Impala Platinum Holdings Limited, better known as Implats, is a South African company that focuses in the business of mining, refining and marketing platinum group metals (PGMs), as well as nickel, copper and cobalt. Headquartered in Johannesburg, the company aims to safely mine, process, refine and market its products at the best possible cost, ensuring sustainable value creation for all its stakeholders. Implats values the stakeholders, including shareholders, employees and their representative bodies, communities (in which the company operates), regulatory bodies, suppliers and customers, directors and management, and all other interested and affected parties. The company also values the principles of the UN Global Compact, the laws of the countries within which it operates, company policies and procedures, the company’s place and way of work, open and honest communication, the diversity of all its stakeholders, as well as the risk management and continuous improvement philosophies. The preservation of natural resources, the environment and the socio-economic well-being of the communities within which Implats operate are the few things that also matter to the company.
The whole platinum mining industry in South Africa started when platinum was discovered in the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) in 1924 by Hans Merensky, a South African geologist, prospector, scientist, conservationist and philanthropist. The first mine blast was undertaken north of Rustenburg on June 3, 1967, resulting in an initial annual capacity of 100,000 ounces of platinum. On the following year, a 27,000 acre lease, which predominantly owned by the Bafokeng Tribe (now the Royal Bafokeng Nation), was granted. Production began in July 1968 and, for the ensuing 12 years, only the Merensky Reef was mined. A significant platinum jewellery market also began developing during the late 1960s.
During the 1970s, vehicle emission standards were introduced and pursued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with global legislator soon joining the movement – vastly enlarging the market for platinum. During this decade, Impala negotiated long-term supply contracts with major US motor manufactures, General Motors and Chrysler. On January 26, 1973, when it was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Impala Platinum Ltd. was a wholly owned subsidiary of Bishopsgate Platinum Limited. Five years from then, Bishopsgate changed its name into Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) and the company began mining on the Upper Group 2 Reef (UG2).
By the early 1990s, Implats had become the second largest platinum producer worldwide. The company acquired an effective interest in Western Platinum and Eastern Platinum (collectively Lonplats). Implats grew throughout the following years – gaining mineral rights to establish Marula Platinum; acquiring strategic stakes in Zimbabwean operations, Zimplats and Mimosa; entered a joint venture with Avmin to develop the Two Rivers Platinum project; sold its stakes in Barplats and Lonplats; getting unbundled as the parent company, Gencor, amalgamated with Gold Fields; and produced 1.7Moz of platinum (approximately 25% of global supply) and 3.4Moz of PGMs by 2009.
Implats remained to flourish throughout the following years, and up to this day, it has approximately 53,000 employees, including contractors, working across its operations and is one of the most efficient and lowest cost primary platinum producers in the world. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
As one of the successful, leading companies in the world, Implats commit to attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the nature of its worldwide business. In return for the skills, capabilities and experience the employees bring to the business, Implats offers a unique employee value proposition and a great place to work. The benefits and opportunities of working at Implats include employee housing, skills development, health and financial reward. The company also offers bursaries to help young people with their studies and skills development. The bursaries are offered in various fields which include the following.
- Engineering: mining, metallurgy, chemical, mechanical. and electrical (heavy current)
- Chemistry to honours level
- Geology to honours level
- Accounting to honours level
- Human Resources B.Com to honours level
The Implats Bursaries cover not only the registration and tuition fees for the duration of the course, but also residence fees, cash allowance, and personal computer allowance from the second year of study. Awardees will be required to work for the company for the full period of the bursary and to undertake vacation work at the company at the end of each year.
Minimum Requirements for the Implats Bursaries
Implats bursaries are open to anyone that meets the minimum criteria of a university exemption pass and a minimum C symbol (Rating Code 5 or 60%) in Mathematics, Science and English. It is necessary that the candidates have the following competences to be eligible to receive such award.
- Able to work under pressure
- Have leadership potential, combined with the ability to work in a team
- Have good problem-solving abilities
- Tenacious, self-motivated and have common sense
- Able to make decisions and to think logically
- Have good communication skills
When applying for the Implats bursaries, candidates must submit the application form along with the listed documents below, otherwise candidates must give good reasons why they can’t.
- Certified copy of valid personal identity document (ID)
- Certified proof of results
- Detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) / resume
- Full details of academic transcripts
- Certificate of conduct from university (if currently studying)
Individuals with disabilities are welcome to apply. However, selection will be subjected to the physical demands of an occupation related to a degree.
How to Apply for the Implats Bursaries
Those who would like to apply for a bursary offered by Implats and have been considered to meet the mentioned minimum criteria may start their applications by downloading and filling in the application form provided on the Implats’ official website www.implats.co.za/careers.php. Further details on career paths at Implats are also provided on the mentioned website.
The application form must be completed thoroughly using black ink and in block letters. Incomplete application forms will not be accepted. Any changes of address or contact details must be forwarded in writing. The application form along with its supporting documents should be sent to:
Impala Platinum, Bursary Development, PO Box 5683, Rustenburg, 0300
The annual application closing date is on March 31. Candidates must consider their applications as unsuccessful if they do not receive any response from Implats within 30 days after the application closing date. Correspondence will be limited to shortlisted applicants only. Those who qualify will be invited for a preliminary interview at the company’s Rustenburg operations situated in the North West Province.
For more information about the Implats Bursaries, contact the Bursary Department on +27 14 569 0088 or send an e-mail to [email protected]