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Ferrous Metals News

Chamber disputes veracity of Unctad underinvoicing claim

By: Martin Creamer     25th July 2016 The Chamber of Mines of South Africa (CoM) on Monday noted with concern the report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) in which it was asserted that South Africa’s commodity exports were being underinvoiced. Prominent international news media have carried... 

Bauba to recover R15m debt through resale

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd July 2016 JSE-listed Bauba Platinum on Friday said an agreement had been reached that will see the company recoup R15-million of debt previously thought to be unrecoverable through the resale of recovered product. The debt owed by an undisclosed party had followed the delivery of 20 000 t of chrome ore... 

Mount Gibson cash pile swells to A$400m

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd July 2016 Iron-ore miner Mount Gibson’s cash balance of A$400-million at the end of June has placed the company in a strong position to progress its Extension Hill project and to mull over redevelopment alternatives at Koolan Island, while continuing its pursuit of other resources investments. The cash... 

Arrium iron-ore mines get A$49m loan for machinery

By: Mariaan Webb     22nd July 2016 The Australian government will provide a loan to collapsed South Australian company Arrium to support its iron-ore business and give its cash flow a boost. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday confirmed that the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation would provide a A$49.2-million loan,... 

Arrium iron-ore mines get A$49m loan for machinery

Expos still valuable in a difficult market

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 Industry expos remain an important platform for forging business connections, showcasing technology and discussing solutions to the challenges currently facing companies in the iron-ore sector, says exhibition organiser Mining & Technical Exhibitions (MTE) operations manager Andrew Macnamara.  

Expos still valuable in a  difficult market
UPBEAT REPORTS Many attendees of the Kathu Mining and Technical Expo reported that they remain positive about the industry’s outlook

Heavy lifts at Kolomela save time, money

     22nd July 2016 Mobile crane hire company Johnson Crane Hire has completed two heavy lifts for mining and bulk handling equipment supplier Tenova Takraf and civil engineer EMC Engineering at the Kolomela iron-ore mine in the Northern Cape, achieving significant cost and time savings for both clients by working... 

Heavy lifts at Kolomela save time, money
HEAVY HOISTS Johnson Crane Hire completed two heavy lifts at the Kolomela iron-ore mine in 11 days

Iron-ore market likely to stay in oversupply

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 Despite China’s commitment to reducing its crude steel production capacity, the iron-ore market remains oversupplied and this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, says engineering consultant Core Consultants CEO Lara Smith. 

Maximum value must be derived from mines, especially in challenging market

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 State-owned research council for the minerals industry Mintek is investigating the recovery of iron-ore waste material, in the form of fines, in an attempt to help mines extract the maximum possible value from their operations. 

Mining solutions provider expands in CIS countries

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 Despite globally depressed iron-ore prices, there are still opportunities for the supply of minerals processing solutions in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries like Russia and China, says mining equipment specialist Osborn Engineered Products export director Martin Botha. 

Mining solutions provider expands in CIS countries
MINING WORLD RUSSIA Johannesburg-based Osborn cemented its presence in Russia by exhibiting at the event this year

New Australian iron-ore project will meet long-term demand

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 While there is no doubt that the iron-ore industry’s operating conditions have been challenging, Australian iron-ore miner Iron Road believes that the long-term industry fundamentals are sound and that its new Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP) is well placed to weather near-term cyclical weakness. 

New Australian iron-ore project will meet  long-term demand
Photo by Robert Lang
ANDREW STOCKS Taking action to enhance efficiencies across iron-ore operations is critical

Proven proficiency benefits operations

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 Globally, low commodities prices are putting pressure on mining companies to ensure that all aspects of their operations are performed at the highest standard possible, including the proficiency of their laboratories, says support services provider to laboratories in the mining sector Qotho... 

