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Gold trading volumes double in Turkey amid currency crisis

By: Bloomberg     18th August 2018 First Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan argued citizens should buy gold, then he said sell. Add dramatic swings in the lira, and the country’s traders are now enthusiastically doing both. Gold futures volumes have surged on the Borsa Istanbul as the volatile currency attracts speculation and... 

New Asia market manager appointed for South African wines body

By: Schalk Burger     17th August 2018 Winemaker industry body Wines of South Africa (WoSA) has appointed Marcus Ford as its new Asia market manager, effective August 20. He will be based in Shanghai, China, and responsible for running all marketing activities throughout mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan, the organisation said on... 

Rusal says board backs change of domicile to Russia

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Russia's sanctions-hit aluminium giant Rusal said on Friday its board had discussed and approved a change of domicile from Britain's Jersey to Russia in order to take advantage of new special tax regulations. Rusal, which was hit with US sanctions in April that seriously disrupted aluminium... 

Sweden's Granges halts plans for US aluminium joint venture

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Sweden's Granges put on ice on Friday plans to form an aluminium manufacturing joint venture in the United States with Japan's Mitsubishi Aluminum Co, saying that the project was less attractive in "current circumstances". It did not specify what circumstances it was referring to though a Granges... 

Toyota aims to increase exports into Africa as market recovers

By: Irma Venter     17th August 2018 Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) aims to export 100 000 vehicles a year from its Durban plant, says president and CEO Andrew Kirby. Total plant capacity is 242 000 units a year, which includes a 234 000-unit capacity for the Hilux, Fortuner and Corolla, 13 500 for the Ses’fikile minibus and 5... 

Commodity price increases lack conviction – IHS

By: Nadine James     17th August 2018 Commodity analysts IHS Markit on Thursday reported that the Materials Price Index (MPI) had risen by 0.5% in the last week, but that the index’s ten subcomponents were evenly split between those showing increases and those showing declines, highlighting the uncertainty in markets. The MPI... 

Experts collaborate to deliver project in Kenya

17th August 2018 Integrated infrastructure delivery company Aecom’s Nairobi team, consisting of experts from South Africa, Kenya, Germany and the US, is working on a civil-structure assessment project for a transmission line in Kenya. “A major advantage for Aecom in the region is its ability to leverage its... 

US nuclear company Westinghouse emerges from bankruptcy protection

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th August 2018 US major nuclear group Westinghouse Electric exited from bankruptcy protection (under Chapter 11 of US Bankruptcy Code) at the start of this month, when its takeover by Brookfield Business Partners came into effect. Brookfield, which is listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges and is... 

Tyre manufacturing plant upgrade and expansion project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     17th August 2018 SRSA has officially started production at its tyre manufacturing plant in Ladysmith. 

Grootegeluk boosts Exxaro’s H1 coal output

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th August 2018 Diversified miner Exxaro Resources’ coal production volumes for the six months to June 30 increased by 7%, or 1.5-million tonnes, compared with that of the second half of 2017. The company on Thursday attributed the increase in overall output to higher production volumes at the company’s... 

Cobalt prices stabilising – ERG

By: Anine Kilian     16th August 2018 The recent price adjustment in the cobalt market represents a logical and short-term correction to the heightened speculative activity earlier this year, says Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) CEO Benedikt  Sobotka. Cobalt metal prices jumped in excess of 120% between 2016 and 2017, a sign of strong... 

Kaz Minerals copper miner declares dividend, H1 earnings rise

By: Reuters     16th August 2018 Kaz Minerals copper miner on Thursday announced an interim dividend of 6 US cents per share, the first since 2012, in keeping with a growing trend for miners to focus on shareholder returns. Kaz Minerals shares plunged early this month after the Kazakhstan-focused miner said it was expanding... 

Neometals to separately list titanium and vanadium business

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th August 2018 The board of ASX-listed Neometals has approved the demerger of the Barrambie titanium/vanadium project, in Western Australia, along with the associated technology assets, into a newly listed company. Neometals told shareholders on Thursday that the move would allow the company and the newly... 

