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Junior miner allocations won't impact existing manganese slots – TFR

A train transporting manganese to port

Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater

28th February 2023

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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State-owned rail operator Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) says its opening of rail capacity allocations to junior miners will not impact existing guaranteed manganese miner export allocations.

As part of what it says is an expansion of rail capacity allocation and efforts to create a more inclusive and competitive environment, Transnet awarded six new entrants with capacity on rail and at marine ports under the Manganese Export Capacity Allocation III programme.

This brings the share of emerging miners’ allocation to 25% of total available capacity in TFR.

TFR says the special terms governing the current allocation of uncommitted tonnage under the existing contracts enable it to reallocate the whole, or any portion of, the uncommitted tonnage – currently 15% – to facilitate new entrants into the export market.

“This is a fair and sustainable way of introducing additional participants in the system, as opposed to starting from a zero-based allocation,” TFR says in a statement.

Further, Transnet is moving ahead with the expansion of the manganese channel and says it is working with both major and emerging miners in the sector.

Interventions thereto include the relocation of the manganese terminal from the Port of Port Elizabeth – with current capacity at ten-million tonnes a year to a new manganese export terminal at the Port of Ngqura with capacity of 16-million tonnes a year. The relocation is expected to take effect by December 2027.

In terms of ensuring it can meet greater demand or increased volume, TFR says it has completed confirmation of the designs for the extension of existing, and the construction of new, crossing loops for longer trains, and the equivalent ramp-up in locomotives, wagons and operational resources.

These efforts, Transnet says, are resulting in an increase in slot capacity on the line, increasing capacity by six-million tonnes a year on rail.

Transnet is also planning to expand its manganese export capacity (rail, terminal and port infrastructure) through the Saldanha export channel to six-million tonnes a year.

“Transnet is fully committed to collaborating with industry in fast-tracking the expansion of the manganese channel, for the benefit of all industry players and the South African economy,” TFR says.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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