Construction of a new mega mine is set to kick off in South Africa’s north east of Pretoria a rare example of new investment in the country where regulatory uncertainty has crimped the ability of the country to attract new investors.
Spearheaded by SEPHAKO Fluoride (SepFluor), an unlisted fluorspar development company, the nega mine and concentrator – Nokeng Fluorspare Mine – will produce 180,000 tonnes a year of acid grade fluorspar and 30,000 tonnes a year of metallurgical grade fluorspar from the beginning of 2019 following commissioning in November 2018.
Executive management of the company falls to CEO, Rob Wager, who was previously CEO of African Nickel and Metgold Ltd. He was also employed by Norilsk Nickel where he was operations director and has filled various roles for JCI, AngloGold and BHP Billiton.
The equity investment portion of the project capital is led by Twist and De Bruin through their African Minerals Exploration and Development Fund II (AMED), along with Carlo Baravalle, an Italian investor who is another non-executive on the board of SepFluor. Mohuba is also among the equity investors in Nokeng through the Lelau Mohuba Trust.
Traxys Projects, a division of commodities trading company, Traxys Europe, is also an investor in the mine. Traxys has also signed a long-term agreement to market and distribute Nokeng’s production. A significant portion of the early output has been pre-sold to several international fluorspar consumers, said SepFluor.
Fieldstone Africa arranged the debt portion of the finance. Fieldstone comprises a consortium of three primary lenders: Nedbank Ltd, the lender and facility agent as well as Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden NV and Deutsche Investitions Und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH.