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UPPER GROUP GAINS UPPER HAND:

By: Martin Creamer     22nd March 2019 UPPER GROUP GAINS UPPER HAND: Since Volkswagen understated its diesel emission levels, palladium and rhodium prices have been soaring. Accompanying that has been new respect for the upper group two (UG2) reef, which hosts palladium and rhodium in the greatest abundance. ‘Dieselgate’, as the VW... 

UPPER GROUP GAINS UPPER HAND:

PGMS TO THE RESCUE:

By: Martin Creamer     15th March 2019 For long the media referred to platinum mines but from now on we will be calling them platinum group metals (PGMs) mines in recognition of the gallant manner in which the members of the PGMs family have closed ranks during the recent period of platinum price crisis. The platinum price fell... 

PGMS TO THE RESCUE:

COAL CAP THAT FITS:

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2019 Glencore has put a cap on its coal capacity. The large mining and marketing has given a praiseworthy commitment that it will not lift its capacity beyond 150-million tonnes of coal a year, a figure it is already close to; it has also undertaken not build another new coal mine. It is doing this in... 

COAL CAP THAT FITS:

LOWEST RUNG OF ESG HELL:

By: Martin Creamer     1st March 2019 Huge diversified mining company Vale must be put in the lowest rung of environmental, social and governance (ESG) hell for putting far more emphasis on dividend declarations decided behind fancy mahogany-doored boardrooms than on the safety of dicky upstream iron-ore tailings dams. Last month’s... 

LOWEST RUNG OF ESG HELL:

PARALLEL JUDGEMENTS:

By: Martin Creamer     22nd February 2019 Mining must take place with a strong focus on the interests of those who live in mining areas, says Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Manthashe, a standpoint that supports the notion that a mining right and a land right can co-exist, without pleasing one party at the expense of the other. But the... 

PARALLEL JUDGEMENTS:

TWO-FACED IRON-ORE MINING:

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2019 TWO-FACED IRON-ORE MINING: Brazilian mining company Vale’s Brumadinho tailings dam collapse killed 150 died and left 182 missing; Vale-BHP’s Samarco dam collapse killed 19. What evokes great sadness is Vale’s payment of no less than seven cash dividends to shareholders between October 2015 and... 

TWO-FACED IRON-ORE MINING:

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2019 Brazilian mining company Vale’s Brumadinho tailings dam collapse killed 150 died and left 182 missing; Vale-BHP’s Samarco dam collapse killed 19. What evokes great sadness is Vale’s payment of no less than seven cash dividends to shareholders between October 2015 and September 2018. Vale... 

TWO-FACED IRON-ORE MINING:

RUSHING IN:

By: Martin Creamer     8th February 2019 Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa’s visit to Russia has reportedly unlocked funds for platinum mining at Darwendale, in Zimbabwe’s Great Dyke, and marked the return to the country of Russia’s state diamond company Alrosa. Bloomberg reports that the Kremlin is “ready to do everything that... 

RUSHING IN:

GOLD'S CONSOLIDATION:

By: Martin Creamer     1st February 2019 Gold-mining CEOs have for long enunciated the merits of greater consolidation of the gold-mining industry, which needs to at least replace every ounce of gold that it mines with another ounce of unmined gold. The merging of very large and fairly large companies brings about consolidation far more... 

GOLD'S CONSOLIDATION:

COMMUNITY CLOUT:

By: Martin Creamer     25th January 2019 COMMUNITY CLOUT: Recent court judgements have placed occupiers of land in the driving seat of mining decision-making. Dictating the way forward are the Constitutional Court’s overturning of the eviction of 37 members of the Lesetlheng community of the North West province; the Pretoria High... 

COMMUNITY CLOUT:

CHEAPER AND HEALTHIER:

By: Martin Creamer     18th January 2019 CHEAPER AND HEALTHIER: South Africa’s endowment of hot sun and top-tier wind makes a compelling case for investment in renewable energy that protects the environment. This clean power combination is compelling, not only because it is healthy but that it has become the lowest cost option. It has... 

CHEAPER AND HEALTHIER:

WILD COAST'S WILD CARD:

By: Martin Creamer     14th December 2018 The mining industry has been dealt a wild card by the  Wild Coast, where the community has said no to the mining of titanium. It is the community of Umgungundlovu, a portion of Xolobeni, and it has been given the right to say no by the High Court of Pretoria. The full consent of informal land... 

