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Asia News

Philippines' Duterte warns miners: 'I will tax you to death'

By: Reuters     Updated 2 hours 25 minutes ago Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he wanted to stop exporting mineral resources and might close the mining sector completely and tax miners "to death" if damage to the environment persisted. "The protection of the environment must be made a priority ahead of mining and all... 

India’s Steel Ministry seeks to relax coal block auction rules

By: Ajoy K Das     Updated 5 hours ago Stung by the lack of response to the auctioning of coking coal blocks exclusively for steel companies, India’s Steel Ministry is seeking to tweak the auction rules. The Steel Ministry has started work in conjunction with its counterparts in Coal Ministry to ensure certain auction rules are made... 

Amplats strengthens balance sheet, continues to manage for low prices

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 6 hours ago Platinum mining company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) reported on Monday that it has been able to further strengthen its balance sheet in the six months to June 30, despite the weaker rand basket prices in the period. In generating R4.3-billion in underlying operating cash flow, Amplats was... 

Amplats strengthens balance sheet, continues to manage for low prices
Photo by Duane Daws
Amplats CEO Chris Griffith

Altona sinks Sichuan deal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     Updated 6 hours ago ASX-listed Altona Mining has abandoned joint venture (JV) agreement with Sichuan Railway Investment Group (SRIG) over the Cloncurry project, in north-west Queensland, after the Chinese group failed to secure regulatory approval for the transaction. Altona already granting SRIG an extension to... 

Australia ships first uranium to India for testing, Bishop says

By: Bloomberg     Updated 6 hours ago Australia has sent its first uranium shipment to India for testing purposes ahead of possible commercial sales to the nation, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. “I can confirm that the first shipment of uranium has taken place in mid-July, when a small sample of uranium was transferred for... 

Freeport Indonesia mine workers extend strike for fourth month

By: Reuters     21st July 2017 An estimated 5 000 workers at the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by Freeport-McMoRan's Indonesian unit will extend their strike for a fourth month, a union official said on Friday, in an ongoing dispute over layoffs and employment terms. The escalating labour issue comes as Freeport, the... 

Global lead production set to stagnate after 2017 acceleration

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2017 Following a decline in overall lead production worldwide in 2016, a slight rise in prices will drive a short-lived acceleration in global lead mine production growth in 2017. Subdued prices and a weak project pipeline in several major lead-producing countries will bring this rapid rate of growth... 

Philippines' Duterte says government plans new mining law

By: Reuters     21st July 2017 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday the government will draft a new law for the country's mining industry, which he said pays too little in tax and not enough in compensation for any environmental damage. The fate of more than half of 41 mines in the Philippines, the world's top... 

Iron’s surge to $70 draws out sceptics as prices reverse

By: Bloomberg     21st July 2017 Iron-ore’s strong start to the second half and surge above $70 a metric ton will probably fade through the year-end as demand from top buyer China slows and global mine supplies remain robust, according to Sucden Financial and Bank Julius Baer & Co. “Any significant uptick in seaborne cargoes... 

Gulf to ship smelters from South Africa to Indonesia in Q4

By: Mariaan Webb     21st July 2017 The refurbishment of the first two smelters that Australian company Gulf Manganese plans to use at its manganese alloys hub in Kupong, West Timor, is well under way, with shipment from South Africa to Indonesia expected to occur before the end of this year. Gulf reported on Friday that it had... 

Zinc rally set to last as producer sees best price in decade

By: Bloomberg     21st July 2017 The rally in zinc prices has the potential to jump this year to levels not seen in a decade as demand continues to outstrip supply amid mine output disruptions, according to Hindustan Zinc, Asia’s biggest producer by market value. Prices may rise to about $3 000 a metric ton on the London Metal... 

Zinc rally set to last as producer sees best price in decade
Early works at the Gamsberg project in a 2015 file photo.

World copper market shows 80 000 t surplus in first four months of 2017

By: Henry Lazenby     21st July 2017 The world refined copper balance for the first four months of 2017 indicates a surplus of about 80 000 t, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) reported on Thursday. It ascribed the surplus mainly to a decline in Chinese apparent demand, a market that currently accounts for about 48% of the... 

Fast-growing Chinese aluminium sector attracts increased govt scrutiny

By: Henry Lazenby     21st July 2017 As the Chinese aluminium sector comes under greater pressure to moderate its capacity growth, the government is cracking down on so-called ‘illegal’ smelters, analysis by Wood Mackenzie global aluminium markets senior research analyst Ami Shivkar has found. Shivkar argues that unqualified... 

