Friday, December 14, 2018
Daphne Mashile-Nkosi

Daphne Mashile-Nkosi

Kalagadi Manganese

TENACIOUS is the best description of Daphne Mashile-Nkosi who, for nearly two decades, has been the face and voice of the $1.4bn Kalagadi Manganese mine and sinter plant, now coming into production. A champion of women and transformation in mining, Mashile-Nkosi has fought hard for her place. Who can forget how she laid into ArcelorMittal, a 50% partner in the project, following a dispute around corporate governance, as well as the Industrial Development Corporation, the state-owned investor, whom she charged with failing to support the project? 2018 will be interesting though. As a producer, Kalagadi Manganese will have to compete in a volatile pricing market against some long-standing players, and keep the mine humming along – hopefully incident-free. The South African manganese industry is in urgent need of consolidation. Whether Kalagadi is the hunter or the hunted depends on the final quality of the assets, cost control, and the willingness of the partners to stay the course. Mashile-Nkosi is too wedded to the project and the ideology she has built around it – with ambitions to add a smelter – to be easily persuaded to sell, we suspect.


Mashile-Nkosi grew up in poverty as one of four children in Pilgrims Rest. She holds a diploma in small business management from Wits Business School and serves on a number of boards in the private and public sector. Her rise to prominence is the stuff of legend, and an inspiration for women everywhere seeking success in business.