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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


First Word

Revival hopes are rising as ‘green shoots’ appear, ‘send me’ pleas sound and ‘I want to lend a hand’ sentiment spreads

By: Martin Creamer     2nd March 2018 South Africa is quickly becoming reborn as an investment destination. Spirits are high, revival hopes are rising, green shoots are appearing and people are asking what they can do to help. The late Hugh Masekela’s ‘Send Me’ melody with which President Cyril Ramaphosa signed off his stunning State... 

Sense of urgency needed to revive South Africa’s mining industry, condemn evil past in strongest terms

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2018 A sense of urgency is needed to pull South Africa's mining industry back from the brink, set it on a course to success and for the industry to be scathing about condemning its evil past in the strongest of terms. The country has fallen badly behind other mining jurisdictions and the strong... 

Golden opportunity, urgent logistics call, platinum to the fore

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2018 South Africa has an opportnity in gold, investment to revitalise rail and port infrastructure is seen as urgent, there is a strong prediction that the fuel cell will outdo electric vehicles 

Energy from old mines, partnering communities, exploration awakening

By: Martin Creamer     9th February 2018 Abandoned mines sites can be used as pumped-storage powr schemes; a partnership approach can improve vital relations between mines and communities; and te exploration awakening is pleasing. 

Mining’s ‘flight of rebirth’ urgent, promotion of exploration essential

By: Martin Creamer     2nd February 2018 South African mining industry is in urgent need of a ‘flight of rebirth’. It is buckled and bent and made up of weakened growth prospects, with none of the cut and thrust of rival mining jurisdictions like Australia and Canada. 

Uneconomic mining hurts host countries, wastes national patrimony, lengthens price gloom

By: Martin Creamer     26th January 2018 Continuing to extract metals and minerals when the prices fetched for them are below break-even is contentious. Mining companies are granted rights by host governments who expect them to use what is a national patrimony optimally. 

Good mining policy can bring growth and transformation to a South African economy in need of positive new direction

By: Martin Creamer     19th January 2018 South African mining could experience the same recovery under way in most other mining jurisdictions relatively quickly because its lagging relates overwhelmingly to injurious policy and not to the absence of inherent physical potential. If South Africa’s political leadership delivers... 

South Africa must find ways of resurrecting its most important industry

By: Martin Creamer     15th December 2017 South Africa is obsessed with trying to prolong its old mining assets without setting out determinedly to replace them with new ones. 

Let’s all hold thumbs that the correct new South African leadership emerges in the weeks ahead

By: Martin Creamer     8th December 2017 I happen to call at the same State-owned building weekly and I became very disturbed at one stage at the state of disrepair of its infrastructure and the complete absence of upkeep. Then, just as I was beginning to assume that the escalators had come to a permanent halt and that clean towels... 

Southern Africa’s citizens must stand up for themselves to make sure that the region does not lose out on the next mining boom

By: Martin Creamer     1st December 2017 The citizens of the Southern African region are at last beginning to stand for themselves. Three decades of bullying is abating in Zimbabwe, resistance is building up against the pathetic performance of the government of South Africa and forces are at work to bring an errant government into line... 

Rally behind Ramaphosa’s inspiring ‘New Deal’ speech

By: Martin Creamer     24th November 2017 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa made several crucial points in his highly significant ‘New Deal’ speech in Soweto last week. Delivered only week’s away from the important 54th National Conference of the African National Congress, the 'New Deal' speech has all the hallmarks of a blueprint for the... 

Holding thumbs for growth-positive High Court outcomes that will keep credit ratings agencies at bay

By: Martin Creamer     17th November 2017 South Africa is in desperate need of economic growth and the sector that can provide that growth, if unfettered, is mining. Make mining competitive, inclusive and transformative and it will deliver an economic momentum across its many economic linkages and float all boats. 

Illegal mining, illegal strikes take massive jobs toll at Cooke gold mine on West Rand

By: Martin Creamer     10th November 2017 The Cooke lesson must be taken to heart and South Africans should stand together to ensure that there is no recurrence of the needless job destruction that has taken place at the West Rand gold mine, where public statements about the dangers of illegal mining were made repeatedly, but the... 