Fast-growing Chinese aluminium sector attracts increased govt scrutiny

Chinese group increases stake in Moz graphite project

By: Keith Campbell     21st July 2017 Chinese company Shandong Tianye Mining has invested a further $1.23-million into Australian junior Triton Minerals, buying shares (in a placement by Triton) at a price of $0.048 per share, Proactive Investors has reported. Shandong Tianye Mining was already the largest shareholder in the... 

Diamond output leap helps Anglo

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2017 A sharp rise in rough diamond production at a time of stable diamond trading conditions has boosted diversified mining company Anglo American in the three months to June 30, when overall production was 8% up on a copper-equivalent basis. Rough diamond production increased by 36% to 8.7 million... 

Diamond output leap helps Anglo
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani

Activist fund Elliott adds potash to list of BHP grievances

By: Reuters     20th July 2017 Activist shareholder Elliott Management said it has deep concerns over a proposal by BHP to enter the currently over-supplied fertiliser market, reiterating its call for change at the mining giant. BHP has signaled it may push ahead with its long-dormant Jansen potash mine in Canada in a... 

Amplats own-mine output up, sales down in two-fatality quarter

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2017 Performance from its own mine operations helped platinum production from Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) to increase in the three months to June 30, but sales volumes fell sharply on technical problems and two mineworkers succumbed to fatal injuries. Full-year production guidance remains... 

Highlands hands over Star Mountain reins

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th July 2017 ASX-listed junior Highlands Pacific has announced its intention to transfer the management of the Star Mountain exploration project, in Papua New Guinea, to joint venture (JV) partner Anglo American after the company spent the required $25-million. Under the JV agreement that was struck in 2015,... 

Arbitrator grants some protective relief for Centerra in ongoing Kyrgyz legal saga

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 Canadian gold producer Centerra Gold has been granted some interim relief in its rolling arbitration against the Kyrgyz Republic and State miner Kyrgyzaltyn, regarding the Kumtor project. The TSX-listed miner reported on Wednesday that the arbitrator sided with the company, finding prima facie... 

Arbitrator grants some protective relief for Centerra in ongoing Kyrgyz legal saga
Centerra Gold's Kumtor gold mine, Kyrgyzstan

A decade since global financial crisis, diamond industry yet to re-test 2011 summer highs

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 This year marks ten years since the start of the global financial crisis in 2007, an event that shook global markets to the core and precipitated a changed market landscape for many commodities, including diamonds. With this in mind, independent diamond industry analyst and consultant Paul... 

A decade since global financial crisis, diamond industry yet to re-test 2011 summer highs

Pallinghurst setting out to revitalise Gemfields as 100% owner

By: Martin Creamer     19th July 2017 Owning 100% of Gemfields will allow diversified mining company Pallinghurst to revitalise the coloured gemstones mining and marketing entity and to unlock synergies, Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen said on Wednesday, when the London Stock Exchange aspirant commenced its compulsory take up of the... 

Pallinghurst setting out to revitalise Gemfields as 100% owner
Photo by Duane Daws
Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen

Sluggish growth to see Indian national oil companies under stricter oversight

By: Ajoy K Das     19th July 2017 Responding to sluggish growth in domestic oil and natural gas production, the Indian government has brought national oil companies (NOCs) under stricter oversight, including daily reporting of production data from each field operated by these companies. The NOCs also have to submit to government... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

By: Reuters     19th July 2017 Zinc prices are running out of steam, with shortages in China appearing to be less severe than expected, inventories rebounding and producers selling the metal to take advantage of current market levels. Benchmark zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange surged 60% last year after the shutdown of... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

Zinc, lead demand continue to outstrip output

By: Henry Lazenby     18th July 2017 New analysis by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) has found that demand for zinc grew by 1.14% during the first five months of 2017, with mine output rising 6.3% and refined metal output up 0.4%. In its latest report published on Monday, the ILZSG said that preliminary data it... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

By: Reuters     18th July 2017 Zinc prices are running out of steam, with shortages in China appearing to be less severe than expected, inventories rebounding and producers selling the metal to take advantage of current market levels. Benchmark zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange surged 60% last year after the shutdown... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

Demand growth for some metals may exceed 1 000% – World Bank

By: Martin Creamer     18th July 2017 A new World Bank report highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals, including Southern Africa's platinum, manganese and chrome. Using wind and solar energy, and energy storage batteries, as... 

