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Argentina scraps mining export taxes as part of free market push

By: Reuters Argentina's new president has revoked the 5% tax that the previous administration collected on mining exports, state news agency Telam reported on Friday, as part of the country's two-month old push toward open markets. "Today end the taxes on mining exports," president Mauricio Macri,... 

AMSA’s R2.5bn competition settlement part of bigger image makeover to win steel protection

By: Terence Creamer Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has made a R2.5-billion proposal to the Competition Commission to settle all outstanding matters against the company – if approved, it would be the largest competition-related fine ever paid by a single South African entity. Departing CEO Paul... 

AMSA’s R2.5bn competition settlement part of bigger image makeover to win steel protection
Photo by Duane Daws
Paul O’Flaherty

Roy Hill takes control of Pilbara mine

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Iron-ore miner Roy Hill has officially taken over the mine, rail and port operations at its namesake project in the Pilbara from engineering, procurement and construction contractor Samsung. Roy Hill CEO Barry Fitzgerald said this week that the company would begin the ramp-up of the Roy Hill... 

Rio Tinto pushes ahead with Guinea megamine despite writedown

By: Reuters Rio Tinto will seek financing for its massive Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, despite writing down its value due to low commodity prices and funding uncertainties. The world's No. 2 miner on Thursday reported a net loss of $866-million last year, hammered in large part by a $1.1-billion... 

Ferrochrome price nears bottom, but no improvement expected just yet – analyst

By: Ilan Solomons The ferrochrome market is nearing the bottom of the cycle. This is evidenced by the fact that the latest price contractions have resulted in closures across the supply chain, states mining consultancy Core Consultants MD Lara Smith. She notes that stainless steel production during quarter four of... 

Ferrochrome price nears bottom, but no improvement  expected just yet – analyst
Photo by Duane Daws
REDUCED USE Ferrochrome capacity use has slowed to 54% in 2015, compared to 60% in 2014

Mining stocks resemble ‘a big Walmart sale’ as low commodity prices persist

By: Henry Lazenby Sentiment remain negative about the mining and oil and gas industries as the super cycle nears a protracted potential bottom, resulting in dwindling market capitalisations for companies large and small and cruelly undervalued stock prices – creating a buyer’s market for the savvy investor. Chief... 

Mining stocks resemble ‘a big Walmart sale’ as low commodity prices persist

Palabora iron-making plant nearing commercial operation

By: Ilan Solomons The shortage of high-quality scrap metal and the challenging economic climate have provided a boost for local metallic iron units producer Iron Mineral Beneficiation Services (IMBS) and State-owned development finance institution the Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC’s) SupaScrap... 

Palabora iron-making plant nearing commercial operation
SUPASCRAP IN ACTION The Industrial Development Corporation plans to increase the initial 50 000 t/y pilot plant at Palabora in modules to 500 000 t/y over the next two to three years

Glencore reports lower FY coal, copper output

By: Creamer Media Reporter Output across most of diversified major Glencore’s production categories fell in 2015, with coal output down 10% year-on-year, copper production 3% year-on-year and nickel 5% year-on-year. Coal production decreased to 131.5-million tonnes, owing to the curtailment of production in response to... 

Glencore reports lower FY coal, copper output

With steel protection set to widen, focus turns to downstream risks

By: Terence Creamer With confirmation that government and the steel industry are close to finalising a package of measures designed to preserve the future of the embattled primary steel sector, there are concerns that domestic steel consuming industries could be squeezed between tariff-protected domestic steel... 

With steel protection set to widen, focus turns to downstream risks

India unlikely to grant demand for lower iron-ore export tax

By: Ajoy K Das The Indian government is unlikely to slash the export tax on high-grade iron-ore although it might prune the rate for low-grade ore, even as miners step up accusations that the government is killing the mining industry. The Steel and Mines Ministry was not keen to submit any proposal for a... 

Vedanta rephases capex at Gamsberg as part of cost-cutting measures

By: Kim Cloete In light of tumbling commodity prices, global diversified metals and mining company Vedanta Resources has had to restructure costs across all of its businesses, including South Africa-based Gamsberg zinc project .  Vedanta Resources CEO Tom Albanese told delegates at the Investing in African... 

Vedanta rephases capex at Gamsberg as part of cost-cutting measures
Vedanta Resources CEO Tom Albanese

Kumba FY earnings down on lower iron-ore price

By: Anine Kilian JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore’s headline earnings a share fell 66% year-on-year to R11.80 for the year ended December 31, compared with R34.30 a year earlier. The 42% drop in the average iron-ore price to $56/t contributed to the lower earnings. Basic earnings a share were R1.46 owing to a... 

