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CROSSING SWORDS

By: Martin Creamer     21st July 2017 The urgent interdict application brought by the Chamber of Mines to halt the implementation of Mining Charter Three is likely to succeed, says Webber Wentzel partner Rita Spalding. The Mineral Resources Ministry gazetted the controversial new charter on June 15 without the widespread stakeholder... 

CROSSING SWORDS

LOSING OUT ON POTENTIAL ABUNDANCE

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 South Africa has a mining industry that employs 495 000 people. It pays these employees more than R102-billion a year. It contributes R18-billion a year to the government in taxes. It has been a flywheel that has assisted economic development for 140 years. It is considerably more transformed... 

LOSING OUT ON POTENTIAL ABUNDANCE

ECONOMIC LUNACY

By: Martin Creamer     7th July 2017 What the Mineral Resources Ministry and its Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) are doing to the South African economy is tantamount to economic sabotage. The way the Ministry and the DMR are dictatorially going about Mining Charter Three has already dealt a severe blows. For the common good,... 

ECONOMIC LUNACY

SMASH AND GRAB

By: Martin Creamer     30th June 2017 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has unleashed havoc on the already battered local mining industry by adopting a short-term smash-and-grab approach to a long-term industry that can only yield economic inclusivity if it grows. To grow, mining needs investment and to get investment it has... 

SMASH AND GRAB

IN THE CROSSHAIRS

By: Martin Creamer     23rd June 2017 ‘BHP board in hedge fund's crosshairs’, ran one headline, along with ongoing reportage of the once-hallowed BHP being downgraded left, right and centre by fund managers and analysts. It is almost as if BHP has gone back to being the Broken Hearted People company it was in the late Nineties,... 

IN THE CROSSHAIRS

COBALT CAPTURE

By: Martin Creamer     16th June 2017 While the cobalt in platinum group metals (PGM) ore is destroyed in during conventional PGM processing, the new Kell technology can put an end to all that. The lower temperature hydrometallurgical process developed by the Pallinghurst group saves cobalt from destruction at a time when the cobalt... 

COBALT CAPTURE

REMOVING THE SPARKLE

By: Martin Creamer     9th June 2017 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has once again thrown consultation to the four winds and dumped the long-standing practice of granting exemption to rough diamonds being sent to neighbouring Botswana so that they can be like-for-like sorted with diamonds mined in Botswana, Namibia and... 

REMOVING THE SPARKLE

REBRANDING UNDER WAY

By: Martin Creamer     2nd June 2017 South Africa’s 128-year-old Chamber of Mines is changing its name and heading for a new identity, motivated by the need to toss the apartheid past into the dustbin of history and rebrand the organisation as a new modern entity that stimulates economic growth. The changes being introduced will... 

REBRANDING UNDER WAY

PLATINUM’S ROYAL RECEPTION

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2017 PLATINUM’S ROYAL RECEPTION – The Royal Mint will in a few weeks issue 1 oz ‘Queen’s Beasts Lion of England’ platinum coinage, which has rekindled hopes that the South African Mint will wipe the dust off its plans to issue a Mandela coin in platinum. Every effort needs to be made to improve the... 

PLATINUM’S ROYAL RECEPTION

PGM PAIN AND GAIN

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2017 Palladium this month reached its most expensive price in 15 years when it rallied to within $100/oz of its platinum group metals (PGM) stablemate. The price divergence is the result of dalliance in the automotive industry, with the diesel vehicle market, where platinum features strongly, facing... 

PGM PAIN AND GAIN

DEEP AND STEEP

By: Martin Creamer     12th May 2017 Quarter-on-quarter costs at the South Deep gold mine 45 km southwest of Johannesburg soared 56% to a steep $1 821/oz in the first three months of this year, on a production fall to 45 800 oz. Worse still, the mine suffered two fatal accidents. A total of 20 900 oz of gold were lost as a result of... 

DEEP AND STEEP

FIRM REJECTION

By: Martin Creamer     5th May 2017 New South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has firmly rejected the nationalisation notions of his adviser, Professor Chris Malikane. By contrast, Gigaba has informed investors that his short-term goal is to avoid further sovereign credit downgrades, his medium-term goal is to restore South... 

