On-The-Air (07/06/2024)

7th June 2024 By: Martin Creamer - Creamer Media Editor

On-The-Air (07/06/2024)

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: Platinum metals are once again coming to the rescue of the environment, this time by protecting our water.

Creamer: Yes, for decades now, our platinum group metals have kept the air of big cities clean. The way they do this is they catalyse activity inside the exhausts of vehicles and they prevent pollution from getting into the air, which would really destroy a lot of the people, because it can be deadly. Now what they are doing is solving our water problems.

Globally, chemistries that cannot be broken down are finding their way into water. Now, with the help of a platinum group metal, hydrogen peroxide is being produced, which in itself is very green and clean and can be produced on site. The wonderful news is that not only do we get our platinum metals out of the ground here in South Africa, but the company that is working on this and that is putting it into the market and is already on a site, is right here in Johannesburg.

MatiTech feels that this will be the next big exercise throughout the world that will happen using platinum metal. It will come to the rescue of what is needed to make water cleaner, to take the germs out of water, to prevent disease spreading from water, as the world finds it very difficult to break down very hard-to-abate chemistries in the water.

Kamwendo: Anyone who buys a diamond in a jewellery store will soon be able to trace that diamond from mine to finger.

Creamer: This is incredible news coming from Petra Diamonds. We know that Petra is very active in South Africa. They have got the Cullinan Diamond Mine. They have got the Finch Diamond mine.

They also mine in Tanzania. What they are doing, they are responding to market demand. The diamond market wants traceability. When people go into a jewellery store, they want to know that the diamond that they putting on their finger has not had any bad repercussion around the world. They want a record and what can be given to them by the end of this year by Petra Diamonds is absolute documentation, which will be block chained and put in a cloud, where you will know the journey of that diamond from the mine, right through the polishing and cutting, right onto the finger.

You will also know the benefits that that diamond has provided to the host communities around the diamond mine in question, because there is a lot of assistance given to host communities by mining companies. So, the good that these diamonds do will be reflected. Why this is coming about is because the G7 nations have got sanctions. If you do not have traceability, full transparency, they sanction your diamonds, they won't let them into the country. This is important for South Africa to get through this. It is a great step being done by Petra and it will deal with what we always used to say about the diamond industry: not everyone in the diamond industry is a crook, but all the crooks are in the diamond industry. This will make sure that there is proper traceability.

People will know exactly where these diamonds come from. It will also help against laboratory developed diamonds, because there has been competition from that . Traceability will show that the natural diamond does a lot for communities, does a lot of good, and will be all reflected very accurately and will be fully accessible by people buying diamonds.

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