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Interview Dr Dirk Jan Koch at the Mining Indaba 2016

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Interview Dr Dirk Jan Koch at the Mining Indaba 2016.

Koch said:

“What we have seen is that there are huge sustainability issues around water in mining. Think for instance about the big dam collapse in Brazil in November, which had tragic consequences for both people and the environment. We think that if more advanced technologies could be used then more cooperation would take place and such tragedies could be prevented.”

“28% of our country is below sea level and we have been fighting back the water for a long time. All the expertise we have in water management has been pulled together – communities, companies, universities and government have come together in our mining and water platform. We have used this platform and we share experience, learn lessons from each other and look for partners with whom we can develop programmes together.”

“In South Africa, one of the big problems that we see are the old abandoned mines – there are around 6,000 of these old mines and all the water that remains in these mines need to be cleaned up.”

“The Netherland’s strength is that we pull together the various strengths in different sectors, collaborate with our partners and come up with creative solutions to these problems.”

“One of the technologies I found particularly interesting was how we have tried to deal with acid mine drainage through bacteria. In a lab in the Netherlands we have developed specific new bacteria that can help deal with the acid water and try to get it pure again so we can drink it.”

“All these funky technologies we have been explained to us at the Indaba and the South African authorities have said that that sounds very interesting, let’s go and develop that together.”

“What I like about the Mining Indaba is that all the people that you need are here. You have independent consultants that ask very critical questions, you have the NGOs that ask how you organised that, where are you doing that, you have the investors that are looking for exciting new opportunities, so basically anybody you need to make a difference in mining is present here.”

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Mining Indaba 2016 roundup

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Cape Business news spoke to key stakeholders in the South African mining sector that were exhibiting at the 2016 Mining Indaba. Key takeaways include the fact that companies are counteracting the depressed mining sector by focusing on infrastructural projects across Africa.

Anton Niemann, General Manager for the lubricant sales division, Shell

Shell Lubricants showcased its technology and to gain further insight into the industry through presentations and discussions with other key role players.

Tony Zoghby, African Mining Leader, Deloitte

Deloitte stated that the major challenges that the mining companies are facing, is the low commodity prices and scarce capital.

“I think the mining companies are going to have to seriously look where they are investing their scarce capital to take advantage of when the upturn does come and I think it a fine balance between how much you spend on your ongoing operations and how much you put into your new business.”

John Millward, Director: Project Development, Murray and Roberts 

Murray and Roberts construction stated that there is not a lot of opportunity in the mining industry at the moment. The company will be focusing more on the infrastructure sector.

“We actually see the industry as being very dull and gloomy, so I guess we need to look at infrastructure that is largely public expenditure, so we will look at power, roads, water and those sorts of projects.”

Koketso Seripe, sales director Fluor South Africa

Fluor South Africa said it is supporting its clients on the infrastructure development. In addition to South Africa, it has set up offices in Gaborone as well as Mozambique and have local solutions operated by local people in those areas.

“We are positioning ourselves to support outlines in infrastructure development, which includes railways networks, power and water.”

Richard Simpson, General Manager, Civil Engineering, Group Five

Group Five explained that they have a project in the Western Cape as well as Saldhana Bay. Simpson says that its core focus in on uplifting the small community’s and businesses.

“We have a road job in the Western Cape [and other] projects in Saldanha bay including some of the infrastructure leading into Saldanha Bay harbour.”

Kenny Gaynor, Director Power Solutions, Cummins

Cummins said that it would like to see more focus on power generations as this is a vital component in the mining industry

“It’s always often seen as an add on or a clip on and I would like to see more forums dedicated to the power industry.”

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No surprises in Minister’s address at Mining Indaba

Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, ticked all the right boxes for the mining industry when he delivered the opening address at Mining Indaba in Cape Town this morning.  But, according to Andrew Lane, Africa Mining Leader for Deloitte, industry would have liked to have heard a more tangible action plan for addressing key issues in the mining sector.

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Torre industries brands at Mining Indaba

Torre Industries, a dynamic JSE listed industrial entity underpinned by strong brands and strong products will be represented by WearCheck, Set Point Laboratories and Torre Equipment Africa at this year’s Mining Indaba set to take place from the 08th to the 11th of February 2016, at Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC.)

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SA’s mining sector fuelling renewable energy options

South Africa’s mining companies are currently facing major financial losses due to on-going power outages. The challenges brought on by load-shedding, which were highlighted at the 2015 Mining Indaba, coupled with rising administered costs and on-going wage disputes, highlight the need for the industry to look at how best it can increase profits to ensure a sustainable future.

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