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Alcoa strikes power accord to keep Intalco smelter open

By: Henry Lazenby US specialty alloys producer Alcoa has struck an agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) that would help improve the competitiveness of its 279 000 t/y Intalco smelter, in Washington state. As a result, the smelter will not close at the end of June, as previously planned by the... 

Bahrain's Alba cites collapse in aluminium prices as Q1 profit falls 89%

By: Reuters Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), the owner of one of the world's largest aluminium smelters, reported an 88.6% fall in first-quarter net profit on Monday as a result of a collapse in aluminium prices. Alba's net income for the three months to March 31 was 4.2-million dinars ($11.22-million), said Alba... 

Bahrain's Alba cites collapse in aluminium prices as Q1 profit falls 89%

Companies bought to enhance training offering

Training, supply and management group Workforce Holdings announced in January that it had acquired the various operating companies comprising outsourcing solutions providers Quyn Outsource Solutions. Workforce has predominantly placed staff in nontechnical positions and adding Quyn to its service... 

Companies bought to  enhance training offering
Photo by Bloomberg
SKILLS OFFERING EXPANDED Quyn Outsource Solutions’s e provision of technical skills to clients across a range of industries represents diversification for Workforce

Emphasis on opportunities in harsh business climate

By: Simon Sonnekus The West African Mining & Power Exhibition (Wampex) 2016 will showcase the opportunities that still exist in the challenging African market, says events company and organiser dmg-ems Africa VP Christine Davidson. The biennial event, which has been running for 22 years, will return to the Accra... 

Emphasis on opportunities  in harsh business climate
GLOBAL ATTRACTION Between 50 and 100 companies are expected to attend, with exhibitors from China, the UAE, France, Poland, South Africa, the UK and Turkey confirmed

MetSkill

By: Creamer Media Reporter Process industry training provider MetSkill is actively involved with the development of the new occupational qualifications for the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations under the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). Benoni, Gauteng-based MetSkill, 100% owned by MD Rebecca Sands, has... 

Mineworkers empowered

By: Kimberley Smuts If workers in the mining, energy and construction industries want to improve their financial situation, it is important that they take advantage of the financial literacy programmes currently being rolled out by financial assistance provider Mineworkers Investment Trust (MIT), which supports... 

Mineworkers empowered
Photo by Bloomberg
INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE The Mineworkers Investment Trust's financial literacy training started in Mpumalanga as a pilot study in June 2015 with more training expected to take place this year

Society aims to integrate more students into mining sector 

By: Kimberley Smuts The University of Witwatersrand's Students Mining Engineering Society (SMES) aims to increase the integration of mining engineering graduates into the mining industry this year, as well as to encourage mining engineering students to have an opinion on mining-related issues in South Africa. SMES... 

Society aims to integrate more students into mining sector
FORTUNE MSIBI Mining engineering students face the challenge of a lack of available jobs in the sector, as a result of South Africa’s financial crisis

Technological advancements continue despite mining sector’s downturn

By: Sascha Solomons Beneficial trends and technological advancements in the mining industry are being introduced regardless of the depressed market conditions that the sector faces, says environmental management company I-CAT Environmental Solutions technical manager Morne van Wyk. One such trend is recycling water... 

Technological advancements continue despite mining sector’s downturn
HYFLUX KRISTAL HOLLOW-FIBRE Ensure the effective and environmentally safe reduction of excess wastewater in the mining industry

West Africa fraught with challenges in tough mining times

By: Simon Sonnekus While political instability, corruption and the global commodities price crunch have had adverse effects on the West African mining sector, other factors such as a lack of infrastructure, power shortages and inconsistency and a lack of transparency in terms of regulatory policy, as well as... 

West Africa fraught with challenges in tough mining times
Photo by Bloomberg
UNREST Factors such as war, social unrest or hardship are all indicative of a somewhat unstable political environment, which, in turn, negatively impacts on the attractiveness of certain economies

Orbite to close another financing with Quebec govt

By: Henry Lazenby TSX-listed Orbite Technologies has entered into a letter of intent with Investissement Québec to provide the company with total financing of C$15-million. Orbite advised Wednesday that the financing was expected to comprise the purchase of 10% convertible non-secured debentures in the principal... 

Maputo seeks capital gains taxes from mining majors

By: Keith Campbell Mozambique’s Tax Authority has confirmed that it is holding negotiations with Vale Mozambique, the local subsidiary of major Brazilian mining group Vale, on the payment of capital gains tax. Vale Mozambique is one of a number of major companies with whom the Tax Authority is currently having such... 

Middle East, North Africa on mining periphery despite hosting 30% of the world’s minerals

By: Ilan Solomons Despite having more than 30% of global mineral reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region severely lacks exploration and resource development investment. The region’s mining industry is facing several challenges such as social and environmental pressure from communities living near... 

Middle East, North Africa on mining periphery despite hosting 30% of the world’s minerals

Alcoa strikes power deal to keep Intalco aluminium plant open

By: Reuters Alcoa has agreed to a new power deal for its 279 000 t/y Intalco aluminium smelter in Washington state, according to a statement from its power supplier, staving off the closure of one of the last remaining US aluminium plants. Both sides struck a deal starting on July 1 that would keep 2.5... 

