Mining investment company Menar invited Journalists to their Canyon Coal Mine in Phalanndwa Colliery Delmas Mpumalanga Province. It was a two-days project aiming at equipping Journalists with greatest competence needed in covering mining Industry stories.
The rise of fake news and bias stories from many media houses and Social Media triggered the Menar to have such initiative.
Although mining had been painted with negative stories in South Africa and Africa, they are many positive stories that are hidden from the public. On my visit as a Journalist to Canyon coal Mine a lot has been uncovered through interviews with Mine employees and Senior Managers. The Canyon Coal Mine doesn’t theorise the issue of hiring locals as they are proven to employ 80% of its employees are Victor Khanyi Local Municipality residents where the Mine is situated.
Speaking to the visited Journalists, Canyon Mine General Manager said, “the key success for every mine in South Africa is a well-managed integrated stakeholder relations Communication. The future for Canyon Coal Mine is still brighter with the second phase of Ukufisa Project still in the pipeline for 2019, anticipated to boost job creations and coal production by 400 000tpm and increasing Canyon Coal’s production to more than 10Mtpa”.
Although crisis of fatalities in the Mining sector is a serious challenge hovering around the sector, it must be recognised that a lot has been done to eliminate the fatalities to the Industry as Canyon Coal Mine managed to report zero fatalities for the past 5 years.
The Canyon Coal Mine uses sub-Contractors and emerging Miners on ad hoc basis which increases and expose previous disadvantaged majoring to the Mining Sector.
It’s been a normal trend for the Mine to have a sour relation with communities surrounding the Mine accusing the Mine of Many irregular operations, however it is surprising with Canyon Coal Mine to know that Community Forums had been formed to liaison with the Mine for any Developments that are happening in the Mine which smoothen the relationship.
The South African Mining Industry can still return to its glorious days of economic giant only through Government Mining Friendly Policies and inclusive Mining Approach. A lot can be learned from Canyon Coal Mine.
By Phathakahle Sibiya