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Science & Engineering News South Africa

Omnia turns to battery metals to boost explosives business

Omnia Holdings declared a special dividend as increased demand for explosives, driven by battery metals exploration, boosts the company's prospects. After-tax profit was flat at R1.16bn in the year ended 31 March, compared with R1.15bn the year before, after fertiliser prices came off record highs, impacting earnings.
Omnia turns to battery metals to boost explosives business

Its explosives business helped offset that, bolstered by rising exploration budgets and activities, particularly in green and battery minerals, Omnia said.

The global shift away from polluting fuel sources such as coal has increased demand for cleaner energy minerals such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and copper, leading to more exploration projects.

Omnia declared a special dividend of R3.25 per share, in addition to an ordinary payout of R3.75 per share, returning R1.16bn to its shareholders.

"For the first time, we have equal profit from agriculture and mining, because we have always been known as an agriculture business," Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy said in an interview.

"What you see is the diversification benefit of the global earnings coming through from our mining business. It means our shareholders have a different, progressive asset that is diversified," he added.

Omnia's explosives unit BME operates in 17 African countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It also has partnerships in Australia and Indonesia, markets which Gobalsamy said were growing rapidly.

Source: Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day.

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