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Germany's Heraeus to open $100m precious metals recycling plant in China

By: Reuters     14th June 2018 German technology group Heraeus will open a precious metals refinery and recycling plant in China in September to take advantage of the country's rising demand for platinum group metals. Heraeus has invested almost $100-million in the facility in Nanjing covering 84 000 square metres, which will... 

Brazil court rejects Alunorte bid to overturn forced output cuts

By: Reuters     12th June 2018 A court in the Brazilian state of Para denied a bid by Norsk Hydro ASA to appeal the partial suspension of bauxite refining operations at its Alunorte unit in another blow to the world's largest alumina refinery. In February, the court in Para, where the Alunorte refinery is located, ordered the... 

PetroSA's GTL refinery could run out of natural gas in two years 

By: Reuters     12th June 2018 South Africa's flagship gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery at Mossel Bay could run out of natural gas within two years when offshore reserves dry up, a senior energy official said on Tuesday. The Mossel Bay GTL plant, one of the world's largest, is operated by State-owned national oil and gas company... 

India moots allocating coal blocks to oil companies for methanol production

By: Ajoy K Das     11th June 2018 he Indian government has mooted a proposal to allocate coal blocks to national oil refining-marketing companies to produce methanol and to reduce dependency on imported crude oil-based diesel consumption. The work-in-progress proposal under the Road Transport Ministry will be submitted to the... 

Southern has copper giants in the crosshairs with Peru expansion

By: Bloomberg     1st June 2018 Southern Copper is preparing to scale the ranking of global producers by spending more than $10-billion in Peru and Mexico, taking advantage of rising prices underpinned by years of industry belt-tightening. The fifth-largest copper producer hopes to start work on its Tia Maria project in Peru... 

Electric vehicles could increase to 220m in 2030 – IEA

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th May 2018 The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) ‘Global Electric Vehicles Outlook’ has found that the number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the world’s roads exceeded three-million in 2017, which is a 54% increase compared with 2016.  

Oz gold production drops in March quarter – Surbiton

28th May 2018 Australian gold production declined by 6 t, or around 7% in the three months to March, compared with the previous period, reaching some 74 t, gold mining consultants Surbiton Association reported. Surbiton director Dr Sandra Close noted that despite the lower March quarter output, the results... 

Jet engines help power cobalt to 10-year highs

By: Reuters     24th May 2018 The spotlight in the cobalt market has been fixed on electric vehicles but shrinking supply and robust demand from traditional sectors such as jet engine makers are helping fuel a price rally that shows no signs of fading. Cobalt in recent years has become synonymous with electric vehicles as it... 

Northam ups funding capacity as stockpile monetisation ensues

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2018 Platinum mining company Northam has increased its funding capacity to tide it over a capital intensive development period. A new R1-billion two-year unsecured revolving credit facility to April 2020 is augmenting a previous R2-billion unsecured revolving credit facility to November 2021, taking... 

Nyrstar and South Australia disagree on loan repayment

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     18th May 2018 Belgium-based mining and metals group Nyrstar has maintained that it was within its legal rights to defer repayments on a loan to upgrade the Port Pirie smelter, after South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas threatened the company with legal action. The redeveloped Port Pirie smelter was opened in... 

Radebe sees energy contributing $25bn to South Africa’s $100bn investment target

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says one-quarter, or $25-billion, of South Africa's newly announced five-year investment target of $100-billion could be met through investments in new energy projects, including a possible new greenfield crude oil refinery and a gas pipeline linking South Africa to... 

UAE trader looking to expand into gold refining in Africa

By: Reuters     15th May 2018 Privately held gold trader Sakthi Trading Group is planning to build two gold refineries in Africa and is looking for investors for the projects, company executives said on Tuesday. The group, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, is seeking a total investment of $246-million for the... 

Silver miners report solid results

By: Henry Lazenby     11th May 2018 Canadian silver miners Americas Silver and Excellon Resources have reported strong operational improvements during the first quarter ended March 31, as both companies navigate the dithering silver price environment and focus internally to streamline operations and drive down costs. Toronto-based... 

