Seriti Resources
Feature image credit: Wikimedia

Black-owned and controlled coal mining company Seriti Resources has concluded an acquisition agreement with South32 to acquire South 32’s 91.835% shareholding in South Africa Energy Coal.

Located in the coalfields of Mpumalanga, SAEC includes four collieries – Khutala Colliery, Klipspruit Colliery, Middelburg Colliery and the Wolvekrans Colliery – as well as three processing plants, producing energy coal for the domestic and export market.

Included on the Seriti Resources side of the transaction are two trusts which will acquire equity on behalf of employees and communities. The remaining 8.165% interest in South Africa Energy Coal (SAEC) is held by a black economic empowerment consortium led by the Phembani Group.

The purchase price includes an up-front cash payment of approximately R100 million. In addition, South32 will receive 49% of the free cash flow generated by SAEC from the date the transaction is concluded until March 2024. That component will be limited to a maximum of R1.5 billion a year.

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Fulfilment of the transaction is subject to the following conditions being met:

  • Approval from South African and certain foreign competition authorities;
  • Approval from the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) in terms of Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act;
  • Approval from Richards Bay Coal Terminal;
  • Consent from Eskom for the change of control of SAEC and agreement in relation to the Duvha Coal Supply Agreement between Eskom and SAEC; and
  • Confirmation from the DMRE that it will accept the substitution of rehabilitation guarantees provided by South32 with rehabilitation guarantees provided by Seriti.

Subject to the conditions being satisfied, the transaction would be expected to close in nine to twelve months.

“Finalisation of this transaction will be a significant milestone for Seriti in our ambition to become a black-owned and controlled mining champion,” says Seriti Resources CEO Mike Teke.

“The SAEC acquisition will enable us to offer further secured, long-term coal supply solutions to Eskom as a demonstrable commitment to sustainably supporting South Africa’s energy needs. The combination of our energy coal businesses will realise further operational and technical efficiencies enabling us to better service our customers by offering competitive energy solutions.

“We remain fully committed to all our stakeholders and we welcome the participation of the SAEC employees and communities in this acquisition.”

South32 CEO Graham Kerr said: “We ran an exhaustive and competitive process and we believe Seriti Resources as an established operator is ideally positioned to unlock the potential of SAEC’s existing domestic and export operations, including its significant untapped resource base.

“The sale of our interest in SAEC will enable the business to continue to operate safely and sustainably into the future for the benefit of its employees, customers and local communities, consistent with South Africa’s transformation agenda.”

Seriti Resources, through its operating subsidiary, Seriti Coal, currently operates three large-scale, opencast and underground thermal coal mines, the New Vaal, New Denmark and Kriel mines, which it acquired from Anglo American, as well as various life extension coal resources and closed collieries.

Together with its partners, Seriti intends to develop its New Largo project into a large-scale, opencast coal mine capable of providing the base load fuel requirements for Kusile power station.