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Middle East News

Summer doldrums could see lower lows for gold as upside headwinds mount

By: Henry Lazenby     26th May 2018 Gold bug Mickey Fulp does not expect the gold price to break out this year, bar any substantial geopolitical event that upsets the state of the global economy. During a recent mining conference held in Vancouver, the ‘Mercenary Geologist’ told Mining Weekly Online that he expects gold to test... 

D1 Mint buys 1 500 investment-grade diamonds for new diamond-backed crypto coin

By: Henry Lazenby     25th May 2018 The emergence of blockchain technology is helping to turn diamonds into a new investment asset class that in turn, could drive future demand for natural diamonds, the creator of a new diamond backed crypto coin said on Friday. Singapore-based D1 Mint Limited, the creator of the diamond-backed D1... 

D1 Mint buys 1 500 investment-grade diamonds for new diamond-backed crypto coin

Electric vehicles seen driving cobalt crunch by mid-2020s

By: Reuters     25th May 2018 The increasing popularity of electric vehicles may create a crunch for supplies of cobalt in the early-to-mid 2020s, miners and analysts say, adding that small operators trying to start up mines outside Africa could play a bigger role over time in satisfying demand for the metal used in... 

Only one-third of the 15 largest copper producers reported positive production trends – S&P Global

By: Henry Lazenby     25th May 2018 Only about one-third of the 15 largest copper producers with output of more than 40 000 t of copper per quarter reported positive production trends during the first quarter of this year, driving quarter-on-quarter output 4.8% or 136 548 t lower, a new report by S&P Global has found. However, on... 

Only one-third of the 15 largest copper producers reported positive production trends – S&P Global

Global copper surplus falls 12.8% to 110 000 t

By: Henry Lazenby     24th May 2018 The global refined copper balance for the first two months of this year indicates a surplus of about 110 000 t, a 12.8% drop year-on-year, the International Copper Study Group has found. The Lisbon, Portugal-based think tank said apparent refined demand increased 3.9% year-on-year to 3.77-million... 

Optimistic diamond price outlook could underpin a return to profit, dividends – Zimnisky

By: Henry Lazenby     24th May 2018 Absent any significant global economic disturbances disrupting consumer diamond demand, incremental year-on-year diamond production declines are forecast to drive real diamond prices up by about 10% cumulatively from 2018 through 2021, or 17% in nominal terms, a new report by independent analyst... 

Optimistic diamond price outlook could underpin a return to profit, dividends – Zimnisky

Cobalt streaming may presage bigger deals as Vale weighs options

By: Bloomberg     23rd May 2018 A streaming deal for cobalt and nickel from a mine in Papua New Guinea may foreshadow other similar arrangements as producers look to capitalise on the battery-commodity boom to raise cash for investments. On Tuesday, Cobalt 27 Capital – a Toronto-listed vehicle designed to invest in the metal –... 

Forevermark appeals to Millennials with new flagship store in China

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd May 2018 De Beers Groups’ Forevermark brand has launched Libert’aime by Forevermark – a new flagship store in Shanghai, China.  

Forevermark appeals to Millennials with new flagship store in China

Alara gets mining licence in Oman

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd May 2018 Metals developer Alara Resources has been granted a mining licence for its Al Hadeetha copper project, in Oman. CEO Justin Richard said on Tuesday that the granting of a mining licence was a major milestone for the copper project, and for future development of the copper sector in Oman. 

Kropz clinches offtake from phosphates project

By: Martin Creamer     21st May 2018 Plant nutrient minerals development company Kropz, which is developing the Elandfontein phosphates mining and processing project in the Western Cape, has secured several offtake agreements ahead of production. The cornerstone offtake agreement, for about a third of its production at market prices... 

Kropz clinches offtake from phosphates project
Photo by Creamer Media
Kropz CEO Ian Harebottle

Threat of cobalt supply shock is top risk for electric vehicles

By: Bloomberg     21st May 2018 A burgeoning risk of a supply crunch in cobalt – a key battery metal that’s more than tripled in price in two years – poses one of the biggest threats to forecasts for rising electric vehicle adoption. Major investment in mines is required to avoid price spikes that could see cost reductions for... 

Threat of cobalt supply shock is top risk for electric vehicles

Search on for 2018’s most inspirational women in mining

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st May 2018 Nominations for this year’s inspirational women in mining have opened. Women in Mining UK’s third edition of ‘Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining’ will showcase the contribution of women in the global mining industry and will seek to debunk a misconception that there is not a pipeline... 

Vale boss prefers giving away windfall to avoid sins of the past

By: Bloomberg     21st May 2018 Vale, once the most generous dividend payer among major mining companies, may be poised to regain that status with its chief executive officer nearing debt targets and unwilling to hoard cash or rush into deals. Like others in the industry, the biggest producer of iron ore and nickel cut... 

