Transnet had taken over the operations at an inland terminal for the loading and handling of manganese at Lohatlha in the Northern Cape. The terminal which is situated about 100 km from South Africa’s manganese belt in the Hotazel area is specially designed to service emerging mines.
Transnet took control of the terminal at the beginning of July 2018, five years after it was operated by a private operator, SAFreight Logistics (Saflog).
Saflog’s contract to operate the Lohatlha terminal came to an end in May 2018.
The manganese terminal will be operated by Transnet Port Terminal (TPT) with the commodity transported through Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) networks to the ports.
The Lohatlha terminal is the biggest inland terminal out of the three operated by TPT. It handles about 1.8 million tonnes of manganese per year which could reach up to 2 million tonnes at full capacity.
“Operating cargo aggregation and consolidation for effective rail transfer, not only in coastal ports but also in inland terminals, demonstrates Transnet’s ability to apply its core competencies innovatively as we continue to connect the region,” Gert De Beer, Chief Business Development Officer at Transnet, said.
The project is part of Transnet’s manganese expansion programme which will see the increase of export capacity through the upgrade of the rail network between the Hotazel area and Coega in the Eastern Cape and the provision of the new bulk terminal at the Port of Ngqura.
South Africa accounts for close to 75% of global manganese reserves.