Impumelelo Mine opening

The money Sasol has spent on technology at the mine to ensure the safety of their employees is well spent.


Impumelelo mine opened in January 2011 and the mine’s official opening was on Friday, 12 April. Today there are about 1760 workers and the completion of Phase 2 of Sasol’s R5.6 billion investment in the project sees the mine’s capacity at about 10.5 million tonnes per annum.
The cool morning on Friday saw the opening of the mine awaiting the arrival of the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Gwede Mantashe. Once the Minister had arrived, everyone took their seats and waited in anticipation for the speech of the Minister.
Mr Mantashe was born in the village of Lower Cala in the Eastern Cape. He received a B. Com degree from the University of South Africa (Unisa) in 1997 and completed his B. Com Honours degree in 2002. Mr Mantashe worked at Matla Coal where he joined the trade union movement. He became the Witbank branch chairperson of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1982, a position he held until 1984. He was then elected NUM Regional Secretary in 1985. After this he was further elevated when he was elected as National Organiser for the same union in 1988. From 1994 he served as the Assistant Secretary-General of NUM until March 1998 when he was elected as the General Secretary. He was elected as a local government councillor in 1995 and served until 1999. In 1995 Mantashe became the first trade unionist to be appointed to the Board of Directors of a Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed company, Samancor, a position he still holds today.
The money Sasol has spent on technology at the mine to ensure the safety of their employees is well spent. Some of the technology that was mentioned is the Proximity Detection Systems on electric trackless production machines. The system warns and stops the machine from operating when people get too close to the machines.
Another safety measure is the electronic trigger LED flickering light system. This system assists in the underground safety precautions by drawing the miner’s attention to the fact that there is movement in the roof.
Sasol released the following statement:
“Impumelelo is one of three world-class mines Sasol has constructed in the last decade as part of its R14 billion mine replacement programme and includes Thubelisha and Shondoni.
“In addition to sustaining some 4000 jobs, the new mines are critical to securing coal supply to Sasol Secunda Synfuels Operations up to at least 2050,” said Sasol Joint President and CEO Bongani Nqwababa.
“Sasol’s mining business, which falls under its upstream portfolio, is the third largest producer of coal in South Africa with an output of some 40 million tonnes per annum. The business contributes 13% to Sasol’s earnings and is integral to the global integrated chemicals and Energy Company’s long-term sustainability.”
Impumulelo means success in Nguni. May this mine be a huge success to Sasol! – Ané Prinsloo

Minister Gwede Mantashe
Steven Colin (CEO, Sasol), Pierre Jordaan (SVP Mining Operations, Sasol) and Minister Gwede Mantashe


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