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Metals companies mandated to undertake exploration in India

By: Ajoy K Das The Indian government has tasked three government-owned mineral and metal companies to act as specialised geological exploration agencies. Iron-ore miner NMDC, integrated steel producer Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and iron-ore pelletisation company KIOCL would join the ranks of... 

CIL divestment hit by trade union opposition, market conditions

By: Ajoy K Das The Indian government’s plan to sell another 10% equity stake in Coal India Limited (CIL) has hit a roadblock owing to choppy market conditions and opposition from trade unions. All trade unions represented at CIL have claimed that the proposed sale of a further 10% equity stake would take total... 

BHP Billiton still bullish on China

By: Martin Creamer China will continue to grow at 7% this year, BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie said on Tuesday, when the mining giant posted a solid set of dividend-paying results. Mackenzie, who rejected the notion that China was “impossible to read”, expected the second half of this calendar year to be... 

BHP Billiton still bullish on China
Photo by Reuters
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

BHP focused on further cost cuts after tough year 

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining giant BHP Billiton on Tuesday announced that it would further cut back on spending as it downwardly adjusted its estimations for peak Chinese steel demand. In a conference call, CEO Andrew Mackenzie said BHP had delivered productivity gains of $4.1-billion in the year ended June 30, some... 

BHP focused on further cost cuts after tough year
Photo by Bloombeg
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Global market crash causes worry in Indian mining sector

By: Ajoy K Das The market crash, with China at the epicentre, has cast a pall over India’s mining and mineral sector reforms and its ability to attract foreign investments to right the commodity sector. With international commodity markets rocked and prices in a tailspin, serious concerns have surfaced over... 

De Beers cuts diamond prices by up to 9% – Bloomberg

By: Reuters De Beers, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds by value, reduced prices for its diamonds by as much as 9%, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. De Beers, a unit of London-listed mining company Anglo American Plc, lowered prices after cuts to production failed to... 

South32 sees opportunity to work with Eskom on further coal supply

By: Martin Creamer New diversified mining company South32, which on Monday reported 56%-higher underlying earnings of $1-billion, sees an opportunity to work with Eskom on additional coal supply.   The demerged BHP Billiton entity, which is fast-tracking the implementation of its regional operating model in South... 

South32 sees opportunity to work with Eskom on further coal supply
Photo by Duane Daws
Graham Kerr

India scrambles to maintain Posco investment

By: Ajoy K Das In a last ditch effort to salvage South Korean steel major Posco’s Indian project, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has convened a high level meeting this week to explore every option for the grant of iron-ore resources to the steelmaker. According to an official in the Steel and Mines... 

South32 to cut a further $350m a year in costs

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Triple-listed diversified miner South32 has flagged a $350-million-a-year cost reduction over the next three years, as the spin-off battles falling commodity prices. The miner said on Monday that these cost efficiencies were in addition to the $282-million productivity-led savings embedded at... 

Diamond producer Alrosa to supply Norilsk with X-ray slurry analysers

By: Henry Lazenby A subsidiary of Russian diamond major Alrosa has won a tender to supply nickel miner Norilsk with five X-ray slurry analysers. The X-ray AR-31-NM analysers would be installed at the Talnah concentration mill, in Russia, to determine nickel, copper and iron concentrations in concentrates and... 

Rio Tinto to ship 20% more iron-ore to China in 2015

By: Reuters Australian mining giant Rio Tinto expects to deliver 240-million tonnes of iron-ore to China this year, up from 200-million tonnes in 2014, the company's China MD told reporters on Friday. The miner has driven down its production costs to $16.20/t this year, $2 lower than a year ago, enabling it... 

BHP moves to contractor mining at Blackwater

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining major BHP Billiton has confirmed that some 300 permanent workers at its Blackwater coal mine, in Queensland, which is jointly owned with Mitsubishi, would be replaced by contract workers. Project house Downer ENDI has been awarded a A$150-million, two-year contract to provide mining and... 

BHP moves to contractor mining at Blackwater

Guildford cancels Mongolian deal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed junior Guildford Coal has abandoned its plans to acquire an 80% stake in a large thermal coal project and associated power station project in Mongolia. The company said on Friday that, following a due diligence process, it had decided not to proceed with the transaction. 

