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What happens when China's steel curbs end? Here's BHP's take

By: Bloomberg     Updated 2 hours 33 minutes ago Steelmakers in China are about to get back to business full-time. When unprecedented winter supply curbs lapse in the coming weeks, BHP Billiton forecasts mills in the top producer will step up output, boosting run rates through the second quarter to make up for curtailments. The resumption will... 

Rainbow puts focus on Gakara ramp-up, exploration

By: Simone Liedtke     21st February 2018 London-listed Rainbow Rare Earths has set the ramp-up of production at its Gakara mine, in Burundi, and the completion of the first phase drilling programme, as its priorities for the next six months. The company on Wednesday described the six months ended December 31, as "a busy and highly... 

SUVs push global new-car sales up by 2.4%, EV sales up 78%

By: Irma Venter     21st February 2018 The global new-car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew by 2.4% in 2017, to 86.05-million units, compared with 2016, according to data released by UK automotive business intelligence group JATO Dynamics. “The automotive market performed well in 2017, with established economies... 

China’s iron-ore discounts hit Fortescue revenue, profit falls sharply

By: Mariaan Webb     21st February 2018 Chinese steelmakers’ demand for better-quality ore has had a significant impact on Australian miner Fortescue Metals’ half-year financial performance, with revenue contracting by 18% and net profit falling sharply, sending shares down about 4% on Wednesday. Australia’s third major iron-ore... 

Nautilus rises as vessel construction passes 75% completion mark

By: Henry Lazenby     20th February 2018 The TSX-listed equity of marine mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals has gained nearly 44% since the start of the year, adding about 7% on Tuesday alone on news that construction of its production support vessel has passed the 75% completion mark. Under construction at the Fujian Mawei Shipyard, in... 

Kabila yet to sign new mining code as deadline nears

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila has not yet signed into law a new mining code, a senior aide said on Tuesday, as international mining companies wage a last-ditch lobbying effort against the measure. The comments by Jean-Pierre Kambila, Kabila's deputy chief of staff, come... 

EU warns it will retaliate if hit by US trade curbs

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 The European Commission said on Tuesday it had expressed its concern to Washington about possible measures to curb imports of steel and aluminium and warned that it was ready to react if its industry was hit. "We have made it clear to the US administration at the highest level that we would be... 

EU warns it will retaliate if hit by US trade curbs

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 The European Commission said on Tuesday it had expressed its concern to Washington about possible measures to curb imports of steel and aluminium and warned that it was ready to react if its industry was hit. "We have made it clear to the US administration at the highest level that we would be... 

Seifsa worried about potential impact of proposed US steel import tariff increases

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2018 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has warned that the difficulties facing the local steel industry would continue to worsen in the year ahead if the US Department of Commerce's recommendation for a tariff of at least 53% on all steel imports from 12... 

Peru tenders $2bn copper project in first major auction in years

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 Peru will accept bids and award a contract to develop the estimated $2-billion Michiquillay copper mine on Tuesday in the first major auction from the world's No. 2 copper producer in at least a decade. The auction was delayed twice last year, in part due to political turmoil in Peru. The bids... 

Deadly mines linked to child labour thrive in rush for batteries

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2018 The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labour. Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the... 

No Brics leader among those who first phoned President Ramaphosa, on Sunday

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th February 2018 Not one of the five world and regional leaders who formed the first group to phone new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday to hold preliminary discussions with, and to congratulate, him came from a Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group country. Two of the... 

Japan's steel industry urges Trump to make careful trade decision

By: Reuters     19th February 2018 Japan's steel industry said on Monday the US Commerce Department proposal to President Donald Trump to impose curbs on steel imports violate the principles of free trade, calling for Washington to make a careful and appropriate decision. The US Commerce Department recommended on Friday that Trump... 

Whitehaven achieves record first-half profit

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2018 New South Wales-based miner Whitehaven Coal has increased its sales revenue by 39% year-on-year to $1.15-billion and its net profit after tax by 63% year-on-year to $257.2-million in the six months ended December 31, 2017. Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation... 

Amplats restores dividend, productivity soars, six die

By: Martin Creamer     19th February 2018 Six employees died in a year in which Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) chalked up R2.4-billion in free cash flow generated from its operations, doubled return on capital employed to 18% and reintroduced a cash dividend for the first time in seven years. Productivity has soared by 58% since 2012... 

Mining sector unloved as investors find it hard to trust

By: Reuters     17th February 2018 Investors are shunning the mining sector, data from Thomson Reuters shows, as they struggle to forget the string of multi-billion dollar takeovers and expensive development projects that left them empty handed. A decade-long commodity boom coincided with years of economic growth when China took... 

Volatility, improving supply erase year-to-date index gains

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2018 The Materials Price Index (MPI) from Global Insight by IHS Markit has fallen back to levels at which it started the New Year, as a return of volatility shook markets again last week, dampening appetites for risk and souring the exuberant mood that has prevailed this year. The MPI plunged 3% last... 

Nautilus completes production tools sea trials in PNG

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2018 Marine mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals has successfully completed submerged trials for its seafloor production tools (SPTs), in Papua New Guinea. "The overarching objective of the trials was to ensure that all three machines met the requirements of their respective functional design... 

Country-specific hazards emerge during self-driving car’s world tour

By: Irma Venter     16th February 2018 It may surprise the taxi haters, but South Africa is not the most challenging country to sit behind the wheel of a vehicle in self-driving mode. The winner is China, with its sometimes erratic cyclists, lack of lane markings and confusing traffic signals. Mercedes-Benz at the end of last year... 

