Mantashe calls for new technology, innovation in mining sector

Together with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Kobylkin, Mantashe has hosted a gathering in Randburg as part of the third South Africa-Russia platinum group metals conference.

Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe has meet with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Natural Resources & Environment of the Russian Federation. The meeting formed part of the 3rd South Africa-Russia Platinum Group Metals Conference. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says there's a need for new technology in the platinum mining sector in order to accelerate output.

Together with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Kobylkin, Mantashe has hosted a gathering in Randburg as part of the third South Africa-Russia Platinum Group Metals Conference.

He says the meeting will promote the sector by ensuring sustainable growth and job opportunities.

Mantashe says the outcomes of this conference should contribute to the sustainability and promotion of investment in both countries.

“The Bill of Rights of South Africa states that we’re both major mining economies so we need to cooperate.”

He says while decline on the gold front continues, it’s important to invest in platinum.

“So, we must find innovative ways of ensuring that we control the supply and demand of reserves."

Mantashe says it’s helpful to share experiences with the Russian government and South Africa will consider sending students to Moscow to study the new technology and its effect.

IMPLEMENTATION

Mantashe says the South African government and Russia will now concentrate on making sure that agreements in the platinum industry are implemented as memoranda have been signed in the past with insufficient follow through.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in 2013 on the sidelines of the Brics Summit in Durban and resulted in the creation of a joint working group on platinum group metals.

Mantashe says the two countries have discussed risks to the growth and development of the sector, including illicit trafficking.

Department of Minerals’ Director General Thabo Mokoena says they will work towards increasing the demand for platinum base metals while developing fuel cell technology and jewel fabrication.

“We have developed a clear schedule in terms of activities that are going to be undertaken by the department together with our Russian counterparts.”

The two countries have also shared water and energy efficient technologies being developed at Mintek.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)