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Flights are going to get a lot more bumpy, says new research

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2017 Flights all around the world could be encountering lots more turbulence in the future, according to the first ever global projections of in-flight bumpiness.   A new study published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, has calculated that climate... 

Latest Airbus airliner type makes first flight

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2017 The first development aircraft in Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus’ new A330neo (new engine option) family made its maiden flight on Thursday, from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France. The aircraft took off at 09:57 local time and landed at 14:10, having flown for four hours and 13... 

Rand extends losses as speculation Ramaphosa may be fired weighs

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 South Africa's rand weakened on Friday, pressured by a firmer dollar and underperforming emerging market peers as speculation that President Jacob Zuma may axe his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa weighed on sentiment. At 0830 GMT the rand was 1.15% weaker at 13.6725 per dollar, extending losses and... 

New Gold achieves first commercial production at Rainy River

By: Samantha Herbst     20th October 2017 TSX- and NYSE-listed intermediate gold miner New Gold has achieved first commercial production at its Ontario-based Rainy River mine, about two weeks ahead of schedule. "Achieving commercial production is a major milestone for New Gold and the Rainy River team. With the hard work, dedication and... 

Engie targets Africa with home solar acquisition

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 French gas utility Engie has bought a Ugandan home solar systems company to expand in sub-Saharan Africa by providing power to millions of people who have no access to electricity. Engie said on Thursday that it had acquired Fenix International, which sells home solar kits financed through tiny... 

Mexico expects to hold a third oil and gas auction in 2018

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 Mexico's oil regulator will likely add another auction in 2018 featuring conventional onshore oil and gas blocks, the head of the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) said on Thursday, potentially teeing up a third tender in an election year. The bid terms will be announced later this year or... 

New era of disruption

By: Saliem Fakir     20th October 2017 Perhaps the recent multiple attacks of extreme weather – hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria – do not only tell us that fierce weather is the new normal, but changes in weather, together with other global shifts and crises, are forcing us to acknowledge that we are moving into an era of greater... 

Now the Pope weighs in against fake news

By: Kelvin Kemm     20th October 2017 Pope Francis, of the Catholic Church, is working on a document about fake news. You will be interested to know that ‘fake news’ in Latin is nuntii fallaces. The Pope says he is preparing the document for the church’s next World Day of Social Communications. He says the theme of his document will... 

Lessons from China’s solar surge

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2017 Last year, when Eskom illegally put the brakes on the country’s hitherto successful renewables roll-out, new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity around the world grew by 50%, reaching over 74 GW. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) ‘Renewables 2017’ report indicates that the record year for... 

CSIR is looking to transform how infrastructure is built in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) continues to research innovations and initiatives to transform the local construction industry. This was reported by CSIR Principal Researcher Llewellyn van Wyk at the recent 6th CSIR Conference in Pretoria.  

Solar PV beats other forms of power in 2016

By: Bloomberg     20th October 2017 Solar power grew faster than any other source of fuel for the first time in 2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report suggesting the technology will dominate renewables in the years ahead. The institution established after the first major oil crisis in 1973 said 165 gigawatts... 

MeerKAT telescope project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     20th October 2017 The MeerKAT radio telescope array has successfully participated in an unprecedented international collaboration that has opened a new era in astronomy.  

Atlantic coast pipeline and supply header project, US

By: Sheila Barradas     20th October 2017 The project aims to deliver up to 43-million cubic metres of natural gas. 

BHP's chairperson holds first annual meeting, plans to review board

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 In  Ken MacKenzie’s first annual shareholder meeting at BHP Billiton, he emphasised that while the company will listen to investors, it is the board that makes decisions. For most companies, that’s a pretty unremarkable statement, but it carries extra weight at BHP, which is under pressure by... 

Tertiary has eye on ‘near-revenue generating’ fluorspar project

By: Mariaan Webb     19th October 2017 Aim-traded Tertiary is in “advanced discussions” to acquire a new fluorspar project, which will add to its existing fluorspar assets in Sweden, Norway and the US. The company did not disclose where the project is located, but said that a technical due diligence was under way and that further... 

4Sight lists on AltX

By: Schalk Burger     19th October 2017 The first pure technology company to list on the JSE’s AltX in 18 years, technology decision support group 4Sight, has artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things and big data technology capabilities, which are reshaping business and individual lives worldwide, 4Sight CEO... 

FBI opens investigation into South Africa's Guptas – FT

By: Reuters     19th October 2017 The FBI has opened an investigation into US links to South Africa's Guptas, escalating a scandal over the family's alleged use of a friendship with President Jacob Zuma to control state businesses, the Financial Times said on Thursday. Separately, Britain's banking regulator, the Financial... 

Alcoa sees global aluminum market balancing on China's curbs

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 Alcoa Corp sees Chinese cuts in aluminum production returning the global market to “relative balance” as the Asian nation’s supply-side reforms begin to bite. The largest US aluminum producer reduced its global surplus forecast for the lightweight metal this year as China appears to be holding to... 

BHP told bending to activists poses risks for debt investors

By: Bloomberg     19th October 2017 BHP Billiton’s new chairman Ken MacKenzie is grappling with a simmering campaign by activist shareholders -- moving too far to appease them could risk unsettling debt investors who own the world’s biggest miner’s $24-billion of bonds. The campaign by funds including billionaire Paul Singer’s... 

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames has revealed that he faced a breakdown in communication between the board and management, as well as death threats during his time at the state utility.  He has also told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that there is "absolutely no need" for... 

South African egg output tumbles, jobs cut after avian flu

By: Reuters     18th October 2017 Commercial egg production in South Africa has tumbled 17% and over 1 000 workers have lost their jobs in the wake of an outbreak of avian flu in June, industry experts said on Wednesday. Commercial egg production per day has dropped to 17-million from 20.4-million after an outbreak of the H5N8... 

