Mining magnate raised by grandparents who spurred him on to start his own business

“Conquering the entrepreneurial journey did not feel foreign,” says Brian Ntlhaile, owner of RCPM Industries. Picture: Supplied

“Conquering the entrepreneurial journey did not feel foreign,” says Brian Ntlhaile, owner of RCPM Industries. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 4, 2024


Having been raised by grandparents with an entrepreneurial background is what spurred Brian Ntlhaile to start his own civil and mining company, RCPM Industries.

Ntlhaile’s company, based in the Northern Cape, is 100% black owned, with 85% youth ownership and 15% women ownership.

“The choice to study mining engineering was primarily based on opportunity since Kuruman is home to iron ore and manganese mines. Growing up in an entrepreneurial environment, my fascination with the field led to a firm commitment to ensuring that every project reflects top-notch quality, with safety as my foremost priority.

“The heart of my company lies in youth development, particularly in core skills. As a predominantly youth-owned venture, my focus is on providing the younger generation with skills that ensure sustainability in their lives.

“It's not just about empowering individuals; it's about breaking the cycle of poverty (including mental poverty) within the black community by passing on these crucial skills to future generations. This mission fuels my passion and dedication to the industry,” Ntlhaile told Business Report.

Having studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, his journey continued as a mining engineer, where he gained extensive skills in mining and civil engineering.

“Throughout my career, particularly as a retired mining engineer, I focused on ensuring the safe recovery of extracted commodities. This role equipped me with a diverse skill set, encompassing engineering, surveying (both practical and quantity), construction, management, problem-solving, financial management and project management. These skills have proven invaluable, positioning me as a key driver for our company's anticipated growth and success,” he said.

“Having been brought up by my grandparents, who were entrepreneurs, this set a core foundation for my entrepreneurial skills, thus, when incorporated with my acquired professional skills, conquering the entrepreneurial journey did not feel foreign,” he added.

Working with youth

Ntlhaile says he is passionate about empowering the youth through tangible actions.

He said, “A significant aspect of this commitment is creating employment opportunities within our industry. With a major ownership stake held by youth, our company places a great emphasis on youth development, focusing particularly on core skills.

“The goal is to provide today's youth with the skills necessary for long-term sustainability in their lives. By imparting these skills, we aim to break the cycle of poverty within the black community. This approach not only addresses immediate employment needs but also seeks to foster a legacy of skill-sharing for future generations, ensuring lasting impact and empowerment within the community.

“Ultimately, the country is in dire need of sustainable solutions, and the country’s youth is the solution,” he added.

Ntlhaile told Business Report what his company provides to the public.

“As a dedicated mining contractor, our aim is to evolve into a world-class firm, providing exemplary support to our valued clients. Our strategic location allows us to contribute significantly to the growth and development of the regions we serve, aligning with our commitment to excellence in the mining industry,” he said.

RCPM Industries currently does secondary contract mining work with Assmang Khumani and South32 Mamatwan.

“We also provide ad-hoc infrastructure development services to Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore, United Managanese of Kalahari (UMK) and Tshipi e Ntle. RCPM has also executed material handling scopes for South32 Wessels,” he added.

His company, RCPM Industries employs 50 people.