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Limpopo Business 2020/21 edition

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OVERVIEW Bushveld Minerals, meanwhile, is exploring the potential of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) where the focus is less on powering vehicles and more on creating stationary energy platforms. The group has companies in various minerals, including coal, iron and phosphate. The relevant companies in this instance are Bushveld Vanadium, which mines and processes vanadium, and Bushveld Energy, which is focussed on the manufacture of vanadium electrolyte and the future potential of VRFB. The fuel cell at the offices of Minerals Council South Africa. Finding new uses for platinum group metals (PGM) has been a focus of the industry for some time. The head office of the Minerals Council South Africa is powered by 40 ounces of platinum and natural gas, a concrete symbol of the industry’s interest in this issue. A fuel cell at the Johannesburg site of the national mine owners’ association is South Africa and Africa’s first base load installation. The slow moves towards allowing South African mines to power their own operations is another spur for mining companies to explore power generation. The national energy plan, Integrated Resources Plan 2019, allocates 2 000MW for energy storage and this provides an opportunity for companies such as Bushveld Energy. South Africa produces the majority of the world’s platinum (4.4-million ounces compared to six-million ounces by the rest of the world). Only Russia (2.6-million ounces) produces more palladium than South Africa but in rhodium South Africa is also number one: out of the global supply of 746 000 ounces, South Africa’s share is 621 000 ounces. The Mapungbuwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) hosts an annual PGM roundtable. Mining Weekly reported in December 2019 that the institute’s latest report focuses on the potential for the creation of a PGM exchange in South Africa. In other presentations during the event, it was noted that while an exchange would not fix the price, it would help to reduce volatility. While there is broad agreement that the world needs to steer away from minerals that pollute the environment, the supply of minerals used in electric car manufacture (such as nickel and cobalt) is also finite. Speaking at the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba, Ford’s head of Energy Storage Strategy and Research, Ted J Miller, said that the motor industry was “uncomfortable driving these commodities”. He noted that Ford has already reduced cobalt production by two-thirds, but the challenge is scale. In 2012 Anglo Platinum launched an underground locomotive powered by a fuel cell. Platinum coating greatly enhances the hydrogen absorption capacity of fuel cells. In 2016 Impala Platinum Refinery unveiled a fuel cell forklift and a hydrogen refuelling station in Springs. The editor of Mining Weekly, Martin Creamer, has published a series of articles and editorials extolling the virtues of what he calls the “best of two new carbon-reducing technology worlds”. Creamer notes that South Africa’s abundant supplies of PGMs and manganese ore can make the country a leader in battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). He further points to the work being done by Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) at three universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). South Africa’s good supplies of sunshine and wind make it ideally suited to generate hydrogen and if the country could capture 25% of the world market, it would be worth 0-million (Mining Weekly). ■ Online Resources Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection: Minerals Council South Africa: Mining Qualifications Authority: Department of Mineral Resources and Energy: Geological Society of South Africa: South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21 44

Focussed support for communities INTERVIEW Venetia Mine General Manager Gerrie Nortje explains how a Community Response Plan is coordinating efforts in water provision, food security, health and safety in labour-sending areas. Venetia Mine General Manager, Gerrie Nortje BIOGRAPHY Gerrie Nortje began his career with Anglo American in 1997 as a bursar studying Mining Engineering. On completion of his degree, he worked at various Anglo American Thermal Coal operations before becoming Operations Manager at Xstrata. He rejoined Anglo American as Principal Mining Engineer and transitioned into a Lead Open Pit Mining role in 2014 as a member of the Technical and Sustainability team. At head office he was involved with a variety of projects across the group’s business units. What is the Community Response Plan? As a responsible corporate citizen and a long-term committed partner in the communities where we operate, we, as Venetia Mine, are actively and urgently supporting the efforts of the communities in our labour-sending areas during the Covid 19 pandemic. The Community Response Plan (CRP) helps us focus our efforts in addressing the most urgent needs first, while ensuring that where possible, projects benefit the communities over the longer term. Some of the support we have provided includes: • Provision of food: donation of food parcels to indigent households, hospitals, homeless shelters and GBV centres. • Water: the provision of water tanks, repair and maintenance of water infrastructure and the upgrading of infrastructure to sustain the supply of water to communities. • Hospital and clinic support: providing much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and clinics, and providing hospitals with medical equipment including two ventilators. • Gender Based Violence: providing victim empowerment centres with hygiene packs for victims, communication material and posters and upgrading some of the facilities • SMEs: remote support to small businesses in dealing with the impact of the lockdown on their businesses and supporting them to apply for government-funded support programmes. • Testing facilities: making sure that our facilities are all available. The CRP is a living plan that changes as we navigate through the pandemic. Some of our contracting partners (Total and Sandvik) have agreed to support a small farmer rural development programme aimed at capacitating 500 small farmers in our host communities. What has been the impact on the number of people who work at the mine at any one time? We started developing and implementing measures to protect our employees and contractors since the pandemic became a public concern and we continue to enhance and improve these controls. Key to these measures is the education of our workforce on how the virus spreads and equipping them with the right information to continuously do the right things to protect themselves and others. A number of things had to be considered as we started to ramp up production: 45 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

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