By Sharyn Macnamara, senior writer African Mining, incorporating Mining Mirror

Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE) is back in the western-limb chrome and platinum belt for its popular high-impact combo showcase on 9 and 11 April 2024, in Mooinooi and Rustenburg respectively.

An aerial shot of the expanse of an MTE expo which saw 300 exhibitors deliver solutions to just under 1 000 visitors in 2023.

An aerial shot of the expanse of an MTE expo which saw 300 exhibitors deliver solutions to just under 1 000 visitors in 2023. Supplied by C-Chip


“Last year, the MTE combo shows in Mooinooi and Rustenburg saw our travelling expo concept host the largest number of suppliers and visitors – over a three-day period – ever hosted by the company in the history of its thirty years in business. A total of over 700 mining professionals were engaged by over 58 and 134 suppliers at the two shows respectively, showcasing the latest in mining tech and solutions,” says Andrew Macnamara, operations director at the company.

He explains, “The PGMs and chrome sectors of the industry are placed high on the MTE agenda due to the fact that South Africa is currently the biggest producer of PGMs in the world; PGMs industry sales are the largest contributor to total mining sales in the country; and the chrome sector is strong despite major Transnet freight challenges, with South Africa being the world’s largest producer of chromite ore, having produced over an estimated 19 million tonnes in 2023, per the Minerals Council South Africa.”

PGMs were among commodities like coal, gold and iron ore that made up roughly 80% of South Africa’s commodity export revenue in 2023, which contributed to around 55% of the total value of South African merchandise exports in the first 11 months of the year. The Minerals Council South Africa recently reported, “Commodity export revenue was boosted by the rand that was, on average, almost 13% weaker against the US dollar in 2023 than the previous year. However, the support from a weaker currency was diluted by sharp falls of more than 40% in the dollar-based basket1 price of PGMs.”

A weak PGMs basket price environment amid concerns about future demand, coupled with unreliable electricity supply and high price increases, have added to the challenging environment in the country. Despite this downturn in 2023, it has been forecast that the hydrogen economy and the drive towards clean and renewable energies will rebalance demand for the PGM commodity basket in the long run.

PGMs’ strategic economic importance stands – internal combustion engines are still needed where platinum, palladium and rhodium are used in catalytic converter systems to promote the conversion of pollutants into less harmful compounds, and although the use of palladium in fuel cells is waning due to the high cost of the metal, there is a slow substitution by other metals such as platinum and ruthenium.

MTE Rustenburg Expo 2023.

MTE Rustenburg Expo 2023. ©MTE


Opportunities for suppliers to PGM and chrome operations

MTE therefore hosts its biggest show of the year in Rustenburg – in an area known as the Bushveld Complex, which hosts more than half of the world’s PGMs – platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium, and other associated minerals such as chromium, vanadium and refractory minerals.


Where and when?

On 9 April 2024, between 13:00 and 17:00, the Mooinooi Golf Club is the venue for MTE’s first leg of the combo tour. The area has significant platinum, chrome and ferrochrome reserves and is home to various mines that produce the minerals, including Tharisa Mine. Macnamara notes that this leg of the tour is particularly promising if 2023 is anything to go by, with the first nine months of the year having seen sales for chrome increase by 63.5% from 2022, and a total of 20 411 people employed directly.1

On 11 April 2024This expo will target visitors from Sibanye Rustenburg and Kroondal operations, in addition to other operations in the area such as those of the Impala Platinum (Implats) and Glencore mining companies.

So, if you are a mining professional in the area – entrance is free of charge; and if you are a supplier to these industries, book your stand now!


Contact the MTE sales team: 

Sheldon Greybe: +27 (0) 84 569 3516 |

Cathylene Labuschagne: +27 (0) 11 579 4940 | 

Andrew Macnamara: +27 (0) 82 720 0083 | 


Minerals Council South Africa – Interesting facts1 


  • PGMs consist of six noble metals namely: platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and iridium.
  • Platinum, palladium, rhodium and iridium are the primary metals of significant economic value.
  • PGMs are used in the following applications, among others: the production of jewellery and in the automotive industry where their catalytic properties are highly valued; in fuel cells where they help convert chemical energy into electrical energy; for investment purposes in the form of coins, bars and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) due to their intrinsic value and scarcity; in various industrial applications for their unique properties such as high melting points, conductivity and corrosion resistance; in medical (for implants, diagnostic tools and radiation therapy) and electronic applications due to their biocompatibility and electrical properties (used for semiconductors, capacitors and transistors).
  • Direct employees in South Africa employed by the PGMs sector in 2023 was 181 806


  • Chromite ore is further processed to extract chrome, which is then combined with other materials and smelted in an electric arc furnace to produce ferrochrome, an alloy that contains levels of chromium and is often mixed with iron.
  • Ferrochrome has a wide range of applications, such as in the production of stainless steel – used for anything from kitchenware to industrial machinery.
  • Chromium finds its applications: in chrome plating, where it forms a protective layer on surfaces; in the manufacturing of catalytic converters for automobiles; chrome compounds are used as pigments in paints, inks and plastics; chromium compounds are also used as catalysts in certain chemical reactions, including those in the production of plastics and synthetic rubbers.


  1. Basket consists of platinum, palladium and rhodium. Minerals Council South Africa FACTS AND FIGURES POCKETBOOK 2023.