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Asia News

Minergy to list coal project in Botswana, also eyeing JSE

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2017 Coal and energy company Minergy said on Monday that it will list on the Botswana Stock Exchange in the first half of this year and is also planning a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing in 2017’s latter half. In the initial capital raising ahead of the listing of its Masama coal project, Minergy,... 

Yellen can't halt Trump gold rally that funds bet against

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2017 They should’ve had more faith. Hedge funds reduced their wagers on a bullion rally for the first time in three weeks, just before prices neared a two-month high and capped a third straight week of gains. Not even Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s outlook for higher US interest rates has been... 

Yellen can't halt Trump gold rally that funds bet against

Philippines minister stands by call to shut mines ahead of review

By: Reuters     20th February 2017 The Philippines' environment minister said on Monday she stands by her decision to shut more than half the country's operating mines and bar mining in watershed zones ahead of an inter-agency meeting later in the day to review the move. The government's Mining Industry Coordinating Council will... 

India’s Coal Ministry prods ICVL to speed up coal production, acquisitions

By: Ajoy K Das     20th February 2017 India’s Coal Ministry has directed International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL) not to waste time in operationalising existing overseas coal blocks or delay the acquisition of new assets. It also warned ICVL that delays in achieving these objective were "unacceptable". 

De Beers' Forevermark diamonds to add 10% more outlets in 2017, says CEO

By: Reuters     18th February 2017 Diamond jewellery retailer Forevermark, part of the Anglo American mining group, has expanded to 2 000 outlets globally and expects a further 10% rise this year, CEO Stephen Lussier said on Friday. The number of new Forevermark outlets, which sell selected De Beers diamonds, rose by 14% last... 

Philippine miner ordered shut says to ship nickel ore in March

By: Reuters     17th February 2017 Philippine miner Marcventures Mining and Development Corp, whose nickel mine was one of 23 ordered to close by the environment ministry, said on Friday it will take legal action to overturn the ruling and plans to ship out ore next month. Marcventures' mine in southern Philippines was among... 

Shandong Tianye buys Hanking Australia for A$330m

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th February 2017 China’s Shandong Tianye Group has acquired unlisted Hanking Australia and its Southern Cross gold project, in Western Australia, for A$330-million. Hanking Australia, which is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed China Hanking Holdings, acquired the Southern Cross mine in 2013. The project is... 

Shandong Tianye buys Hanking Australia for A$330m

New US President may benefit the resources sector

By: Henry Lazenby     17th February 2017 While Donald Trump is likely to lower US corporate taxes, bringing US dollars back into the country and rebuilding American infrastructure through a massive $1-trillion spending programme, the new President is coming in at the “US midnight”, Euro Pacific Capital founder and CEO Peter Schiff says.... 

New US President may benefit the resources sector

Major South African coal extension project on cards – South32

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2017 A decision will be taken in the June quarter on go-ahead for the Klipspruit Life Extension coal project in Mpumalanga, which is said to have robust economics. The original BHP Billiton capital expenditure (capex) of $500-million-plus for the two-year development has been more than halved under... 

Major South African coal extension project on cards – South32
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Freeport Indonesia mine operations 'stopped completely' – union chief

By: Reuters     16th February 2017 All work has stopped at the giant Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia, operated by the local unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc, a worker union said on Thursday, just over one month after the country halted exports of copper concentrate. "Everything has stopped completely. It's just maintenance now,"... 

South32 swings to H1 profit on stronger commodity prices

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th February 2017 Diversified miner South32 has reported a massive surge in underlying earnings to $479-million for the six months to December 31, compared with $26-million in the previous corresponding period. “The disciplined application of our strategy and stronger commodity prices underpinned a significant... 

South32 swings to H1 profit on stronger commodity prices
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

CIL seeks to buy into operational foreign coal mines

By: Ajoy K Das     16th February 2017 Coal India Limited (CIL) plans to enter into strategic equity investment and production sharing agreements with the owners of operational coal mines outside of India, rather than the outright acquisition of greenfield coal blocks, as it had previously attempted. CIL had appointed a merchant... 

Barrick lifts dividend as earnings beat forecast

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2017 VCanada’s Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold producer by volume, announced on Wednesday that it has made significant progress on initiatives to repair its debt-laden balance sheet, declaring a higher dividend to shareholders and renewing its focus on exploration spending. The Toronto-based... 

