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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

South Africa’s mining upsurge will need skills, let’s be prepared

By: Martin Creamer     14th May 2021 Mining is reawakening and even countries with an abundance of mining skills are starting to check whether their capacity is going to be adequate. South Africa should do the same. Mining’s future is beginning to look up but there’s nothing like insufficient capacity to make it all fall down. We... 

It makes huge economic sense to encourage mineral exploration

By: Martin Creamer     7th May 2021 Mining, preceded by exploration, is the greatest economic multiplier of all business activities, including government expenditure, says Integral Asset Management chief investment officer Bruce Williamson. It therefore makes huge sense for government to enact attractive, investment-friendly... 

Coal contracts with Eskom must be honoured

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2021 The decision of Eskom to ask Treasury to consider the release of a top coal mining company from its long-term contractual obligations should be opened to full public scrutiny. In this instance, Treasury is considering releasing a public company from a 14-year obligation. Should the company be... 

Self-generation limit that’s free of red tape must be lifted much higher

By: Martin Creamer     16th April 2021 Holding South Africans to a 10 MW self-generation grid-linked electricity threshold of 10 MW is a measure that is holding back the economic future of this country. The limit must be raised to at least 50 MW without delay. The regulations for the 10 MW threshold are not yet out so all the drafters... 

South Africans must disallow official tardiness that prevents economic progress

By: Martin Creamer     9th April 2021 The South African people must no longer tolerate national slowness that keeps us out of the benefits of global trends. South Africa began in green hydrogen more than a decade ago is now falling behind the rest of the world. The country is very well placed with superior sun, prime wind, the... 

Government must join the platinum group metals promotion effort

By: Martin Creamer     2nd April 2021 South Africa is blessed with the planet’s largest endowment of platinum group metals (PGMs) but is not doing enough to promote this, at a time when PGM demand faces a potential decade of strength. PGMs must be more strongly promoted by South Africa Incorporated. The government in general and the... 

Mines correct to take tailings management very seriously

By: Martin Creamer     26th March 2021 It is a pity that there have to be horrific tragedies before due attention is paid to dangerous practices. For example, Brazil had to be he location of a shocking mine tailings disaster before the mining industry went out of its way to enforce proper mine tailings principles. When the tailings... 

An immediate end must be brought to inexplicably slow mineral rights processing

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2021 It has been so very disheartening to hear just how slowly the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has been processing applications for mining rights, prospecting rights, mining permits, renewals and cessions. The Mineral Resources & Energy Parliamentary Portfolio Committee was right... 

Test mine to try out new technologies is a great idea

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2021 Hats off to the South African mining industry for planning a test mine for Fourth Industrial Revolution technology try-outs. The industry needs to go all out to be globally competitive, having slipped back on productivity and production. The faster the Minerals Council South Africa team completes... 

Decarbonising South Africa is a must

By: Martin Creamer     26th February 2021 The private sector the world over is responding very well to climate change. This is because is the shareholders of public companies are demanding a switch away from fossil fuel to renewable sun, wind and water energy. It is a must for South Africa to decarbonise. Firstly, it is right to make the... 

Multitrillion-rand opportunity staring South Africans in the face. What are we waiting for?

By: Martin Creamer     19th February 2021 South Africa is in an amazingly good position to create huge wealth and generate hundreds of thousands of near-term jobs by producing carbon-neutral powerfuels for aviation, and green hydrogen for the production for green steel. The starting point is to use our superior sunlight, prime wind,... 

We’re allowing the benefits of mineral exploration to pass us by

By: Martin Creamer     5th February 2021 South Africa is a mining country which was supposed to have a mineral exploration strategy by the end of this month. But, as I write, none has been forthcoming, despite the commitment being made publicly, for all to hear, at a mining event last year. The losers are the South African people... 

The ‘greenness’ South Africa can help bestow on the world needs hard sell now

By: Martin Creamer     29th January 2021 South Africa and the amazing platinum group metals it hosts in such abundance have been cleaning up emissions from vehicle exhaust pipes for decades. Now they are earmarked to do so in elevated zero-emission fashion in fuel cells and in green hydrogen generation. A leading mining executive I... 

