Every Friday, SAfm’s radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:
Kamwendo: The new Minerals Council this week promised South Africa 50 000 more mining jobs in exchange for globally competitive mining laws.
Creamer: It is amazing that when people discuss things outside the country what can emerge. These statements came through from Perth this week. In Perth, there is the Africa Downunder Conference and at the conference are Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) CEO Roger Baxter and also Minerals Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Both of them came through with very positive statements. The one from the MCSA said that just a semblance of globally competitive mining legislation can turn on 50 000 more jobs.
They were saying that wouldn’t put them anywhere near the top of the globally competitive ranks, it would just put them within the 25% range and that would give 50 000 more jobs. We find that at this conference as well, Gwede Mantashe came through with some fantastic statements. The one showed that he is head over heels with Junior Mining where he announced that there is a budget of R20-billion to promote greenfield exploration by juniors. He also outlined how they would be helped by the Council of Geoscience.
This is really magic for South Africa, because we have been absent from exploration for so long now. Another great thing is that he presented a case for the minting of a Mandela Coin in platinum. He said that we have got to make every effort to try and promote platinum, because the price is so badly down.
Kamwendo: Mining executives the world over have agreed to attend a demonstration of exciting new South African mining technology.
Creamer: It is amazing that small companies can do big things. We have got a 32 year old company, it has always been in a remote area out at Fochville of all places, a company that is called Master Drilling. In recent time it has listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and amazingly from that Fochville base it is now in just about every mining jurisdiction in the world.
What it does, it that it drills holes for people and it then develops machines that people want. So, it goes to the market and says what do you need. In this case they have said they want a boring machine that does not blast. They don’t want any blasting, which often upsets underground mines very badly. No blast, we want this boring machine, it must be able to go at an incline of 12 degrees up and down, it must be able to turn on a tickey and it mustn’t need any support for human beings so that there is no danger to life.
Guess what, this company has come up with the answer and they will demonstrate it to 32 interested parties now in a very interesting venue sort of in the middle of earth in Italy. Next month in Italy people have agreed to come and see this go through its paces. Of course, this South African mining technology company listed on the JSE is now keen that these holes will be drilled and there will be reward for them.
Kamwendo: An amazing number of new uses of platinum fuel cells have been announced this month.
Creamer: Every month new announcements are coming through on the use of fuel cells, the platinum-using fuel cells. One of the reporters on a regular basis is the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association of the United States of America. They came through with umpteen new examples of where and how fuel cells are now being used.
Not only have new cars been developed by Hyundai and 223 of these cars just sold in three months, but there are new tests being done to big trucks that are fuel cell driven. There are fuel cells that are providing energy into companies and places like the big blue-chip companies of the world, they are all using fuel cell forklifts now. Nobody wants anything but fuel cell, because it is the answer to a maiden’s prayer, because there is just no emission at all.
Also, launched in America on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a company called Bloom Energy and they had a tremendous initial public offering on the NYSE and people are over the moon because this is a fuel cell producing company and their shares immediately rocketed. They have said that the growth outlook for fuel cells is probably far bigger then they originally imagined.
Kamwendo: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.