A new map, published in 2018, highlights recent major platinum discoveries in South Africa – the Waterberg Project of PTM in the Villa Nora gap and the Ivanhoe “Flatreef” of the Ivanplats mine near Mokopane. Both these discoveries represent massive breakthroughs in raising South Africa’s platinum resources at shallow depths.
The 5th edition of Barker’s Platinum Map of Southern Africa shows the platinum mines of the western, eastern and northern belts of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe.
For over 30 years Oliver Barker and Books on the Wall Publishing have been putting southern Africa’s mines “on the map”. These maps are veritable “books on the wall” and show the geographical location of the mining leases and present a picture of the geology, spatial relationship and ownership of mines throughout the southern African region. The maps convey information pictorially which words cannot convey.
The maps are invaluable, both for the mining companies themselves who use them for public relations at presentations to shareholders and potential investors, and also for exploration companies to generate optimism and raise capital through providing an indication of “good addresses”for exploration.
The maps are also invaluable for in-company education and training, use in schools and in communities around the mines to show the location of the mines and explain the mining operations.
The coal maps are also particularly helpful because, on account of the competition between mining, agriculture and water and nature conservation for land in the coal producing areas of Mpumalanga, it is important to be able to see on a map precisely where the mining operations are situated.
The 12th edition of the coal map of 2014 depicts the 19 coalfields in South Africa, including a detailed map of the mines and projects in the Waterberg coalfield which has attracted so much attention in recent years. It also lists the coalfields in Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In order to place the spatial plans within the wider context of the industry, tables provide information by mine and owner, lists the seams being mined, the type of mine (opencast or underground), the coal type and the destination of trade – Eskom, export or general. There are also plans of the coal export ports in southern Africa – Richards Bay, Durban, East London and Matola in Mozambique
On the platinum maps the breakdown of the platinum group metals according to the percentages of the constituent metals is published based on the prill split data from borehole and trenching samples during the exploration phase.
Barker emphasises that all the data contained on the maps is published data in the public domain and sanctioned by the suppliers as far as possible. The maps also show reef and seam profiles, geological sections and other information relevant to the platinum and coal industries. The 5th edition of the platinum map includes world supply and demand for platinum and palladium and notes on the processing of the ore to metal.
Books on the Wall published their seminal map on gold in 2003 which shows all the gold mines in the Witwatersrand Basin and the greenstone mines of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces and compares the geological columns of the different goldfields within the Basin. There is also extensive information on production by shaft.
In 2018 Seriti Coal supported an update of the Main Coal Basin. This map has been further revised and is now available as a specific stand-alone publication.
Support for the maps from the mining industry varies according to each company’s culture. When Barker decides to proceed with a specific map of mines in a specific region he puts out offers for sponsorship as he needs a key sponsor. Impala was the key sponsor for the platinum map update in 2018 and he also received sponsorship from Sibanye Stillwater.
The production of the maps takes many months as the Books on the Wall team search for information on exploration and new mining projects. Long standing relationships with the key players in each of the industries being profiled are fundamental and both old and new contacts are consulted.
Where necessary and to supplement the directly solicited information the team resorts to the Internet and mining publications such as Martin Creamer’s Mining Weekly.
Barker and his companies, Books on the Wall and Banzi Geotechnics cc have nurtured many long lasting friendships in the mining industry. These have been developed out of trust that Books on the Wall will produce reliable and high value products of great benefit to all the players who have supported the production and purchase of the maps for over 30 years.
Examples of the maps may be found on our website: www.banzi.co.za