Introduction to the Business Initiative and Concept
The Platinum Trust of South Africa (PTSA) was formed in 2003 on the back of legislative changes in the mining and beneficiation environment in South Africa. While the Trust uses the name of the precious metal, its efforts are not limited to platinum but incorporate all Platinum Group Metals (PGM).
The Trustees of PTSA have determined to take advantage of this progressive legislation by establishing a platinum beneficiation facility. This facility, to be based in the North West Province, will initially manufacture high quality platinum jewellery for selected local markets and export markets.
The facility, in helping to address the socio-economic challenges facing South Africa, will also include a training centre, leveraging off the infrastructure and working capital of the facility, to ensure skills transfer to and upliftment of historically disadvantaged South Africans.
1. Mineral Beneficiation in South Africa
Historically, South Africa's mining legislation was designed to ensure that every ounce of precious metal produced in South Africa was exported to guarantee an inflow of foreign currency. A culture of downstream beneficiation was, as a result of this legislation, not fostered in South Africa.
The South African government has recently overhauled the mining legislation through the tabling of the Beneficiation Bill. This Bill revisits the ownership of unwrought precious metals and clarifies the uncertainty around the beneficiation process and as a result, removes the barriers that previously inhibited the beneficiation of precious metals.
2. The seda Platinum Incubator
Through the strategic input of the Platinum Trust and the backing of the seda Technology Programme (STP) a division of the Department of Trade and Industry, the incubator will take advantage of the new legislation by amalgamating the skills and product offering of key stakeholders in the industry. These stakeholders include existing platinum miners, South African jewellery manufacturers other private sector players, tertiary institutions and research houses.
However, the traditionally high risks associated with a start-up venture are mitigated by the Platinum Trust's facilitation of the key players' businesses, processes and channels of distribution. In this light, the business concept of leveraging off the stakeholders skills to produce a commercially viable project with positive social spin-offs is pioneering.
A corollary to the historical inactivity of the South African jewellery sector is that the skill base of South African jewellers is inferior to that of their international counterparts. The incubator will look to improve the skills of the participants to the level of international standards by employing two approaches; first, the key players will provide immediate skills transfer to project participants and, in the longer-term, the training facility will ensure that graduates are trained at international standards.
The incubator currently offers:
3. Competitive Advantages of the Platinum Project
|The Result Areas|
|Location||North West Province|
|Technology Focus||Platinum jewellery manufacturing|
|Poverty Reduction||Job creation and development of SMMEs|
|Technology Transfer to HDSA||The training centre will leverage off the infrastructure of the transfer to HDSA incubator and train and develop HDSAs.|
|Lowering of barriers to entry||The platinum loan will:
|High Growth Prospect||South African platinum jewellery and tourist sectors are in high growth phases. In addition, the incubator will, through its linked company, target maturing international platinum jewellery markets|
|Lengthening of Value Chain||
|Ownership and income opportunities for asset poor South Africans||The development of SMMEs will provide training centre graduates, who are primarily
HDSA, with ownership and income opportunities.
As the principal shareholders of the SMMEs servicing the incubator's participants are the training centre graduates, the incubator will provide ownership opportunities to HDSA. In addition to ownership opportunities, these participants and SMMEs will create employment opportunities, which in turn will create income opportunities from HDSA.
|Integration of SMME into a viable market||Platinum jewellery manufacturing|