Civil unrest shuts KwaZulu-Natal colliery

Civil unrest shuts KwaZulu-Natal colliery

MC Mining has temporarily suspended operations at its mine in northern KwaZulu-Natal to prevent access to the site by rioters.


MC Mining has temporarily suspended operations at its mine in northern KwaZulu-Natal to prevent access to the site by rioters.

  • A colliery that produces thermal and metallurgical coal says it has halted production as a precautionary measure amid widespread unrest in SA.
  • The Minerals Council says some shipments to Richards Bay have been delayed due to difficulty in reaching the port.
  • The N3 highway that connects Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal has also been affected by temporary closure.

Junior miner MC Mining said on Tuesday it had temporarily suspended operations at its Uitkomst colliery in northern KwaZulu-Natal as a precautionary measure to prevent access to the site by outsiders.

The mine, which is located some 23km northeast of Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, produces thermal and metallurgical coal.

The AIM-, ASX- and JSE-listed company holds a 70% shareholding in the Uitkomst colliery.

Formerly known as Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL), MC Mining said protests, road blockages, and attacks targeting transport vehicles – which had been reported troughout KwaZulu-Natal – had also affected the towns and communities where most of the Uitkomst mine employees and contractors live.

“Temporarily halting the colliery operations should also discourage activists from entering the Uitkomst site,” said MC Mining’s interim CEO, Sam Randazzo.

“Authorities have deployed security forces to areas where protests are occurring, and we remain hopeful of a speedy resolution so that our employees and contractors can return to work and for recommencement of operations at the Uitkomst colliery.”

However, the company said the situation remained fluid.

The Minerals Council of South Africa said there had been reports of some disruptions to road transport in Gauteng, resulting in some deliveries and transport of product being delayed.

“Some shipments via Richards Bay have also delayed as port employees were unable to reach the port. Shipments have either been delayed and, in some cases, rerouted,” said spokesperson Charmane Russell. 

She added that a number of companies have suspended road freight to KwaZulu-Natal, and there that there was concern that vital supplies such as diesel and chemicals will be impacted; however, “alternative routes are being considered”.

Road freight disruption started last week, with the blockading and burning of trucks along the N3 highway connecting KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

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