Friday, April eighteen, 2008
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Dennis Ndaba.
Making headlines today:
World trade growth will slow to four comma five percent this year, from five comma five percent last year and eight comma five percent in 2006, the World Trade Organisation, or WTO, said on Thursday.
But financial market turbulence and economic slowdown in some developed countries has not so far disrupted trade, the WTO said in its first forecast for this year.
WTO economists said the forecast was based on expectations of growth in world output of two comma six percent this year, comprising economic growth in major developed markets of one comma one percent and growth in developing countries of above five percent.
Diversified miner Rio Tinto, which is fending off a hostile takeover attempt by larger rival BHP Billiton, expects production volumes to grow at a compound rate of eight percent a year from 2008 to 2015, CEO Tom Albanese said on Thursday.
The group plans to spend nine billion dollars a year in capital expenditure in 2008 and 2009, as it builds new mines, expands existing ones and improves logistics systems, to take advantage of record commodities prices.
Albanese said that the portfolio of projects allowed the firm to target strong production growth in the three commodities that were key to the economic future of China, and later India and other fast growing and industrialising economies of Asia.
The South African Human Rights Commission, which was investigating complaints over the controversial Xolobeni mining project, in the Eastern Cape, has subpoenaed the Ministers of Minerals and Energy, Agriculture and Land Affairs and Environmental Affairs and Tourism, to appear before the commission on April 22.
The commission said on Thursday that the issuing of the subpoenas followed the officials' failure to respond to its enquiries regarding allegations of human rights violations of the people living in the areas affected by the proposed mining development.
Transworld Energy Minerals, a subsidiary of Australian-based Mineral Resource Commodities, is seeking to mine titanium-bearing heavy minerals from the dunes in the area.
Also making headlines:
Funders to gather in London next week to discuss giant Inga power project
Top union protests high food and power prices
Cabinet cold shoulders ANC call to halt power-hike process
Indian firm buys fifteen million dollar stake in Homeland's South African subsidiary
Pamodzi worker dies in Free State mine
And, Rand Uranium may consider acquisitions, but own assets are initial priority
In political news:
The US criticises Africa over Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe government accuses Tsvangirai of treason
Kenya swears in historic coalition cabinet
And, Russia and Libya seal debt accord and eye an arms deal
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories, visit engineeringnews.co.za, miningweekly.com and polity.org.za