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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

Editorial Insight

Environmental protection no longer optional for mining companies wanting to attract investment

By: Martin Creamer     21st June 2019 Without a doubt, mining investors and the fund-providing institutions that they represent, are applying more environmental, social and governance (ESG) pressure on today’s mining CEOs. Long-serving CEOs, who never heard ESG issues being raised at investor meetings in the past, are now finding... 

Coal caps, carbon curbs, fossil fuel funding limits are correct moves in a world beset by growing climate risk

By: Martin Creamer     14th June 2019 Earlier this year, Glencore became the first coal-supplying company to cap its coal production. It did so following engagement with the investor signatories of the Climate Action 100+ initiative. As the largest supplier of seaborne coal, it undertook not to produce more than 150-million tonnes of... 

Mantashe must place cheaper, job-rich renewable energy high on list in additional Energy Minister role

By: Martin Creamer     7th June 2019 Mines and energy are joined at the hip, which means the appointment of a Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy makes sense. But, then again, mines and the environment, water, trains, roads and ports are also very much in the mix. Does that mean South Africa needs a single ministry of mines,... 

Research, development and innovation activists at the Mandela Mining Precinct deserve strong support

By: Martin Creamer     31st May 2019 After mining research in South Africa disintegrated markedly, there is now a positive new thrust emerging from the research, development and innovation (RDI) units at the Mandela Mining Precinct in Carlow Road, Johannesburg. These RDI teams are making use of the wonderful new technologies that... 

Energy Minister has done well to open the way for South Africans to generate their own electricity

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2019 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe deserves a pat on the back for opening the way for businesses to generate its own electricity. Just about every mining company that one speaks to these days tells you that generating renewable energy for its operations will take it down the cost curve and give it... 

South Africans must urgently unite behind the goal of building an inclusive economy

By: Martin Creamer     17th May 2019 South Africans should waste no time in uniting behind the goal of building the economy inclusively and creating as many jobs as possible. As pointed out by President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the election, for the first time in more than a decade, South Africa is in a position to grow the economy... 

Eskom, Nersa must not be allowed to stand in way of mining companies creating own sources of more reliable, cheaper power

By: Martin Creamer     10th May 2019 Several mining companies are keen to generate their own electricity from renewable energy sources. In most instances, renewable energy companies are prepared to build solar power plants and wind energy plants on mine sites provided the mining companies enter into offtake agreements. Banks are... 

Floundering Eskom is hurting the economy by standing in the way of economical renewable electricity generation

By: Martin Creamer     3rd May 2019 State electricity utility Eskom is living on the edge, yet it has the audacity to keep renewable energy aspirants on an even narrower edge, with the help of the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). As a utility that can no longer offer energy security, it should see getting out... 

Platinum’s twinning with hydrogen bodes well for the metal as global fuel cell electric vehicle adoption grows

By: Martin Creamer     26th April 2019 Where hydrogen goes, platinum usually follows, and since hydrogen is seen as a climate change solution, it is hoped that platinum demand is assured, in spite of the expected significant growth of battery electric vehicles, which do not use platinum. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are seen... 

Hydrogen penny beginning to drop as Anglo seizes mine mobility opportunity using sun power

By: Martin Creamer     19th April 2019 South Africa’s excellent sun intensity and its prime onshore wind corridors put the country in an excellent position to pursue the electrification of almost anything, says the newly published book entitled ‘South Africa’s Energy Transition, A Roadmap to a Decarbonised, low-cost and job-rich... 

Mining sector focus can eliminate South Africa’s Budget deficit, create far-reaching economic benefit

By: Martin Creamer     12th April 2019 Come on, South Africa, let’s get mining’s act together in a way that reaps far more rewards for the South African people. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Minerals Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe both know the mining industry inside out, which puts them in a twin position to persuade the... 

South Africa well positioned to have the best of both carbon worlds for decades to come

By: Martin Creamer     5th April 2019 South Africa is in the good position of having a promising coal export outlook as well as superior sun and prime wind to bolster its renewable energy prospects. South Africa is in a relatively unrivalled position to simultaneously come off coal gradually over decades and to come on to renewable... 

