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Aluminium News

Victoria expects ‘positive outcome’ on Alcoa Portland talks soon

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th January 2017 Aluminium major Alcoa and the federal and Victorian governments are continuing discussions over the future of the Portland smelter, with the state government saying that significant progress has been made. “All parties are committed to working towards finalising a positive outcome in the very... 

UAE serves arbitration notice to India for failure to offer bauxite

By: Ajoy K Das     12th January 2017 The Indian government has been served with a notice for international arbitration by the United Arab Emirates (UAE's) Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) seeking compensation of $44.71-million or immediate fulfilment of commitment for the supply of bauxite and alumina for a planned... 

Hits and misses as production reports roll in

By: Henry Lazenby     11th January 2017 Several North American miners issued fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 production reports on Wednesday, with some reporting better-than-expected results and others missing the mark. TSX- and NYSE MKT-listed streaming and royalty firm Sandstorm Gold sold record volume of 13 200 attributable... 

Hits and misses as production reports roll in

High Court exposes DMR as incompetent, irrational investment obstructor

By: Martin Creamer     11th January 2017 A judgement of the Gauteng division of the High Court of South Africa exposes the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) as an irrational institution with a high degree of incompetence that obstructs the mining investment it is meant to facilitate, lacks energy in resolving issues, allows appeal... 

High Court exposes DMR as incompetent, irrational investment obstructor

Alcoa to permanently shutter Suriname smelter

By: Henry Lazenby     4th January 2017 Aluminium producer Alcoa said Tuesday it will permanently close the Suralco aluminium smelter in Suriname, which has been languishing fully curtailed since November 2015. Pending completion of negotiations with the Suriname government regarding the Suralco’s remaining activities in the South... 

Alcoa to permanently shutter Suriname smelter

Tesla makes Reno a critical pit stop on way to Las Vegas and CES

By: Bloomberg     29th December 2016 As far as Tesla’s concerned, what’s happening in Las Vegas can stay in Las Vegas. The real action is some 400 dusty miles northwest, across the state in Reno. The electric-car maker is seizing on next week’s consumer electronics show to host investors and analysts at Gigafactory 1, the sprawling... 

Tesla makes Reno a critical pit stop on way to Las Vegas and CES
Photo by Reuters
Tesla Model S

IHS Materials Price Index jumps to 18-month high; emergent weakness to undermine momentum

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd December 2016 Analytics firm IHS Markit reports that its Materials Price Index (MPI) rose for a sixth consecutive week, increasing 1.4% to hit a fresh 18-month high. IHS Global Insight Pricing & Purchasing senior economist Ben Orhan pointed out that ferrous metals once again drove the index higher, gaining... 

IHS Materials Price Index jumps to 18-month high; emergent weakness to undermine momentum

Alcoa says Australia aluminium smelter running at 30% capacity

By: Reuters     21st December 2016 Australia's 300 000 t/y Portland aluminium smelter is operating at below a third of its capacity after power to the plant was temporarily knocked out three weeks ago, operator Alcoa Corporation said on Wednesday. The smelter was hit when a power interconnector between the states of Victoria and... 

Scotiabank Commodity Index set to end 2016 on high note

By: Henry Lazenby     21st December 2016 The Bank of Nova Scotia expects its benchmark Scotiabank Commodity Price Index to finish the year up 25%, with all sub-indices showing positive performance, the third largest Canadian banking group said Tuesday. The oil and gas index rose 55% in the year-to-November after both oil and natural gas... 

Scotiabank Commodity Index set to end 2016 on high note
Photo by Bloomberg
The surprise rally of bulk commodities, especially metallurgical coal, has lost some momentum in the final weeks of 2016

Liberty House closer to buying Australia’s Arrium steel producer

By: Bloomberg     15th December 2016 Liberty House Group is closer to taking over Australia’s steel producer Arrium, as the London-based steel manufacturer and metals trader is completing the purchases of units of Tata Steel and Rio Tinto in the UK. “We’re in the second round on Arrium, we’ve been shortlisted among four bidders,”... 

Global base metals, US coal and steel prices stabilising – Moody's

By: Henry Lazenby     14th December 2016 The 2017 outlooks for the global base metals, US steel and US coal industries remain stable for the next 12 to 18 months, according to Moody's Investors Service. In a report released Tuesday, the ratings agency said that weak macroeconomic indicators would limit upside movement in the base metals... 

Desalination helps South32’s KZN aluminium smelter beat water woes

By: David Oliveira     9th December 2016 To ensure sustainable operations in drought sticken Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, diversified miner South32 has invested R74-million in a seawater desalination plant that uses membrane technology to produce cooling process water for its Hillside aluminium smelter. The diversified miner appointed... 

