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Base Metals

SA to remain among top nickel producers

By: Victor Moolman     20th April 2018 Market research company BMI Research forecasts that South Africa will remain among the top ten nickel producers in the world, with an estimated 49 500 t expected to be produced this year. South Africa has several nickel-producing mines, with one of the largest being the Nkomati mine, in... 

Positive growth for African copper industry expected

By: Victor Moolman     20th April 2018 Market research firm BMI Research (BMI), a member of the Fitch Group, predicts positive production growth for the copper mining industry and in copper mine project development across Africa in its copper market research report ‘Global Industry Overview’, released last month. BMI commodities... 

Positive growth for African copper industry expected
Photo by Creamer Media
COPPER POTENTIAL The Prieska zinc-copper project in South Africa shows continued growth

Chemical ore separation market now expanding

20th April 2018 While the company’s historic market for the supply of chemicals to separate orebodies comprises mainly the Central Africa Copperbelt of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the market is expanding in terms of geography and mineral range, says mining reagent specialist Axis House MD Trevor... 

Solrock Mining Services

20th April 2018 South African mining industry specialist Solrock Mining Services, part of the Solrock Holdings group of companies, offers an experienced and hardworking team that is focused on turnkey solutions and specialist services, delivering high-quality products and operational efficiency across all... 

Solrock Mining Services

Fast-paced developments at Prieska benefit all stakeholders

By: Robyn Wilkinson     15th December 2017 Australian minerals explorer Orion Minerals’ activity at the Prieska zinc/copper mine present an “unparalleled” value creation opportunity for investors and shareholders while promoting and supporting critical socioeconomic development in the Northern Cape, says Orion Minerals MD Errol Smart.  

Fast-paced developments at Prieska benefit all stakeholders
PROJECT ADVANCES Sixteen drill rigs are operating on site in a dual-focused drill programme that aims to confirm the extensive historical drilling database on the remaining mineralisation at Prieska

New South African zinc mine going digital

15th December 2017 Zinc miner Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) is collaborating with digital industrial company GE South Africa to implement a Smart Ore Movement system at its flagship Gamsberg project, in the Northern Cape, to ensure that best practices are in place when the mine goes into production next year. 

New South African zinc mine going digital
Photo by Duane Daws
STARTING ON THE RIGHT FOOT The Smart Ore Movement system will be implemented in the development phase of the Gamsberg project rather than retrofitted once the mine is on line

Zinc miner secures its position in global top ten producers

By: Robyn Wilkinson     15th December 2017 Zinc miner Trevali Mining Corporation has added high-quality zinc production to its existing portfolio and expanded its asset and geographic diversification this year, securing its position as a global top-ten zinc producer. 

Zinc miner secures  its position in global top ten producers
ROSH PINAH Namibia is an attractive mining jurisdiction, hosting many operating mines, including Rosh Pinah

Zinc refiner needed in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2017 A local zinc refiner needs to be established to provide more intimate support for the South African galvanising industry to capitalise on the recovery of the South African economy, says International Zinc Association of South Africa (Izasa) regional director Rob White. He notes that, with the... 

Zinc refiner needed  in South Africa
ZINC APPLICATIONS Zinc-coated steel has found a niche in solar parks, where remote locations preclude almost any maintenance

Global tin outlook to impact on South African imports

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2017 Global tin production will decrease in the coming years, subsequently increasing tin prices, which will have an adverse effect on South Africa, suggests research firm BMI Research mining analyst Diego Oliva-Velez. This global outlook for tin from 2017 to 2021 is detailed in BMI’s ‘Tin Report’,... 

Global tin outlook to impact on South African imports
Photo by Bloomberg
OUTLOOK Global tin production, excluding that from China, is expected to stagnate or drop from 2017 to 2021

Progress at Botswana copper project

18th August 2017 Investor in strategic natural resource opportunities Metal Tiger has received all sample assays from previous infill /extensional drilling at its T3 copper/silver project, in Botswana, and is making good progress with its prefeasibility study (PFS) which is on track for completion in the fourth... 

Progress at Botswana copper project
Photo by Bloomberg
INVESTIGATION PENDING The market and smelter investigation for the T3 project has been put on hold until production and concentrate specification is available

South African zinc industry buoyed by ongoing developments

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2017 The South African zinc industry may be under pressure, but there are numerous developments under way that are strengthening the sector, suggests International Zinc Association of South Africa (Izasa) regional director Rob White. He says the depressed state of the local zinc market is a result of... 