WILD COAST'S WILD CARD:

NEW MINERAL MASTERS:

By: Martin Creamer     7th December 2018 The Mineral Resources Minister will have to obtain the full and formal consent of the Xolobeni community prior to granting anyone the right to mine titanium at Umgungundlovu on the Wild Coast. South Africa’s Gulliver-size mineral wealth, which provides taxes, royalties, jobs, foreign investment... 

NEW MINERAL MASTERS:

UNCERTAIN CERTAINTY:

By: Martin Creamer     30th November 2018 Despite the third iteration of the Mining Charter being gazetted and the starter’s gun fired, discussion still under way between the Mineral Resources Ministry and Minerals Council South Africa has fired enough holes in the cloud that still hovers above new mining investment and greenfield... 

UNCERTAIN CERTAINTY:

NO PANACEA:

By: Martin Creamer     23rd November 2018 Driving electric cars will not make a dent in global carbon emissions, and may even increase pollution levels, say the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest World Energy Outlook. It bases this premise on any reduction in emissions from electric vehicles being offset by the increased use... 

NO PANACEA:

EXPLORATION STILL ON VACATION:

By: Martin Creamer     16th November 2018 South Africa’s $2.5-trillion minerals treasure chest will remain locked until enabling government policy unlocks it. Government has awakened to the massive potential of such an unlocking, but needs to clearly annunciate improved minerals policy to arouse the required investor interest. South... 

EXPLORATION STILL ON VACATION:

INVESTMENT PLEDGES:

By: Martin Creamer     9th November 2018 INVESTMENT PLEDGES: It was wonderful that many mining-related investments were confirmed at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment conference in Johannesburg. The diversified mining company Anglo American pledged R70-billion. Vedanta Zinc International pledged R21.4-billion additional possible... 

INVESTMENT PLEDGES:

CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT

By: Martin Creamer     2nd November 2018 The constructive engagement that is under way to fix the growth-negative aspects of Mining Charter Three is commendable. The wise rapprochement between Minerals Minister Gwede Mantashe and Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter has nullified the destructive non-collaboration that separated these two... 

CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT

LET'S PULL OURSELVES UP BY OUR OWN BOOTSTRAPS:

By: Martin Creamer     26th October 2018 The current very low contribution of only 4% to gross domestic product (GDP) by the South African mining sector needs to be firmly uplifted for the good of the South African people. Advisory firm Eunomix CEO Claude Baissac rightly describes the 4% contribution as being ridiculously low. Mineral... 

LET'S PULL OURSELVES UP BY OUR OWN BOOTSTRAPS:

END THE EXPLORATION VACATION:

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2018 It is good that government is freeing mineral exploration from the regulatory burdens of the mining industry as a whole, because a massive amount of catch-up has to take place for the country to keep its mining at a critical mass. Against the backdrop of its exceptional mineral endowment, the... 

END THE EXPLORATION VACATION:

RESTORE THE GLEAM:

By: Martin Creamer     12th October 2018 Gold mining has lost its investment glitter and needs to, in the words of the Economist magazine of London, restore its gleam. To do this, gold-mining companies Barrick and Randgold Resources want their shareholders to allow them to present an improved investment case as a merged entity. The plan... 

RESTORE THE GLEAM:

CONSOLIDATING GOLD MINING:

By: Martin Creamer     5th October 2018 When Mining Weekly reported last month that African gold mining company Randgold Resources was looking across the Atlantic, the last merger target in mind was gold mining company Barrick. It was the northern edge of South America that effectively hosts the same geology as West Africa that we... 

CONSOLIDATING GOLD MINING:

CARBON TAX OWN GOAL:

By: Martin Creamer     28th September 2018 South Africa’s Treasury will be scoring a spectacular own goal if it insists on imposing carbon tax next year; the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) renders carbon tax superfluous and all its imposition will do is risk smelter closure and the exportation of South African jobs when the country needs... 

CARBON TAX OWN GOAL:

CARBON TAX CRACKS:

By: Martin Creamer     21st September 2018 The release of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) promises to lower emission intensity to a point where someone should tell National Treasury to abandon its plans to introduce carbon tax, which is almost certain to result in the closure of metal smelters at a time of desperate need for job... 

CARBON TAX CRACKS:

CLEAR THE RUNWAY AND WE'LL SOAR:

By: Martin Creamer     14th September 2018 The mining sector could attract an additional R122-billion worth of investment if the policy and legislative perception lifted out of the lowest quartile of the Fraser Institute’s Policy Perception Index, Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello... 

