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Platinum Man, Steve Kearney and his Contribution to South African Mining

Platinum Man

The book, Platinum Man, by Ciaran Ryan, was written in honour of Steve Kearney and his contribution to South African mining. The book was formally launched in September 2006 at a function at the Colorado School of Mines in Denver, Colorado, United States of America.

The front cover blurb summarises the contents of Platinum Man as follows:

"Steve Kearney is one of the most fascinating figures in recent South African mining history. An exceptionally gifted leader, he was the youngest ever general manager of a Gencor gold mine, and became chief executive of Impala Platinum before he turned 40. In three short years he turned Impala from a struggling producer into a glittering success, registering massive gains for shareholders in the process. Then, seemingly at the pinnacle of his career, Kearney fell victim to personal weaknesses, and died a few years later.

This gripping account traces Kearney's life from his early childhood in Canada's eerie Uranium City, through his days as a high school football star in Denver, Colorado; to his harsh apprenticeship at West Rand Consolidated, his meteoric career at Gencor, his fall from grace, his partial redemption, and his untimely death at age 45.

Ultimately, it celebrates Kearney's enduring contribution to the South African mining industry, as well as the Royal Bafokeng Nation of North West province."

The book is available from Professor Gillian Drennan (contact details below) or from Exclusive Books. The ISBN number is

Shaft Sinkers at Impala Platinum
Shaft Sinkers at Impala Platinum


Professor Gillian Drennan
Head of School: Geosciences
University of the Witwatersrand
Landline (office hours): 011 717 6570
011 717 6633
Mobile: To be advised

Address: University of the Witwatersrand
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  1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Web page updated: 11 December, 2019
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Shaft Sinkers at Impala Platinum graphic courtesy of