Black Empowerment (BEE) Firm Enters South Africa's Seaborne Ore Market

An agreement between Kumba Iron Ore and Burk Mining will see the latter become the first black-empowered mining company to enter the seaborne iron ore market, through the port of Saldanha.

The agreement makes provision for iron ore from Burk Mining’s mine in the Northern Cape to be loaded at Kumba’s Sishen mine onto the Sishen-Saldanha iron ore export channel.

“Allowing BEE [black economic empowerment] companies access to the export channel is essential in opening up the mining sector to new entrants,” Kumba CEO Chris Griffith said in a statement earlier this month.

“We are glad that we could assist Transnet to deliver on this commitment of theirs to accommodate BEE players by utilising the limited excess capacity we currently have at Sishen mine.”

Rail and port allocation

Burk Mining does not currently have direct access to the export channel due to the high cost of establishing blending and load out facilities.

To facilitate the export of iron ore for Burk Mining, state logistics company Transnet is in the process of finalising a rail and port allocation for this short term agreement for the transport of the iron ore to the port of Saldanha and will use Sishen mine’s infrastructure and loading facilities to load the export trains.

Burk Mining will annually deliver about half-a-million tonnes of iron ore to Sishen mine for screening, blending and loading.

“The agreement opens up new opportunities for us to grow our business,” said Burk Mining CEO Anthony Rooiland.

Kumba will also be assisting the company with technical expertise in mining and beneficiation.