Alcoa beats expectations, despite layoffs and narrower Q1 earnings

By: Henry Lazenby US metals company Alcoa on Monday reported a 70% drop in headline earnings, mainly owing to a 40% dip in the Alumina Price Index (API) and a 26% drop in aluminium pricing. The NYSE-listed specialty alloys maker reported adjusted earnings of $108-million, or $0.07 a share, excluding the impact of... 

Alcoa beats expectations, despite layoffs and narrower Q1 earnings
Photo by Bloomberg
Alcoa reported first quarter revenues of $4.9-billion, down 15% from $5.8-billion in the first quarter of 2015

Alcoa’s upstream unit secures $350m in bauxite supply contracts over 2 yrs

By: Henry Lazenby US specialty metals producer Alcoa has secured several bauxite supply contracts valued at about $350-million over two years. The NYSE-listed company, which expected to separate its main upstream and beneficiating downstream business units later this year, on Wednesday advised that it would supply... 

Glencore agri sale surprises on upside

By: Martin Creamer The announcement by Glencore that it is selling 40% of its agricultural business to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $2.5-billion cash has received the nod from analysts. Glencore said the proceeds from the transaction would be used to reduce net debt. 

Glencore agri sale surprises on upside
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Over 40 minerals and metals contained in seawater, their extraction likely to increase in the future

By: Keith Campbell It is generally known that many minerals and metals exist, dissolved in seawater and in the waters of briny lagoons and salt lakes. According to Stanford University in the US, seawater contains 47 minerals and metals. Starting with the most abundant and proceeding to the least abundant these are... 

Over 40 minerals and metals contained in seawater, their extraction likely to increase in the future

Research predicts another tough year for commodities

By: Henry Lazenby In the wake of lacklustre discipline by producers to curtail output in the face of relentless price declines, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) Global Research was concerned that another leg of lower prices may be required to incentivise another round of cuts for a range of materials. In its... 

Down 25% year-on-year, Scotiabank’s Commodity Price Index expected to rally in March

By: Henry Lazenby Despite Scotiabank’s Commodity Price Index recording its fourth consecutive monthly decline in February when it edged down 0.3% month-on-month, and down 25% year-on-year, analysts expected the index to rally significantly in March. According to a press release commodity prices had rebounded... 

China sets course for smooth economic transition and commodity price gains

By: Simon Rees The retreat of commodity prices on the back of China’s economic shift belied rising levels of uptake and the likelihood of an upcycle later in the decade, CRU Group managing consultant Philip Macoun told an audience at the recent Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention.... 

China sets course for smooth economic transition and commodity price gains

KPMG calls for levelling of mine rehab playing field

By: Martin Creamer KPMG corporate tax head Muhammad Saloojee wants the tax authorities to level the mine rehabilitation playing field by ensuring that mine rehabilitation insurance premiums are tax deductible. His commentary to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online comes against the background of a tax ruling that... 

KPMG calls for levelling of mine rehab playing field
Photo by Duane Daws
Muhammad Saloojee

US bemoans Chinese aluminium imports

By: Kim Cloete The US Aluminum Association (AA) has accused Chinese companies of misclassifying certain products to avoid duties on primary aluminium and has insisted that China steps up to its responsibilities to play fair. AA president and CEO Heidi Brock told the International Aluminium Conference in Cape... 

High energy costs, low prices heap pressure on aluminium industry

By: Kim Cloete Industry players and government say they are committed to growing the aluminium industry despite harsh times for the sector caused largely by very depressed aluminium prices.   “Aluminium prices have remain depressed, arguably the lowest in our history. Supply and demand is out of kilter and cost... 

High energy costs, low prices heap pressure on aluminium industry

Unexpected headwinds keep commodity prices lower for longer

By: Henry Lazenby A faster-than-expected slowdown in demand for commodities in 2015 has placed a damper on broad-based commodity price recoveries in 2016, compounded by lacklustre global economic growth and record inventories, which will take time to work down as production cutbacks and mine closures take effect.... 

Unexpected headwinds keep commodity prices lower for longer

Moody’s cuts BHP’s debt rating

By: Henry Lazenby Investment risk ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday cut the world’s largest miner BHP Billiton’s debt rating from A1 to A3, mentioning the deterioration in the company's earnings and cash flow, which has led to significantly weaker credit metrics. The outlook for all ratings of... 

Glencore posts $4.9bn net loss

By: Martin Creamer Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore on Tuesday reported a net loss to equity holders of $4.9-billion for 2015, a year of focus on debt reduction, supply discipline and cost efficiencies. The company recorded net exceptional charges to equity holders of $5.8-billion, related... 

Glencore posts $4.9bn net loss
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

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Alumina swings back to profit

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The restructuring of the Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals (AWAC) joint venture between ASX-listed Alumina and US major Alcoa has seen Alumina swing back into the black during the full 2015 financial year. The company reported on Thursday a statutory net profit after tax of $88-million for the... 

First phase of exploration on copper/silver project starts

Australian-listed metals miner MOD Resources last month announced that Phase 1 exploration had started at its Botswana copper/silver project, which is located in the Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB) – a region where MOD has various interests in licences covering an area of about 12 000 km2. The... 

First phase of exploration on copper/silver project starts
DRILL TIME Exploration on MOD's project in the Kalahari Copper Belt started in earnest in January

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

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
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