Kudumane Manganese Resources CEO Thembelani Gantsho is passionate about the opportunities for South African mining. He spoke with Janie Davies about his first-hand experience of funding and operating a new mine and the outlook for the nation’s mining industry
Since breaking ground in May 2012 and shipping its first ore in April of the following year, Kudumane Manganese Mines has established itself among South Africa’s larger manganese miners, producing 1.8-2 million tonnes of ore per year.
Operated by Kudumane Manganese Resources (KMR) in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, 80 km northwest of Kuruman, the 250 million tonne resource project includes an open pit mine, mobile crushing and screening plant and chemical analysis laboratory. It ships its ore from the ports of Durban and Port Elizabeth, counting China, India and Russia among its export markets.
Kudumane Manganese Resources is headed up by a former investment banker who swapped investment banking “glamour” for the grit of manganese ore, a darling of South African mining that imparts strength in steelmaking. A finance graduate of Cape Town University in the mid-noughties, CEO Thembelani Gantsho has a varied resume with stints at blue-chip banking and mining giants, having alternated between those sectors for a few years.
“One gets lured by the glamour of investment banking. And it is lovely to watch a mining project from the ground up and navigate the difficulties of funding,” he said.
After starting his banking...
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