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How South Africa could have 21 new mining listings

AmaranthCX founder and director Paul Miller, when he listed Keaton Energy on the JSE many years ago, well before the delistings issue arose.

AmaranthCX founder and director Paul Miller, when he listed Keaton Energy on the JSE many years ago, well before the delistings issue arose.

13th April 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Africa could have 21 new mining listings if foreign mining companies that already operate in this country would also list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in Africa, but one that is shrinking.

The 21 companies are all listed elsewhere, with no listing in South Africa, even though they are mining, developing or exploring in South Africa.

If all 21 listed, there would be a 50% increase in the number of listed mining companies on the JSE, AmaranthCX founder and director Paul Miller calculates in a note to Mining Weekly.

Miller contends that a prompt from South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe would do the trick.

“The JSE has bent over backwards to make inward dual listings quick, easy and cheap.  All we need is a trigger, and moral suasion by the Minister asking the CEO of each of the 21 companies to do so, would be a good place to start,” says Miller, a person of considerable mining finance experience with Nedbank and also operational mining exposure as the former MD of Keaton Energy.

Foreign listed mining companies that are producing in South Africa but are not secondarily listed on the JSE, include New York-listed Tronox Limited and Sydney-listed Terracom Limited.

Tronox’s Namakwa Sands operations are located in the Western Cape, where its ilmenite, natural rutile, and zircon are transported to the Namakwa Sands Saldanha Bay smelter by rail from an opencast mine and concentration plant in Brand-se-Baai. The ilmenite is processed in furnaces to produce saleable titanium dioxide slag and pig iron, while the zircon and natural rutile are stored on-site for export. Final products are dispatched globally to either Tronox’s pigment operations or third-party customers through the Port of Saldanha.

TerraCom, through its wholly owned Universal Coal, has six thermal coal assets and one coking coal asset in South Africa, and exports through Richards Bay Coal Terminal and Maputo.

Also producing in South Africa but not listed here are diamond mining companies Petra Diamonds, Diamcor and BlueRock Diamonds.

London-listed Petra operates the Cullinan and Finsch diamond mines and has the Koffiefontein diamond mine on care and maintenance. Canada-listed Diamcor has the Krone-Endora diamond mine in Limpopo province, and London Aim-listed BlueRock Diamonds mines diamonds at Kareevlei in the Northern Cape, northwest of Kimberley.

Other producers are Sylvania Platinum, Jupiter Mines, Bushveld Minerals, Mineral Commodities, Kropz, and Bisichi.

London Aim-listed Sylvania has six chrome beneficiation and platinum group metal (PGM) processing plants, located on both the eastern and western limbs of the Bushveld Igneous Complex as well as various mineral asset development projects on the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex.

Sydney-listed Jupiter Mines’ Tshipi é Ntle operates the Tshipi Borwa opencast manganese mine in the Kalahari manganese field of the Northern Cape.

London Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals is a vertically integrated primary vanadium producer with the Vametco mine, Brits Resource and Mokopane Project and Bushveld Energy, with vanadium redox flow battery technology.

Sydney-listed Mineral Commodities has the Tormin mineral sands operation on the West Coast of South Africa and the Xolobeni mineral sands project in the Eastern Cape.

London Aim-listed Kropz has the Elandsfontein phosphate project in the Western Cape and London-listed Bisichi has the Black Wattle coal mining and coal washing operation in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

Explorers listed in foreign countries but not on the JSE are Ivanhoe Mines, Marula Mining and Botswana Diamonds, along with Taung Gold International, Vanadium Resources, Theta Gold, West Wits Mining, ZEB Nickel Corp, URA Holdings, and Platinum Group Metals.

“It has been my view for some time that the delistings versus listings crisis on SA public markets needs a far more thorough analysis than ‘it is all the JSE's fault and it is their job alone to fix it’ - which interestingly enough appears to be exactly what the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa) and its members seem to think,” says Miller.

This week’s Financial Mail reports that South Africa has shed about 20% of its listed companies since 2013 and is down to about 313 listed units.

Miller warns that South Africa is sleepwalking into a situation where the stock exchange will have less than 100 listed companies in 20 years. That is the trajectory. Savings reforms introduced through Asisa have resulted in the small end of the stock exchange no longer standing a chance of attracting funds.

Less than a dozen institutions, all Asisa members, as well as the Public Investment Corporation of South Africa, now control 90% of South Africa’s R9-trillion of savings. Asisa members in particular are subject to rules that direct investment into the big end of the stock exchange, to the virtual exclusion of the small end.

National Treasury, which has put restrictions on Asisa, does not respond to questions and appears disinterested in stock exchanges being places where primary capital can be raised.

Names of Asisa members listed on its website include 27four Investment Managers Pty, ABSA Financial Services Ltd, Afena Capital Pty, Alexander Forbes Ltd, Allan Gray Pty, Assupol Life Ltd, Coronation Fund Managers Ltd, Discovery Holdings Ltd, FirstRand Life Assurance Ltd, Foord Asset Management Pty, Hollard Life Assurance Ltd, Kagiso Asset Management Pty, Liberty Holdings Ltd, Mazi Asset Management Pty, Momentum Metropolitan Ltd, Nedbank Wealth, Ninety One South Africa Pty, Oasis Group Holdings Pty, Old Mutual, Prescient Investment Management Pty, Prudential Portfolio Managers Pty, PSG Konsult Ltd and Sanlam Ltd.

These institutions have reportedly grown their assets under management fantastically and individual portfolio managers are reportedly fantastically wealthy individuals. The benefits have flown to investors and the rest of the benefit has gone to institutional fund managers. Those institutional fund managers have size and liquidity limits in what they can invest and they are reportedly very closely managed against benchmarks.

As a consequence, many of them are reportedly referred to as index huggers, with most of their investment decisions not straying very far from the indices.

With the structure of the savings industry anti-entrepreneurship, there is likely to be a continuing decline in the number of smaller companies on the stock exchange, which will effectively become a market for secondary listings of foreign companies, for the Top 40, and for listed products, exchange traded notes and exchange traded funds.

There is huge concern that the JSE will no longer serve its societal purpose as a source of primary capital for growing and expanding companies, be they mining, technology or retail companies.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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