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Hydrogen economy support highlighted in maiden Anglo Platinum climate report

Anglo Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen.

Anglo Platinum's climate change metrics.

2nd November 2022

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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JOHANNESBURG ( – Active support for the creation of a viable green hydrogen economy in South Africa and globally, along with the firm underpinning of a ‘just energy transition’, are highlighted in the maiden climate change report of Anglo American Platinum.

The report sets out the role the JSE-listed mining and marketing company is playing as a supplier of platinum group metals (PGMs) and base metals fundamental to enabling a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable world with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials.

The full extent of response to climate change is outlined, including plans to improve energy efficiency and carbon neutrality across operations and ambition to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 50% by 2040.

Also detailed are the structures in place to ensure that climate change is embedded across decision-making processes and the manner in which it fits into the capital allocation framework.

“In line with our strategic priority to be a leader in ESG, we expect that the role we play in helping to create a green future should create significant value for all our stakeholders,” Anglo Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen states in a release to Mining Weekly.

PGMs are key to the mix of energy solutions that will make global decarbonisation possible.

“The quality of the ore bodies entrusted to us, which are significant resources with long mine lives, and low-cost operations, together with our disciplined capital allocation, positions us well to ensure sustainable production and to assure our customers of the responsible standards we meet.

“Our portfolio remains financially resilient in lower carbon emission pathways, helping us to ensure that future generations will continue to benefit from the metals we produce,” says Viljoen.

The contribution to a ‘just energy transition’ comes in the forms of jobs, community support and the PGMs and base metals produced.

Beyond operations, Anglo Platinum is engaged in market development to broaden the number of PGM applications in emission-free transport and green energy production.

Multi-jurisdiction initiatives are being deployed to promote the adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for commercial uses, particularly in the UK, Europe, the US, China and South Africa.

These initiatives aim to accelerate the uptake of heavy-duty FCEVs by aligning end-user demand locations and specifications with the supply of suitable vehicles, along with access to the requisite hydrogen infrastructure along key freight routes.

Similar multi-jurisdiction initiatives are now underway to increase the uptake of FCEVs for light duty vehicles for commercial and passenger use.


Research and ventures to accelerate the adoption of PGM-containing spintronics and other forms of memory electronics in multiple end uses to encourage low-loss computing applications are continuing to be pursued.

This includes funding research on new semiconductor materials involving platinum, palladium and iridium for memory devices, and the launching of a new software technology venture that simplifies the adoption of hardware using those memory devices.

With the Northwestern University Illinois, in the US, new PGM-containing computer chips are being piloted, which will dramatically increase the speed of computing while strongly reducing electricity consumption and increasing battery life. This presents a huge market opportunity given that computer chips are in so many electronic devices.


Adding PGMs to batteries helps to improve their performance and is seen as potentially growing into a huge market opportunity and the development of PGM-enabled lithium batteries, mainly through its investment in Lion Battery Technologies, is continuing to be pursued. Industry capability to create new materials and technologies such as fit-for-purpose additive manufacturing and PGM alloys targeting multiple applications are continuing to be expanded.


Launched alongside Deep Science Ventures are two new ventures – Mission Zero Technologies that develops an exceptionally low cost technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, and Supercritical Solutions that develops a technology that makes low cost green hydrogen from electricity and heat and at pressure. These two ventures have secured multiple investments for others as well as technology evaluation agreements from several customers. Additional ideas and ventures are being explored and tested under the venture-building programme. The businesses and ideas that have been launched in this space complement the more advanced companies supported by AP Ventures, such as Greyrock and Infinium which uses hydrogen and CO2 to make high value chemicals and fuels, therefore closing the carbon loop.


The potential role for PGMs in removing contaminants from tail-gases of industrial processes that are key to economic growth and the continuing prosperity of society is being investigated. Work is underway with Yibai, a Chinese startup that uses platinum-based catalysts to combat water and air pollution.


Work to inform and promote the transition to a low-carbon economy in markets is continuing, along with collaboration in support of technology-neutral policy and regulatory environments, particularly where PGMs can contribute.

In the UK, in addition to supporting existing associations, membership of Beyond2050 Hydrogen Strategy Now campaign group was taken up, as well as working to support the UK government to establish and release a UK-wide hydrogen strategy. Anglo Platinum is also a member of the UK government’s hydrogen working group for the 2020 deployment roadmap, supporting the ministerial hydrogen advisory council.

In China, the company gave keynote presentations at the co-sponsored annual fuel-cell vehicle congress. It has stepped up participation in multiple-city cluster FCEV demonstration programmes and carbon/hydrogen sector integration to support China’s carbon neutrality ambition.

Despite limited presence in the US, hydrogen and climate change momentum at the federal and state level continue to be monitored through membership of the California Fuel Cell Partnership Association and the US Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA). In 2021, Anglo Platinum became a founding member of the Hydrogen Forward Coalition, an end-to-end value chain of representatives coming together to advance hydrogen in the US.

In the last six months, exciting developments on the policy front included approval by the US House of Representatives of a ten-year tax credit to produce clean hydrogen. Through FCHEA, Anglo Platinum has been advocating for a focus on total system cost instead of relying primarily on PGMs thrifting to support the clean hydrogen electrolysis programme.

Viljoen is the representative for Anglo American on Hydrogen Council, which was launched in 2017 to bring together the CEOs of more than 100 multinational companies. The council acts as a conduit for international corporate efforts  on hydrogen.

Anglo Platinum's membership of Hydrogen Europe involves partnering with the European Commission through the fuel cells and hydrogen joint undertaking to support research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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