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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

Hurry up with the 88 chosen projects and list them for all to see

By: Martin Creamer     3rd July 2020 The sentiment at last week’ virtual Presidential sustainable infrastructure development symposium was absolutely correct, namely that the South African economy needs to be propelled forward by the development of infrastructure, a world-proven method of taking a country's economy forward. But the... 

Slow border logistics is costing Africa a fortune and must be brought to an end

By: Martin Creamer     26th June 2020 When I last visited Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, I was horrified by the dreadfully long queues of heavily-laden trucks waiting to cross through border posts. I chatted to a few of the truck drivers and they complained bitterly about their long waits. It’s simply nonsensical and a gross brake on... 

Decarbonising metal, even only partly, can earn you a price premium

By: Martin Creamer     19th June 2020 For the first time in its 143-year history, the London Metals Exchange (LME) will be using greenness and cleanness as a trading factor. Aluminium produced with clean electricity will receive a low-carbon halo, and aluminium produced with the usual fire and brimstone will occupy an inferior rung.... 

Unemployed could help flatten climate curve by planting trees

By: Martin Creamer     12th June 2020 Pakistan is reportedly giving tree-planting jobs to workers laid off by Covid-19. The initiative is part of a programme to grow ten billion trees that can absorb carbon and clean the air. This is an example of the type of green recovery South Africa can embark on in the aftermath of the pandemic,... 

We must seize upon in-country self-sufficiency opportunities that Covid presents

By: Martin Creamer     5th June 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing countries to look inward economically because of the logistical curbs that the coronavirus imposes on them. Simultaneously, Covid-19 is strengthening the hand of major global investment companies to withdraw from investments that fail to uphold environmental,... 

Curbing pollution of all kinds must become a South African imperative

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 Experiencing clean skies during lockdown has been inspiring. Fewer vehicles on the highways and byways has meant less pollution and easier breathing. As South Africans, we should no longer tolerate vehicles without catalytic converters. Government should legislate soonest to introduce strict... 

Taking rapid steps to mitigate climate change is the right thing to do

By: Martin Creamer     22nd May 2020 A presentation that Anglo American gave to the Bank of America global mining and metals conference this month had a very interesting graphic that told a big story. It showed crop nutrients replacing thermal coal in the company’s portfolio of assets. A crop nutrients mine has been bought and... 

The main theme of post-Covid economic bounce-back must be green

By: Martin Creamer     15th May 2020 The coronavirus has emphasised the importance of human health to the world economy. The old saying that your health is your wealth has never rung more true. By attacking good health, Covid-19 is destroying wealth left, right and centre. As it does so, global calls are being made for a green... 

Let’s forge a new and vibrant post-virus economy together

By: Martin Creamer     8th May 2020 The exceptional collective energy that South Africans are showing in tackling the coronavirus must not be lost but instead harnessed to forge a new post-virus economy that reflects the true capacity of the South African people. Going forward, there is a need to take new local opportunities at a... 

One set of Covid-19 mining regulations has already proved 100% wrong

By: Martin Creamer     1st May 2020 The Covid-19 regulations of the Ontario provincial government of Canada, which declared mining an essential service, forced South Africa’s Implats to continue mining at its mechanised Lac des Iles mine, in Canada – but at its peril. In sharp contrast, South Africa’s regulations demanded that... 

Well done, South Africa, for Covid-19 generosity and decisiveness

By: Martin Creamer     24th April 2020 South Africa’s billionaires and the country’s major corporate companies need ongoing pats on the back for showing such wonderful generosity during the Covid-19 crisis. The R1-billion rand pledged by Dr Patrice Motsepe and wife Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, and the R1-billion pledges from Nicky and... 

Our virus-hit world must now introduce a Basel III equivalent in global health

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2020 Thanks goodness for Basel. Banks kicked and screamed when it was imposed on them after the 2008 financial crisis but it is standing the world of banking in good stead during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly through the capital and liquidity provisions laid down in Basel III. What must... 

Flattening the climate change curve with coronavirus-type vigour is way to go

By: Martin Creamer     10th April 2020 It is right that health and safety have risen to the top of world agendas. The harsh impact of the coronavirus has correctly focused minds towards acting fast ahead of climate change impacting our grandchildren. “If we don’t take climate change issues very, very seriously, and see it as being... 

