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07 Dec Mining


Fleur Honeywill is surely expressing the private feelings of many a hardheaded miner when she says she nearly wept when first drill results showed she had a mine.

“As soon as they brought the coal to surface I could see it was export quality,” she says. Export quality coal fetches a higher price than the domestic coal supplied to Eskom.

Honeywill is MD of HCI Khuselo Coal, a private company established by Khuselo Women Investments. Formerly of Harmony Gold and BHP Billiton’s Ingwe Coal, Honeywill cut her teeth at the National Untion of Mineworkers of SA. Her move into the corporate world was aimed at fighting the battle for transformation from within. Now, in the parlance of Marxism, she owns the means of production.

Honeywill’s partners in Khusela Women Investments are Khosi Sibisi, who was head of preferential procurement at Telkom, and Khetiwe McClain, also at Harmony.

Honeywill is keeping close to Eskom, which is trying to fascilitate new sources of coal. However, Eskom is in a bind, as it has “fixed cost plus” long-term contracts with all the majors – often spanning 40 years. It can’t break those contracts to satisfy empowerment.

Source: Finweek – David McKay