State-owned Transnet has signed the second long-term agreement under its Manganese Export Capacity Allocation (Meca) programme, which seeks to integrate a number of export manganese contracts.
The seven-and-a-half-year contract with manganese miner Tshipi é Ntle will result in 2.1-million tonnes a year of manganese being transported from the Kalahari manganese fields, in the Northern Cape, along the Saldanha–Port Elizabeth railway line to the ports of Port Elizabeth and Saldanha, respectively.
Since its introduction to the mining industry in 2012, Tshipi é Ntle has exported in excess of ten-million tonnes of manganese to various markets across the globe.
“This contract is testament to Tshipi’s strong relationship with Transnet and demonstrates the mine’s exceptional growth since its inception six years ago. In a very short time, Tshipi has grown from one-million tonnes in its first year of operation to becoming the largest exporter of manganese in South Africa,” commented Tshipi CEO Ezekiel Lotlhare.
The manganese contract will result in secure and robust manganese export volumes for both Transnet and Tshipi.
“The signing of the second manganese contract is a sign that Transnet is serious about securing export volumes for the mining industry and general freight companies. We are working hard to finalise the outstanding manganese contracts with the rest of the targeted manganese producers,” Transnet chief new business development officer Gert de Beer said.
Transnet plans to sign nine contracts as part of its Meca programme, which will result in 12.5-million tonnes a year of manganese transported to the port.
Diversified miner South32 was the first company to sign a contract with Transnet under the programme. The contract, signed in March, entails the transport of 2.6-million tonnes a year of export manganese from South32’s mines to port.
Under the Meca programme, 15% of the rail capacity will be reserved for new entrants in the manganese export market.
De Beer said it is important to know that the 15% remains guaranteed through the take or pay contracts by current users until such time that new entrants join the programme.