JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Africans working together with confidence and enthusiasm will improve the country and find energy solutions, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) executive chairperson Dr Patrice Motsepe said on Friday.
Presenting a 25% higher interim dividend and a 193%-better performance from ARM Platinum in the six months to December 31, Motsepe spoke in response to Mining Weekly of the huge technological advances being made globally in the field of renewable energy. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
He said the major challenge was avoiding job loss as the country transitioned to renewables, which in themselves also offered job opportunities.
South Africa could not be cost competitive without its electricity cost being globally competitive.
“Good work is being done and you’ll see huge developments in renewables and also in energy-related technological developments,” Motsepe said, drawing attention to a group that was started by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates after the Paris climate talks.
The main aim of this group, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, in which Motsepe is an investor, is to partner in the development of clean energy and to ensure access to basic electricity without contributing further to climate change.
He described as “absolutely unbelievable” the progress of this group.
“The electricity from renewables must be seen in the context of helping people to transition to new employment,” he said.
“I’ve been going to Davos for the last 20 years and I’ve never seen such abnormal focus on climate change as was the case at Davos this year, and I’ve never seen such negativity towards coal and all fossil fuels.
“The secret is to transition because you can’t do these things overnight. At the end of the day it has to be about people," Mosepe added.
ARM CEO Mike Schmidt said in response to Mining Weekly that the ARM group had been working with its partners and industry leaders for some time on alternative energy solutions and making sure not to limit energy solutions to solar energy alone, given the number of other options.
“We are progressively looking at alternative energy sources,” said Schmidt. (Also read report below 'Going green is a good business proposition' and watch second attached Creamer Media video on ARM.)
ARM’s half-year segmental earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were 10% up at R4.6-billion and its basic earnings were 63% higher at R2.1-billion.
Its star performer was ARM Platinum, which reported 193%-higher half-year headline earnings of R489-million, which along with iron-ore prices, shielded the JSE-listed ARM group from the decline in the prices of manganese ore, manganese alloy and coal.
An interim dividend of 500c a share was declared, up on the first half’s 400c a share.