Russian miners explore payment schemes eschewing dollar

By: Reuters     15th August 2018 Two of Russia's biggest mining companies said on Wednesday they were investigating rouble-based payments schemes, amid calls from Moscow to reduce the role of the US dollar in Russian trade and so limit the impact of US sanctions. The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia favoured bilateral trade... 

Two workers die at Dubai aluminium furnace, EGA says

By: Reuters     15th August 2018 Two workers died at an industrial furnace in Dubai, reportedly by burning to death, the operator of the plant said on Tuesday. Emirates Global Aluminium said the accident took place on Monday as the men "were working at an industrial furnace, which was shut down for routine maintenance and was... 

Metals poisoned by Turkey contagion as copper nears bear market

By: Bloomberg     15th August 2018 From Turkey’s financial crisis to China’s trade war, the emerging-market contagion is infecting metal markets. Base metals markets tumbled on Wednesday, with most contracts falling more than 2% in London. Copper sank below $6 000 a metric ton and is now approaching a bear market. Not even gold,... 

Lead shortages, seasonally strong demand suggest possible price revival

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Global trade disputes and political tensions have sent prices of battery metal lead to 14-month lows but tight supplies, shortages and seasonally strong demand for the coming northern winter suggest a possible change of tack. The possibility of protracted trade tensions between the United States... 

Antofagasta's H1 earnings fall, trade tensions cloud demand outlook

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Chilean copper producer Antofagasta said first-half core earnings fell 16.2% from a year earlier, citing weaker ore quality, and said trade tensions clouded the broader market outlook in the short term. Its share price was down by 5.4% by 09:13 GMT, while the broader sector was 0.8% lower. 

China's Ganfeng buys SQM's stake in lithium project for $87.5m

By: Reuters     14th August 2018 Chile's SQM, one of the world's largest lithium producers, said on Monday that it agreed to sell its 50% stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz project in Argentina to China's Ganfeng Lithium for $87.5-million. The deal also stipulates that Ganfeng will pay SQM an additional $50-million if the project's... 

Threat of contagion in emerging markets deepens commodity risk

By: Bloomberg     13th August 2018 When Thailand devalued its currency two decades ago, few in global commodity markets took note. Within a year, the crisis morphed into an emerging-market rout that eviscerated the price of everything from crude oil to copper. Fast forward to today and Turkey is presenting a similar challenge. The... 

Lithium-ion batteries, energy storage on strong demand growth trajectory

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th August 2018 The automotive industry’s use of lithium-ion batteries is on track to grow seven-fold to 650 GWh by 2025, from 70 GWh in 2017; the increase in energy storage, although from a lower base, will add to this, says specialist international publisher Metal Bulletin. It adds that the electrification of... 

Kenya charges top officials with fraud over new $3bn railway

By: Reuters     13th August 2018 A Kenyan court on Monday charged the heads of the agency that manages public land and of the state railway with fraud over land allocation for a new $3-billion train line linking the capital with East Africa's biggest port. The line between Nairobi and Mombasa, funded by China, is one of the... 

Peru President expects lithium, uranium mining laws passed in 6 months

By: Reuters     12th August 2018 Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra told Reuters his government will likely pass laws within six months needed to tap a new lithium and uranium deposit, removing a major hurdle for Canadian miner Plateau Energy Metals' proposed $800-million mine. Plateau said last month it had found 2.5-million... 

Copper shorts exposed to supply shock as giant mine faces strike

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2018 Copper bears could get caught wrong-footed as a strike looms at the world’s biggest mine. In the US, hedge funds’ bearish bets outnumber bullish wagers by the most since 2016, latest government data show. The top brokers on the Shanghai Futures Exchange boosted their net-short position by more... 

Most unions at Chile's El Teniente copper mine accept contract

By: Reuters     10th August 2018 Four of the five labor unions representing workers at the El Teniente copper mine in Chile have accepted the latest contract offer from state mining company Codelco, union leaders told Reuters. "The contract was approved by an ample margin after the company improved its offer," said Guillermo... 

