North West Premier Thandi Modise. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Pretoria - North West premier Thandi Modise led a delegation to Japan on Monday to explore investments for the Platinum Valley Hub's special economic zone (SEZ).

“The objective of the business trip is to explore investment opportunities and partnerships in platinum beneficiation, the fuel cells sector and benefit industrialisation of the province's automotive sector,” she said in a statement.

“With platinum emerging as a significant energy mineral, the Platinum Valley Hub will assist the province to leverage on South Africa and Africa's need for clean energy.”

The Platinum Valley Hub, established last year, was aimed at attracting investments that sought to add value to South Africa’s platinum-group metals (PGM) resources.

It would contribute towards strengthening South Africa’s terms of trade through the export of value-added commodities, the creation of stronger value chains, and the provision of jobs in previously disadvantaged regions.

“The fact that the world's largest PGM reserve representing 70

percent of the global output is in our province gives us a niche in platinum beneficiation that we need to exploit,” said Modise before departing.

“Our PGM beneficiation strategy and implementation plan developed after extensive research... has identified main applications for platinum in value-added products, especially fuel cells, and its application in various industries...”

The delegation left on Monday and would return next Wednesday.