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Asia News

Low platinum price boosting platinum jewellery demand

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2017 The low platinum price incentivised manufacturers and retailers to stock and sell platinum, leading to an overall growth of 5.4% in the US last year, Platinum Guild International said on Friday, with lower-based retail sales in India soaring 11.4%. In its Platinum Jewellery Business Review, the... 

Coal India likely to rejig pricing

By: Ajoy K Das     26th May 2017 Coal miner Coal India Limited (CIL) is likely to adjust its pricing in the current financial year. A price adjustment would need to factor in the re-gradation of the quality of coal from CIL’s 386 mines and the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a company official has said. 

Adani must pay royalties on Carmichael mine, Queensland says

By: Reuters     26th May 2017 India’s Adani Group will be required to pay full royalties on its $16.5-billion Carmichael coal project in Australia’s Queensland, according to the state’s premier. The Carmichael mine “will pay every cent of royalties in full” under a new policy unanimously agreed to by the state’s cabinet for... 

Kazakhstan to produce nuclear fuel for China

By: Reuters     26th May 2017 Kazakhstan, the world's biggest uranium producer, will start producing nuclear fuel for Chinese power plants in 2019 through a joint venture set up by the two countries, a senior official at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant told Reuters. The joint venture, Ulba-FA, is now building on land at the Ulba... 

Russian State fund could invest in miner Polyus with China's Fosun – source

By: Reuters     26th May 2017 The State-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and China's Fosun International could announce an investment in Russia's top gold producer Polyus in early June, a source familiar with the talks told Reuters. A consortium led by Fosun, one of China's most acquisitive conglomerates, has... 

SA Mint should review Mandela coin plans after Royal Mint blazes new platinum coin trail

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2017 The decision of the Royal Mint, in the UK, to launch its first-ever platinum bullion products has rekindled hopes that the South African Mint will wipe the dust off its plans for a Mandela coin in platinum and mimic some of its gold coin success. In what is potentially a beneficial measure to... 

SA Mint should review Mandela coin plans after Royal Mint blazes new platinum coin trail
Photo by Darlene Creamer
This week's Mining Weekly cartoon on prospect of launching a platinum Mandela coin.

Brazilian miner expects less volatility in coal prices during the rest of 2017

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 Major Brazilian mining group Vale, which is the majority owner of the primarily metallurgical (or coking) coal Moatize operation in the Tete province of Mozambique, expects that there will be less volatility in both metallurgical and thermal coal prices during the course of this year. During the... 

Strike impacts Freeport's Grasberg mine, workers 'resigned'

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Freeport McMoRan said on Thursday that mining and milling rates at its Grasberg copper mine, in Papua, Indonesia, have been affected as some 9 000 workers stage an extended strike, and a "large number" of approximately 4 000 absentee workers were deemed to have resigned. Escalating tensions with... 

Strike impacts Freeport's Grasberg mine, workers 'resigned'
Photo by Bloomberg
Grasberg semi-autogenous grinding mills, Indonesia

Mines Ministry hails India’s satellite-based illegal mining monitoring a success

By: Ajoy K Das     25th May 2017 India’s satellite-based Mining Surveillance System (MSS), launched in 2016, has been “very successful” in triggering alerts on possible illegal mining across the country, the Mines Ministry has said in a paper prepared on illegal mining. The Mines Ministry states that the system, operated by... 

Anglo Asian returns to profitability

By: Mariaan Webb     25th May 2017 Base and precious metals producer Anglo Asian Mining has returned to profitability, as the company’s production profile is evolving into one in which copper is playing an increasingly significant role. The Aim-listed miner, which has operations in Azerbaijan, doubled its copper production from... 

Anglo Asian returns to profitability

Adani's $16.5bn Aussie mine rattled by tax deal delay

By: Bloomberg     25th May 2017 India’s Adani Group could walk away from its $16.5-billion Carmichael coal project in Australia unless a royalties deal can be reached with the state government, according to federal Resources Minister Matthew Canavan. The Queensland government’s failure to agree the terms of the royalty regime... 

LBMA launches code of conduct for precious metals markets

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is launching a code of conduct aimed at boosting confidence in the $5-trillion a year London gold market, it said on Thursday, following years of heightened regulatory scrutiny of the city's financial sector. The guidelines set out best practice in... 

LBMA launches code of conduct for precious metals markets

Coal India wins tax-cut boost as environmentalists fret

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 State-run Coal India Ltd , saddled with millions of tonnes of unsold coal, is expected to be the biggest beneficiary of a controversial government decision to more than halve the sales tax on the fuel after a jump in local supplies. The world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitting country said... 

