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Asia News

Electric vehicles seen driving cobalt crunch by mid-2020s

By: Reuters     25th May 2018 The increasing popularity of electric vehicles may create a crunch for supplies of cobalt in the early-to-mid 2020s, miners and analysts say, adding that small operators trying to start up mines outside Africa could play a bigger role over time in satisfying demand for the metal used in... 

Only one-third of the 15 largest copper producers reported positive production trends – S&P Global

By: Henry Lazenby     25th May 2018 Only about one-third of the 15 largest copper producers with output of more than 40 000 t of copper per quarter reported positive production trends during the first quarter of this year, driving quarter-on-quarter output 4.8% or 136 548 t lower, a new report by S&P Global has found. However, on... 

Only one-third of the 15 largest copper producers reported positive production trends – S&P Global

Northam ups funding capacity as stockpile monetisation ensues

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2018 Platinum mining company Northam has increased its funding capacity to tide it over a capital intensive development period. A new R1-billion two-year unsecured revolving credit facility to April 2020 is augmenting a previous R2-billion unsecured revolving credit facility to November 2021, taking... 

Northam ups funding capacity as stockpile monetisation ensues
Photo by Creamer Media
Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne

Anglo Asian copper, gold, silver miner moots maiden dividend

By: Reuters     24th May 2018 Anglo Asian Mining, which focuses on copper, gold and silver mining in Azerbaijan, said on Thursday it was considering paying its first dividend now that it had reported a profit, cut debt and built up cash. A dividend would set Anglo Asian apart from many London-listed junior miners, which... 

Indian thermal power plants reeling from coal shortages

By: Ajoy K Das     24th May 2018 Private and public thermal power plants across India are facing an acute shortage of coal, at a time when rising electricity demand during summer months has sent the spot price of electricity skyrocketing. According to data sourced from industry policy advisory body, the Central Electricity... 

EU starts new investigation into steel imports from China

By: Reuters     24th May 2018 The European Commission has opened an investigation into hot-rolled steel sheet piles imported from China to determine whether they are being dumped in Europe, according to a notice in the EU Official Journal on Thursday. The investigation into a form of steel used in construction was launched... 

Global copper surplus falls 12.8% to 110 000 t

By: Henry Lazenby     24th May 2018 The global refined copper balance for the first two months of this year indicates a surplus of about 110 000 t, a 12.8% drop year-on-year, the International Copper Study Group has found. The Lisbon, Portugal-based think tank said apparent refined demand increased 3.9% year-on-year to 3.77-million... 

Optimistic diamond price outlook could underpin a return to profit, dividends – Zimnisky

By: Henry Lazenby     24th May 2018 Absent any significant global economic disturbances disrupting consumer diamond demand, incremental year-on-year diamond production declines are forecast to drive real diamond prices up by about 10% cumulatively from 2018 through 2021, or 17% in nominal terms, a new report by independent analyst... 

Optimistic diamond price outlook could underpin a return to profit, dividends – Zimnisky

Cobalt streaming may presage bigger deals as Vale weighs options

By: Bloomberg     23rd May 2018 A streaming deal for cobalt and nickel from a mine in Papua New Guinea may foreshadow other similar arrangements as producers look to capitalise on the battery-commodity boom to raise cash for investments. On Tuesday, Cobalt 27 Capital – a Toronto-listed vehicle designed to invest in the metal –... 

Petropavlovsk mulling over options to avoid IRC missing ICBC payment

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd May 2018 Gold miner Petropavlovsk and Hong Kong-based IRC, in which it is a large shareholder, are continuing negotiations with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to amend the repayment schedule of a $340-million project finance facility. Petropavlovsk is the guarantor of the project... 

Nordgold reports lower Q1 production, Gross mine construction on track

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd May 2018 Aim-listed gold miner Nordgold produced 225 100 gold-equivalent ounces in the first quarter of this year – a 6% year-on-year and 10% quarter-on-quarter decrease.  

Nordgold reports lower Q1 production, Gross mine construction on track
Norgold operates mines in Russia, Kazakhstan and Africa. Pictured here is the Neryungri mine, in Russia.

Forevermark appeals to Millennials with new flagship store in China

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd May 2018 De Beers Groups’ Forevermark brand has launched Libert’aime by Forevermark – a new flagship store in Shanghai, China.  

