Rio Tinto has sold Menar its 74% stake in Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) in Zululand, South Africa.

The underground mine ZAC produces quality anthracite for international and domestic customers. It has more than 1,300 employees and contractors.

Menar’s Black Economic Empowerment partner Maweni Mining Consortium will continue to hold the remaining 26% of ZAC.

Menar operates and invests in South Africa through its controlling interest in Canyon Coal, which owns three coal mines in Mpumalanga, in addition to other related projects in Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Rio Tinto said that following the sale of interest it will continue to invest in Richards Bay Minerals and exploration for other minerals in South Africa.

"Menar said it intends to make a significant investment in the business to help the mine’s long-term sustainability."

When the acquisition was announced in February, Menar said it intends to make a significant investment in the business to help the mine’s long-term sustainability and associated employment.

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Until completion of the sale, Rio Tinto’s focus was on operating the mine safely.

The parties have not disclosed the transaction value.

In March, the colliery was closed due to an arson attack at the mine's Ngwabe shaft, injuring one person.

Image: ZAC produces anthracite for international and domestic customers. Photo: courtesy of Menar Holding.