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BRPs to meet with Optimum, Koornfontein creditors to vote on proposed business rescue plans 

By: Simone Liedtke     10th January 2019 The joint business rescue practitioners (BRPs) of Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) and Koornfontein Mines (KFT) expect to convene meetings with creditors within the next few weeks to vote on the proposed business rescue plans for the mines. The meetings will take place once the BRPs have resolved... 

Gupta mining boss JP Arora gunned down

By: News24Wire      3rd December 2018 The CEO of Gupta-owned JIC Mining, JP Arora, was killed in a shooting on New Road in Midrand on Saturday night, police have confirmed. SAPS spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said he could not confirm reports of Arora's car being sprayed with bullets. News24 has learned that Arora was returning... 

Eskom optimistic plan to boost coal stocks will prevent power outages

By: Paige Müller     12th October 2018 The continuing coal supply shortage at State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings is considered a crisis by industry commentators. Although conceding that it “is not an ideal situation”, Eskom has assured Parliament that it is implementing a recovery plan to prevent any unplanned capacity loss.... 

Eskom optimistic plan to boost coal stocks will prevent power outages

By: Paige Müller     12th October 2018 The continuing coal supply shortage at State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings is considered a crisis by industry commentators. Although conceding that it “is not an ideal situation”, Eskom has assured Parliament that it is implementing a recovery plan to prevent any unplanned capacity loss.... 

Vitol, Trafigura to bid for coal mines once owned by Guptas

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2018 Commodities traders Vitol Group and Trafigura Group have entered the bidding process for South Africa’s Optimum Coal, a miner under bankruptcy protection that was once controlled by the Gupta family. The interest from two of the biggest commodities trading houses underscores the strategic value... 

Seriti Resources interested in Optimum Coal as it looks to export

By: Reuters     6th June 2018 South African miner Seriti Resources wants to move into exporting coal and would be interested in buying the assets and quotas of the Gupta family's Optimum Coal, its CEO said. Bidding for Optimum Coal would pit Seriti, which has ambitions to become a black-owned mining champion, with bigger... 

Court orders business rescue practitioners be allowed back at Gupta-linked firms

By: News24Wire      7th May 2018 An appeal to have business rescue practitioners barred from the office of several Gupta-linked companies has been overturned in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. Business rescue practitioners Louis Klopper and Robert Knoop were told they were "no longer welcome" by the very... 

No agreement yet in Eskom’s discussions with Optimum BRPs

By: Simone Liedtke     30th April 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom says it is considering a proposal by Optimum coal mine business rescue practitioners (BRPs) to reduce the monthly coal supply tonnage from the mine from 400 000 t to 200 000 t for the remainder of the contract period. Eskom on Monday stressed, however, that it has... 

Burgh picked to keep Gupta coal mines going

By: Bloomberg     12th April 2018 South Africa’s Burgh Group Holdings won a temporary contract to keep mines linked to the Gupta family afloat, according to a business-rescue manager for the assets. Other parties offered financing, but Burgh “came without conditions,” Louis Klopper, a bankruptcy-proceedings manager at Coronado... 

Glencore is said to mull buying back Gupta-linked coal mine

By: Bloomberg     27th March 2018 Glencore is considering a bid for the Optimum coal operations in South Africa, which it sold in 2015 to a company part-owned by the politically connected Gupta family, according to two people familiar with the matter. Optimum supplies fuel to state power utility Eskom Holdings and became a... 

Court rules that Optimum BRP removal application is urgent

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd March 2018 Law firm Kruger & Co Attorneys says the North Gauteng High Court has ruled that its application to remove the current business rescue practitioners (BRPs) for the Optimum coal mine, is urgent.  

Former mines minister a no show at Parliament

By: African News Agency      14th March 2018 Former mineral resource minister Mosebenzi Zwane on Wednesday failed to appear before Parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources where he had been expected to answer questions on allegations of State capture. According to committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo, the former minister... 

