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BHP sets sights on another $3.5bn in yearly productivity gains

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     Updated 2 hours 40 minutes ago Mining giant BHP Billiton said on Friday that it was targeting further productivity gains, with the company operating more like an advanced manufacturer than a traditional resource company. “By the end of the 2017 financial year, we are targeting at least $3.5-billion of additional annualised... 

PotashCorp reports lower Q3 income on higher taxes, disappointing offshore investments

By: Henry Lazenby The world’s largest fertiliser company PotashCorp of Saskatchewan on Thursday reported lower third-quarter earnings for the three months ended September 30, as increased taxes and a disappointing performance from its offshore investments weighed on results. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based... 

PotashCorp reports lower Q3 income on higher taxes, disappointing offshore investments

Less Eskom coal, fewer S African diamonds, less refined platinum, lower iron-ore sales – Anglo

By: Martin Creamer Diversified mining company Anglo American on Thursday reported 12% lower coal production for South Africa’s State electricity utility Eskom, 31% less refined platinum production, 4% lower iron-ore exports and fewer diamond carats from South African diamond mines, in the three months to September... 

Less Eskom coal, fewer S African diamonds, less refined platinum, lower iron-ore sales – Anglo
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani

Capital-raise puts novel underpin on Northam Platinum’s funded R6.6bn BEE deal

By: Martin Creamer Platinum mining company Northam on Wednesday concluded a fully funded ten-year R6.6-billion black economic-empowerment (BEE) equity transaction underpinned by a R4.6-billion capital raising, which has the potential to position the JSE-listed company as a fully integrated, fully empowered South... 

Capital-raise puts novel underpin on Northam Platinum’s funded R6.6bn BEE deal
Photo by Duane Daws
Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne

Global REE supply threatened after reports that 40% of Chinese supply is illegal

By: Henry Lazenby China, the world's most prolific producer of rare earth elements (REE),  has revealed that 40% of its supply is from illegally mined sources in the country, market-focused research house Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Simon Moores reported on Tuesday. Industrial Minerals Company of... 

Global REE supply threatened after reports that 40% of Chinese supply is illegal

De Beers plans to keep South African diamond exploration spend at R30m a year

By: Martin Creamer Diamond company De Beers plans to maintain its diamond exploration spend in South Africa at R30-million to R35-million a year. De Beers Consolidation Mines (DBCM) CEO Phillip Barton, who spoke to Mining Weekly Online in a video interview (see attached) on the sidelines of the Diamond Route... 

De Beers plans to keep South African diamond exploration spend at R30m a year
Photo by Creamer Media
Phillip Barton (right) and Martin Creamer

Balamara consolidates Mariola ownership in A$13m deal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed junior Balamara Resources on Tuesday announced a A$13-million all-scrip deal to consolidate the ownership of the Mariola thermal coal project, in Poland. Under the terms of the transaction, Balamara would issue 200-million of its own shares, or similar, to acquire the remaining 85% of... 

Norilsk sheds African assets in $337m deal 

By: Natasha Odendaal Norilsk Nickel is set to sell its African assets to Botswana-based mining company BCL for $337-million, as the Russian miner’s newly adopted strategy to shed all international assets moves forward. The parties on Monday announced the conclusion of definitive transaction agreements that would see... 

Norilsk sheds African assets in $337m deal

Miners need sustainable solutions to productivity problem – EY

By: Esmarie Swanepoel A report by advisory firm Ernst & Young (EY) has indicated that cost cutting would only lead to short-term productivity gains for mining companies with complex operations and that sustainable long-term solutions were needed. In its new report, ‘Productivity in mining: now comes the hard part’,... 

Miners need sustainable solutions to productivity problem – EY

China metals demand seen up in 2015, copper at least 6%

By: Reuters China's consumption of refined copper is expected to rise at least 6% in 2015, roughly in line with this year, supported by new investment in power networks and demand from rail projects, analysts and industry executives said. An expected slowdown in new residential and commercial building... 

Five companies in the running to reset gold fix

By: Reuters Five companies have been short-listed to replace the century-old London gold benchmark with a new electronic system, which is expected to be in place within the next few months, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) said. Broker Autilla Ltd (Sapient), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange... 

Riddle of inventory levels keeps platinum investors shy

By: Reuters Investors are unlikely to rush back into platinum any time soon after a minimal price reaction to its biggest-ever supply shock highlighted a major problem: no-one knows how much metal exists above ground or more importantly who holds it. Analysts predicted a surging market as a record five-month... 

Iron-ore boss at trader Glencore quits – source

By: Reuters The head of iron ore trading at commodities miner and trader Glencore, Christian Wolfensberger, has quit, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Wolfensberger, a Swiss-born Glencore veteran with more than two decades of experience, was appointed to run the iron ore division... 

Concerns about possible deflationary spiral as commodity prices continue to slide

By: Henry Lazenby In a global economy witnessing passive consumer inflation, sluggish wage growth and falling commodity prices, some market observers have voiced their concern about the potential for deflation in developed markets. Last month, gold dipped below $1 200/oz, before recovering marginally, as inflation... 

Concerns about possible deflationary spiral as commodity prices continue to slide

Concerns about possible deflationary spiral as commodity prices continue to slide

By: Henry Lazenby In a global economy witnessing passive consumer inflation, sluggish wage growth and falling commodity prices, some market observers have shown concern about the potential for deflation in developed markets. Last month, gold dipped below $1 200/oz, before recovering marginally, as inflation... 

Concerns about possible deflationary spiral  as commodity prices continue to slide

LBMA names Morgan Stanley as gold, silver market maker

By: Reuters The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) said on Thursday it appointed Morgan Stanley as a market maker, underscoring the ambitions of some banks to expand into precious metals trading while others exit due to stringent regulations. LBMA said it named Morgan Stanley & Co International, a... 