Glencore said to face UK bribery probe over Congo dealings

By: Bloomberg     18th May 2018 The UK’s white-collar crime prosecutor is preparing to open a formal bribery investigation into Glencore and its work with Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler and the leader of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Investigators at the Serious Fraud... 

Konkola CEO to head up new antimony and gold plant in Oman

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th May 2018 The CEO of Vedanta-controlled Konkola Copper Mines, Steven Din, will join Strategic and Precious Metals Processing (SPMP) as CEO on August 1. He will lead SPMP’s new Oman antimony and gold processing facility, which is coming into production. 

Short spell of mining hope dashed – Lorimer

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2018 The short spell of hope for South Africa’s beleaguered mining sector, which burst forth with the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as President, has been dashed, Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer said during the mineral resources budget debate. Applying the ‘learning nothing and... 

Short spell of mining hope dashed – Lorimer
Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer

Rio Tinto CEO calls for 'United Nations of the mining world'

By: Reuters     16th May 2018 Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques said resource companies needed to build "the United Nations of the mining industry" to tackle rising resource nationalism and cost inflation. Rising commodity prices typically lead to resource nationalism as they inspire resource-holding nations to demand... 

Paulson keeps stake in gold investments during Q1 – filing

By: Reuters     16th May 2018 New York-based Paulson & Co, led by longtime gold bull John Paulson, kept its stake in gold investments during the first quarter of 2018, while other heavyweights including Soros Fund Management, Jana Partners and Caxton Corp all remained unexposed to the metal. The timing for Paulson appeared... 

Sanctions to have limited impact on Iran’s mining industry – BMI

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th May 2018 The re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran will have only a limited impact on the country’s mining and metals industry in the short term and is expected to do “little additional damage to an industry already crippled by a myriad of domestic operational challenges”. This is according to BMI... 

UAE trader looking to expand into gold refining in Africa

By: Reuters     15th May 2018 Privately held gold trader Sakthi Trading Group is planning to build two gold refineries in Africa and is looking for investors for the projects, company executives said on Tuesday. The group, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, is seeking a total investment of $246-million for the... 

World Diamond Congress cancelled

By: Anine Kilian     11th May 2018 The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) have cancelled this year’s World Diamond Congress, which was due to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel, in June, as a result of a weak response to registration for the event. The organisations... 

Rio and Alcoa team up with Apple in zero carbon aluminium smelting drive

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     11th May 2018 Mining major Rio Tinto has teamed up with aluminium producer Alcoa to develop the world’s first carbon-free aluminium smelting process. The new process will produce oxygen and replace all direct greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from the traditional aluminium smelting process. 

Rio and Alcoa team up with Apple in zero carbon aluminium smelting drive

Gold investment seen critical in managing emerging market portfolio performance – WGC

By: Henry Lazenby     10th May 2018 Gold is a proven store of value, especially for its role in safe-haven investment in times of geopolitical crises, but according to new analysis from the World Gold Council (WGC), the yellow metal plays a critical role in portfolios with exposure to emerging markets (EM). The WGC notes in its... 

Gold investment seen critical in managing emerging market portfolio performance – WGC

Ethiopia suspends gold mining firm's licence after weeks of protests

By: Reuters     10th May 2018 Ethiopia has suspended a gold mining firm's licence after weeks of protests in a town near the mine by local people who accuse the company of polluting their source of water and the atmosphere, a government official said. "The ministry suspended the licence in response to the demands of the... 

Gold industry running risk of becoming irrelevant – Bristow

By: Martin Creamer     10th May 2018 The gold mining industry is running the risk of becoming irrelevant to the investment community. “It hasn’t delivered much value for a long time,” Randgold Resources CEO Dr Mark Bristow commented to Mining Weekly Online during an interview to mark the company’s presentation of first-quarter... 

Gold industry running risk of becoming irrelevant – Bristow
Photo by Creamer Media
Randgold Resources CEO Dr Mark Bristow

US exit of Iran nuclear deal places new risks on $4bn India gas project

By: Ajoy K Das     10th May 2018 US President Donald Trump’s tearing up the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran has thrown a new spanner in works of India’s protracted plans to develop Farzad B offshore gasfields along the Persian Gulf coast. The consortium of Indian companies, led by national exploration and production (E&P)... 

US exit of Iran nuclear deal places new risks on $4bn India gas project

Agarwal encouraging Anglo to accentuate South Africa link

By: Martin Creamer     9th May 2018 Indian mining billionaire Anil Agarwal is encouraging Anglo American – in which he now holds more than 21% – to accentuate its link with South Africa, where the Vedanta Resources company he founded and chairs is successfully turning to highly positive account the zinc assets that Anglo walked... 

