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Rand Refinery's ongoing local Jewellery Design and Manufacture Development Initiatives

Germiston South Africa March 27 2024

Rand Refinery, one of the world’s leading LBMA – Gold and silver refiners and an operator of the continent’s low-grade gold recovery smelters, is reinforcing its continued commitment and support to the local jewellery industry. Through its long-standing Gold Zone initiative Rand Refinery is investing in reinvigorating local talent within the jewellery manufacturing sector.

The Silver and Gold Mentorship Programmes established in partnership with the Ekurhuleni Jewellery Project (EJP) NQ Jewellers, and the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, have seen remarkable success since their inception in 2021

These programmes have celebrated the graduation of 42 Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) since 2022, including 10 graduations today.


In 2024 Rand Refinery aims to further enhance its support with an enriched SMME curriculum and the introduction of personal coaching in collaboration with Thetso Academy. The initiative underscores Rand Refinery’s commitment and dedication to nurturing a diverse talent pool in a promising but underinvested industry.

Through the programmes, Rand Refinery will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills to a new generation of future jewellers. This not only ensures the sustainability of the industry but also uplifts the community by providing valuable skills that can lead to economic empowerment.

Furthermore, investing in the industry will create employment opportunities particularly in areas like design, manufacturing, marketing and retail.

“Especially in South Africa context this has a positive impact on local economies and contributes to reducing unemployment,” says Praveen Baijnath CEO of Rand Refinery and Chairman of EJP, expressing the company’s commitment to local communities and businesses.

Rand Refinery will also be approving further capital investment for the technical and commercial campus upgrade, incorporating advanced jewellery technology to accommodate all students, including those with disabilities.

Rand Refinery has partnered with Intsika Beneficiation Project to bolster our efforts in the skills development for people living with disabilities through a learnership programme in jewellery.

Launched in 2020 the programme continues to make significant inroads in this specialist space. The company has been fully funding the learnership (i.e. the tuition cost and learners’ stipends) for 5 consecutive years. To date, a total of 109 learners have been trained and have progressed from NQF L2 to NQF L4. In 2023 Rand Refinery hosted a graduation programme for learners with disabilities who completed NQF L3 and today the 20 learners who are graduating have completed NQF L4.

“By engaging directly with the jewellery manufacturing sector, we can promote and implement sustainable and ethical practices in the sourcing, processing, and trading of precious metals. This can only improve the industry’s reputation and ensure long term viability with known provenance practices. Supporting local talent and industry contributes to community development and broader economic growth. It fosters an environment where local businesses can thrive, encouraging further investment and development in the region” he added .

Improvement for the 2024 intake process include a comprehensive assessment to identify and develop top jewellery design talent, ensuring participants are well equipped to launch and grow their business successfully. Additionally, the Rand Refinery Enterprise Development Program continues to support The Jewellery Village Store, enhancing market access for its participants. Top-performing SMMEs have had the opportunity to present their designs at the Mining Indaba, showcasing local capabilities to a global audience.

“We take immense pride in our role of fostering growth through beneficiation and developing local talent. Witnessing these SMMEs present their work globally reaffirms the tremendous potential within South Africa,  made possible through the Rand Refinery Enterprise Development Initiative”, concludes Baijnath.