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Ferrous Metals News

Brazil's Vale expects Samarco to restart mid-2017

By: Reuters     Updated 5 hours ago Brazilian miner Vale expects Samarco, an iron-ore joint venture it owns with BHP Billiton, to restart operations in the middle of 2017, a company executive said on Thursday. Samarco's mine has been shut since November when a tailings dam on the site burst, killing 19 people and causing Brazil's... 

Noront expands RoF landholdings, outlines exploration and development strategies

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 6 hours ago Northern Ontario-focused project developer Noront Resources has increased its position as the dominant landholder in the prospective Ring of Fire (RoF) mining camp after closing the acquisition of 75% of Macdonald Mines’ claims in the region, the company said this week. Through the transaction... 

South32 to pay inaugural dividend despite significant revenue drop

By: Samantha Herbst     25th August 2016 Despite a 25% drop in revenue for the 2016 financial year, diversified mining major South32 announced on Thursday that it would pay an inaugural shareholder dividend of $0.01 a share, reflecting the company’s belief in its operations and the flexibility of its balance sheet. With revenue down... 

South32 to pay inaugural dividend despite significant revenue drop
Photo by Bloomberg
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Australian police probe Sundance over Congo corruption allegations

By: Reuters     25th August 2016 Sundance Resources said on Thursday Australian police are investigating allegations that the company may have bribed politicians in Congo Republic to win permits to pursue a major iron-ore project. Sundance said the allegations dated back to meetings held between 2006 and 2008, as reported by... 

Iron-ore at risk as China veteran warns steel output to drop

By: Bloomberg     25th August 2016 Steel production in China, the world’s biggest supplier, will probably contract this year and shrink further in 2017 as local demand slows, hurting the outlook for iron-ore, according to Li Xinchuang, a vicechairperson at the China Iron & Steel Association. “There will be significant declines in... 

Samarco to sound out bondholders for debt plan, sources say

By: Reuters     25th August 2016 Samarco Mineração, the Brazilian iron-ore joint venture that stopped operations after a dam burst last year, plans to seek bondholder consent to change terms on $2.2-billion of securities or pursue an exchange offer, two people with knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday. According to one... 

Buxton and Independence Group form Fraser Range JV

By: Mariaan Webb     24th August 2016 ASX-listed junior Buxton Resources has granted fellow listed Independence Group (IGO) the sole and exclusive right to acquire a 90% interest in the Zanthus and Widowmaker tenements, in the Fraser Range, Western Australia, for $1.5-million in cash. Under a joint venture (JV) announced on... 

Moody’s upgrades Fortescue’s credit ratings

     24th August 2016 Perth-based Fortescue Metals’ efforts to reduce its debt have won it an improved credit rating from ratings agency Moody’s, which this week upgraded the iron-ore miner’s corporate family rating to Ba2 from Ba3, while the senior unsecured and senior secured ratings were upgraded to B1 and Ba1 from... 

Authorities close illegal chrome mine in Limpopo

By: African News Agency      24th August 2016 Police and mining resources authorities have closed down a lucrative illegal chrome mine near Burgersfort in Limpopo on Tuesday. Authorities claimed that a group of miners who claimed to be mining on the shoulder of Anglo Platinum’s Bokoni mine ran from the plant when police and Mineral Resources... 

Brazil's Vale says iron-ore railway down for over 12 hours on Monday

By: Reuters     23rd August 2016 Brazilian mining company Vale said on Tuesday that its most important railway, used to transport iron-ore from its Carajas mine in the Amazon, stopped operating for over 12 hours on Monday due to a land protest on the line. Operations were interrupted between 6:30 am and 6:50 pm local time, the... 

IFM completes sale of local assets to Samancor Chrome

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd August 2016 As part of its ongoing business rescue process, Aim-listed International Ferro Metals (IFM) has completed the R300-million sale of its local subsidiary to Samancor Chrome. The balance of R10-million is payable upon transfer of the immovable properties, with proceeds distributed to creditors of... 

Junior miners ‘vindicated’ by ACCC position on Utah Point privatisation

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd August 2016 The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) CEO Simon Bennison says junior miners feel vindicated by Australia’s statutory body on competition matters’ position on the privatisation of the Utah Point bulk handling facility. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)... 

Junior miners ‘vindicated’ by ACCC position on Utah Point privatisation

Citigroup says this ‘hot commodity’ is destined to cool off soon

By: Bloomberg     23rd August 2016 Iron-ore, dubbed by Citigroup as one of the hot commodities of 2016, looks set to cool off. Prices may sag toward the end of the year and into 2017 as supply rises and steel demand fades, the bank said, adding to the list of banks that are calling time on an unexpected rally. The raw material... 

