The Zijin Group in partnership with the Nkwe Platinum launched the Garatau Platinum Mine at Mandagshoek on May 13. The new mine is expected to start operations towards the end of May.
Speaking during the official launch, Premier Stan Mathabatha said Limpopo is a mining province with a variety of rich mineral deposits.
“I speak with authority when I say that most of our province’s mining potential is yet to be explored. As a province, we have identified mining as one of the strategic drivers of our economy,” revealed the Premier.
He said as a Province, they always look into ways to unlock economic growth and development opportunities that are presented by mining.
“It is for this reason that an initiative such as this official launch and celebration of Ga-Ratau Mine is much welcomed by our government.
“We believe that Limpopo’s mineral resources can and must be used for a broad-based industrialisation growth path.”
He said It is against this background that the government has an obligation to ensure the mineral resources are utilised in a manner that promote local and rural development and the social upliftment of communities affected by mining.
“At the same time, collectively we carry an obligation to ensure that mining activities are conducted in a manner that protects the environment for the benefit of future generations.
We indeed can advance our economic and social development while at the same time caring for our environment; the two are not mutually exclusive.”
He added, “The economy of this area shall never be the same again.
Beyond the significance of job creation, this project is estimated to contribute over 40 Million US Dollars in taxes for our economy. This is indeed a massive contribution. ”
The processing capacity of Garatau is anticipated to average 3.6 million tonnes of ore per annum, once full capacity is achieved in a few years’ time. The life of mine is estimated to be in excess of 29 years and once fully operational will employ some 2500 people.
“The mine will offer jobs, training and education. It will develop, infrastructure and provide financial and social upliftment to the local communities, the municipal district and the Province of Limpopo”, noted MD and CEO of Nkwe Platinum Limited, Mr Zhiyu Fan.
As part of the mine’s first generation social and labour plan (SLP), some R18 million has already been invested in the upgrading of the Garatau Community Access Road. The upgraded road connects the HC Boshoff Hospital to the Ga-Makwae village and has been used by the local communities since December 2020.
Nkwe Platinum Limited has further invested over R14.5 million into adult training and education, learnership programs and bursaries, which have benefited the surrounding mining community.
In October 2020, the second generation SLP was approved, which will see further local economic development (‘LED’) projects in the form of clean water supply to the local mine communities over the next few years. The water supply project has already commenced with the supply of water tanks and re-equipping of water boreholes.
As a priority, Nkwe Platinum Limited will employ people from the local communities for all projects where possible and will continue to provide bursaries and learnership programs for students from the mining community, provide community donations to alleviate poverty, and provide support to the local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We look forward to the support from all our stakeholders including our local communities, National, Provincial, and Local Government and Regulatory Authorities”, concluded Fan.
Amongst the dignitaries also present at the launch was local mayors, the magoshi , members from Chinese Business Group (CBG),deputy minister of Police Cassel Mathale and the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism in Limpopo Thabo Mokone