Proven proficiency  benefits operations
IMPROVING CREDIBILITY Qotho's iron-ore proficiency testing scheme enables iron-ore laboratories (mine and commercial) to check the quality of their performance against that of competitors and peers

Restructuring a must to sustain price, mine-site costs revealed

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 Despite the current rally in demand for iron-ore, the current price is not sustainable, as the market still requires restructuring on the supply side to support the higher price, says UK-headquartered online data, analysis and advisory services provider Timetric. Timetric senior analyst Cliff... 

Restructuring a must to sustain price, mine-site costs revealed
LOW STRIP RATIOS KEY South Africa struggles to remain cost competitive because of high iron-ore strip ratios

Ruskoway outlines ambitious plans to develop diverse asset portfolio

By: Ilan Solomons     22nd July 2016 South African junior mining and exploration company Ruskoway is intent on developing its four diversified mineral resource projects in South Africa, says Ruskoway project manager Siyabonga Sibiya. The company’s Fonte Verde platinum-group metals (PGMs), nickel and copper deposit is located near... 

Ruskoway outlines ambitious plans to develop diverse  asset portfolio
IRON MINERALISATION Ruskoway’s latest testwork on Matayo has established that a final product of up to 69% iron maghemite can be produced

Sable tight-lipped on CEO’s grand jury indictment, promises own investigation

By: Ilan Solomons     22nd July 2016 Aim-listed exploration company Sable Mining Africa says it cannot comment on the situation regarding the indictment of its CEO Andrew Groves by a grand jury in Liberia, last month, in relation to a corruption investigation. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last month ordered an inquiry into London... 

Sable tight-lipped on CEO’s grand jury indictment,  promises own investigation
Photo by Global Witness
ANDREW GROVES Sable noted in June that its CEO had confirmed to the company’s board that he had not received any indictment order by the grand jury in Liberia

Significant ironore supply-demand imbalance persists

By: Robyn Wilkinson     22nd July 2016 Internationally, the iron-ore industry continues to battle constrained operating conditions, caused by near-static demand and a surplus supply of good-quality iron-ore, negatively impacting on the iron-ore price, says mining consultancy The MSA Group head of geology Dr Brendan Clarke. 

Significant ironore supply-demand imbalance persists
MAJOR STRATEGY Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have countered low iron-ore prices by increasing production volumes at their mines

South32 on track to meet FY2017 cost guidance; FY2016 production in line with forecasts

By: Mia Breytenbach     21st July 2016 Diversified major South32 says the completion of restructuring initiatives and the fact that production met or exceeded guidance for the 2016 financial year for the majority of its operations is positioning the company well to achieve its unit cost guidance in the new financial year. Despite a... 

South32 on track to meet FY2017 cost guidance; FY2016 production in line with forecasts
Photo by Bloomberg
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Brazil's Vale expects 2017 iron-ore output to be below forecast

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 Vale SA expects full-year iron-ore output to come in at the lower end of forecasts this year, and below expectations in 2017, a sign the world's No. 1 producer of the raw material is effectively reining in production at low-margin facilities. Iron-ore output was 86.823-million tonnes in the... 

Brazil's Vale expects 2017 iron-ore output to be below forecast

End of Australia’s iron-ore supply rush seen aiding prices

By: Bloomberg     21st July 2016 The largest iron-ore producers in Australia, the world’s No. 1 exporter, are raising supply at the slowest pace in years, drawing a line under more than a decade of expansions and lending potential support to prices that are rebounding this year. BHP Billiton, the third-largest shipper, said... 

End of Australia’s iron-ore supply rush seen aiding prices

India sets up another committee to review iron-ore pricing

By: Ajoy K Das     21st July 2016 The Indian Steel Ministry will soon conduct a review of iron-ore pricing, which will include a probe of the country’s largest miner, NMDC Limited, and the e-auction processes for price discovery. The Steel Ministry plans to set up a committee of experts to complete the pricing review. 

