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Potash News

Slow, bumpy market recovery on the cards for most commodities

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd June 2017 The global commodity market is probably in for a slow, drawn-out recovery following the five-year bear market, S&P Global Market Intelligence director for reports on the metals and mining sectors Dr Chris Hinde said during a webcast on Wednesday. According to S&P’s ‘State of the Market’ report,... 

Mining Charter exposing South African economy to GATT angst  

By: Martin Creamer     21st June 2017 The procurement rules of the new Mining Charter may violate South Africa’s obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), exposing the country to challenges by other member states of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers Peter Leon and Patrick... 

Mining Charter exposing South African economy to GATT angst
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills co-chair Peter Leon

Mining Charter set to worsen stakeholder relations – Bench Marks

By: Martin Creamer     20th June 2017 The new Mining Charter is the flawed outcome of inadequate consultation with communities, the board of the Bench Marks Foundation said on Tuesday, when it warned that the document is poised to worsen stakeholder relations. Bench Marks executive director John Capel condemned the new charter as a... 

Mining Charter set to worsen stakeholder relations – Bench Marks
Photo by Reuters
Rt Rev Dr Jo Seoka, chairperson of the Bench Marks Foundation, which has launched a scathing attack on the new Mining Charter.

Potash Ridge clinches 25% take-or-pay agreement

By: Henry Lazenby     20th June 2017 Near-term crop nutrient producer Potash Ridge's Quebec-based subsidiary Valleyfield Fertilizer Corp has signed a preliminary nonbinding, multiyear agreement with a prominent fertiliser distribution partner, representing about 25% of Valleyfield's initial yearly potassium sulphate (SOP) output.... 

Australian Potash gets offtake for Lake Wells

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     19th June 2017 ASX-listed Australian Potash has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s Hubei Agricultural Means of Production Group (Hubei-Agri) for the sale of up to 100 000 t/y of sulphate of potash (SoP) from the Lake Wells project, in Western Australia. Under the terms of the MoU,... 

K+S produces first potash at $4.6bn Bethune mine ahead of schedule

By: Henry Lazenby     16th June 2017 German-held chemicals firm K+S Potash Canada has last weekend produced the first tonnes of marketable potash at its new $4.6-billion Bethune mine, in Saskatchewan. The company reached the milestone ahead of schedule, and is now focused on building up to its annual production capacity of... 

Chamber going to court to halt devastating charter blow to already battered mining sector 

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2017 The Chamber of Mines of South Africa will be applying at the earliest opportunity for a court date for a declaratory order on continuing empowerment consequences, as well as immediately seeking an interim court interdict to suspend the implementation of Mining Charter Three, the devastating set... 

Chamber going to court to halt devastating charter blow to already battered mining sector
Photo by Creamer Media
Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo

IHS Markit's materials price index registers 3.1% weekly decline

By: Henry Lazenby     9th June 2017 A broad basket of commodities tracked by market research house IHS Markit has declined the most in a single week since mid-April, falling 3.1% last week in a broad retreat. IHS senior economist Ben Orhan said in a news release to Mining Weekly Online on Thursday that the commodity price index... 

Supplier aims to take top spot in Africa by 2022

     9th June 2017 Vibration equipment supplier Aury Africa intends to become a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-performance mineral processing equipment to the African mining industry by 2022, with initial focus on Zambia and Mozambique, says director Sydney Parkhouse. He is optimistic that the green... 

Supplier aims to take top spot in Africa by 2022
SYDNEY PARKHOUSE The key factors driving the original-equipment manufacturer’s ongoing success is its expertise and the experience of its new management team

Phosa condemns charter tinkering, urges growth negotiations  

By: Martin Creamer     7th June 2017 Stop tinkering with sector charters and instead negotiate them in a manner that creates room for sizable growth, African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee member Dr Mathews Phosa urged on Wednesday. Delivering the keynote address at the Junior Indaba, the former premier of... 

Phosa condemns charter tinkering, urges growth negotiations
African National Congress National Executive Committee member Mathews Phosa addressed the Junior Indaba, which was cover by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photograph: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Darlene Creamer

Young bull run kickstarts cyclical mining industry into exploration mode

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd June 2017 With the commodity and equity markets in much better shape than a year ago, mining industry players are navigating the early days of a new bull run with renewed interest in exploration and mergers and acquisitions activity to secure future supplies. While the commodity market is perhaps not... 

Young bull run kickstarts cyclical mining industry into exploration mode
Photo by Resource Maven
Resource Maven newsletter writer Gwen Preston on a mining site visit

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,... 

Zambezi Protocol to serve as guide for identity-changing chamber
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer asks new Chamber of Mines office bearers to spell out the influential institution’s decision to change its 128-year-old name and identity. Photographs and Video: Duane Daws. Video Editing : Lionel d Silva.

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

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

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

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

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

Danakali finds funding for Colluli

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th May 2017 Potash developer Danakali will raise some A$12.25-million through a share placement to sophisticated and institutional investors in the UK and Australia. The company told shareholders that some 20-million new shares will be issued at a price of 62c each, representing a 7.4% discount to the... 

