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Middle East News

Global lead production set to stagnate after 2017 acceleration

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2017 Following a decline in overall lead production worldwide in 2016, a slight rise in prices will drive a short-lived acceleration in global lead mine production growth in 2017. Subdued prices and a weak project pipeline in several major lead-producing countries will bring this rapid rate of growth... 

Iron’s surge to $70 draws out sceptics as prices reverse

By: Bloomberg     21st July 2017 Iron-ore’s strong start to the second half and surge above $70 a metric ton will probably fade through the year-end as demand from top buyer China slows and global mine supplies remain robust, according to Sucden Financial and Bank Julius Baer & Co. “Any significant uptick in seaborne cargoes... 

World copper market shows 80 000 t surplus in first four months of 2017

By: Henry Lazenby     21st July 2017 The world refined copper balance for the first four months of 2017 indicates a surplus of about 80 000 t, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) reported on Thursday. It ascribed the surplus mainly to a decline in Chinese apparent demand, a market that currently accounts for about 48% of the... 

Fast-growing Chinese aluminium sector attracts increased govt scrutiny

By: Henry Lazenby     21st July 2017 As the Chinese aluminium sector comes under greater pressure to moderate its capacity growth, the government is cracking down on so-called ‘illegal’ smelters, analysis by Wood Mackenzie global aluminium markets senior research analyst Ami Shivkar has found. Shivkar argues that unqualified... 

Fast-growing Chinese aluminium sector attracts increased govt scrutiny

Diamond output leap helps Anglo

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2017 A sharp rise in rough diamond production at a time of stable diamond trading conditions has boosted diversified mining company Anglo American in the three months to June 30, when overall production was 8% up on a copper-equivalent basis. Rough diamond production increased by 36% to 8.7 million... 

Diamond output leap helps Anglo
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani

Activist fund Elliott adds potash to list of BHP grievances

By: Reuters     20th July 2017 Activist shareholder Elliott Management said it has deep concerns over a proposal by BHP to enter the currently over-supplied fertiliser market, reiterating its call for change at the mining giant. BHP has signaled it may push ahead with its long-dormant Jansen potash mine in Canada in a... 

Amplats own-mine output up, sales down in two-fatality quarter

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2017 Performance from its own mine operations helped platinum production from Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) to increase in the three months to June 30, but sales volumes fell sharply on technical problems and two mineworkers succumbed to fatal injuries. Full-year production guidance remains... 

A decade since global financial crisis, diamond industry yet to re-test 2011 summer highs

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 This year marks ten years since the start of the global financial crisis in 2007, an event that shook global markets to the core and precipitated a changed market landscape for many commodities, including diamonds. With this in mind, independent diamond industry analyst and consultant Paul... 

A decade since global financial crisis, diamond industry yet to re-test 2011 summer highs

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

By: Reuters     19th July 2017 Zinc prices are running out of steam, with shortages in China appearing to be less severe than expected, inventories rebounding and producers selling the metal to take advantage of current market levels. Benchmark zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange surged 60% last year after the shutdown of... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

Zinc, lead demand continue to outstrip output

By: Henry Lazenby     18th July 2017 New analysis by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) has found that demand for zinc grew by 1.14% during the first five months of 2017, with mine output rising 6.3% and refined metal output up 0.4%. In its latest report published on Monday, the ILZSG said that preliminary data it... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

By: Reuters     18th July 2017 Zinc prices are running out of steam, with shortages in China appearing to be less severe than expected, inventories rebounding and producers selling the metal to take advantage of current market levels. Benchmark zinc prices on the London Metal Exchange surged 60% last year after the shutdown... 

Zinc falters as market appears better supplied than expected

Demand growth for some metals may exceed 1 000% – World Bank

By: Martin Creamer     18th July 2017 A new World Bank report highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals, including Southern Africa's platinum, manganese and chrome. Using wind and solar energy, and energy storage batteries, as... 

Amplats earnings head for sharp half-year fall

By: Martin Creamer     18th July 2017 Platinum mining company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) on Tuesday advised its shareholders to expect a sharp fall in earnings of between 45% and 67% for the six months to June 30. The JSE-listed platinum major advised that headline earnings for the first half of the year are likely to decrease... 

Amplats earnings head for sharp half-year fall
Anglo American Platinum operations

Nine recommended improvements should charter renegotiation ensue

By: Martin Creamer     17th July 2017 The agreed suspension of the implementation of the controversial Mining Charter Three may present an opportunity for the parties to negotiate a revised version that reflects terms acceptable to all parties. If so, the renegotiated charter should contain at least nine improvements, say Herbert... 

