Failure to move to green energy could see SA mining products rejected globally, says Neal Froneman

By the Daily Friend

Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, says a failure to move to greener energy could see South Africa’s mining products shunned globally.

Sibanye-Stillwater is the country’s premier gold miner and world’s biggest producer of platinum-group metals. Government restrictions on self-generation will make it impossible for the mining industry to meet international carbon neutrality targets, with dire consequences for exports and the national fiscus.

Soon, if platinum-group metals, iron ore or gold are produced by carbon-intensive electricity, we’re not going to be able to sell our products because the world has gone green and is going greener every day,” says Froneman. End users will not buy our product.

Minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe has again rejected appeals by Sibanye to get a 50MW project it wants off the ground. It also has a 250MW project waiting for approval in the Rustenburg area.

“If South Africa doesn’t make these moves very quickly there will come a time when we can’t sell our products because they are dirty, just like coal.”

World carbon neutrality targets have been set for 2040 but Sibanye is coming under “immense pressure” from its investors and stakeholders to meet these targets by 2030, which it has committed to do.

Mantashe is making this “very difficult”.

Froneman warns that investors see the uncompetitive conditions, such as having to deal with a lack of service delivery. An inordinate amount of time and money is spent trying to fix up the mess in local government.

“We’re having to deal with community issues based on a lack of service delivery that is not our responsibility, all of which leads to us being uncompetitive.

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