South Africans slow off the mark on the exploration front, where outsiders valiantly lead the way

By: Martin Creamer     3rd November 2017 South Africans have tried to develop a junior mining exploration culture several times over but have not been able to come anywhere close to the aplomb of other mining jurisdictions that have a far stronger geological appetite. The many junior mining companies listed in Canada, Australia and on... 

Without exploration for new orebodies, South African mining will end its invaluable contribution to the South African economy

By: Martin Creamer     27th October 2017 South Africa needs to pretend it is starting again at the bottom end of the mineral resources value curve and create a vision for exploration. Without exploration, it is just a matter of time before the mining lights go out. 

A century and a half later, major mining opportunities continue to beckon

By: Martin Creamer     20th October 2017 With this year marking the 150th anniversary of South Africa’s diamond business, one would imagine that the country has been completely explored and that the country should be looking to an end being brought to this pioneering industry. But this is not so. In an interview with Mining Weekly, the... 

Groundswell of commitment building up to ensure that mining is allowed to boost the South African economy

By: Martin Creamer     13th October 2017 Last week’s Joburg Indaba proved a robust conference. Emanating from it were divergent opinions about the best way to deal with an errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) which has caused a myriad of distractions. Had proper DMR leadership been put in place, the South African economy would... 

Clear up the mine rehab conundrum, allow unused closure funds to roll over, make mine closure certificates worth the paper they’re written on

By: Martin Creamer     6th October 2017 South Africa seems hell-bent on reinventing the wheel when it comes to the funding of mine rehabilitation and mine closure. One would swear South Africa is the world’s only mining jurisdiction and can learn nothing at all from other jurisdictions, some with highly sensitive environments. 

Out-on-a-limb Minerals Minister forced to knuckle under on Mining Charter III utterances

By: Martin Creamer     22nd September 2017 Mining Charter Three has probably been more heavily criticised than any piece of mining legislation. Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who went out on a limb like no other Mineral Resources Minister before him to gazette the third charter iteration without prior consultation, quickly... 

All South Africans need to work together to grow and transform mining

By: Martin Creamer     15th September 2017 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane makes sure he attends foreign mining conferences but fails to engage stakeholders at home on the realities of his Mining Charter Three, which is a great pity. Unfortunately, he was not challenged at the LatAm Mining Cumbre in Santiago, but thankfully his... 

Govt should be called to account for turning blind eye to illegal infiltration of operating mines

By: Martin Creamer     8th September 2017 The private sector has done well to secure legal leverage over the errant Mineral Resources Ministry, which has painted itself into a corner by trying to impose the unworkable Mining Charter Three and the ill-feted freeze on the transfer of mineral right ownership. The legal leverage that is... 

South Africa Inc has rare opportunity to seize moment to save battered platinum patrimony

By: Martin Creamer     1st September 2017 South Africa, through diamond company De Beers, invested heavily in the marketing of diamonds. The slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever’, according to Advertising Age, it is the most recognised slogan of the 20th century, with 90% of all Americans knowing it, with De Beers having used it since 1948. But... 

End-to-end modernisation needed to bring mining up to speed

By: Martin Creamer     25th August 2017 Fingers are being crossed that the new Mining Precinct, in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, will safeguard the future of South Africa’s mining industry through developing new people-centred technology and techniques that prepare mines for modern mining methods. Many are hoping that the Mining... 

Sassy mining companies are seizing the new-technology moment to cut costs

By: Martin Creamer     18th August 2017 Mining companies have a great opportunity to implement technology that has matured in the hands of other industries. This maturation is now providing mining with a chance to slash costs, which quick-footed companies are taking up. Increasingly, technical personnel are confiding to Mining Weekly... 

Spare a thought for the people of South Africa, Mr Minister, and move aside as fast as you can

By: Martin Creamer     11th August 2017 It was only a matter of time before calls would be made for the sacking of Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who is putting South Africa’s defining industry under more threat by the day. As it is mineworkers who are feeling the brunt of job loss, it is fitting that National Union of... 