Citigroup says this ‘hot commodity’ is destined to cool off soon

KWG and Chinese engineering group move ahead with RoF rail feasibility study

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd August 2016 Junior exploration firm KWG Resources has appointed a China-based consulting engineering group to undertake a conditional bankable feasibility study (BFS) on a proposed railroad from the mineral properties in Ontario's Ring of Fire (RoF), to a junction with the CN Railroad at Exton, Ontario. KWG... 

Fortescue profit jumps threefold to $985m

By: Mariaan Webb     22nd August 2016 Australian iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals posted a threefold increase in net profit for the year ended June 30, driven by a strong operational performance and an unwavering cost-reduction strategy. Fortescue, which has four mine sites in the Pilbara, increased net income to $984-million, a 212%... 

Fortescue profit jumps threefold to $985m
Fortescue CEO Nev Power

CIC said to pursue $9-billion Vale iron-ore streaming deal

By: Bloomberg     20th August 2016 China Investment Corp (CIC), the $814-billion sovereign fund, is leading a Chinese investor group in talks for a multibillion-dollar iron-ore streaming deal with Brazil’s Vale, people familiar with the matter said. The consortium is negotiating the potential purchase of a portion of Vale’s... 

CIC said to pursue $9-billion Vale iron-ore streaming deal

TPT celebrates 1bn ton iron-ore export milestone

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th August 2016 Transnet Port Terminals’ (TPT’s) Saldanha operations on Thursday celebrated a significant milestone – with one-billion tons of iron-ore having passed through the bulk terminal. Saldanha is South Africa's main iron-ore export terminal and a highly mechanised bulk-handling facility that remains the... 

Kumba wins EY integrated reporting award

By: Anine Kilian     19th August 2016 Professional services firm EY has selected Kumba Iron Ore as the overall winner of its Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards for 2016. For the awards, EY considered the top 100 JSE-listed companies and top State-owned entities (SOEs). The awards were adjudicated by the University of Cape... 

Company looks to strengthen position

By: Nadine James     19th August 2016 Despite the current depressed commodities market, Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) producer African Mineral Standards (AMIS) has had a successful year and intends to continue to strengthen its position as a market leader in order to maximise its growth once the market improves. As part of its... 

Company looks to  strengthen position
SIGNIFICANT STOCK AMIS stocks a wide range of certified reference material which are sourced from naturally occurring raw materials worldwide

Congress key to addressing socioeconomic challenges

By: Nadine James     19th August 2016 Owing to the increasing relevance of the geosciences field and the insights and solutions to global socioeconomic challenges it holds, the thirty-fifth International Geological Congress (IGC) –  to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from August 27 to September 4 –  is... 

Congress key to addressing socioeconomic challenges
PASSING THE TORCH The Thirty-fourth IGC president Neil Williams symbolically handing over the IGC to current copresident Professor Richard Viljoen

Decline in ore grades grows interest in geometallurgy

By: Nadine James     19th August 2016 The concept of geometallurgy is being researched by State-owned mineral research council Mintek’s Mineralogy division, owing to the global mining industry’s challenge of confronting declining grades and low-grade orebodies. The current lack of exploration, in addition to the finite number of... 

Decline in ore grades grows interest in geometallurgy
NOSIPHIWO NYAMANE Geometallurgical modelling absorbs a wider range of specialists, increasing opportunities for geologists and consulting companies

No mining sector without geology

     19th August 2016 Mining development is one of the main areas where geoscience directly contributes to a country’s economy, with Africa expected to supply a significant portion of the world’s future mineral resources through the application of various scientific approaches, states the local organising committee... 

No mining sector without geology
ABERRA MOGESSIE The professor says geological, geochemical and geophysical investigations form the foundation for successful exploration activities

Resources Watch 

     18th August 2016 This week: Attractive returns expected from quick-pay iron-ore projects And, Sibanye firming up funding for gold-from-dumps project 

Resources Watch
Resources Watch

Jubilee’s DCM continues to outperform original estimates

By: Anine Kilian     18th August 2016 Chromite concentrate production at Aim-listed Jubilee Platinum’s Dilokong chrome mine (DCM) tailings project reached 9 670 t in July, a 29% month-on-month increase. Jubilee, led by CEO Leon Coetzer, on Thursday said the project continued to outperform the original design numbers both in terms of... 

Three-decade iron-ore veteran says 2017 to bring challenges

By: Bloomberg     18th August 2016 Iron-ore strayed well off-script in 2016 as a rally surprised the bears. Michael Zhu, former global sales director at Vale SA, says the commodity will probably face a tough year in 2017 as supply keeps on expanding while China’s steelmakers struggle to sustain output at current levels. “I’m not... 

Three-decade iron-ore veteran says 2017 to bring challenges

AMSA chief says rising rand to take gloss off recovery

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2016 ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) CEO Wim de Klerk says he still expects the steel group to enjoy a better second half than was the case in the six months to June 30, but admits that the recent strengthening in the rand against the US dollar is likely to weigh on financial performance. The... 

