Mineral resources dept lifts suspension on Glencore licence

The suspension followed the mine’s retrenchment notices and ongoing dispute with Eskom.

A mine. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Mineral Resources Department has confirmed that it has now lifted the suspension of the licence of Glencore's Optimum mine.

Earlier this week the ministry said it had suspended operations at the mine because Glencore was not following the law while retrenching workers.

Glencore says it has to retrench workers because Eskom was paying less than the production cost for its coal.

The department's Mahlodi Moufhe said, "Our officials and the officials of Optimum Mine have been hard at work trying to out corrective measures, so that they can comply with what concerned the minister."

Earlier in the week, Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said he also plans to meet with Eskom in a bid to find a reasonable way to deal with Optimum Coal which will avoid closure.

"The meetings we've convened include Eskom and [the Department of Trade and Industry] DTI so that we can hopefully save that mine."

Ramatlhodi says 10 other mining companies are also facing possible suspension because they are operating without water licences.