Eskom must sign contracts that ensure smart coal- to-renewables transition

By: Martin Creamer     3rd April 2020 One major South African coal mining company is already transitioning to renewable energy by generating sun and wind energy for sale on the national grid. It has a strategy of mining increasingly lower volumes of thermal coal and generating increasingly higher volumes of sun and wind energy. This... 

It’s crazy that South Africa has such low vehicle emission standards

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2020 Who in their right mind has sat back for so many years and allowed vehicles to pollute South Africa’s air so dreadfully? It’s bad enough that our notorious public sector has failed to bring petrol and diesel refining up to global speed, but what about the private sector treating its South African... 

Platinum takes two steps forward as PGMs take an explosive step backwards

By: Martin Creamer     20th March 2020 Platinum took two steps forward this week with the launch of the new Big Five platinum coin and the announcement of the new technology to give over-supplied platinum a gasoline engine show in. However, platinum group metals (PGMs) as a whole took an explosive step backwards as a result of the... 

It’s crystal clear that a just transition to a climate-positive future is the only route to take

By: Martin Creamer     13th March 2020 Being climate unfriendly will soon be as socially unacceptable as smoking in public and wearing fur, says Discovery CE Adrian Gore. Companies that fail to move to renewable sources of energy, power and heat will be lucky to see out 2030, warns Gen-I chairperson Dr Robert Golob. A new wave of... 

Those standing in the way of energy generation must step aside

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2020 All the talk about the self-generation of electricity makes it sound like a walk in the park, but it’s not. Those who take steps to self-generate find the going tough. South Africa, it seems, loves red tape. My plea to the politicians is to simplify the rules. South Africa is extremely lucky to... 

All the clean energy ducks are in a neat row

By: Martin Creamer     28th February 2020 The world’s clean, green journey is on a competitive path. New project for new project, renewable energy is beating fossil fuel and nuclear alternatives on price and common good. At the same time, sun and wind energy brings with it the potential for the production of green hydrogen. This oil-like... 

Roll out red carpet to close electricity gap in quickest, cheapest, cleanest way

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2020 Renewable energy can be commissioned quickest and cheapest, but the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is still refusing to acknowledge this truth – and doesn’t even give it credit for being cleanest. As a servant of the South African people, the department should be forced to roll out... 

Seize the hydrogen opportunity now and benefit the South African people later

By: Martin Creamer     14th February 2020 Hydrogen is emerging as an environmentally friendly universal energy carrier that is globally transportable and tradeable. Our sun, wind, land and seawater are at the ready to put us in a good competitive position. During the day, a hydrogen production capacity factor of close to 100% is on offer... 

Use wonderful palladium/rhodium windfall to derisk PGMs’ future

By: Martin Creamer     7th February 2020 Palladium and rhodium prices are spiking to pioneering heights, palladium by 1 500%-plus since 2009 and rhodium by 65% in the first three weeks 2020, on top of last year’s 300%. Analysts calculate that there is still more to come from these wonderful platinum group metals (PGMs). Bank of America... 

Climate friendliness is the new lightning rod of investment

By: Martin Creamer     31st January 2020 World leading investment manager BlackRock is demanding climate friendliness from all the companies in which it invests. Billionaire pilgrims to Davos wasted no time in spreading environmental, social and governance (ESG) dogma across the Swiss Alps. Even Down Under mining major BHP let it be... 

Let’s go ‘green’ without further delay

By: Martin Creamer     24th January 2020 Morgan Stanley estimates that it will take $50-trillion to stop global warming by 2050, which is a very large sum of money. But going ‘green’ has great potential to boost the economies and people of the world. Sun, wind, water, land and sea can, according to the calculations of the United Nations... 

Curbing carbon emission is a must

By: Martin Creamer     17th January 2020 Preventing carbon dioxide (CO2) from entering the atmosphere is necessary. The United Nations (UN) must set a date for this to happen the world over. Countries that refuse to endorse and enforce the UN roadmap must be heavily taxed on their exports and the revenue used curb CO2. Electricity... 