Optimum should have gone into business rescue months ago – Hogan Lovells

By: Anine Kilian     12th March 2018 The public announcement of the Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine going into business rescue has caused much uncertainty for employees and residents living in mine-owned properties are anxious about the implications of this process for their futures. In an interview, Hogan Lovells partner Gareth... 

NUM calls for removal of Optimum business rescue practitioners

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th March 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for the removal of business rescue practitioners (BRPs) at the Optimum coal mine, as it claims that their appointment was unlawful. The NUM has approached Kruger & Co Attorneys to represent it and its 500 members at the mine to set aside the... 

Lawmakers urge mines ministry to be vigilant on Gupta-owned mines

By: Reuters     8th March 2018 The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources on Thursday called on the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to be vigilant of the mines owned by Tegeta Exploration and Resources in order to prevent a situation that occurred at Aurora Empowerment Systems seven years ago. At Aurora, directors... 

Mantashe urges speedy resolution on Optimum mine

By: Reuters     8th March 2018 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday in remarks to the eNCA news channel that the business rescue process being undertaken at the troubled Optimum coal mine had to be done with "speed." Optimum Coal mine, which has faced a strike by its workers over unpaid salaries, sought... 

Optimum workers paid but questions raised about future sale

By: African News Agency      28th February 2018 There was no reason to place Optimum Coal Mine into business rescue other than the financing woes of Tegeta Exploration and the now fugitive Gupta family, Parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources heard on Wednesday. Goodwill Mthombeni, the chairperson of the Optimum branch of the... 

NUM says members not paid at Gupta-owned Optimum mine

By: Reuters     23rd February 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday that its members had not been paid on time at the Optimum coal mine, which is owned by the Gupta family, and would not return to work at the operation which has started business rescue proceedings. "The guys were not paid and they want a... 

Portfolio Committee asks DMR to intervene at Optimum mine

By: Anine Kilian     23rd February 2018 The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has called on the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to intervene at the Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine and “establish with certainty” the future of the mine. Power utility Eskom late on Thursday confirmed that the mine, which supplies coal to its... 

Striking Gupta mineworkers demand answers about their future 

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2018 Striking mineworkers at Gupta-owned Optimum Coal Mine have demanded to know the "truth of the sale" of the mine. Workers downed tools on Wednesday morning, saying there was uncertainty over their jobs and the future of the mine. 

Guptas' Optimum Coal risks suspension as workers protest

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2018 South Africa’s Optimum Coal mine, linked to the politically connected Gupta family, will be suspended if managers fail to comply with the site’s social and labour plan. Workers protested Wednesday over the uncertainty at the operations. The Department of Mineral Resources conducted an inspection... 

Former Eskom CFO Singh accused of lying and stonewalling at inquiry

By: African News Agency      24th January 2018 Former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh was accused of lying about who paid for his travels to Dubai and ducking questions about suspect transactions he approved in his testimony before the parliamentary inquiry into the power utility on Tuesday. After more than four hours of questions... 

Eskom gave Tegeta prepayment on day Optimum purchase price was due, inquiry hears

By: African News Agency      1st November 2017 A business rescue practitioner on Wednesday told the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom that the power utility agreed to pay Tegeta almost R600-million in advance for coal on the same day it became clear that the Gupta-affiliated company was short of that same sum to purchase the Optimum coal mine.... 

Draft regulations on rehab funds at odds with other pieces of legislation

By: Dylan Slater     27th October 2017 Mining companies are between a “rock and a hard place” over proposed tax measures to curb what government says is abuse of mining rehabilitation funds, according to law firm Bowman Gilfillan partners Betsie Strydom and Wandisile Mandlana.  

Zwane to Parliament – Am I being investigated?

By: News24Wire      18th October 2017 "Am I being investigated? I need to know so that we can start dealing with facts and not allegations that are in the media." Those were the introductory remarks from Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane who is currently appearing before Parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources... 

AfriBusiness applies PAIA rule for Eskom, Optimum penalty clarification

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2017 As media reports surface over a settlement agreement between State-owned Eskom and Optimum coal mine, business rights watchdog AfriBusiness is seeking more information on “what transpired” during the alleged payment of the fine by Tegeta Exploration & Resources. Leveraging the Promotion of Access... 

