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State miner still eyes coal despite operating loss

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Cape Town - State-owned diamond mining company Alexkor has not given up on plans to venture into coal mining.
 
In 2013, the entity’s then CEO Percy Khoza said it planned to form partnerships with emerging black coal miners to diversify its operations away from diamonds, which have been in decline for a number of years.
 
Although Alexkor hasn’t embarked on any coal-related projects since the announcement, the state-owned company said it has submitted a strategic plan to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown for consideration.
 
The mining company appeared before parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on Wednesday morning to give feedback on its annual report for the 2014-15 financial year.
 
Alexkor reported an operating loss of R95.8m during the period under review, largely due to an impairment loss of R162m because of property it had transferred to the Richtersveld community without compensation.
 
Had it not been for the impairment, it would have shown an operating profit of R66.6m.
 
Alexkor was established in 1992 and undertakes marine and diamond mining activities in the Ricthersveld area. In 2007 the Richtersveld community won a land claim against the state-owned entity. This has led to a joint venture and a deed of settlement, whereby the company is obliged to establish a township and community business entities.

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