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Oyu Tolgoi reaches milestone with shaft completion, maintains force majeure

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd January 2018 Rio Tinto subsidiary Turquoise Hill said that Oyu Tolgoi, a copper and gold mine in the southern Gobi desert, in Mongolia, has marked an early development milestone at the Hugo North Lift 1, with the completion of the sinking of Shaft 2, including reaching final depth, shaft bottom mass... 

Zimbabwe considers building gold, diamond reserves to back currency relaunch

By: Bloomberg     23rd January 2018 Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government is considering building reserves of gold and diamonds to back the eventual relaunch of the country’s own currency. The nation abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in February 2009 after an economic collapse saw inflation surge to about... 

Thakadu’s nickel plant secures R50m black industrialist grant

By: Martin Creamer     23rd January 2018 Innovative metals and energy company Thakadu Battery Materials has secured a R50-million black industrialist grant from South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the construction of its pure nickel sulphate plant in North West province, which will make use of platinum producer... 

Zimbabwe may scrap local ownership rule on platinum, diamonds

By: Bloomberg     23rd January 2018 Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum reserves, may lift a requirement that companies mining the metal or diamonds must be at least 51%-owned by black citizens of the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said. Mnangagwa, who became president in November after Robert Mugabe... 

Agarwal plans to keep his Anglo American stake for a long time

By: Bloomberg     23rd January 2018 Anil Agarwal, the Indian commodities billionaire, said the rally in Anglo American vindicated his personal bet in the mining group, adding that he plans to own the shares for a long time. Agarwal surprised Anglo’s management last year when he took a 21% stake in the company, becoming its top... 

Japan steel federation: China steel output under control despite record 2017

By: Reuters     22nd January 2018 Japan Iron and Steel Federation chairman Kosei Shindo said on Monday China's steel output remains under control despite record output from the world's top producer in 2017, citing abolition of illegal Chinese steel production and solid local demand. Shindo, who is also president of Nippon Steel &... 

South32 makes management shifts as SAEC becomes standalone business

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd January 2018 As part of setting up its South African Energy Coal (SAEC) operations as a standalone business, triple-listed South32 will make changes to the operational accountabilities of its two COOs, Mike Fraser and Paul Harvey. Fraser will now be accountable for the alumina and aluminium operations in... 

Bushveld Minerals upbeat about year ahead

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd January 2018 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals made “tremendous strides” during the fourth quarter of 2017, which was marked by a strong financial performance from its Bushveld Vametco operations. Supported by a strong vanadium price environment – the ferrovanadium price averaged $33/kg for the 12 months to... 

Paringa starts installing coal infrastructure at Poplar Grove

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd January 2018 The installation of major coal processing infrastructure has started at ASX-listed Paringa Resources’ Poplar Grove coal mine, in the Illinois basin, Kentucky. Construction at Poplar Grove remains on track to be completed in the third quarter, as the erection of structural support steel at the... 

Coal 2017: A review of South Africa's coal sector (PDF Report)

     22nd January 2018 Creamer Media’s Coal 2017 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regard to the business environment, the main participants, local demand, coal exports and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants, as well as various issues affecting the sector,... 

India to revamp coal block auction process

By: Ajoy K Das     22nd January 2018 India’s Coal Ministry has initiated a revamp of the coal block auction process following the cancellation of two bidding rounds last year, owing to a poor response from non-power companies. The Ministry has set up a committee to prepare a report suggesting changes in the auction model and expects... 

Union at Colombia's Cerrejon to hear wage offer before possible strike vote

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 The largest union at Cerrejon, Colombia's top thermal coal mine, was set to meet with the company on Friday to hear a new salary and benefits offer before deciding whether to hold a vote on a possible strike. A work stoppage at the Cerrejon mine, which belongs in equal parts to BHP Billiton,... 

India to allot Coal India 11 new mines to boost production by two-fifths

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 India will allow Coal India to build 11 new coal mines, the government said, a move that could increase annual production of the world's largest coal miner by two-fifths. The mines, in the eastern states of Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar, are expected to operate at full capacity by 2022, Coal... 

