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China plans new commodity superhighway, altering energy trade flow

By: Ilan Solomons China’s Go West strategy of encouraging coastal to inland flow of capital and people will result in the formation of a new commodity superhighway, says advisory firm Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac). This new superhighway will impact the energy trade flows within China and externally, through the new... 

Effective wastewater treatment crucial

By: Bruce Montiea Wastewater treatment works at mines must provide a competitive solution for their capital expenditure and operating expenditure, says water treatment plants designer and developer Degrémont South Africa mining business development manager Andy de Bruin. He says Degrémont works with engineering,... 

Effective wastewater treatment crucial
Photo by Bloomberg
BRINGING OUT THE COPPER Codelco is one of the global mining companies benefiting from Degrémont’s wastewater treatment services

Mining firms replenish coffers

By: Henry Lazenby Several miners this week successfully completed private placements to shore up their balance sheets in anticipation of pursuing their strategic corporate objectives. Africa-focused project developer Ivanhoe Mines and China-based Zijin Mining Group on Monday closed an $85-million private... 

Jaipur ruby auction raises $16.1m – Gemfields

By: Creamer Media Reporter The latest auction of predominantly lower-quality ruby and corundum mined at Aim-listed Gemfields’ 75%-owned Montepuez mine, in Mozambique, has generated revenues of $16.1-million. About 40 companies attended the auction, which was held in Jaipur, India, from April 17 to 22. Auction attendees... 

Vale reports record Q1 iron-ore output despite price rout

By: Henry Lazenby Brazil-based global miner Vale has reported record first-quarter iron-ore output despite a global supply glut that wis being compounded by waning demand from China, the world’s top importer of the steelmaking ingredient. For the three months ended March 31, total iron-ore output, excluding... 

Vale reports record Q1 iron-ore output despite price rout

‘Enormous’ investment potential in ‘risky’ South Africa – Goldman Sachs 

By: Martin Creamer The commander-in-chief of the world’s biggest investment bank on Wednesday gave the thumbs up to scaled investment in South Africa, which he sees as having “enormous potential” and also “a lot of risk”. Speaking at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs) in Johannesburg, Goldman Sachs... 

‘Enormous’ investment potential in ‘risky’ South Africa – Goldman Sachs
Photo by Duane Daws
Lloyd Blankfein (centre) flanked by Colin Coleman (left) and Martin Creamer

BHP defers infrastructure project as it takes slower path to 290Mt/y target

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining major BHP Billiton on Wednesday announced plans to defer its inner harbor debottlenecking project, in the Pilbara, as its iron-ore operations delivered record production during the nine months ended March. Production from the iron-ore operations was expected to reach 250-million tonnes... 

BHP defers infrastructure project as it takes slower path to 290Mt/y target
Photo by Bloomberg
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

US companies failed to report Africa conflict minerals – report

By: Reuters Nearly 80% of American companies surveyed by two human rights groups failed to meet a US rule requiring they monitor whether their products contain minerals from war-torn Africa. The joint report by Amnesty International and Global Witness is the first by outside groups to analyze so-called... 

Canada’s mining industry welcomes federal budget 

By: Henry Lazenby Canada's national mining association has welcomed the Conservative government’s balanced federal budget 2015, citing its pleasure with renewed funding for critical areas such as environmental assessments, the Major Projects Management Office, Aboriginal education and training, and geoscience.... 

Canada’s mining industry welcomes federal budget
Photo by Reuters
Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver on Tuesday tabled a C$990.3-billion balanced budget.

Kibo Mining raises £1.5m

Dual-listed Kibo Mining has raised £1.5-million through the placing of 25-million new ordinary shares at 6p apiece. "We are very pleased to undertake this placing primarily because of the strategic advantage of bolstering our cash position at this key time in the company's development. 

Sierra Rutile starts development of fully funded rutile mine

By: Natalie Greve Aim-listed Sierra Rutile has kicked off the first of two development phases at the openpit Gangama dry mine, in Sierra Leone, outlining in a statement on Tuesday that Phase 1 would see the construction of a 500 t/h operation that would likely deliver the first batch of rutile in the second... 

Rio Tinto reveals q/q iron-ore decline, but y/y growth

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Wet weather conditions forced a 6% decline in diversified major Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron-ore production during the first quarter ended March, while production of all other commodities increased or remained steady. Rio on Tuesday reported that global iron-ore production for the quarter reached... 

Rio Tinto reveals q/q iron-ore decline, but y/y growth

AMCU condemns attacks, calls for revision of policies

By: Megan van Wyngaardt The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on Monday condemned the recent xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans. “South Africans need to realise that no amount of attacks on our neighbours will change our economic situation. We need to work together to better the economic... 

New dust buster initiative sounds potential death knell for silicosis scourge

By: Martin Creamer A spectacular new dust control system announced at a Chamber of Mines (CoM) of South Africa conference on Monday is described as the closest the industry has come to a silver bullet to put an end to the curse of silicosis and other lung diseases that have plagued the South African mining industry... 

New dust buster initiative sounds potential death knell for silicosis scourge
Photo by Duane Daws
Terence Goodlace

Transnet appoints Gama acting CE

State-owned Transnet has appointed Siyabonga Gama as acting CE, effective immediately. This followed Brian Molefe’s secondment as acting CE of power utility Eskom. 

Transnet appoints Gama acting CE
Photo by Duane Daws
Transnet acting CE Siyabonga Gama

Zuma to meet with business over xenophobia, sets up inter-Ministerial team 

By: Natalie Greve President Jacob Zuma is set to host a series of meetings with stakeholders to discuss the country’s migration policy and how various sectors can work with government to promote orderly migration and good relations between citizens and other nationals, amid a spate of widespread attacks against... 

