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North West Business 2023-24

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  • Sectors
  • Economy
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  • Pgms
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  • Province
  • Rustenburg
  • Municipality
  • Platinum
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  • Economic
  • Provincial
  • Mining
  • Mmabatho
The 2023/24 edition of North West Business marks the 12th publication of this highly successful journal that, since its launch in 2009, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the North West Province. Renewable energy is a huge global trend, and the impact this burgeoning sector is having on the North West can be seen in the development of several new solar farms which are under construction. The North West’s strong suit in platinum group metals (PGMs) already puts the province at the forefront of the drive towards a greener and renewable economy because of the applicability of so many of those minerals and metals for the cleaner energy movement. North West Business includes news and analysis of the most important sectors. Best known for its platinum mines, grain and livestock farming and tourism, the province is making a concerted effort to bolster its manufacturing capacity through a dedicated new strategy which includes trying to attract solar panel manufacturing to the province. To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online at Updated information on the North West is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces, our flagship South African Business title and the new addition to our list of publications, Journal of African Business, which was launched in 2020.

OVERVIEW Mining Impala

OVERVIEW Mining Impala Platinum has gained control of Royal Bafokeng Platinum. SECTOR INSIGHT Harmony Gold and Sedibelo Pilanesberg Platinum are investing. The Mining & Technical Exhibition (MTE) is a popular event and was held on consecutive days in Mooinooi and Rustenburg in 2022. Amandelbult and Zondereinde are other venues on the exhibition roster. A sale that has been in the works since 2021 was finally resolved in June 2023 when Northam Platinum agreed to sell its stake in Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) to Impala Platinum (Implats). That sale took Implats’ holding in RBPlat to 91% after it had bought 9.26% of the company from Public Investment Corporation (PIC) earlier in the year to give it a majority holding. The RBPlat platinum group metals (PGM) facility, which lies directly south of Sun City, is adjacent to Implats Rustenburg’s land. The Impala Rustenburg operation comprises a nine-shaft mining complex and concentrating and smelting plants. Implats CEO Nico Muller was quoted in the Financial Mail as saying that the RBPlat acquisition would effectively extend the lifeof-mine of the combined Rustenburg operations by “at least 10 years”. In a press release announcing the IDC transaction, Muller said: “Securing control of RBPlat solidifies a stronger, more sustainable future for the Rustenburg region, the North West province and the South African PGM sector – collectively a major employer in the mining sector and a key driver of economic activity for the country. It will contribute to job security for more than 42 000 Impala Rustenburg employees and contractors, and stability for the more than 495 000 people who depend on its mining activities and social contributions. With more years of continuous operation at scale, the intensity of benefits will continue for longer, delivering tangible socioeconomic benefits for the region and its communities.” Pilanesberg Platinum Mines has been active 80km north-west of Rustenburg since 2009. Mining operations are conducted by contractors while PPM manages the concentrator (screen, crush, mill, float, thicken and dry). The operation has annually achieved an average of about 150 000 ounces of PGM concentrate. PGM miner Sibanye Stillwater will spend a further R3.9-billion on an expansion project at its Marikana mine, after previous owner Lonmin spent more than R4-billion on it. The aim is to be producing 250 000oz per year of platinum, gold, palladium and rhodium in 2028. It is not only PGMs that are sparking interest in expanded operations. In his annual State of the Province Address, Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape made NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24 16 PHOTO: RS Group

OVERVIEW special mention of two significant recent investments in the mining sector: Sedibelo Pilanesberg Platinum Mine R9.4-billion injection into the Moses Kotane Local Municipality will create 3 000 job opportunities and the City of Matlosana will be 6 000 jobs better off as a result of a R7-billion investment from Harmony Gold. The 2022 iterations of the Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE) took place in two platinum-mining towns, Rustenburg and Mooinooi, which is roughly halfway between Rustenburg and Brits. The travelling exhibition company, a division of IMD Conferences Exhibitions and Workshops, celebrates its 30th birthday in 2023. Small business support Pilanesberg Platinum Mines created Community Crusher as a nonprofit enterprise but with 14 employees and a steady set of orders for building projects run by the company, the small business is starting to show signs of becoming a bigger business. Many mines run similar programmes, sourcing goods and services from local community-based companies and sometimes providing mentoring and advice on how to improve as businesses. Implats has a programme of procurement in which it supports local business and black-owned businesses through enterprise and supplier development programmes. The Provincial Government of the North West is in talks with several mining companies in the Matlosana Local Municipality area (which includes Klerksdorp and Orkney) as some mines are being closed down. One of the initiatives to extract more value from mining is the proposed Platinum Valley Special Economic Zone. Creating a base for companies to supply the mining industry is one of the key drivers behind the scheme. The Seda Platinum Incubator (SPI) is an initiative of the Platinum Trust of South Africa and is funded by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) through its Seda Technology Programme (Stp) with the support of the North West Provincial Government and private companies. Mineral resources The North West Province is aligned with the Western Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, a remarkably rich minerals formation. ONLINE RESOURCES Council for Geoscience: MTE: National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy: North West Development Corporation: Mines in the province produce 50% of the platinum produced in the world, and 65% of South Africa’s PGMs. Chromite is the other major mineral mined throughout the province, and there are several ferrochrome smelters and other processing plants. South Africa produces about 70% of the world’s chrome. Gold and uranium are found along the border of the province with Gauteng and the Free State (in Klerksdorp and Orkney). Diamonds are mined at Christiana, Bloemhof and Lichtenburg. Other minerals include fluorspar, vanadium, rhodium, uranium, copper, limestone, slate, phosphate, manganese, coal and nickel. Limestone quarries run by G&W Base and Industrial Minerals in the Marico District are located next to a PPC cement factory. One of the last economically viable limestone deposits in South Africa is mined and processed by Sephaku Cement. Sephaku runs a 6 000-tonper-day clinker plant near Lichtenburg. AfriSam, PPC and Lafarge are active in the Mahikeng/ Lichtenburg area, but Sephaku is confident that its clinker and cement-production facilities will be supported by raw materials for at least 30 years. AfriSam has taken measures to reduce carbon emissions at its Dudfield cement plant. ■ 17 NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24

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