United Kingdom (UK) High Commissioner to Promote South Africa’s (SA) Critical Minerals at Critical Minerals Africa (CMA) 2024

British High Commissioner Antony Phillipson will speak at the Critical Minerals Africa (CMA) Summit in Cape Town on November 6-7. Phillipson will highlight South Africa’s crucial role in the energy transition, leveraging its vast reserves of platinum, manganese, vanadium, and other essential minerals. Phillipson will explore how the UK can tap into South Africa’s supply chain to meet the growing demand for energy transition metals.

South Africa has up to 95% of the world’s platinum group metal (PGMs) reserves, 70% of its manganese reserves, and substantial reserves of vanadium, magnesium, nickel, and copper – essential for green hydrogen, solar PV, and energy storage technologies.

As one of the largest investors in South Africa, the UK government is mobilizing both private and public sector investors to strengthen South Africa’s critical minerals value chain, focusing on exploration, production, and value addition for critical mineral projects. In March 2024, the British High Commission in Pretoria selected two startups in the critical minerals value chain as potential beneficiaries of the 2024 Climate Finance Accelerator in South Africa. The program provides technical and financial assistance to innovative startups. Mpumalanga-based Creslow Energy Solutions will leverage support from UK institutions to advance its renewable battery manufacturing capabilities. Manganese Metal Company will develop a 5,000-ton per annum manganese sulphate monohydrate plant in Mbombela to meet the increasing demand for batteries in electric vehicles.

The Critical Minerals Africa 2024 summit on November 6 – 7 serves to position Africa as the primary investment destination for critical minerals. The event is held alongside the African Energy Week: Invest in African Energy 2024 conference  (http://apo-opa.co/3XRLC1y) on November 4 – 8, offering delegates access to the full scope of energy, mining and finance leaders in Cape Town. Sponsors, exhibitors and delegates can learn more by contacting sales@energycapitalpower.com

During CMA 2023, Phillipson announced a R20 million funding package to assist African countries, including South Africa, in conducting studies on best practices for maximizing in-country critical mineral processing and mid-stream value addition. To promote global market uptake of PGMs, UK global mining firm Anglo American partnered with international energy firm Sasol and automaker BMW to pilot green hydrogen vehicles in South Africa in October 2023. At CMA 2024, Phillipson will discuss how the commission is engaging with British investors and mining firms to advance South Africa’s critical minerals value chain.

In the upstream sector, UK companies rank among the largest investors and producers of critical minerals in South Africa. Anglo American, through its South African operations, is a leading producer of PGMs globally. The firm operates the Mogalakwena, Amandelbult, Matotolo, Der Brochen and Twickenham mines, which are crucial to the stability of the global supply market. The company increased its nickel production by 42% to 4,700 tons and copper production by 22% to 3,300 tons in the first quarter of 2024, enhancing South Africa’s contribution to the global market.

Rio Tinto operates the Richards Bay Minerals project – South Africa’s largest mineral sands producing mine – producing rutile, iron, slag and zircon crucial to meet the growing demand of smart phones and various electronic devices. At CMA, Phillipson will provide insights on UK-funded critical mineral projects in South Africa and showcase investment prospects for UK investors within the market.

“UK companies play a crucial role in advancing South Africa’s critical minerals value chain. As South Africa seeks to capitalize on the growing demand for critical minerals to drive its economic growth, lucrative investment opportunities for UK private and public sector mining stakeholders continue to expand,” states James Chester, CEO of Energy Capital&Power.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *