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On-The-Air (15/03/2024)

Martin Creamer discusses gold mines, hydrogen-based power and mining boost.

15th 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: One of South Africa’s time-honoured gold mines is going to be listed on a stock exchange in the United States.

Creamer: This is Blyvoor Gold. It is on the West Rand. It closed in 2013 and reopened in 2022 and employees 1 500 people, but the mine needs capital. They are going to raise about R6-billion on a stock exchange in New York that is called NASDAQ. This is coming about by combining with the United States group called Rigel. The whole infrastructure of the mine is likely to be improved, the community is going to benefit, and also the economy of the West Rand is going to do well as a result of this.

It is good news to get foreign money coming into South Africa at a time when we need to employ a lot of people and we need to grow the economy and to grow gold exports. The whole infrastructure of the mine is likely to be improved, the community is going to benefit and also the economy of the West Rand is going to do well as a result of this. It is good news to get this foreign money coming into South Africa at a time when we need to employ a lot of people and we need to grow the economy.

Kamwendo: A Toyota-linked company is on a mission to bring more hydrogen-based power to South Africa.

Creamer: We associate Toyota with mobility and we associate hydrogen, really, with the providing the electricity to move cars. How we discovered that this is going to take place is because BMW, which was using Toyota fuel cells, was filling its fuel pumped at a filling station by a company that now wants to spread what it calls stationary hydrogen. Instead of just using the hydrogen for cars, it is looking to areas where there is no national electricity grid in South Africa as a starting point. What this company Elemental Energy wants to do is to set up what would be the equivalent to big diesel generators, but, of course, not diesel generators, because these are very clean and green and also silent.

It has already done that at a lodge in North West province and it is talking to a lot of people in the agricultural areas and a lot of mining companies, to spread the word about the benefit of clean green stationary hydrogen generation, with the help of Toyota fuel cells. We know that the World Platinum Investment Council said that stationary hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysers are probably going to leap about 120% this year, because people are discovering that this is the way to go, particularly in areas unserved the electricity transmission networks. People see Africa as particularly well-tuned to getting green hydrogen from stationary fuel cell development.

Kamwendo: South Africa’s mining industry must be given a new ticket to ride to enable it to perform better.

Creamer: We need strong performance now from the South African mining industry. We’ve got a situation where mining is shrinking, and mining needs to get a boost. It has been a huge benefit for the South African economy, but with the commodities down now, you see some of the mines really struggling and we haven't had enough exploration for new mines. This has got to change in a way that you give it a new ticket to ride and that means that you cut all the red tape out that you can cut out and, as we all know, there is a lot of red tape and that will give an investment boost, which is needed now in the South African mining economy.

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

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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