TFR to increase emerging manganese miners’ rail allocation to 4Mt/y

6th December 2022 By: Donna Slater - Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) says it is easing the requirements for emerging manganese miners to transport their ore and products to the ports of Gqeberha and Saldanha, starting with new contracting and capacity allocation processes in an effort to avail capacity allocation.

With a current emerging miner allocation of two-million tonnes a year, Transnet intends to increase by 100% this allocation to four-million tonnes a year (25% share of total available capacity on Transnet’s lines) by April 2023.

Transnet also intends to increase the number of emerging miners that have access to rail and port capacity from four to 11 by introducing seven new entrants by the beginning of the next financial year.

The key minimum qualifying criteria for capacity allocation required by Transnet include emerging manganese miners having a valid mining right, being currently involved with mining activities and having access to a rail loading facility.

Despite being challenged by moving some of South Africa’s coal exports from mines to ports, TFR says it has made “good strides” in driving transformation in the manganese mining sector, where new entrants currently account for 12% of overall capacity.

TFR says emerging coal miners only have access to 5% of available capacity.

Going forward, Transnet says it will continue to focus efforts on implementing step-changes in several areas in support of emerging miner growth, including by rebasing the allocation ratio between emerging and major miners; and easing methods of doing business with Transnet for emerging miners, such as contracting, credit management and capacity application processes.

Transnet is also looking towards boosting levels of business transparency, and improving access to infrastructure for emerging miners, such as at loading facilities.