Minister Pandor to launch pilot plant for manganese beneficiation in South Africa

South Africa’s first pilot plant in manganese beneficiation will be launched in Nelspruit on Wednesday, 11 October, as a strategic development programme responding to the fast pace evolution of rechargeable battery technology in the country.


With South Africa possessing 80% of the global high-grade manganese ore reserves, this resource is a huge potential contributor to minerals beneficiation in the country. The export of high-value precursors to a global market for lithium-ion batteries would increase the value of local manganese and build manganese beneficiation capacity in South Africa.


The Lithium Ion Battery (LIB) Precursor Pilot Plant Facility will see beneficiated manganese based cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries developed locally and is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) hosted by the University of Limpopo.


Lithium-ion batteries are used in cell phones, laptops, watches, digital cameras, and some medical devices, such as pacemakers used in heart-surgery patients. The plant is a critical step towards a commercial facility earmarked to meet the growing demands of electric vehicles, solar (or wind) energy storage as well as large-scale energy storage on the grid.


The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, will launch the facility accompanied by the University of Limpopo Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Mahlo Mokgalong and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza will accompany the Minister.


A two-day international Energy Storage Workshop will follow the launch, bringing together potential customers, innovators, researchers, and entrepreneurs in energy storage area and explore developing strategic partnerships for taking the technology to the market. 


Details of the launch and workshop are as follows:


Date:              11 October 2017 (Launch)

                        12 – 13 October (Workshop)

Venue:           23 Bulpin Street, Delta EMD Premises, Nelspruit

Time:             09h00


For media enquires contact:


Mr David Mandaha (Department of Science and Technology)

Tel: +27 12 843 6806 / +27 721268910

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Mr Johannes Selepe (University of Limpopo)

Tel: +27 15 268 3210 / +27 82 882 5818

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Issued jointly by the University of Limpopo and the Department of Science and Technology.


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