Isondo Precious Metals.

Value-Added Processing for South Africa's Mineral Resources

South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum and one of the leading producers of other platinum group metals (PGM’s). Moreover, South Africa’s reserves of these metals are estimated to be the highest in the world, and has potential for discovery of other deposits in areas yet to be exhaustively explored. The mining industry as a whole contributes an estimated 5% to overall GDP, and collectively the mining sector is one of the largest employers in the country.

However, with the growth of South Africa’s secondary and tertiary industries, as well as a decline in gold and platinum production, a slump in commodity prices and resulting job losses, mining’s contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has declined over the past 10 years. However, this may be offset by an increase in the downstream or beneficiated minerals industry, which the government has targeted as a growth sector.

IPM, a wholly black-owned level 2 BEE company,  was created in 2012 to work in the space between the South African platinum industry, the international metal fabricators and the South African government to help create new and sustainable precious metal beneficiation (value-added processing) business plans that can be used to build sustainable metals manufacturing businesses within the Special Economic Zones / Industrial Development Zones (SEZ/IDZ’s) being developed in the country.

The mission of the group is centred on the alignment of South Africa’s sustainability with business and environmental sustainability. IPM seeks to leverage on the expertise and local and international business relationships of its founders to help deliver solutions to the challenges of the country including employment creation, green infrastructural growth, metals beneficiation, sustainable energy & water supply and E-learning/E-health solutions.

Business plans have been developed in the following areas:

  • Fuel cell assembly and component manufacturing
  • Energy services delivery in Africa
  • Fuel cell based transportation for African cities
  • Platinum coin and bar manufacturing
  • Precious metals based diabetic kit
  • Autocatalyst recycling in South Africa and globally

Fuel Cell Technology.

One of the key technologies that IPM has identified for beneficiation of PGM’s into is fuel cells since fuel cells utilise a range of high value PGM’s including platinum and rhodium. Fuel cells generate clean power from a variety of fuels and can be used to generate power in stationary, motive, portable and aeromotive applications.

Fuel cell technology has been in use for over 50 years in niche applications, and has never quite achieved mainstream adoption due to high capital costs (in part due to the high cost of PGMs) and lack of expansive fuel infrastructure. IPM is tackling the challenge of the high capital cost of fuel cells and lack of expansive refuelling infrastructure in a number of ways, and has assembled a team of world-renowned South African and international players in this space.

Localised Manufacturing.

The outcome will be low cost fuel cell components manufactured in South Africa and a commercially viable fuel cell system. In order to reach this outcome IPM has licensed intellectual property from some of the world’s leading fuel cell component manufacturers in order to localise the IP and produce components at a lower price.

Moreover, manufacturing will take advantage of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) initiatives available from the government. Skilled personnel will be drawn from existing initiatives such as the HySA competence centres, and new local staff trained thus ensuring technology-transfer and skills development. The refuelling infrastructure is under development using best in class local biofuel, solar and electrolysis technology.

Revitalise Local Mining Industry.

IPM’s activities over the last few years in realising its vision to reinvigorate the local mining industry, save and create new jobs, beneficiate local mineral resources and develop commercially-viable clean power solutions has attracted funding from the South African government and the attention of local mining companies, corporates, foreign governments and international fuel cell companies.

Moreover, IPM has been invited to participate in important high profile activities such as Operation Phakisa and the Black Industrialist programme.

Meet the Management Team.

Mr Vinay Somera

Mr Somera holds a BSc in Mathematics/Chemistry, BCom (HONS) in Advanced financial management/International business management and an MBA from the University of Cape Town (Graduate School of Business).

Read More
Dr Sakib Khan

Dr Khan holds a BSc (HONS) in Chemistry and Chemical Technology from the University of Hertfordshire (UK). He also holds a PhD in fuel cell technology from the University of Surrey (UK). After his doctorate he was invited to the University...

Read More