Mgojo elected president as chamber heads for new beginning, new name, rebranding

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2017 It is an organisation that is more relevant today than it has ever been in its 128-year history. Its role is so much more than mining. It operates in a changing environment and needs to contemplate its own new identity and name. 

Mgojo elected president as chamber heads for new beginning, new name, rebranding
Photo by Duane Daws
New Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo

India assures domestic coal supply to plants based on imported feedstock

By: Ajoy K Das     24th May 2017 India’s Coal Ministry has laid down rules to ensure coal supply to thermal power plants that were constructed based on imported coal, as part of a strategy to achieve ‘zero dependency’ on coal imports over the next three years. Rules and guidelines for supplying the thermal power generation... 

Vedanta hits production high spot at Black Mountain

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2017 Diversified mining company Vedanta has achieved its highest quarterly production in four years at Black Mountain in South Africa, where the Gamsberg zinc project is on track to begin production towards the middle of next year. In addition, mobilisation on the Skorpion pit layback, in neighbouring... 

Vedanta hits production high spot at Black Mountain
Photo by Bloomberg
Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal

Despite production disruptions, copper saw February surplus of 150 000 t

By: Henry Lazenby     24th May 2017 Analysis of the latest data published by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) showed global surplus copper output of 150 000 t in February, despite disruptions at massive key mines in Chile and Indonesia. The ICSG ascribed the surplus mainly to a sharp decline in Chinese apparent demand,... 

Despite production disruptions, copper saw February surplus of 150 000 t

Gold miners slowly shift focus to growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd May 2017 Gold miners are gradually shifting their focus to growth and renewed investments after years of financial austerity measures and the prioritisation of cost competitiveness and core assets. While firms will remain committed to lowering costs to improve their competitiveness and reducing debt to... 

Company climate risk disclosure could become mandatory in a few years

By: Reuters     23rd May 2017 Companies' disclosure of risks to their business from climate change could become mandatory in a few years as investor pressure gathers pace, climate finance experts said on Tuesday. Investors have urged companies, particularly those operating in the oil, gas and coal sectors, to disclose the... 

Thos Begbie’s global quality status boosted by on-the-spot Dekra 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd May 2017 The same-site working relationship that Thos Begbie has established with global quality inspectorate Dekra Industrial RSA is giving the prolific exporter of copper castings a commercial edge in its global dealings with mining and smelter-related customers worldwide. Thos Begbie now hosts the... 

Thos Begbie’s global quality status boosted by on-the-spot Dekra
Engineering News Online’s Martin Creamer talks to Thos Begbie’s Edwin Dreyer and Dekra’s Johan Gerber. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Volt secures Chinese partner for Tanzanian ore

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd May 2017 Graphite developer Volt Resources has entered into a cooperation agreement with Chinese graphite group Aoyu Graphite Group, paving the way for the company to produce industrial size samples from its Namangale project, in Tanzania. Aoyu will process up to 100 t of Namangale ore in the third... 

Iron stockpiles hit record in China as quality gets scrutiny

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2017 he record heap of iron-ore on China’s doorstep just got even bigger, with the increase in holdings so far this year eclipsing the build up seen over all of 2016 as mills produce unprecedented amounts of steel. Stockpiles at ports rose 1.3% to 136-million metric tons, expanding for a fourth week,... 

Trump woe seen double-edged sword for gold if inflation ebbs

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2017 For gold, the biggest crisis of Donald Trump’s Presidency could cut both ways. While prices may continue to rise as investors seek a “safety trade", they could also drop if the turmoil ends up damping inflation risks as growth expectations are disappointed, according to Michael Cuggino,... 

Adani defers Australian coal project investment decision

By: Reuters     22nd May 2017 India's Adani Enterprises on Monday deferred a final investment decision on its long-delayed Australian Carmichael coal project as the Queensland state government has yet to sign off on a royalty deal for the mine. The company had been planning to make a final investment decision (FID) on the... 

Freeport Indonesia workers to strike for second month - union

By: Reuters     21st May 2017 An estimated 9 000 workers at the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by the Indonesian unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc will extend a strike for a second month, a union official said on Saturday, in an ongoing dispute over employment terms and layoffs. Freeport is at loggerheads with Indonesia over... 