AMSA chief says rising rand to take gloss off recovery
Photo by Duane Daws
AMSA CEO Wim de Klerk

Guinea blames Rio Tinto’s ‘rambling’ London team for mine delay

By: Bloomberg     17th August 2016 Guinea’s mineral management company said Rio Tinto Group overstated the Ebola virus’s effect on developing the world’s biggest iron-ore deposit and delayed its plans for the mine to focus on operations in Australia amid a rout in prices for the steelmaking material. “The real causes of the delay... 

Insurance settlement boosts Mount Gibson FY net profit

By: Samantha Herbst     17th August 2016 Despite significantly lower iron-ore prices and challenging market conditions in the 2015/16 financial year, Western Australian iron-ore miner Mount Gibson has returned to profitability. CEO Jim Beyer attributed its positive full-year results, published on Wednesday, to disciplined cost control,... 

Weak demand, prices eat into Afarak’s Q2 profits

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th August 2016 An extreme weakness in demand and prices for chrome mining and minerals producer Afarak’s products cut the dual-listed firm’s revenue by 25.6% to €39.5-million in the second quarter of this year. Emerging from what Afarak CEO Alistair Ruiters described as one of the most challenging external... 

Chinese housing market to impact on minerals, metals prices

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th August 2016 Still-low metal prices will stabilise this year, edging gradually higher thereafter, as dollar strength and strong production growth begins to wane and provide a base to metal prices, analysis firm BMI Research said in its Commodities Outlook report on Tuesday. It added that it did not expect a... 

BHP plunges into the red with $6.4bn loss

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th August 2016 One of the world’s largest mining companies, BHP Billiton, has posted a $6.4-billion full-year loss on weaker commodity prices, offshore US asset impairments and the Samarco dam failure. Speaking to journalists during a global conference call on Tuesday, CEO Andrew Mackenzie said the  financial... 

BHP plunges into the red with $6.4bn loss
Photo by Bloomberg
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Rio Tinto awards $120m Silvergrass contract to RCR Tomlinson

By: Mariaan Webb     16th August 2016 Diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson has won a $120-million contract from Rio Tinto to deliver a primary crusher and overland conveyor system for the Silvergrass iron-ore mine, in Western Australia. On August 2, Rio Tinto approved $338-million for the final phase of... 

Iron-ore seen back at $40 by Morgan Stanley as seasons shift

By: Bloomberg     16th August 2016 Iron-ore’s 2016 rally may be about to face a challenge from the changing of the seasons. Morgan Stanley has forecast that prices may tumble back to $40 a metric ton this half as the approach of winter in China typically blunts steel demand and output. “Our short-term forecast still features a... 

Cliffs secures new 20-year energy agreement for core Tilden mine

By: Henry Lazenby     16th August 2016 North American iron-ore products producer Cliffs Natural Resources has secured a new 20-year energy agreement with fellow NYSE-listed WEC Energy Group to provide the company’s core Tilden mine with a long-term, reliable and affordable source of electric power in Michigan. “Our Tilden Mine... 

Stalled BHP-Vale mine said seeking waiver on bank repayments

By: Bloomberg     13th August 2016 Brazilian miner Samarco is seeking a standstill agreement on about $1.6-billion in bank loans as its owners BHP Billiton and Vale refuse to cover debt payments, people with knowledge of the matter said. The iron-ore venture, whose operations were halted last year after a dam spill, is asking... 

Stalled BHP-Vale mine said seeking waiver on bank repayments
Photo by Reuters
A view of the Samarco mine, owned by Vale and BHP Billiton, in Mariana, Brazil

Native title judgment removes Torrens access impediment

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th August 2016 ASX-listed companies Aeris and Argonaut, which are in a 70:30 joint venture (JV) developing the Torrens iron‐oxide copper/gold (IOCG) project, in South Australia, are reviewing a decision by the Federal Court to dismiss applications for native titles over Lake Torrens. The Lake Torrens overlap... 

Skiptainer helps PE terminal increase manganese export volumes

By: Mia Breytenbach     12th August 2016 Port operator Transnet Port Terminals’ (TPT’s) skiptainer solution has proven successful in meeting rising demand for the export of manganese, says TPT Port Elizabeth (PE) terminal manager Nelisiwe Mbenekazi. She says that there was significant demand abroad for manganese, but TPT was unable to... 

Skiptainer helps PE terminal increase manganese export volumes
Photo by Duane Daws
MANGANESE FLOW Transnet Port Terminals handled 160 000 t since December in the 2013/14 financial year and expects to handle 1.6-million tons for the 2016/17 financial year

Steadily improving South African mine output to benefit Q2 GDP figures – economist

     11th August 2016 A steady improvement in mining activity in recent months should bode well for South Africa’s second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures, BNP Paribas Securities South Africa economist Jeffrey Schultz commented on Tuesday. “On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted and annualised basis,... 

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