Forevermark appeals to Millennials with new flagship store in China

Vedanta working with regulators to restart Indian copper smelter

By: Reuters     23rd May 2018 British mining and energy group Vedanta Resources is working with regulators to expedite restarting its copper smelter in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, it said on Wednesday, a day after protests turned violent at the plant. The company also posted a 27% rise in full-year core profit... 

Indian potash imports to fall this year

By: Ajoy K Das     23rd May 2018 Indian imports of potash during the current financial year are expected to fall by 5% to 6% in the wake of a government cut in subsidies and the rapid depreciation of the local currency. According to government officials in the Agriculture Department monitoring fertiliser demand and availability... 

Gamsberg producing by mid-year – Vedanta

By: Martin Creamer     23rd May 2018 The Gamsberg zinc project in South Africa’s Northern Cape is on track with production expected by the middle of this year, the London-listed, India-rooted Vedanta Resources said on Wednesday, when it reported higher revenue and profits and lifted its dividend yield for the year to 6%. Current... 

Gamsberg producing by mid-year – Vedanta
Photo by Dylan Slater
Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal

Chinese newspaper suggests cut imports, downgrade ties with Australia

By: Reuters     23rd May 2018 China should downgrade its ties with Australia, including cutting imports and postponing a visit by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to underscore Beijing's unhappiness at recent anti-China sentiment, a state-run paper said on Wednesday. Relations between the two countries have cooled since late... 

Japan, Russia, Turkey bring potential US tariff retaliation to $3.5bn

By: Reuters     22nd May 2018 Japan, Russia and Turkey have warned the United States about potential retaliation for its tariffs on steel and aluminium, the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday, bringing the total US tariff bill to around $3.5-billion annually. The three countries detailed their compensation claims in... 

Rio Tinto tells Mongolia to interfere less in Oyu Tolgoi

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd May 2018 Mining major Rio Tinto has called for less interference at the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, in Mongolia, as it advances underground development. Rio’s copper and diamonds CEO Arnaud Soirat told delegates at the Mongolian Economic Forum that the Oyu Tolgoi development would be used as a... 

Rio Tinto tells Mongolia to interfere less in Oyu Tolgoi

Kropz clinches offtake from phosphates project

By: Martin Creamer     21st May 2018 Plant nutrient minerals development company Kropz, which is developing the Elandfontein phosphates mining and processing project in the Western Cape, has secured several offtake agreements ahead of production. The cornerstone offtake agreement, for about a third of its production at market prices... 

Kropz clinches offtake from phosphates project
Photo by Creamer Media
Kropz CEO Ian Harebottle

Threat of cobalt supply shock is top risk for electric vehicles

By: Bloomberg     21st May 2018 A burgeoning risk of a supply crunch in cobalt – a key battery metal that’s more than tripled in price in two years – poses one of the biggest threats to forecasts for rising electric vehicle adoption. Major investment in mines is required to avoid price spikes that could see cost reductions for... 

Threat of cobalt supply shock is top risk for electric vehicles

Search on for 2018’s most inspirational women in mining

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st May 2018 Nominations for this year’s inspirational women in mining have opened. Women in Mining UK’s third edition of ‘Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining’ will showcase the contribution of women in the global mining industry and will seek to debunk a misconception that there is not a pipeline... 

India allows power producers to switch coal linkages

By: Ajoy K Das     21st May 2018 The Indian government has announced that private thermal power companies will be allowed to switch coal supply linkages from one coal company to another, but electricity producers are not sure that the move will deliver industry-wide benefits. Based on recommendations of an interMinisterial... 

Vale boss prefers giving away windfall to avoid sins of the past

By: Bloomberg     21st May 2018 Vale, once the most generous dividend payer among major mining companies, may be poised to regain that status with its chief executive officer nearing debt targets and unwilling to hoard cash or rush into deals. Like others in the industry, the biggest producer of iron ore and nickel cut... 

Young, bridal jewellery consumers to drive platinum demand

By: Nadine James     18th May 2018 Young, bridal and self-purchasing jewellery consumers are emerging to contribute to platinum demand growth this year, the Platinum Guild International (PGI) reports. In its ‘2017 Platinum Jewellery Business Review’, the PGI found strong consumer retail sales growth in the US, Japan and India for... 

China's Jinchuan to double African copper, cobalt output – exec

By: Reuters     17th May 2018 China's Jinchuan Group International Resources plans to double its African copper and cobalt production in the next two to three years, its CEO said on Thursday. The company currently produces around 50 000 tonnes of copper and 5 000 tonnes of cobalt a year, Gao Tianpeng said at the LME Asia Week... 