From Yukon to Patagonia, gold explorers stir after sleep

By: Bloomberg     19th May 2017 From Canada’s Yukon to southern Patagonia, outbreaks of gold-rush fever are popping up as bullion markets stage a tentative recovery. The number of holes drilled at gold deposits has been rising steadily for more than a year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

From Yukon to Patagonia, gold explorers stir after sleep

Pallinghurst share price leaps on value unlock outline

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2017 The share price of mining investment fund Pallinghurst leapt in Johannesburg after the company outlined its plans to swop its investment fund shawl for a diversified miner’s mantle, unlock value through full absorption of its coloured gemstone associate and target a possible listing of the... 

Pallinghurst share price leaps on value unlock outline
Photo by Duane Daws
Arne Frandsen (left) and Brian Gilbertson at Pallinghurst's listing on the JSE ten years ago

Adani vows to pay ‘every cent’ owed to Qld as talks of royalty holiday emerge

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th May 2017 Indian major Adani is reportedly in talks with the Queensland government over a “royalty holiday” for its $16.5-billion Carmichael coal project. Local media reports state that the proposed agreement will see Adani pay just A$2-million a year in royalties once the project starts operating, with... 

Adani vows to pay ‘every cent’ owed to Qld as talks of royalty holiday emerge

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

By: Henry Lazenby     19th May 2017 Project valuations based on elevated price assumptions in the absence of more reasonable scenarios to provide a more balanced view to the market is potentially damaging to the credibility of management teams, their consultants and the mining industry as a whole, London-based boutique investment... 

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

New cost-slashing platinum technology gaining impressive momentum

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 The new cost-slashing, time-saving, capital-unlocking, mine-broadening and cobalt-saving platinum technology, driven by diversified mining company Pallinghurst and South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is gaining impressive international momentum as an initiative... 

New cost-slashing platinum technology gaining impressive momentum
Photo by Duane Daws
Pallinghurst chairperson Brian Gilbertson (centre), Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen (right) in an earlier discussion with Martin Creamer on the new platinum technology.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch combines energy, mining teams – memo

By: Reuters     18th May 2017 Bank of America Merrill Lynch has reorganised its energy, power and mining investment banking teams, combining them under the leadership of Julian Mylchreest, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Thursday. Mylchreest, head of global energy and power investment banking since 2010, will oversee... 

Shadow Minerals Minister warns of ‘disastrous’ mining outlook 

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer forecasts that South Africa’s new minerals legislation and new charter will be “disastrous” for an industry already crippled by hugely diminished capital injection and massive year-on-year job loss. The Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, who... 

Shadow Minerals Minister warns of ‘disastrous’ mining outlook
Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer

DRA awarded Pan African’s Elikhulu gold tailings plant project

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 Multi-disciplinary international engineering group DRA has been appointed by JSE-listed Pan African Resources to deliver a detailed design and construction supervision service for its Elikhulu gold tailings retreatment plant facility planned for its Evander operation in Mpumalanga.   This is a... 

DRA awarded Pan African’s Elikhulu gold tailings plant project
DRA's Paul Howard

Gold rises to two-week high amid Trump concerns

By: Reuters     17th May 2017 Gold hit a two-week high on Wednesday as Asian stocks slipped and the dollar fell amid political uncertainty after a source said US President Donald Trump asked the FBI to end a probe into his former security adviser. Spot gold climbed 0.6% to $1 243.31/oz by 0746 GMT, after earlier touching its... 

Hong Kong-listed IRC says could reopen Russia iron-ore mine

By: Reuters     17th May 2017 Commodity company IRC on Wednesday said it was considering restarting its 1.1-million tonnes per year iron-ore mine in the far east of Russia, the latest sign of revival in a sector shaking a years-long downturn. "Following the positive price movements in 2017 and the recent stabilisation in the... 

Hong Kong-listed IRC says could reopen Russia iron-ore mine

Eastplats investigation nearing completion

By: Henry Lazenby     17th May 2017 An investigation into the dealings of the ousted management of TSX- and JSE-listed Eastern Platinum (Eastplats) is drawing to a close, which will allow the company to file its 2016 audited financial statement within the next two weeks. The South Africa-focused miner missed the March 31 deadline... 

Miners increase green energy use to power their pits

By: Reuters     16th May 2017 Major mining companies, including some of the world's biggest suppliers of fossil fuel, are seeking to use more renewable energy themselves as they strive to drive down costs and curb emissions. Glencore, the world's biggest shipper of seaborne coal, said in Tuesday's 2017 sustainability report... 

Miners increase green energy use to power their pits

Chinese steel industry policies to boost iron-ore demand – Rio Tinto CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th May 2017 Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques is confident China will continue to drive demand for mining products and iron-ore in particular, despite introducing new policies that will make environmental permits for steel mills harder to obtain and slow capacity. The country plans to eliminate... 

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