Nkwe Platinum Limited, owned by the Zijin Mining Group, launched its first solar powered water supply system for the Ga Mpuru Village in the Garatau community, situated next to the Zijin Garatau Platinum Mine.

The pumps installed on the water borehole and storage tanks are powered by a complete solar system. In addition to providing round the clock water for the members of the community, the solar system also powers a security electric fence for the water supply infrastructure, making it a self-sustaining unit. The community will now have access to over 55 000 litres (continuous flow) of clean water from a pipeline which spans over 2 kilometres within the community. Taps and water troughs are stationed at various strategic points along the pipeline to cater for both the community and livestock.

Commenting on the project, Pudieswana Lekoadu, Ga Mpuru Community Liaison Officer, said, “We are really pleased with the new solar-powered water supply system. The community waited for over 2 years for Eskom power supply to no avail. The mine has immensely helped the community with this alternative and sustainable energy source which has enabled the provision of clean drinking water for us and our livestock. In the past, we used to get water from far away, but this is no longer the case. The community is very happy that water has been brought closer to their homes here at Ga Mpuru Village.”

Benefits of water storage tanks

The advantages of using water storage tanks include the allowance of instant water supply during any point of the day when the demand exceeds the water supply using the solar-powered water pump. Emergency water storage is available from the water tanks, in case of pump failure or low irradiance (during mornings or evenings as well as on a cloudy day). Also, this system has brought clean water to relatively dry sections of Ga -Mpuru village that had not intercepted any water during the company’s drilling campaign.  

This solar-powered water system forms part of Nkwe Platinum’s second-generation Social and Labour Plan, which enables Local Economic Development (‘LED’) projects in the form of clean water supply to the local mine communities over the next few years.

To date, Nkwe Platinum Limited has spent over R45 million on its Social and Labour Plan. The investment included the upgrading of the Garatau Community Access Road, as well as adult training and education, bursaries, learnerships, internships, traditional leadership training and excavator operations, which have benefited the surrounding mine communities of the Zijin Garatau Platinum Mine.

Zhiyu Fan, the MD and CEO of Nkwe Platinum Limited said, “The successful implementation of this solar-powered water supply system highlights the importance of the mine development being closely related to the sustainable development of our surrounding communities. It serves as an example of our commitment to this core belief. We are honoured that it contributes to the improvement of the lives of community members living around the mine.”

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