Ivanplats is developing a world-class underground platinum-group elements, nickel, copper and gold mine in Mokopane, Limpopo. The company plans to use highly mechanised methods to mine the deposit.

Ivanplats’ Managing Director, Dr Patricia Makhesha, says: “We are proud to have shared our almost 20 years of exploration and development achievements at Platreef with supportive stakeholders. These stakeholders, including more than 150 000 local Mokopane area residents, see international investment and professionally managed development of natural resources as keys to unlock widely shared opportunities and prosperity.”

The Platreef mine is projected to require a workforce of approximately 2 200 within four years of the start of production operations and Ivanplats will have invested a total of R160-million in the Platreef social and labour plan from 2014 to 2019. The approved plan includes R67.2-million for the development of job skills among local residents and R87.7-million for local economic development projects.

“In establishing our social and labour plan, Ivanplats has been mindful of the South African government’s National Development Plan and its priority of securing undertakings that create jobs and advance socio-economic development to alleviate poverty and unemployment,” says Dr Makhesha.

“The social and labour plan programmes that we are currently implementing demonstrate Ivanplats’ commitment to ensuring that people in our host communities benefit from our operations, directly and indirectly, in ways that contribute to improving their quality of life and expanding their opportunities.”

The year 2017 was tagged by Ivanplats as “The Year of the Youth” and the company focused on bringing information and connectivity to the people in its host communities. The project, called Maru a Mokopane (Sepedi for the Clouds of Mokopane), saw the installation of eight free Wi-Fi hotspots in Ivanplats’ host communities, the development of an online communication portal and the creation of 17 micro digital enterprises that are responsible for training people in how to use this free system.

One of the digital trainers, Pitso Oupa Zono, is training a resident at Tshamahansi Wi-Fi hotspot on how to use Maru a Mokopane.

Mrs Lizzie Seema from Sekgoboko (left) was one of the participants in a non-core training programme Ivanplats initiated.

She completed the electrical training module sponsored by Ivanplats and started an electrical business focusing on tubing and wiring of houses with the support of her trainer.