South Africa’s image improving as mining investment destination, local university mining school gaining progressive global recognition

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2019 South Africa’s image as a mining investment destination is improving, one of the country’s mining engineering schools is being globally acknowledged as a progressive place of learning, mineworkers have become the effective controlling shareholders at a local coal mine, Mining Charter III us... 

Minerals Council South Africa should now publish national chrome strategy as platinum strategy follow-on

By: Martin Creamer     22nd March 2019 Maximising South Africa’s platinum group metals (PGMs) endowment through the development of a national platinum strategy is key and Minerals Council South Africa must take a bow for publishing its 14-page PGMs roadmap. Now it should do the same thing for South Africa’s chrome ore endowment, in... 

Mining’s eyeing of renewable energy alternatives will intensify with 13.82% electricity tariff award

By: Martin Creamer     15th March 2019 Just about every mining company you speak to these days has renewable energy in its sights and all report that initial indications are that solar power installations beat the Eskom tariff – and that was before the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) granted its latest tariff... 

Glencore’s praiseworthy coal capping indicative of intensification of global trend to low-carbon future

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2019 It takes praiseworthy strategic thinking to say ‘so far and no further’ when it comes to a commodity that is an integral part of one’s business but that it exactly what Glencore, the world’s biggest supplier of seaborne coal did when it announced last week that it would not increase is coal... 

Global mining world correct to take action on slimes dam negligence, establish strong auditing behaviour

By: Martin Creamer     1st March 2019 The global mining world is correct to focus intensely in on monitoring particularly the upstream varieties of mine tailings storage facilities (TSFs), which has taken so many lives and caused such environmental damage. The Brazilian tragedies have been ghastly and every time one checks on the... 

South African mining falling behind on energy, automation, discovery, development and longevity fronts

By: Martin Creamer     22nd February 2019 South African mining was at one stage ahead of the world, leading on all fronts using the cheapest energy. All that has ended and South African mining now finds itself far behind. Its African counterparts are streaking ahead in the use of renewable energy, the ushering in of automation and the... 

Mining Indaba strengthens continental approach, diamond exploration boosted, precious metals mining has new environmental stricture

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2019 The Investing in African Mining Indaba has evolved over the last quarter century into an even that has promoted inclusive growth on the continent. A promising axis between South Africa and Ghana was enhanced when President Cyril Ramaphosa challenged mining to take ten value-adding steps to spread... 

Platinum-group metals need wider range of uses to ensure ongoing demand in wake of auto disruption

By: Martin Creamer     8th February 2019 Every day we read about electric vehicles taking over from conventional petrol and diesel vehicles. Even though the accuracy of many of these reports is challenged by those doing convincing calculations, at the end of the day, the automotive market is going to be disrupted in one way or another,... 

UN is right to alert business to opportunity of mining world’s quickly rising brine mountain

By: Martin Creamer     1st February 2019 There are about 16 000 desalination plants in the world and these discharge 142-million cubic meters of brine daily, which is well up on previous estimates and enough in a year to cover KwaZulu-Natal in 30 cm of saturated salt water. What is needed is a mining of the salt and metals contained in... 

New commodity-specific vision needed for threatened platinum mining businesses

By: Martin Creamer     25th January 2019 Whenever I interviewed platinum-mining executives in the late Seventies and early Eighties, they would invariably discuss marketing, marketing and more marketing, which platinum needs because it is never consumed and comes back in recycled form. I would go to the platinum fortress of the time,... 

Informal land occupation should not be allowed to trump formal mining investment

By: Martin Creamer     18th January 2019 It is the age of informal triumph. Informal land occupiers are able to stop formal mining applications by winning victories in the law courts. Informal mining under the Gold City of Johannesburg wins vocal support while formal officially licenced mining is vocally condemned. 

Incipient low-cost energy development must be crafted to bring back low-cost minerals-energy complex

By: Martin Creamer     14th December 2018 It is good news that the pilot projects of South Africa’s hydrogen strategy are nearing commercialisation, as Department of Science and Technology hydrogen and energy chief director Dr Rebecca Maserumule told attendees of the thirtieth International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the... 

South Africa must use clean renewable energy to build new minerals-energy complex

By: Martin Creamer     7th December 2018 The South African economy of the past benefited immensely from a combination of rich minerals and metals and low-cost coal-fired electricity. The platform that gave rise to strong economic growth was referred to as South Africa’s minerals and energy complex. 