Desalination helps South32’s KZN aluminium smelter beat water woes

Alcoa works to stabilise Portland smelter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     5th December 2016 Aluminium major Alcoa is still working to stabilise its Portland smelter, in Victoria, following a power outage last week. Alcoa said in a statement on Monday that work had begun to assess the operational impact of the outage; however, given the significance of the event, the company was faced... 

Glencore sees nickel shortage as electric vehicle demand burgeons

By: Martin Creamer     2nd December 2016 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore sees a shortage in nickel arising as a result of burgeoning demand from electric vehicle (EV) production. Batteries used in EVs are consuming about 100 000 t of nickel demand and if 10% of the world’s vehicle fleet transitions to electric power,... 

Glencore sees nickel shortage as electric vehicle demand burgeons
Glencore's Koniambo nickel project in New Caledonia, a French territory.

Power outage shuts potline at Alcoa’s Portland smelter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     2nd December 2016 A power outage at the Portland aluminum smelter, in Victoria, has forced aluminium major Alcoa to halt production at one of two potlines. While the other potline is operating, Alcoa warned on Friday it could experience a significant instability in the short term. 

Power outage shuts potline at Alcoa’s Portland smelter

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Despite a modestly more buoyant outlook for key metal prices, mining capital expenditures (capex) are expected to continue on a downward slide over the next three years as miners seek further cost cuts and to improve operational margins, according to analysis by Fitch Group research arm BMI.... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

Discredited DMR making ill-considered demands on struggling industry

By: Martin Creamer     25th November 2016 The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is making ill-considered demands that have little hope of being met. Instead of following the continent’s African Mining Vision and Zambezi Protocol, the DMR is going out on a dictatorial limb. 

Discredited DMR making ill-considered demands on struggling industry
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter and Chamber of Mines Senior Executive Public Affairs and Transformation Tebello Chabana

Orbite makes headway towards final calcination stage of high purity alumina production

By: Henry Lazenby     25th November 2016 Quebec clean-technology firm Orbite Technologies continues to make progress towards achieving the calcination stage of its high-purity alumina (HPA) plant, through which it will "soon" be producing ultra-pure alumina, the company said Thursday. The TSX-listed innovator said feedstock digestion... 

DMR appointment causes concern

By: Martin Creamer     23rd November 2016 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has controversially made a key appointment within the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) on the grounds that it is only temporary.   Earlier this month, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources, James Lorimer MP, requested... 

DMR appointment causes concern
DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources James Lorimer MP

Base metals rise as Chinese investors hedge against weakening renminbi

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd November 2016 Most base metals traded in positive territory Monday, buoyed by accelerated buying as Chinese investors use commodities as a hedge against the depreciating Chinese  

Business, labour need to combine as errant DMR turns dictator

By: Martin Creamer     17th November 2016 The point has been made that mining business and labour have never been closer than now and that they need to make use of the current window of opportunity to establish a better foundation between themselves so that they can collectively shame the government into moving mining forward for the... 

Business, labour need to combine as errant DMR turns dictator
Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter

Moly says new Metro offer superior to Gulf Alumina’s

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     9th November 2016 ASX-listed Moly Mines has increased its offer for takeover target Gulf Alumina, to rival a bid from fellow-listed Metro Mines. Moly Mines in September launched a combination of A$0.46 in cash and 1.4 options for each Gulf share held, with the company revealing plans to progress Gulf’s Skardon... 

Moly says new Metro offer superior to Gulf Alumina’s

South32 opens desalination plant

By: Martin Creamer     8th November 2016 Diversified mining company South32 has opened a seawater desalination plant at its Hillside aluminium smelter in Richards Bay to mitigate against the drought experienced in KwaZulu-Natal in the last few years. The R74-million desalination plant will allow South32 to maintain operations during a... 

DMR must be challenged, good governance must be assured

By: Martin Creamer     7th November 2016 Mining has the wealth-generating potential to boost economies, but countries blessed with a mineral endowment must at least do their bit by assuring good governance. Regrettably, against the background of the recently released 'State of Capture' report of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela,... 

DMR must be challenged, good governance must be assured
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela

Chinese demand breaks five-year commodities downward spiral

By: David Oliveira     4th November 2016 Chinese commodity demand being higher than expected helped breaking a downward trend in global demand starting in 2011, however, global financial services provider Macquarie advised that the mining industry was still in negative growth territory. During a teleconference last month Macquarie... 

Mining decline will continue unless new minerals Bill changed – Lorimer 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd November 2016 The decline of South Africa’s mining sector will continue unless the new Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act Amendment Bill – passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday – is radically changed, says Democratic Alliance Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer MP. The Bill, sent... 

Mining decline will continue unless new minerals Bill changed – Lorimer
The Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer MP

Ontario invests C$2.5m in mining R&D; Minister outlines progress to position province as mining leader

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd November 2016 The Ontario government on Tuesday announced that it would invest C$2.5-million in the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation's (CEMI's) ongoing work with the Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN), which is helping the mining sector develop and adopt commercially viable innovations. Part of a... 

