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On-The-Air (02/06/2023)


2nd June 2023

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: Anglo American this week appointed South Africa’s Themba Mkhwanazi to run its Australia region.

Creamer: This is fantastic news for us. Themba Mkhwanazi  has been appointed Anglo’s Regional Director, not only of Africa, but also Australia. This is historic. In Australia, he will be involved with steelmaking coal, not the thermal coal that is burnt by Eskom to generate electricity here. I spoke to Themba this week and he is delighted with the appointment.

Themba has got bags of mining experience and he will also run South Africa, where he has been a former CEO of our Kumba Iron Ore business and he is currently the CEO of the bulk commodities, but from July 1, he’ll have these two big regions – Africa and Australia, which is great news for South Africa. Also, coming out of Gold Fields this week, we saw Benford Mokoatle being appointed to run the South African region for Gold Fields, so big new moves on the executive front all round.

Kamwendo: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is going all out to attract junior miners and exploration companies to list on the exchange.

Creamer: If South Africa fails to explore for minerals, one day we won’t have any more mining in this country, which is why the JSE went out this week saying it is going to go all out to get the junior miners and exploration companies on to the JSE. To do that, they have got to follow what is happening in Canada, where there is the highly-successful flow-through scheme, a great tax incentive that encourages investment in mining exploration.

An indication of how well the flow-through scheme works is that there are 1 600 small miners on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada, 600 on the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney but only 12 on the stock exchange here in Johannesburg, in a country where there is no exploration incentivisation. There is a massive scope to get exploration going here and investors will come in, but South Africa will need very many more retail investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange if it is going to come close Canada and Australia, without incentivisation, and that is what the JSE, Minerals Council South Africa and the government are discussing more fruitfully at the moment.

Kamwendo: Mining company Sibanye this week struck a deal to receive some of its electricity in the form of wind energy.

Creamer: It’s amazing what these mining companies are doing. Every few weeks you see them do another big renewable energy deal. Sibanye-Stillwater this week secured 89 megawatts of wind energy for its South African operations, with the wind energy to come through from De Aar in Northern Cape – and that is just the start.

They want a total of over 500 megawatts. We see South Africa’s private sector again reiterating that it can do 10 000 megawatts of its own clean power generation. Just Anglo American alone is looking at up to 5 000 megawatts. We saw the Presidential Commission this week want to rearrange how things are and to get the renewable energy moving very, very fast because that is the thing: sun and wind energy is the cheapest to generate and the fastest to set up. At the same time steps are being taken to make our traditional power generation more reliable to ensure enough electricity for us all.

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

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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