Coal set to continue to command energy scene for some time as renewables progressively gain market share

By: Martin Creamer     30th November 2018 The Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF) put up a good show at last week’s coal event in Johannesburg. The message was driven home that there must be full cognisance of the importance of coal to South Africa, even though the product is being cold-shouldered because of the need to decarbonise the world.... 

Positive corporate thinking is emerging that has potential to stimulate vital new investment

By: Martin Creamer     23rd November 2018 It is wonderful that top South African business leaders are speaking out on the merits of stepping up investment in the South African economy. First the country had Brian Joffe, who created the huge Bidvest group before leaving that in good hands and turning his attention Long4Life, and now we... 

Determined approach of mining majors to people and planet bodes well for future

By: Martin Creamer     16th November 2018 Mining majors are firmly committing to supporting communities and protecting the environment. They are nailing their colours to the mast of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, meeting the membership standards of organisations like the International Council on Mining and Metals and... 

Mine modernisation momentum building up unstoppable steam

By: Martin Creamer     9th November 2018 There is just no stopping the pace of mine modernisation globally. There will be no turning back at the level of the mining majors. All of them are seizing on every bit of appropriate technology available to create better mines that present less risk to health, better protect Mother Nature and... 

Time to fulfil mine modernisation plans optimally to boost mining efficiency, extend mine life, preserve jobs

By: Martin Creamer     2nd November 2018 Virtually every mining company you talk to has plans to modernise its operations and it would be beneficial for the industry to share information publicly about what is working best. This is because successful modernisation will not only be a major boon to the mining companies themselves, but... 

Mining’s performance must improve for the good of the South African people

By: Martin Creamer     26th October 2018 Although the mining production figures for the month of August were regrettably still on a downward trajectory, sentiment in the sector has improved by leaps and bounds since Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe took office. Disaggregation of August’s output data by Investec exposed a... 

Time to enlarge the mining industry for the good of all the people of South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2018 There are good reasons why the South African mining industry should not be too big, Dutch disease being one of them, but the present size of mining at only 4% to this country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is a lost economic opportunity second to none. Worst of all is that the cause of mining’s... 

Releasing exploration companies from onerous regulatory burdens is positive

By: Martin Creamer     12th October 2018 Mining Charter Three does not tie exploration companies down to the obligations it places on new mining licence applicants. Exploration has not been encumbered with 30% black economic empowerment obligations, 5% carried interest for labour, 5% carried interest for communities and the other boxes... 

Proper stimulation of mining can ensure better living standards for the people of South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     5th October 2018 Johannesburg and Los Angeles have something special in common. They were both catalysed by gold mining. The Witwatersrand gold rush of 1886 led to the establishment of Johannesburg and the California gold rush of 1848 led to the development of Los Angeles. Both cities are examples of the... 

Irony of resource-rich Africa remaining poor must be reversed

By: Martin Creamer     28th September 2018 There are many world leaders holding thumbs that Africa will move to the next level in the not too distant future. Encouraging African steps just taken include the African Continental Free Trade Agreement between 44 African Union member states, with the goal of creating a single market. But even... 

Investor confidence takes on new hue, South Africa needs to embrace it with vigour

By: Martin Creamer     21st September 2018 Investor confidence is no longer a stand-alone in the South African context, where it includes other key confidences. In delivering 51% higher headline earnings of R4 814-million in the 12 months to June 30 accompanied by a hefty R1.7-billion cumulative dividend payout, African Rainbow Minerals... 

Govt should remove the carbon tax threat hanging over the metal smelting sector

By: Martin Creamer     14th September 2018 The renewable energy factor that predominates the latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) provide and excellent reason by the Cabinet should instruct the National Treasury to put a hold on its plan to introduce a carbon tax on January 1 next year. Enshrined in the latest IRP is the strongest... 

Minister’s big exploration stimulus must also be fully transparent to be credible

By: Martin Creamer     7th September 2018 Somehow Cabinet Ministers seem to say more outside the country than in it. Mining Weekly has been striving for effective stimulation of the dormant exploration business for some time, but the publication had to wait for Minerals Minister Gwede Mantashe to go to last week’s African Down Under... 

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