FIRM REJECTION

ESKOM BALL AND CHAIN

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2017 Although State utility Eskom has referred to a change of ownership “sticking point” and the need for an urgent meeting with Anglo American, two labour unions have publicly backed the sale of Anglo’s Eskom-tied of coal assets to Seriti, the new 79 % black-owned start-up that is aspiring to be... 

ESKOM BALL AND CHAIN

CUT SUPPLY BUT NOT JOBS:

By: Martin Creamer     21st April 2017 Getting the balance right in the commodities business is tricky, but essential. With low dollar platinum prices refusing to go away, attention simply must be given to ending oversupply – but without job loss. Create stockpiles, mine ounces with the best margins in descending order and use... 

CUT SUPPLY BUT NOT JOBS:

CHALLENGED PLATINUM

By: Martin Creamer     14th April 2017 The price of platinum has sagged by as much as the price of gold has risen, and threatening to catch up to platinum now is kindred metal palladium, the price of which has been touching the $800/oz mark. Perhaps it is time for platinum to take a cue from manganese, which cut its output and saw its... 

CHALLENGED PLATINUM

GOLDEN MILE

By: Martin Creamer     7th April 2017 There was a time when the gold and platinum seemed joined at the hip, but those days are long gone and currently platinum would be doing brilliantly if its price could just keep up with gold. Why the lapse? At last month’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention, Bank of... 

GOLDEN MILE

SITING DUCK

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2017 The future of Anglo American has been thrown up into uncertainty by Vedanta’s purchase of 13% of Anglo’s shares, which has given rise to speculation that Vedanta would like to take over Anglo’s South African iron-ore, coal and platinum mines. The Indian company used its Volcan Investments vehicle... 

SITING DUCK

PRICE PRISONER:

By: Martin Creamer     24th March 2017 Platinum remains oversupplied on lack of production discipline, especially in South Africa. Provided miners eliminate 300 000 oz to 400 000 oz of yearly supply, platinum could rally, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said at the yearly Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention, in... 

PRICE PRISONER:

PULLING THE RUG FROM UNDER MINING 

By: Martin Creamer     17th March 2017 South Africa’s current economic growth is hopelessly inadequate to drive the socioeconomic changes that are so desperately needed. But while one would expect improved economic growth to result from an end to minerals legislation delays and Mining Charter uncertainty, the status quo may be a... 

PULLING THE RUG FROM UNDER MINING

FACTIONAL FARCE

By: Martin Creamer     10th March 2017 Factionalism is rife within government currently and very sad to behold. It also comes with a lot of unintended consequences. One of those is the manner in which the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and hurt the South African Revenue Services (SARS), even though everything points to them... 

FACTIONAL FARCE

TRANSPARENCY TRUMPED

By: Martin Creamer     24th February 2017 On June 27, 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to approve regulations to implement Section 1504, or the Cardin-Lugar Amendment, of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Section 1504 requires any oil, gas or mining company filing an annual... 

TRANSPARENCY TRUMPED

TRUMP THUMP

By: Martin Creamer     17th February 2017 President Trump signed two directives last week that roll back key financial regulations of the Obama era. He has decided to put a match to the Dodd-Frank rule that requires companies to disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals from a war-torn part of Africa. The now-repealed... 

TRUMP THUMP

DOWN DMR'S DRAIN

By: Martin Creamer     10th February 2017 Instead of the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) thinking up plans to boost South African mining, recent court judgements demonstrate how the DMR is sending this country’s invaluable minerals endowment down the drain. Urgent steps should be taken not only to put an end to this, but to make... 

DOWN DMR'S DRAIN

DMR FIDDLES WHILE MINING BURNS

By: Martin Creamer     3rd February 2017 Under current leadership, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has broken with the collective public-private approach of the past and is choosing haphazard engagement that is unfair to this country’s rich resource endowment. While the DMR fiddles, mining companies are being forced to derisk... 

DMR FIDDLES WHILE MINING BURNS

BULLS TAKE ON BEARS

By: Martin Creamer     27th January 2017 Are the bulls gaining the upper hand in mining? That will be thoroughly discussed at this year’s Mining Indaba, where panellists on both sides of the divide will ponder the prospects mining’s recovery in 2017. The Fitch Group’s research arm BMI believes that the growth outlook will improve... 

