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Norsk Hydro rides aluminium price, divisions underperform

By: Reuters     25th July 2017 Overall profit growth at Norsk Hydro was overshadowed on Tuesday by below-forecast performances from several businesses including rolled products, knocking the aluminium producer's shares. Norsk Hydro's stock was down 3.04% at 12:01 GMT, lagging an Oslo benchmark index, and CEO Svein Richard... 

Kumba CEO Mkhwanazi concerned by Minister’s reneging  

By: Martin Creamer     25th July 2017 Kumba Iron Ore CEO Themba Mkhwanazi on Tuesday expressed concern about the mineral rights and mining transaction moratorium that has been gazetted by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, especially because it followed his agreement to suspend the implementation of Mining Charter Three... 

Bald Hill gets enviro approval

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     25th July 2017 Lithium developer Tawana Resources has received environmental approval to construct and operate a 1.2-million-tonne dense media separation plant (DMS) at the Bald Hill mine, in Western Australia. “Being permitted to develop and operate at the Bald Hill mine is a significant achievement and... 

Proposed moratorium falls beyond Minister Zane’s powers

     24th July 2017 On 19 July 2017, the Minister of Mineral Resources gazetted an invitation to comment on a proposed restriction on the granting of new mining and prospecting rights, as well as restricting the renewal and transfer of any existing prospecting and mining rights across South Africa. The Minister’s... 

AECI invests in US-based startup

By: Anine Kilian     24th July 2017 Specialty chemicals group AECI has invested $5-million in California-based startup Origin Materials to support the development of renewable technologies. Origin Technologies has pioneered the development of bio-based chemicals, which can be processed into many products for application in global... 

Moratorium likely beyond Zwane’s power – law firm

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th July 2017 A controversial proposed mineral rights moratorium may very well be beyond the scope of Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane's powers. Zwane last week gazetted an invitation to comment on a proposal to restrict the granting of new mining and prospecting rights applications and to restrict... 

Export restrictions risk exacerbating domestic gas supply problem – Appea

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     24th July 2017 The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) has again warned against plans to restrict gas exports to boost domestic supply. The warning comes as Resources Minister Matt Canavan gave formal notice to liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers that he would consider whether... 

Botswana invites bids for coal-to-liquids project

By: Martin Creamer     24th July 2017 The Botswana government is seeking prospective bidders for the establishment of a coal-to-liquids plant in the Southern African county, with support from its State-owned oil company, Botswana Oil. Botswana Oil, which manages State-owned strategic fuel reserve facilities, says in a... 

Trump America-first pipeline plan draws ire of American oil

By: Bloomberg     21st July 2017 Donald Trump’s allies in the oil industry are warning the president that his bid to boost US steelmakers could backfire against their efforts to achieve his goal of "American energy dominance." The intense lobbying effort comes as the Commerce Department faces a Sunday deadline to give the... 

New association launched to support emerging truck operators 

By: Ilan Solomons     21st July 2017 The newly launched Emerging Truckers Association of South Africa (Tasa) aims to assist in meaningfully transforming the local truck and freight industry, with a long-term view of ensuring work for women and black truck owners and operators. This is according to Tasa convener Mary Phadi, who was... 

Moratorium infers intention to circumvent agreement – Leon 

By: Martin Creamer     21st July 2017 The mineral rights moratorium gazette notice of Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane infers an intention to circumvent the underlying purpose of the agreement reached with the Chamber of Mines, Herbert Smith Freehills’ Africa partner and co-chair, Peter Leon, said on Friday. In particular,... 

Charter’s BEE ‘top-up’ provision may be unconstitutional

     21st July 2017 The new “top-up” provision in the latest Mining Charter gazetted on June 15, may prove to be unconstitutional and may lead to further expensive legal action by the mining industry, states Fasken Martineau partner and global mining group member Nicola Jackson. In a statement published on June 15,... 