Australia’s loss becomes South Africa’s gain

By: Martin Creamer     22nd January 2021 China’s refusal to buy Australian coal has resulted in the Asian country taking the unprecedented step of turning to South Africa for its supply of combustible black rock – a very welcome fillip in our hour of need. Coupled to ongoing traditional demand for South African coal from the likes of... 

Time to build back better as we fight off Covid

By: Martin Creamer     15th January 2021 A well-known chairperson was once criticised for spending much of his time looking out of the window of the high-rise corporate building that his company occupied. He would do so in deep thought, with his hands behind his back. This intense contemplation turned out to be of great benefit to the... 

African Continental Free Trade deal must get rid of those long truck queues at border posts

By: Martin Creamer     11th December 2020 When I passed through a few Southern African border posts last year, I was disappointed to see the long queues of trucks waiting to get through customs. The one of truck driver I spoke to complained that the hold ups invariably take days. I thought to myself that it would be advantageous to... 

South Africans must focus unflinchingly on creating economic growth and jobs

By: Martin Creamer     4th December 2020 The focus has got to be unflinching. We South Africans must not allow ourselves to be diverted away from creating economic growth and jobs. Heaven knows how huge many of our problems are; some of them can only be described as being frighteningly colossal. But each and every one of them can be... 

If Egypt is anything to go by, South Africa could see brisk exploration response

By: Martin Creamer     27th November 2020 Egypt awarded 82 exploration blocks to 11 companies in an international bid round for mineral exploration that took place briskly, with foreign investors quick to take part. Egypt is targeting $1-billion in investment in the mining sector and has opened up a second bid round for gold and mineral... 

South Africans, please seize the green hydrogen opportunity with far greater enthusiasm

By: Martin Creamer     20th November 2020 Green hydrogen is selling itself globally. Climate change mitigation has created the demand. It was good to hear Kumba Iron Ore say that it is investigating the use of green hydrogen for its mining activities. It was also good that Sasol included green hydrogen in its low-carbon reset hopes. But... 

At last, the Witwatersrand Gold Basin is being targeted once more

By: Martin Creamer     13th November 2020 When it comes to gold, additional exploration in South Africa’s Witwatersrand Gold Basin is not as needed as with other metals and minerals. The Wits Gold Basin has been so thoroughly explored that it’s more a question of going through bottom drawers to find shallow gold prospects. It’s good that... 

South Africa must protect its national chrome patrimony by supporting ferrochrome

By: Martin Creamer     6th November 2020 South Africa has more chrome than any other country, which is why it made such sense to add value to it in South Africa and turn chromite into ferrochrome, at many times the price and many times the jobs. But it did so when electricity was cheap. Currently Eskom’s expensive electricity and... 

Excessive dividend demand is ripping heart out of mining’s future

By: Martin Creamer     23rd October 2020 Mining majors are putting emphasis on dividends over capital investment and it will come back to haunt them. Those with long enough memories will recall what happened to Rand Mines, which ended up with a strategy of dying with dignity. Every single day that mining companies take something out of... 

Govt, stop charging alluvial miners an arm and a leg in regulatory fees

By: Martin Creamer     16th October 2020 The regulatory charges imposed on small miners by the South African government are absurd. Alluvial diamond miners are charged within the same framework as the mining majors. The mere application for a small 5 ha mining permit, before the applicant has even bought a pick and shovel, costs R150... 

Gear up to the reality of the circular economy being the new normal

By: Martin Creamer     9th October 2020 There’s money in muck, we used to say, but failed to do enough to ensure that muck was collected efficiently. Now all that has to change. If you’re in the business of material production, what you put out there must be recycled, both in the interests of environmental protection and enterprise... 

