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

The company also added in the statement that it would invest R4.3 billion ($305.14 million) in SAEC’s Klipspruit Life Extension project.

FILE: Surface coal mine transportation. Picture: Supplied.

SYDNEY - Australian miner South32 Ltd on Monday said 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 Black Economic Empowerment entities, employees and communities,” the company said in a statement.

The South African government made changes to the country’s Mining Charter in June, raising the threshold for black ownership of mining firms to 30%, from 26%, 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 stipulates rules for white-owned companies to sell stakes to black businesses.

The company also added in the statement that it would invest R4.3 billion ($305.14 million) in SAEC’s Klipspruit Life Extension project. The investment is intended to extend the project’s life by about 20 years.

While shares in the miner closed about 2.6%-lower in Australia on Monday, they have gained 21.1% so far in 2017.