Palabora Europe Limited (formerly Mandoval Limited) was founded in 1944 for the European distribution of crude vermiculite from the Transvaal Ore Company in South Africa.
In 1968 Rio Tinto Zinc acquired all the shares in the company and the following year transferred ownership to Palabora Mining Company thus integrating mining and marketing activities. Gradually the business expanded by entering the downstream production of sealants, fire resistant coatings and acoustic plasters with the establishment of Mandoval Coatings Limited.
In 1998 the coatings business was sold to allow Palabora to focus its industrial minerals operations on the mining and supply of raw vermiculite.
Driven by a desire to sell a branded product, we changed the name of Mandoval to Palabora Europe Limited in August 2000 and a new logo accompanied the change. This change not only reflects a sharper focus on our marketing activities but also strengthens the link with Palabora Mining Company.
Palabora Mining Company Limited extracts and beneficiates copper and vermiculite from its mines in the Limpopo Province. The company was incorporated in South Africa in August 1956. It is South Africa’s only producer of refined copper. The mining of the company’s copper ore-body commenced in 1956. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the company’s open-pit copper mine and associated processing plants produced over 2.7 million tonnes of copper.
During the early 1990s, the company embarked on a series of feasibility studies on underground mine. In 1996, it announced that it would proceed with the development of an underground block caving mine with a production rate of 30,000 tonnes per day.