Potential for growth for midtier miners

17th May 2024

Potential for growth for midtier miners

MPHO NKHUMELENI By investing in renewable energy, conservation efforts, and community engagement, midtier companies can enhance their social standing and attract conscientious investors

Following the recent 2024 State of the Nation Address (Sona) and Budget Speech, coal producer Ndalamo Resources believes that there is the potential for growth and resilience among midtier mining companies.

“These speeches underscored key points directly affecting our sector. Firstly, the government’s pledge to address the energy crisis, notably loadshedding, is paramount for mining,” explains Ndalamo Resources FD Mpho Nkhumeleni.

Nkhumeleni notes that stable power supply is not only vital for operations, but is crucial to fostering investor confidence.

She explains that the government’s focus on infrastructure development holds relevance, and while it is not explicitly targeting the mining sector, the improved transportation and logistics infrastructure will enable mining companies to streamline operations, cut costs and bolster their competitiveness in global markets.

Additionally, she elaborates that the allocation of resources toward combating illegal mining indicates a positive development.

Nkhumeleni adds that, by curbing illicit operations, legitimate mining companies are able to operate in a more stable and regulated market environment.

She emphasises that in light of these developments, there are “several avenues” for midtier mining companies, with the companies’ agility and adaptability becoming distinct advantages.

Additionally, through its streamlined organisational structures, Ndalamo is able to adapt to market shifts and regulatory demands, including related environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations.

She stresses that while larger projects may encounter energy constraints, midtier companies are able to explore smaller-scale, energy efficient projects or diversify into less power-intensive mineral exploration and processing operations.

“ESG leadership presents another opportunity. By investing in renewable energy, conservation efforts and community engagement, midtier companies can enhance their social standing and attract conscientious investors,” Nkhumeleni points out.

She notes that collaborations with larger mining firms or technology companies can help introduce options for growth and supply scale, while maintaining the company’s autonomy.

Nkhumeleni elaborates that, for Ndalamo Resources, success in navigating these challenges requires prudent cash flow management, scenario planning, and a “relentless” focus on operational efficiency.

Further, she suggests that by embracing digitalisation, processing improvements, and data analytics, the company will be able to enhance productivity and cost reduction.

“While South Africa’s mining industry faces undeniable challenges, there's ample room for innovation, growth and sustainability. By embracing agility, efficiency and strategic partnerships, midtier mining companies can carve out a path to long-term success, contributing to both industry prosperity and national development,” concludes Nkhumeleni.