South African zinc  industry buoyed by  ongoing developments
ROB WHITE It will be interesting to see if eventually zinc metal is produced again in South Africa as the Gamsberg development matures

Test production starts at Mowana

21st April 2017 Africa-focused gold and copper exploration and development company Alecto Minerals has started test production at its Mowana copper project, in Botswana, after initial commissioning at the project’s process plant, says CEO Mark Jones. He notes that Alecto is moving at speed to deliver continuous... 

Test production starts at Mowana
Photo by Bloomberg
NOTABLE PRODUCE The atmosphere on site at the Mowana copper project in Botswana is buoyant, with the plant producing saleable concentrate up to 28% copper

Lead mine production to increase to 5Mt

21st April 2017 Global lead mine production is forecast to reach about five-million tonnes by 2020 from 4.57-million tonnes as demand increases, representing a compound annual growth rate of 2.1%, says global research and consulting firm GlobalData, noting the automobile industry as a major demand driver.... 

Lead mine production to increase to 5Mt
Photo by Bloomberg
DRIVING GROWTH A major driver of demand for lead is the global automobile industry, with lead predominantly used in manufacturing lead-acid batteries which are widely consumed in automobiles

Focus on construction at Bisie conflict-free tin project

21st April 2017 Tin exploration and development company Alphamin Resources’ current focus is on preparing its 80.75%-owned Bisie tin project, in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for construction. According to a presentation by Alphamin CEO Boris Kamstra at the 2017 Investing in African... 

Focus on construction at Bisie conflict-free tin project
Photo by Bloomberg
TIN DEVELOPMENT Alphamin recently completed the front-end engineering design and control budget estimate for its 80.75%-owned Bisie tin project in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Mining company weathers market volatility to further zinc project

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 While very few mining companies are implementing new projects as they struggle to navigate a volatile commodities market, zinc miner Vedanta Zinc International is developing its Gamsberg zinc project, in the Northern Cape. 

Mining company weathers market volatility to further zinc project
Photo by Duane Daws
RIGHT TIME AND PLACE Vedanta’s new Gamsberg project is well positioned to take advantage of the global zinc supply shortage

Advancing base metals recovery from platinum production

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 State-owned research organisation for the minerals industry Mintek is partnering with platinum producers in South Africa to improve the recovery of base metals associated with platinum-group metal (PGM) production. Mintek GM Peter Craven notes that the challenging economic environment is... 

Advancing base  metals recovery from platinum production
WITHSTANDING FINNISH WINTERS Only the heat-generating bioleach reactors are located outdoors at the Mondo plant, as they can withstand the extreme temperatures

Nickel market swings into undersupply

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 After several years of surplus, the nickel market moved to deficit in the second quarter this year and, with the price of the commodity now above $10 000/t, a smaller portion of global nickel producers are now cash negative, research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie nickel markets principal... 

Nickel market swings into undersupply
SEAN MULSHAW A continued drop in the world’s nickel supply will result in the price of the commodity rising above the current $10 000/t in the medium term

Zinc price to reach cyclical high in 2018

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 The outlook for the zinc market over the next few years is positive, with the price forecast to reach a cyclical high of more than $3 800/t in 2018, says research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie zinc markets principal analyst Jonathan Leng. 

Zinc price to reach cyclical high in 2018
JONATHAN LENG New zinc projects will boost Africa’s mined zinc output in an undersupplied market

Copper heading for supply deficit

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 The protracted period of lower commodities prices, which started during 2011, will leave a legacy of limited new capital for exploration and development spend in the mining sector, including the copper industry, which is moving towards a supply deficit, says research and consultancy group Wood... 

Copper heading  for supply deficit
AFRICAN ADVANCEMENT Restarting the Kamoto/KOV project in 2017 will contribute to a yearly increase of 6.2% in copper supply from Africa over 2015 to 2019

War on illegal copper exports wages on

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 Illegal scrap copper exports continue to place South African manufacturers that use the metal under pressure to maintain the profitability of their operations and so retain their labour force, says Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) executive chairperson Evert Swanepoel. 

War on illegal copper  exports wages on
SCRAP IN DEMAND South African scrap merchants are being offered top prices for copper scrap by overseas buyers, possibly prompting illegal exports

SA base metals sector neglected – explorer

By: Nadine James     15th April 2016 South Africa’s base metals sector is underdeveloped, owing to neglect and disinterest, says base metals explorer Horomela Resources, which is undertaking the first phase of its noninvasive prospecting programme on 14 zinc, copper, silver and lead properties in the Namaqualand region of the... 

SA base metals sector neglected – explorer
ABONGILE MDINGI Diversification towards base metals is imminent in South Africa

Cobalt concentrate proficiency testing scheme gains traction

By: Nadine James     15th April 2016 Laboratory service provider Qotho Laboratory Services launched the first round of its Cobalt Concentrate Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme earlier this year, expanding its range of PT schemes, which already includes copper, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese and precious metals. Qotho MD Dr Hannelie... 

