Jan 20, 2012
DRC|Port|Africa|Business|CoAL|Engineering|Installation|Mining|Modular|Platinum|PROJECT|rail|Resources|Safety|Technology|Water|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|DRC|Energy|Maintenance|Product|Steel|Infrastructure|Iron Ore|Iron-ore
Gwala: The government is considering the creation of a Special Economic Zone to reap maximum benefit from South Africa’s unique position in platinum. Tell us about that.
Creamer: The government is going for these Special Economic Zones, they call them SEZs, we used to be IDZs and now they are going for something different. Platinum, they say, is a candidate for one of these Special Economic Zones and we agree whole-heartedly.
South Africa is in a unique position when it comes to platinum. Platinum needs to diversify its uses and particularly get a niche in energy. It is waiting there as Cynthia Carroll said at COP17 and the door is wide open for an opportunity to get into fuel cells.
These fuel cells are very versatile and they are very scalable and modular. Their by-product is water, what other energy source generates water? Most of these energy sources use inordinate amounts of water.
They saying that they must try and get a Special Economic Zone where you have got the proper infrastructure set in place and you have got the top up of the incentives to try and get people into South Africa to make fuel cells and also other platinum related auto catalysts.
You already have a tremendous meeting of the minds. We have never had a meeting of the minds between government and big business on an issue like platinum. You see Anglo Platinum putting out a story, which coincides exactly with what the Department of Minerals and Energy and the Department of Science and Technology is saying.
So, it is only a matter of time now for DTI to actually coordinate all this and to use this new Special Economic Zone legislation to make sure we get more value out of platinum. Here we are sitting with an Aladdin’s Cave of treasure and we need to add value to it and we have got this opportunity with fuel cells, hydrogen-using fuel cells.
Hydrogen is in abundance even in the Limpopo they have got that coal-bed-methane that you can get the hydrogen out of and generate electricity. This is zero emission electricity, this is clean electricity, so you are killing two birds with one stone.
You have got the carbon lowered and you have also got value created and, in the words of Cynthia Carroll the CEO of Anglo American, she is saying that you can create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next 30 years through not only the extraction of the platinum in the mining sense, but also the manufacture, installation, maintenance and opportunities that now bekon for South Africa.
Gwala: South Africans are eyeing the Republic of Congo as a major iron-ore investment destination.
Creamer: We must distinguish here between the DRC, this is not the Democratic Republic of Congo, this is the Republic of Congo, which is next door.
We see South Africans going in there in quite large numbers because of the opportunity that the Republic of Congo offers in the field of iron-ore, a very vital ingredient for steel. We see Exxaro going in there and they’ve made a bid for an Australian company. It is a pity the Australians are always in ahead.
This Australian junior has got in, African Iron, and it is the most advanced iron-ore project there. Our South Africans, which is Exxaro, JSE-listed black-controlled, in other words more then 50% black owned, they have made this bid for African Iron which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
If this goes through on February 14, it will mean that South Africans then take over this iron-ore project, which is close to heavy-haul rail, 2km from heavy-haul rail and is connected to Pointe Noire, the port where there is a deep-water port and potential for bulk exports to both Europe and to the East.
We see South African Airways not fast asleep on this, because you see their adverts now, they are flying twice a week to Pointe Noire. This new opportunity that we are seeing in Africa is floating a lot of boats. Once the miners get in there you can see there is another South African-linked company Xstrata there and they have got the Zanaga project there.
Already 860 people on the ground there, so it shows you how quickly these mines attract a large number of jobs and also a South African involved there Peter Freyberg, formerly from Anglo American now with Xstrata, listed in London, pushing forward the Zanaga project. That is another iron-ore project in the Republic of Congo.
Nearby there is also Equatorial Resources, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, which has got a plan to put through five-million tons of iron-ore a year. So all thinking of iron-ore coming out of this new frontier, the Republic of Congo.
Gwala: Exciting prospects out in the Republic of Congo.
Creamer: We must give this to the South African mining companies they are innovative. You look at 16 000 mine workers now benefiting from a distribution of shareholder-type wealth. We have had a long tradition of top management getting share options and they can exercise these options at the right time when the share price is high and make themselves a lot of money.
They are saying why shouldn’t workers be cut into it. Two companies have done this, the first was Kumba Iron Ore, which turned people into half-millionaires before Christmas.
Now we have Exxaro, again a black-controlled company that have done the same thing. They have had 3% of those shares go to below-management workers and so each of those 9 694 employees have got an average of R135 000 each. So this is pre-tax of course, but this is again showing that you can do well to link your shareholders directly to the company through your workers. How they can then see that productivity is a big thing.
The stoppages of safety shouldn’t happen because then you are going to lose out on that share value. We can see how the unbundling of what was a State-asset, Iscor, both of these have come out of what was formerly a State-asset, by and large.
You can see how unbundling these big company assets can generate huge amounts of wealth. This is a gazillion-fold uplift in value through the unbundling of that old State-owned Iscor’s former mining assets. This is a reflection of that unbundling both in Kumba Iron Ore, which is now Anglo American-controlled, and Exxaro, which is South Africa’s big black-owned company.
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
Updated 4 hours ago The JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has invested over R250-million in acquiring new centres and upgrading its shopping centres to strengthen its retail assets, according to Emira CEO Geoff Jennett, who stated on Thursday that the company was investing strategically....
Updated 5 hours ago JSE-listed Equites Property Fund achieved an 18.3% year-on-year increase in distributions to 96.6c a share for the year ended February 29. “The distribution growth reflects the strong property fundamentals of the Equites logistics portfolio,” Equites CEO Andrea...
Updated 5 hours ago It takes a coherent company to successfully and sustainably close the gap between strategy and execution in Africa, and one of the key factors in doing so is unconventional leadership, which is needed to foster the behavior required of coherent companies, according...
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
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...
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...