Mining needs to be put back on an even keel as fast as possible

By: Martin Creamer     4th August 2017 Very telling were the comments of Deputy Minerals Minister Godfrey Oliphant during last week’s radio interview with 702 morning host Xolani Gwala. During the interview, the experienced Deputy Minister made no bones about his discomfort at not being consulted on Mineral Resources Minister... 

Gazette-happy Minerals Minister painting himself into a corner

By: Martin Creamer     28th July 2017 One week Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane signs a written undertaking that neither he nor his Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) will apply or implement his controversial Mining Charter Three gazetting and the next he pulls the carpet from under the underlying purpose of his signed agreement... 

Minerals Ministry, DMR playing with fire, destroying industry, opening way for rampant illegal mining

By: Martin Creamer     21st July 2017 In its current poor state, mining and the companies that depend on it are likely to disappoint the Treasury when it comes to next paying tax. What the Minerals Ministry and its errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) have failed to recognise in gazetting Mining Charter Three is that a... 

What the Minerals Ministry should be focusing on to ensure mining’s competitiveness

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 What South Africa’s Mineral Resources Ministry and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has come up with for mining so far is simply unsustainable. It is destructive rather than constructive and simply cannot last. When the penny drops with this administration or the next, a constructive... 

Minerals Ministry, DMR crushing South Africa’s mining sector, depriving current citizens, future generations of economic wellbeing

By: Martin Creamer     7th July 2017 Fourteen years ago, I attended a sod turning ceremony at a manganese project in South Africa’s Northern Cape. The project was made possible by a R1.7-billion investment by foreigners.  

Mining Charter Three will slow South Africa’s economic flywheel devastatingly if it is not trashed

By: Martin Creamer     30th June 2017 Mining provides virtually half of South Africa’s foreign currency from a quarter of its exports. Without these foreign currency earnings, South Africa’s participation in global trade stands to be decimated. 

Botswana diamond industry goes ex-growth, diamond exploration funds not forthcoming, Botswana determined to be investor friendly

By: Martin Creamer     23rd June 2017 With Botswana's diamond secor going ex-growth, a storng call has been made for the country to consider adopting Canada's flow-through tax incentive as a way of boosting investment in diamond exploration in Botswana, where the new Mineral Resources Minister is determined to make the country's... 

Platinum price determination mysteries remain as already shrunken supply heads for greater decline

By: Martin Creamer     16th June 2017 The vagaries of platinum price determination – particularly in futures markets – remain somewhat mysterious and disappointingly opaque, with a futures market record pointing to negligible near-term trading, but hectic futures trading.  

Small diamond mines running into trouble, diamond beneficiation being put at risk, hopes rising for platinum Mandela coin

By: Martin Creamer     9th June 2017 Four small diamond mines have closed in as many months, Soouth Africa's diamond cuting and polishing industry is being put at risk by a bewildering Ministerial decision and hopes rising for trhe minting of a Mandela coin in platinum. 

Zambezi Protocol guiding chamber in search for new identity

By: Martin Creamer     2nd June 2017 The 128-year-old Chamber of South Africa dropped a bombshell last week when it announced that it will be changing its name and identify and staging a new beginning. It also revealed that in doing so, it will be using the Zambezi Protocol as an important guiding light. 

SA Mint should revisit plans for Mandela coin after Royal Mint blazes new platinum trail

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2017 The decision of the Royal Mint in the UK to launch its first ever platinum bullion products has rekindled hopes that the South African Mint will wipe the dust off its plans for a Mandela coin in platinum. In what is potentially a beneficial measure to boost platinum demand, the 1 000-year-old... 

South Africa Inc needs to pull out all stops to boost platinum demand

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2017 Platinum has special South African significance, which presents an ideal opportunity for business, government and labour to work together to revive the falling fortunes of platinum group metals (PGMs), the rising palladium price rise notwithstanding. Huge emphasis needs to be placed on the demand... 

Collapsed platinum price demands rethink as vulnerable mines face loss deterioration

By: Martin Creamer     12th May 2017 The platinum price has fallen through the floor and as I write this column, it remains in the doldrums. Last week’s platinum price collapse to $893/oz had warning bells ringing loudly and what is essential now is for steady hands be placed on the industry’s tiller to navigate towards... 

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