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SRK provides expert advice and solutions for clients requiring specialised services, mainly in the fields of mining, geotechnics, water, waste and the environment.

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Glencore coal miners return to work in Australia but vow more strike action

By: Reuters     17th August 2017 Coal mine workers from seven Glencore collieries in Australia returned to work on Thursday after a four-day work stoppage, with many voting to keep up pressure on the company over wages and job security. More than 1,400 workers met in the mining hub of Singleton, New South Wales, about 200 km... 

Solidarity warns of ‘major impact’ should AMSA proceed with job cuts

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2017 Trade union Solidarity has confirmed receipt of a Section 189A retrenchment notice from steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) and has indicated that it will enter negotiations with the company to ensure alternatives to retrenchments are considered. On Tuesday, AMSA announced that it... 

Eskom tariffs in AMSA’s action plan crosshairs as losses spike  

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2017 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) will approach the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) directly with a request for discounted electricity tariffs as part of a multi-pronged business sustainability action plan unveiled after the JSE-listed group slumped to a... 

Domestic steel demand forecast to grow despite industry challenges

     7th July 2017 While domestic demand for steel and steel products is expected to grow by 1.2%, forecasts South African trade union Solidarity deputy general secretary Marius Croucamp, he adds that the steel industry is facing serious challenges, both at a primary steel producing level and in the downstream... 

China said to plan coal import ban at some ports starting July 1

By: Bloomberg     28th June 2017 China plans to ban coal imports starting July 1 at ports that were set up through approvals by provincial authorities, the latest move by President Xi Jinping’s government to exert stricter control on the market. Ports in the world’s largest consumer of the fuel that were approved under the... 

Glencore eyes 81Mt/y Hunter Valley coal play with surprise bid for Rio Tinto mines

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     12th June 2017 Diversified miner Glencore has made a surprise $2.5-billion bid for miner Rio Tinto’s 100% interest in its Coal & Allied subsidiary, rivaling a bid from ASX-listed Yancoal which launched a $2.45-billion offer in January. Glencore’s offer consisted of $2.05-billion in cash and $500-million in... 

Yancoal offers $710m for Mitsubishi’s stake in Hunter Valley mines

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     25th May 2017 ASX-listed Yancoal Australia has made a tag-along offer to acquire Mitsubishi Development’s 32.4% interest in the Hunter Valley operations for $710-million. The tag-along offer fulfilled Yancoal’s obligation to Mitsubishi under the sale and purchase agreement for Yancoal’s $2.45-billion buy of... 

AMSA insists 12% hot-rolled-coil safeguard won’t translate into abrupt price hike

By: Terence Creamer     15th May 2017 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) insists that the institution of a 12% safeguard duty on hot-rolled coil (HRC) from July 1 will not result in a commensurate rise in domestic prices for the primary-steel product, owing to a pricing agreement with government that regulates the... 

FIRB clears Yancoal/Rio deal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     13th April 2017 The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has approved ASX-listed Yancoal’s $2.45-billion acquisition of Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal & Allied. The two companies in January struck a deal that will allow for an initial $1.95-billion cash payment upon the completion of the transaction in... 

Solidarity stresses importance of saving South Africa’s steel industry

By: Anine Kilian     30th March 2017 Trade union Solidarity on Thursday emphasised the importance of South Africa’s steel industry, stating that it is a “key enabler of every part of the South African economy – including the automotive, mining, construction, energy and infrastructure sectors, all of which have been identified as... 

High-speed wireless provides fibrelike connectivity to underserved areas

By: Schalk Burger     24th March 2017 A 28 GHz last-mile wireless access solution is being rolled out in South Africa to provide fibre-like connectivity for underserved areas, says telecommunications operator Paratus Telecom SA MD Kallie Carlsen. The solution uses a combination of 28 GHz wireless line-of-sight solution for last-mile... 

AMSA officially launches Gauteng steel rail hub 

     23rd March 2017 ArcelorMittal South Africa in February officially launched its Isando Distribution Centre, in Germiston, in a long-term initiative to migrate the bulk of domestic final product steel distribution from road to rail.  

