Mike Teke, CEO,
Optimum Coal
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 February 2010 – Optimum Coal Holdings Limited has announced its intention to float on the JSE Limited during the first half of 2010.

Revealing this development in a statement released here, the company confirmed that it had applied to list its shares in the general mining sector on the main board. A prospectus including full details of the offer was to be published in due course.

Optimum Coal is a black-owned and controlled South African mining group, and is one of South Africa’s largest coal mining companies with an extensive operational footprint located mainly in the Witbank coalfield region of Mpumalanga.

The operations include Optimum Collieries, a large opencast and underground mining complex comprised of four coal production areas with a reserve base in excess of 270 Mt of run-of-mine coal as at 30 June 2009, of which 191 Mt are classified as saleable.  

For the year ending 30 June 2009, Optimum Coal sold 9.3 Mt of coal, of which 45% was exported. The company also has a 9% interest in Richards Bay Coal Terminal where it is the largest single BEE shareholder with a 6.86 Mt export entitlement, of which 6.5 Mtpa are available for its own use.

Optimum Coal also owns an effective 19.2% interest in Koornfontein Mines in Mpumalanga, which as at 30 June 2009, had a reserve base of 46.5 Mt of run-of-mine coal, of which 30.7 Mt were classified as saleable. In addition, Koornfontein Mines owns a further 1.5 Mt export entitlement at RBCT for its own use.

“As a majority black-owned company, Optimum Coal is committed to being an industry benchmark in terms of successful BEE implementation,” said the statement. Currently, employee and community trusts own 25% of the company on an unencumbered basis.

It is anticipated that there will be an offer for subscription for new shares as the company intends to raise capital, and an offer for sale by certain shareholders. Details will be published in due course.

“The net proceeds are to be used to fund the company’s capital requirements, to repay debt already incurred in connection with the acquisition of the controlling interest in the Koornfontein Mines, to fund potential acquisitions and for general corporate purposes,” the statement added.

Optimum Coal CEO Mike Teke commented: “A listing will be a major milestone for the company. It will improve our access to capital, raise our profile and help retain talent and skills necessary for operations of our scale. All these will contribute positively to the growth of our business and strengthen our position in the local and export coal market,” he added.