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Mining Indaba: Greater support planned for junior miners

Relaxation of certain regulatory frameworks would be appreciated – Sifiso Nkosi – executive chair, Ntuthuko Exploration and Mining.

SIKI MGABADELI: We are chatting to Sifiso Nkosi, who is executive chairperson of Ntuthuko Exploration & Mining. Sifiso, thanks for your time this evening.

I think maybe firstly just take us through your business – what it is that you do, and which sector in the mining and resources space you play in.

SIFISO NKOSI: Good evening to yourself and your listeners. Ntuthuko is an aspirant coal miner. We play in the NAG space and we focus on coal, being the key coal commodity. We own various…in the KZN region and also in Mpumalanga. We also are behind the formation of the KwaZulu-Natal…Mining Forum, which is a no-gain representative body for the industry as a whole.

SIKI MGABADELI:  And I’m sure you heard the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, yesterday in his opening address saying that one of the things they are going to do this year is to intensify support for junior miners in the year ahead. What would that mean for you? What sort of support would you like to get from the DMR?

SIFISO NKOSI:  Well, we appreciate the narrative that the minister opened up to us as junior miners in this space. But mainly for us we will appreciate relaxation of certain regulatory frameworks that put us in one category with the bigger players, if I may, and which put us in an untenable position of having been required [to have] the very same stuff as your Anglos and your Rios, whereas we are at the start-up position of the value chain.

SIKI MGABADELI:  Give me an example, quickly of maybe one.

SIFISO NKOSI:  For instance, the requirement when you do your mining application that says you’ve got to provide proof of capital, and it comes with a certain time frame. Now, for us to be able to raise capital we need to use that very same documentation that the department issues to us, so that we can go to the market and say now we are licenced. But by the time you go to the market, the licence has already lapsed because the licence requires you to prove that you’ve already gone to the market. So it’s a case of do you put the donkey before the cart or the cart before the donkey.

SIKI MGABADELI:  All right. I’m sure we’ll be chatting to you a little bit more, but we are out of time. Thanks for talking to us today. Sifiso Nkosi is executive chairperson of Ntuthuko Exploration & Mining.

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