Africa|Coal|Energy|Engineering|engineering news|Eskom|Indaba|Iron Ore|Mining|Power|rail|Sustainable
Africa|Coal|Energy|Engineering|engineering news|Eskom|Indaba|Iron Ore|Mining|Power|rail|Sustainable

On-The-Air (10/02/2023)


10th February 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: President Cyril Ramaphosa this week expressed his determination to remove all obstacles in the way of the sustainable growth of South Africa’s mining industry.

Creamer: The President was very convincing before an international crowd, people coming from all over the world, listening, at the Mining Indaba, giving him great applause when he was really expressing determination to make sure that the red tape goes. To make sure that the rail is able to take our coal to the port and to the iron ore port and that the whole criminality situation is dealt very firmly. Mines last year made a record R1.18-trillion and we should be jumping up for joy, but no one was jumping for joy, because they knew that they could have made much more. We need to take away the constraints so that we can really operate to our full potential.

On the stage straight after President Ramaphosa was the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have got a lot of competition now in Africa, because the way Africa is opening up now is appealing to a lot of investors. They are going into these countries and not just to dig holes, they are going there to build supply chains and adding value. There is massive opportunity at the moment. We are in a new era of rising prices and South Africa really needs to get its house in order.

Kamwendo: The decision of the black-owned Seriti group to mine coal and generate wind energy at the same time came in for huge applause at this week’s Mining Indaba.

Creamer: This is really the mix that we are after in South Africa, because you have got coal miners who are starting to see a finite horizon, because the world is cold-shouldering in coal. We know in South Africa, we need that coal desperately to keep the lights on. Now this example will be done by Seriti who is saying we acknowledge climate change. We are not climate change denialists, we will make sure that we have clean energy. We will generate wind power, sun power and supply that to our mines and beyond.

So that we will be doing our best to clean up our act, but at the same time going full out to supply to Eskom with much-needed coal. This drew a lot of applause, because it is the way to do it. I think that South Africa showed the world that they are not climate change denialists but they have urgent needs, like keeping the lights on.

Kamwendo: South Africa is about to host the world’s only woman-owned, and woman-built phosphate mine at a time of huge demand for this food mineral.

Creamer: I think Adelaide Ruiters needs to be acknowledged. Adelaide has made sure that she has become the world's only women to build and own a phosphate mine in South Africa, near Saldanha Bay. She has been working on this for several years. She has got all the mining licences now and she has just about got her bankable feasibility study over the line.

She is going to bring in a modern mining, which will look again to making sure they are green and clean, and at the same time supplying really important phosphate material, because we know South Africa has to import so much phosphate, and that money just goes out of the country. Now we have got another source right here and she is going to be producing phosphate in fairly good quantities and also has the vision to expand. She is only four kilometres from Saldanha Bay. She is only 100 km from Cape Town. She is in a very good area, looking to supply domestically first, then in Southern Africa and finally internationally. Adelaide Ruiters has done an incredible job.

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

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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