Once a national asset, the embattled Optimum Coal Mine is still on an arduous journey to revival — despite being in business rescue, along with several other Gupta-linked entities, since February 2018.

Historically, Optimum supplied Eskom’s adjacent Hendrina power station with coal by conveyor belt, while an entitlement at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal facilitated exports of up to 6.5Mt of coal a year. That’s an especially valuable concession now, with export coal prices at their highest level in 13 years...

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