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... 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colluli gets extra output at no cost

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     4th May 2017 Potash developer Danakali has added a further 47 000 t/y of potash of sulphate output capacity at its Colluli project, in Eritrea, after a systematic debottlenecking of the processing plant configuration. The ASX-listed company this week stated that the expected additional capacity had been... 

K+S officially opens $4.6bn Saskatchewan mine, renames it ‘Bethune’

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd May 2017 Germany's K+S Potash Canada has opened its $4.6-billion new Legacy potash mine, in Saskatchewan, marking the handover of the mine to the operations team. The company stated on Tuesday that the five-year construction phase was successfully completed and the first tonne of marketable potash was... 

K+S officially opens $4.6bn Saskatchewan mine, renames it ‘Bethune’

Agrium swings to Q1 loss on higher costs, lower phosphate prices

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd May 2017 Higher natural gas prices and lower phosphate prices have driven Calgary-based Agrium to a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss. The owner of the largest farming input retail distribution network in North America, which is in the process of merging with Canadian counterpart Potash Corporation... 

Consulting engineering’s viability proportional to mining’s growth

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 The consulting engineering industry’s sustainability and growth are largely dependent on and proportional to the mining industry’s sustainability and growth respectively, says industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa). Cesa CEO Christopher Campbell notes that the success or decline... 

Consulting engineering’s viability proportional to mining’s growth
CHRISTOPHER CAMPBELL The current impasse between South Africa’s government and its mining industry needs to be resolved

Optimisation tools up probability of success

     28th April 2017 In today’s world of constrained capital, engineering, procurement and construction consultant WorleyParsons notes that clients in the mining sector are seeking ways to improve returns while reducing their exposure to risk, particularly those companies who need to make strategic decisions on... 

Optimisation tools up probability of success
AIDING DEVELOPMENT Advisian acts as lenders’ independent technical and environmental adviser for nonrecourse project finance, export credit agency finance and structured trade commodity finance

PotashCorp Q1 earnings rise as it lifts outlook on improving crop nutrient fundamentals

By: Henry Lazenby     27th April 2017 The world’s largest crop nutrient company Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan surprised investors with a bigger-than-expected first-quarter profit Thursday and increased its full-year earnings guidance, underpinned by increased sales and lower costs. PotashCorp Potash reported earnings of... 

PotashCorp Q1 earnings rise as it lifts outlook on improving crop nutrient fundamentals
Photo by Reuters
Increased output from PotashCorp’s lower-cost mines – including Rocanville – resulted in average manufactured cost of goods sold for the quarter of $90/t, down from $128/t in the same period last year

Agrium completes commissioning of $720m Borger urea plant, Texas

By: Henry Lazenby     18th April 2017 TSX- and NYSE-listed Agrium has commissioned its new urea plant at the Borger Nitrogen Operations facility, in Texas, having completed its first run of urea production – widely used in fertilisers as a source of nitrogen. The Calgary-based company, which controls the largest retail distribution... 

Encanto incorporates trading company to market Muskowekwan crop nutrients

By: Henry Lazenby     31st March 2017 Potash project developer Encanto Potash has incorporated a new subsidiary, Encanto Potash Trading Company, through which it will trade potash sourced from producing properties that are currently underutilised, alongside the concurrent development of the reserves located on the Muskowekwan First... 

Mining showing tentative improvement off low base – chamber

By: Martin Creamer     30th March 2017 The fourth quarter mining financial statistics data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) confirm the tentative improvement in the sector’s financial conditions during 2016, but off a very low 2015 base and with huge swings in performance. In 2016 rand terms, mining’s profits before... 

Mining showing tentative improvement off low base – chamber
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber of Mines economist Henk Langenhoven

Lake Wells proves economic – Australian Potash

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd March 2017 A scoping study into the Lake Wells potash project, in Western Australia, has confirmed project economics, owner Australian Potash said. The scoping study considered the development of a two-staged operation, with Stage 1 producing some 150 000 t/y sulphate of potash (SoP). Stage 2 will see... 

BC Iron completes first stage of potash earn-in

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th March 2017 ASX-listed BC Iron has completed the first stage of its earn-in into the Carnegie potash project, in Western Australia. The junior on Wednesday said it had earned a 15% interest in the project by contributing A$500 000 and its mobile exploration camp facilities to the joint venture (JV). 

Circum awarded Ethiopian potash mining licence

By: Henry Lazenby     14th March 2017 London-based potash project developer Circum Minerals has secured a mining licence for its Danakil potash project. The licence was approved by the Council of Ministers of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and gives Circum exclusive access over the 4.9-billion-tonne Canadian National... 

First K+S rail cars arrive at $4.1bn Legacy mine, in Saskatchewan

By: Henry Lazenby     13th March 2017 The first 177 of 531 custom built rail cars have arrived at potash project developer K+S Potash Canada's (KSPC's) $4.1-billion Legacy mine site, in Saskatchewan. The company on Monday said this was enough to complete one of three trains that will transport KSPC’s product to its potash handling... 

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