India reverses decision to privatise small, ageing oil and gas fields

By: Ajoy K Das     17th May 2018 Reversing its earlier decision to privatise small, ageing or underperforming oil and gas fields held by national exploration and production (E&P) companies, the Indian government has now directed companies to submit time-bound action plans to boost production from these assets. Earlier this year,... 

Gold to maintain its significance for decades to come – WGC

By: Nadine James     17th May 2018 Having compiled and published the ‘Gold 2048: The next 30 years for Gold’ report, the World Gold Council (WGC) has concluded that gold will “continue to be recognised, appreciated and valued in the years ahead” The report, released on Thursday, looks at the next 30 years and considers ways in... 

Gold to maintain its significance for decades to come – WGC

Short spell of mining hope dashed – Lorimer

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2018 The short spell of hope for South Africa’s beleaguered mining sector, which burst forth with the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President, has been dashed, Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer said during the mineral resources budget debate. Applying the ‘learning nothing and... 

Short spell of mining hope dashed – Lorimer
Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer

Rio Tinto CEO calls for 'United Nations of the mining world'

By: Reuters     16th May 2018 Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said resource companies needed to build "the United Nations of the mining industry" to tackle rising resource nationalism and cost inflation. Rising commodity prices typically lead to resource nationalism as they inspire resource-holding nations to demand... 

Maiden resource estimate for Asiamet's BKZ

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th May 2018 London-listed Asiamet Resources believes that its BKZ polymetallic deposit has the potential to be the company’s second mine in the BK district of Kalimantan, Indonesia, the firm said on Wednesday, announcing an initial resource estimate for the project. The resource estimate for BKZ, which is... 

Farnese blue diamond, with 300-year royal history, fetches $6.7m

By: Reuters     16th May 2018 The Farnese Blue diamond, which was passed down through European royal families for 300 years, sold at auction in Geneva on Tuesday for 6.7-million Swiss francs ($6.7-million), beating auctioneers Sotheby's estimate of 3.5-million to 5-million Swiss francs. The 6.16 ct, dark grey-blue gem from... 

Australia's trade minister says China ties a priority after recent "differences"

By: Reuters     16th May 2018 Australia's trade minister will use a visit to China this week to reinforce ties with his country's largest trading partner, he said on Wednesday, following a recent souring in relations. Steven Ciobo's arrival in Shanghai on Thursday marks the first trip by an Australian minister in eight... 

No deal yet for Santos shareholder

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th May 2018 Shanghai-listed ENN Ecological Holdings on Wednesday refuted claims that it had reached an agreement with Santos suitor Harbour Energy over its 10.31% shareholding in the takeover target. ENN has advised Santos that the media speculation around its dealings with Harbour had been inaccurate,... 

Paulson keeps stake in gold investments during Q1 – filing

By: Reuters     16th May 2018 New York-based Paulson & Co, led by longtime gold bull John Paulson, kept its stake in gold investments during the first quarter of 2018, while other heavyweights including Soros Fund Management, Jana Partners and Caxton Corp all remained unexposed to the metal. The timing for Paulson appeared... 

Platinum supply, demand weak in Q1 – WPIC  

By: Nadine James     14th May 2018 There was a slight dip in both platinum demand and supply in the first quarter of this year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) reports. The organisation on Monday revealed that refined output decreased by 0.7% year-on-year in the first quarter, largely as a result of South African mine... 

Platinum surplus to widen; fuel cells seen as key driver for future demand

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2018 The platinum market will move further into oversupply this year, as production from South Africa remains flat and demand is forecast to contract by 2.5%, the latest Johnson Matthey platinum group metals (PGM) market report states.  

Platinum surplus to widen; fuel cells seen as key driver for future demand

NSL raises A$10m for expansion

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     14th May 2018 India-focused NSL Consolidated will raise A$10-million to expand production at its Kurnool wet beneficiation plant. The company on Monday announced that more than 714.2-million shares will be issued at 1.4c each. More than 650.6-million of these shares would be placed under existing capacity,... 

PNG LNG delivering economic promises - Oil Search

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     14th May 2018 ASX-listed Oil Search has maintained that the Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project has been beneficial to the region, despite reports suggesting otherwise. Social justice advocates Jubilee Australia has claimed that the PNG LNG project has caused increased violence in PNG as... 

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