Barrick lifts dividend as earnings beat forecast

DRDGold spends R26m in six months on environmental restoration  

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2017 Johannesburg is probably one of the world’s best examples of unintended sustainable development, where almost accidentally the mining economy has been fully replaced by another larger economy. This is because mining took place for long enough to allow for the emergence of services industries such... 

DRDGold spends R26m in six months on environmental restoration
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer talks to DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius on the company’s R26-million expenditure on environmental restoration. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

China iron-ore slips from record high as steel retreats

By: Reuters     15th February 2017 Iron-ore futures in China fell more than 1% on Wednesday after reaching a record high in a rapid rally spurred by rising steel prices that some market participants feel may have been overdone. Both commodities had started their rally shortly after China returned from the Lunar New Year break... 

Highlands moves to prevent PanAust from taking over its board

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th February 2017 ASX-listed Highlands Pacific is facing a board spill after joint venture (JV) partner PanAust, which holds a 13.9% interest in the company, called for the removal of four of the company’s five nonexecutive directors and the appointment of three of its own nominees. PanAust, which is a JV... 

Highlands moves to prevent PanAust from taking over its board

OceanaGold appeals Didipio suspension order

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th February 2017 Dual-listed gold miner OceanaGold has received an order from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to suspend operations at the Didipio mine, in the Philippines. The company told shareholders that the order repeated allegations previously made by the government, citing petitions... 

Electric car boom spurs investor scramble for cobalt

By: Reuters     14th February 2017 Investors are buying up physical cobalt anticipating that shortages of the metal, a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electrical cars, will spur prices to their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis. Prices for cobalt metal have climbed nearly 50 percent since September to... 

Kumba applying exploration-to-beneficiation technology 

By: Martin Creamer     14th February 2017 South Africa’s biggest iron-ore mining company Kumba Iron Ore intends maximising the return potential of its assets through productivity initiatives, accompanied by ongoing robust cost management. It intends ensuring disciplined capital allocation, prioritising the reinstatement of dividend... 

Kumba applying exploration-to-beneficiation technology
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer at the Kumba Iron Ore results presentation by CEO Themba Mkhwanazi and outgoing CFO Frikkie Kotzee. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Philippines' minister extends mining crackdown, cancels 75 contracts

By: Reuters     14th February 2017 The Philippines' environment minister on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of 75 mining contracts, stepping up a campaign to stop extraction of resources in sensitive areas after earlier shutting more than half of the country's operating mines. The contracts are all in watershed zones, with many... 

Kumba lifts output, slashes costs, pumps cash, CFO quits

By: Martin Creamer     14th February 2017 South Africa’s biggest iron-ore mining company Kumba Iron Ore beat production guidance, slashed costs and pumped cash – but what was a successful 12 months to December 31 last year, was marred by two fatalities. Controlling shareholder Anglo American said in a separate statement that it would... 

Kumba lifts output, slashes costs, pumps cash, CFO quits
Kumba Iron Ore CEO Themba Mkhwanazi

Altona's Cloncurry JV agreement amended

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     14th February 2017 Copper miner Altona Mining has amended its joint venture (JV) agreement with Chinese partner Sichuan Railway Investment Group (SRIG) over the Cloncurry project, in north-west Queensland. Altona on Tuesday noted that SRIG has now been replaced as the JV partner by China Sichuan International... 

Glencore’s DRC copper top-up wins analyst cheer

By: Martin Creamer     14th February 2017 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has bought the remaining 31% stake in Mutanda Mining for $922-million and a further 10.25% stake in Katanga Mining for $38-million from Dan Gertler’s Fleurette Group, the company’s joint venture partner. The all-cash transaction will result in... 

Glencore’s DRC copper top-up wins analyst cheer
Photo by Bloomberg
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

Nickel market rebalancing put on hold as divergent Indonesia, Philippines strategies signal standoff

By: Henry Lazenby     14th February 2017 A rebalancing of the nickel market has been cast into doubt as divergent strategies by major producers Indonesia and the Philippines muddles the outlook, a recent report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has found. While Indonesia looks to increase nickel exports, the Philippines is... 

Nickel market rebalancing put on hold as divergent Indonesia, Philippines strategies signal standoff

Surging iron-ore won’t ‘fall off a cliff’, says Rio Tinto

By: Bloomberg     13th February 2017 Iron-ore will defy forecasts for a dramatic price collapse as China’s economy remains strong and the top buyer boosts demand for higher-quality imports, according to Rio Tinto Group, the second-largest exporter. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s going to fall off a cliff,” Chief Financial... 