Kumba FY earnings down on lower iron-ore price
Photo by Duane Daws
Kumba CEO Norman Mbazima

Highveld units for sale as ‘going concerns’ after holistic deal collapses

By: Terence Creamer The Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium business rescue practitioners will now seek to sell individual components of the enterprise as going concerns following a failure to consummate the sale of the entire business to International Resources Limited (IRL), of China. The transaction collapsed after... 

Highveld units for sale as ‘going concerns’ after holistic deal collapses

Manganese needs disciplined supply approach – South32 

By: Martin Creamer Mining is good for the world if done sustainably, South32 CEO Graham Kerr said on Monday. Speaking at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, Kerr said the current challenge was around excess supply, which was putting long-term sustainability at risk. 

Manganese needs disciplined supply approach – South32
Photo by Bloomberg
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Samancor warns of job cuts

By: Megan van Wyngaardt The low chrome ore price has forced Samancor Chrome to consider job cuts, which could affect as many as 280 employees, Solidarity said on Friday. “Despite the implementation of several measures at all our business units, the . . . decrease of the ferrochrome market price has forced us to issue a... 

Brazil state says losses from Samarco accident at 1.2bn reais

By: Reuters Brazil's Minas Gerais state said on Thursday the November dam burst in an installation operated by miner Samarco caused losses to municipalities estimated at 1.2-billion reais ($308-million), not considering the environmental problems. The state government released a detailed report containing an... 

Independent power solution now ‘critical’ to Saldanha steel mill's survival 

By: Terence Creamer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) revealed on Thursday that it was reviewing the future business case of its Saldanha Works, in the Western Cape, where the steel mill’s viability had come under severe pressure as a result of persistent electricity price increases. The warning over the mill’s... 

Independent power solution now ‘critical’ to Saldanha steel mill's survival
Photo by Duane Daws
Outgoing AMSA CEO Paul O’Flaherty

Sundance raises A$16.5m for Africa iron-ore mine development

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Iron-ore developer Sundance Resources on Wednesday announced plans to raise up to A$16.5-million through an entitlement offer to fund a number of company activities. The ASX-listed company would undertake a one-for-one entitlement offer, priced at 0.5c, to raise the capital. For every one new... 

Kumba to take FY earnings hit on low iron-ore prices

By: Natasha Odendaal JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore has reiterated its warning of plunging earnings as iron-ore prices hurt the bottom line. Kumba, which would release its results for the 2015 financial year on February 9, noted in an updated trading statement on Tuesday that its headline earnings would be between... 

S&P downgrades Brazil's Vale to BBB-, outlook negative

By: Reuters Ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded on Friday Brazilian miner Vale SA to "BBB-", the final rating considered investment grade, citing persistently low commodity prices. S&P also put the world's largest producer of iron ore on a negative outlook, signaling the company could be downgraded... 

Australia's Port Hedland shut on cyclone warnings

By: Reuters Australia's Port Hedland was officially closed earlier on Friday following warnings from the weather bureau that a tropical cyclone was developing off the northern coast, Pilbara Ports Authority said in a statement. Port Hedland, which handles about a fifth of the world's seaborne iron ore... 

Atlas Iron boosts shipments, lowers costs

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Iron-ore miner Atlas Iron on Friday reported that December quarter had increased by 10% on the previous quarter, while its full cash costs for the three months fell by 9%. Atlas shipped 3.6-million tonnes of ore in the December quarter, compared with the 3.3-million tonnes in the September... 

Champion gets court backing for Bloom Lake buy

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Quebec Superior Court has approved ASX- and TSX-listed Champion Iron’s C$10.5-million buy of the Bloom Lake mine and related rail assets. In December last year, Champion inked an asset purchase agreement with Cliffs Natural Resources to buy the Bloom Lake mine. 

Brazil's Vale scraps dividend as iron-ore price slumps

By: Reuters Brazilian miner Vale will recommend to its board that no dividend is paid to shareholders this year because of the slump in commodity prices, the company said on Thursday. The world's largest producer of iron ore has been hit hard by a dramatic fall in the price of the steelmaking raw material,... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels

By: Nadine James An urgent court judgment needs to be made to determine the empowerment levels in South Africa’s mining industry, as this will most likely impact on the future alignment between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) codes and the Mining Charter, stresses Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr director of... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels
ALLAN REID Aligning the Mining Charter with the Department of Trade and Industry codes will be challenging, regardless of the Department of Mineral Resources' 12-month extension

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

By: Nadine James It is more than a year since the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill was referred back to Parliament by President Jacob Zuma for reconsideration. According to the latest available public record, more parliamentary committee meetings to reconsider the Amendment... 

