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Five years on, Quebec’s Plan Nord 2.0 aims for coherence in low-price environment

By: Henry Lazenby When the Quebec government’s Plan Nord to develop the parts of the province located north of the 49th parallel was launched under Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberal Party in May 2011, it was heralded as a timely and necessary act in the mining industry’s favourable economic context at the time. But a... 

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Canadian fed and Ontario govts unveil supports for mining industry

By: Henry Lazenby Several federal departments of the Canadian government, as well as the Ontario provincial government, unveiled new measures and investments on Sunday to increase support and drive growth in the country's besieged mining industry. In a speech to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada,... 

Canadian fed and Ontario govts unveil supports for mining industry
Photo by Reuters
Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver

Specialised refractory materials for Orbite Aluminae plant arrive in Montreal

By: Henry Lazenby TSX-listed Orbite Aluminae, which is currently converting its high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant, at Cap-Chat, in Quebec, into a full-scale, 1 t/d facility, has confirmed that the Europe-sourced components of the new castable material for the plant’s refractory system have arrived in the... 

Anglo's zinc loss now Vedanta's sweet gain

By: Martin Creamer London-listed diversified mining company Vedanta Resources has found itself in a sweet spot as the owner of the zinc assets that Anglo American saw fit to sell off four years ago, when China seemed in perpetual over supply mode and small operations abounded. But China is no longer supplying as it... 

Anglo's zinc loss now Vedanta's sweet gain
Photo by Duane Daws
Deshnee Naidoo

South32 catalyst for next wave of productivity gains – BHP Billiton

By: Martin Creamer Mining giant BHP Billiton, which pulled a free cash flow rabbit out of the thrashed commodity price hat in the six months to December 31, intends the spinoff of South32 to be the catalyst for the new wave of productivity gains in the period ahead “because if you keep doing the same thing, you... 

South32 catalyst for next wave of productivity gains – BHP Billiton
Photo by Duane Daws
Peter Beaven

EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index falls 12% in Q4, lower oil prices provide some respite

By: Henry Lazenby Global professional services firm EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index fell 12% in the quarter ended December 31, compared with a 15% decline in the prior period. The index underperformed against the S&P/TSX Composite index, which fell 2% in the last quarter of 2014, while the London Metal Exchange... 

EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index falls 12% in Q4, lower oil prices provide some respite

Orbite selected for $4.5m grant to advance waste monetisation initiative

By: Tracy Hancock TSX-listed Orbite Aluminae has been granted up to $4.5-million in nondilutive funding towards the development, demonstration and commercialisation of its technology for the processing of red mud. Orbite CEO Glenn Kelly said on Monday that the funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada... 

Orbite selected for $4.5m grant to advance waste monetisation initiative
Alumina

Indonesian alumina refinery starts up, Japan to take most output

By: Reuters Indonesia's first alumina refinery has started commercial operations, with most of its output committed for export to Japan, as the country's push to add value to minerals domestically begins to bear fruit. The refinery in Tayan, West Kalimantan, is one of the first mineral processing... 

Expect increased mining M&A with a difference – Standard Bank

By: Martin Creamer Because investors have been shunning the mining sector, mining company CEOs lacked the confidence to undertake any significant merger and acquisition (M&A) in the last two years. M&A generally thrives on confidence, which has been in short supply because of commodity prices falling even further... 

Expect increased mining M&A with a difference – Standard Bank
Photo by Duane Daws
Rajat Kohli

Mining companies suffer $70bn in impairment losses – report

A recent survey revealed that major global mining companies had suffered impairment losses of $70-billion in 2013/14, reflecting the impact of the current low commodity price cycle. The ‘Mining Financial Reporting Survey 2014’, compiled by financial services firm KPMG, further revealed that... 

Mining companies suffer $70bn in impairment losses – report

Creamer Media publishes Base Metals 2014: A review of Africa's base metal's sector research report

In light of these developments, Creamer Media’s Base Metals 2014 Report examines the global base metals market, with a particular focus on supply and demand, and on the production of copper, zinc, nickel and lead, as well as selected base metals operations and projects in Africa. 

Creamer Media publishes Base Metals 2014: A review of Africa's base metal's sector research report

Global base metals outlook turns negative – Moody’s

By: Henry Lazenby Global credit ratings advisory firm Moody’s Investors Service has changed its outlook on the global base metals industry to negative, citing weakening macroeconomic growth indicators and investor sentiment. In its report ‘Global Base Metals Industry: Economic Weakness and Copper Price Plunge Turn... 

Global base metals outlook turns negative – Moody’s

Lundin Mining expects 2015 to be another ‘strong execution’ year

By: Tracy Hancock Diversified base metals mining company Lundin Mining expects another year of strong execution in 2015, following favourable 2014 production results, as the company focuses on cash generation and profit optimisation at each of its operations. President and CEO Paul Conibear said the company was... 

Lundin Mining expects 2015 to be another ‘strong execution’ year

Back to basics key message in Deloitte trend forecast

By: Megan van Wyngaardt While the outlook of the global mining sector for the year ahead looks bleak, with mining companies having to contend with price volatility, geopolitical turmoil, rising costs, declining grades and a general lack of access to financing, advisory firm Deloitte believes all is not lost. In its... 

Back to basics key message in Deloitte trend forecast

Investors to blame for supporting dithering juniors

By: Henry Lazenby In the aftermath of several key mining-related indexes having dropped significantly since 2011, the mining industry as a whole, and particularly the junior explorers and project generators, have had to “reset” and undergo a paradigm shift from being project promoters to true value creators. This... 

