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Podcast - June 8, 2007
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8th June 2007
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Welcome to Mining Weekly. In this podcast, read by Matthew Hill of Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly, we bring you the past week’s top news stories from the mining industry in South Africa and the rest of the world.

In this week’s bulletin:
- South African Marius Kloppers to take the helm at BHP Billiton,
- Gold and coal miners demand fifteen per cent wage hikes, and
- Trinity Asset Management reaches a settlement with Randgold and Exploration.

BHP CE APPOINTED

South African-born Marius Kloppers will lead the world’s largest mining group, BHP Billiton, from October 1, succeeding CEO Chip Goodyear.

Goodyear announced in February that he would retire at the end of the year.

Kloppers, a 44-year old chemical engineer, played a central role in the merger of BHP and Billiton, and held the positions of chief marketing officer and then chief commercial officer, before being appointed group president for nonferrous materials and an executive director of BHP Billiton in January last year.

Goodyear will retire as CEO on September 30, and from the group at the end of the 2007 calendar year.

WAGE DEMANDS

South Africa’s biggest mineworkers union, the National Union of Mineworkers, says that it has demanded a 15% increase from the Chamber of Mines for its members in the gold and coal sectors.

Smaller peer union Solidarity said earlier that it was seeking a 20% increase for its members in the gold sector.

However, the gold-miners are likely to point out that costs in South Africa’s gold mining sector have been soaring, as production slides - the country produced 7,6% less gold in the first quarter of 2007, when compared with the same period last year – and wages account for much of the gold mining companies’ costs.

The National Union of Mineworkers has also demanded 15% increases from Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum.

CASE DROPPED

Fund manager Trinity Asset Management has struck a deal with Randgold & Exploration, withdrawing its High Court application against the fraud-battered firm.

At the same time, Peter Gray confirms that he will resign from JCI’s and Randgold and Exploration’s boards should mediation between the two firms fail.

David Nurek, who was chairperson of both R&E and JCI, had also confirmed his intention to resign as a director immediately after the shareholders meeting to vote on a merger proposal.

Trinity had alleged that Gray and Nurek had a conflict of interest, through being directors of both R&E and JCI, and Nurek being an executive of Investec, which had a much-questioned loan agreement with JCI.

As part of the settlement agreement, Trinity will be entitled to propose a candidate to the board of R&E for consideration.

Also, in this week’s Mining Weekly magazine, read our cover story on the Letšeng diamond operation, which is coming up trumps for the fast-growing Gem Diamonds.

We also report on the plan of a Brazilian company – with which Anglo American has just struck up a partnership – to transport iron-ore to port in a five hundred and fifty-kilometre slurry pipeline.

Finally, don’t miss our feature on diamonds.

That’s a round up of this week’s stories on Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly. For more on these and other stories, visit miningweekly.com

Edited by: Liezel Hill

 

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