Modern Mining

Nokeng Fluorspar Mine (RF) (Pty) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of SepFluor Limited, has announced the start of construction of the R1,7 billion Nokeng open-pit fluorspar mine and concentrator at Rust de Winter, 80 km north east of Pretoria.

Project finance has been raised through a mixture of debt and shareholder equity.

Construction starts on R17 billion fluorspar mineA geologist examines an ore sample on site at Nokeng (photo: SepFluor).

Key equity participants include: the African Minerals Exploration and Development Fund II SICAR (AMED II), a private equity fund managed by Explora (Luxembourg); Ixofluor, backed by the Lelau Mohuba Trust and headed by Sephaku Holdings founder and CEO Dr Lelau Mohuba; Traxys Projects LP, the projects division of commodities trader Traxys Europe SA; and funds managed by two of AMED II’s investors, Kuramo Capital and Tribus Capital.

The finance component of the project was arranged by Fieldstone Africa (Pty) Limited and comprises a consortium of three primary lenders: Nedbank Limited as lender and facility agent; Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden NV (FMO); and Deutsche Investitions Und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG).

In addition, Concentrate Capital partners (CCP), a small investment fund associated with the EPC contractor, DRA, has provided a small tranche of mezzanine debt.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has approved an infrastructure grant of R21 million under its Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP), primarily as a contribution towards power supply and road works.

A joint venture comprising DRA Projects SA and Group Five Construction has been awarded the EPC contract for the mine, which includes the concentrator, access roads and the ‘self-build’ portion of a power supply agreement concluded with Eskom. This involves the construction of a new 14 km, 132 kV overhead power line. Water supply to the site will be from a newly established wellfield.

Construction is expected to be concluded within a 21-month period, with commissioning beginning in November 2018 and first production in January/February 2019. At an average run-of-mine rate of 630 000 t/a, the mine will produce 180 000 t/a of acid grade fluorspar and 30 000 t/a of metallurgical grade fluorspar.

With a total SAMREC-compliant reserve of 12,18 Mt, Nokeng has an estimated life of mine of 19 years.

More than 300 fixed-term jobs will be created in the construction phase and some 200 permanent jobs once the mine is in operation.

Contact Modern Mining

Title: Editor
Name: Arthur Tassell
Email: mining@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Bennie Venter
Email: benniev@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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