Ontario invests C$2.5m in mining R&D; Minister outlines progress to position province as mining leader
Photo by Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle addresses the Mining Innovation Summit 2016, held in Sudbury

Arconic slips, Alcoa gains in market debut; Moody’s downgrade for both

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd November 2016 The equities of spun-out companies Alcoa Corp and Arconic Inc officially started trading on the NYSE on Tuesday, charting divergent trajectories and compounded by ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service downgrading the companies' ‘corporate family’ and ‘probability of default’ ratings by one... 

Arconic slips, Alcoa gains in market debut; Moody’s downgrade for both
Photo by Arconic Inc
Arconic 3D printed polymer prototype patterns: aero engine components

Moly unperturbed by Metro's bid for Gulf

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     27th October 2016 ASX-listed Moly Mines will continue to progress its takeover of Gulf Alumina, despite the possibility of a competing bid from shareholder Metro Mining. Metro Mining earlier this week announced its intention to launch a takeover for Gulf Alumina, under which it will offer Gulf shareholders a... 

Moly unperturbed by Metro's bid for Gulf

Caterpillar’s Q3 profit sags, casts dim outlook with lowered 2016 guidance 

By: Henry Lazenby     26th October 2016 The world’s largest earthmoving and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has booked a sharply lower third-quarter profit, citing global economic weakness and an abundance of used equipment available, which is slowing sales. The NYSE-listed company expressed concern that the tough market... 

Caterpillar’s Q3 profit sags, casts dim outlook with lowered 2016 guidance

Acid mine water quick-fix possible as water deficit looms, Oppenheimer, De Beers told 

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2016 Water-constrained Gauteng may see an acid mine drainage (AMD) quick-fix in order to save the fresh water from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project from being wasted on AMD dilution instead of being available to the economy, environmental adviser Dr Anthony Turton said on Wednesday. Delivering the... 

Acid mine water quick-fix possible as water deficit looms, Oppenheimer, De Beers told
Photo by Duane Daws
Environmental adviser Dr Anthony Turton

Possible Tesla flop could hit global EV adoption rate 

By: Henry Lazenby     14th October 2016 Tesla Motors will probably not be able to meet its aggressive production targets and will perhaps experience ramp-up delays in manufacturing the Model 3 electric vehicle (EV), auto analyst Edward Niedermeyer argues, questioning whether the company will still be around in two years. “I’m very... 

Mining juniors poised for recovery – PwC

By: Henry Lazenby     13th October 2016 Junior mining companies make up more than 50% of the total market capitalisation on the TSX Venture Exchange, up from 36% on June 30, 2015, a new report by professional services firm PwC has found. As evidenced in PwC Canada's 2016 Junior Mine report, titled ‘Signs of Life’, cash flows from... 

Four key themes to dominate mining in the Americas – report

By: Henry Lazenby     13th October 2016 Miners in both North and South America will remain focused on improving operational performance over the coming years, while divergent regulatory policies will either improve or worsen the industry’s welfare, recent analysis by market intelligence firm BMI Research shows. According to the think... 

Four key themes to dominate mining in the Americas – report

Alcoa stocks close down sharply on missed Q3 profit, lower prices

By: Henry Lazenby     12th October 2016 The NYSE-listed stock of US lightweight alloys specialist Alcoa on Tuesday closed down 11.42% at $27.91 apiece after the company reported third-quarter results falling short of analyst expectations. Despite reporting higher a net profit of $166-million, or $0.33 a share, which was a marked... 

In divergent strategy step-change, Denham targets later-stage projects

By: Henry Lazenby     11th October 2016 As the global mining markets turn a corner from what can be termed the biggest commodity downturn in living memory, private equity firm Denham Capital has changed tack, opting to invest in later-stage projects rather than driving exploration. Speaking to Mining Weekly Online from Houston, Texas,... 

In divergent strategy step-change, Denham targets later-stage projects

Alcoa’s last earnings call before split to tout parts prospects

By: Bloomberg     10th October 2016 Alcoa's chief has one more chance to show investors why he’s unchaining the company’s parts businesses from its legacy metal-making operations, even as a slowdown in the aerospace industry threatens to undercut the move. On Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld delivers the last... 

Mining hall of fame launched as Froneman proposes new roadmap

By: Martin Creamer     4th October 2016 Nine inductees to South Africa’s new Mining Hall of Fame were announced on the eve of the October 5 opening of the Joburg Indaba 2016, where guest speaker Neal Froneman, the CEO of Sibanye Gold, proposed a new roadmap for mining to ensure equitable benefits for all stakeholders. Ahead of Bobby... 

Mining hall of fame launched as Froneman proposes new roadmap
Photo by Duane Daws
Joburg Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel
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