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On-The-Air (19/01/2024)

Martin Creamer discusses global mining, critical minerals and the benefit of smartwatches for mineworkers.

19th January 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: Global mining companies gathered at the business conference in Davos in Switzerland have committed themselves to being nature-positive.

Creamer: These are the two big words now being highlighted: nature and positive, and the big global mining companies are using a 2020 baseline. By 2030, they have got to show signs of going the full hog to protect Mother Nature. Making this commitment are the big mining companies and from a South African point of view, alphabetically, these are African Rainbow Minerals, headed by Dr Patrice Motsepe, Anglo American, Glencore, Gold Fields, Sibanye-Stillwater, South 32 and Minerals Council South Africa, all committing to be nature-positive, which is very important for Mother Earth at the moment, owing to the need to mitigate against climate change, which is continuing to show itself globally.

Kamwendo: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is ready to help to raise capital to fund the mining of critical minerals.

Creamer: The importance of critical minerals was highlighted at Davos, where it was emphasised that mining companies must mine critical metals while at the same time not damaging our planet. The critical metals have to be mined to bring about a new energy system that is clean and green, but this mining must not be at the expense of nature. There also has to be capital raising for the mining of these critical metals. Now, in South Africa, these critical metals have not been a focus in the past, but they can be now, because we have so many abandoned mines and so many unexplored areas. The JSE is saying outright that it can help small and big companies that mine critical minerals to raise the equity capital that they need. It is very important that happens for our economy and to protect our environment. Critical mineral mining in South Africa is a just and it can be done with the help of the 137-year old Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Kamwendo: Mineworkers in the Northern Cape are going to have the benefit of wearing smartwatches to keep them safe.

Creamer: This is Copper360. It is the only pure copper mining company in South Africa. It is in the Northern Cape. It intends developing 12 mining assets and the first of these is the Rietberg mine. At this mine, they want their mineworkers to be wearing smart watches on their when they go underground, which will take safety to a new high. Safety risk will be communicated instantly and from a health point of view, even the heart rates of mineworkers wearing smart watches will be monitored. This will elevate the well-being of mineworkers to a new high. The idea of having smartwatches on the wrists of miners working underground is a smart one.

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

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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