Posted: July 13, 2023
One of the Limpopo Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will soon host a multimillion-rand foundry after a Johannesburg-based company pledged an initial investment of R40 million at the fifth South African Investment Conference that was hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Johannesburg in April this year.
Pledges made at the conference contributed in bringing the total value of investment pledges over a five-year investment mobilisation period to R1.51 trillion, thereby exceeding the initial target of R1.2 trillion set by President Ramaphosa.
According to the Managing Director of Shobane Projects, Mr Lungelo Nyandeni, the R100m foundry project will be a joint venture between his company and RMN Dawn. The two joined forces and expertise last year to establish Shodawn Casting Afric, a 100% black-owned company that provides milling consulting, manufacturing, trading and services to the mining industry and municipalities, amongst others.
“We are in the process of negotiating with the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (Leda) with the aim of identifying land in either the Musina-Makhado or Fetakgomo SEZ. The plan is to build a new foundry using the latest technology to produce steel grinding media (balls) as the main product. These will be initially supplied to existing customers but also to prospective customers. Steel grinding balls are used for grinding rocks into powder in order to extract minerals from them,” says Nyandeni.
He adds that the project will be rolled out in phases from the manufacturing and supplying of cast grinding steel and pump spares, to the manufacturing and supplying of mill liners.
“Our plan is to start with the construction of the foundry in September. The construction phase will employ about 100 people, including plant equipment installers, Thereafter, 48 people will be employed permanently once the plant is complete. We will start off by producing for the local market, but our long-term goal is to export the bulk of our products,” says Nyandeni
He describes mining as a fairly stable sector that is in continuous demand of grinding media that are required as consumables for the mining operations.
“We intend to start by manufacturing and supplying 1 000 tonnes per month of cast grinding media and escalating at 10% per annum. The demand of these steel balls in South Africa is estimated at 63 000 tons per annum,’’ concludes Nyandeni.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)