Feature image credit: Wikimedia

BSE-listed coal developer Minergy, which is looking to develop its 100% owned 390 Mt Masama coal project in Botswana’s Mmambula Coalfield, has appointed a new CEO following the retirement of current CEO Andre Bojé.

Having successfully steered Minergy through its listing and mine development after having conceived a company strategy that has positioned the company to achieve its objective of becoming a significant player in southern African coal mining and trading, Bojé will remain involved in the company to retain oversight and strategic responsibility for group coal marketing and sales for a period of 12 months.

He will also remain part of the team tasked with ensuring the successful listing of Minergy on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

Morne du Plessis has now been appointed as CEO designate and will step into the position of CEO on 1 August 2019. This followed an extensive candidate selection process, led by Minergy’s Remuneration and Nomination Committee.

Du Plessis, currently the CFO has extensive experience in the southern African coal mining and trading sector, particularly in South Africa.

He is a chartered accountant with an MBA from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland and has held top management positions for several coal mining and trading groups, including contract mining and beneficiation service provider Genet SA, junior coal miner Umcebo Mining Group, and JSE-listed junior coal miner and trader, Wescoal Holdings.

Du Plessis has been a Director on the board of the Minergy since January 2017 and has been an integral part of the operational team that developed the Masama project.

“The project is at a stage where it needs hands on executive attention so it’s the right time to step back,” says Bojé, adding that “there is an excellent team in place to progress Masama to where we have consistently believed it should be, one of the leading coal suppliers in the southern African region”.

The commitment to growth within Minergy is further underpinned with several additional appointments having been made recently, including those of financial manager Julius Ayo, general manager of mining Siyani Makwakwago, and SHE manager Herbert Kebafetotse.

Above and beyond these senior appointments, Martin Bartle, the MD of Minergy Coal (Pty) Ltd has responsibility for the overall performance of the company embracing profitability, mining operations, processing and safety.

Minergy has furthermore opened local offices in the villages of Medie and Lentsweletau primarily to ensure that detailed skills audits are conducted and also provide a contact point for various communities to interact with the project. At the moment, of the 246 employees on the mine site, 236 or 96% are Batswana.

Training at the mine site is taking place, mainly through subcontractors, and primarily involving machine operation. “As we transition from the project phase to full production, a vast amount of training will continue to take place and, in this phase, we will really be building coal expertise within Botswana,” Du Plessis assures.