Television star joins Vitol in stake in biggest African coal port

By: Bloomberg     30th September 2016 A South African coal entrepreneur who produced and starred in a reality TV show set in Cape Town has partnered with one of the world’s biggest commodity traders to buy a stake in the continent’s largest terminal for the fuel. Through Burgh Group Holdings, 38-year-old Quinton van der Burgh joined... 

Mining Minister says Glencore has alternatives to retrenchment 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th August 2015 Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says international mining giant Glencore should have looked at alternatives to retrenchments, including shifting workers to vacancies in other operations, before considering the potential retrenchment of about 1 000 workers. The Department of Mineral... 

Optimum mine right suspended, penalties may force R1/t coal supply 

By: Martin Creamer     4th August 2015 Financially stricken Optimum Coal has been hit by a double whammy – huge potential penalty claims from State electricity utility Eskom plus a suspension of its mining licence by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) for alleged inhumane retrenchment. In the face of these latest setbacks,... 

Confirmation awaited on coal company’s financial woes 

By: Martin Creamer     7th January 2015 Confirmation was awaited late Wednesday afternoon on reported financial problems being faced by the London Aim-listed Beacon Hill Resources, the developer of the Minas Moatize coking coal mine in Mozambique, following the company’s failure to win the requisite shareholder support at last month’s... 

Glencore wins interdict against NUM strike

By: Sapa     20th November 2014 Mining company Glencore won an interim interdict in the Labour Court on Wednesday against the National Union of Mineworkers conducting a secondary strike at its Optimum Coal mine. "Glencore will participate in the review process by the [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] CCMA... 

Teke elected new chamber president 

By: Martin Creamer     5th November 2013 The Chamber of Mines of South Africa on Tuesday elected Mike Teke as its new incoming president. Teke takes over the reins from outgoing president Mark Cutifani. The Anglo American CEO has had a whirlwind one-year term of office in which he was heavily engaged in far-reaching negotiations with... 

Crisis presenting opportunity for mining sea change – Sivi Gounden  

By: Martin Creamer     4th September 2013 The current crisis in the South African mining industry presents an opportunity for a sea change, says former Bateman CEO and former Public Enterprises director-general Dr Sivi Gounden. The chairperson of HolGoun, an unlisted company with a wide range of mining sector investments, says South... 

Biodiversity guideline a ‘step in the right direction’ – panel

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd May 2013 The latest environmental guideline report aimed at the mining industry has been welcomed as a first step in starting the process of finding the delicate balance between mining economically and biodiversity protection, a panel agreed on Thursday. Speaking at a Gordon Institute of Business Science... 

Coal companies, unions agree wage deal

By: Reuters     7th November 2012 Coal firms in South Africa, including Anglo American, have signed a deal to raise certain entry-level worker wages by up to 5%, the Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday, to prevent labour unrest in the sector from spreading to coal. More than 80 000 miners, or 15% of the industry's workforce, have... 

Mining industry struggles to retain skills – Shabangu

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th November 2012 South Africa’s mining industry loses more than half of its technical graduates in the first five years of employment to other sectors of the economy, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said on Tuesday. Speaking at the Chamber of Mines’ annual general meeting, she pointed out that this... 

Cutifani elected new Chamber of Mines president

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th November 2012 AngloGold Ashanti CEO Mark Cutifani has been elected new president of South Africa’s Chamber of Mines (CoM), following the end of Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi’s term of office. Speaking to Mining Weekly Online at the CoM’s 122nd annual general meeting on Tuesday, Australian-born Cutifani said he was... 

Former Keaton CEO joins Beacon Hill

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th October 2012 Aim-listed coal mining junior Beacon Hill on Thursday said it had appointed Rowan Karstel as the MD of its coal division, effective immediately. Prior to the appointment, Karstel who has over 20 years experience in the coal industry, was the CEO of Mpumalanga-based Keaton Energy. He has also... 

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