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Martin Creamer

Martin Creamer

Martin Creamer is Creamer Media Publishing Editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

First Word

Replace red tape with red carpet and mines will gleefully provide the electricity we need

By: Martin Creamer     30th September 2022 There is nothing more off-putting than needless red tape and there is nothing more encouraging than a government role out the red carpet to would-be investors. Red tape kills the growth and jobs that red carpet treatment boosts. South Africa is immediately short of 6 000 MW of electricity and... 

Producing green hydrogen at sea should be looked at by South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     23rd September 2022 The aspiration to provide green hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuel energy has extended so far that the first site for an offshore pilot platform to produce green hydrogen at sea was inaugurated off the coast of France this week. The offshore wind potential is substantial and the sea water... 

South Africa must get beyond the green hydrogen start line fast

By: Martin Creamer     16th September 2022 It was good to hear from South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation last week that South Africa’s green hydrogen positioning statement is being drafted for presentation at the upcoming 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27), which is scheduled to take place in Egypt from... 

Welcome new approach to community support by corporates

By: Martin Creamer     9th September 2022 Large companies need to be credited for adopting a positive new approach to communities. Mining companies in particular are collaborating with all stakeholders far more meaningfully. Social and labour plans, often done in isolation in the past, are now combined with those of other companies who... 

Well done to Namibia for taking the lead in developing the hydrogen atlas

By: Martin Creamer     2nd September 2022 Southern Africa owes a debt of gratitude to Namibia for taking the lead in the drawing up of the hydrogen atlas for the region. The generosity of the German government to fund the project also needs to be highlighted. Early indications are that the region is tailor made for renewable energy and... 

Thungela’s tree planting is setting excellent example for others to follow

By: Martin Creamer     26th August 2022 The positive steps taken by coal mining and marketing company Thungela to plant trees in the coal province of Mpumalanga is exemplary. The company has a stretch target to plant a million trees in the province, with 20 000 of them are already on their way up. Other companies would do well to... 

The sun and the wind can provide competitive energy security

By: Martin Creamer     19th August 2022 For South Africans, energy security and energy sovereignty are there for the taking because of its superior sun, prime wind, available land, metal endowment, ready-made experience, skills already developed and unfolding of projects. Our own capabilities are already there to convene power, improve... 

Allowing renewable energy to provide a maintenance opportunity makes so much sense

By: Martin Creamer     12th August 2022 With renewable sun, wind and water energy, power generation capacity can be increased in smaller portions, it can be done by the private sector, it is investable so banks back it, 18 months after investment, it can be up and running, economically it is the cheapest, and gaps in generation can be... 

South Africa has the potential to outstrip world in going green

By: Martin Creamer     5th August 2022 The unveiling by President Cyril Ramaphosa of several far-reaching energy interventions has the potential to set the country on a once-in-a-generation economic growth path. South Africa not only has the sun, wind, land and now the blessing for the generation of green electrons in bulk, but it... 

National Planning Commission’s call for 5 000 MW of storage can set up new local industries

By: Martin Creamer     29th July 2022 The call by the National Planning Commission for 5 000 MW of energy storage in South Africa could create new local industries and a wonderful addendum to the just energy transition. Long-duration energy storage is key and both vanadium and platinum group metals can help see to that. The local... 

It’s good for platinum that hydrogen’s been declared the ‘slam dunk’ of heavy haul

By: Martin Creamer     22nd July 2022 South Africans need to keep an ear out for the letter PEM – proton exchange membrane – when it comes to hydrogen. We want PEM electrolysers and we want PEM fuel cells because PEM technology translates into additional demand for platinum group metals, which we host in greatest abundance. Well done... 

One must be excited about green hydrogen as an energy option

By: Martin Creamer     15th July 2022 If one looks at the energy storage options available today, one must be excited about green hydrogen. The storage options are batteries, hydrogen and pumped water storage. As pumping and storing water is as green as it gets, the contest turns to hydrogen versus batteries. For this contest to be... 