Projects boding well for geotechnical contractor

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th February 2018 Specialist geotechnical contractor and subsidiary of Keller Group, Franki Africa, is providing 46 000 Columns with Mixed Moduli (CMM) for the 350 000 m2 Clairwood logistics park construction site project.  

Northam opens R900m platinum smelter expansion

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2018 Platinum mining company Northam on Thursday officially opened a R900-million smelter expansion at its Zondereinde platinum mine in Limpopo province. The addition of a second furnace extends the JSE-listed company’s 30-year-old partnership with metals company Heraeus, which contributed €20-million... 

Indian mineral royalty rate revision on the cards

By: Ajoy K Das     15th February 2018 Signaling an imminent revision in royalties payable, barring coal, lignite and sand, the Indian government has constituted a study group to review existing rates, recommend any revision and suggest policy changes in administration of the royalty regime. According to a government order, the... 

Vanitec Applauds New Stricter Chinese Rebar Standard

     15th February 2018 Vanitec, the International Trade Association representing the companies and organisations involved in the processing, manufacture, mining, research and use of vanadium and vanadium-containing products, today praised the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China on its... 

Global wind energy installations remain above 50 GW - GWEC

By: Simone Liedtke     14th February 2018 Installations in the global wind energy market remained above 50 GW in 2017, with Europe, India and the offshore sector having had record years. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Wednesday released its 2017 market statistics, which highlighted a decrease to 19.5 GW for Chinese... 

Mongolia's January coal exports drop nearly 25% from last year

By: Reuters     14th February 2018 Mongolia's coal exports dropped by nearly a quarter in January from a year earlier, with deliveries disrupted by ongoing congestion at the border with key trading partner China. The fall was part of a 6.3% year-on-year decline in overall mineral exports, according to data published by Mongolia's... 

Kumba profit up 12% in 'royal flush' year – CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th February 2018 In a year that CEO Themba Mkhwanazi describes as a "royal flush", Kumba Iron Ore posted a 12% increase in headline earnings to R9.7-billion. Headline earnings reached R30.47 a share, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased by 6% year-on-year to R19.6-billion... 

Resource-rich Mongolia rejects cap on foreign workers for 2018

By: Reuters     13th February 2018 Mongolia will not put a cap on immigration in 2018, authorities said on Tuesday, after lawmakers rejected new policy proposals that set to put tough restrictions on the numbers of foreign workers in the remote north Asian nation. Some members of Mongolia's Parliament sought to limit the number... 

PFS outlines 'compelling case' for Pilgangoora expansion – Pilbara

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th February 2018 Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals has delivered a prefeasibility study (PFS) for its flagship 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium/tantalum project, in Western Australia. The company reported on Tuesday that the PFS outlined a "compelling business case" for the expanding the project to... 

China urges US to rein in 'trade remedy measures' for steel

By: Reuters     13th February 2018 China has expressed concerns over excessive protectionism in the steel sector by the United States, and urged it to show restraint in using trade remedy measures, an official with Chinese Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) said on Tuesday. Wang Hejun, the head of Mofcom's Trade Remedy and... 

Zuma defiant till the end as party moves to recall him

By: News24Wire      13th February 2018 A defiant President Jacob Zuma has refused to resign immediately as head of state, daring the African National Congress's (ANC's) National Executive Committee (NEC) to recall him. The party's highest decision making body resolved to recall him, invoking the clause in the African National Congress... 

Wind energy installations continue to grow – WWEA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th February 2018 The overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide by the end of 2017 reached 539 291 MW, preliminary statistics published by World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) has shown. A WWEA report, released on Monday, further showed that 52 552 MW of wind energy capacity were added last year,... 

Top mining companies' value increased by 15.5% y/y

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th February 2018 The 25 top global mining companies were worth an aggregate $818.2-billion at the end of January, a 15.5% increase compared with their value in the corresponding month in 2017, when the same companies held a value of $708.5-billion, research firm S&P's Global Market Intelligence said on Monday. A... 

Triton signs offtake term sheet for Ancuabe graphite project

By: Simone Liedtke     12th February 2018 ASX-listed Triton Minerals has signed an offtake term sheet with China's Haida Graphite for graphite concentrate from the Ancuabe project, in Mozambique. The term sheet sets the framework for a binding offtake agreement that is anticipated to be signed by March 15. 

Browns Range pilot plant on track for completion in June

By: Simone Liedtke     12th February 2018 Despite heavy rains in the area over the last two weeks causing some delays, rare earths developer Northern Minerals MD George Bauk confirmed in a progress update on Monday that the Browns Range pilot plant project, in Western Australia, was on track for completion by the end of June. He said in... 

China will crack down on illegal coal mining in 2018 – safety watchdog

By: Reuters     12th February 2018 China will carry out "special action" in 2018 to crack down on illegal coal mining to ensure safe mine operations and reduce output capacity, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement on Monday. Coal mines that fail to meet safety measures or operational standards will be... 

India's Tata Steel Q3 profit surges on volume growth

By: Reuters     9th February 2018 India's Tata Steel on Friday posted a five-fold rise in third-quarter profit, boosted by strong volume growth in India and increasing steel prices. "Global steel prices have been buoyant with improved trade position in China along with cost push from raw materials," Chief Executive Officer T V... 

On-The-Air (09/02/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     9th February 2018 Every Friday morning, SAfm's AMLive's radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.  Reported here is this Friday's At the Coalface transcript: Kamwendo: China's colossal Clean Air Revolution is poised to give massive support to... 

China gives new incentives to boost high-quality coal capacity

By: Reuters     9th February 2018 China plans to increase high-quality coal supply by allowing mines to boost capacity if they shut outdated production processes, the latest effort by authorities to further streamline the industry and stabilise coal prices. Coal companies will be encouraged to close inefficient and polluting... 

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