UPDATE - Russia, South Africa Sign Mining, Metals Cooperation Program Until 2025 - Minister

UPDATE - Russia, South Africa Sign Mining, Metals Cooperation Program Until 2025 - Minister

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st November, 2018) Russia and South Africa have signed a cooperation program for exploration, production and processing of minerals until 2025, as well as a road map for projects concerning platinum group metals, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin said on Wednesday.

"Today, a road map has been signed for the implementation of priority areas of cooperation with the Republic of South Africa in the field of cooperation on platinum group metals, as well as a program of Russian-South African cooperation in the field of exploration, mining, processing, and processing of mineral resources for the period up to 2025," Kobylkin said in the framework of the Russian-South African Intergovernmental Commission.

South Africa is by far the world's largest platinum producer with over 70 percent of the 6 million ounces global production in 2017, while Russia was ranked second with slightly over 10 percent of that amount, according to Johnson Matthey consultancy. The two countries are also top producers of platinum's sister metal palladium, each accounting for about 40 percent of 6.6 million ounces of global production in 2017.

The two precious metals are most widely used in catalytic converters, which are installed in cars to reduce harmful emissions. They are also widely used in jewelry and medicine.

Russia and South Africa will conduct a so-called road show of geological exploration projects for small and medium-sized businesses of both countries, head of international cooperation in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Nuritdin Inamov, said.

"We agreed to hold an event in Moscow, we call it a road show with a presentation of new projects in the field of geology and subsoil use, inviting small and medium businesses, the so-called junior companies, to open new areas of cooperation," the official said.

Representatives of banks and financial institutions are also invited to the meeting to create the conditions for launching new projects, he stressed.

"We believe that this will contribute to the diversification of project activities in the field of subsoil use and will attract new companies," Inamov concluded.

In early September, Russia's Rosgeo signed an agreement with PetroSA for the development of blocks 9 and 11a on South Africa's southern continental shelf. The project involves the production of up to 4 million cubic meters of gas daily, with subsequent delivery to the Mossel Bay gas processing plant. The area's oil reserves are estimated at over 50 million tonnes, gas reserves at over 400 billion cubic meters, with forecast gas resources of up to 1.2 trillion cubic meters.