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Redefining a new era of copper mining in South Africa

About Shirley Hayes

A qualified miner with a keen eye for copper, Shirley Hayes is the founder and CEO of SHiP. Having run her own quarrying business for several years, Hayes has extensive experience of surface mining and blasting. After starting out in the mining sector in 1997 as an admin clerk at the former Kelgran Africa Desert Rose granite quarry (near her hometown of Pofadder), she qualified as a magazine master, acquired a temporary blasting certificate in 1998 and qualified as a miner in 2001.

Following retrenchments at the quarry, Hayes turned her attention to alternative revenue-generating opportunities. With a second-hand bakkie and an old John Deere front-end loader at her disposal, she worked on feldspar recovery from old mine dumps. The revenues from this eventually allowed Hayes to set-up a few Feldspar mines. Hayes later shifted her focus to other minerals, before fully turning her attention to copper. Some of her employees she worked with on feldspar mining back then are still partners in SHiP today.

After identifying the Northern Cape Province as a major copper exploration area, Shirley invested her own capital to develop the Concordia tenement, covering 36 000 hectares of the most prospective copper targets in the area. She applied for the exploration rights at Concordia in July 2008 and it was granted in 2009. Today Hayes continues to build SHiP’s vision of developing the Northern Cape Province into one of the largest copper-producing districts in the world, while making sure SHiP delivers value to owners and investors and gives back to the communities it serves.