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Could Zululand be on the cusp of a mining boom?

Home Mining & Quarrying Could Zululand be on the cusp of a mining boom?

THE area around Richards Bay and Empangeni seems to be attracting a lot of activity from mining companies, a director of the mining consultancy, AmaranthCX, Paul Miller, noted in a recent social media post.

Alongside a graphic of the province from AmaranthCX’s SA Mining Map, Miller noted that to the west of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, Zululand Anthracite Colliery is developing the new Mngeni Shaft, extending its life-of-mine.

On the eastern boundary, Tendele Anthracite is locked in an environmental rights battle as it tries to extend the life of its operations, too. Various emerging prospecting companies appear to be exploring for anthracite to the south of these operations.

Jindal Africa is advancing its large iron ore projects south and east of the small farming town of Melmoth.

He continued, but the big news of the day is that Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals has applied for a prospecting right over most of the timber plantations south of Mtubatuba and north of Richards Bay and Tronox has applied for a Mining Right over its existing Prospecting Right tenements spanning the highway between Felixton and Mtunzini.

“Something unusual,” he notes, “in the context of South Africa’s long mining history, is that not one of these companies has its shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.” There are various theories as to why this is the case.

Explaining why he used AmaranthCX’s map, a company which he founded, rather than Google Earth, Miller explained: “Google Earth is a great tool, and I use it a lot. However, we wanted to share the maps with subscribers while still being able to update the data as and when new info comes to light. Our tech partner, www.1map.co.za, is a great local business which provides all the tech out-the-box.

“The map can be accessed on any device, from anywhere, via a browser, without any special software or licenses. It also has great base layers like the one shown here, integrating a satellite view with property boundaries. I also prefer OpenStreetMaps for detailed maps of land use and it is advertising-free.

Explaining AmaranthCX’s products, Miller says: “We now have two maps available via subscription – one of the electrical infrastructure of the Southern African Power Pool and a South African Mining Map. We are looking for cartographers or researchers who have geo data that can be assembled into a subscription product and added to the platform for a share of the revenue.”

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