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Johannesburg - Diversified metals and mining company, South32 on Thursday awarded a three-year core mining contract worth R158 million to a Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment company, Modi Mining, at its Wolvekrans Middleburg coal mine in Mpumalanga.

Modi Mining will work closely with the Wolvekrans mining and planning teams to plan and deliver various sub-processes, including top soiling and stripping overburden. Modi Mining renders differentiated contract mining services, including supplying specialised services for both underground and surface operations.

It provides contract mining; sweepings and vamping; underground construction; rail installations; services pipes installations; power cable suspension; box front installations among others. Modi Mining was founded 10 years ago and is co-owned by a mining engineer and entrepreneur, Samuel Molefi, and a female entrepreneur Kebareng Moagi. South32 president and chief operating officer for Africa Region, Mike Fraser, said transfomation was central to their efforts to make a meaningful contribution to the social and economic development of South Africa.

Fraser said the award was particularly significant as it was the first core mining contract awarded to a 100 percent black-owned company. "It marks a significant step forward in our plans to deliver a more inclusive supplier landscape," Fraser said. "We welcome Modi Mining as a strategic mining partner of South32. We are impressed with their focus on safety, their commitment to continuous improvement, and their support for the local communities in which they operate."

"We look forward to working together to successfully deliver our projects at Wolvekrans." Modi Mining has also committed to creating downstream opportunities for local labour and sub-contracting, aiming to source 80 to 90 per ent of their labour from the nearby local communities.