Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Tuesday, 06 February 2024 13:51

Working together is key to Astron Energy's support for the mining sector.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Astron Energy Acting General Manager Commercial & Industrial, Axola Myendeki, says it is critical to work with all key stakeholders, particularly communities, to ensure the sustainability of the mining sector.

Astron Energy is participating in this week's Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

The 2024 Mining Indaba takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre under the theme Embracing the Power of Positive Disruption for a Bold New Future for African Mining.

"We operate the only coastal refinery, making Astron Energy a key contributor to energy security in Southern Africa. We supply world-class lubricants to more than eight African countries and our supply chain network is one of the best in the region. We are a young, innovative, vibrant and a proudly South African company."

Myendeki adds that Astron Energy is navigating the current economic climate through its singular vision "one Astron" focus, customer centricity, continuous improvement culture and its people, while continuing to be a responsible corporate citizen and driving sustainable economic growth.

The restarted Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton is critical in being able to supply a significant portion of the country and mining industry's product needs. South Africa consumes around 25 million barrels of crude per annum and Astron Energy, through its refinery and through its import of finished product, is a significant contributor in meeting this demand.

The mining industry is still a bedrock of the South African economy and poised to be among the world's key sources of green energy metals and minerals such as copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the coming years. These are all used in the manufacture of renewable energy sources such as electric vehicle batteries.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said the mining sector made up more than half of exports in the first six months of 2023, amounting to around $30 billion.

The sector, despite strong headwinds, also still employs nearly half a million people, making it crucial to the socio-economic wellbeing of the country.

Myendeki says Astron Energy recognises that the company and mining sector's long-term success is intricately tied to the socio-economic environment in which it operates.

"This is why we collaborate with our customers on empowerment initiatives in the mining sector to support previously disadvantaged individuals, black-owned enterprises, as well as local communities, "Myendeki said.

"We are a proudly South African company and believe in creating a future together. We are committed to enabling our mining customers to operate in a safe, reliable and sustainable manner."

A key component of supporting small to medium sized enterprises (SMMEs) is the Astron Energy Development Fund (AEDF) which was set up in line with commitments made to the Department of Trade Industry and Competition.