CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – The Minerals Council South Africa on Wednesday launched a national platinum strategy, which aims at sustaining a million jobs and contributing R8.2-trillion to South Africa’s economy by 2050.
Speaking at a media conference at Investing in African Mining Indaba on Wednesday, Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter said although 87% of the 253 t of platinum-group metals (PGMs) produced last year was exported, the remaining 13% was sold to local fabricators, who produced 9% of the world’s platinum catalytic converters.
This downstream fabrication industry earned R90-billion in revenues, employed 167 000 people directly, paid more than R40-billion in salaries and wages, and more than R1-billion in royalties as well as many other different taxes.
However, the reality is that over the last ten years, the PGMs industry has been in crisis and was only now emerging from the crisis situation.
The strategy is targeting the attainment of the real potential of platinum for South Africa, which hosts 87% of the world’s reserves of the metal.
To reach the country’s full PGMs potential, a platinum leadership forum, consisting of 12 CEOs, has been established to work on driving platinum demand.
By 2050, instead of it being a $10-billion-a-year industry, the aspiration is to establish collaborative partnerships that drive demand at industrial, catalytic converter, jewellery and investment levels that will increase yearly revenues to $50-billion.
“That would be a significant game-changer for the economy as a whole. By growing the global demand base, we could see a significant change in fortunes,” Baxter told Mining Weekly Online.
But to realise PGM’s potential requires a clear vision, effective strategy and bold action from all key stakeholders.
For that reason, the Minerals Council has spoken to Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe to set up a small leadership team that is seeking co-matching funding to finance the Platinum Guild International and the World Platinum Investment Council.
Such co-contribution by business and government would help South Africa to realise a national resource in the national interest.