If there is one thing that makes Minerals Minister Susan Shabangu smile very broadly, it is the beneficiation of the minerals with which South African has been abundantly blessed. BHP Billiton is a company that had her beaming from ear to ear last week when it launched the R1-billion expansion of its ferromanganese operation, in Meyerton, south of Johannesburg. It is there that Samancor Manganese adds value to close on 30% of the manganese that the company mines in the Northern Cape. In doing so, Metalloys is placing no additional electricity burden on the hard-pressed State power utility, Eskom, because it cogenerates 20% of its power needs in its own power station, using its own offgas, and it does so at ultralow cost. In the process, it also lowers its carbon footprint, not to talk of the new investment injecting fresh life into a Midvaal municipal area crying out for additional investment. See also page 6 of this edition of Mining Weekly.
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