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Orbite back on track with plant commissioning after resolving supplier dispute

By: Henry Lazenby The list of items to be done before full commissioning of Quebec-based clean-tech firm Orbite Technologies’ new commercial-scale high-purity alumina (HPA) plant can stat has become short and straightforward, chief executive Glenn Kelly said on Thursday, after the company managed to resolve a... 

Mining stocks resemble ‘a big Walmart sale’ as low commodity prices persist

By: Henry Lazenby Sentiment remain negative about the mining and oil and gas industries as the super cycle nears a protracted potential bottom, resulting in dwindling market capitalisations for companies large and small and cruelly undervalued stock prices – creating a buyer’s market for the savvy investor. Chief... 

Mining stocks resemble ‘a big Walmart sale’ as low commodity prices persist

Mining’s improving fortunes weighed down by debt

By: Simon Rees The mining sector was expected to climb out of the downturn’s trough by year-end 2016, Paradigm Capital partner and senior analyst David Davidson told an audience at a recent meeting of the Canadian Institute of Mining’s Management and Economics Society. However, debt levels were a notable... 

Mining’s improving fortunes weighed down by debt

Vedanta rephases capex at Gamsberg as part of cost-cutting measures

By: Kim Cloete In light of tumbling commodity prices, global diversified metals and mining company Vedanta Resources has had to restructure costs across all of its businesses, including South Africa-based Gamsberg zinc project .  Vedanta Resources CEO Tom Albanese told delegates at the Investing in African... 

Vedanta rephases capex at Gamsberg as part of cost-cutting measures
Vedanta Resources CEO Tom Albanese

Noranda Aluminum hit by commodity crash, seeks bankruptcy

By: Reuters Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp, which smelts and refines aluminium and mines bauxite, filed for bankruptcy on Monday, joining a growing list of commodity-related businesses in Chapter 11. Over the past year, scores of commodity-related businesses have filed for bankruptcy as prices for metals,... 

US grants aid to Alcoa smelter workers after China complaint – ruling

By: Reuters The US government has granted aid to workers at Alcoa's Intalco aluminium smelter in Washington state, after they complained that Chinese dumping threatened their jobs, according to a federal ruling. The US Department of Labour (DOL) granted Trade Adjustment Assistance to the 500 workers at the... 

Guinea miner Alufer to produce 5Mt of bauxite in 2017

By: Reuters Guinea-focused bauxite miner Alufer will produce five-million tonnes of bauxite next year, the mines minister said on Monday, potentially boosting Guinea's output by more than a quarter. Guinea holds nearly a third of the world's reserves of bauxite, the metal used to make aluminium, and... 

Alcoa appoints three new directors

By: Henry Lazenby To prepare for the spinning-out of its upstream and downstream business segments later this year, lightweight alloys specialist Alcoa is appointing three new directors, expanding the existing board to 15. Effective from Friday, Ulrich ‘Rick’ Schmidt, John Plant and Sean Mahoney would serve on the... 

Alcoa wins another Boeing contract

By: Henry Lazenby US alloys specialist Alcoa has won another long-term supply agreement with Boeing for multi-material aerospace parts, including for its latest commercial aircraft, the 777X, as well as the 737 MAX – scheduled for first delivery in 2017, and the 787 Dreamliner. The deal drew on capabilities gained... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels

By: Nadine James An urgent court judgment needs to be made to determine the empowerment levels in South Africa’s mining industry, as this will most likely impact on the future alignment between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) codes and the Mining Charter, stresses Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr director of... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels
ALLAN REID Aligning the Mining Charter with the Department of Trade and Industry codes will be challenging, regardless of the Department of Mineral Resources' 12-month extension

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

By: Nadine James It is more than a year since the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill was referred back to Parliament by President Jacob Zuma for reconsideration. According to the latest available public record, more parliamentary committee meetings to reconsider the Amendment... 

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

Mine health, safety amendment still not effective

By: Nadine James Two of the additional regulations pertaining to the operation of  diesel-powered trackless mobile machinery (TMM) on mines – which were published in February 2015 – remain inoperable, as the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has yet to stipulate a date when the specific obligations come into... 

Mine health, safety amendment still not effective
Photo by Bloomberg
AVERTING COLLISIONS Several of the new regulations regarding Trackless Mobile Machinery are meant to prevent or reduce collisions

Mining needs critical legal regulatory matters resolved

There will be many critical legal and regulatory issues facing the mining industry in 2016, says Chamber of Mines (CoM) legal head Lerato Legong. He claims that “one of the most important is going to be the review of the Mining Charter, which will likely lead to the development of the third... 