A big new industrial pillar is there for the taking, provided South Africans respond vigorously

By: Martin Creamer     8th July 2022 South Africa has everything going for it to turn the green electron and green molecule revolution into a major new industrial pillar that effectively creates within itself the just energy transition potential that is also so necessary. If South Africans grasps this green revolution opportunity... 

Investment-linked applications should be automatically approved if set deadlines are not met

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2022 Systems must be put in place to ensure that bureaucracy does not halt much-needed economic investment. One system that could be considered is for, say, exploration and mining licence applications to have a fixed deadline of, for example, 120 days. Should approval not be granted in that time, the... 

Southern Africa’s pursuit of green hydrogen is the right thing to do

By: Martin Creamer     24th June 2022 Coega and Prieska, in South Africa, and Lüderitz, in Namibia, are locations were green hydrogen and green ammonia projects are planned in Southern Africa – and correctly so. The region has got what it takes to produce these products competitively and the potential reward seems to outweigh the... 

Exploration should be enthusiastically embraced as a major economic opportunity

By: Martin Creamer     17th June 2022 South Africa’s long-standing mining history has failed to bring with it the types of minerals exploration cultures that are prevalent in other main mining jurisdictions. The bulk of the exploration done here – and then overwhelmingly by major mining companies – is what is referred to as... 

There should be zero tolerance for poor export logistics

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2022 An export business is as good as its logistics, which is invariably a combination of public and private sector involvement. Government should not tolerate decimation of foreign exchange flow and the more local businesses export, the more they pay in tax, which is why collaboration by all South... 

Lagging net-zero peers is bad for business

By: Martin Creamer     3rd June 2022 The World Meteorological Organisation shows that planet earth is increasingly likely to experience global warming of 1.5°C within the next five years because of record greenhouse gas levels. Despite this concerning news, 80% of the South African organisations surveyed by PwC South Africa have not... 

Promising new approach to mining investment by governments and private sector

By: Martin Creamer     27th May 2022 It is not just governments that have realised the need for private sector investment in their countries, but it is also an era in which the private sector is adding a far more responsible touch to the investments they make. Current private sector investment in mining in particular is accompanied... 

Mining Indaba pulling African Presidents closer for benefit of the continent

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2022 The Investing in African Mining Indaba has emerged from the pandemic with a new tangible sense of African cohesion. The four presidents of South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were often seen forming a cohesive unit. The conviviality evident among them bodes... 

The support of the World Coal Association for a just energy transition to net zero must be applauded

By: Martin Creamer     13th May 2022 The stand of the World Coal Association and its members on a just energy transition is a display of important pragmatism at this point in the world’s fight against climate change. Chairperson July Ndlovu must be applauded for his call on the energy sector to work together to ensure that the... 

The dogged diligence that energy providers are showing deserves backing, not sacking

By: Martin Creamer     6th May 2022 Energy planning, execution and delivery are long-term pursuits, and those in position now must be given space to finish the job. The current batch of energy executives are having to deal with inadequacies that were set in motion by those who came before then. Those in charge now are not only very... 

German hydrogen lead is a must-follow for South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2022 Driving around Germany in a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) presents no problem these days. Hydrogen refuelling pumps are there for even small privately owned fuel cell electric vehicles. From a South African viewpoint, the two words ‘fuel’ and ‘cell’ are key, as are ‘proton exchange membrane... 

Best practice in appointing public-service managers a must

By: Martin Creamer     22nd April 2022 One senses that much more effort is made by South Africa’s soccer teams to appoint their coaches than the government puts in to appoint key directors-general. Former President Kgalema Motlanthe is correct to call for urgent reform. Building a capable state requires appointing capable public... 

Treasury must be instructed to incentivise mining exploration as a matter of urgency

By: Martin Creamer     15th April 2022 Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel once promised to introduce a flow-through scheme to incentivise minerals exploration but instead gazetted a scheme that finance boutiques seemed to like. Not a single mining company took it up. Many efforts were made to communicate that other countries had... 

South Africans must be afforded full mining licence transparency

By: Martin Creamer     8th April 2022 Something like 16 to 19 manganese mining operations have been licenced by government over a period of years without a word being mentioned by government and very little coming through from the mining companies themselves owing to none of them being directly listed. One Johannesburg Stock Exchange... 

