Zijin Mining Group from China launches Garatau Platinum Mine in South Africa, bringing jobs to local community

By Wang Lei (People's Daily Online) 15:56, May 20, 2021

Johannesburg, May 19 (People's Daily Online) -- The China-headquartered Zijin Mining Group, through its subsidiary Nkwe Platinum, on May 13 announced the start of development at its Garatau platinum-group metals (PGMs) mine, in Limpopo, South Africa.

Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha commends the leadership of Nkwe Platinum Mine and Zijin Mining Group. (Photo courtesy of Nkwe Platinum)

Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha has commended the leadership of the Nkwe Platinum Mine and Zijin Mining Group for their investment in the establishment of the Garatau Platinum Mine, saying it will create much-needed jobs for the people of Sekhukhune, and contribute significantly towards the government’s efforts to reduce the unemployment rate and fight poverty.

Mining operations at Garatau are due to begin at the end of this month with the construction of the box-cut, which will make way for the decline shaft development towards the end of this year.

The annual average processing capacity of Garatau is expected to yield 3.6 million tonnes of ore once full capacity is achieved in several years’ time. The life of the mine is estimated to be more than 29 years. Nkwe Platinum Limited is expected to rank amongst the top ten platinum suppliers in the world after the project goes into full production.

“The mine will offer jobs, training and education. It will develop infrastructure and provide financial and social upliftment to local communities, the municipal district and the Province of Limpopo,” noted MD and CEO of Nkwe Platinum Limited, Mr Zhiyu Fan.

MD and CEO of Nkwe Platinum Limited Zhiyu Fan addresses the ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Nkwe Platinum)

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 Ga-Makwae village and has been used by local communities since December 2020.

Nkwe Platinum Limited has further invested over R14.5 million into Adult Training and Education, Learnerships and Bursaries, which have benefited the surrounding mine communities.

“We believe that the development of enterprises is closely related to the sustainable development of our surrounding communities. Through education, medical treatment, industrial support, infrastructure construction and disaster relief, we can develop and work together in a mutually beneficial and harmonious way for the benefit of all,” noted Fan.

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.

(Photo courtesy of Nkwe Platinum)

Laichang Zou, President of Zijin, stressed that under the principle of Common Development, the company is building an ESG system to international standards to ensure coordinated development between the company, its employees and the wider society. Zijin strives to create a shared future between the projects and its host communities. He believes that the commencement of the project means more and more people will now benefit from it.

As a priority, Nkwe Platinum Limited will employ people from local communities for all projects where possible, and will continue to provide bursaries and learnership programs for students from the local community, provide community donations to alleviate poverty and provide support to 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. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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