“The basic Steelworks – that is, the core project including the energy package, bulk storage, materials handling facilities and local infrastructure contributions – will come in at a budgeted value of $12.9 billion. We work in US Dollars because a substantial portion of the project cost is denominated in U.S. Dollars and even a small change in the rand/dollar exchange rate can make a substantial difference to the ZAR value of the project.
Our Project baseline rate of exchange is USD1=R15, so that gives us a project base date value in Rands of R193.5 billion.”
Wayne MacPhail [Treasury and Financial Director]

"Of course, in the context of the macro project, we have just signed an agreement with DNI – a company that holds the patents for the optimum, most cost effective process for nickel extraction from lateritic ores – and we are looking at the practicality of carrying out the last phase of the extraction process for nickel ores on our site. The process plants that we will be building at the offshore mining sites also absorb a lot of stainless steel in their components [because it is an acid-intense process] and so we will probably be putting up extensive manufacturing works in the Coega EDZ.
It is very early days but I guesstimate [and this is a very, very rough thumbsuck indeed] another USD 1.5 billion (ZAR 22.5 billion]in manufacturing machinery and equipment, including some pretty intensive training facilities."
Stephen Rust – [Chief Operations Officer and Engineering Director]

"Yes, we are still on track."
Stephen Rust – [Chief Operations Officer and Engineering Director]

"We expect to see our proof of concept numbers largely confirmed with an IRR in the mid to high twenty percentiles.
With the implosion of Eskom, we feel somewhat vulnerable in the energy section of the plant and we will be having talks with a number of innovative green players to see if we can pull back our energy costs of production – and with some of the OEM’s to see what they can bring to the table in terms of effective cogeneration.
An important aspect of our project is going to be how green we can make it – but we cannot afford to sacrifice the sustainability that comes with profitability, for short term capital reduction. So I think that while we will probably retain our return on investment, the investment values may tend to creep upward."
Dr. Johan (Jo) Kruger – [CEO]

"It is all subject to modelling the return on capital for each successive step in the design roll-out before we make the design freeze decisions inside our BFS process."
Wayne MacPhail [Treasury and Financial Director]

"This project is already 7 years from its inception in 2012. The plant concepts, layout and processes are, at this stage, very clearly defined. The cost of production numbers are good and they are now underpinned with rare commodity security from international mining resources. That makes the project portable.
So it is probably reasonable to say that the project will definitely go ahead. Perhaps not in South Africa – and that would be heartbreaking both for us and our empowerment partners– but perhaps the infrastructure is too eroded and the political situation too volatile to provide the necessary support for a project of this magnitude – we will be able to make that judgement call before the end of the year – but the funding will certainly be available for the project -perhaps in some more amenable location."
Wayne MacPhail [Treasury and Financial Director]

"Well, if you are talking by mass, then our local iron and chromite and manganese and coal inputs [you need coal to transit the iron to steel as part of the process] would amount to 90% by weight of the finished austenitic stainless steel. Of course, the nickel is really expensive and forms much more than 10% of the finished material cost."
Stephen Rust – [Chief Operations Officer and Engineering Director]

"We will need to import most of our nickel – there are nickel deposits in Africa in which we will participate mining and on-site processing-wise where warranted and cost-effective, but not in anything like the quantities we are looking at. We will also need to import the bulk of our molybdenum requirements.
About ten percent by volume of the finished austenitic stainless will be made out of imported ores and materials."
Stephen Rust – [Chief Operations Officer and Engineering Director]

"By partnering with local mining houses we will, in effect, provide miners with offtake agreements for their ores and concentrates for up to 50-years.

You know, prior to 2008 South Africa provided the rest of the world with 60% [that’s right, sixty percent] of its charge ferrochrome for stainless steel making. Then we had the great strike. Offtakes were simply not renewed after that – who wants supply from a source where you could end up closing your business down because you have no chrome for 6 months? So now we supply less than 10% - and that means we have shut down, mothballed and abandoned mines for fifty percent of the whole world’s new stainless-steel production of chrome. We calculate that since 2008 the economy has lost some 420 000 jobs from chrome miners alone.

Our manganese mines are in trouble and we would provide baseline offtake to prevent any more closures of ferromanganese plants and we may well be able to restore the manganese mining industry to stability, and perhaps even prosperity.

You see, when you lose a mine, you don’t just lose the mining jobs- you lose the grocery jobs and the new car jobs and the petrol station jobs and the stationery jobs and the transport jobs and on and on and on. You grind prosperity down into abject poverty.

We would pick up the cream of those mines and reinstate the bulk of those lost jobs. Strategically, however, we would need to be very careful to avoid being held to ransom by megalomaniacs who are prepared to wipe out the economy to score political points or to fill their own back pockets - it is one of the risks that we will have to address during the BFS.

But you know, our project’s most important contribution, perhaps even more important than the stainless steel we produce, will be the manufacturing factories that we are putting up to make finished products. We can place these at strategic locations in South Africa to provide islands of production and financial stability around which our economy can regroup.

At the end of the day, applying SASSDA’s formulae for computing job creation from mining, stainless steelmaking and downstream value-add activities, we come up with the fact that the project, 3 years after the commissioning of phase 3, will have created some 9 million jobs. I am a very poor mathematician but I can share with you our detailed calculations that are even more conservative than those used by SASSDA. They reflect an additional job creation of some 7.5 million jobs.

This level of employment creation combined with the optimum sustainable sizing [more than 3 million tpa or less than 500 000 tpa] and sustainability levels is what has motivated the conception, sizing and integrated nature of the project."
Dr. Johan (Jo) Kruger – [CEO]

"The demand for stainless steel and stainless steel products comes off the back of manufacturing expansion. As the first phase of our plant goes into production we will absorb, into our factories and production facilities, more than twice as much stainless steel than is currently being manufactured in South Africa.

It is out of this integrated concept that we achieve both the value-add and the stability and sustainability of the Lamergyre business growth model. "
Dr. Johan (Jo) Kruger – [CEO]


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