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Media release

31 March 2022

For immediate release

The Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP), through the CSIR and Minerals Council South Africa, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) to establish a test mine at its Maseve Mine. The test mine situated 50 km north of Rustenburg, in the North West province, will be developed as an industry site for research, development and innovation, allowing for technology demonstration and testing.

“An industry test site is an essential component for a successful research and development programme for the South African mining industry’s sustainability. This is a significant step in strengthening mining’s contribution to the National System of Innovation” says MMP Programme Manager, Jurgens Visser.

“This establishment will create immediate visibility and value for the South African Mining Extraction Research Development and Innovation (SAMERDI) strategy and deliver value to mining companies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other stakeholders,” adds Visser.

Currently, the MMP, research organisations, the Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (MEMSA) and other OEMs rely on the goodwill of mining companies and their operations to provide test sites for the evaluation of individual components or items of technology. This, however, has limitations, such as difficulty in accessing the mines; geographical spread across the industry; perceived interruption by production personnel in their production efforts, and other challenges.

The test mine will ultimately provide a facility for:

  • The testing and demonstration of locally and internationally manufactured mining equipment;
  • Research and development activities aligned to the SAMERDI mining research programme;
  • Synergistic opportunities for research projects being undertaken by the Mine Health and Safety Council to be trialled and tested;
  • Research work in mining conducted through universities;
  • The provision of facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to conduct vacation work, research and vocational training
  • The opportunity to conduct practical training for government certificates of competency;
  • A site for establishing a practical technology incubator; and
  • A site to enable local industrialisation and start-up companies to be incubated.

All these initiatives will be coordinated through the MMP and its partners.

“RBPlat is delighted to offer its Maseve Mine, which is currently under care and maintenance, to be used as an industry test mine. The mine offers a drive-in methodology of entering the mine by means of a decline and the access to the mines underground infrastructure will not interfere with production activities, as the test area is dedicated to the test mine,’ says RBPlat’s CEO, Steve Phiri.


For media queries:

Ntombenkosi Dyosop

MMP Communications Manager


Mobile: 078 174 8518



Thapelo Montshioa

RBPlat Communications Manager


Tel: +27 (0)10 590 4522


About the MMP

The Mandela Mining Precinct is the largest Public-Private Partnership of its kind in South Africa. It is a partnership between the Department of Science and Innovation, and the Minerals Council South Africa. The initiative is jointly hosted and managed by the Minerals Council and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

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About Royal Bafokeng Platinum

Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) is a mid-tier platinum group metals (PGMs) producer, originating from a joint venture between Anglo American Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) known as the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum mine joint venture (BRPM JV).

In 2018, RBPlat became the 100% owner of its business, following the acquisition of the 33% portion of the BRPM JV from Anglo American Platinum.

RBPlat mines platinum group metals in the Merensky and UG2 reefs on the Boschkoppie, Styldrift and Frischgewaagd farms in the Rustenburg area which have been identified as hosting the last undeveloped Merensky reef on the Wes tern limb of the Bushveld complex.

RBPlat’s assets are the only known significant shallow high grade Merensky resources and reserves still available for mining in South Africa.

Our strategy is underpinned by our focus on sustainability and our aspiration to ‘more than Mining’ and of achieving ‘More’ is defined by our purpose of creating economic value for all our stakeholders.

Further information is available on our corporate website:

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