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Mining operations to start soon at Menar’s East Manganese project

Menar's East Manganese operation.

Menar's East Manganese operation.

12th October 2020

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer

     

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Mining investment firm Menar’s first manganese asset, East Manganese, in the Northern Cape, has been granted a mining right and water-use license, which the firm says paves the way for mining operations to start soon.

The R250-million project was granted environmental authorisations in February 2019. This was followed by the granting of a mining right in August 2019 and water-use licence in September this year.

Sitatunga Resources, whose major shareholder is Menar, acquired East Manganese in 2018.

Menar MD Vuslat Bayoglu said in a statement on October 12 that the “timeous approvals” were encouraging for the company’s planned investments in the medium term.

East Manganese is part of the group’s planned R7-billion investments, meaning that speedy regulatory approvals are critical to unlock the investment spend and to contribute to South Africa’s economic revival.

East Manganese has a resource of about one-million tons of run-of-mine (RoM) ore and will produce about 30 000 t/m of RoM manganese ore.

However, owing to the conical shape of the proposed pit, it will take between seven and eight months to reach first ore, after which steady state production will be achieved swiftly. 

East Manganese will be an opencast mine with a single, 14 ha mining pit, which is located on a small 50 ha portion of the total 1 000 ha mining right area.

The remaining unused portion of the mining right area will be used for cattle and game farming by a local farmer.

The mine has acquired the land portion on which the proposed pit will be located and the mine will use a dry crushing and screening plant system, which will reduce water use at the plant, to produce lumpy and fine particle manganese products.

Products will include both lumpy (85%) and fine material (15%).

East Manganese will use solar energy to power its offices and weighbridge and all the mine’s infrastructure will be powered by solar energy.

Bayoglu added that the decision to diversify the Menar Group’s commodity portfolio is in keeping with the firm’s aspirations of becoming a leading South African diversified mining company.

“We are committed to realising South Africa’s full mining potential, by continuously seeking out new investment opportunities and East Manganese is a clear illustration of this continued commitment,” he said. 

The establishment of the East Manganese mine will also aid economic activities in the area and create between 70 and 80 direct new jobs on the mining complex, once peak production has been reached.

Multiplying this figure by ten [which is the average number of people that are dependent on a single salary earner in South Africa], then, in essence, between 700 and 800 people will directly benefit from this project, Bayoglu explained.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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