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Limpopo Business 2021-22

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The 2021/22 edition of Limpopo Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Limpopo Province. Limpopo has been attracting significant investments in the mining sector in recent years and with commodity prices of certain minerals rising in response to demand in the renewable energy and automotive sector, mining houses are well-positioned to expand production even further. This journal carries messages of welcome to investors from the province’s Premier and the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is special feature on plans to catalyse investment and growth in the province through measures such as industrial parks and the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone in the province’s far north, which is attracting billions of dollars in investment. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and development finance is carried in overviews of the main economic sectors.


OVERVIEW Limpopo Premier Stanley Chupu Mathabatha (centre) cutting a ceremonial ribbon, alongside members of the Platreef shaft-sinking team, to signify the completion of the 850-metre top-cut station development. Credit: Ivanhoe Mines De Beers is expecting its Venetia underground project to start delivering its first ore in the second half of 2022. Investment in the project will amount to about .1-billion, from the start of the project in 2013 through to 2025. The investment is expected to extend the life of the mine to 2045 and possibly beyond that date. An updated feasibility study published in 2020 showed good results for Platreef’s palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel, copper and gold project. Ivanplats, a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines, is the majority shareholder in the Platreef project. The local community has a 26% stake with the other owners being a Japanese consortium comprising ITOCHU Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Japan Gas Corporation. Beneficiation plans The soils of Limpopo are rich in platinum group metals, coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, nickel, rare earth minerals and tin. Limpopo contributes 4% of coal mining in South Africa, according to the National Department of Mineral Resources but it is likely that within the next three decades, the province will be supplying about half of South Africa’s coal. ONLINE RESOURCES Department of Mineral Resources: Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection: Minerals Council South Africa: South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Limpopo’s Waterberg coal field is estimated to contain about 75-billion tons of coal. Exxaro’s two coal mines in the Waterberg represent threebillion tons of Measured Coal Resources and 1.8-billion tons of Indicated Coal Resources. This is where Exxaro operates its giant Grootegeluk mine. Nine plants serve a 4km-long and 120m-deep opencast mine on a 1 200ha site. Originally intended to supply the nearby power plants, Exxaro is now eyeing the export market with countries such as Ethiopia, Egypt and Pakistan potential markets. Mineral beneficiation is a key component of the Musina- Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) in the far north of Limpopo and coal is needed for the making of steel. In 2018 nine Chinese companies committed to investing more than -billion in projects related to the zone’s four main areas of activity: a coking plant, a power plant, an alloy factory and the manufacture of steel. The planned Tubatse Platinum SEZ will focus on the beneficiation of platinum group metals, magnetite, vanadium and chrome. The other strong mineral focus in the eastern part of the province is at Phalaborwa where Palabora Copper, a subsidiary of Palabora Mining Company, produces about 45 000 tons of copper annually, most of which is sold domestically. It runs a smelter and a refinery and also mines magnetite, vermiculite, sulphuric acid and nickel sulphate. ■ LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2021/22 34

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