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South African Business 2022

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VIEW INTERVIEW An intensive new geological mapping programme is underway ding new ways of ucing and reusing carbon Spending on geology is an investment in the country’s economic future, explains Council for Geoscience CEO Mosa Mabuza. What is the mandate of the Council for Geoscience (CGS)? il for Geoscience CEO, Mosa Mabuza, is excited about new research on Our legislative mandate is to be the custodian of geoscientific n capture and is intent on expanding knowledge his organisation’s in the Republic. There relevance are five dimensions to the to our work. African economy. The first one is minerals and energy. Society always suspects that we are an exploration company of sorts but we are much more than that. How will the Council The second for Geoscience one relates to (CGS) seismic carbon events capture such as the and tremors the felt between Johannesburg and Alberton. It is the responsibility storage project in Mpumalanga expand South Africa’s energy mix and of the Council for Geoscience to record those events, to study decrease the country’s them, communicate carbon footprint? with the public and to indicate the risks and We abbreviated work the closely project with to the CCUS: National Carbon Disaster Capture Management for the Committee. two Cs, U for utilisation, storage There as is the an last example stage. Once of this the in carbon the Carltonville is captured area. it has Our numerous applications. preliminary Not results only suggest would that you there be able might to have reduce to be the a relocation carbon content that is emitted of a village. into It’s our not climate, a small but place, you those can also are apply villages it in that fertiliser were manufacturing supporting and a number the gold of mines. other The applications. nexus between deep gold mining, Mosa Mabuza, CEO We see it as dolomites, a scientific acid intervention mine drainage that as gets well as us non-maintenance as a country to breathe of water infrastructure, all of that is causing this proliferation of sinkholes. life into the climate mitigation measures, in terms of the international Now you can’t apportion the blame on this one alone or that one climate protocol alone that and we I don’t have think committed blaming will to. help If but the it’s science good to is know proven, what not only will South the problem Africa is meet so that but it is it never will replicated. go far beyond the minimum commitments that We we are have also made doing as a land country. susceptibility mapping exercise. BIOGRAPHY But we’ve got When to we let the had science continuous take rain place, in KwaZulu-Natal we’ve got to let there were pilot project prove that many indeed, properties it is and a sensible road infrastructure scientific intervention, that collapsed. that If you the do After qualifying as a geologist from economics make the study sense, today, that not science when and it rains, the then intentions you either are don’t met. develop Only Wits University, Mosa held various it here or if you were to develop it here, then make sure that you positions at De Beers and once Anglo we have proven all of those three attributes, would we be confident reinforce the infrastructure. abuza, CEO American and worked in enough jurisdictions as varied as West Africa then and coal can continue to play a critical role in our energy mix. to say that, indeed, we can continue. We think that, if it is proven, Environment and water management is the third main area of our brief. Then we have Geosciences Innovation where we are Canada. From his appointment as now beginning to use artificial intelligence applications. It is a the Director of Mineral Economics Is this pilot at one fantastic site new or is area. it multiple The last sites? one is “geosciences for diplomacy” – in the former Department The of Minerals and Energy, he was promoted emission to sites our in Mpumalanga international counterparts. where there is a higher concentration of first one is on this one relates site. to We exchanges have chosen in geosciences a pilot very where close we to connect the major with APHY Deputy Director-General of power Mineral stations, as well as the Sasol plant. If we get that right we can Policies and (Investment) Promotion have our contribution What are your to carbon priorities pollution at the CGS? reduced by between 60% ying as a geologist in 2012. from He has Wits been CEO and of CGS 80%. We have not yet mapped the country at the right scale of 1:50 000. Mosa held since various 2017. positions Our predecessors have done a fantastic job of mapping the entire s and Anglo American and What are the other priorities of the CGS in Mpumalanga? jurisdictions SOUTH as AFRICAN varied as BUSINESS The 2022 CGS mandate is that 34 we are the custodians of geoscientific information a and Canada. From his ent as the Director of Mineral and knowledge in the country so we have quite a number of programmes in Mpumalanga. One of them which is really very exciting and is at an advanced

country at a scale of 1:250 000. They have handed the baton to us and we have now made the political leaders appreciate the importance of mapping the country at that scale. Our key priority is what we call the integrated multi-disciplinary mapping programme. If an area does not have water, we can quickly look at the geology at that scale and say that you can complement your water resources supply with groundwater. Until we get there, these are the kinds of questions that are difficult to answer. The team is moving at an incredible pace. When we started, we were just under 5% coverage and we are targeting to reach 9.5% at the end of this financial year. Do you have the necessary resources? The political leadership has started to appreciate the importance of science so that they can make science-based decisions. I have the utmost support of the Minister. We recently presented in parliament and they are fully behind us. They are arguing on our behalf that the social programme is not sustainable if we are not investing in economic catalysing activities today. Geology is a national investment; it is not a cost. Do you have other priorities? The blue economy. We have not even begun to map our oceans. If there is one thing that embarrasses us as a nation it is that we do not have a single map from our oceans. For the first time, we published a number of marine geology maps. Marine research is showing us exciting things, and once you have the information then you can make informed choices. We are opening our eyes to a whole frontier economy right under our noses which we have not exploited optimally. When we looked at the geological work that has been done, we found that there was limited information there. We have put forward an aggressive plan to map offshore. I recently had a very productive meeting with the chief of the navy. We have struck a partnership with the navy so that we can have a collaboration to leverage their vessels so that we can fast-track the mapping. That will help us to accelerate the mapping and help us to catch up. Schematic illustration of a proposed CCUS plant near Leandra, Mpumalanga Province The same would apply to Department in Fisheries vessels. We have amazing expertise of marine geology at the Council for Geoscience, and we are beginning to unleash that potential. How important is the CGS carbon capture and storage project in Mpumalanga? We have abbreviated it to CCUS, with the U representing utilisation, and storage as the last stage. Once the carbon is captured it has numerous applications. Not only would you be able to reduce the carbon content that is emitted into our climate, but you can also apply it in fertiliser manufacturing and in a number of other applications. We see it as a scientific intervention that gets us as a country to breathe life into the climate mitigation measures, in terms of the international climate protocol that we have committed to. If the science is proven, not only will South Africa meet, but it will go far beyond the minimum commitments that we have made as a country. But we’ve got to let the science take place, we’ve got to let the pilot project prove that, indeed, it is a sensible scientific intervention, that the economics make sense, that science and the intentions are met and only once we have proven all of those three attributes, would we be confident enough to say that, indeed, we can continue. We think that, if it is indeed proven, then coal can continue to play a critical role in our energy mix. Is this pilot at one site or is it multiple sites? The first one is on one site. We have chosen a pilot very close to the major emission sites in Mpumalanga where there is a higher concentration of power stations, as well as the 35 SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2022

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