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Limpopo Business 2022-23

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The 2022/23 edition of Limpopo Business is the 14th 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. Both of the province’s two Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have taken several pages in this journal in order to share their goals with potential investors. The business case for the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) in the province’s far north has been accepted and the SEZ has received its official designation. Several investors have signed on and infrastructure development is underway. The Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ in the east is building up its infrastructure in terms of roads, railway sidings and water provision and both SEZs are taking an interest in renewable energy, and green hydrogen in particular. A special feature on green hydrogen appears in the front section of this journal. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and more.

OVERVIEW Mining Large

OVERVIEW Mining Large investments are being made into Limpopo mining. In his State of the Province address in February 2022, Limpopo Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha reported on the following investment values for mining projects underway in the province: Sefateng Chrome Mine, Sekhukhune District, R1.2-billion; Ivanhoe Mines, Waterberg District, R7-billion spent of a R9-billion commitment; and Anglo American and De Beers, Sekhukhune District, R3.9-billion in the first quarter of 2022 (within a broader investment commitment of R48-billion). In addition to these projects, the massive investment De Beers is making in its Venetia mine will extend the life of that mine to 2046, making a significant impact on the regional economy for years to come. Similarly, the ongoing investments of majors such as Exxaro and Glencore in a variety of minerals and projects mean that the mining sector in Limpopo is in good shape for continued success. 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. Limpopo’s 2022 Mining and Energy Conference covered a number of issues relevant to the mining sector and laid out the investment case for the province. African Rainbow Minerals has purchased the Bokoni platinum group metals mine for R3.5-billion. Bokoni is located near ARM’s Modikwa and Two Rivers PGM mines and gives the ARM more palladium to mine. Rare earths are a vital element in plans to save the world from carbon emissions and pollution. As the name implies, they are not found in many places in the world but Rainbow Rare Earths believes it has found a huge stash in the gypsum dumps near Phalaborwa (Mining Weekly). The dumps have built over many years of phosphate mining in the area and the company representative quoted said that the multiple tons of gypsum were grading at 0.43% total rare-earth oxides, a good percentage. High values of neodymium and praseodymium in particular are good news, as these rare earths are important in permanent magnets, which in turn are vital in the green economy. Commodity prices have buoyed the mining sector during the time of Covid-19. Rhodium, palladium, platinum and gold collectively rose in price by more than 50% in the course of 2021 and these are all minerals that occur in Limpopo. Increased demand for platinum group metals (PGMs) has been a trend for some years, driven by the vital role played by PGMs in reducing pollution in the automotive sector. This has been boosted more recently by applications for renewable energy and now by SECTOR INSIGHT Rare earths are showing potential. Northam Platinum has sunk a new shaft at Zondereinde. Credit: Northam Platinum supply constraints brought about by Covid-19 with production volumes down and shipping made more difficult throughout 2020. Glencore (with a 79.5% stake) and Merafe Resources jointly own chrome mines in Limpopo on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex (Helena, Magareng and Thorncliffe), the Lion smelter complex near Steelpoort and the Lydenburg smelter. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2022/23 40

FOCUS Glencore runs smelter complexes in Limpopo. Credit: Glencore New mines and expansion projects Rustenburg Platinum Mines (RPM), a subsidiary of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), has bought the prospecting rights for two blocks close to its existing Mogalakwena PGM mine, south-west of Polokwane near Mokopane. The blocks were purchased from Atlatsa and provide space to expand what is already the world’s biggest and richest opencast PGM mine in the world. A new mining right has been granted to PTM in the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex. The Waterberg project will be operated by PTM on behalf of Waterberg Joint Venture Resources which comprises Mnombo Wethu Consultants, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Hanwa Company, PTM and Impala Platinum. Implats intends expanding production at its Two Rivers PGM mine by 180 000oz. The project will take four years and cost R5.7-billion. The soils of Limpopo are rich in platinum group metals, coal, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, nickel, rare earth minerals and tin. ONLINE RESOURCES Department of Mineral Resources and Energy: Minerals Council South Africa: South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Limpopo contributes 4% of coal mining in South Africa, according to the National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, but it is likely that within the next three decades, the province will be supplying about half of South Africa’s coal. 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. 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. ■ 41 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2022/23

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