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

Mine health, safety amendment still not effective

By: Nadine James Two of the additional regulations pertaining to the operation of  diesel-powered trackless mobile machinery (TMM) on mines – which were published in February 2015 – remain inoperable, as the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has yet to stipulate a date when the specific obligations come into... 

Mine health, safety amendment still not effective
Photo by Bloomberg
AVERTING COLLISIONS Several of the new regulations regarding Trackless Mobile Machinery are meant to prevent or reduce collisions

Mining needs critical legal regulatory matters resolved

There will be many critical legal and regulatory issues facing the mining industry in 2016, says Chamber of Mines (CoM) legal head Lerato Legong. He claims that “one of the most important is going to be the review of the Mining Charter, which will likely lead to the development of the third... 

Mining needs critical legal regulatory matters resolved
Photo by Bloomberg
MOSEBEZI ZWANE The Chamber of Mines expects that the Mineral Resources Minister and his department will deal with a number of regulatory issues in the coming year

Proposed MPRDA amendments lack clarity

By: Nadine James While the proposed amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) contain positive aspects, in a broader sense, they are flawed, particularly in terms of the applications and appeals processes regarding mining rights, says Hogan Lovells partner and head of mining Warren... 

Proposed MPRDA amendments lack clarity
WARREN BEECH The amendments pertaining to appeals will adversely impact mining right applicants in terms of starting the process of securing operations funding and their contractual obligations

Iron-ore export lower as Kumba production falls 12%

By: Martin Creamer The export of iron-ore by JSE-listed Kumba fell 10% in the three months to December 31 on the back of 12% lower production in the same period. The Anglo American group company said on Thursday that export sales volumes fell to 10.5-million tonnes and production to 10.9-million tonnes - 10% lower... 

Iron-ore export lower as Kumba production falls 12%
Photo by Duane Daws
Kumba's Kolamela iron-ore mine

Sishen iron-ore mine begins workforce reduction process

By: Martin Creamer The Sishen Iron Ore Company on Thursday started its retrenchment consultation process, which affects 3 933 employees and contractors. The Labour Relations Act Section 189 and 189A consultation on workforce reductions – which has already begun for 1 300 contractors – will now be extended to 2 633... 

Sishen iron-ore mine begins workforce reduction process
Kumba's Sishen iron-ore mine.

Anglo’s all-in 2015 production up despite stuttering South African inputs

By: Martin Creamer The 2015 full-year production of Anglo American increased by 5% on a copper equivalent basis, despite lower iron-ore and thermal coal contributions from South Africa and a flat performance by platinum. The London- and Johannesburg-listed diversified mining company said in a production report on... 

Anglo’s all-in 2015 production up despite stuttering South African inputs
Anglo's Goedehoop Colliery

Fortescue slashes costs for eight consecutive quarter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals on Thursday reported record low cash production costs for the quarter ended December, while maintaining a strong production performance. During the second quarter ended December, Fortescue shipped 42.1-million tonnes of iron-ore, compared with the 41.9-million... 

Nullagine's quarterly production drops as ops are suspended

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Iron-ore production and shipments at the Nullagine joint venture (JV), in Western Australia, decreased during the three months to December, due primarily to the change-over of road haulage contractor and a slower-than-expected ramp-up by the new contractor. In early December, BC Iron suspended... 

Port Hedland evacuates vessels as tropical low approaches

By: Reuters Vessels at Australia's largest iron-ore export terminal, Port Hedland, are being evacuated as a tropical low weather system approaches, Pilbara Ports Authority said on Thursday. The evacuation of vessels from the inner and outer anchorages is expected to be completed by 04:00 GMT. 

Resources Watch

By: Creamer Media Reporter This week: Nontraditional funding sought for Liberia iron-ore development And, Credit facility to boost exporters in progressing mining projects 

Resources Watch

Workers evacuated at Brazil's Samarco mine after new mudslide

By: Reuters Brazilian miner Samarco Mineracao said on Wednesday it evacuated some workers after rain caused a mudslide at the site where an iron-ore tailings damn burst in November, killing at least 17 people and leaving about 800 homeless. Samarco, a joint venture between miners Vale and BHP Billiton, said... 

Cliffs Natural Resources reports smaller net loss year-on-year

By: Samantha Herbst NYSE-listed iron-ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources has reported a net loss of $748-million for the full-year ended December 31, 2015 – a smaller loss compared with the $8.3-billion net loss recorded in the prior year. The 2015 full-year net loss was attributable to Cliffs’ common shareholders of... 

Cliffs Natural Resources reports smaller net loss year-on-year
Cliffs Natural Resources' Empire mine, Michigan
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