Solidarity protects local steel industry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd March 2017 Following the National Treasury’s instruction last month that State-owned entities must use 100% locally manufactured structural steel last month, trade union Solidarity says it will act as a watchdog to ensure that this happens.  

AMSA unveils interim steel rail hub

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th February 2017 The official unveiling of the Isando Distribution Centre, in Germiston, on Friday, marked the next step in steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) long-term initiative to migrate the bulk of domestic final product steel distribution from road to rail. Dedicated rail links between... 

South African dams recovering as torrential rains continue

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th February 2017 The Vaal dam is expected to reach 100% capacity soon, if current rainfall volumes continue, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) said on Friday. The dam was 81.6% full by Friday and water levels were rising fast, owing to the torrential rains of the last two weeks. 

Analysts acclaim Glencore’s performance as good fundamentals return

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2017 Commodity market fundamentals are improving against a backdrop of better than expected demand and limited, if any, inventory build through the trough of the cycle, diversified mining and marketing company Glencore said on Thursday. This comes against the background of the London-, Hong Kong- and... 

Municipal Stainless Steel Solutions Could Save SA Millions In Water Losses

     15th February 2017 With South Africa experiencing Stage 2 and 3 water restrictions following its worst drought in decades, the spotlight falls on the solution of using stainless steel in water distribution and service pipes in South Africa to reduce leakages and maintenance costs and preserve our already strained... 

Call made for intervention to sustain Gauteng’s key industrial heartland

By: Dylan Slater     10th February 2017 Travelling about 60 km south of Johannesburg through Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark, a general state of decay is visible in the once thriving industrial heartland known as the Vaal Triangle.  

Construction steel designation confirmed after intensive lobbying effort

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2017 The long-awaited stipulation that domestic steel, as well as locally made steel products and components, be used in public-sector construction projects has been welcomed by South Africa’s leading steel producer, as well as by the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC). It is the... 

Rio Tinto to sell Coal & Allied to Yancoal for up to $2.45bn

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2017 Mining major Rio Tinto has agreed to sell its Coal & Allied subsidiary to Yancoal Australia for up to $2.45-billion. The binding agreement allows for an initial $1.95-billion cash payment upon the completion of the transaction in the second half of 2017, followed by $500-million in deferred cash... 

Rehabilitation work begins to prepare Highveld structural mill for restart

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2017 Rehabilitation work at Highveld Steel’s heavy structural mill, located at the mothballed steel plant’s expansive site in Mpumalanga, is under way to prepare the facility for recommissioning, following the conclusion of a supply and marketing deal with ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) in... 

Coal’s recovery too good to resist for world’s biggest exporter

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2017 Indonesia will exceed its coal production target for another year as miners cash in after prices recovered from a five-year collapse. The world’s biggest exporter will produce about 489-million metric tons this year, 18% above the government-mandated target, according to energy ministry... 

TFR opens steel hub to encourage rail transport 

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th December 2016 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), in conjunction with ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA), Barloworld and Grindrod Logistics, have launched a ‘steel hub’ at TFR’s Elandsfontein yard to migrate steel volumes that are being transported by road back onto rail. Two years after first deliberations, last week... 

Buoyant coal prices prompt Moody’s to revise outlook to ‘stable’

By: Henry Lazenby     16th November 2016 Ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service has revised the outlook for the North American coal industry to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’, despite persistent challenges facing the sector, as coal producers receive much needed price relief. Although the industry continues to face challenges, coal producers... 

Met coal tops $300 first time since 2011 Australian floods

By: Bloomberg     8th November 2016 Spot metallurgical coal topped $300 a metric ton for the first time since flooding in Australia curbed output from the world’s biggest seaborne exporter five years ago. Hard coking coal rose to $307.20/t on Tuesday, extending a surge that has seen the price more almost quadruple since the start... 

Third-quarter Glencore coal production down on Optimum disposal

By: Martin Creamer     3rd November 2016 Third-quarter production of diversified major Glencore reflects the various operational suspensions and supply reductions announced and actioned notably in coal, oil, copper and zinc. The London-, Hong Kong- and Johannesburg-listed mining and marketing company, headed by CEO Ivan Glasenberg, said... 

