Australia’s South32 looks to reduce interest in SA coal business

SYDNEY – Australian miner South32 LTD said on Monday that its South Africa Energy Coal (SAEC) business would be run as a stand-alone unit, with the goal of widening its ownership and possibly listing it on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. “This will present opportunities for Broad Based Economic Empowerment entities, employees and communities,” said the company in a statement.
The government of South Africa made changes to the country’s Mining Charter in June, raising the threshold for black ownership of mining companies to 30% from the previous 26%. This happened despite protests from the Chamber of Mines, an industry body.
The Mining Charter contains regulations meant to redress imbalances of the nation’s past apartheid rule and stipulate rules for white owned companies to sell stakes to black businesses. In a statement the company also added that it would invest R4.3 billion ($305.14 million) in SAEC Klipspruit Life Extension project. This investment is intended to extend the project’s life by about 20 years.
While on Monday the share in the miner closed about 2.6% lower in Australia, they have gained 21.1% so far in 2017.

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