On-The-Air (12/04/2024)

12th April 2024 By: Martin Creamer - Creamer Media Editor

On-The-Air (12/04/2024)

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

SAfm: Green hydrogen was this week highlighted as a clean energy on its way to becoming the world’s ‘new oil’.

Creamer: Can you imagine green hydrogen, which we can produce here and export here, also becoming the new oil. This is not just our headline, this is a big US headline in Forbes this week. It coincided with a massive meeting in Johannesburg, the Hydrogen Day, and at that day, you could see just how big the potential is for us to get involved in green hydrogen.

The adviser from the Presidency outlined that we have got a whole lot of advantages, not only our strong sun and wind, but we have also got a place like Northern Cape, which is bigger than Germany, which isn't occupied anything like Germany is, it has only 1.3 million people. At the same time there is a lot of land available, where you can produce the solar power needed to then get on to producing green hydrogen, which is really the only answer to climate change. It was incredible that Bill Gates of Microsoft was in Texas, and he remarked how fast this transition is coming. He was at a plant, which has actually got South African involvement, because AP Ventures of South Africa has been going around and working on market development. So it is a major thing for us.

SAfm: The development of global markets for all six of South Africa’s platinum group metals is now on the cards.

Creamer: Platinum group metals are then tied to the green hydrogen, hand in glove. There was a massive Platinum Day in Johannesburg this week and they said, look, gone are the days where we just market for platinum and palladium. We have got to market for all six, particularly the iridium and ruthenium, which is now part of hydrogen. And of course, there is also the rhodium and osmium.

So, what they were saying is that we produce the bulk of these platinum group metals, they are absolutely key to climate change abatement. Sitting in the meeting, there were companies that produce more than 90% of all these metals and minerals. Also there, was Mzile Mthenjane, the new CEO of Minerals Council South Africa, who said he is going to push for exploration to be done for platinum group metals, so the world will never hesitate to use them. There will always be sufficient platinum group metals.

SAfm: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.