Glencore secures 48% hike in thermal coal price

By: Reuters     25th October 2016 Glencore and Japanese power utilities have settled quarterly thermal coal contract prices at $94.75/t, up from around $64 last quarter, sources confirmed on Tuesday, reflecting a surge in spot prices. The Japanese buyers agreed to pay the higher price to secure supplies of high-quality thermal... 

A Lilizela Service win for Garden Court Blackrock Hotel

     20th October 2016 The South African tourism industry celebrated its top business owners and service providers at the fourth annual Lilizela Tourism Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on the 16 October 2016.   From this year’s record number of 1122 entries, Tsogo Sun’s Garden Court... 

New lease on life for DCD Heavy Engineering as Venco settles in Vereeniging

     14th October 2016 The incorporation of DCD Venco into DCD Heavy Engineering in Vereeniging is consolidating the capacity of two iconic South African manufacturing operations into an optimised business well placed for growth, according to DCD Heavy Engineering general manager Dawie Marais. “Moving DCD Venco from... 

Hunter Valley benefits from Bloomfield mine

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     14th October 2016 Hunter Valley-focused Bloomfield Group has employed nearly 100 additional staff at its recently acquired Rix’s Creek North operation, as activities at the mine pick up. The Bloomfield Group in August last year acquired the Camberwell opencut mine from the Australian arm of major Vale, as part of... 

New lease on life for DCD Heavy Engineering as Venco settles in Vereeniging

     10th October 2016 The incorporation of DCD Venco into DCD Heavy Engineering in Vereeniging is consolidating the capacity of two iconic South African manufacturing operations into an optimised business well placed for growth, according to DCD Heavy Engineering general manager Dawie Marais. “Moving DCD Venco from... 

Hitachi Construction offers A$689m for Australia’s Bradken

By: Bloomberg     3rd October 2016 Hitachi Construction Machinery, the world’s biggest maker of giant excavators, made a A$689-million offer to acquire Bradken, an Australian supplier of mining equipment. The company will offer A$3.25 per share to buy the Newcastle, New South Wales-based company, the Japanese manufacturer said in... 

AMSA insists R2.27bn empowerment deal meets highest governance standards

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2016 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has unwrapped its long-awaited R2.27-billion broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) transaction, which chairperson Mpho Makwana insists meets the highest standards of probity and governance. An earlier 2010 attempt by the JSE-listed company... 

New Hope widens loss in FY16

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th September 2016 Coal miner New Hope Group has deepened its net loss after tax for the 2016 financial year from A$21.8-million in 2015, to A$53.7-million. The miner reported on Tuesday that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) decreased by 38.8% to A$81.3-million in the... 

After years of pain, coal becomes one of the hottest commodities of 2016 

By: Reuters     18th August 2016 Less than a year after the coal industry was declared to be in terminal decline, the fossil fuel has staged its steepest price rally in over half a decade, making it one of the hottest major commodities. Cargo prices for Australian thermal coal from its Newcastle terminal, seen as the Asian... 

New Majuba FET College campus sets a new standard

     1st August 2016 Construction of the new Majuba FET College’s Dundee campus is providing thousands of higher-education seeking youth with the opportunity to study in a state-of-the-art college environment. The campus comprises a gatehouse, administration offices, two double-storey lecture blocks measuring 2 200m2... 

Anglo American coal bidders said in talks for acquisition loans

By: Bloomberg     22nd July 2016 Bidders for Anglo American’s Australian metallurgical coal assets, including Coronado Coal and AMCI Capital, are in talks with banks for acquisition financing, people with knowledge of the matter said. Coronado and AMCI are competing for Anglo American’s Moranbah and Grosvenor mines with BHP... 

Whitehaven boosts coal production 35%

By: Mariaan Webb     15th July 2016 Gunnedah basin coal miner Whitehaven Coal produced 19.7-million tonnes of coal in the 2016 financial year, ended June 30, which is a 35% increase on the previous corresponding period. Whitehaven, which owns four opencut mines and one large underground mine in New South Wales, delivered in its... 

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