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Exxaro still keen on copper after Botswana setback

Exxaro Resources, a South African coal mining company, is exploring potential acquisitions of copper and manganese assets as part of its strategy to diversify, according to CEO Nombasa Tsengwa. Shares of Exxaro rose by 5.19% at 0910 GMT following the announcement of a special dividend of 5.72 rand per share, alongside a regular payout of 10.10 rand per share.

The company reported a 22% decline in headline earnings to 11.33 billion rand ($609.19 million) last year, attributed to logistics constraints and softened coal prices. Despite this, Exxaro ended the year with approximately 14.8 billion rand in net cash.

Based in Johannesburg, Exxaro, which also holds interests in iron ore and renewable energy, aims to capitalize on the global shift towards cleaner energy by acquiring copper and manganese assets.

Tsengwa stated, “We are actively seeking opportunities in the market, but we are not in a desperate position.” However, she did not disclose whether negotiations had commenced.

Exxaro previously expressed interest in purchasing the Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana, but lost out to China’s MMG, which acquired the assets for around $1.9 billion.

Tsengwa emphasized Exxaro’s comprehensive awareness of available opportunities in the market, stating, “There’s nothing that escapes our notice.”

Richard Lilleike, Chief Growth Officer, mentioned that Exxaro is evaluating various opportunities alongside its competitors, such as Thungela Resources. Both companies face profitability challenges in the South African market, including insufficient rail capacity for coal exportation.

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