Black Royalty Minerals Koornfontein, part of the Makole Group, has appointed Zandile Mdanda as CEO of Koornfontein mine in Middelburg, with immediate effect. Mdanda will be assisted by Jacob du Plessis, together with a management team that has extensive knowledge of the asset.

According to Makole Group’s CEO Ndavhe Mareda, Makole has taken this bold move as a continued sign of confidence in black excellence, and particularly in women.

Zandile Mdanda as CEO of Koornfontein. Image credit: Makole Group

Zandile Mdanda as CEO of Koornfontein. Image credit: Makole Group

Mdanda’s career is grounded in coal – she has worked her way up the mining corporate ladder. Her first position was as a trainee geologist at Anglo Coal and she eventually held the position of senior geologist. She then obtained a position as chief geologist at Xstrata Coal (now Glencore).  She was appointed chief geologist to the general manager project at African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation before moving to the Milele Group.

“Zandile is an excellent candidate as she brings both enormous understanding of the coal sector together with strong knowledge of the business, investment and economic landscape,” says Makole Group CEO Ndavhe Mareda.

“I am excited but equally ready to take on this mammoth task of bringing this mine into operation.  Coal remains responsible for 25% of South Africa’s mining revenue and apart from playing a significant role within the economy, it is still a critical commodity from an energy generation and stability perspective,” says Mdanda.

“It’s also an opportunity to add much-needed impetus to the Middleburg economy and I’m looking forward to working with the Makole and Koornfontein teams to take the mine to new heights,” she adds.

Mdanda qualified from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BSc. (Hons) Geology and she subsequently obtain a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (PDBA) from GIBS, an MBA from Wits Business School and is currently studying towards a Masters in Philosophy in International Business (MPhil) via GIBS.

Mareda says after meeting all regulatory and licencing approvals, Koornfontein is scheduled to commence operations as soon as outstanding contractual issues with Eskom have been resolved.