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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... 

Apple is said to negotiate buying cobalt direct from miners

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2018 Apple is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter, seeking to ensure it will have enough of the key battery ingredient amid industry fears of a shortage driven by the electric vehicle boom. The iPhone maker... 

Sprinter reboots for digital efficiency as global parcel, food deliveries soar

By: Irma Venter     19th February 2018 Global parcel deliveries reached roughly 44-billion units in 2014, growing by almost 48%, to 65-billion parcels, in 2016.  This trend is far from flattening out. Various studies expect yearly growth rates of between 6% and 8% a year through to 2025. 

Cyclone Kelvin lashes West Australia, no damage reported to mines, gas projects

By: Reuters     19th February 2018 Tropical Cyclone Kelvin hit the resource-rich north coast of Western Australia on Sunday, lashing it with strong winds and causing floods that could cut the main highway for up to two weeks. The storm crossed the coast 165 km south-southwest of Broome early on Sunday morning with destructive... 

Russian views on the future of civil aeronautics

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th February 2018 People are concerned about noise, emissions and safety. We are working to make aviation safer, greener and more comfortable for people,” highlighted Professor Sergey Chernyshev, general director of Russia’s renowned Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (much better known in English by the... 

Radial tyre portfolio available on the market

     16th February 2018 Technology company Continental is introducing two additional EM-Master E4/L4 radial tyre sizes to the market, the company indicated in an announcement last month. “This now completes our range of radial tyres for use on wheel loaders and dump trucks in particular for construction work and... 

Russian views on the future of civil aeronautics

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th February 2018 “People are concerned about noise, emissions, and safety. We are working to make aviation safer, greener and more comfortable for people,” highlighted Professor Sergey Chernyshev, General Director of Russia’s renowned Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (much better known in English by the... 

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... 

Any US tariffs could spark trade war, cut growth, Germany says

By: Reuters     15th February 2018 The German chamber of commerce said on Wednesday that US import tariffs on steel could trigger a trade war with major trading partners, which analysts say could cut growth in Europe's largest economy by up to one percentage point. US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was considering a... 

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... 

Sasol Chemicals completes alumina capacity expansion project in Germany

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th February 2018 Sasol Chemicals' inorganics and catalyst division has completed a 15 000 t/y expansion of alumina capacity at its  Brunsbuettel site, in Germany, enabling the company to meet growing global demand. The expansion involved debottlenecking the alumina slurry feed capacity by installing an additional... 

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,... 

BMW close to ten-year supply deal for battery minerals – FAZ

By: Reuters     12th February 2018 BMW is close to signing a ten-year supply contract for lithium and cobalt, the company's procurement chief told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, amid an industry-wide scramble for raw materials needed for electric car batteries. "The aim is to secure the supply all the way down to the... 

Bacanora proposes to domicile to the UK, delist from TSX-V

By: Simone Liedtke     9th February 2018 Lithium company Bacanora Minerals said on Friday that it would restart the process of changing its domicile of jurisdiction from Canada to the UK. The company had sought shareholder approval to effect the redomicile in September 2016, but failed to obtain the requisite approval. 

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... 

Global aeronautics body promoting networking among young researchers

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th February 2018 The International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) is seeking to develop international interactions between young professionals working in both technical and non-technical areas of aviation research around the world. This initiative is described as “early career networking” and is a focus area... 

Lubricants company creates specialist division to drive localisation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th February 2018 Lubricants specialist FUCHS Lubricants South Africa (FUCHS) and its parent company FUCHS Petrolub SE, based in Germany, have created a Lubritech division to drive a specialisation and localisation agenda.  

New Polo, Polo Vivo production starts at Uitenhage in wake of R6.1bn investment

By: Irma Venter     9th February 2018 German carmaker Volkswagen in 2015 took a multibillion-rand decision to invest in new Polo and Polo Vivo production in South Africa. However, it is “unlikely” that the group would have come to the same positive conclusion in 2017, says Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) MD and chairperson... 

Land Bank launches climate change adaptation funding facility for farmers

By: Anine Kilian     7th February 2018 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank (Land Bank) on Wednesday announced the start of a new funding facility geared towards the support of climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. The €50-million facility, secured through the European Investment Bank (EIB), is set to strengthen the... 

South African grape variant to be launched at German fruit trade fair

By: Dylan Slater     6th February 2018 South African science institution, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), in partnership with the South African Table Grape Industry (Sati) and Culdevco, plans to launch a seedless red table grape at the South African National Pavilion during the Fruit Logistica Trade Fair, which takes place in... 

US stocks sink most since 2011 as rout deepens: markets wrap

By: Bloomberg     6th February 2018 US stocks plunged the most in 6 1/2 years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking more than 1 100 points, as the equity selloff reached a fever pitch amid rising concern that inflation will force interest rates higher. Treasuries rallied and gold rose on haven demand. Volatility roared... 

Tawana secures A$5m loan for Bald Hill

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th February 2018 ASX-listed Tawana Resources subsidiary Lithco, which holds the company’s 50% interest in the Bald Hill lithium and tantalum mine, has executed a binding A$5-million loan agreement with Red Coast Investment, a company nominated by Germany’s Weier Antriebe und Energietechnik. Weier is a subsidiary... 

BMW SA opens R73m training centre at Rosslyn plant

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 2018 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) on Friday cut the ribbon on a new, R73-million training academy at its Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria. The 6 000 m2 facility can host 300 apprentices a year. 

R3.5bn empowerment venture fund to be launched in auto sector this year

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 2018 South Africa’s seven light vehicle manufacturers plan to launch a R3.5-billion venture fund this year, aimed at boosting black economic empowerment in the domestic automotive manufacturing industry. The seven manufacturers are BMW, Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Nissan and Volkswagen. They... 

Transnet signals it’s on track to free up coal export routes

By: Kim Cloete     2nd February 2018 Transnet is moving ahead with projects to boost the volume of coal carried from the coalfields to the port of Richards Bay and Maputo, says GM of Capital Planning Brian Monakali. He told delegates attending the IHS Markit South African Coal Export Conference, in Cape Town, this week, that some of... 

Digitisation gives valuable operational insight for logistics companies

By: Donald Makhafola     2nd February 2018 The advent and adoption of digitisation, fuelled by developments in the Internet of Things (IoT), analytics and smart factory technology, gives organisations insight into their cost of production, variances, output capacity, warehousing capability and requirements. International... 

KfW Development Bank signs R900m loan facility with Land Bank

By: Anine Kilian     1st February 2018 Germany’s KfW Development Bank on Thursday signed an agreement for a R900-million loan to the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank). The loan, which will assist the Land Bank with refinancing its loan book and extending longer-term financing to both emerging and... 

Thyssenkrupp Aerospace unit to build production site in Morocco

By: Reuters     1st February 2018 Germany's Thyssenkrupp will build a sales and production site to boost its aerospace business in Morocco, it said, adding it has already reached supply agreements with aircraft parts group Figeac Aero and ARM Group. The facility, to be opened in the summer, will be located close to Casablanca and... 

Battle looms over Cape Town green waste tender

By: News24Wire      1st February 2018 A battle is looming over a green waste tender in the City of Cape Town as a key contract is appealed, sparking rumours that drop-off points will be closed. The City of Cape Town has, however, rejected assertions that green waste drop-off sites will be closed because of the tender dispute. 

Airbus’ new long-range narrow-body airliner makes first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2018 The latest model in Europe-based aerospace group Airbus’ single-aisle airliner family, the A321LR, made its maiden flight from Hamburg in Germany on Wednesday. The aircraft is MSN7877 and is a long range version of the A321neo (new engine option), hence the suffix “LR”. It is powered by CFM... 

Beowulf to restart drilling at Finland graphite project

By: Mariaan Webb     30th January 2018 London-listed Beowulf Mining will restart drilling at its graphite project in Finland in March, as it steps up work to achieve a target of having a graphite asset in production in the next two to three years. The company’s current focus is the Aitolampi project, about 40 km south-west of the... 

Unions fear Norway export drive will end era of cheapest power

By: Bloomberg     30th January 2018 Norway’s vast resources of Europe’s cheapest and greenest electricity has helped its energy-intensive industry gain an edge and produce everything from aluminium to chemicals and tankers. But now the nation’s powerful unions are objecting to plans by grid managers and utilities to get in on the... 

SMS group's Technical Service receives follow-up order from Mahshahr Pipe Mill Company

     30th January 2018 Mahshahr Pipe Mill Company (MPM) has signed a comprehensive service and modernization contract with SMS group www.sms-group.com for its large-diameter pipe mill in the Chuzestan Province in Iran. With this contract, MPM and SMS group are continuing their successful cooperation. In 2016, an... 

DACHSER South Africa flies high to deliver a seamless logistics service

     26th January 2018 When a client required fast, cost-effective and tailored assistance in moving raw, high-bulk materials for the automotive industr DACHSER South Africa provided the optimal solution in the form of air charters. Air charters are fast-becoming a competitive logistics option for just-in-time (JIT)... 

Money no panacea for education’s ills

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     26th January 2018 The excitement around the results of last year’s matric exams has now died down. Indeed, the class of 2017 gave a very good account of themselves, with those who sat for the exams at private schools notching up a 98.76% pass rate and their public-school counterparts 75.1%. Hats off to them. One... 

Growing global trend for small, compact and cost-saving VSDs

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Owing to a global trend in cost efficiency and going green, drive engineering specialist SEW-Eurodrive sales engineer Sean Tibbott foresees the demand for a small, compact and cost-saving variable-speed drives continuing to grow worldwide. 

For Airbus, 2017 was another record year for airliner deliveries

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th January 2018 Airbus Commercial Aircraft, the airliner manufacturing arm of European aerospace giant Airbus Group, has announced that last year it set a new company record for annual deliveries of aircraft. These totalled 718 aeroplanes to 85 customers and amounted to a 4% increase over the 688 delivered in... 

Polo investment decision would have been tough sell in 2017, says VWSA

By: Irma Venter     25th January 2018 German carmaker Volkswagen in 2015 took a multibillion-rand decision to invest in new Polo and Polo Vivo production in South Africa. However, it is “unlikely” that the group would have come to the same positive conclusion in 2017, says Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) MD and chairperson... 

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