Aug 17, 2012
Cape Town|Expertise|Gold|Port|Africa|Building|Business|CoAL|Diamonds|Engineering|Engineering News|Exploration|Export|Flow|Gas|India|Mining|Mining Weekly|Namibia|Nuclear|PROJECT|rail|Reinforcing|Africa|Australia|Morocco|Mozambique|Republic Of Congo|South Africa|Energy|Energy Mix|Flow|Methane Gas|Natural Gas|Off-shore Gas|Shale-gas|Environmental|Infrastructure|Iron Ore|Iron-ore|Martin Creamer|Sipho Nkosi|Susan Shabangu|Engineering News|World Cup
Gwala: South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 calls for more natural gas in the energy mix, cold-shoulders nuclear.
Creamer: Coal very much still there, going to be with us for 20-years, but what the National Development Plan 2030 is saying is, look to mix that with natural gases. What they are talking about is underground coal gasification, coal-bed methane gas, off-shore gas that can come from Namibia or Mozambique.
Also that shale-gas in the Karoo, they are looking to turn that to account. It has tremendous advantage for us provided, of course, the economics play up and the environmental costs outweigh those of using coal.
We are obviously going to be very dependent on coal, so they want to protect coal, not that they are encouraging the stopping of the exports but they are wanting a balance so that we can be assured of the domestic supply without interfering with the economics of coal mining. If you take out the exports, you take out the sweetener and the whole business case falls away.
At the same time they are looking for some stimulation in mining, because they find that we’ve fallen behind very seriously in mining. We are down to 1994 level and they also point out that the only way we can stimulate investment in mining is to actually get regulatory certainty.
They are talking about amendments to the Minerals Development Act actually being brought in so that this certainty can be given.
Gwala: South Africa is readying itself to host the ‘world cup’ of geosciences in 2016.
Creamer: This is going to be great for South Africa because we have also fallen behind on the geological front and to have 6 000 earth scientist here in a type of ‘world cup’ for geosciences in 2016 is going to stimulate our geological activity.
This will be down in Cape Town in four years time. Already the preparations are taking place. We got handed the baton from Australia and, of course, we beat out Morocco and India. India will now have it in 2020.
The last time we had this was in 1929. It will also be a significant date, because it is the 150th anniversary of the discovery of diamonds in South Africa and also the 130th anniversary of the discovery of gold. I think that also tells a tale, our orebodies here have been so huge that our geologist has sort of taken the back-seat to our engineers.
Perhaps South Africa has been over exploited and under explored, particularly now that you have tremendous modern techniques to explore.
Our Minerals Minister Susan Shabangu has been pleading for more exploration and I’m sure now that this activity here, staging the International Geological Congress in South Africa in 2016 in Cape Town, is going to stimulate that activity. Post and pre the congress they are going to have excursions into Africa.
That is also an important message, because South Africa has lost out in its exploration expertise in Africa. Again, they are going to try and sponsor young upcoming geologists to attend this that they can get exposed to the top minds in earthsciences at this ‘world cup’ of geosciences that will be held in South Africa in 2016.
Gwala: Black-controlled Exxaro will begin exporting iron-ore next year from its new mine in the Republic of Congo.
Creamer: We are not talking of the Democratic Republic here, we are talking about the Republic of Conga and Exxaro that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, but is still 55% black-owned.
Its an important external activity of our empowered companies now, being able to go into the Republic of Congo, buy an asset from the Australians, African Iron, and now fast track this development. They have promised the Congolese government that they will start delivering iron-ore from next year.
The government sees this as its best placed iron-ore prospect and the one that can get to market fastest and they are keen to see that it does. There are some other players further from the rail. The Mayoko project that we are talking about here with Exxaro is only 2 km from the rail.
Unfortunately that rail was built by the French in 1931, so Exxaro is going to have to do a lot of reinforcing to the rail and fixing up the port as well. That is why Sipho Nkosi, the CEO wants to get going fast, because he wants to test the rail and the infrastructure and he wants to test the market, because he is building up to an export of about 10-million tons of iron-ore a year from 2016.
He benefits hugely from his association in South Africa with iron-ore, Exxaro has 20% of the Sishen Iron-Ore mine which has meant a flow of billions of rands into Exxaro which has now helped it go into Africa. Then we see again that we are having to take the exploration done by the Australians, because we are not pioneering explorers.
This is again emphasised by the fact that we want to host this geosciences congress here in 2016, to get that pioneering geological spirit back so that we don’t always have to buy assets but that we can discover them ourselves.
Gwala: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly, he’ll be back with us at the same time next week.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...