Mining needs critical legal regulatory matters resolved
Photo by Bloomberg
MOSEBEZI ZWANE The Chamber of Mines expects that the Mineral Resources Minister and his department will deal with a number of regulatory issues in the coming year

Proposed MPRDA amendments lack clarity

By: Nadine James While the proposed amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) contain positive aspects, in a broader sense, they are flawed, particularly in terms of the applications and appeals processes regarding mining rights, says Hogan Lovells partner and head of mining Warren... 

Proposed MPRDA amendments lack clarity
WARREN BEECH The amendments pertaining to appeals will adversely impact mining right applicants in terms of starting the process of securing operations funding and their contractual obligations

Final Lisheen zinc shipment leaves gap Southern Africa can fill – Vedanta 

By: Martin Creamer The final shipment of zinc from Vedanta Resources' Lisheen mine has brought zinc supply from the Irish mine to an end, opening up an opportunity for the Gamsberg project, which is inching forward at a carefully measured pace in South Africa’s Northern Cape. Lisheen’s closure means that some 120... 

Final Lisheen zinc shipment leaves gap Southern Africa can fill – Vedanta
Photo by Duane Daws
Tom Albanese, Godfrey Oliphant, Deshnee Naidoo at first Gamsberg blast

Applied Mineral Technologies

Witbank-based Applied Mineral Technologies (Amtec) specialises in the fabrication and construction of materials handling systems and processing plants. “Amtec is especially proficient and experienced in brownfield and shutdown construction activities having successfully undertaken many... 

Applied Mineral Technologies

Key speaker to address investment options at Indaba

By: Mia Breytenbach International financial institution World Bank Group VP Makhtar Diop will be a key speaker at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba as well as being part of the market panel titled ‘Driving Investment in African Infrastructure - what are the investment options?’. The Mining Indaba will... 

Key speaker to  address investment options at Indaba
Photo by Duane Daws
MAKHTAR DIOP Despite the slowdown of Africa’s biggest economies, the gross domestic product in the region is expected to pick up to an average of 4.4% and 4.8% in 2016 and 2017, respectively

Networking at every turn

By: Kimberley Smuts Event organiser Mining Indaba recognises that one of the most critical functions of the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference is to create a platform that allows all those operating in the African mining sector to engage. The annual Mining Indaba taking place from February 8 to 11 at the... 

Networking at every turn
NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND Mining Indaba has again allocated specific times for networking over the course of the event to allow delegates to set up meetings and take advantage of the opportunity to meet new business contacts

Alcoa continuing discussions on power supply for Intalco smelter – VP

By: Reuters Alcoa will "continue to have discussions around power" supply for its 279 000 tonne-per-year Intalco smelter in Washington state, which is slated to curtail output by the end of the second quarter, an executive said in a presentation on Thursday. "Should the economics change, they could... 

Competition Tribunal lifts conditions on Zimco, Atlantis merger

By: Samantha Herbst The Competition Tribunal has approved a request by South African industrial and base metals producer Zimco Group to lift certain conditions imposed by the Competition Commission in 2014, when it approved the merger of Zimco and lead anodes producer Atlantis Metals. At the time of the merger,... 

Competition Tribunal lifts conditions on Zimco, Atlantis merger

Alcoa defers curtailment of Washington smelter

By: Henry Lazenby NYSE-listed lightweight metals specialist Alcoa on Tuesday announced that it would delay the curtailment of its Intalco Works primary aluminium smelter in Ferndale, Washington, until the end of the second quarter. The company explained that recent changes in energy and raw material costs have... 

ICBC Standard Bank names Mark Thompson head of base metals trading

By: Reuters LONDON – ICBC Standard Bank has appointed Mark Thompson, a former executive at trading house Trafigura's asset management business, head of its global base metals trading. Thompson, who has worked in the metals and financial sector for over two decades, will report to head of base metals, Steve... 

To increase value, miners need to navigate the pitfalls of M&A

By: Henry Lazenby Navigating the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market can be tricky at best, but with increased pressure to conclude deals in the tight economic environment, there are several pitfalls buyers and sellers should heed to maximise deal values. Professional services firm EY in October released the... 

China alumina refineries slash 9.1 mt/y capacity since Nov 2015 - Antaike

By: Reuters Large alumina refineries in China have begun to slash output due to rock bottom prices of aluminium, which has 80% of the country's domestic alumina industry operating with negative cashflow, state-backed research house Antaike said on Friday. Alumina, made from bauxite, is used to produce... 

Policy uncertainty, DMR leadership ‘challenges’, weak prices bode ill for mining sector in 2016

By: Jade Davenport Over the last few years, South Africa’s mining industry has staggered into the new year increasingly the worse for wear having been ravaged by a myriad of challenges over the course of 2015 not least of which have included mineral-policy uncertainty, labour-management disputes, waning investor... 