Nine recommended improvements should charter renegotiation ensue
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa partner and co-chair Peter Leon

Having stemmed flow of conflict diamonds, new WDC acting president to stay course

By: Henry Lazenby     15th July 2017 The World Diamond Council (WDC) will stay its course, focused on its primary mission of curbing the trade in conflict diamonds, under new acting president Stephane Fischler, who took the helm on July 1 from Andrey Polyakov, who has resigned. “We have succeeded in almost totally eradicating... 

Having stemmed flow of conflict diamonds, new WDC acting president to stay course
Photo by Global Witness
A Central African Republic conflict diamond operation

Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 In what is a clear first round victory for the Chamber of Mines of South Africa against the errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has agreed to suspend the implementation of the controversial Mining Charter Three until after the High Court has... 

Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter
Chamber CEO Roger Baxter – chamber wins first round in fight against devastating Mining Charter Three

FDI key for mining growth in North Africa, Middle East

By: Anine Kilian     14th July 2017 State-owned miners will continue to drive mining output in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), with governments slowly encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) into the sector, however, political instability will keep investment rates relatively low compared with other regions, according... 

Merafe expecting sharp earnings rise

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2017 Ferrochrome company Merafe is expecting a sharp rise in earnings for the six months to June 30. Merafe shares in 20.5% of the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of the Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture, which has a total installed capacity of 2.3-million tonnes of... 

Merafe expecting sharp earnings rise
Photo by Duane Daws
Merafe CEO Zanele Matlala

Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

By: Bloomberg     14th July 2017 Even if you’d heard of this year’s best-performing metals, betting on them would probably have been a struggle. Ruthenium, iridium and the somewhat better known rhodium – used mostly in specialised products like hard disks, spark plugs and autocatalysts – have trounced almost all major... 

Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

May mining output falters on uncertain commodity prices

By: Martin Creamer     13th July 2017 Mining production data released by Statistics South Africa on Thursday revealed a second consecutive month of production contraction. The -0.2% contraction and the -1.4% contraction in April are viewed as concerning by Chamber of Mines of South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven, owing to... 

May mining output falters on uncertain commodity prices
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber of Mines of South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven

Gold edges up after Yellen rate hike view

By: Reuters     13th July 2017 Gold edged higher on Thursday on a weaker dollar and lower US yields, with investors wagering that policy tightening in the United States would be glacial at best, though gains were capped by surging global stock markets. The dollar was steady against a currency basket, having fallen to its... 

Oil traders turn bespoke crude tailors in offshore megastore

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2017 The biggest oil traders feeling the squeeze in a world awash with crude are seeking an edge by offering tailor-made cargoes in an offshore megastore. By selling bespoke from a fleet of ships anchored off Singapore and Malaysia, the likes of Vitol Group, Trafigura Group, Glencore and Gunvor Group... 

Oil traders turn bespoke crude tailors in offshore megastore

Saudi Ma'aden to develop Mansourah, Massarah gold mine – sources

By: Reuters     12th July 2017 State-controlled mining firm Saudi Ma'aden plans to develop the Mansourah, Massarah gold mine, industry sources told Reuters. Ma'aden operates six gold mines in the Central Arabian Gold Region, western Saudi Arabia which contains much of the Kingdom's gold-rich ore deposits. It has recently... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level  

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2017 German car manufacturer Daimler has cut the platinum loading of its new fuel cell Mercedes to catalytic converter level. “We reduced the amount of platinum by 90%, which provides a significant cost reduction. Our fuel cell is not much above the platinum loading of a catalytic converter on a... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level
Photo by cH2ange
Daimler fuel cell director Prof Dr Christian Mohrdieck

Miners rewarded for improved capital discipline

By: Henry Lazenby     11th July 2017 Increased cash flows, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity and new debt issues have helped many of the world’s top miners strengthen their balance sheets in 2016, reflecting miners’ response to investor messages around capital discipline, according to new analysis from PwC Canada. "As the global... 

Miners rewarded for improved capital discipline

World energy investment drops for second consecutive year

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th July 2017 Global energy investment fell by 12% in 2016, the second consecutive year of decline, as increased spending on energy efficiency and electricity networks was more than offset by a continued drop in upstream oil and gas spending, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA’s) latest ‘World... 

World energy investment drops for second consecutive year

Manganese makes list of key tech metals heading for short supply

By: Martin Creamer     11th July 2017 Nothing can stop the proliferation of iPhones, solar panels and Teslas, except perhaps a shortage of key natural resources, comments the latest Fortune magazine, which puts manganese from South Africa on the list of crucial technology metals needed in the US. Fortune’s world map showing the... 

