The executive chairwoman of Kalagadi Manganese, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, South Africa's "iron lady" of mining, says electricity costs are threatening the industry and her own dreams. Eskom needs to be fundamentally restructured so that it supports rather than retards economic growth, she says. Eighteen years of hard work and a never-say-die attitude in the face of huge industry scepticism are about to pay off for Nkosi, whose company has announced that its R9-billion mine in the Kalahari will ramp up to three million tons of manganese ore a year from October 2019. This will be processed into 2.4million tons of a high-grade agglomeration known as sinter, and exported to steel mills in China and India. Kalagadi Manganese has the world's largest sinter plant, employing 800 people, but running it is exorbitantly expensive. Electricity costs will make her less competitive and endanger jobs, she says. "You have to keep shutting the sinter down. And when you shut it down, you have to lay off ...

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