AI can help break down data silos to augment human decision-making

By: Schalk Burger     11th May 2018 Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are best suited to help companies explore and exploit the data that they have, simultaneously improving their business models and processes, a range of information technology (IT) experts say. The main improvements and benefits of AI derive from being able to... 

Building a Better Supply Chain in Africa

9th May 2018 Dustin Homer, Director: Client Solutions at Fraym It’s well known in the logistics and supply chain game that the last mile of a shipment’s journey is inevitably the most expensive – possibly accounting for over 50% of total delivery costs, according to a 2016 report by McKinsey. 

GDID announces multibillion-rand infrastructure project pipeline under revamped processes

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th May 2018 The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) has unveiled the first consolidated pipeline of projects that have been rigorously tested through its newly developed project toolkit. Over the past two years, the department has been refining its back-office delivery processes to ensure... 

Metro ships first bauxite from mine in north Queensland

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     7th May 2018 ASX-listed Metro Mining has shipped its first 62 000 t of bauxite from the Bauxite Hills mine, in Queensland. The maiden shipment is due for delivery to Chinese integrated aluminium company Xinfa Group, which has a four-year binding agreement with Metro, for the offtake of one-million tonnes in... 

Foreign bidders give India’s maiden open acreage oil, gas block auction a miss

By: Ajoy K Das     3rd May 2018 International oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) majors have stayed away from the first round of India’s oil and gas fields auction. According to the sector regulator, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), 110 bids have been received for 55 onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks,... 

Yanfolila ramp-up sees 9 912 oz of gold poured in March

By: Schalk Burger     30th April 2018 Aim-listed West African gold producer Hummingbird Resources has successfully ramped up gold production at its opencast Yanfolila mine and plant, in Mali, with 9 912 oz poured in March. The Yanfolila project produced 18 785 oz of gold in the quarter ended March 31, with the mine and plant... 

Concor targets larger share of infrastructure market as part of big growth push

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2018 Wholly black-owned construction group Concor, which marked its first year of operations in April, is aiming to materially increase its share of the public infrastructure market as part of an ambitious plan to increase its order book to R10-billion by 2020. The company, which has a Level 1... 

Exciting new mining research thrust 

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2018 The new Mandela Mining Precinct will be officially opened on May 4 to revitalise and modernise South Africa’s high-potential but struggling mining industry. 

Goldcorp earnings slide on lower output, sales

By: Henry Lazenby     26th April 2018 Canadian mining major Goldcorp has reported a sharp drop in first-quarter profit, as higher gold prices failed to offset lower production, sales and rising costs. The Vancouver-based miner reported profit of $67-million, or $0.08 a share, which was far removed from the $170-million, or $$0.20 a... 

Raw material suppliers join Finland battery factory project

By: Mariaan Webb     25th April 2018 Five companies that can supply essential raw materials for an emerging battery industry in Finland have joined a cooperation network that aims to obtain international investment in the battery cluster. The cooperation network includes the cities of Vaasa and Kokkola, Freeport Cobalt, the... 

Lithium-ion industry to take centre stage in next five years

By: Simone Liedtke     20th April 2018 At least 12 lithium and six cobalt transactions have been closed between downstream manufacturers and mining companies since 2016, signalling a changing trend in procurement strategy. This, commodity research consultancy Roskill said in a statement on Friday, shows that the lithium-ion (Li-ion)... 

EVs not yet a market force to disrupt oil demand growth

By: Anine Kilian     19th April 2018 Short-term oil demand is still growing strong and will continue to do so through the end of 2020, a trend taking place despite the market’s increasing focus on electric vehicles (EVs) and the forecasted future plateau in oil demand, according to a new report from IHS Markit’s oil and gas team.... 

