The development financier has spent some R736 000 prepping up for operations at the quarry aggregate mine in Indwe some 120 km outside Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.
ECDC says the quarry, which has a lifespan of 30 years, remains ripe for private and public sector investment opportunities as it still requires some R200 million to fully equip it.
ECDC CEO Buhle Dlulane says the mine has secured two off-take agreements and it is already negotiating a supply contract with a local municipality for 1 500 RDP houses and several companies in road construction.
Subsequent off-take agreements and contracts will be financed through ECDC. The plan is to gradually expand operations and supply capacity beyond the 200 ha the mine currently occupies and to use the total available 1 000 ha of land for additional production capacity.
Initially approached by Blue Crane Resources and Minerals directors Sydney Stina and Mcebisi Limba who found the Indwe site and identified it as carrying aggregate quarry potential, ECDC then committed R736 000 in the preparation stages toward conducting geo-tech surveys, drilling and laboratory testing, environmental impact assessments and authorisation, mining works programme development, site layout plan, business planning and financial modelling as well as market off-take negotiations.
Limba says Blue Crane Mine’s primary focus is on supplying standard concrete stone products, crusher sand, specialised road stone and base course products, non-standard rock and crush products. In addition, Blue Crane is investigating other products such as sand (building, river and plaster sand), ready-mix concrete, ‘sabhunga’, as well as bricks and blocks.
“With the business and quarry operations accessible enroute the R63 road between Indwe and Dordrecht, the location is in close proximity to various government infrastructural developments in the former Transkei.
The company currently employs 40 people sourced from the local community and intends to increase the number once the off-take agreements that are under negotiations have been signed.