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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

World’s colossal climate change crisis demands far greater universal response

By: Martin Creamer     20th September 2019 The world needs to be far more defined in phasing out the high-carbon environment that is endangering the future of the planet. It needs to stride towards environmental correctness, which includes becoming considerably more low-carbon in the medium term and no-carbon in the longer term. 

Way open for South Africa to seize huge hydrogen opportunity and boost PGMs mining at the same time

By: Martin Creamer     13th September 2019 The big thermal coal companies have announced their exit from coal, the big banks have announced their exit from coal funding and some insurance companies are calling on coal-mining companies to pay higher insurance premiums at insurance renewal time. Moreover, some governments have reduced state... 

Forethought needed to ensure that transition to low-carbon economy is just, orderly and economy enhancing

By: Martin Creamer     6th September 2019 Societal demands for a decarbonised world are being aired with increasing regularity. They are being directed rather robustly at the world of fossil fuels, which is discovering that there is no way out but to respond to the need to transition and to do so in a just, orderly and economy sustaining... 

Platinum must lead the charge towards clean, emission-free era – and score at the same time

By: Martin Creamer     30th August 2019 Particularly platinum mines need to clean up their mining act if they are to uphold their credibility as the miners of products that keep the world’s air clean. Keeping the air of major global cities clean but dirtying the air of local communities is just not on. 

US’s gold revival is showing up Witwatersrand as an opportunity public, private and labour interests failed to grasp

By: Martin Creamer     23rd August 2019 The latest Barrick Gold Corporation results presentation was stunning in from a US gold revival aspect. The results highlighted the strong revival of Nevada as a mature gold area that has been injected with new life through the 

Upped project tempo is encouraging, but much more investment needed to move the dial

By: Martin Creamer     16th August 2019 There is a better project mood about. It was good to see the board of the Johannesburg-listed Tharisa Mining approve  R780-million to increase chrome recovery and add 400 000 t/y of chrome to the company’s production from its chrome and platinum group metals mine near Brits.   It was also good to... 

Let’s seize the moment and turn our platinum endowment to maximum account with huge job creation

By: Martin Creamer     9th August 2019 In December 16, 2011, Mining Weekly’s cover picture was of South Africa’s former President Kgalema Motlanthe next to an Anglo American fuel cell generator, which was being shown off at the United Nations climate change convention’s seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP 17) in Durban.... 

Anglo going completely solar in South America sets excellent example for mining sector to follow

By: Martin Creamer     2nd August 2019 The decision of Anglo American to revert to renewable sources of energy only at its copper mines in Chile is a significant one. Many mining companies that have taken steps to use sun and wind energy have continued to source the bulk of their electricity from carbon-emitting national grids, but... 

South Africa needs to opt for fuel cells to power buildings, electrify rural areas, energise telecoms towers, mobilise vehicles

By: Martin Creamer     26th July 2019 Nedbank CIB Market Research did well this week to bring the world to Cape Town for a conference on fuel cells. Fuel cell technology and its link to South Africa’s platinum industry should be in the sights of local industry, commerce, banking and government, as should the globally emerging... 

West Rand police did well to lift lid off illegal mining ‘workshops’, now Barberton violence perpetrators must be exposed

By: Martin Creamer     19th July 2019 What looked like normal informal residences turned out to be furtively disguised ‘workshops’ and gold ore storage areas for illegal miners on the West Rand Discovery of this only took place after the South African Police Service on the West Rand, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department,... 

Policing of illegal mining in need of clearly enunciated law enforcement strategy

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2019 It has always been understood that police are there to uphold the law of the land, but when it comes to illegal mining, the law of the land seems to be in limbo. Ten years ago, Mining Weekly has headlines about the London- and Johannesburg-listed gold junior Pan African Resources appealing to the... 

It’s encouraging that new metals and mining projects are emerging from their starting blocks and old mines are being brought back to life

By: Martin Creamer     5th July 2019 South Africa heard a lot about dreaming during the State of the Nation Address (SoNA)when President Cyril Ramaphosa referred to dreams towards the end of his far-reaching address. Mining Weekly believes it there is merit in creating space for South Africans to dream more, but like TE Lawrence in... 

Bringing in early value rather than fighting for coal’s survival is the appropriate strategy for coal miners

By: Martin Creamer     28th June 2019 Climate change considerations are not something that coal-mining companies can take lightly. Climate change mitigation simply has to be taken seriously and coal-mining companies need to be strategic in their approach to future energy supply. Emphasis on extracting early value from coal is the... 

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. 

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