CLEAR THE RUNWAY AND WE'LL SOAR:

DANGLING THE EXPLORATION CARROT:

By: Martin Creamer     7th September 2018 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe used his speech to the Africa Down Under conference in Perth to dangle an attractive ten-year, R20-billion carrot before junior explorers. He revealed the government’s intention to assist juniors with access to finance and told Mining Weekly that the... 

DANGLING THE EXPLORATION CARROT:

PETROLEUM’S LEGISLATIVE UNBUNDLING:

By: Martin Creamer     31st August 2018 The P for petroleum in the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) is heading for an unbundling. Invariably honoured in the breach, mining’s dominance always took centre stage. Along came the MPRDA Amendment Bill of 2013 and suddenly petroleum was awakened from it slumber. It was... 

PETROLEUM’S LEGISLATIVE UNBUNDLING:

DARTING AHEAD:

By: Martin Creamer     24th August 2018 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is darting ahead of its US Department of Justice (DoJ) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mining code issues. Most of the commodities in the basket of the London- and Johannesburg-listed company are set to grow, notes Goldman Sachs Equity... 

DARTING AHEAD:

DERAILING REPUTATION:

By: Martin Creamer     17th August 2018 State-owned rail enterprise Transnet has derailed its reputation by allowing six derailments, four for iron-ore and two for manganese, and rail cancellations to occur on what should be a problem-free line from the Northern Cape to the port of Saldanha. As it is, South Africa’s logistics costs are... 

DERAILING REPUTATION:

TIGHTROPE TRIBULATION:

By: Martin Creamer     10th August 2018 Of all industrial sectors, it is the mining sector that requires ongoing investment at a magnitude that dwarfs most other sectors. Because internal savings are insufficient to fund mining, foreign investment is a must. Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe is having to walk a tightrope and... 

TIGHTROPE TRIBULATION:

INVESTMENT UNLANDED:

By: Martin Creamer     3rd August 2018 Significant mining investment is not being landed because the Mining Charter is being kept in mid-air. While some mining majors have taken their eye off South Africa completely and have opted to land their investments in more predictable mining jurisdictions, at least two majors – Glencore and... 

INVESTMENT UNLANDED:

LEGISLATIVE LETHARGY:

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2018 The third Mining Charter, promised for June, will be now be gazetted “in October or November” once it has been ratified by Cabinet and finalised during a month-long extension to the public comment period to end-August, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has announced. In the interim,... 

LEGISLATIVE LETHARGY:

WEALTH CREATION ON VACATION:

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2018 Mining has great potential to create wealth across a broad front. But South Africa is nullifying mining’s wealth potential by creating a long list of legislated rent seekers that quickly slurp up the wealth well before it has even had a chance to be created. The community of wealth consumers is... 

WEALTH CREATION ON VACATION:

GROW OR MOW:

By: Martin Creamer     13th July 2018 It is not only the South African mining industry that is faced with the dilemma of growing or mowing. Other mining jurisdictions with memories of past ups and downs are faced with a similar dilemma, but not the same dilemma. In South Africa the main worries – legislation and corruption – are... 

GROW OR MOW:

EROSION OF AN INDUSTRY:

By: Martin Creamer     6th July 2018 Bit by bit, South Africa’s mining industry has been eroded over the last two decades. From the dawn of our new democracy, Treasury, for reasons best known to itself, set out to ensure that mining played a lesser part in the overall economy. Legislators followed with consistent repression and... 

EROSION OF AN INDUSTRY:

PGM BALANCE:

By: Martin Creamer     29th June 2018 Platinum-mining companies mine a group of metals and not only platinum, which in the current period of platinum price downturn is a blessing. If current platinum mining did not have the support of record-priced palladium and rhodium, a word stronger than crisis would need to be used to describe... 

PGM BALANCE:

VALUABLE REEF THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THAT FLAT

By: Martin Creamer     22nd June 2018 Some have referred to it as the ‘platreef’, playing on the Afrikaans word ‘plat’, which means flat, but more recently the rich, extremely thick orebody on the northern limb of South Africa’s platinum-endowed Igneous Bushveld Complex has come to be consistently called the flatreef. But in truth,... 

VALUABLE REEF THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THAT FLAT

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL:

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2018 The Junior Indaba has highlighted that South Africa’s one-size-fits-all approach to minerals legislation is ill-conceived. What the legislation purports to suggest is that the mining majors are on all fours with the junior exploration start-ups, which is by no means the case. The huge difference... 

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL:
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