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: The National Planning Commission this week made the correct call for the declaration of an ‘energy emergency’.
Creamer: Yes, I think this was the correct call. We need to go through the red tape and cut it, because it is such an opportunity that we have, but it is also such a need. We know the load-shedding is setting us back badly. So, this 100 MW limit needs to be taken away, because a lot of the private sector companies would go for 1 000 MW.
The State is not paying for that, so it is an absolute gift. It is good that the President is leading this and the Presidential Forum was called together and all the development banks and all the people who can provide the funds so that the actual earnestness of this can be put in place and moved forward fast so we can get rid of load-shedding.
Kamwendo: A new listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is set to open up expanded copper mining in the Northern Cape.
Creamer: It is wonderful to hear of listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. We are hearing of delistings, which must end, because it is very bad for this economy. It is great that the Northern Cape, again, is coming forward with copper. We haven't really done enough there and now we see that on the AltX in October a new company will be listed.
This company came about magnificently, because it saw all those old dumps of copper there. People said what are in these dumps? They didn't know there was copper. They said that they have been in that area for a long time, decades. Then a clever geologist did a test and found that is copper, and he is already producing copper plate there. Now he is going to link up with a company called SHiP which is in opencast mining and get onto that stock exchange. They have already got a big investor in Coronation and the retail investors are also very keen. So it should be a great new mining operation, listed on the JSE.
Kamwendo: Major new industrial development is there for the taking, provided South Africans respond vigorously.
Creamer: We must look at green electrons. Those come from renewable energy, sun, wind and water. Then we must look at green molecules that comes from the green hydrogen. With those two we can get the electricity we need and we can get the mobility we need. We can get everything we need in industry. They are seeing it all over Europe, it is just going so fast. If you attend any of these conferences worldwide, they just say, go flat out into this.
We are tailor made for this. We produce potentially more renewable energy than we will need. We could even export, because you don't want to talk about it at this stage, because there is loadshedding, but it indicates a potential and we can be completely green. We have got the land, we have got the sun, we have got the wind, we have got the metals, we have got everything. So it is all ready for us. We have just got to take it with vigour.
Kamwendo: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly.