AN audibly dismayed Mandi Glad told of how an R56.5m. fraud perpetrated at the company’s Vaalkrantz anthracite facility in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province was something “you wouldn’t expect from within the family”. It was a statement that marked Glad out as an involved entrepreneur – a position that brings with it focus and commitment: necessary qualities if the R134m junior is to withstand another year of muted coal prices. The response to the fraud was almost immediate, and final: Glad set down plans to sell Vaalkrantz parent company, Leeuw Mining. That decision nonetheless leaves Keaton vulnerable as a single asset operator of the 2.4 million tonnes/year (mtpy) Vanggatfontein colliery in Mpumalanga province. There is potential for a 1.4mtpy expansion through the nearby Moabsvelden, a development asset bought from Xceed Resources in 2014 for R195m, but Glad is ambiguous. Moabsvelden has not received government approvals that Glad construes as a positive because it gives the firm time to think. Reading between the lines, Glad’s Keaton is set back on its heels. The share lost 74% in 2015, the firm posted a hefty loss – largely through exceptional items – and held the dividend promised in the previous financial year. Will Glad stick or twist on the question of approving a capital intensive expansion project?
LIFE OF MANDI
Backed by the Pouroulis family, Glad was one of the founders of Keaton Energy where she was in charge of business development for the first few years before becoming CEO in 2012. Before Keaton, she started and ran several businesses, including video rental stores and a personnel agency, but she admits she got bored quickly.
- Web Address: www.keatonenergy.co.za