That one of the most successful companies listed in the construction materials segment may sooner rather than later have to move to the mining segment of the bourse, is as much testament to the destruction of the building sector as evidence of savvy deal-making on the part of Afrimat. Having begun life as a quarrying business — which is arguably opencast mining — Afrimat has, since 2012, expanded into industrial minerals, iron ore and now coal. Afrimat outbid a consortium led by private equity outfit Ata to snaffle Australian-listed but SA-focused Universal Coal.While Afrimat’s 2016 purchase of the Diro mine in the Northern Cape was met with some scepticism, viewed today it looks like an inspired move.Not only did Afrimat buy at the bottom of the cycle after iron ore prices had plunged, but it moved its main focus away from the construction sector, which is being rent asunder by government inaction, a moribund private sector and, recently, criminal gangs muscling for a cut of local...

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