Brazil state could ban dam design used at Samarco mine

By: Reuters     21st July 2016 A Brazilian state law to ban upstream tailings dams, the design used at a dam that collapsed at the Samarco iron ore mine in November, could be approved this year, an environmental official for the state of Minas Gerais told Reuters on Wednesday. Anderson Silva de Aguilar, the subsecretary for... 

Brazil state could ban dam design used at Samarco mine

Anglo ups South African export coal output as diamond, iron-ore volumes fall

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2016 Diversified mining company Anglo American upped South African export coal production in the three months to June 30, which saw local diamond and iron-ore output fall appreciably. While Eskom-related production remained broadly unchanged in the second quarter, export coal production rose 8% to... 

Anglo ups South African export coal output as diamond, iron-ore volumes fall
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American CE Mark Cutifani

Kumba production dips 15%, sales down 26% in Q2

By: Ilan Solomons     20th July 2016 JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore’s production decreased by 15% to 8.9-million tons in the second quarter of this year, compared with the 10.3-million tons of iron-ore produced in the second quarter of 2015. The iron-ore producer’s sales volumes also decreased by 26% to 9.6-million tons in the quarter... 

Kumba production dips 15%, sales down 26% in Q2
Sishen iron-ore mine, in the Northern Cape

Vale output expected to tease record levels despite dam disaster

By: Bloomberg     20th July 2016 Vale SA’s relentless expansion is expected to keep the world’s biggest iron-ore miner near record output levels despite the hobbling effects of last year’s Samarco dam burst on its Brazilian operations. The Rio de Janeiro-based miner will report second-quarter output of 86-million metric tons,... 

BHP aims to grow copper, iron-ore, coal volumes in FY17

By: Mariaan Webb     20th July 2016 Diversified mining group BHP Billiton, which narrowly missed its iron-ore production guidance for the 2016 financial year, aims to grow its copper, iron-ore and metallurgical coal production in the next financial year by focusing on improving its productivity. Reporting on the group’s 2016... 

BHP aims to grow copper, iron-ore, coal volumes in FY17
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

US expands its WTO challenge to China export limits to chromium, other metals

By: Reuters     19th July 2016 The US has expanded its challenge at the World Trade Organisation to China's export restraints on raw materials to include export duties on chromium, as well as its export quotas on antimony, indium, magnesia, talc and tin, the US Trade Representative said on Tuesday. Those raw materials "are... 

Judgment shows courts won’t easily endorse Mining Charter III's blunt arithmetical quotas – Leon

By: Martin Creamer     19th July 2016 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane would do well to ponder last Friday’s landmark Constitutional Court judgment as he and his department mull public comments on the draft reviewed Mining Charter that he sprung on the South African mining industry in a surprise April gazetting. This is... 

Judgment shows courts won’t easily endorse Mining Charter III's blunt arithmetical quotas – Leon
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills’ Peter Leon,

Rio Tinto maintains Pilbara iron-ore guidance

By: Mariaan Webb     19th July 2016 Australia’s largest iron-ore miner Rio Tinto is on track to ship 330-million tonnes from its mines in the Pilbara this year, with 158.9-million tonnes having been sold in the first six months of the year. The half-year performance was 8% better than a year earlier, Rio Tinto reported in its... 

Rio Tinto maintains Pilbara iron-ore guidance

Magnetite inks letter of intent with Chinese steelmaker

By: Samantha Herbst     18th July 2016 ASX-listed Magnetite Mines and Lodestone Equities are collaborating with Shandong Iron and Steel Group, to develop the magnetite resources of South Australia’s Mawson iron province, following a non-binding letter of intent (LoI) signed on Friday. Shandong currently produces 22-million tonnes a... 

Western Australia’s EPA approves new Mount Gibson mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th July 2016 Western Australian iron-ore miner Mount Gibson has received the green light from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to build a new iron-ore mine, about 270 km from Geraldton. The EPA on Monday recommended that the Environment Minister approve Mount Gibson’s proposal to mine the Iron... 