Bank flags metal price weakness as key risk to Africa’s 2015 outlook

By: Terence Creamer A further decline in the already depressed price of metals – particularly iron-ore, gold and copper – would severely affect a large number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report warns. The authors still expect the global economy to grow... 

Bank flags metal price weakness as key risk to Africa’s 2015 outlook

Alcoa swings to Q4 profit as strategy step-change pays off

By: Henry Lazenby US aluminium and lightweight alloys specialist Alcoa on Monday beat Wall Street analyst expectations when it reported a higher-than-expected adjusted profit for the December-quarter, following its strategic transition over the past year to forego primary aluminium production in favour of the more... 

Alcoa swings to Q4 profit as strategy step-change pays off

Orbite Aluminae receives notice of Canadian patent to treat red mud

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian clean-technology firm Orbite Aluminae has received a ‘notice of allowance’ indicating that it would be granted a Canadian patent for its process for treating red mud. The TSX-listed company, which is currently converting its high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant, at Cap-Chat, in... 

Waning investor confidence, weak commodity prices among factors limiting growth of African mining sector 

By: Jade Davenport Along with the Arctic, sub-Saharan Africa remains the most underexplored and highly prospective mineralised region on earth. However, despite its ‘open for business’ approach and myriad investment opportunities – in terms of greenfield and brownfield projects across the commodity spectrum –... 

Waning investor confidence, weak commodity prices  among factors limiting growth of African mining sector

Capital misallocation lowering commodity prices – Glencore

By: Martin Creamer Capital misallocation, not a lack of demand, remained the key factor in the current low level of several commodity prices, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said on Wednesday. Highlighting the need to differentiate by commodity in allocating capital, Glasenberg said at the company’s investor day in... 

Capital misallocation lowering commodity prices – Glencore
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Alcoa reveals next-generation aluminium materials

By: Henry Lazenby Lightweight metals manufacturer Alcoa on Thursday unveiled its breakthrough-manufacturing technology, the Alcoa Micromill, that would manufacture the most advanced aluminium sheet on the market, enabling the company to capture growing demand for next generation automotive aluminium products. The... 

Orbite to use brick and mortar to complete HPA plant construction

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian technology development firm Orbite Aluminae will use a brick-and-mortar approach to complete construction of the decomposer and calcinator at its high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant, at Cap-Chat, in Quebec. The TSX-listed company is currently converting its HPA pilot plant into a... 

Rio Tinto on path to sustainable increased shareholder returns

By: Natasha Odendaal Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto on Thursday vowed to “sustainably” increase cash returns to shareholders from next year, and for decades to come. Despite a challenging near-term outlook, the company’s Tier 1 assets, a relentless focus on financial discipline, improved earnings before interest,... 

Rio Tinto on path to sustainable increased shareholder returns

Alcoa completes two primary products divestments

By: Henry Lazenby US aluminium and light-weight alloys producer Alcoa on Monday reported that it had completed two previously announced sales within its Global Primary Products portfolio. The divestitures, one in the US and the second in Jamaica, were aligned with Alcoa’s strategy to lower its cost base and create... 

Sedgman wins Alcoa contract

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed project house Sedgman has been awarded a A$59.8-million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract from aluminium major Alcoa at its Kwinana refinery, in Western Australia. Sedgman’s scope of work would include the design, procurement, delivery, construction, integration... 

R10bn aluminium supply deal signed with black consortium

By: Creamer Media Reporter Creamer Media's Shannon de Ryhove speaks to Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer about BHP Billiton's R10-billion, five-year liquid metal supply contract with Isizinda Alumnium. 

R10bn aluminium supply deal signed with black consortium

BHP Billiton signs R10bn aluminium supply deal with black consortium 

By: Martin Creamer The world’s biggest mining company BHP Billiton has agreed a R10-billion, five-year liquid metal supply contract with a black-controlled consortium in a transaction that gives the South African aluminium industry a shot in the arm. The diversified major, which is in the process of demerging its... 

BHP Billiton signs R10bn aluminium supply deal with black consortium
Photo by Duane Daws
Graham Kerr with Lucas Msimanga, Sizwe Khumalo, Zodwa Manase and David Austin

BHP Billiton’s demerging Newco heading for May vote

By: Martin Creamer The demerging of a selection of BHP Billiton assets into a separate new company (Newco) was going according to plan and heading for a May vote, Newco CEO-elect Graham Kerr said on Monday. Responding to Mining Weekly Online during question time at a media conference on BHP Billiton selling its... 

BHP Billiton’s demerging Newco heading for May vote
Photo by Duane Daws
Graham Kerr with Lucas Msimanga and Sizwe Khumalo

Glencore's Q3 ferrochrome, coal, oil, copper production up

By: Martin Creamer The South Africa-centred ferrochrome production of diversified miner Glencore lifted in the third quarter, as did its global coal, oil and copper production. The London-, Hong Kong- and now also Johannesburg-listed global mining and marketing company, headed by CEO Ivan Glasenberg, said that its... 

Glencore's Q3 ferrochrome, coal, oil, copper production up
Photo by Duane Daws
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

Alcoa invests $190m to improve aerospace capabilities

By: Henry Lazenby Lightweight metals manufacturer Alcoa intends to expand its product offering in the aerospace and industrial markets through a $190-million investment at its Davenport, Iowa, aluminium facility. Alcoa said on Monday that it would install manufacturing technology to boost the performance of thick... 

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