In July, MTE will hit the Northern Cape with the Beeshoek, Hotazel and Kathu combo shows, which promise to be an impact-filled experience for suppliers to the booming iron-ore and manganese operations in this region.

The MTE combo shows prove to be particularly cost effective for suppliers as they target areas located a great distance from the Johannesburg hub, where many supplier headquarters are stationed. The combo shows give suppliers an opportunity to see decision makers across a large number of the biggest operations in the region in a matter of three action-packed days.

Andrew Macnamara, operations director at MTE, notes that this year Beeshoek was added to the combo to cater to the growth in the area and the requirements of the operations there, who want to engage with MTE and send their ‘troops’ to absorb all the tech innovation which has transpired over the past four years, since the last MTE expo held there.

The Beeshoek Mining & Technical Exhibition is the first of the three expos and will take place on 18 July 2023 at the Ammosal Rec Club between 13h00-17h00. The Assmang Beeshoek teams will be visiting the onsite show and Anglo American Kumba’s Kolomela decision makers indicated they would “make-a-turn” too.

Macnamara says, “The manganese operations in the region are also pumping.”

Kalagadi Manganese (a black women led company that is 44% owned by Kgalagadi Alloys, 36% by Kalahari Resources and 20% by the Industrial Development Corporation – IDC), and the Rainbow Minerals Assmang Black Rock mine, with its fully digitalised control-room, are both operations that promise to visit the second leg of the tour – being the Hotazel Mining & Technical Exhibition, which will take place on 19 July at the Hotazel Rec Club from 13h00-17h00. The second leg of the tour will focus on both underground and open cast mining.

Kumba Iron Ore Limited is a big player the Northern Cape, where the iron ore industry is, as Macnamara out it earlier with reference to Beeshoek, “currently booming”. Producing iron ore for the global steel industry at its Kolomela and Sishen mines in the province, Kumba exports iron ore to customers including China, Japan, South Korea and a number of countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Verifying the growth in the area in her comment on the Kumba production and sales for the first quarter (ended 31 March 2023), Kumba’s chief executive, Mpumi Zikalala, said, “Operationally, Kumba delivered a solid production performance with volumes increasing by 14% to 9.4 million tonnes, largely driven by a strong recovery from our Kolomela mine. Sales volumes were maintained at 9.5Mt.” Explaining the growth in the industry, Zikalala noted that economic activity in China strengthened on the back of pro-growth policy decisions. This improved demand from China is expected to offset the slowdown in other markets. “The demand outlook for our high-quality iron ore product continues to be positive, given the steel intensity of the global energy transition. We continue to collaborate with several of our steel producing customers on the advancement of low carbon steelmaking processes.”

Innovation in this sector therefore abounds – Anglo American plc recently announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with H2 Green Steel, a Swedish hydrogen and steel producer, to study and trial the use of premium quality iron ore products, including from Kumba, as feedstock for H2 Green Steel’s direct reduced iron production process.

Kumba’s Sishen mine – the largest iron-ore open cast mine in South Africa – is one of the operations being targeted by the last and final show in MTE’s combo tour – the Kathu expo due to take place on 20 July at Hoerskool Kathu from 13h00-17h00. The Assmang Khumani open cast mine teams will also be marketed to by MTE to visit this expo.

The Kathu show 2022. This year’s Kathu Mining & Industrial Exhibition is due to take place on 20 July at Hoerskool Kathu from 13h00-17h00.
Image credit: ©Andrew Macnamara, Mining and Technical Exhibitions

“If Kumba’s performance is anything to go by, the Northern Cape MTE combo shows promise to be an exciting hub of activity. If you are a serious supplier to the area, you need to be there! Contact myself, Sheldon or Cathy to book your spot for this highlight in our annual MTE calendar,” concludes Macnamara.

The Hotazel show 2022. This year’s Hotazel Mining & Technical Exhibition will take place on 19 July at the Hotazel Rec Club from 13h00-17h00.
Image credit: ©Andrew Macnamara, Mining and Technical Exhibitions