The Tshipi mining right application was approved in 2010 and after a 20-month construction and commissioning phase, Tshipi Borwa Mine railed and exported its first manganese ore.
Tshipi is an independently operated and managed, black empowered manganese ore producer. Tshipi é Ntle means “beautiful steel” in the local Tswana language.
Tshipi is not only the largest single manganese mine and exporter from South Africa but is also one of the five largest manganese ore exporters globally.
Based in the Kalahari Manganese Field (KMF), the largest manganese-bearing geological formation in the world, Tshipi Borwa Mine is a shallow open-cast operation developed on a large and homogenous ore body with a currently confirmed life of mine reserve of approximately 30 years.
Tshipi has an established and efficient export infrastructure, including a 8km private rail siding loop, and one of the fastest load-out stations in the Kalahari region with direct access to the Transnet rail link and ports in South Africa.
The mine operates through drill-and-blast and load-and-haul mining techniques. At the start of the mining process, the top soil is removed and stockpiled in a separate area for later use during the rehabilitation phase.
The various layers of the Kalahari formation are removed, followed by the harder banded ironstone, dolomite and manganese layers which are part of the Hotazel formation. Once exposed, the manganese ore is drilled, blasted and loaded onto a truck and hauled to the Company’s primary crusher which forms part of the processing facilities.
The Mine is operated in terms of a contractor-operator model, which has allowed it to become one of the lowest cost manganese ore exporters globally and a flexibly scaled production process in response to manganese ore price volatilities and market conditions.