Cobalt concentrate proficiency testing scheme gains traction
Photo by Bloomberg
CREDIBILITY IS KEY Qotho Laboratory Services proficiency testing schemes allow laboratories to assess the accuracy of their methods and results

SA expected to remain reliant on zinc imports

By: Nadine James     15th April 2016 Zinc exports to South Africa will probably continue to account for the bulk of South Africa’s zinc consumption in the medium term, despite the projects, such as diversified miner Vedanta Resources’ Gamsberg project, expected to come on-stream in the country within the next three to five years,... 

SA expected to remain reliant on zinc imports
SKORPION ZINC MINE & REFINERY The Namibian refinery supplies 30% of its refined product to South Africa

Copper urban mining holds significant potential, says institute

14th August 2015 The high economic value of copper metal is driving the collection and recycling of copper scrap from the downstream value chain as well as from end-of-life products, says European copper industry representative body the European Copper Institute CE John Schonenberger. He adds that copper is also... 

Copper urban mining holds significant  potential, says institute
URBAN COPPER MINING Copper is 100% recyclable, without any loss in performance, and can therefore be reintroduced again and again into the material cycle

$630m Northern Cape project construction starts

By: Ilan Solomons     14th August 2015 With LSE-listed diversified miner Vedanta Resources’ Lisheen zinc/lead mine in Ireland reaching the end of its life next month, the company has started construction of the Gamsberg zinc mine. On July 27, the company broke ground at the project, in the Northern Cape, 20 km east of its existing... 

$630m Northern Cape project construction starts
GAMSBERG DEVELOPMENT Vedanta broke ground on the Gamsberg project, in the Northern Cape, last month

Approval granted for Chilean copper mine extension EIA

14th August 2015 Diversified base metals mining company Lundin Mining announced that it had received approval of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the extension of operations and mine life for its Candelaria copper mine in Chile last month. The $413-million Candelaria 2030 project includes a number of... 

Approval granted for Chilean copper mine extension EIA
CANDELARIA COPPER MINE The $413-million Candelaria 2030 project includes a number of enhancements to the current operation, the most important one being the construction of the new Los Diques tailings facility

China’s downturn still affecting base metals prices

14th August 2015 Sentiment in the metals markets has been poor mainly as a result of the slowdown in Chinese growth, which, in turn, seems to be prompting a combination of destocking and “hand-to-mouth operating”, according to international derivatives broker Sucden Financial’s ‘July 2015 Quarterly Metals... 

China’s downturn  still affecting base metals prices
TOUGH TIMES The March-May rallies have mainly been unwound as aluminium, nickel, zinc, copper and tin are all extending below their March lows

Opportunities on the horizon for base metals – consultant

By: Ilan Solomons     14th August 2015 There has been a downturn in most base metal prices over the past five years, particularly copper, which is at its lowest level in six years, having traded at about $2.45/lb at the end of January this year. Geological, mining and environmental consulting services company The MSA Group principal... 

Opportunities on the horizon for base metals – consultant
Photo by Bloomberg
COPPER PRICE INDICATORS The copper price is generally regarded as an indicator for the state of the global economy

Copper provides health, aquaculture benefits

14th August 2015 Pan African industry body Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) is actively working to develop the downstream production of copper items, particularly in the healthcare sector, by highlighting the dangers of hospital acquired infections in hospitals and clinics, says CDAA centre director... 

Copper provides health, aquaculture benefits
COPPER TOUCH SURFACES During December 2014 and January 2015, 240 antimicrobial door handles were installed in Phelophepa I and II trains in total

Underground lab contract awarded to cut costs, improve efficiencies

14th August 2015 Analytical chemistry laboratory Set Point Laboratories, a division of the Set Point Group announced in May that it had secured the labour contract for a “unique” underground laboratory at refined copper producer Palabora Mining Company’s (PMC’s) copper mine in Phalaborwa, Limpopo. The mine... 

Underground lab contract awarded to cut costs, improve efficiencies
CLOSER TO THE ACTION The closer monitoring of ore copper concentrations is “imperative” to ensure maximum output from the mine and a sustained ore supply from the current operations to the envisaged new mining level

Kinsenda mine’s R9.5-million laboratory installation completed

By: Ilan Solomons     14th August 2015 Mining laboratory quality-control and services provider Tramecon completed the installation and cold commissioning of a R9.5-million laboratory at midtier mining group Metorex’s Kinsenda copper mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) Katanga province, in March this year. According to... 

Kinsenda mine’s R9.5-million laboratory installation completed
KINSENDA LABORATORY The installation of the laboratory started in late September 2014 and was completed in March this year
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