VW's Seat abandons ambitions to enter Iranian market

By: Reuters     18th October 2017 Volkswagen’s (VW's) Spanish division Seat is no longer looking at the possibility of entering the Iranian car market, saying on Wednesday that it needed to concentrate instead on boosting growth in its core markets in Europe and other regions. The decision was not taken as a result of US... 

America's miners are digging for hotter coals as old plants shut

By: Bloomberg     18th October 2017 Early next year, three massive coal-fired power plants in Texas will close for good. And their absence will be felt 1,000 miles away in the coal pits of Wyoming and Montana. There, in the energy-rich Powder River Basin, miners have for decades carved out coal that’s cheap but packs less heat than... 

China's CEFC eyes big league with Rosneft oil offtake deal

By: Reuters     18th October 2017 As part of its recent $9.1-billion investment in Russian oil giant Rosneft, little-known CEFC China Energy will have access to up to 260 000 bbl/d of Russian oil - giving it the sort of market clout to potentially challenge dominant Western oil traders like Vitol. For China, the world's top crude... 

Peninsula hopes to sell Karoo project

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     18th October 2017 ASX-listed uranium miner Peninsula Energy will divest of its 74% interest in the Karoo projects, in South Africa. The company on Wednesday told shareholders that while it had advanced the Karoo projects from exploration to early stage prefeasibility over the past decade, Peninsula has now... 

BHP on track for 7% volume growth in FY18; guidance intact

By: Henry Lazenby     18th October 2017 The world’s largest mining house BHP Billiton said on Wednesday it remained on track for a 7% volume growth in the 2018 financial year, leaving its full-year 2018 guidance unaltered. The Melbourne, Australia-based miner reported its operating results for the three months ended September 30,... 

'Dr. Doom' commentator Marc Faber faces backlash over race comments

By: Reuters     18th October 2017 Marc Faber, the Swiss investor based in Thailand, provoked a backlash from business television and investment management firms on Tuesday after comments in his latest newsletter suggested the US had only prospered because it was settled by white people. The investor and commentator, known as 'Dr... 

Rio Tinto declares force majeure on copper from US mine

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 Global miner Rio Tinto declared force majeure last Friday on shipments of refined copper from its Kennecott mine, in the US, following the death of a worker, a spokesperson said on Tuesday. There was no timeline for when the force majeure would be lifted, spokesperson Kyle Bennett said. A force... 

Brexit takes bureaucracy to the atomic level for UK industry

By: Bloomberg     17th October 2017 To understand the implications of Brexit, it helps to go nuclear. Of all the international regulatory challenges created by the UK’s impending departure from the European Union, the atomic-energy industry may best encapsulate the decision’s bottom-line effect: more bureaucracy and costs for a... 

China factories grapple with soaring prices as pollution crackdown bites

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 Chinese exporters at the country's biggest trade fair are more optimistic about global demand now than six months ago but Beijing's crackdown on pollution is ramping up costs and product prices, hurting smaller factories and foreign buyers. At the Canton Fair where some 25 000 manufacturers are... 

McKinsey 'embarrassed' by failings in South Africa scandal

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 McKinsey said on Tuesday it was embarrassed by errors it made while working with South African utility Eskom on a R1.6-billion contract that is being investigated by Parliament and police over allegations of fraud. Privately-held McKinsey, the world's largest management consultancy, said it had... 

Rio Tinto produces more iron-ore and coal, but cuts copper guidance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th October 2017 Diversified major Rio Tinto has reported increased production across its iron-ore and coal assets, but has adjusted its copper output expectations for the full year on the back of delays at the Escondida operation. “The business performed very well in the September quarter, with a strong... 

MeerKAT telescope takes part in start of new era of astronomy

By: Keith Campbell     16th October 2017 South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array, although still under construction, has successfully participated in an unprecedented international collaboration that has opened a new era in astronomy. For the first time, a major astronomical event – the collision of two neutron stars – has been... 

US demands regional steel, aluminum in Nafta auto rules

By: Reuters     16th October 2017 The Trump administration is demanding the use of North American-made steel, aluminum, copper and plastic resins in cars and trucks sold under North American Free Trade Agreement rules, as it seeks to give US industry a boost. People briefed on the matter said US negotiators issued the proposal,... 

Bunge shares jump after WSJ reports Glencore standstill agreement

By: Reuters     13th October 2017 Shares of US commodities trader Bunge surged on Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Glencore had a standstill agreement that temporarily prevents the Swiss company from making a hostile bid for Bunge. Bunge had rebuffed a takeover approach by Glencore in May. Speculation has... 

Argentina Lithium starts digging at Arizaro

By: Henry Lazenby     13th October 2017 Lithium explorer Argentina Lithium & Energy has initiated its first drilling and subsurface brine sampling programme at the 20 500 ha Arizaro lithium project, located on the Arizaro Salar in Salta province. The TSX-V-listed company initially plans to drill three to four holes, with depths up to... 

Chevron cans $400m Great Australian Bight drilling plan

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     13th October 2017 US oil and gas major Chevron will abandon its $400-million exploration programme in the Great Australian Bight, saying drilling in the region could not compete for capital in Chevron’s global portfolio, given the low oil price environment. “We appreciate the strong support from governments,... 

Africa urged to set the trends in digital innovation

By: Kim Cloete     13th October 2017 African countries have the potential to set trends rather than follow them in a world dominated by hurtling changes in information technology (IT), delegates attending the Thomson Reuters Africa Summit have heard. Digital and technology transfer expert Lee Naik said over 300-million customers... 

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