Partner Profiles

Ember Mining
Ember Mining is a junior mining company with around 18 million tonnes (Mt) of coal in reserve. It is currently the second-biggest supplier to E&T. Ember Mining started as an underground mining ventilation specialist and later moved into full-time mining. The executive team has over 40 years of experience in the mining space and at peak were exporting about 100 000t per month through Richards Bay Coal Terminal.

Ember's current asset, Uitspan, has around 12mt of reserve, 8Mt of which is a highly sought-after two-seam coal. This is high Kcal coal that is suited ideally for the export market. E&T has signed a right to the life of mine reserve for export.

Ember excels in stockpile management of all coal as well as sourcing third-party coal from partnerships it has forged in the past. Ember’s and E&T’s combined expertise gives us insight into South Africa’s coal landscape, which will alert us to any potential developments that could be used to our advantage.

With extensive experience of the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) requirements, Ember is able to secure mining rights and assets with high potential. We are currently working with Ember on obtaining an underground mining right.

Ipower Logistics
Ipower has been a logistics business for just over four years. It began as primarily a transport company whose success exceeded its initial expectations. With a fleet of around 300 trucks, Ipower Logistics is ideally suited to satisfy E&T’s requirement to transport coal to port.

After the success of its trucking business, Ipower seized an opportunity while the market was weak to gain port access. At a time when export coal was trading at $40/t and export volumes were low, Ipower secured capacity at MPT. It now has capacity to export 75 000t a month. This will meet E&T’s assessment of demand from potential export customers.

Levmet SA
E&T’s relationship with Levemet SA, although only formalised in 2022, started in 2013. The current directors of the South African branch, who have a combined 45 years’ experience in exporting coal to Turkey and East Africa, were previously at a boutique and specialised export coal marketer called CPSA. On the demise of CPSA’s owner, the family closed the company. These entrepreneurs used their knowledge of coal trading to open a South African branch of Levmet, which is based in Monaco.

Levmet SA’s experience in trucking coal to port, rather than using rail, has proven invaluable in the deals that we have concluded together. They also provide financial muscle that ensures cash flow in deals that are too large for our current balance sheet. Together we have chartered a 75 000t vessel to transport coal to Uniper, the first such vessel out of MPT to go into Europe.

Levmet SA director Chad Griffin also holds a stake in a coal wash plant. At some time in the future, we hope to work with him in dismantling and moving it to a safe location that we can use for both export and domestic coal.

Levmet SA Director also, Chad Griffin, also has shares in a coal wash plant. The hope between us is too eventually dismantle and move the washplant to a safe location that we can use for both the export and domestic market.

Mikano Group
Mikano Group has similar beginnings to Ipower but it is significantly larger. E&T has worked with Mikano since 2020, beginning with moving 250 000t of coal in and around the Mpumalanga coal fields in a period of eight months. We have worked continuously with them since then.

Mikano works with South32 and some of the biggest coal traders in the country. It has focused on securing inland, rather than port assets. Since 2020, it has actively sought opportunities to become a mine owner and to date have secured a mix of 18 mining rights, mining permits and prospecting licences across various commodities, including coal, manganese and iron ore.

We hope to partner with Mikano on its first coal asset, by assisting the company with site establishment and an offtake agreement to export their production.

Royal Bafokeng
In 2020 E&T concluded an agreement with the Royal Bafokeng family that allows us access to approximately 200 ha of land in the heart of the chrome fields. The land lies along the North West chrome seam. This is land that was returned to the royal family by Xstrata around 2005.

The Royal Bafokeng have been open cast mining small pockets of high quality chrome for the last four years on this land, extracting about 2000 000 mt of ROM, ranging from 38% to 44% chrome content. We have agreed to drill the resource and prepare a mining plan, as the family wishes to formalise the operation to benefit the wider community. The community and family will hold a 30% share in the project. An early, pre-drilling estimate is that the project area could contain at least one million tonnes of chrome reserves, but this will be confirmed by drilling.

Once a chrome reserve is confirmed, the family will negotiate further with E&T on some of their other land that contains manganese and iron ore.

Quinton van der Berg Investment (QVDBI)
E&T helped QVDBI with fundraising and site establishment for three coal assets within the Optimum Coal Mine. These assets were considered as mini pits, as due to their fairly low coal reserve they were not viable in the larger Optimum Coal mine plan.

E&T managed to secure R60 million of funding to establish three mini pits, where about a million metric tonnes remains for extraction. We also signed a full offtake agreement for all the coal and sold it to Mercuria. E&T holds first and last right of refusal on this tonnage. We retain the right to continue seeding the offtake to Mercuria or reclaim it as part of our own offtake.

We have decided to allow Mercuria to take the full offtake while we earn commission on it, freeing us to pursue our plan to export coal directly from the port. This residual commission has assisted us in setting up our network into port.

Namibian Lithium Project
In line with our conviction that we should always “keep moving’, we have signed an initial agreement with Pelican Technical Service CC on a lithium mine in Namibia. We consider the electric vehicle market has long-term potential and have long held a desire to acquire copper and lithium assets.

In line with our conviction that we should always “keep moving’, we have signed an initial agreement with Pelican Technical Service CC on a lithium mine in Namibia. We consider the electric vehicle market has long-term potential and have long held a desire to acquire copper and lithium assets.

We are currently in the due diligence stage of the project and have verified the prospecting licence. We aim to raise funds to drill holes on the land and prepare a mining plan.

Initial reports on the project have been verified but a lot remains to be done in terms of the due diligence. The seller’s initial request seems reasonable and justifiable: he wishes to sell 70% of the project for $9 million. A commission of 8% would be payable to a broker, yet to be determined, split into 4% cash and 4% equity.

This project has potential, provided the due diligence and mining surveys are done carefully. The current boom in electric vehicles could make this a world-class asset.

KPMM Construction was established in 2001 and initially traded as KT Civils.

KPMM Roads and Earthworks was registered in 2005 as the operating arm of KPMM Construction with the intention of creating a specialised road construction company. KPMM established a commercial crushing division, Merafong Crushers in 2007 to meet the requirements of the construction industry in the Gauteng region.

KPMM is actively committed to the principles of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). After a restructuring, KPMM is 51.5% black-owned with 44% shareholding by black women.

The firm has a 9CE rating with the CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board), is registered with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and conforms to the SABS ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management System Requirements.

KPMM works for clients in most provinces of South Africa, including SANRAL, the National Roads Agency, as well as provincial and municipal departments. It recently expanded beyond South Africa’s borders and is now registered in Mauritius and Zimbabwe. Both countries are regarded as having promising growth potential.

LB Mining
LB mining is committed to the responsible development and management of a coal mining project in Delmas and other coal processing projects in future. It intends to grow into a diversified service provider to support, empower and develop its business, people and clients. LB Mining’s project area is located within the Witbank-Highveld Coalfields in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. It is about five kilometres north of the town of Leandra and 40 kilometres south of Delmas.

The project area has been drilled to a measured resource category, as defined in the SAMREC Code. The total mineable in-situ resource is calculated at 29.86Mt. The No. 2 and No. 1 seams contain high-grade RB1 steam coal suitable for export and the No. 4 seam generally contains the best quality RB3 coal. This resource statement contains values of exportable coal and there could be upside potential from lower grade coal which would be suitable for the domestic and Eskom markets.

Once it becomes a junior miner, LB Mining will be able to effectively service both domestic and international markets, providing a much-needed source of economic growth and development for South Africa and the provinces where it will operate.