many respects, distinguishing Shondoni from the rest of Sasol’s other five collieries is the use of renewable energy, which includes the use of solar geysers to heat pumps.

“The mine also holds the record of having the longest single flight conveyor without an intermediate booster drive in Africa, at 21km. Over the next 30 years, it is expected to deliver between 8 and 9 MT of coal per annum and currently employs about 1 200 people.”

Following are interesting facts about Shondoni Colliery:

• 21km single flight overland conveyor.

• 95 percent of the material handling drives standardised with Impumelelo Colliery.

• Maximum number of people on site to date 2 409.

• More than 2,9 million cubic metres of earth was moved to date.

• Over 50 000 cubic metres of concrete placed.

• Over 2000 tons of steelwork was fabricated and erected to date.

• Over 70km of electrical cabling has been purchased.

• New potable water pipeline constructed for Rand Water to Shondoni.

• Over 44 km of electrical sleeves installed.

• 1.4km noise barrier wall constructed along a section of the overland conveyor to minimise noise to the local community.

Ms Ngxonono thanked Sasol for its meaningful contributions to residents of Govan Mbeki Municipality.

Mr Gwede Mntashe (Minister of Mineral Resources)

Mr Gwede Mntashe (Minister of Mineral Resources)

Ms Thandi Ngxonono (executive mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality) and Mr Gwede Mntashe (Minister of Mineral Resources) during the official opening of Shondoni.

  AUTHOR
Sifiso Mathebula
Journalist

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