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On-The-Air (14/04/2023)

On-the-air 14th April 2023

14th April 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: So, the new online mining map highlights that South Africa still has a lot to take out of its minerals treasure chest.

Creamer: You can't do business without information, but there's no transparency in the South African government. They will not let people see what is available, which is crazy because all our neighbours here in African states, they've all got cadastres and you can sit at your desk, get on your computer, and they tell you exactly what's available to invest in. We do not have this here.

Now, they say they're going to get it. Well, we've been waiting a long time. So, we've been waiting so long that a small private consultancy, AmaranthCX has gone in and done the job for them. And they've come up with this map, which is unbelievable, which shows that there is such a dereliction of duty at the government level that it is abominable. You see people sitting on mining rights for ages way beyond the time that they you should be allowed to, you see people sitting on prospecting rights on the never, ever, never mind that never-never. And no one is going for that they are not following the law. And this company is exposing it.

They're also showing the treasure chest that’s still available that in certain places there has been changing ownership, you don't even know who owns the place anymore. And you find that companies are not listing. They are not listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. So, the public sector is not telling you, the private sector is not telling you, you're getting no information. And without information, you can't do business. And if you don't do business, you won't have economic growth. If you don't have economic growth, you won't have employment. So, what are these people after they have got be transparent.

Kamwendo: Speaking of listings, next Friday, I believe we are about to see the listing of an exciting new copper mining company on the JSE, Martin.

Creamer: You know, we grasp news of every little listing that comes about and going onto the AltX of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is Copper360. And they've done an incredible job. They're getting backing from Coronation, they're getting backing from big companies, people taking shares already in this company that will list on Friday, that's going to be in the Northern Cape, it's going to be in copper to be South Africa's only copper play. And then again, you know, these people, some of them walked past dumps, and people said there's no copper in there they drilled, and they found there is enormous amount of copper in this thing. So, people don't even know what is around the place. So, they've got Big Tree going, they've also got SHiP Copper, they put the two together, they're going on to the stock exchange, as Copper360. They'll be putting up their own energy plan. Say they're going to put 10 MW. Of course, it's their hot Northern Cape where they'll be mining. So, you know, they are ready to go. And when you calculate the 12 assets that they've got the this is 100-year life, you're talking about an operation that will go on for 100 years, potentially, the rate that they will be mining at this stage and beneficiating, they take the dump copper and they're really making copper plates and exporting it. So, if we just had that information we could do so much.

Kamwendo: And finally, Martin, big mining companies are becoming scrap collectors as part of the huge global fight against climate change.

Creamer: Mining major Glencore, which is listed in Johannesburg and London, is sweeping the world to show its circular economy seriousness. As part of fighting climate change, Glencore and many other mining companies want to get every bit of scrap they can and recycle it. They've got an initial stage of collection, where you collect a disused product, like they will be going into a lithium-ion batteries. Then fix it and you're going to a second stage, so you don't have to use too many metals. And then eventually when it comes to its end of life stage, its critical metals will be recovered, processed and put back into the market. They've just done a massive deal with two companies in Spain and Portugal, they'll collectively be building a huge new facility, it will have all sorts of mod cons to return the lithium back into the market. They've done similar deals in the US, India, and in so many places around the world where they'll recover cobalt, they will cover all the metals that go into the critical metals that are going to go into the electric vehicles they are preparing now to recover that, which is going to be great.

We could remember the days, not long ago, Anglo American our big company here – If you walked down to Germiston, you'd see Anglo's Scaw Metals collectxing scrap metal. Now a lot of the big companies are realising that part of the circular economy obliges them to do this. They are becoming scrap collectors scrap dealers and down at Scaw Metals, they then used that scrap metal to go into a directly reduced iron process, the so-called DRI processing, which is now a big again because we're going to use our green hydrogen to turn ferrous scrap and iron-ore into green steel through DRI processing.

A big focus now of the biggest mining companies is to become scrap collectors, scrap dealers and bring that metal back into the market so you don't have to do that much mining. You've also got a recirculation of critical metals.

Kamwendo: Thanks so much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. He'll be back with another edition of At the Coalface, same time next Friday.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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