The North West province is known as the country’s ‘Platinum Province’ due to its mineral riches of platinum and other platinum group metals (PGM), as well as chrome. It is also home to a strong dimension stone sector thanks to its abundance of slate, marble and granite deposits.
The economy of the North West is driven by mining, which generates more than 50% of the province's gross domestic product and provides employment for a quarter of its workforce. Gold is mined at Orkney and Klerksdorp; platinum at Rustenburg and Brits; uranium at Klerksdorp; and diamonds at Lichtenburg, Christiana and Bloemhof. North West mining ventures make up 20% of South Africa’s mining industry, while more than 90% of the country's platinum comes from the province’s mines.
In early April, the renowned Mining & Technical Exhibition (MTE) in North West took place, covering Mooinooi and Rustenburg. The event saw hundreds of key individuals from the area’s mining sector in attendance. The MTE events take place throughout the country and other parts of Africa, with one of the main aims being to nurture the mining and related industries by providing up-to-date information and shedding light on developments affecting the sector.
Operations manager for MTE, Andrew Macnamara, said that the past 24 months had been challenging for the country’s mining operations, but he was optimistic for the fast-approaching future. “Covid-19 has definitely had long-lasting effects on many industries across the globe,” he acknowledged. “Despite these challenges, Africa’s tenacity and unity during these challenging times have proven strong and as we navigate through these uncertain times, I am certain that all industries will recover tenfold.
“Regarding the mining industry in particular, global demand has driven most prices up and mines across SA and Africa have also increased their safety procedures, which further protects their workforces.” He added that the MTE events showcased improved safety protocols that can be seen in African and South African mines, and provided a platform for visitors to interact with those in the mining industry who have overcome such challenges.
RS Components South Africa was also present at the MTE North West events to show off the latest safety equipment, tools and other offerings from some of the world’s most respected brands. Mellisa Govender, marketing director for RS, said that the MTE North West events not only highlighted the booming mining industry in the area, but also helped to connect with customers more closely.
“These MTE events provide an opportunity for us to share the latest industrial technologies and solutions that could help improve and maintain operations. The great thing is that we, at RS South Africa, have over 650 000 products across 2500 global brands that can easily be ordered online and delivered direct to a customer – even in remote areas and while adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols,” she said. At this year’s events, the company focused on its signature label brand, RS Pro, which has expanded from hand tools and automation and control equipment to include electrical products, personal protection gear, and test and measurement devices – many of which are vital for any mining operation.
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