By Bahle Gama
Maloma Colliery says exploring other mineral extracts such as diamonds and gold would assist in boosting the economy.
This was said by Inyatsi Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jabu Shabangu who was representing the Maloma Colliery CEO during the Vusumnotfo Expo launch held at Tums Waterworld on Wednesday night. She said this would continue to cement the Kingdom as a solid player in the mining sector.
“According to His Majesty III, many other mineral surveys will be carried out over the Shiselweni and Lubombo regions in the coming years. Therefore, relying on the extraction of anthracite coal alone should not be the only point of focus,” she said.
The CFO stated that considering being better equipped to process minerals into finished goods is important.
“In addition to the export of raw iron ore, iron products can also be produced from smelting iron ore. Establishing a coal-generated power station in the country would also see the country generating its power and less reliant on neighbouring countries,” she said.
She said this could also create an opportunity for Eswatini to supply other nations with electricity.
“There exists an even greater opportunity in expanding localized skills, not only in the mining industry but in all supporting industries, contributing to Eswatini’s growth and decreasing unemployment rates across the board,” said Shabangu.
She elaborated that because anthracite is highly sought after, mining operations must consider the environment. Factors such as land reclamation, water conservation, as well as air pollution reduction are of paramount importance to ensure that operations are sustainable.
Therefore, eco-friendly mining practices are essential and have become a crucial part of operations to ensure the longevity of the mine and its workers.
“As Maloma Colliery continues to grow and push forward eco-friendly and sustainable mining, more jobs will be created for emaSwati, related to the extraction, processing, transportation, and other supporting functions,” she said.
These opportunities she said, will have a direct and immediate positive effect on the local communities/chiefdoms in which the mine currently operates.
“Although the colliery is the only active mine in Eswatini, part of the economic recovery plan attempts to increase mining activity, capitalising on the wide range of rich minerals that are found in the country,” she added.