Aspire progresses path to feasibility for Nuurstei project

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th January 2018 Mongolian metallurgical coal explorer and infrastructure company Aspire Mining has completed several key steps as it works towards providing the foundation for the start of a feasibility for its Nuurstei coking coal project. The company appointed Neil Wilson as project manager for the Nuurstei... 

African Energy to delist from Botswana exchange

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2018 ASX-lsited African Energy Resources (AER) on Friday said it would delist from the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), as it currently encompassed only 22 shareholders with less than 0.3% of its shares on issue. Listed since October 2011, AER’s directors believed that the administrative costs and... 

On-The-Air (19/01/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     19th January 2018 Diamond mining in the diamond city of Kimberley has been given a sparkling new lease of life thanks to smart new technology; The Industrial Development Corporation is calling for smarter mining, smarter agriculture and smarter manufacturing to pull South Africa ahead; and The Constitutional Court... 

Norway's $1tn fund curbs holdings in biggest carbon dioxide emitters

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 Norway's sovereign wealth fund has trimmed the proportion of its $1 trillion fortune that is invested in companies that emit the most greenhouse gas, a Reuters survey has shown. Environmental campaigners hope the move by the world's biggest State-owned investment fund signals the start of a trend... 

Regulatory uncertainty casting shadow over South Africa amid forecast for further minerals market uptick

By: Mia Breytenbach     19th January 2018 The South African mining industry has had a tumultuous time because of the controversial Reviewed Draft Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry, also known as Mining Charter III, which, amid lingering political uncertainty, led to low... 

Millennials snubbing diamonds has hedge fund seeing slump deepen

By: Bloomberg     19th January 2018 Diamonds are set to slump further, according to a hedge fund whose bet on marijuana made it the world’s best performer in 2016. Prices of the precious gem may slump as much as 10% this year as it loses appeal with younger consumers and faces challenges from synthetic alternatives, said... 

German fascination with SA wind power

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     19th January 2018 Germans seem to be very interested in wind power generation in South Africa. Don't know why. First we had German-born Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz running the Energy Centre at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In this position, he proposed a power generation model that was... 

Fix or fail

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2018 2018 is set to be yet another big year for the South African electricity utility, which has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons for more than ten years now. Dealing with the fiscal and economic risks posed by Eskom’s current lack of sustainability has to be a top priority. And because... 

Ultratech Cement Q3 profit falls 23 pct on raw material price rise

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 India's UltraTech Cement Ltd, part of the Aditya Birla Group, on Thursday posted a 23 percent drop in third-quarter profit, hurt by rising pet coke and coal prices. Profit fell to 4.56 billion rupees ($71.4 million) for the quarter ended Dec 31, from 5.95 billion rupees a year ago, the company... 

Turquoise Hill says Oyu Tolgoi declares force majeure due to border protests

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 Turquoise Hill Resources said that Oyu Tolgoi, a copper and gold mine in the southern Gobi Desert, has declared force majeure in connection with customer contracts for concentrate due to a protest by Chinese coal transporters in the Ganqimaodu Border Zone. Protesters used vehicles to obstruct... 

China's Dec coal output hits 2-year record over firm demand in winter

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 China's December coal output rose from November to hit its highest level since December 2015, as miners boosted output to meet increasing demand after Beijing softened winter coal burning restrictions in northern homes due to gas shortages. The world's biggest coal miner produced 314.87-million... 

Editorial: Eskom requires surgery not a Band-Aid

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2018 Eskom’s debt refinancing is undoubtedly a critical burning platform. The clock is most definitely ticking and the consequences of not closing the immediate financial chasm will be dire not only for the utility, but also for citizens. That said, government is extremely unlikely to allow Eskom to... 

