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On-The-Air (01/03/2024)

Martin Creamer discusses gold mining project and two huge wind and sun energy projects.

1st March 2024

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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Every Friday, SAfm’s radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:

Kamwendo: A big new R7-billion gold mining project received the go-ahead this week.

Creamer: Yes, the board of Harmony Gold this week gave the go ahead to R7,9-billion expansion of the Mponeng Mine in Gauteng. We often think that the province of gold, Gauteng, has run out of gold, but not at all, this will give Mponeng a life extension of 20 years taking it to 2044. Of course, also nearby is South Deep, which also has a very long life, but swinging back to Mponeng, one of the things about it, is it gets cheaper when it gets deeper. This is going deeper into richer gold, the grade of the gold is higher. So, we now see Harmony Gold, which started off as a low grade company, it was going for the assets that other people didn't want. It is now getting into the richer veins, having taken over from AngloGold Ashanti. They have also got the Moab Khotsong, which is expanding. So, we see nice activity here coming through from Harmony Gold, which is chaired, of course, by Dr Patrice Motsepe.

Kamwendo: Two huge wind and sun energy projects were given the go-ahead in South Africa this week.

Creamer: What is going on in the private sector with wind and sun energy projects is enormous, because within two days, we had almost 800 megawatts of planned project added on, but not only megawatts of electricity, but also clean, green electricity. We saw this coming through first from Hive Hydrogen. This is a very interesting company, because it is developing green hydrogen facility in our Eastern Cape, which will convert that green hydrogen into green ammonia for export to Japan. Already talking very, very closely with the Japanese to try and make this the cheapest green ammonia in the world. They’re coming through with 372 megawatts of solar power – and that is just the start. Then at the same time, we get this big announcement from Anglo American that they have reached the funding and the financial conclusion for more than 500 megawatts. That is going to be a new ecosystem, because we know that Anglo American has got the platinum group mine in Limpopo. They have got the iron-ore mine in the Northern Cape. They’ve got a diamond mines in Limpopo with Venetia. They also have diamond mines in Botswana and diamond sea-mining activities in Namibia. They are going to feed all of those with clean, green energy. At the same time, already at their Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in Limpopo, they have come up with green hydrogen to power and drive the world's biggest mine haulage truck of 500 tons. So, activities galore on the private sector front, on the energy front, on the clean energy front, and it just shows you what sort of opportunities are there to help this economy grow massively when you move along the green pathway that are being presented.

Kamwendo: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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