South Africa’s platinum group metals can be a game changer

By Crystal van Vyk
Posted on Friday, 30 August 2013 12:40

According to the report by the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) released on Friday, titled The strategic role of platinum group metals, South Africa must invest in the hydrogen-cell industry to leverage platinum deposits for industrial development.

the chance exists for South Africa to influence the development trajectory of fuel cell technology to a platinum-based option

MISTRA’s Gail Smith said the 18-month research project interrogated the significance of the estimated 85% of the world’s platinum group metals (PGM) reserves, for South Africa and southern Africa.

“A fundamental question that was probed is how the use of these mineral endowments can position South Africa and the region to establish a significant downstream PGM-based industrial sector” Smith said.

The report says the country should invest in research and development of hydrogen fuel cells, which are not yet manufactured nor used on a large scale.

The report examined the relevance PGMs to the emerging hydrogen economy.

It also looked at the state of global research on hydrogen fuel cell technology and lessons learnt from the emergence of ‘disruptive technology.’

“The report intends to stimulate a conversation on how best to position the country for the emergent hydrogen economy,” Smith said.

Business Day reported that, ‘as the dominant design for the fuel cell industry has not been settled, the chance exists for South Africa to influence the development trajectory of fuel cell technology to a platinum-based option’.

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