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Nickel News

Zambezi Protocol to serve as guide for identity-changing chamber 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2017 The 128-year-old Chamber of Mines of South Africa provided an important indicator of its intended new direction when it revealed that the Zambezi Protocol would be its guiding light as it embarked on its identity and name-change programme. Under unanimously elected new president of Mxolisi Mgojo,... 

Poseidon expects Silver Swan restart to deliver ‘healthy’ return

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     26th May 2017 The Silver Swan nickel mine, in Western Australia, will require a preproduction and working capital investment of A$25-million, and a breakeven nickel price of $4.63/lb to deliver its 8 800 t of contained nickel. A definitive feasibility study (DFS) found that the high-grade underground nickel... 

Poseidon expects Silver Swan restart to deliver ‘healthy’ return

Local company progresses plans for nickel beneficiation plant

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th May 2017 Beneficiator Thakadu Battery Materials has taken significant steps towards progressing its high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate plant project, which is expected to produce up to 25 000 t/y of high-purity nickel sulphate from South Africa-focused platinum producer Lonmin’s crude nickel... 

Local company progresses plans for nickel beneficiation plant
MATERIAL PROVISION Thakadu will beneficiate the crude nickel sulphate stream and produce high-purity, battery-grade nickel sulphate at its purification plant

New company aims to be ‘unrivalled’ service provider

     26th May 2017 With a focus on safety and supporting its customers, the process of integrating diversified industrial-use products and services provider Komatsu and high-productivity mining solutions provider Joy Global has begun, following the conclusion of a $3.7-billion deal in April. On May 8, executive... 

New company aims to be ‘unrivalled’ service provider
RETAINING FOCUS Newly renamed Komatsu Mining will continue to promote and invest in the Joy Global P&H, Joy and Montabert brands

Acacia’s shares fall as Tanzania committee says it under-declared concentrate exports

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th May 2017 Acacia Mining’s share price on the LSE fell by more than 20% on Wednesday after it reported that a Tanzanian Presidential Committee that was set up to investigate if mining companies are paying their fair share of taxes, had found that the gold miner had not fully declared all minerals contained... 

BHP hopes for more nickel mines in WA

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     24th May 2017 Mining major BHP has confirmed that it is pursuing environmental approvals to develop two satellite pits to support production from its Mount Keith operation, in Western Australia. Mt Keith is owned by the Nickel West division of BHP.  

Western Areas adds A$13m to bottom line

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     24th May 2017 Nickel miner Western Areas has reported a A$13.3-million increase in the post tax earnings for 2017, on the back of discontinuing to equity account its investment in Bluejay Mining. The company told shareholders that it had ceased to equity account its investment in Bluejay with the company’s... 

Horizonte undertakes sustainability studies for Araguaia project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd May 2017 Dual-listed nickel development company Horizonte Minerals is moving closer to obtaining an installation licence for its 100%-owned Araguaia project, on the eastern margin of the State of Pará, north-eastern Brazil. The award of the licence, together with mining concessions, will allow for... 

ASA reports mixed Q4 performance

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th May 2017 Aim-listed ASA Resource Group on Friday reported an increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation to $20.5-million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, against a loss of $300 000 in the three months to March 31, 2016. This improvement came despite lower production... 

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

By: Henry Lazenby     19th May 2017 Project valuations based on elevated price assumptions in the absence of more reasonable scenarios to provide a more balanced view to the market is potentially damaging to the credibility of management teams, their consultants and the mining industry as a whole, London-based boutique investment... 

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

Time to get PDS-ready is now

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 As of June, all new original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) trackless mobile machines (TMMs) bought by mining houses need to be proximity detection system- (PDS-) ready. 

Time to get PDS-ready is now
PROXIMITY DETECTION SYSTEMS The Booyco PDS warns when pedestrians enter the area around a machine

Fibre-optic pyrometer offers South Africa greater accuracy

By: Nadine James     19th May 2017 The South African minerals and metals processing industry has yet to take advantage of the fibre-optic Calex Fibre-Mini pyrometer, compared with the response from international markets, which has been favourable. The pyrometer, used to measure temperatures of reflective metals, was developed by... 

Fibre-optic pyrometer offers  South Africa greater accuracy
FIBRE-MINI PYROMETER The fibre-optic sensing head withstands up to 200 °C ambient temperature

Furnace projects to impact mining giant’s nickel, copper

     19th May 2017 Brazilian miner Vale will execute a furnace rebuild project at its Canada-based Sudbury nickel and copper smelting operation, in Ontario, thereby impacting on the miner’s 2017 production of these metals. In its first quarter performance report released last month, Vale stated that nickel and... 

