The Two Rivers Platinum (TRP) Merensky Concentrator Plant project in the Limpopo Province of South Africa is set to be commissioned later this year. The new mine development consists of underground mining operations with associated waste dumps and ore stockpile, a processing plant, tailings management facilities and supporting infrastructure including plant-related water supply, maintenance facilities and offices. The project involves mining the Merensky Reef at Two Rivers Mine, and total capital expenditure for the project is expected to be approximately ZAR5.7 billion (approximately US$317 million).
The WMN Attorneys legal team working on this project consists of managing partner, Zama Ngcobo, associates Tamlyn Avis, Bongani Memani and Kagiso Mathebula, as well as candidate attorneys Nyaradzai Magumise and Naledi Sebitlo.
Ngcobo has a decade of experience in the construction industry, and based on this strong foundation, the team was instructed to draft and negotiate the two main engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contracts for the project.
The agreements were unique in that the project was to be delivered on a fast-track basis in the bespoke EPCM agreement, and were to include contractual mechanisms to incentivise early completion and discourage delayed completion by applying penalties.
In addition to finalising the EPCM agreements, the team is advising on all of the construction, supply and installation and mining services agreements, professional appointments and other agreements related to the development of the project. It is anticipated that over 200 agreements will be concluded under each EPCM contract over the three-year project period. Among other duties, the team is also responsible for vetting all of the client’s potential suppliers to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Mining Charter.
“Our vast experience in advising on all aspects of project delivery will enable us to provide practical and effective legal solutions in line with the project requirements and client’s commercial imperatives,” commented Ngcobo.
Construction commenced mid-2021 and the project remains in line with the programme, with no contractual claims having been submitted. The project team credits this to the strength of the conditions of contract.
“Having advised ARM since 2020, and more specifically having been Two Rivers Platinum’s primary provider of commercial law services and supporting all of its mining operations since 2020, our team is best placed and has played a crucial role in ensuring that all agreements concluded pursuant to the Merensky Project do not expose ARM/TRP to any risk,” emphasised Ngcobo. “Given the fast-tracked nature of the project, the team has worked tirelessly over the past year and a half and will continue to work tirelessly over the next year and a half in order to ensure our client’s deadlines are met.”
Ngcobo was recently featured in the Mining Elites in Africa 2023 yearbook for her team’s work on the Merensky Project. Each year Mining Review Africa, through its yearbook, features projects and leaders making a difference in Africa. “We are delighted to have been featured and have our capabilities highlighted. We remain grateful to our clients who continue to trust us with their business,” Ngcobo concluded.
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