Rio Tinto considers float of Canadian iron-ore business

By: Reuters     10th August 2018 Rio Tinto, the world's second largest listed mining company, is exploring a public listing of its Iron Ore Company of Canada business, banking and industry sources said, as it focuses on boosting revenue from its flagship Australian assets. Iron-ore, which accounts for most of Rio's profit and... 

Strong sales growth lifts Silvercorp earnings

By: Nadine James     10th August 2018 In its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended June 30, Canada-based, China-focused Silvercorp Metals on Thursday reported a net income of $10.9-million and a 25% increase in cash flow on the back of a 14% increase in sales. The company achieved sales of $45.1-million, up... 

AfDB head calls for agriculture technologies to optimize African farmers' output

By: African News Agency      10th August 2018 African farms should be given access to technologies that will enhance production, with evidence from countries such as Nigeria demonstrating that technology coupled with strong government backing are yielding positive results, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has said.... 

Difficult conditions in ferro-alloys segment impacts on Afarak’s H1 profitability

By: Simone Liedtke     10th August 2018 The second quarter of 2018, ended June 30, was particularly difficult for specialty alloys producer Afarak, the company said on Friday, with the ferro-alloys segment having shown a bad performance which negatively impacted on the group’s overall financial results. This, Afarak pointed out, was... 

Australian miners steam ahead with lithium exploration

By: Reuters     10th August 2018 Australian miners are ramping up exploration for lithium even as prices dip, betting on renewed strength in the raw material used for rechargeable batteries. Australian miners' enthusiasm for lithium projects appears undimmed by sliding prices as they expand their exploration and development... 

Barrick says China partner for copper 'makes all kinds of sense'

By: Bloomberg     10th August 2018 Barrick Gold executive chairman John Thornton says the Canadian miner is looking at its copper assets “very seriously” to see if it makes sense to form a copper company with one or two partners, most likely from China. “The question for us on copper is, ‘Can you take the copper assets, combine... 

Four Brics and a briquette

By: Riaan de Lange     10th August 2018 The headline of this article sounds a bit like a 1960s band. A popular music band. A pop band. But, alas, it is no band – it is what should be an honest reflection of what the world knows as Brics, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Bric came into existence in 2008 and... 

Growth projected for global industrial furnaces and ovens market

10th August 2018 The global industrial furnaces and ovens market will reach $10 800-million by 2025, according to a report by market researcher QY Research. The global industrial furnaces and ovens market was valued at $9 530-million in 2017 representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.6% between... 

Tipping point?

By: Terence Creamer     10th August 2018 The dust has well and truly settled on of the tenth Brics summit, hosted in Johannesburg last month. While the event was generally viewed as positive from a South African perspective, it failed to capture the popular imagination. Most public interest centred on whether Russia’s strongman... 

Space agencies of South Africa and India strengthen cooperation

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th August 2018 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) formalised their relationship by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the fringes of the recent Brics Summit in Johannesburg. (Brics is the alignment between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and... 

Should we worry about Chinese generosity?

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     10th August 2018 Back in March, former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson became the umpteenth Western big gun to urge Africans to beware of Chinese generosity on the continent, which has taken the form of freebies such as the African Union headquarters in Addis Abba, Ethiopia – built at a cost of $200-million... 

Union at Caserones mine in Chile says no deal in labour talks, strike imminent

By: Reuters     9th August 2018 The main union at Chile's Caserones copper mine said on Wednesday that a last round of labor negotiations with mine operator Lumina Copper had broken down and that a strike was imminent. The 300-member worker's union said Lumina, which is controlled by a partnership of JX Holding and Mitsui... 

AFC welcomes completion of, first shipment from Guinea bauxite mine

By: Nadine James     8th August 2018 Infrastructure development finance institution Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) on Wednesday announced the on time completion of the Bel Air mine, in Guinea, and its first shipment of high-grade bauxite to China.  The construction of the mine was completed on time and within budget.  

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