Zuma to meet with business over xenophobia, sets up inter-Ministerial team

Kenmare sends South African workforce home

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Titanium minerals producer Kenmare Resources has temporarily repatriated the South African members of the workforce at its Moma mine, in Mozambique. The company said in a statement on Monday that this was a precautionary measure, owing to unrest and attacks against foreign nationals working in... 

Congo's proposed tax hike will stifle new investment – Randgold CEO

By: Reuters Any increase by the Democratic Republic of Congo in the taxes it levies on mining will stifle new investment in the mineral-rich African country, gold miner Randgold Resources' CE said. Congo's draft mining code – which proposes to raise corporate taxes to 35% from 30% and introduce a new 50%... 

Congo's proposed tax hike will stifle new investment – Randgold CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Randgold Resources CE Mark Bristow

CoM pledges safe working environment amid xenophobic upheaval

By: Natalie Greve The Chamber of Mines (CoM) has, on behalf of its members, expressed its condolences to the families of South Africans and foreign nationals that have died or been displaced as a result of the ongoing xenophobic attacks, committing in a statement that member companies would continue to provide a... 

CoM pledges safe working environment amid xenophobic upheaval
Photo by Duane Daws
CoM president Mike Teke

CompComm blocks proposed Andalusite, Imerys deal

By: Natalie Greve The Competition Commission (CompComm) has prohibited the proposed acquisition of andalusite miner Andalusite Resources by counterpart Imerys South Africa, outlining on Friday that the transaction would result in the removal of an effective competitor in the market for fine- and medium-grade... 

Brown moves to stabilise Eskom leadership with appointment of Molefe as acting CEO 

By: Terence Creamer Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced that Transnet's Brian Molefe had been seconded as acting CEO of Eskom, with immediate effect. Brown said the appointment formed part of government efforts to stabilise the Eskom leadership, following the suspension of four senior executives,... 

Brown moves to stabilise Eskom leadership with appointment of Molefe as acting CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Minister Lynne Brown (in foreground) with Brian Molefe (far left) and Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe at the Eskom announcement

Uncontrolled, illegal sand mining has increased ‘dramatically’ in last five years

By: Ilan Solomons Illegal sand mining forms a significant part of the $200-billion global environmental crime challenge, says Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning environmental compliance and enforcement director Dr Eshaam Palmer. Palmer was addressing black-owned training and... 

Uncontrolled, illegal sand mining has increased ‘dramatically’ in last five years
A MUDDY MESS Illegal sand mining can result in soil erosion, sinkhole formation and the loss of biodiversity, as well as the contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water

Goldman Sachs bullish on South Africa as favourable investment destination 

By: Martin Creamer Leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm Goldman Sachs is bullish on South Africa, which it regards as a favourable destination for fund managers because of the depth of its capital market and the scarcity of other emerging market options. Goldman Sachs... 

Goldman Sachs bullish on South Africa as favourable investment destination
Photo by Duane Daws
Colin Coleman

Brown eager for ‘deep dive’ Eskom probe to begin, warns of two-year load-shedding reality 

By: Terence Creamer Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has reiterated the need for a “deep dive” into Eskom’s operational and financial problems, while warning that load-shedding is likely to remain an ever-present threat over the coming two years as the State-owned utility takes action to address its... 

Brown eager for ‘deep dive’ Eskom probe to begin, warns of two-year load-shedding reality
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Australia's Waratah Resources to launch Islamic commodities venture

By: Reuters Sydney-based Waratah Resources Limited plans to launch an Islamic commodities trading business as it shifts focus from Asian markets to the Middle East, the company said in a statement. The move adds to a growing number of firms keen to tap into an Islamic finance market that is developing... 

Rainbow Rare Earths signs offtake agreement for Burundi mine

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Private mining company Rainbow Rare Earths has signed an offtake agreement with commodity trading company ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products for the rare-earth concentrate produced at its Gakara rare earths deposit, in Burundi. The initial ten-year commercial agreement would see Rainbow produce... 

'Blood-free' minerals scheme must be binding, EU lawmakers say

By: Reuters European importers of minerals from conflict zones should be forced to certify their goods "blood-free", an influential group of EU lawmakers said on Tuesday, seeking to toughen a proposal to prevent the financing of warlords in Africa. Much of the gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten used in... 

Gemfields sees almost threefold increase in quarterly emerald output

By: Natalie Greve Gemstone producer Gemfields has almost tripled the production of emerald and beryl from its flagship Kagem mine, in Zambia, lifting production from 3.6-million carats in the quarter ended March 31, 2014, to a robust 9.9-million carats in the three months ended March 31, 2015. The company, which... 

Gemfields sees almost threefold increase in quarterly emerald output

Mining companies risk competitive edge without more women on board

By: Simon Rees Canadian mining companies should have more women on their boards to sharpen their competitive edge, increase diversity and boost creativity, Patrice Merrin told an audience at the Women in Mining Toronto branch last week. Among her many roles, Merrin was currently a corporate director on the... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP

By: Martin Creamer With the shareholder vote just over three weeks away, the planned spin-off of South32 from BHP Billiton has turned bearish and BHP Billiton has itself fallen victim to an unprecedented number of analyst sell recommendations owing to the plummeting iron-ore price, worsened by the reputational... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP
Photo by Duane Daws
The BHP Billiton building in central Johannesburg

Drilling confirms high-grade intercepts at Ivanhoe’s DRC project

By: Natalie Greve Africa-focused Ivanhoe Mines has reported additional, “exceptionally” high-grade zinc, copper and silver drill intercepts in the fifth batch of assay results from the company's underground diamond drilling programme at the Kipushi copper/zinc/germanium/lead and precious metals mine, in the... 

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