Johannesburg - Transnet Freight Rail's improved service is helping the mining industry, the Chamber of Mines said on Friday.
"We believe that the leadership of Transnet deserves to be acknowledged for their sterling effort in increasing rail transportation efficiencies," chamber CEO Bheki Sibiya
"The mining industry depends to a large extent on efficient freight rail transportation," he said.
From July 2011 to the end of October, the tonnage of coal delivered each month to Richards' Bay Coal Terminal by Transnet Freight Rail was above 6 million.
This was an increase from the year's previous highest figure of 5.6 million tonnes delivered in March, according to the chamber.
"This commendable increase in the number of tonnes transported by Transnet Freight Rail to the various ports contributes significantly to the revenues accruing from exports through foreign exchange earnings into our economy," Sibiya said.
The chamber said there had been improvements in the freight rail transportation of commodities on the Sishen to Saldanha Bay railway line for iron ore, and the Hot as Hell (north of Sishen) to Port Elizabeth for manganese.
"We are further delighted to hear of plans to relocate the manganese loading terminal from Port Elizabeth to Coega where there is potential for expansion," Sibiya said.