Lithium Americas inks investment agreement with Thai energy company

By: Samantha Herbst     18th July 2017 Niche minerals company Lithium Americas has closed an investment agreement with BCP Innovation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thai energy company Bangchak Corporation Public Company, in which the latter has agreed to provide Lithium Americas with an aggregate of $113-million to fund a portion of... 

Production at Oyu Tolgoi remains steady at +3.5% q/q

By: Samantha Herbst     18th July 2017 Second-quarter production at Turquoise Hill Resources’ Oyu Tolgoi gold/copper mine, in Mongolia, proceeded as planned and remained steady quarter-on-quarter, the Vancouver-based miner revealed on Monday. Ore treated in the quarter was impacted by a scheduled five-day maintenance shutdown in May,... 

Production at Oyu Tolgoi remains steady at +3.5% q/q
Oyu Tolgoi mine, Mongolia

Rio Tinto cuts iron-ore and coal guidance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     18th July 2017 Diversified major Rio Tinto has revised its full year production guidance for iron-ore and coal, as rail maintenance in the Pilbara and Cyclone Debbie in Queensland, took their toll. During the three months to June, Rio Tinto produced 79.8-million tonnes of iron-ore from its Pilbara operations... 

Rio Tinto cuts iron-ore and coal guidance

Nine recommended improvements should charter renegotiation ensue

By: Martin Creamer     17th July 2017 The agreed suspension of the implementation of the controversial Mining Charter Three may present an opportunity for the parties to negotiate a revised version that reflects terms acceptable to all parties. If so, the renegotiated charter should contain at least nine improvements, say Herbert... 

Nine recommended improvements should charter renegotiation ensue
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa partner and co-chair Peter Leon

India to look to junior miners to boost private investment in exploration

By: Ajoy K Das     17th July 2017 Close on the heels of India’s Mines Ministry propagating private-public-partnership (PPP) model contracts to boost private capital into mineral exploration, the government is now looking to invite international mining juniors to fill the void in private investment. The Mines Ministry is preparing... 

Volt signs fourth graphite offtake agreement

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th July 2017 Graphite developer Volt Resources has signed a fourth offtake agreement with a Chinese customer, filling in full the Stage 1 capacity of its Namangale project, in Tanzania. Qingdao Tianshengda Graphite has signed an offtake term sheet for an initial 10 000 t/y of flake graphite product from the... 

Having stemmed flow of conflict diamonds, new WDC acting president to stay course

By: Henry Lazenby     15th July 2017 The World Diamond Council (WDC) will stay its course, focused on its primary mission of curbing the trade in conflict diamonds, under new acting president Stephane Fischler, who took the helm on July 1 from Andrey Polyakov, who has resigned. “We have succeeded in almost totally eradicating... 

Having stemmed flow of conflict diamonds, new WDC acting president to stay course
Photo by Global Witness
A Central African Republic conflict diamond operation

Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 In what is a clear first round victory for the Chamber of Mines of South Africa against the errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has agreed to suspend the implementation of the controversial Mining Charter Three until after the High Court has... 

Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter
Chamber CEO Roger Baxter – chamber wins first round in fight against devastating Mining Charter Three

Merafe expecting sharp earnings rise

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 Ferrochrome company Merafe is expecting a sharp rise in earnings for the six months to June 30. Merafe shares in 20.5% of the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of the Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture, which has a total installed capacity of 2.3-million tonnes of... 

Merafe expecting sharp earnings rise
Photo by Duane Daws
Merafe CEO Zanele Matlala

Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

By: Bloomberg     14th July 2017 Even if you’d heard of this year’s best-performing metals, betting on them would probably have been a struggle. Ruthenium, iridium and the somewhat better known rhodium – used mostly in specialised products like hard disks, spark plugs and autocatalysts – have trounced almost all major... 

Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

Frieda River arbitration to start

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     14th July 2017 ASX-listed Highlands Pacific and its joint venture (JV) partner at the Frieda River copper/gold project, in Papua New Guinea, have started arbitration proceedings to resolve a funding dispute. The parties were in dispute regarding their respective obligations under the JV agreement, including... 

May mining output falters on uncertain commodity prices

By: Martin Creamer     13th July 2017 Mining production data released by Statistics South Africa on Thursday revealed a second consecutive month of production contraction. The -0.2% contraction and the -1.4% contraction in April are viewed as concerning by Chamber of Mines of South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven, owing to... 

May mining output falters on uncertain commodity prices
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber of Mines of South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven
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