South Africa needs to ensure that it gains more from its mineral endowments

By: Martin Creamer     13th December 2019 South Africa has been blessed with a wonderful manganese endowment, but is not doing as well as it should in using that endowment to best effect for the good off the South African people. The country is putting this national patrimony at risk by not marketing it as imaginatively as it could at a... 

The alertness of mining companies to intensifying climate demands is encouraging

By: Martin Creamer     6th December 2019 One wonders how a large State utility like Eskom has been able to buck the system for so long and turn a blind eye to air-pollution legislation. While the technology is there to minimise emissions, offending organisations see the solutions as unaffordable. 

Govt must allow private sector to revive rail transport, create cheaper power capacity

By: Martin Creamer     29th November 2019 The South African government is duty-bound to do what benefits the South African people. It should not allow selfish vested interest to stand in the way of the common good. 

The private sector’s pursuit of greener, cleaner and cheaper electricity should not be curbed

By: Martin Creamer     22nd November 2019 Virtually every company one speaks to these days is intent on generating its own renewable energy, but when it comes to execution, they are thwarted by official restriction and red tape. Many mining companies that are exceedingly well placed to generate their own green, clean and cheaper... 

South Africa must give optimal attention to unemployment, inequality, poverty reduction

By: Martin Creamer     15th November 2019 Getting initiatives under way that help job creation, narrow inequality and reduce poverty are all crucial, irrespective of their magnitude or composition. Every bit helps. It was extremely encouraging to see Patrice Motsepe’s Motsepe Foundation and 33 religious and faith-based organisations... 

Huge economic opportunity presented by essential need to mitigate climate change

By: Martin Creamer     8th November 2019 How much will it cost to save the planet? An estimate from Morgan Stanley says it will take $50-trillion to stop global warming by 2050, with renewables requiring an investment of $14-trillion to deliver some 80% of global power by 2050, up from 37% today. South Africa needs to look responsibly... 

South Africa must seize climate-positive opportunities across the board to protect exports, lower costs, and grow the economy

By: Martin Creamer     1st November 2019 South Africa needs to strengthen its resolve to seize the amazing opportunities presented by  what amounts to “doing the right thing” on the climate-change mitigation front. South Africa is not only well placed to take immediate steps to initiate a meaningful economic decarbonisation programme... 

South Africa must get going to get growing; the country should seize the hydrogen opportunity immediately

By: Martin Creamer     25th October 2019 When Mining Weekly called at the Council for Scientific Research (CSIR) workshops nearly 40 years ago, white-coated technologists were enthusiastically talking about nuclear fusion as being the answer. But fusion turned into confusion and the technology never saw the light of day. Critics still... 

Climate-positive action triggers economic growth, failure to seize it will be a gross dereliction of duty

By: Martin Creamer     22nd October 2019 South Africa needs economic growth. In the short term, there is no doubt that tourism promotion has the best potential and the sooner South Africa introduces electronic visas and rolls out the red carpet for tourists the better. But there are also other growth opportunities that are crying out... 

Climate-positive action triggers economic growth, failure to seize it will be a gross dereliction of duty

By: Martin Creamer     18th October 2019 South Africa needs economic growth. In the short term, there is no doubt that tourism promotion has the best potential and the sooner South Africa introduces electronic visas and rolls out the red carpet for tourists the better. But there are also other growth opportunities that are crying out... 

Carbon tax uncertainty plus regulatory obstacles in the way of green energy patently unfair

By: Martin Creamer     11th October 2019 “If you emit carbon, you’re taxed; if you try to be carbon-free, you’re prevented by the regulators,” an observer lamented the other day. Carbon tax uncertainty is halting meaningful investment and renewables red tape disallows companies from taking refuge in solar and wind power investment. The... 

Buses are appropriate points of entry for platinum-enabled hydrogen economy

By: Martin Creamer     4th October 2019 Buses run by the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA), by the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system and by virtually all the other metropolitan areas should switch to locally produced green hydrogen fuel to establish points of entry into the new decarbonised world and to save South Africa a fortune in... 

Minerals Council deserves a pat on the back for its strong hydrogen economy support

By: Martin Creamer     27th September 2019 Take a bow, Minerals Council South Africa. Your strong support for the development of a platinum-fuelled hydrogen economy has had to be sensitively balanced with your need to provide continued support to your coal-mining members. But this did not stop the council from being unequivocal in its... 

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