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On-The-Air (29/09/2023)

Martin Creamer unpacks opportunities from manganese, urban mining and reviving manufacturing

29th September 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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Every Friday, SAfm’s radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:

Kamwendo: South Africa’s long experience in mining and refining manganese is opening up huge global opportunities for us.

Creamer: Yes, we have been mining manganese for more than a century. We have got a lot of manganese and we have been purifying and refining for nearly a half century. That is opening up a new era for us, because on the way are battery electric vehicles. Several battery electric vehicle manufacturers are finding that the most affordable cathode active material is manganese, which means that South Africa has an opportunity to really fly in that market and the sky will be the limit for us with regard to beneficiated manganese sulphate that we will be able to put into the world. We presented it to Amsterdam this week and they receive this with great joy.

Kamwendo: Scrap collection on a grand scale is being boosted globally as part of a huge new urban mining surge.

Creamer: We see the scrap collectors going around with their trolleys, but this is going to be massive around the world now, because a circular economy is being demanded that if you are putting a new product on the market, you are not applauded anymore unless you can tell the world how you ae going to recycle the contents of that product an organised manner through the circular economy. So, cradle to grave, they want to know what is happening. Luckily, South Africa has got Glencore listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Glencore moved into 30-plus countries and is working with 100-plus companies that will move to get the scrap that we throw away recirculated. It is called urban mining and there is a lot of money in it.

Kamwendo: Nedbank is throwing its full weight behind reviving South Africa’s slowing manufacturing sector.

Creamer: Manufacturing, local manufacturing, so important to us, but local manufacturing has been shrinking. We have had interest rates moving at a pace that have set it back. Now a window of opportunity is present in the halt in the increasing of interest rate. We see that Nedbank has climbed in with a new initiative called Nedbank Manufacturing and the bank is offering bespoke solutions to local manufacturers, so that local manufacture, which will again boost the economy.

Kamwendo: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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