Furnace projects to impact mining giant’s nickel, copper
Photo by Reuters
FLASHY UPGRADES The $88-million capital expenditure will fund maintenance and strategic projects, such as increasing the power capacity of one of the furnaces

Legislation plays ‘big role’ in uptake of healthcare services 

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 In many countries, health and safety legislation is either nonexistent or not effectively enforced and, therefore, greatly influences the number of mining-related work opportunities available for healthcare service providers, such as International SOS in Midrand, South Africa 

Legislation plays  ‘big role’ in uptake  of healthcare services
International SOS medical director Dr Charl van Loggerenberg speaks about 'Duty of Care' and the company's services and products. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Alcohol testing, education longterm solution to abuse

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 Testing backed up by educational programmes is a tried and tested method, proven to reduce alcohol-related incidents, drive down absenteeism and improve overall productivity in the mining sector, alcohol detection technology and services provider Alco-Safe director Rhys Evans tells Mining Weekly. 

Alcohol testing, education longterm solution to abuse
EFFECTIVE TESTING Testing needs to be carried out every single day as part of the mine’s standard health and safety policy to be effective

New cost-slashing platinum technology gaining impressive momentum

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 The new cost-slashing, time-saving, capital-unlocking, mine-broadening and cobalt-saving platinum technology, driven by diversified mining company Pallinghurst and South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is gaining impressive international momentum as an initiative... 

New cost-slashing platinum technology gaining impressive momentum
Photo by Duane Daws
Pallinghurst chairperson Brian Gilbertson (centre), Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen (right) in an earlier discussion with Martin Creamer on the new platinum technology.

Shadow Minerals Minister warns of ‘disastrous’ mining outlook 

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer forecasts that South Africa’s new minerals legislation and new charter will be “disastrous” for an industry already crippled by hugely diminished capital injection and massive year-on-year job loss. The Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, who... 

Shadow Minerals Minister warns of ‘disastrous’ mining outlook
Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer

Report sketches optimistic outlook for BC mining sector

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th May 2017 The mining industry in British Columbia is cautiously optimistic as prices of key metal and resource commodities either rose or stabilised in 2016, new analysis by professional services firm PwC Canada has found. The trend continued into the first quarter, building on net mining revenues rising... 

Vale to shutter nickel mine in Canada; up to 200 jobs at stake

By: Reuters     16th May 2017 Vale Canada said on Tuesday it would suspend operations at its Birchtree nickel mine, in the province of Manitoba, on October 1, because of weak nickel prices and declining ore grades as the small, 51-year-old mine nears the end of its life. The suspension will result in up to 200 job losses and... 

Thakadu progresses nickel beneficiation plant plans

By: Mia Breytenbach     16th May 2017 Beneficiator Thakadu Battery Materials has taken significant steps forward in its high-purity battery-grade nickel sulphate plant project, which is expected to produce up to 25 000 t/y of high-purity nickel sulphate from South Africa-focused platinum producer Lonmin’s crude nickel sulphate... 

Thakadu progresses nickel beneficiation plant plans

Glencore says electric car boom is coming faster than expected

By: Bloomberg     16th May 2017 Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said the rise of electric cars will significantly boost demand for minerals including copper and lithium in the coming decades. “The electric vehicle revolution is happening and its impact is likely to be felt faster than expected,” Glasenberg told investors at an... 

Glencore says electric car boom is coming faster than expected
Photo by Duane Daws
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

India's Vedanta swings to profit after metal rally, zinc payout

By: Bloomberg     15th May 2017 Vedanta reported a fourth-quarter profit as India’s biggest base metals producer benefited from a rally in prices and a special dividend announced by its zinc arm. Net income attributable to owners was 14.1-billion rupees in the three months through March and revenues were Rs246.1-billion, the... 

India's Vedanta swings to profit after metal rally, zinc payout
Vedanta outgoing CEO Tom Albanese

Down 2.1% last week, IHS Materials Price Index tracks lower for third week

By: Henry Lazenby     12th May 2017 Lacklustre Chinese manufacturing data, coupled with moves by regulators to crack down on risky investments, is fuelling concern that Chinese demand growth is set to decelerate and that it had pushed down commodity prices over the last three weeks, market intelligence firm IHS Markit said in a... 

Mine planning software a must for modern miners

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 In the face of numerous technical challenges, as well as the overall drive to reduce mining costs and improve efficiency amid commodity price volatility, miners globally can no longer afford to operate without using modern analytical, modelling, simulation and optimisation software, says mining... 

Mine planning software a must for modern miners
BOOSTING DEVELOPMENT MICROMINE’s fleet management and mine control solution, Pitram, is assisting Mongolian copper and gold mine Oyu Tolgoi to restart its underground development

Africa demanding more mining tech, new solutions offered

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 The demand for mine planning solutions is on the rise in Africa, with mining solutions developer Maptek Africa GM Nick Venter noting that there is particular interest in new technology that can be integrated with current systems. 