This time round let’s do it, South Africa, and never have to look back

By: Martin Creamer     2nd October 2020 South Africans were quick off the mark with the public-private grid-tied renewable energy programme, then we fell behind. We were again quick off the mark with green hydrogen, then we fell behind. In the 70s, our platinum led the way in cleaning the air above all the big cities of the world, then... 

Platinum must grab on to the coattails of the hydrogen economy with all the strength that it has

By: Martin Creamer     25th September 2020 A few years back, platinum group metals mining analysts would fight shy of including hydrogen economy pull in their demand calculations. Today, that’s all changed and they’re falling over themselves to include every last bit of it in future value data. This comes at a time when governments the... 

South Africa must seize its huge new-world opportunities immediately

By: Martin Creamer     18th September 2020 If we work together, we can treble the size of our platinum industry. Why don’t we? Minerals Council South Africa has an already-drafted plan to take South Africa from the $11-billion -a-year business that it is today to the $35-billion-a-year, yes dollar, business it could be. The hydrogen, fuel... 

South Africa Inc is duty-bound to be constructive on all fronts

By: Martin Creamer     11th September 2020 The world hates nitrous oxide smog and rhodium can take it away. But there’s not enough rhodium to meet galloping demand and the upshot is that the rhodium price has rocketed out of sight. South Africa hosts 90% of the planet’s rhodium and mining more upper group two reef will also mean more... 

Hats off to Namibia and Botswana for going solar

By: Martin Creamer     4th September 2020 Namibia and Botswana deserve pats on the back for going big on solar. After all, both have lots of sun and sand, and Namibia has sea to boot. From the seawater, green hydrogen can be electrolysed with the help of excess solar power. From Namibia’s well-established harbours, consideration could... 

Well done to Germany for including Southern Africa in its green hydrogen strategy

By: Martin Creamer     28th August 2020 Hats off to Germany for funding a green hydrogen atlas initiative across 12 Southern African states. Germany is to be credited, too, for wasting no time in making green hydrogen central to its economic recovery strategy. A country like Namibia, for example, has very hot sun, abundant land,... 

South Africa must take steps to sustain its invaluable gold mining industry

By: Martin Creamer     21st August 2020 When I heard that Japan is opening its doors to gold exploration, I got thinking about how wonderful it would be right now if South Africa was still the biggest gold producer in the world. Gold pulls an economy up when most of the other sectors are down, like right now. Given our rich gold... 

Grow the industrial base using new technologies that make low volumes competitive

By: Martin Creamer     14th August 2020 New opportunities for local industrialisation are unfolding, thanks to modern technologies that ensure that even low-volume production can be globally competitive. South Africa must look to using these technologies to grow its manufacturing base. Already under way are focused interventions by the... 

Kumba doing right thing to explore in our wonderfully endowed Northern Cape

By: Martin Creamer     7th August 2020 Hats off to Anglo American group company Kumba Iron Ore, led by CEO Themba Mkhwanazi, for doing such exciting mining exploration in our wonderfully prospective Northern Cape. South Africa needs so much more of this kind of exploration, as this month’s document by the economic transformation... 

South Africa must incentivise mining exploration, the ANC is 100% correct

By: Martin Creamer     24th July 2020 As pointed out the well-received 30-page discussion document of the economic transformation committee, the South African mining industry has in recent years experienced falling levels of investment and exploration, job losses, and increased cost pressures, but despite these problems, South Africa... 

South Africa needs a hydrogen roadmap and it needs one fast

By: Martin Creamer     17th July 2020 In April 2016, I listened to then Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor say that the South African government was working on a fuel cell and hydrogen roadmap. She was speaking at the launch of a hydrogen refuelling station at Impala Platinum in Springs. “It’s about an economic development... 

SA Inc must get going fast to benefit optimally from the great green electricity rush

By: Martin Creamer     10th July 2020 No country in the world is better placed than South Africa to take optimal advantage of the world’s colossal surge towards clean electricity. Virtually every day now, far-reaching strategic strides are being taken to entrench green energy an integral part of economic recovery. To go green, the... 

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... 

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