Tshipi’s operational business
Whilst the construction of the secondary crushing and screening plant continues, Tshipi is already a fully operational manganese mine, with a full-time staff complement of approximately 120 enthusiastic employees. Tshipi exported its first parcel of manganese through the Port Elizabeth Bulk Terminal in December 2012 and exported approximately 1 million tonnes of product in its first year of production and two million tonnes in its second year of production.
Owing to the nature of Tshipi’s mineral deposit, the mining thereof is a simple “truck and shovel” open cast operation. In essence the top soil is removed and stockpiled in a separate area for later use during the rehabilitation phase. The various layers of the Kalahari formation are removed, followed by the harder banded ironstone, dolomite and manganese layers which are part of the Hotazel formation. Once the manganese ore is exposed, it is drilled, blasted and loaded onto a truck and hauled to the primary crusher which feeds the main Run of Mine stockpile.
Tshipi personnel operate its permanent crushing plant and while the construction of the secondary crushing and screening plant is still ongoing, it has appointed a contractor to run a mobile temporary ore processing plant on the Tshipi Borwa mine site.
Products and quality
The quality and grade control of Tshipi’s product is managed from the pit to the port, both by its own on-site wet chemistry laboratory as well as competent independent sampling and testing suppliers.
Tshipi’s shareholder, Main Street 774 Proprietary Limited (owned by Ntsimbintle Mining and OMH) has capitalised on Tshipi’s relationship with OMH by establishing its own marketing company, OM Tshipi (S) Pte Ltd (“OMT”), in Singapore to market its portion of the Tshipi production. OMH has taken the lead in this venture in availing its marketing network to OMT and ultimately Tshipi.
Tshipi’s other shareholder, Jupiter Kalahari Mines Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Jupiter Mines Limited) has appointed Johan Kriek, a global commodity trader, with decades of marketing experience, to market its portion of the Tshipi production.
Tshipi has contractually committed bulk, container and skiptainer rail capacity allocation and complements this with road transport solutions where this is economical. Tshipi currently exports its product through the ports of Port Elizabeth, Nqgura and Saldanha.