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On-The-Air (21/04/2023)


21st April 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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Every Friday, SAfm’s radio anchor Jon Gericke speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:

Gericke: The small end of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange received a big boost today with the listing of Copper 360.

Creamer: Yes, the small end of the stock exchange, which has been badly neglected, got a big boost today with a listing of Copper 360. This is a vibrant company that is focused in the Northern Cape. They are already producing copper plate and exporting it, they are mining and they are exploring. They have got huge ambition . They want to be the next big African copper play. We know the world is short of copper, the demand for copper is huge. So the outlook is great for this company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s AltX today. Hopefully, there will be many more to follow.

Gericke: Anglo American this week started work on providing a big supply of sun and wind power for South Africa.

Creamer: You know, you can see the private sector when they get involved, they are firm.  Anglo American, which is listed in London and Johannesburg, was firm this week when they said we are going to bring in 680 megawatts of sun and wind power. That is going to be started now and you will see it next year and the following year. Anglo made it clear that they would show us pictures of the construction.

That's the sort of resolve that you want. You don't want faffing around, particularly in this particular crisis that we have got. That is what you always hear from the private sector, particularly the mining companies. So they are looking for a widespread feed in of wind power, 240 megawatts coming in from the Eastern Cape. Then they have got 200 megawatts of solar power, also in the Eastern Cape. Then you have got 140 megawatts of Limpopo power coming from the sun. You have got another 70 megawatts at Sishen iron-ore mine making use of our sun and wind and the sun particularly the Northern Cape, where solar is among the most powerful in the world. They have also got to put up a lot of grid network because you need to spread it.

Gericke: Will they be allowed to? Have they got the licenses and things that they need?

Creamer: They are going to have to because there is just no option. It is speed that we need.

Gericke: Green hydrogen forms the biggest single investment pledge of South Africa’s 5th Investment Conference by far.

Creamer: Well, you know, this green hydrogen, people are beginning to look at it and see the potential. We had the President Cyril Ramaphosa with his Fifth Investment Conference. What was the biggest single investment pledge there? Green hydrogen, by a long shot . Hive Hydrogen pledged an investment of R105-billion worth. The next highest investment pledge came in from Vodacom at R60-billion. Green hydrogen, a new area of investment, was R45-billion more and look at the credibility of it.

This is Hive Hydrogen. Who is the chairperson? It is Thulani Gcabashe. Where is Thulani Gcabashe known from? He is the former chairman of Standard Bank. Before that, he was the CEO of Eskom. What did you do when he left Eskom in 2008? He went straight into sun energy, straight into solar power. He could see the future. Now, Hive Hydrogen is coming in with more solar power in the Eastern Cape. The project that he has there is really impressive. It uses sun power and the wind power to put clean electricity through sea water and get green hydrogen, which has this massive ability to clean up industry.

It can be used to produce green steel and green cement, but you can have green cars, because beyond battery electric vehicles, you need a bigger push to get big trucks  going cleanly and the bigger vehicles and the ships and the trains and the planes even. That will come from the green hydrogen being turned into its derivative, green ammonia, and this is being pushed by Hive Hydrogen, led by Thulani Gcabashe.

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

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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