Africa demanding more mining tech, new solutions offered
NEW FRONTIERS The I-Site XR3 laser scanner allows for greater coverage with fewer scans, allowing for the surveying of otherwise out-of-range areas on mine sites

Improved geology function advances mine planning

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 Adding the GeoLogic software solution to the MineSight mine planning suite provides geologists with smart, time-saving modelling and allows for a reproducible, auditable geological model that can be quickly updated with new information, says mining technology developer Hexagon Mining. 

Improved geology function advances mine planning
BETTER VISUALISATION GeoLogic helps geologists build complex shapes, using mathematical algorithms to create a surface or a solid from drillhole data

Dust regulations hinder productivity

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 Regulations implemented by governmental authorities, including municipalities, and environmental bodies, are impacting significantly on productivity in the global mining industry at a time when opencast operations are running tight margins, says Johannesburg-based mining equipment manufacturer... 

Dust regulations  hinder productivity
IDEAL SOLUTION The T1255III Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine is ideal for use in surface mine applications with drill-and-blast restrictions

Opencast mine equipment relocation method saves costs, time

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 By loading, transporting and offloading draglines for opencast mining clients in one piece, global engineered heavy lifting and transportation specialist Mammoet is driving project feasibility by saving its clients time and money. 

Opencast mine equipment relocation method saves costs, time
ADDITIONAL SERVICES Mammoet is also capable of moving rock trucks and hydraulic shovels

More technical skills needed

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 Without more technical skills, the future of the Southern African mining industry cannot be secured, says Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) president Cuthbert Musingwini. Skills development will, therefore, be included on the agenda at this year’s SAIMM Mine Planning... 

More technical skills needed
CUTHBERT MUSINGWINI Mines are required to continuously innovate how they plan and operate their production systems

Norilsk Nickel lawsuit against Botswana undeterred by potential deal

By: Reuters     10th May 2017 Norilsk Nickel Africa will press ahead with a lawsuit against Botswana over a failed $271-million deal to sell a 50% stake in its Nkomati nickel mine even though the government is still trying to raise the funds, its CEO has told Reuters. "From our point of view the government failed to meet... 

Philippines' new Environment Minister says can allow responsible mining

By: Reuters     9th May 2017 The Philippines' new Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Tuesday he can allow mining in the country as long as it is done responsibly, taking a more moderate stance than his dismissed predecessor who ordered over half the country's mines shut. "For me, I think we can allow mining (as long... 

Glencore maintains steady Q1 production

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th May 2017 Production in the first quarter of the year across several of triple-listed Glencore’s operations worldwide was marred by adverse weather conditions, including Cyclone Debbie in Australia, flooding in Peru and higher-than-average rainfall in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Hunter... 

Sherritt scales back Ambatovy ownership, to remain operator

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd May 2017 Canadian diversified miner Sherritt International has reached agreement with its joint venture (JV) partners to reduce its interest in the Ambatovy nickel/cobalt mine, in Madagascar, from 40% to 12%. Sherritt, which derives about a quarter of its revenue from Ambatovy, has long ceased funding... 

Sherritt scales back Ambatovy ownership, to remain operator
Photo by Sherritt International
Ambatovy, Madagascar

First Quantum swings to Q1 loss on increased tax charge

By: Henry Lazenby     28th April 2017 Base metals producer First Quantum Minerals has swung to an adjusted loss of $29-million, or $0.04 a share, during the first quarter ended March 31, as no tax credit was recognised regarding losses realised under a sales hedge programme. Headline earnings fell short of analyst forecasts calling... 

Sherritt narrows Q1 headline loss

By: Henry Lazenby     27th April 2017 Canadian diversified miner Sherritt International has increased headline earnings in the March quarter as significantly higher nickel, cobalt and oil prices boosted the bottom line. The Toronto-based company reported a loss, adjusted for special items, totalling C$82.7-million, or C$0.25 a share... 

Western Areas hopes for stellar year

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     26th April 2017 Nickel miner Western Areas is tracking at the upper end of its full-year guidance following a strong March quarter, with the miner also reporting its lowest unit cash costs since June 2015. The total tonnes of nickel-in-concentrate produced during the March quarter dropped slightly from 5 844 t... 

Anglo American achieves strong Q1 operational performance

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th April 2017 Diversified major Anglo American, led by CEO Mark Cutifani, posted a strong operational performance in the quarter ended March 31, with higher output achieved for most of its products, except copper and nickel. South African coal production increased 9% to five-million tonnes in the first quarter... 

Anglo American achieves strong Q1 operational performance
CEO Mark Cutifani

Strengthening fundamentals continue to bolster ‘new age’ metals outlook

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd April 2017 ‘Big money’ investors are increasingly looking to invest in the relatively small ‘new-age metals’ space, comprising metals such as lithium, graphite and cobalt, as strengthening fundamentals for these minerals and an unprecedented high-impact investment opportunity draw the potential for bonanza... 

Strengthening fundamentals continue to bolster ‘new age’ metals outlook
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