Manganese makes list of key tech metals heading for short supply
Photo by Duane Daws
Industrial Development Corporation Mining and Metals Industries divisional executive Abel Malinga (right) talking to Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer.

Upstream oil industry continuing on the road to recovery – Woodmac

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     11th July 2017 New data by advisory firm Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac) has shown that the number of upstream oil projects reaching final investment decision (FID) in 2017 could double to 25, compared with only 12 last year. In its latest report ‘A big year for FIDs: 2017 marks a turning point’, Woodmac points out... 

Gold-based ETFs add 22.2 t in June

By: Henry Lazenby     10th July 2017 The global holdings of gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) have increased by 22.2 t, or 74.4-million ounces month-on-month to 2 313.2 t at the end of June. According to the latest data released by the World Gold Council (WGC), these holdings are valued at $92.4-billion, 1% lower when... 

Gold-based ETFs add 22.2 t in June

Work starts on R1.7bn fluorspar mine 

By: Martin Creamer     10th July 2017 Work has begun on the building of an opencast fluorspar mine and concentrator at Rust de Winter, 80 km northeast of Pretoria, Nokeng Fluorspar Mine announced on Monday. The wholly owned subsidiary of SepFluor said that the R1.7-billion finance for the 21-month project had been raised through a... 

Work starts on R1.7bn fluorspar mine
Photo by Duane Daws
Dr Lelau Mohuba

Gold drops to lowest in nearly 4 months as higher US yields fuel risk appetite

By: Reuters     10th July 2017 Gold slid to its lowest in nearly four months on Monday after the latest US jobs data boosted stock markets and Treasury yields, crimping demand for safe-haven bullion. Spot gold had fallen 0.5% to $1 207.03/oz by 07:38 GMT. It earlier touched its lowest since March 15 at $1 204.45. 

Tharisa delivers another record production quarter

By: Martin Creamer     10th July 2017 Platinum group metals (PGM) and chrome producer Tharisa, which has again shown incremental improvements in production volumes and recoveries in the three months to June 30, is continuing to examine ways of further optimising its operations. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Tharisa, headed... 

Tharisa delivers another record production quarter
Photo by Duane Daws
Tharisa, headed by CEO Phoevos Pouroulis

Gold elite challenged by base metals bourse on market future

By: Bloomberg     10th July 2017 The world’s biggest industrial metals exchange is taking on the most powerful players in the gold market with the launch on Monday of its first futures contract for the commodity since the middle of the 1980s. The London Metal Exchange and its partners aim to grab a piece of the action in a city... 

Gold elite challenged by base metals bourse on market future

Another bullion flash crash is testing the nerve of traders

By: Bloomberg     8th July 2017 After-hours surges and plunges that have whipsawed gold and silver prices over the past two weeks are unnerving traders. Silver futures sank as much as 10%, as more than 25-million ounces of the precious metal traded within a minute just after 7 AM in Singapore Friday. Last week, gold fell below... 

Another bullion flash crash is testing the nerve of traders

CEO says his Canadian streaming company misunderstood by markets

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2017 The head of Sandstorm Gold Ltd. is feeling misunderstood. Shares in the Vancouver-based royalty and streaming company haven’t done much since it announced a deal in April to acquire Australia’s Mariana Resources Ltd. The complexity of the arrangement -– in which Sandstorm will obtain a 30 percent... 

CEO says his Canadian streaming company misunderstood by markets
Sandstorm CEO Nolan Watson

Copper drops as warehouse inflows undermine shortage speculation

By: Bloomberg     6th July 2017 Copper futures posted the biggest loss in two weeks as inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange climbed the most since early March, dispelling concerns about potential shortages. Stockpiles rose 15% to 315 925 metric tons, bourse data show. Copper also fell as the dollar rose and... 

Top gold forecaster sees bulls heading for heartbreak on Fed

By: Bloomberg     6th July 2017 For top gold forecaster BNP Paribas SA, bullion bulls are up against a clear and present danger – the US Federal Reserve. The central bank’s plan to raise interest rates again this year while potentially reducing its balance sheet is negative for the non-interest bearing asset, says Harry... 

UBS wealth recommends buying gold near $1 200 for insurance

By: Bloomberg     5th July 2017 Gold will probably trade in a range of $1 200 to $1 300 an ounce in the short-term as the metal tracks US real interest rates, according to UBS Group AG’s wealth management unit. “We’re not saying we have a bullish bias; we’re not saying we have a bearish bias,” Wayne Gordon, executive director... 

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