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Business|Coal|Export|rail
Business|Coal|Export|rail
business|coal|export|rail

NUM welcomes Optimum Colliery settlement, calls for rail allocation

The Optimum coal mine

The Optimum coal mine

6th February 2024

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Trade union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has welcomed the settlement agreement under which Liberty Coal has agreed to pay R461.7-million to the State in place of the confiscation of property, in exchange for the mine’s business, assets and compromised liabilities to be transferred from Optimum Coal Mine to Liberty Coal, which cuts all remaining links with the Gupta family.

Liberty Coal will make an immediate R100-million payment to the State, with the balance of funds to be paid over two years.

All funds will be overseen by an independent administrator and will be distributed to eligible creditors. Liberty Coal will then be responsible for repaying outstanding creditors and recapitalising the mine.

The NUM say the settlement agreement reached by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Liberty Coal will save more than 500 jobs at Optimum Colliery, in Mpumalanga.

“Liberty Coal gains ownership of the mine and its export arm the Optimum Coal Terminal.

“The NUM calls on the Richards Bay Coal Terminal board to immediately restore Optimum’s train allocation so as to allow for the resumption of Optimum’s export capacity, which will ensure that the re-opening of the mine forges ahead unhindered," the union says.

“The NUM calls for Liberty Coal to re-employ all the employees who lost their jobs during the time when Optimum Coal Mine was placed under business rescue,” says NUM Highveld regional chairperson Bizza Motubatse.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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