South Africa’s ferrochrome smelters going green in an exemplary manner

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2022 Energy-intensive ferrochrome smelting operations are choosing to go green in an exemplary manner. Firstly, they are making the full use of their obnoxious offgases by converting the carbon dioxide in them to clean electricity. Staying on site, they are then extracting the best renewable potential... 

Well done to private sector for responding so promptly to renewables opportunity

By: Martin Creamer     25th March 2022 The government lifted the limit on the generation of non-government renewables energy and, in no time at all, the private sector delivered plans for a Koeberg-equivalent of mainly clean solar power, with a bit of wind thrown in. Pleasingly, the taxpayer will not be called upon to pay a single... 

Mining must be enabled to seize the multiplicity of lucrative opportunities that are staring it in the face

By: Martin Creamer     18th March 2022 Those who have for too long consistently stood in the way of South Africa seizing mining opportunities should be moved out of the way fast. There was a time when a deputy director general revealed in what he presumably imagined was an appropriate forum that he had been placing the expansion... 

Mining red tape must be cut, exploration must be incentivised

By: Martin Creamer     4th March 2022 During its Covid-worsened economic crisis, South Africa would have had nothing to fall back on without the massive contribution of its far-reaching mining industry. This contribution is massive and takes in the fiscus, foreign exchange generation, a quality supply chain, communities, the green... 

DRDGold setting a good example in developing the informal sector

By: Martin Creamer     25th February 2022 Mining companies listed on local and global bourses are not normally associated with the informal sector, but association is very real in the case DRDGold. The Johannesburg- and New York-listed surface gold mining company, led by CEO Niël Pretorius, is going all out to develop the informal... 

Be warned: Carbon recalcitrance will place South Africa on the lowest rung of export hell

By: Martin Creamer     18th February 2022 As the world moves to a cleaner and greener energy future, South Africa needs to integrate its energy, environmental, industrial and fiscal policies in such a way that all are able to pull together to make the transition to a low-carbon economy not only highly successful but also profitable.... 

Ubuntu must be uppermost as South Africa embarks on decarbonisation journey

By: Martin Creamer     11th February 2022 Showing humanity towards others in fully fledged Ubuntu style is the African way – and we need to display a lot more of it as we move swiftly with the rest of the world to save our planet from climate conflagration. The generation and storage of wonderful African sunshine and prime African wind... 

Our solar, wind endowment positions us superbly to go green in everything we do

By: Martin Creamer     4th February 2022 What some fail acknowledge is that refusing to go green comes with severe penalties. Using carbon-intensive energy to process our ores and metals will meet with stiff carbon border tariffs and end-user resistance in a world that is poised to find selling carbon-intensive products increasingly... 

Superpower is within our grasp

By: Martin Creamer     28th January 2022 South Africa’s unemployment, inequality and poverty could, without doubt, be reduced significantly if our Integrated Resource Plan was refocused exclusively on solar power, wind power and the storage of the world-beating combination of the renewable energy twins to give us the superpower within... 

South Africans duty-bound to do all they can to go green as fast as possible

By: Martin Creamer     21st January 2022 Climate change is real. It has impact. It causes catastrophe. All human beings living on planet earth are affected and our grandchildren stand to be devastated if we don't change. South Africans must do the right thing. We have the sun and wind, and we must use it in a widespread way to phase out... 

Use renewables to cut carbon and create hydrogen, then use hydrogen to replace diesel

By: Martin Creamer     10th December 2021 In the last 100 years, energy consumption by the mining industry has rocketed. To use copper as an example, Anglo American reports that producing a pound of copper today requires 16 times more energy than it did 100 years ago. Against that background, the mining industry has no excuse but to lead... 

Govt must remove red tape to speed up mining’s free energy offer

By: Martin Creamer     3rd December 2021 The mining industry is once again coming to South Africa’s economic rescue. Earlier this year, it surprised on the upside by giving the fiscus mountain-high taxes at the height of the Covid crisis, and now, as the year comes to a close, it is offering to deliver R60-billion worth of additional... 

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