LBMA names Morgan Stanley as gold, silver market maker

Precious metals markets influenced by monetary conditions, industrial metal prices remain detached – report

By: Leandi Kolver While precious metal markets were influenced by monetary conditions, industrial metals have managed to remain somewhat detached from generic economic conditions, with prices being determined by fundamentals of supply and demand that were, in many cases, specific to each metal, French corporate... 

Precious metals markets influenced by monetary conditions, industrial metal prices remain detached – report

LME takes charge of London platinum, palladium 'fixes', eyes on gold

By: Reuters The London Metal Exchange, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, will take charge of London's platinum and palladium pricing, also known as "fixes", from December 1, replacing a teleconference with an electronic platform. The unexpected move marks a stunning comeback for the LME, which... 

R50m virtual reality centre set to revolutionise mine design

By: Martin Creamer The University of Pretoria’s new virtual reality mine design centre, which is on track to go into test mode in April, is set to revolutionise both surface and underground mine design. A total of R50-million is being invested in the centre, which will be put into a three-month test phase ahead of... 

R50m virtual reality centre set to revolutionise mine design
Photo by Creamer Media
Prof Ronny Webber-Youngman (right) and Martin Creamer

BHP confirms London listing plans for new venture

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining giant BHP Billiton on Thursday confirmed plans to list the new company containing some of its major assets on the London Stock Exchange. This listing would be in addition to a primary listing on the ASX, and a secondary inward listing on the JSE. 

BHP confirms London listing plans for new venture
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

With Glencore lurking, Rio Tinto stake gives Chinalco global clout

By: Reuters A seat on the board, a bigger role in the world's largest mining company, a copper project in Peru or full control of an iron-ore project in Guinea. Those are the sort of prizes Chinese aluminium firm Chinalco, the top shareholder in Rio Tinto, is likely to be looking for as trading giant... 

With Glencore lurking, Rio Tinto stake gives Chinalco global clout
The headquarters of Aluminum Corp. of China (Chinalco) in Beijing, China. Glencore has reportedly opened talks with Chinalco - Rio Tinto's top shareholder - to gauge interest in a tie-up with the diversified major.

Trafigura seeks to oust EMED board in fight over Rio Tinto mine

By: Reuters Commodities trader Trafigura, top shareholder in London-listed EMED Mining, is seeking investor support to oust all of the firm's board directors but one in the latest twist in a battle over Spain's Rio Tinto copper mine. The trader in raw materials and rival investor in Spanish mining, seeking... 

Trafigura seeks to oust EMED board in fight over Rio Tinto mine

Canadian diamond output could more than double in 4 years

By: Henry Lazenby Canada’s diamond output could more than double in the next four years, underpinned by De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds’ Gahcho Kué project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, and Stornoway Diamond Corp’s Renard project, in Quebec – with both projects now in the construction phase –... 

Canadian diamond output could more than double in 4 years

De Beers, NUM sign three-year wage deal 

By: Martin Creamer The South African arm of Anglo American diamond company De Beers on Tuesday signed a three-year wage agreement extending to 2016 with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). The three-year-duration wage deal was the first of its kind with NUM, said De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), which runs... 

De Beers, NUM sign three-year wage deal
Photo by Duane Daws
DBCM CEO Phillip Barton

Mick Davis X2 now sitting on nigh-$5bn war chest

By: Martin Creamer Old Xstrata recollections were reignited on Tuesday as former Xstrata CEO Mick Davis announced that his new X2 Resources had garnered in another $1-billion to take the incipient mining company towards financial reserves of close on $5-billion. A number of new investors have taken the X2 total up... 

Mick Davis X2 now sitting on nigh-$5bn war chest
Photo by Duane Daws
Flashback Mick Davis picture

Balamara reports maiden resource in Poland

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed junior Balamara Resources on Wednesday announced a maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (Jorc-) complaint resource at the Mariola thermal coal project, in Poland. The project was estimated to host an indicated resource of 43.6-million tonnes and an inferred resource of 33.5-million... 

Tigers Realm Coal near triples Russian resource

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Tigers Realm Coal has reported a 170% increase in the resource of its Amaam North project, in Russia. The project was now estimated to host about 72.3-million tonnes of coal, with 12.6-million tonnes classified as measured, 13.2-million tonnes as indicated and the remaining... 

Weir to buy Chinese-American mining services firm in $220m deal

By: Reuters Scottish engineering firm Weir Group said it would acquire Trio Engineered Products, a Chinese-American mining services firm, for an enterprise value of $220-million o expand its mining services business. Weir will buy Trio from Kuala Lumpur-based private equity firm Navis Capital for... 

Coal futures drop below $72 for first time since March 2009

By: Reuters European thermal coal futures dropped below $72/t for the first time since March 2009, on weakening demand from the region's biggest economy, Germany, and rising output from miners worldwide. 

Coal futures drop below $72 for first time since March 2009

Global copper market to swing to surplus in 2015 for first time in 5 years

By: Henry Lazenby A global copper industry think tank on Tuesday said the copper market, which had been in a supply deficit for the past five years, would swing to a surplus. The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) met in Lisbon, Portugal, on Monday and Tuesday, after which it published its copper market... 

Global copper market to swing to surplus in 2015 for first time in 5 years

Flinders clinches decade-long offtake agreement for Woxna product 

By: Henry Lazenby Vancouver-based Flinders Resources has signed a letter of intent under which ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products will sell graphite from the Woxna project, in central Sweden, for ten years. In a statement on Tuesday, Flinders noted that the agreement gave the ThyssenKrupp subsidiary the exclusive... 

Flinders clinches decade-long offtake agreement for Woxna product
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