Policy uncertainty, DMR leadership ‘challenges’, weak prices bode ill for mining sector in 2016

Six Chinese firms to form JV for commercial aluminium stockpiling - Antaike

By: Reuters Six large Chinese aluminium producers in China are considering forming a joint venture company that will handle primary aluminium stockpiling, a report by state-backed research firm Antaike said on Tuesday. The six companies -- four state-owned firms and two private enterprises -- include... 

Big mining shares keep tumbling as China data ups anxiety

By: Martin Creamer Global mining stocks have lost $1.4-trillion since 2011, more than the combined value of Apple, Exxon Mobil and Alphabet Inc, according to Bloomberg Business, which reports that its world mining index has dropped to an 11-year low. The market capitalisation of diversified major Anglo American,... 

Big mining shares keep tumbling as China data ups anxiety
Mining's mess exemplified by this slimes dam disaster in Brazil.

More curtailments at Alcoa/Alumina JV

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Alumina said on Friday that US major Alcoa’s decision to curtail one-million tonnes of refining capacity from the joint venture (JV) Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals (AWAC), was expected to improve the JV’s cost position and ensure its continued competitiveness in the prevailing market... 

More curtailments at Alcoa/Alumina JV

Alcoa to shutter Warrick smelter, Indiana

By: Henry Lazenby US aluminium specialist Alcoa will permanently close its 269 000-metric-ton Warrick Operations smelter, in Evansville, Indiana, by the end of the first quarter. The NYSE-listed firm noted that the Midwest transaction aluminium price had dropped by about 30% and that the Alumina Price Index fell... 

Alcoa lands $2.5bn in Boeing deals

By: Henry Lazenby Lightweight alloys specialist Alcoa has clinched long-term supply contracts valued at more than $2.5-billion with US airliner manufacturer Boeing. NYSE-listed Alcoa would supply Boeing with multi-material fastening systems for every Boeing platform in its largest fastener deal ever. It would also... 

Alcoa lands $2.5bn in Boeing deals

Market uncertainty pulls EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index down in Q3

By: Henry Lazenby Professional services firm EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index declined 17% during the third quarter 2015, in stark contrast to the second quarter’s 4% gain. This latest drop was even more substantial than the first quarter, which saw only a 1% decline. 

Kriel Occupational & Wellness Centre

Independent service provider Kriel Occupational & Wellness Centre, a 100% black, female-owned business, was formed in 2008 to bridge the gap in the occupational health sector identified by director Dr Patience Lindi Mokwena. The women-empowered company, which is focused on servicing the mining... 

Kriel Occupational & Wellness Centre

Glencore shares soar as company spurts cash, reports “good” China sales

By: Martin Creamer The share price of Glencore soared more than 14% in Johannesburg after the diversified mining and marketing company told investors it would remain comfortably cash positive at materially lower commodity prices, had $14-billion liquidity headroom, beat its capital preservation targets and was... 

Glencore shares soar as company spurts cash, reports “good” China sales
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Rapid debt reduction shapes Glencore for lower prices

By: Martin Creamer Global diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is ahead of schedule on the debt reduction plan, with rapid delivery of debt reduction measures preparing the London-, Hong Kong- and Johannesburg-listed giant for current, and even lower, commodity prices. Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg... 

Rapid debt reduction shapes Glencore for lower prices
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

How mining can innovate and boost cash at same time

By: Martin Creamer French software company Dassault Systèmes Geovia is offering South Africa’s struggling mining industry the opportunity to innovate and accelerate its cash flow at the same time. The company outlined its mix of innovation and cash-boosting potential at a presentation attended by Creamer Media’s... 

How mining can innovate and boost cash at same time
Photo by Duane Daws
David Osborn during video interview

Tramecon

Tramecon is a turnkey laboratory solutions provider, servicing mining projects worldwide from its wholly owned Randburg facility, comprising two mini factories covering 400 m2. The company has recently supplied South Africa-based product logistics monitoring for a Democratic Republic of Congo... 

Despite slowing growth, China to remain key growth market for metals

By: Henry Lazenby As commodity prices touched fresh decade-lows in recent months, a look at the global macroeconomic situation reveals that, despite China being a significant part of the commodity price slump, it will remain a critically important growth market for metals for decades to come. Addressing an... 

Despite slowing growth, China to remain key growth market for metals

With lending tight, miners look to swap cash for royalties

By: Reuters A slump in mineral prices that's making it tough for miners to borrow is providing more opportunities for companies such as Anglo Pacific Group, whose business is exchanging cash for production royalties on commodities out of favour with lenders. Banks are becoming increasingly wary of lending... 

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