Every Friday, Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly, speaks to SAfm, this week hosted by SAfm radio anchor Udo Carelse. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:
Carelse: The need to store sun and wind energy is presenting South Africa with an opportunity to create a new local industry.
Creamer: South Africa has got superior sun, it has got prime wind, and now it has got an opportunity to create a new industry, because sometimes the sun shines, sometimes the wind blows and in between that, we have got to store it. The storage opportunity comes from our metals and minerals. Vanadium, for example, is a great metal for storage, for long-endurance storage. Up to 12 hours of electrons can go in there. Guess what? Of the four vanadium processing plants in the world, South Africa has got three of them. Already we are building the electrolytes plant in East London. We’re building a minigrid in Brits to showcase how this can be done. On top of that, we have got the potential, because the sun shines brightest during off peak, to use the excess to create green hydrogen. So, you not only have green electrons to keep your lights on, but you have got the green molecules that can drive your vehicles, helped by our platinum group metals.
Carelse: Anglo American is taking the unusual step of commercialising its hydrogen haul truck for global use.
Creamer: Now you see how seriously the corporates are taking climate change. They know that it is hitting them hard. If you look at the latest Anglo American production results and what happened in Chile with copper, its output was knocked for a six. Why? Because there has been two years of drought Chile's central zone. They haven’t got enough water to produce copper. That is why these corporates are so conscious about green hydrogen to the extent that Anglo American has even created a green hydrogen haul truck. Now when have you heard in a mining company going into building trucks? But they realise the urgency. So, they have gone into partnership with First Mode and both of them are going to commercialise the hydrogen truck and try and sell it not only to all the mines, but also to extend the whole hydrogen opportunity to help the world to fight climate change.
Carelse: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly.