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South Africa to pilot first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery

By: Nadine James     23rd February 2018 Aim-listed miner Bushveld Minerals’ 84%-owned energy subsidiary, Bushveld Energy, will be commissioning its first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) for testing by State-owned power utility Eskom in May, says Bushveld Energy CEO Mikhail Nikomarov. Nikomarov notes that the... 

The EV future is here and already boosting earnings for miners

By: Bloomberg     23rd February 2018 The booming electric vehicle revolution is flowing through to the bottom line of a growing list of global miners, who are reaping higher profits from rising demand for battery raw materials. Orocobre reported Friday that net income rose 11% in the December half and forecast lithium prices to... 

South Africa to pilot first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery

By: Nadine James     23rd February 2018 Aim-listed miner Bushveld Minerals’ 84%-owned energy subsidiary Bushveld Energy will be commissioning its first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) for testing by State-owned power utility Eskom in May, says Bushveld Energy CEO Mikhail Nikomarov. 

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

By: Bloomberg     22nd February 2018 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... 

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... 

South African radioisotope producer restarts production

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2018 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary company, NTP Radioisotopes, had resumed production. Necsa shut down operations at NTP in late November due to non-compliance with safety protocols at the radioisotope producer, a step with which the... 

As Trump takes aim at foreign metal, Canada argues for exemption

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2018 The biggest steel and aluminium exporter to the US is hopeful of being left out of a Trump administration crackdown on foreign shipments. The US Commerce Department didn’t recommend giving Canada a pass when it outlined possible tariffs and quotas on Friday, but it did single out its northern... 

New Toyota magnet cuts dependence on key rare earth metal for EV motors

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 Toyota Motor Corp has found a way to reduce the amount of a key rare earth metal used in magnets for electric car motors by around 20%, which could tame the cost of producing electric cars and reduce the risk of a supply shortage of materials needed for their production. The Japanese automaker... 

As 'America First' turns to steel, Canada looks to duck trump ax

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2018 Canada, the top steel and aluminum exporter to the US, is hopeful of being left out of a Trump administration crackdown on foreign shipments. While the US Commerce Department didn’t recommend giving its northern neighbor a pass when it outlined possible tariffs and quotas on Friday, it did... 

Cryptocurrencies speculative, but blockchain can bring positive disruption – S&P’s

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2018 Global ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P’s) currently views cryptocurrencies as speculative instruments that will have an “insignificant effect on global financial stability if its value were to collapse”, but that blockchain – a shared digital transaction ledger – presents an opportunity... 

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... 

Isuzu launches standalone South African business, new mu-X utility vehicle

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th February 2018 Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSA) on Friday not only launched its standalone business at its manufacturing plant in Struandale, Port Elizabeth – apart from the General Motors brand, following the latter’s exit from South Africa last year –  but also showcased its new bakkie-derived sports utility... 

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... 

Initiative changing development narrative in townships, rural economies

     16th February 2018 A three-year partnership between tyre manufacturing company Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s (SA’s) iconic tyre brand, Dunlop, and development finance agency Ithala Development Finance Corporation’s Small Business Growth Enterprise division will see a minimum of 25 containerised tyre fitment... 

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... 

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... 

Woodside lashes out at South Korea's Kogas over disputed LNG contract

By: Reuters     14th February 2018 Australia's Woodside Petroleum on Wednesday lashed out at Korea Gas Corp (Kogas) over a dispute it has with the South Korean company, saying KOGAS owes it money for an expired liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract from the North West Shelf Project. CEO Peter Coleman of Woodside Petroleum,... 

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. 

Cameco's 2017 headline earnings dive 59%; contracting to remain 'discretionary' in 2018

By: Henry Lazenby     9th February 2018 Long-term contracting, which is usually borne out of the requirement for power utilities to secure long-term uranium supplies, is not expected to see an uptick in 2018, as the market remains awash with too much uranium, Canada's Cameco said on Friday. In 2017, excess uranium supply continued to... 

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... 

Bears Ears' mining rush falls flat as no one bothers to show up

By: Bloomberg     8th February 2018 Early on Friday morning, vast swathes of the red-rock high plateau that surrounds federally protected buttes in southern Utah were officially thrown open to miners. A controversial decision weeks earlier by President Donald Trump had shrunk the size of two national monuments – known as Bears Ears... 

New dawn for platinum mining – Robert Friedland

By: Martin Creamer     7th February 2018 New cars being produced in Japan have platinum- and copper-intensive fuel cell drives that outdo battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) in cold climates as the EV batteries drain when the heaters are switched on, Ivanhoe Mines executive chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday.... 

Underground mining division to drive more than 20% uptick in M&R's interim earnings

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     2nd February 2018 JSE-listed Murray & Roberts (M&R) expects to have achieved at least a 20% year-on-year improvement in its diluted and basic earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the is months to December 31. The uptick in results is attributed to its underground mining division, which is... 

India demand picks up after tax announcement

By: Reuters     2nd February 2018 Demand for physical gold improved this week in India as jewellers resumed purchases after the government kept import taxes on the precious metal unchanged, while buying remained subdued in most other centres in Asia. Jewellers in India had delayed purchases earlier this week and offered gold at... 

Fukuyama Works 3 sinter plant replacement, Japan

By: Sheila Barradas     2nd February 2018 JFE Steel Co is replacing the existing No 3 sinter plant at its Fukuyama operation, in Hiroshima.  

Europe to Trump: If you want a trade war, you'll get one

By: Bloomberg     29th January 2018 The European Union gave President Donald Trump a fresh warning about any US curbs on imports from Europe by pledging swift retaliation, highlighting the persistent risk of a trans-Atlantic trade war. The EU fired the shot across the US bow after Trump said in an interview with ITV broadcast over... 

Botswana power plant expansion plan stalls over terms 

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 A planned $800-million expansion of a coal-fired power plant in Botswana by Japan's Marubeni Corp and South Korea's Posco Energy has been put on hold due to a disagreement over terms, the energy minister said on Monday. Marubeni and Posco Energy were due to start work in January last year on a... 

Mitsui heats up bidding war for Australian gas producer AWE

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 Japan's Mitsui & Co has made a $481-million offer to buy Australia's AWE, trumping bids from two other companies that are vying for a stake in a promising onshore gas field. The Mitsui offer of A$0.95 a share in cash, or about A$594-million, marks the first full takeover bid by the Japanese... 

Cities turn to digital solutions to solve service delivery problems

By: Schalk Burger     26th January 2018 Digital technologies are providing cities worldwide, including several in Africa, with a new set of tools to improve service delivery and bolster social and economic inclusion. The smart city movement focuses on how technology can serve citizens and how it can make cities more equal and provide a... 

WGC bashes cryptocurrency as 'no substitute for gold'

By: Henry Lazenby     26th January 2018 In the wake of cryptocurrencies last year emerging as a market darling, delivering extreme gains to risk-tolerant investors, the World Gold Council (WGC) has come out in defence of gold, saying that, while cryptocurrencies may become an established part of the financial system, gold remains... 

Increasing energy cost prompts need for drive systems

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 The ever-rising cost of energy and the increasing pollution associated with power supply systems are continuously driving the need for alternating current drive systems with low harmonics and power regeneration, says Midrand-based variable-speed drive (VSD) and automation equipment supplier... 

Cities turn to digital solutions to solve service delivery problems

By: Schalk Burger     26th January 2018 Digital technologies are providing cities worldwide, including several in Africa, with a new set of tools to improve service delivery and bolster social and economic inclusion. The focus of the smart city movement is how technology can serve citizens, how it can make cities more equal and provide... 

Global crude steel output up 5.3% y/y in 2017

By: Schalk Burger     25th January 2018 Global crude steel production increased by 5.3% year-on-year to 1.69-billion tonnes in 2017. Output increased in all regions except for the Commonwealth of Independent States, where production remained flat at about 102.1-million tonnes, the World Steel Association reported this week. 

Deputy Labour Minister urges businesses to learn from Japanese production methodologies

By: Anine Kilian     25th January 2018 Deputy Labour Minister Patekile Holomisa has urged South African companies to take advantage of Productivity South Africas’s (SA’s) Enterprise Support Programme to elevate their productive capacity.    Addressing a productivity promotion seminar organised by Productivity SA and the Japan... 

Japan's record exports, manufacturing, point to powerhouse economy

By: Reuters     24th January 2018 Japan’s exports to China and Asia hit record levels as shipments rose for a thirteenth straight month in December and manufacturing growth hit a four-year high in January, pointing to an economy that powered through the fourth quarter and into 2018. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Wednesday... 

UD Trucks wraps up R30m plant investment, studies Eicher assembly

By: Irma Venter     24th January 2018 UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has completed a R30-million phase-one upgrade of its Rosslyn assembly plant, in Tshwane. The aim of the investment was to modernise the plant to mirror the UD Trucks’ Ageo plant, in Japan.  

Canadian miners welcome agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership

By: Henry Lazenby     24th January 2018 Canada has agreed to a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that excludes the US. "We are happy to confirm the achievement of a significant outcome on culture as well as an improved arrangement on autos with Japan, along with the suspension of many intellectual property provisions of concern to... 

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