BHP 'empowers' its South African coal operations

BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa has entered into an “empowerment transaction” with a black-owned consortium led by the Pembani Group, which will effectively give the consortium an 8% equity interest in BECSA.
BHP 'empowers' its South African coal operations BHP 'empowers' its South African coal operations BHP 'empowers' its South African coal operations BHP 'empowers' its South African coal operations BHP 'empowers' its South African coal operations

BHP's energy coal president Jimmy Wilson

Lou Caruana

BHP Billiton president of energy coal Jimmy Wilson said through its previous direct sales of assets and its latest empowerment transactions, BECSA was in a position to more than meet the transformation requirements of the South African Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and Mining Charter.

“BECSA’s unwavering commitment to the objectives of the Mining Charter and the South African economy will continue to drive us to play an active role in the transformation of mining and economic empowerment of our people,” he said.

The shareholders of BECSA have also approved the implementation of an employee share ownership plan in which participating employees will hold a beneficial interest of 2% equity in BECSA, further enhancing BECSA’s black economic empowerment credentials.

Completion of the BEE transaction and the introduction of the ESOP are both mainly conditional on BECSA receiving consent for the transactions from Eskom Holdings.

Formerly Worldwide African Investment Holdings and founded in 1994, Pembani is a diversified energy investment company with interests in the mining and petroleum industry and is chaired by well-known business executive Phuthuma Nhleko, the former group chief executive of telecommunications company MTN.

BECSA’s first black economic empowerment transaction was the divestment of Delmas colliery, more than 10 years ago, to create Kuyasa Mining.

BECSA also agreed to sell additional resources to Kuyasa Mining to facilitate a longer mine life of its operation near Delmas.

It said the latest deal would extend the life of Kuyasa and create more value for the business and its employees.

In addition to Kuyasa Mining, BECSA facilitated the establishment and growth of several empowerment companies including Eyesizwe Coal (which became Exxaro) and Optimum Coal Holdings.

In the process, BECSA also facilitated access to export capacity for BEE companies at the Richards Bay coal terminal of around 10 million tonnes per annum.

It represents more than one third of BECSA’s original RBCT capacity.