Tax Bill throws up royalty surprises as Davis Tax Committee mulls broader mining reforms 

By: Martin Creamer     18th July 2016 The Taxation Laws Amendment Bill released on July 8 contains two surprise amendments to mineral royalty taxation on the eve of the Davis Tax Committee’s next mining tax report, which is expected to provide the royalty regime with much needed certainty. The two amendments proposed in the Bill,... 

Tax Bill throws up royalty surprises as Davis Tax Committee mulls broader mining reforms
KPMG tax head Muhammad Saloojee talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Chinese consortium to invest $2.8bn in South Africa industrial zone

By: Reuters     15th July 2016 A group of Chinese investors will pump more than R40-billion ($2.81-billion) into the South African economy to build an industrial park, government said on Thursday. The trade ministry said a consortium of Chinese investors led by Hong Kong Mining Exchange would invest in power, pig iron and... 

Gabon inaugurates Central Africa’s first school of mining

By: Ilan Solomons     15th July 2016 Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba, alongside São Tomé and Príncipe Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada, recently inaugurated the Moanda School of Mining and Metallurgy, which is also known as E3M, in the Haut-Ogooué province of Gabon. “This school responds to the need for greater diversification in... 

Gabon inaugurates Central Africa’s first school of mining
MOANDA SCHOOL OF MINING AND METALLURGY As the first institution of its kind in the subregion, the school will also enable Gabon to promote exchanges with the Central African subregion and beyond

Pneumatic equipment no longer centre stage, but still has place

By: Sebastian Whyle     15th July 2016 The uptake of pneumatic tools at mine sites has slowed, owing to new mining technology and techniques, equipment provider Borwa Mining Instruments MD Lebogang Matlou tells Mining Weekly.  

Pneumatic equipment no longer centre stage, but still has place
RIGOROUS REQUIREMENTS Mining companies are cleaning house, looking for genuine, nonfronting and reliable black-youth-owned mining suppliers

Mining production falls 4.4% y/y in May

     14th July 2016 South Africa’s mining production decreased by 4.4% year-on-year in May, driven by lower iron-ore and manganese ore production. Iron-ore output fell by 26.4% year-on-year, contributing -4.9 percentage points to the overall decrease, while manganese ore production was down 25.4% year-on-year,... 

Kumba shares rise on higher H1 earnings expectations

     14th July 2016 JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore’s share price on the JSE rose by as much as 6.67% on Thursday morning as the company reported that it expected to post higher earnings for the six months ended June 30. Kumba expected to report headline earnings of between R2.88-billion and R3.09-billion for the six... 

Brazil prosecutors open criminal probe into Samarco CEO

By: Reuters     14th July 2016 Brazilian federal prosecutors said on Wednesday they opened an investigation into alleged environmental crimes by Roberto Carvalho, CE of iron-ore mining company Samarco Mineração SA, over a deadly damburst last year. According to a statement released by prosecutors, Samarco, a 50:50 joint... 

Samarco unlikely to reopen this year, job cuts planned – BHP Billiton

By: Mariaan Webb     14th July 2016 The Samarco iron-ore operation, in Brazil, was unlikely to reopen this calendar year and the workforce would be adjusted to reflect reduced production, 50%-owner BHP Billiton reported on Thursday. The company, which owned Samarco in a partnership with fellow iron-ore major Vale, reported that... 

Samarco unlikely to reopen this year, job cuts planned – BHP Billiton
A November 2015 photo of the Samarco slimes dam disaster, which killed 19 people.

Iron-ore’s rapid surge prompts Macquarie to sound the alarm

By: Bloomberg     13th July 2016 iron-ore’s rally to a two-month high just prompted Macquarie Group Ltd. to sound the alarm as the bank says gains may be well beyond fundamentals, with abundant supply from miners, inventories stacking up at China’s ports and steel production set to contract. While speculation about stimulus in... 

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