The African Development Bank has granted a R2.2 billion loan to Kalagadi Manganese to complete the funding requirements of its integrated mining and beneficiation project at Hotazel in Northern Cape and to part-finance the construction of the smelter plant in the Eastern Cape.

This is the African Development Bank’s first mining beneficiation and industrial project in South Africa.

The project, which was launched in December 2013 by President Zuma, has considerable social development implications as it has to date created about 12 500 jobs during the construction phase, with a total of 7 468 of these being direct.

“This project comes with significant spill-over effects in terms of household income, skills transfer, critical infrastructure development such as electricity and water, as well as tax revenue that will be generated,” said Mrs Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, Kalagadi Manganese Executive Chairperson.

“One of the measurable ways of securing the place of women in an economy is through the actual ownership of the means of production. Studies have shown that the economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite for sustainable development, pro-poor growth and the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals.”

“This move reaffirms the Bank’s commitment to mainstreaming gender equality in its operational priorities which include infrastructure and private sector development, among others. The conclusion of this loan also serves as proof that South Africa is indeed an investor friendly destination,” concluded Mashile-Nkosi.

At full production, the mine will produce 3 million tonnes per annum of manganese ore, which will be beneficiated to 2.4 million tonnes of high grade manganese ore per annum. The project is in hot commissioning and production ramp up phase, with stable production expected to be reached in April 2014.