Third-party freight rail operators hold the key to unlocking the full potential of South Africa’s mining industry, which is losing billions of rands each year because of delays and inadequate rail capacity to get minerals and resources to lucrative export markets.
The Minerals Council of South Africa has said that coal, iron ore and chrome companies missed out on about R35-billion last year from contracted volumes that couldn’t reach ports. Exxaro and Glencore both reported decreased sales last year, directly because of rail capacity shortfalls.
Without urgent attention, “the mining industry, the fiscus and the rail and port operator will again forgo any benefit from commodity prices by not exporting minerals to South Africa’s full potential,” the Council said. This contributed significantly to South Africa being ranked among the 10 least attractive jurisdictions for mining investment in the Fraser Institute’s annual mining industry survey last year.
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