Agarwal encouraging Anglo to accentuate South Africa link
Photo by Dylan Slater
Anil Agarwal (right) and Martin Creamer

Iran's gold demand set for spurt before Trump sanctions bite

By: Bloomberg     9th May 2018 Iran’s gold demand will probably be “strong” for the next few months and then gradually decline as US sanctions start to take effect, according to the researcher who covers the country for Metals Focus Ltd. After a previous set of sanctions was imposed on Iran in 2012, it took two years for the... 

Kinross reports knock-out Q1 profit

By: Henry Lazenby     9th May 2018 Canadian multinational gold producer Kinross Gold has reported a 435% jump in headline profit for the three months ended March 31, as 30% higher year-on-year margins and a decrease in depreciation, depletion and amortisation boosted the bottom line. Adjusted net earnings increased to... 

Kinross reports knock-out Q1 profit
Photo by Kinross Gold
Tasiast at dusk, in Mauritania

Fura unearths exceptional 25.97 ct rough emerald in Colombia

By: Henry Lazenby     8th May 2018 Dubai-based precious gem producer Fura Gems has recovered a 25.97 ct rough emerald at its Coscuez Colombian emerald mine. Fura said in a statement on Tuesday that it believes the emerald to be rare and exceptional owing to its size, colour saturation and clarity.  

Gold price to average $1 360/oz this year – survey

By: Simone Liedtke     8th May 2018 Thomson Reuters GFMS expects the gold price to average $1 360/oz this year and potentially briefly approach a 2018 peak towards $1 500/oz on any external shocks later in the year as it believes that the geopolitical climate and equity markets will continue to support gold’s role as a risk hedge.... 

Gold price to average $1 360/oz this year – survey

Protesters demand Ethiopia cancel billionaire's gold licence

By: Bloomberg     8th May 2018 Protesters in Ethiopia’s restive Oromia region demanded the government withdraw a gold-mining permit from a company owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi because of alleged pollution. Demonstrators have blockaded roads in Shakiso, 358 km south of the capital, Addis Ababa, since April 30... 

South African output rises as AngloGold delivers at lower cost

By: Martin Creamer     8th May 2018 The smaller South African footprint of gold-mining company AngloGold Ashanti, consisting of one underground mine and one tailings treatment operation on surface, delivered impressive first-quarter results with rising production and reduced rand-denominated costs. Production rocketed 29% at... 

South African output rises as AngloGold delivers at lower cost
Photo by Creamer Media
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat)

Nutrien, Mosaic report big misses on Q1 earnings; ups FY2018 profit guidance

By: Henry Lazenby     8th May 2018 A late start to the spring season across North America and west coast rail performance issues were the main contributors to a disappointing first quarter for plant fertiliser major Nutrien, the company said on Monday. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company reported adjusted net earnings of... 

Nutrien, Mosaic report big misses on Q1 earnings; ups FY2018 profit guidance

Gold demand slows as investors grapple with unpredictable macroeconomic factors

By: Nadine James     3rd May 2018 Lacklustre investor performance, stemming from investors’ decision to embrace a “wait and see” approach in light of geopolitical uncertainty muddying growth and market outlooks, has contributed to soft first-quarter gold demand, the World Gold Council (WGC) reports. The WGC’s ‘Demand Trends’... 

 Gold demand slows as investors grapple with unpredictable macroeconomic factors

Comparatively high exploration spending belies sagging discovery rate – S&P Global

By: Henry Lazenby     3rd May 2018 Despite exploration budgets remaining at comparatively high levels in the past decades, geologists have only been able to find a fraction of the gold ounces they discovered in the preceding 18-year period, a new analysis conducted by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows. The financial information... 

Comparatively high exploration spending belies sagging discovery rate – S&P Global

Constrained metal supply could slow battery electric vehicle production rates – Moody’s

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd May 2018 Metals supply constraints could slow battery electric vehicle (BEV) production rates in the near term, says ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service.  

Constrained metal supply could slow battery electric vehicle production rates – Moody’s

Feasibility into zinc smelting, refining in Northern Cape

By: Martin Creamer     2nd May 2018 A feasibility study into the development and construction of a zinc smelter-refinery complex in the Northern Cape is under way, London-listed India-based Vedanta subsidiary Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) said on Wednesday. This is the latest step in the unfolding of what is envisaged as a major... 

Feasibility into zinc smelting, refining in Northern Cape
Photo by Creamer Media
Zinc project at Gamsberg, Northern Cape.
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