Free State natural gas project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     21st July 2017 Tetra4 is waiting for the final record of decision from the Petroleum Agency of South Africa for development to start. 

Energy Minister, Sapia hold talks to strengthen shareholder relations

By: Anine Kilian     20th July 2017 In an attempt find lasting solutions to the challenges facing South Africa’s petroleum sector, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi held an informative introductory meeting with the South African Petroleum Industry Association’s (Sapia’s) board of governors on Thursday. The meeting, aimed at... 

Industry retaliates, dismisses Zwane's proposed moratorium as 'unlawful'

By: Samantha Herbst     20th July 2017 An outraged Chamber of Mines (CoM) has dismissed Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s proposed moratorium on new mining right applications as “unlawful”, owing to the damage that the proposal might inflict on the embattled mining sector and because, according to the chamber’s legal team,... 

Activist fund Elliott adds potash to list of BHP grievances

By: Reuters     20th July 2017 Activist shareholder Elliott Management said it has deep concerns over a proposal by BHP to enter the currently over-supplied fertiliser market, reiterating its call for change at the mining giant. BHP has signaled it may push ahead with its long-dormant Jansen potash mine in Canada in a... 

Woodside production falls in June quarter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th July 2017 ASX-listed Woodside Petroleum has reported its second quarter of production decline during the three months to June, despite the Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) project delivering record rates. Production during the second quarter ended June reached 20.7-million barrels of oil equivalent,... 

Sluggish growth to see Indian national oil companies under stricter oversight

By: Ajoy K Das     19th July 2017 Responding to sluggish growth in domestic oil and natural gas production, the Indian government has brought national oil companies (NOCs) under stricter oversight, including daily reporting of production data from each field operated by these companies. The NOCs also have to submit to government... 

BHP hits iron-ore target, forecasts higher output in 2018

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th July 2017 Diversified major BHP has increased its production expectations for iron-ore, copper and metallurgical coal in 2018, on the back of solid results for the year ended June. The miner on Wednesday reported that it had achieved production guidance at its petroleum and iron-ore divisions during the... 

Over halfway into the year, steel outshines oil markets

By: Reuters     19th July 2017 Over halfway into 2017, China's steel market has been the best performer among key Asian commodities because of cuts in low-grade steel production capacity that have reduced supply as demand has remained surprisingly strong. However, oil markets have been the worst performer despite a pledge by... 

Taseko gets multiyear ‘NOW’ permit for contentious New Prosperity mine

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 The provincial government of British Columbia has issued Taseko Mines with a multiyear Notice of Work (NOW) permit that will allow the base metals producer to undertake a site investigation programme at the New Prosperity gold/copper mine. The mine project, which has been nixed twice by the... 

Oil climbs as firm demand absorbs ample supply

By: Reuters     18th July 2017 Oil rose on Tuesday as demand soaked up some of the surplus supplies from Opec and the United States, but traders said the market was trading in a tight range and showed few signs of big short term moves. Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 70 cents at $49.12 a barrel by 1150 GMT, while US light... 

Lithium Americas inks investment agreement with Thai energy company

By: Samantha Herbst     18th July 2017 Niche minerals company Lithium Americas has closed an investment agreement with BCP Innovation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thai energy company Bangchak Corporation Public Company, in which the latter has agreed to provide Lithium Americas with an aggregate of $113-million to fund a portion of... 

US seeks to recover $144m in Nigeria oil industry bribery case

By: Reuters     17th July 2017 The US Justice Department on Friday filed a lawsuit seeking to recover assets that include a $50-million Manhattan apartment and an $80-million yacht that it said were bought using money generated from a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to a former Nigerian oil minister. The civil... 

Divisive $13bn potash plan to test BHP's new chairman

By: Bloomberg     17th July 2017 BHP Billiton’s plan to enter the potash market with a contentious $13-billion project in Canada is adding to challenges facing the incoming chairman of the world biggest mining company. Ken MacKenzie, a 53-year-old board member who takes up the role in September, currently is on a global tour... 