Prophecy expects to imminently award Mongolian turnkey contract

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian project originator Prophecy Development expects to close a binding turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its Mongolia-based Chandgana coal/energy project this quarter. The TSX-listed company advised on Wednesday that the preferred bidder would be ready to... 

Yancoal continues to struggle

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Coal miner Yancoal has reported another tough first-half as the global coal market remained oversupplied and both thermal and metallurgical coal prices remained depressed. The ASX-listed company on Thursday reported a net loss after tax of A$145.4-million for the six months ended June 30,... 

Important that Optimum Coal issue is resolved – Glencore

By: Martin Creamer It was important that the Optimum Coal issue was resolved well so that the coal-mining company could become operational once more, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said on Wednesday. Responding to media questions after the mining and marketing company’s presentation of half-year (H1) results,... 

Important that Optimum Coal issue is resolved – Glencore
Photo by Creamer Media
Ivan Glasenberg greeting pupils at the R75-million school Glencore built in the Mpumalanga coalfields

Glencore maintains dividend on 29% lower earnings

By: Martin Creamer Diversified marketing and mining major Glencore on Wednesday reported 29% lower first-half (H1) earnings of $4.6-billion on weaker commodity prices. The board of the London-, Hong Kong- and Johannesburg-listed company declared an interim dividend of $0.6 a share, consistent with the 2014 interim... 

Glencore maintains dividend on 29% lower earnings
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg still seeing window of opportunity

Coal prices fall to 12-year lows as China, India join demand slowdown 

By: Reuters Coal futures have fallen to 12-year lows, hit by soaring production and a slowdown in global buying, including from India and China which until recently have been pillars of strong demand. Benchmark API2 2016 coal futures TRAPI2Yc1 last settled at $52.85 a tonne, a level not seen since November... 

Lack of takers for Goa iron-ore clogs all stockyards

By: Ajoy K Das While iron-ore mining in the western Indian province of Goa is poised to resume within a month, there are no takers for the raw material, leading to the stockpiling of old inventories and a space crunch for new production. According to a Goa government official, of the total 15-million tonnes of... 

Brockman warns of massive impairments

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Brockman Mining on Tuesday warned of an asset impairment of some HK$1.26-billion for the year ended June, owing to the falling iron-ore price. The impairment charged related to the company’s Western Australian iron-ore assets, as well as its mining right in China. 

AngloGold harvesting short-life mines

By: Martin Creamer AngloGold Ashanti is harvesting short-life gold mines for cash and will do so with more mines if the gold price falls below $1 000/oz, CEO Srinivasan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan said on Monday. “As an industry, we’re going through pretty rough times but the rougher it gets, the more our... 

AngloGold harvesting short-life mines
Photo by Duane Daws
Srinivasan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan (right) and Martin Creamer

AngloGold pumps free cash, beats operating guidance

By: Martin Creamer Gold mining major AngloGold Ashanti generated $71-million of free cash flow in the second quarter (Q2) with production and costs beating guidance on strong performance from its international mines and a recovery in its South African operations. The company, headed by CEO Srinivasan (Venkat)... 

AngloGold pumps free cash, beats operating guidance
Photo by Duane Daws
AngloGold CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan

SouthGobi faces bankruptcy if it fails to solve Mongolian tax dispute 

By: Henry Lazenby Coal producer SouthGobi Resources continues to seek an amicable resolution of its tax dispute with the Mongolian government, failing which, a court sanctioned financial penalty could trigger events of default with a Chinese funding partner and eventual bankruptcy. SouthGobi, a subsidiary of Rio... 

World Gold Council optimistic on H2 gold demand

By: Martin Creamer The World Gold Council is optimistic that there will be an increase in demand for physical gold in the second half (H2) of this year, when it expects a seasonal demand increase in India and gold’s lower price to feed through into stronger consumer demand. Against the background of second quarter... 

World Gold Council optimistic on H2 gold demand
Photo by Bloomberg
Gold bars

Mineralogy to appeal Citic court judgment

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining personality Clive Palmer has vowed to appeal a court decision to dismiss Mineralogy’s efforts to terminate Chinese miner Citic Pacific’s right to export iron-ore from the Sino project through the Port at Cape Preston. Mineralogy had claimed that Citic was in breach of an agreement with... 

China's yuan devaluation to pressure commodities – Goldman

By: Reuters China's yuan devaluation signals that global economic conditions have taken a turn for the worse, creating more downward pressure to come for commodity markets, Goldman Sachs said. "The CNY (yuan) devaluation has been important for commodity markets and we believe it signals that global macro... 

