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Wednesday, November 19, 2008.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
On Tuesday, Johnson Matthey's principal market analyst Alison Cowley said that the main causes of the collapse of the platinum price were "very significant" disinvestment in exchange traded funds, and fire sales of platinum held by investment funds.
While demand was down from where it was six months ago, Cowley said that demand had "certainly not fallen in the catastrophic manner that the change in the price might lead people to believe".
The urgency of getting out of the metal and into cash was all part of the global credit crunch. The large decline in automotive sales in North America, which was still viewed as being very important for platinum, also played a part.
Cowley said that, increasingly, the important markets for platinum were elsewhere. They were in diesel in Europe and in China.
On Wednesday, coal junior Wescoal announced that all conditions precedent with regard to its acquisition of prospecting rights at the Vlakvarkfontein farm in Witbank, in Mpumalanga province, have been meet.
Wescoal said in April that it would acquire the prospecting rights from Razorbill Properties.
The miner would make announcements soon regarding the acquisition of prospecting rights at the Bankfontein and Mooiplaats farms, near Witbank, which it wanted to buy from Vuselela mining.
Also making headlines:
US platinum-group metals miner Stillwater Mining plans to cut its output and jobs.
Zambia's Luanshya suspends its new copper mine.
Palladium is to remain in surplus, but prices could plunge to 125 dollars an ounce.
And, Freeport-McMoRan says it is cutting over 600 mine jobs at its US mining operations.
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit miningweekly.com.
Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia
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