Interim report into NT fracking released

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th July 2017 Communities in the Northern Territory are “overwhelmingly” against hydraulic fracturing (fracking), says the independent inquiry body appointed last year to investigate the environmental, social and economic risks and impacts of fracking. The inquiry, which started in December, concluded its... 

Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 In what is a clear first round victory for the Chamber of Mines of South Africa against the errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has agreed to suspend the implementation of the controversial Mining Charter Three until after the High Court has... 

Action plan not enough to lift ailing mining sector, says CoM

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2017 While Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's new economic action plan has been welcomed, the Chamber of Mines (CoM) believes that more must be done to stabilise an industry in crisis. With some 70 000 jobs lost over the past five years, and declines in net and gross investment over the past two years,... 

Fast, affordable power key for oil and gas producers

     14th July 2017 Given the financial constraints facing the oil and gas industry, the ability to rapidly access affordable power generation that does not tie up capital could be what is needed to jump-start exploration and development activities across Africa, says energy solutions provider APR Energy regional... 

Gigaba tables economy action plan, reopens mining charter engagement 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th July 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday unveiled a series of aggressive planned interventions and action steps to stimulate economic recovery after South Africa’s fall into recession in the first quarter. His address revealed two main desired outcomes – dodge another downgrade and reignite... 

Nigeria to put off deciding whether to join OPEC cuts, minister says 

By: Reuters     13th July 2017 Nigeria supports OPEC's efforts to stabilize oil prices, but it wants to wait before deciding whether join the cartel's cuts in oil production, its oil minister said on Wednesday. "Hopefully, in the next two to three months we can see how predictable the production return has been and then can... 

Oil traders turn bespoke crude tailors in offshore megastore

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2017 The biggest oil traders feeling the squeeze in a world awash with crude are seeking an edge by offering tailor-made cargoes in an offshore megastore. By selling bespoke from a fleet of ships anchored off Singapore and Malaysia, the likes of Vitol Group, Trafigura Group, Glencore and Gunvor Group... 

Opec sees lower demand for its oil in 2018, points to surplus

By: Reuters     12th July 2017 World demand for Opec's crude will decline next year as US shale producers and other rivals pump more, Opec said on Wednesday, suggesting the oil market will see a surplus in 2018 despite an Opec-led output cut. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast... 

Chamber’s interdict application likely to succeed – attorney

By: Nadine James     12th July 2017 Mining industry employers’ organisation Chamber of Mines’ (CoM’s) urgent interdict application to halt the implementation of the third iteration of the Mining Charter – published by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane on June 15 – is likely to succeed, says Webber Wentzel partner Rita... 

Kidman draws on technical capabilities of Chile’s SQM for WA lithium project

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     12th July 2017 ASX-listed Kidman Resources has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (SQM) to develop and operate the Mt Holland lithium project, in Western Australia. Under the terms of the agreement, SQM will invest $110-million, comprising a cash... 

Gas ‘would power SA growth’

     12th July 2017 A gas economy could significantly drive South African economic growth, and the discovery of substantial natural gas reserves in the Karoo would be akin to finding gold and sparking a new gold rush, speakers said at the opening of the 4th annual Africa LPG Summit and Natural Gas & CNG Africa Forum... 

Manganese makes list of key tech metals heading for short supply

By: Martin Creamer     11th July 2017 Nothing can stop the proliferation of iPhones, solar panels and Teslas, except perhaps a shortage of key natural resources, comments the latest Fortune magazine, which puts manganese from South Africa on the list of crucial technology metals needed in the US. Fortune’s world map showing the... 

MPRDA, LNG import clarity key to establishment of gas economy

By: Mia Breytenbach     11th July 2017 Key factors that will influence the establishment of a gas economy in South Africa include the passing of the amended Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), while greater clarity is also needed around the anticipated and stated imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), says South... 

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