Aus share of China iron-ore imports rise

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australia’s iron-ore exports to China increased by 6% year-on-year to 155-million tonnes in the quarter ended June 30, the Office of the Chief Economist reported on Thursday. Although China’s iron-ore imports had decreased by 4% year-on-year to 226-million tonnes in the quarter, Australia’s... 

Aus share of China iron-ore imports rise

Japan's nuclear restart to benefit Aus uranium sector

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has welcomed the restart of a nuclear reactor in Japan, following the meltdown of a reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011. The Kyushu Electric Power company this week reactivated one of the reactors at the Sendai nuclear power plant, on the... 

Optimum rescue chance reasonable if Eskom deal renegotiated – Glencore

By: Martin Creamer The directors of Optimum are of the view that there is a reasonable prospect of rescuing Optimum Coal if the supply agreement with Eskom can be renegotiated, Glencore said on Thursday. Optimum Coal announced on August 4 that it had begun business rescue proceedings because of its continued and... 

Optimum rescue chance reasonable if Eskom deal renegotiated – Glencore
Coal renegotiation sought

Cokal secures final permit for BBM

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Takeover target Cokal has received full forestry approval for its Bumi Barito Mineral (BBM) coal project, in Indonesia. The company announced on Thursday that the Environment and Forestry Minister had issued a borrow and use of forest area permit, concluding the final approval process necessary... 

NSL secures $5m loan

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Junior iron-ore producer NSL Consolidated has secured a $5-million commercial loan from New York investment firm MG Partners to finance the construction of the Phase 2 wet plant, at the Kurnool project, in India. Under the terms of the agreement, NSL would receive a direct loan of A$600 000 to... 

Q2 gold demand lowest in six years – World Gold Council

By: Martin Creamer Gold demand fell 12% to its lowest level in six years in the second quarter of this year, with the decline most visible in India and China, which together account for almost half the fall. The World Gold Council’s second-quarter (Q2) Gold Demand Trends reported total demand of 915 t compared with... 

Q2 gold demand lowest in six years – World Gold Council
Alistair Hewitt

Black-owned Exxaro commits to fresh BEE in rejigged coal deal

By: Martin Creamer Black-owned mining company Exxaro, which has succeeded in negotiating a $210-million cut in the purchase price of Total Coal South Africa, continues to be statutorily obliged to find a black economic-empowerment (BEE) partner as a government condition for the transfer of ownership to it. While it... 

Black-owned Exxaro commits to fresh BEE in rejigged coal deal
Photo by Duane Daws
Sipho Nkosi

Platinum market to remain in deficit in 2016/17 amid lower capex

By: Megan van Wyngaardt The reduction in capital expenditure (capex) by South Africa’s platinum producers will limit output of the precious metal by as much as 16% in 2016 and 2017, compared with 2015 levels, a World Platinum Investment Council- (WPIC-) commissioned report, compiled by Venmyn Deloitte, projects. The... 

Contract terms to change for next round of India oil, gas blocks auction

By: Ajoy K Das India will put nine oil and gas blocks up for auction before the end of the current fiscal year and will transition from production-sharing contracts (PSCs) to revenue-sharing agreements (RSAs) with successful bidders. According to a senior government official, the auction of oil and gas blocks... 

Mining, metals deal activity to rise in H2 – EY

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Deal activity in the global mining and metals sector was expected to trend upward in the second half of 2015, albeit at a slow and steady pace, advisory firm EY reported on Wednesday. In its latest quarterly analysis ‘Mergers, Acquisitions and Capital Raising in Mining and Metals’, EY noted that... 

Mining, metals deal activity to rise in H2 – EY

Sliding Chinese yuan sends coal to near decade lows

By: Reuters Coal futures fell to their lowest level in almost a decade this week as China's devaluation of its currency triggered economic concerns over the economy of the world's biggest coal consumer. Benchmark European API2 2016 coal futures last settled at $54.35 per tonne, their lowest level since... 

Sliding Chinese yuan sends coal to near decade lows

Even as banks walk away, coal on the rise in Australia 

By: Reuters Standard Chartered has become the second bank in a week to walk away from a multibillion-dollar Australian coal project, leading environmentalists to claim a major victory in one of the world's top coal-producing nations. But while coal becomes increasingly viewed as a "sunset" business in many... 

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