According to Reuters, Optimum’s idle of the deal will remain through the duration of the mine’s “business rescue,” which is the South African version of an American Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The practice is allowed under the country’s Companies Act. One source told local media the move was necessary to avoid further losses.
Those involved in the rescue have told Reuters that Optimum, which produces 10 million metric tons (mt) annually, has offered a temporary coal supply to the power group. While it discusses a new supply deal, Optimum is requesting that the supply be sold at the cost of production, which is a fee that exceeds Eskom’s current rate.
Parent company Glencore put Optimum into business rescue three weeks ago, resulting from Eskom’s placement of penalties on the miner because of sub-spec quality.