BHP maintains guidance for most commodities, targets 6% volume growth

By: Dylan Slater     18th January 2018 Multinational miner BHP on Thursday kept its full-year production guidance unchanged for all commodities, except metallurgical coal, and said that it would achieve 6% volume growth in the 2018 financial year.  

Eskom inquiry to hear testimony from Singh, Koko next week

By: African News Agency      17th January 2018 The parliamentary inquiry into alleged corruption at Eskom will resume next week with testimony from suspended chief financial officer Anoj Singh and former acting chief executive Matshela Koko, the chairperson of the public enterprises committee Zukiswa Rantho said on Wednesday. "The Committee... 

Universal over delivers on earnings guidance

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th January 2018 ASX-listed Universal Coal has achieved record earnings and production for the six months ended December 2017. The company, which operates coal mines in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, surpassed its group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) by 33%, reaching... 

South32 boasts record manganese, aluminium production in December quarter

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th January 2018 Triple-listed diversified miner South32 on Wednesday reported that, while it had achieved its guidance for all its operations during the three months to December 31, its South African manganese operations, in particular, exceeded expectations, owing to strong market demand. Saleable ore... 

Palladium risks tripping up as prices stampede higher

By: Reuters     17th January 2018 Palladium, the hottest property in the precious metals deck last year, is tipped for a record performance in 2018 even among bearish forecasters, but the metal could become a victim of its own success. The prospect of sharply higher prices could well prompt substitution of the metal for cheaper... 

SA’s renewables production costs minimised at high penetration levels, NREL study shows

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2018 A new independent study published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in the US, concludes that significant production cost savings could be achieved if South Africa added between 60 GW and 100 GW of additional variable renewable energy (VRE) by 2035. The NREL study is a pure... 

Cloud Peak to export US coal to new power plants in Japan

By: Reuters     17th January 2018 US miner Cloud Peak Energy said on Tuesday it will export coal from a Montana mine for 30 to 40 months to two new power plants in Japan with shipments that could start late next year. The coal from Montana's Spring Creek Mine will be carried by rail to Vancouver and then sent by ship for... 

South32 Q2 coal output falls as mine outage weighs

By: Reuters     17th January 2018 Mining group South32's second-quarter metallurgical coal output dropped 43% due to the suspension of operations at its Appin mine, in Australia, over safety concerns, the company said on Wednesday. Production of coal used in steelmaking fell to 788 000 t in the December quarter from 1.39-million... 

November mining figures impress, but volatility seems to be on the cards

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th January 2018 While the local November mining production statistics showed a relatively solid increase by 6.5% year-on-year, bolstered by platinum group metals (PGMs), iron-ore and coal, the longer-term prospects for the industry remain less certain, owing to a difficult operating environment and policy... 

India to review coal blocks identified for allocation

By: Ajoy K Das     16th January 2018 India’s Coal Ministry will undertake a fresh review of 117 coal blocks that were identified in 2014 for development. A committee, comprising representatives of the Coal Ministry, government-owned miner Coal India Limited and its consultancy arm, has been appointed to “identify coal and lignite... 

Rio Tinto maintains fourth-quarter guidance across the board

By: Anine Kilian     16th January 2018 Global miner Rio Tinto reported on Tuesday that it had met its iron-ore shipment guidance for the three months ended December 31, 2017, noting a 1% rise in shipments for the year to 330.1-million tonnes. "The business performed well in the fourth quarter and we finished the year in line with... 

Australian LNG exports surge on strong Chinese demand

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th January 2018 Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports hit 56.8-million tonnes last year, jumping 26.3% from 44.9-million in 2016, owing to a watershed year of exports to China. Combined with higher oil prices, the increase in volumes pushed up Australia’s 2017 LNG export revenue by 44.1% to... 

Glencore shrinks job of billionaire copper head amid Congo probe

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2018 Glencore reduced the role of its billionaire head of copper, Aristotelis Mistakidis, shaking up the business after a review in the Democratic Republic of Congo raised questions about accounting and management. Mistakidis, one of Glencore’s largest shareholders and a key lieutenant of CEO Ivan... 

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