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: Good news is that a large wind farm is to be built in Mpumalanga, South Africa’s electricity heartland.
Creamer: This is fantastic news. This is by Seriti Resources, headed by Mike Teke. This company is owned 91% by blacks. It is a black-controlled company. They are going into a massive big project that starts off with 155 megawatts and then goes to 900 megawatts. It will be alongside Thutuka power station. We know Thutuka power stations availability of electricity at the moment is very low, sometimes as low as 17%. This wind farm will have electricity availability factor of 40%.
So, already we have seen that not only is the power cheaper and quicker, but it can have better availability in some of our existing power stations. And you know, the community is being involved here, I just got a note from one of the municipal officials who is over the moon about this, because the just energy transition it is happening every day. People are being trained into this new energy. So Seriti is thinking big on the clean green power. You can see, the subsidiary is called Seriti Green. As Mike Teke said it his announcement, he is not only looking to South African, Southern Africa, Sub Saharan Africa but he is looking at the whole African continent. Already, he has got footholds in Kenya and Tanzania where Seriti Green has got electricity projects on the go that are clean and green, involving the wind and the sun. They will also be dealing with sun energy in Mpumalanga, which we know is our electricity heartland. This is the place to keep going with the new clean, green power that we need in South Africa.
Kamwendo: A small South African gold mine is saving R2.4-million a month by generating its own electricity.
Creamer: You would imagine with a small mine like that you would save R2.4 million a year. They are saying R2.4 million a month. This is a mine that is part of the Pan African Group. It is listed in London, but it is out on the Far East Rand. They put up 10 megawatts of embedded power and wanted to do much more than 10 megawatts but at that stage, there was a cap on private electricity generation and the mine couldn't go beyond 10 megawatts.
Now they are thinking much bigger, of course, and will be going massively into green energy in Barberton and every other mine that they have. But then when you swing into the Far West Rand to Blyvoor Gold, that is the old Blyvooruitzicht mine that used to be one of the biggest mines in South Africa. They have also now got was solar power. Going to start at 10 megawatts, but in that area 40 megawatts are going up nearby. Then you have got Gold Fields, they have got their big Gauteng mine South Deep already looking not only at solar power, but wind power as well. They are at the 60 megawatt level. They want to get to the 80 megawatt level. We see a lot across the country. The mines are prepared to give massive numbers of gigawatts something like 7.5 gigawatts at their expense, so the tax payer will not have to pay.
Kamwendo: And then finally, Martin 1000s of people expected to descend on South Africa next week. It's that time again, it's time for the mining Indaba.
Creamer: There is going to be a keynote address by the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa. He is bringing with him eight cabinet ministers, three deputy cabinet ministers, so they are taking it seriously. I think they should do, because often we get down to the Mining Indaba and all we see are people from Ghana and DRC and all over Africa. And then of course, the Canadians and the Australians and the people listed in London come flying in and we don't see any deals with South Africa because we haven't got exploration activities.
Now, we are going to hear a lot about exploration from our geoscience body, which has got a lot of communication planned. We see already cabinet ministers being called to sit meetings to get big insight. And I think it's a good time to get our mineral energy complex going. We have got so much that we can do. They are just saying now with Mpumalanga, that they want to use vanadium for the storage of 800 megawatt hours of power out there. You can't get lithium, because it is just in such demand for these batteries and many are now looking to go the vanadium route. Of course, we have got so much vanadium here, which will be great for us and we see that Bushveld Minerals already starting to make the vanadium batteries in East London.
Kamwendo: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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