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SocGen says miners' output costs have dropped more than expected

By: Reuters Miners' output costs have dropped more than industry consensus due to lower energy prices and weak emerging market currencies, a report by Societe Generale showed, suggesting metals prices have further to fall before miners are forced out of business. The prices of many metals are still around... 

With metals slumping, investors seek miners that can weather storm

By: Reuters A slump in metals prices this week and worries over China's growth prospects have heightened investor scrutiny of whether mining companies have the ability to weather the storm ahead. China accounts for almost half of global copper demand, 70% of iron-ore consumption and vies with India to be... 

Alcoa to split downstream business segments as its value-add portfolio expands

By: Henry Lazenby Lightweight and high-performance metals producer Alcoa on Thursday said that it would split its downstream portfolio into two segments, with one maintaining a core focus on aerospace and the other centred on the construction and commercial wheels markets. NYSE-listed Alcoa also on Thursday... 

LME reaches settlement on US aluminium class-action cases

By: Reuters Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) has settled two class-action lawsuits against itself and the London Metal Exchange (LME) over allegations of anti-competitive and monopolistic behaviour. No money was paid by either side in arriving at the settlement, the HKEx-owned LME said in a statement. 

Alcoa lifts Q2 profit on strong downstream performance

By: Henry Lazenby American aluminium and lightweight metals producer Alcoa has reported higher profit for the three months ended June 30, as many of the vertically integrated manufacturer’s business segments put in strong performances. The New York-headquartered company reported net income for the period of... 

Rio's Kitimat smelter off to a good start

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining major Rio Tinto said on Wednesday it was readying to ship the first aluminium from its Kitimat smelter, in Canada, following a $4.8-billion upgrade. The modernisation of the aluminium smelter increased production capacity by 48%, to 420 000 t/y, and would result in the Kitimat smelter... 

South32 secures ICMM membership

By: Natasha Odendaal BHP Billiton spin-off South32 has successfully joined the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), a move that is expected to deliver long-term benefits for the new globally diversified metals and mining company and its stakeholders. An independent expert review panel had recommended... 

Urgent govt, business cooperation needed to end South Africa’s crisis – Turok

By: Martin Creamer The time had come for government and business to find ways and means of working together to end South Africa’s current economic stagflation crisis, United Nations Commission for Africa (UNCA) mineral value chain lead consultant, anti-apartheid struggle veteran and former African National Congress... 

Urgent govt, business cooperation needed to end South Africa’s crisis – Turok
ANC MP Ben Turok

North American Nickel gains strong foothold in Greenland nickel camp

By: Henry Lazenby Greenland-focused explorer North American Nickel (NAN) is in negotiations with a subsidiary of Swedish Iron producer LKAB Minerals to acquire the strategically important Seqi port, on the south-west coast of Greenland, that would give it a strategic geographic advantage in the emerging mining... 

North American Nickel gains strong foothold in Greenland nickel camp
Photo by North American Nickel
Maniitsoq, Greenland.

India’s Nalco gets access to Pottangi reserves for refinery project

By: Ajoy K Das After over two decades of waiting, India’s largest integrated aluminium producer National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) will commence mining operations at the Pottangi project, in the eastern province of Odisha, where bauxite reserves have been estimated at 70-million tonnes. According to a... 

Smelter substation PLC upgrade under way

By: Pimani Baloyi Industrial automation and information solutions provider Rockwell Automation South Africa is upgrading the programmable logic controller (PLC) of mining major BHP Billiton’s joint venture (JV) Mozal aluminium smelter’s 22 kV substation, in Maputo, Mozambique. The PLC upgrade, which is scheduled... 

Smelter substation PLC upgrade under way
MOZAL SMELTER The aluminium smelter is scheduled to undergo phased upgrades over the next ten years

Alcoa invests $22m in Michigan to strengthen specialty aerospace metals

By: Henry Lazenby US aluminium and specialty metals producer Alcoa this week announced a $22-million investment in Michigan in the latest hot isostatic pressing (HIP) technology, which strengthened the metallic structure of titanium, nickel and three-dimensional- (3D-) printed jet engine parts. The company had in... 

Base metals on ‘negative’ watch as low prices, slowing growth stales outlook – Moody’s

By: Henry Lazenby Advisory firm Moody’s Investors Service does not expect base metal prices to materially improve over the next 12 to 18 months, saying the basket of metals including copper, zinc and nickel faced downside risks amid an uncertain global economic recovery. In its latest ‘Outlook Update: Global Base... 

Canadian Mining Eye Index slows decline – EY

By: Henry Lazenby Professional services firm EY’s Canadian Mining Eye Index had slowed its decline in the three months ended March 31, falling only 1% compared with a 12% decline in the fourth quarter last year. The index, which tracked the Canadian mining sector performance of 100 TSX- and TSX-V-listed midtier... 

South32 in superb second-day share surge

By: Martin Creamer The share price of the new South32 mining company soared superlatively on day two. The demerged entity shot up 14% on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), rose 6.23% on top of Monday’s 3% rise in early morning trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), and even closed higher at £1.08 a share... 

South32 in superb second-day share surge
Photo by Duane Daws
Mike Fraser at South32 listing in Johannesburg.

South32 shares rise on JSE debut, BHP Billiton shares fall

By: Martin Creamer Value generation from the assets of South32 in the months ahead of its debut on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is indicative the upside potential of the triple-listed BHP Billiton spin-off company, which saw its shares end up well in the money at the JSE's close on Monday and those of BHP... 

South32 shares rise on JSE debut, BHP Billiton shares fall
Photo by Duane Daws
Mike Fraser (left) with Martin Creamer at South32 listing.

