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Stone Quarrying, Clay and Sandpits
The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) lists 881 quarrying operations located throughout South Africa. 92.2 million tonnes of mined aggregate, clay, natural sand, dimension stone and limestone to the value of R9.4bn was sold locally during 2016 while the value of exports of quarry products reached US$61.5m. Although the majority of quarries are individually owned by small operators, a number of large companies are also involved in the sector. These include cement producers like Lafarge, PPC, AfriSam and Dangote Cement that own limestone quarries, construction companies such as Raubex that own sand and aggregate operations, and brick manufacturers like Corobrik that own clay quarries.
A challenging environment
The quarrying sector is largely dependent on the construction industry for demand for its products and the decrease of 0.5% in the construction sector in the second quarter of 2017, following the decrease of 0.8% during the first quarter, has resulted in trying times for companies. Rapidly rising input costs and regulatory uncertainty are also proving challenging. During June 2017 the Chamber of Mines lodged an urgent application to the High Court to prevent the implementation of the Reviewed Mining Charter published earlier that month. The organisation stated that should the Mining Charter be implemented, it will “destroy the very industry whose survival is necessary to give effect to the objects of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.”
The report on Stone Quarrying, Clay and Sandpits examines current conditions, developments and investments as well as factors that influence the success of the sector. The report profiles 20 companies ranging from major players to smaller role players such as Attaclay (Pty) Ltd, which has one clay mine in Gauteng, and Silica Quartz (Pty) Ltd which mines one silica sand quarry in Mpumalanga. Also profiled is Brikor Ltd which went into provisional liquidation in 2103 and is currently selling off a number of assets.