Stillwater deal advances as Sibanye grasps $2.6bn bridge finance nettle

By: Martin Creamer     13th February 2017 Precious metals mining company Sibanye on Monday announced that it had successfully closed the syndication of the bridge facilities to support its acquisition of Stillwater Mining Company of the US. Sibanye said in a Johannesburg Stock Exchange news service announcement that the syndication... 

Stillwater deal advances as Sibanye grasps $2.6bn bridge finance nettle
Photo by Duane Daws
Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman

NMDC divestment hinges on merger proposal with steelmaker RINL

By: Ajoy K Das     13th February 2017 The Indian government’s plans for the strategic disinvestment in iron-ore miner NMDC will, most likely, hinge on a final decision on the proposed merger of NMDC with steel producer Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL). According to a senior government official, there are two proposals before the... 

Siana unaffected by quake

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     13th February 2017 Gold miner Red 5 has eased shareholder fears, reporting that no damage was identified, or disruption caused at the Siana gold project, in the Philippines, following a large earthquake that occurred late on Friday. The miner said on Monday that monitoring and engineering inspections, including the... 

Freeport says no deal with Indonesia, export ban remains

By: Reuters     10th February 2017 Freeport-McMoRan said on Friday that an export ban remains in place at its copper mine in Indonesia, the world's second-biggest, because it has not yet reached agreement with the government on a new mining permit. Indonesian government officials had earlier told reporters they issued a new... 

Freeport says no deal with Indonesia, export ban remains
Photo by Reuters
Grasberg, Indonesia

New Bill on way to boost State involvement in mining

By: Martin Creamer     10th February 2017 A new Bill is to be presented to the South African Parliament to strengthen the State’s role in the industry, currently dogged by legislative, regulatory and administrative tensions between government, business and labour. The Mining Company of South Africa Bill will be presented to Cabinet and... 

New Bill on way to boost State involvement in mining
President Jacob Zuma

Indian-owned Moz coal project to resume operations

By: Keith Campbell     10th February 2017 Indian State-owned overseas coal mining company International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL) will restart operations at its Benga mine in Mozambique’s Tete province during the course of this year. This was disclosed to the Press Trust of India (PTI) last week by Steel Authority of India Limited... 

Global uncertainties to drive FDI in Africa’s mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons     9th February 2017 The uncertainties surrounding geo-economic trends, including Brexit, Donald Trump’s election as US President and increasing efforts by China to dominate the global economy, may not bode well for global political stability but could present opportunities for Africa, says global law firm Baker... 

Choking China backs race to mine greener iron-ore for top mills

By: Bloomberg     9th February 2017 Chinese engineers who carved a railway through the Tibetan plateau and built the world’s longest sea-bridge across Hangzhou Bay have a new challenge: developing a $3.4-billion project on Australia’s remote Eyre Peninsula to meet increased demand for cleaner iron ore. China Railway Group Ltd., the... 

Indonesia’s biggest coal miner sees first profit since 2011

By: Bloomberg     9th February 2017 PT Bumi Resources will post its first annual profit in five years as a rally in fuel prices help Asia’s biggest exporter of thermal coal push through a debt restructuring. The company, controlled by the family of Indonesian politician Aburizal Bakrie, had net income of $101.6-million last year,... 

India’s Coal Ministry in no rush with coal auctions

By: Ajoy K Das     9th February 2017 India’s Coal Ministry has decided not to rush through the auction of coal supply linkage to power companies in light of the high availability of the fuel, although the auction of such linkages would take place for non-power industries. The rules for the auction of coal linkage to the power sector... 

TerraCom gearing up for BNU exports

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     9th February 2017 The Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) mine, in Mongolia, is poised to supply its first coal after production was restarted in November 2016. ASX-listed TerraCom said on Thursday that coal was now flowing from the mine and stockpiles were being built up in preparation for delivery to Kingho group once... 

Thiess secures more work in Indonesia

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     9th February 2017 Project house Cimic Group’s mining services provider Thiess has been awarded A$134-million worth of contracts in Indonesia. Cimic on Thursday reported that it had secured a new contract with Cakrawala Langit Sejahtera and had extended an existing contract with Bayan Resources Group. 

Canada's TMX seeks part of Saudi Aramco listing

By: Reuters     8th February 2017 Toronto Stock Exchange owner TMX Group Ltd said on Wednesday it was pitching the energy-rich bourse to "Saudi officials of significant influence" to bring at least part of the kingdom's massive Saudi Aramco public listing to Canada. Saudi Arabia expects to value the state-owned oil producer at a... 

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