Creamer Media publishes African Mining Roundup for May 2015 research report

This month’s report includes details of iron-ore company Tawana’s agreement to formalise the legal and commercial conditions of the Mofe Creek project, in Liberia; Canadian miner Nevsun Resources’ Bisha operation, in Eritrea, which is on track to start commissioning at its new zinc plant by... 

Creamer Media publishes African Mining Roundup for May 2015 research report

Alcoa pulls the plug at Anglesea

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Anglesea coal mine and power station is expected to close at the end of August, after owner Alcoa Australia was unable to secure a buyer for the site. The Anglesea power station previously supplied about 40% of the power needs for the Point Henry smelter, in Victoria. The Point Henry... 

South32 set to hit ground running after 98% BHP 'yes' vote 

By: Martin Creamer The demerging South32 mining company, which is set to hit the ground running after receiving an overwhelming 98.05% yes vote from BHP Billiton shareholders on Wednesday, is at an advanced stage of planning a global shared service centre in South Africa, which will create 200 new quality jobs.... 

South32 set to hit ground running after 98% BHP 'yes' vote
Photo by Bloomberg
Andrew Mackenzie

Exploration and mine development up to 2.5 times more costly in Canada’s North

By: Henry Lazenby A new study has found that the cost to explore and build new mines is as much as 2.5 times higher in northern Canada, mainly as a result of a lack of critical infrastructure. The study, titled ‘Levelling the Playing Field’, found that the cost of mineral exploration and building and operating... 

Exploration and mine development up to 2.5 times more costly in Canada’s North

Production up at Glencore’s South African coal mines

By: Martin Creamer Production from Glencore’s South African thermal coal mines was 10% higher in the three months to end March. The London-, Hong Kong- and Johannesburg-listed diversified mining and marketing company, headed by CEO Ivan Glasenberg, said on Tuesday that the ramp up of its newly commissioned... 

Production up at Glencore’s South African coal mines
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Strategic minerals and the aerospace and defence industries

By: Keith Campbell The term “strategic minerals” is one that is much used but one that, in the words of Brazilian minerals lawyer Raquel Quaresma de Lima, “does not have a steady definition”, while the Science and Technology Committee of the UK House of Commons has observed that there is “no single definition of... 

Strategic minerals and the aerospace and defence industries

South32 weakness hidden – Investec

By: Martin Creamer Good overall third-quarter production performance by BHP Billiton hid the weaker performance of most of the assets that make up South32, Investec Securities mining analyst Hunter Hillcoat says. BHP Billiton intends simplifying its portfolio by demerging the South32 metals and mining company,... 

South32 weakness hidden – Investec
Photo by Duane Daws
Graham Kerr

Glencore spends $114m on corporate social initiatives 

By: Martin Creamer Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore spent $114-million on corporate social initiatives last year, representing 2.2% of group profit before tax, the company said on Tuesday. The 181 000-employee, 50-country Glencore, headed by CEO Ivan Glasenberg, said the investment helped to meet... 

Glencore spends $114m on corporate social initiatives
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Canada’s mining industry welcomes federal budget 

By: Henry Lazenby Canada's national mining association has welcomed the Conservative government’s balanced federal budget 2015, citing its pleasure with renewed funding for critical areas such as environmental assessments, the Major Projects Management Office, Aboriginal education and training, and geoscience.... 

Canada’s mining industry welcomes federal budget
Photo by Reuters
Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver on Tuesday tabled a C$990.3-billion balanced budget.

Miners report first-quarter output ahead of financials

By: Henry Lazenby Several miners reported production results this week ahead of publishing financial results for the three months ended March 31. NYSE- and TSX-listed McEwen Mining reported 23% increased gold output to 24 696 oz and a decline in silver production of 10% to 655 339 oz in the period when compared... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP

By: Martin Creamer With the shareholder vote just over three weeks away, the planned spin-off of South32 from BHP Billiton has turned bearish and BHP Billiton has itself fallen victim to an unprecedented number of analyst sell recommendations owing to the plummeting iron-ore price, worsened by the reputational... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP
Photo by Duane Daws
The BHP Billiton building in central Johannesburg

Five prospective customers to receive Orbite HPA samples

By: Henry Lazenby High-purity alumina (HPA) producer Orbite Aluminae has shipped samples to five potential customers, thereby entering their supplier qualification programme. The samples were produced by calcining aluminium chloride hexahydrate, the precursor material for HPA, which the firm produced at its pilot... 

Alcoa cuts last smelting capacity at São Luís facility in Brazil

By: Henry Lazenby Aluminium and lightweight metals producer Alcoa will curtail the remaining 74 000 metric tons of smelting capacity at its São Luís facility, in Brazil. NYSE-listed Alcoa on Monday said the curtailment was part of its plans to evaluate upstream capacity for possible curtailment, closure or sale as... 

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee

By: Martin Creamer South Africa should seize the current timely opportunity to amend its mining taxation in a manner that encourages foreign investment, stimulates prospecting, gets mining companies to start dealing with marginal mines and gives enough back to the fiscus for the benefit of this country's people,... 

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee
Muhammad Saloojee

Zinc metal deficit expected to intensify – Glencore

By: Martin Creamer The zinc metal market’s 2014 deficit is expected to intensify this year, Glencore says in its latest annual report. The 200-page document, in which CEO Ivan Glasenberg notes slower than expected post-financial-crisis normalisation, positions the company as one able to react quickly and benefit... 

Zinc metal deficit expected to intensify – Glencore
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg
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