- Published on 07 February 2007
Early February saw Heraeus significantly strengthening its market presence on the African continent by starting up a pgm refinery in Port Elizabeth (South Africa).
The Heraeus Refinery S.A. (Pty.) Limited, a subsidiary of the Group’s Managing Company, W. C. Heraeus, highly renowned for its precious metal expertise, is located in close proximity to the South African automobile industry whose demand makes it one of the main consumers of platinum group metals (pgm) for use in exhaust gas catalytic converters.
The processing plant is the result of a tightly-knit co-operation between Heraeus, the South African platinum producers Northam Platinum and the South African Department of Minerals and Energy. It is in fact the first pgm refinery ever in South Africa capable of integrated fabrication of added-value products.
Heraeus has been operating a plant producing pgm products in Port Elizabeth since 2003. These products are primarily for use in the local automobile industry in catalytic converters.
According to Managing Director Friedhelm Averdunk, “ Northam Platinum and Heraeus have enjoyed a mutual partnership for over 20 years during which time Heraeus has been refining concentrates from Northam in Hanau.”
The new pgm refinery has a modular design concept which makes it easily expandable to fit in ideally with both the expansion plans of Northam as well as the future activities of new mining companies.
From left to right. Dr. Matthias Grehl, General Manager of Heraeus Refinery and Heraeus Chemicals, middle: Dr. Roland Gerner, Managing Director of W.C. Heraeus and Mr. Thomas Lampert, head of sampling and ingot melting department in Hanau.
At the present time the integrated secondary refining plant for precious metals employs more than 50 people. A continual training programme for the local workforce supported by the South African government is intended to act as a basis for securing further recruitment.
W. C. Heraeus GmbH processes worldwide the precious metals gold, silver, platinum and other platinum group metals as well as special metals primarily to produce industrial products for the automotive, chemical, electronics glass and ceramic, lighting technology, medical and pharmaceutical industries. A global network of more than 30 companies includes production facilities for all stages of precious metal production and processing. W. C. Heraeus enjoys a leading position in international precious metal trading.
The precious metals and technology group Heraeus, with its headquarters in Hanau, is a family concern active globally in the business areas of precious metals, dental health, sensors quartz glass and specialty lighting sources. With generated revenues of more than 9 billion Euros worldwide and more than 10,600 employees in over 100 subsidiaries and associated companies, Heraeus has been a highly renowned expert in precious metals and materials for more than 150 years.
For further information please contact:
Head of Corporate Communications
Heraeus Holding GmbH
Phone: +49 (6181) 35-5100
Dr. Friedhelm Averdunk / Dr. Matthias Grehl
Managing Director of Heraeus Chemicals S.A (Pty) Ltd.
6-7 Oddy Place, Perseverance, Port Elizabeth
P.O.Box 1987, Port Elizabeth 6000
phone: +27 (0) 41 404-2805