BULLS TAKE ON BEARS

MINERAL 'WRONGS'

By: Martin Creamer     20th January 2017 A company applying for mineral rights ended up getting mineral ‘wrongs’, the High Court has found. The court found that Aquila Steel South Africa was being treated unfairly by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), which had opted to do the bidding of the Pan African Mineral Development... 

MINERAL 'WRONGS'

STREAKING AHEAD

By: Martin Creamer     16th December 2016 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore enters 2017 with a fully restored balance sheet. The London-, Hong Kong- and Johannesburg-listed company’s 207% year-to-date share price rise is showing up yesteryear’s BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The tragic Samarco slimes dams deaths in Brazil... 

STREAKING AHEAD

MINING ON KNIFE EDGE

By: Darlene Creamer     9th December 2016 The South African mining industry has been placed on a knife edge by the errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), which is threatening to gazette deleterious new mining levies before year-end. The DMR is ignoring mining’s huge contribution to exports, foreign exchange earnings and foreign... 

MINING ON KNIFE EDGE

DICTATOR OF MINERAL RESOURCES

By: Martin Creamer     2nd December 2016 The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) can with justification now be referred to as the Dictator of Mineral Resources. Since the DMR’s sudden departure from the labour, business and government tripartite arrangement, nobody can get anything out of it, not even Parliament. It is hell-bent on... 

DICTATOR OF MINERAL RESOURCES

MINE STOPPAGE STOPPED

By: Martin Creamer     25th November 2016 A judge of the Labour Court has ruled that the errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) should desist from using sledgehammers to crack nuts. In decrying the irrational manner in which the DMR inspectorate has been closing entire mines without valid reason, judge André van Niekerk also noted... 

MINE STOPPAGE STOPPED

REHABILITATION CONSTERNATION:

By: Martin Creamer     18th November 2016 The management of the rehabilitation guarantees that mining companies are legally obliged to lodge needs to be interrogated in the light of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s observation that the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has allowed Gupta coal mining company Tegeta to bank the... 

REHABILITATION CONSTERNATION:

PLATINUM BULLS WAKING UP

By: Martin Creamer     11th November 2016 The platinum bears are starting to call on the platinum bulls to awake from their slumber and begin putting in a bullish shift. Bloomberg reports that a couple of South Africa’s biggest fund managers are betting on higher future platinum prices. With platinum mining going ex-growth, a regaining... 

PLATINUM BULLS WAKING UP

SHARING MINING'S PAIN AND GAIN

By: Martin Creamer     4th November 2016 As African Mining Network guest speaker, Bobby Godsell last week identified sharing risk and reward, pain and gain as a necessary feature of future successful mining on the African continent. As mining follows exploration, the former AngloGold Ashanti CEO and outgoing Business Leadership South... 

SHARING MINING'S PAIN AND GAIN

PLUNGING PLATINUM

By: Martin Creamer     28th October 2016 Who would have thought that the platinum price was going to fall back into the $900/oz range, particularly against the backdrop of the World Platinum Investment Council foreseeing the supply deficit widening to 520 000 oz this year. Many were assuming that the platinum price would move up above... 

PLUNGING PLATINUM

FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

By: Darlene Creamer     21st October 2016 The word digitisation in the lips of speakers at conferences. The term 4.0 has been popping up, a reference to the fourth industrial revolution, a harbinger of the notion of the total connectivity of mining businesses across the supply chain, with mineworkers potentially knowing as much as... 

LOUSY LEGACY

By: Martin Creamer     14th October 2016 At last week’s Joburg Indaba, Cadiz Corporate Solutions mining policy consultant Peter Major described the conference’s session on the legacy issues left by the South African mining industry as the scariest of the two days. He said he found the gap between mining companies on the one hand and... 

LOUSY LEGACY

INVESTMENT DROUGHT

By: Darlene Creamer     7th October 2016 South Africa is unable to attract investment. In addition to the mining cycle being down, the country is also at the wrong end of the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) yardstick, mainly because of poor government policy. Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy mineral economics... 

INVESTMENT DROUGHT

NEGATIVELY TILTED

By: Darlene Creamer     30th September 2016 In mining, the peaks are supposed to be high and troughs low, but with the overall mining picture still being negatively tilted for the past eight years, the days of stronger-for-longer seem part of the distant past. Being a low-cost producer is now regarded as being absolutely essential to... 

NEGATIVELY TILTED
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