Russia sanctions throw aluminium supply chain into chaos

By: Bloomberg     18th April 2018 The US sanctions on United Co. Rusal that have sent aluminium prices surging should be great news for rival producers like Rio Tinto Group. Spoiler alert: they’re not. 

Rio Tinto becomes first aluminium producer certified under new sustainability benchmark

By: Henry Lazenby     11th April 2018 Mining giant Rio Tinto has become the first company in the world to be certified under the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) – a new benchmark for healthy environmental, social and governance practices across the aluminium lifecycle of production, use and recycling, the company announced on... 

Canadian crude increasingly attractive for US Gulf Coast refineries as market landscape changes

By: Henry Lazenby     10th April 2018 Canadian crude oil could account for up to one-third of the US Gulf Coast (USGC) region’s heavy oil refining market by 2020, a new report by market research and consultancy firm IHS Markit has found. According to the analyst’s latest research, supplies of Canadian oil sands heavy crude are... 

PGMs industry sees crisis, Mantashe sees new dawn

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th April 2018 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday described the mining industry as one that is in self-doubt, believing that it is about to die, where suspicion and mistrust is at a high level. “I fail to understand why platinum is in a crisis,” he said, adding that mining stakeholders need to... 

US to lead global crude production as soon as 2023 – IEA

By: Henry Lazenby     10th April 2018 US shale production growth is expected to lift the jurisdiction to being the top oil producer globally by 2023, a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has shown. According to the IEA, US output will expand by 3.7-million barrels a day, more than half of the world’s expected... 

Technological convergence seen as key to unlocking mobility revolution

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th April 2018 For South Africa to ride the wave being created by the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, greater attention will have to be given to aligning the fragmented changes taking place across multiple technologies, as well as in various industry sectors and subsectors. And nowhere is this promise... 

Technological convergence seen as key to unlocking mobility revolution

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th April 2018 While South Africa is riding the wave of the worldwide fourth industrial revolution, at some point, there will be a need to align the fragmented changes seen in multiple technological developments – and the subsequent evolution of technology “pillars” – in different industries. As the next... 

Revitalised demand growth to buttress molybdenum prices

By: Reuters     4th April 2018 Healthy demand for molybdenum rich stainless steel, especially from the oil and gas industry, plus sluggish supply growth are expected to keep the price of this minor metal riding high. Molybdenum prices at nearly $13/lb are at their highest since 2014, having more than doubled since December 2015. 

Nevsun's Timok UZ PFS elevates deposit among best anywhere

By: Henry Lazenby     3rd April 2018 A new prefeasibility study (PFS) on Canadian base metals producer Nevsun Resources’ Timok Upper Zone (UZ) copper/gold project, in Serbia, has confirmed the project as one of the best development-stage copper assets in the world, the company reports. Vancouver-headquartered Nevsun reported last... 

Polymer offering diversified into US beet sugar industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2018 Thermoplastic producer Vesconite Bearings is expanding its polymer offering to the US beet sugar market, building on its experiences and success in the local and US sugar cane industries. Vesconite Bearings began supplying its locally-produced polymers to the South African sugar industry in 2009... 

Short retention time silo installed in Thailand

30th March 2018 A recent milestone for project manager and equipment designer Bosch Projects, in conjunction with its technology partners in Thailand, was the development of a new short retention time (SRT) refined sugar conditioning silo, designed to significantly reduce conditioning time and capital investment... 

Massive housing project being developed on historical mining area near Joburg CBD

By: Dylan Slater     29th March 2018 A historical mining area now known as Fleurhof, on the northern edge of the Witwatersrand basin, in the Central Rand goldfield, immediately south-west of the Johannesburg central business district, is being transformed into a vast new housing development with the help of alternative mining... 

Vedanta to shut copper smelter in India for about 15 days

By: Reuters     27th March 2018 Vedanta Resources said on Tuesday its India unit Vedanta's copper smelting operations at Thootukudi, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, will be closed for about 15 days as part of a maintenance shutdown. The news of the maintenance activity, which Vedanta said was earlier scheduled for April,... 

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