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Has China reached peak graphite? – Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

By: Creamer Media Reporter According to a report released this week by London-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, China’s share of global natural graphite output will fall by 15% this year to levels not seen since the mid-1990s, when the country began exporting to international markets. This year alone the country’s... 

Education at the heart of DRA’s corporate social investment

By: Mariaan Webb Recognising the need for a constant supply of well-qualified, locally educated graduate engineers and scientists to recruit from, DRA has placed education at the heart of its corporate social investment (CSI) programme, with 26 local nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) benefiting from its... 

Maintenance specialist upbeat about 2014 contract renewals

By: Mariaan Webb Outsourced plant operations and maintenance specialist Minopex, a member of the DRA Group, has been awarded three contract renewals in 2014, which MD Gerhard Hendriksz says is indicative of the value-add service that the company offers. 

Mining division expanding again

By: Mariaan Webb DRA Mining – a division offering specialised mining services and total mining service solutions – is bouncing back after the South African mining industry took a knock in the post-Marikana environment. 

Mining division expanding again
Photo by Duane Daws
DRA director responsible for the mining division, Neale Goddard

Mining downturn threatens to erode local talent pool

By: Mariaan Webb Slow growth in the South African mining industry is threatening to erode the availability of critical skills in the local industry, as experienced engineers turn to other emerging and faster-growing industries for work opportunities. 

Mining downturn threatens to erode  local talent pool
Photo by Duane Daws
DRA CEO Paul Thomson

New Oman office already bringing in leads

By: Mariaan Webb Having already established a strong foothold in sub-Saharan Africa, Johannesburg-headquartered  

New Oman office already bringing in leads
Photo by Duane Daws
DRA COO Michiel van Niekerk

Refurbished winders attractive alternative

By: Mariaan Webb Refurbishing existing mine winders remains a popular practice in the mining industry, with DRA’s specialist consultant winder systems team reporting that the majority of its clients choose refurbished equipment where possible, owing to significant cost and time savings. 

Refurbished winders attractive alternative
Photo by Duane Daws
DRA director responsible for the winder systems business, Graham du Plessis

Thompson Creek to suspend Endako mine operations

By: Henry Lazenby Denver, Colorado-based Thompson Creek Metals would suspend operations at its Endako molybdenum mine, in British Columbia, at the end of the month, as a result of the continued weakness in the molybdenum market. The NYSE- and TSX-listed miner said that about half of its salaried employees at the... 

Alliance formed to develop mine-to-market manganese-based batteries

By: Henry Lazenby Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Star Minerals Group has joined forces with Cooperative Mineral Resources (CMR) of Brainerd, in Minnesota, and Octopus Technologies (OTI) of Vancouver, in British Columbia, to develop a mine-to-market manganese-based battery technology. Star is a junior mining... 

Despite delays, Largo Resources’ vanadium output gathers pace

By: Henry Lazenby Vanadium producer Largo Resources this week said despite minor challenges, output at its Maracas Menchen mine, in Brazil, was gathering pace, with the project operating at between 45% and 65% of capacity. Largo started vanadium production in August and output rates rose steadily up to November,... 

Western Lithium USA ready to ramp up production

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian firm Western Lithium USA has completed all safety inspections at its Fernley, Nevada, Hectatone organoclay plant and received its business licence on Tuesday, paving the way for it to start operations. The TSX-listed firm in October ceremoniously cut the ribbon to its Hectatone... 

Toronto-listed miners faced tough but improved conditions over 2014 

By: Simon Rees The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V) witnessed an improved level of financings across 2014, while the avalanche of companies predicted to delist failed to materialise, TMX head, business development, global mining TSX and TSXV Carlos Espinosa told members of the... 

Toronto-listed miners faced tough but improved conditions over 2014

Indian miner plans Mozambique power station as study into network is almost complete

By: Keith Campbell Indian company International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL) has despatched its first shipment of coal from its recently acquired Benga mine in Mozambique to India. This shipment was composed of metallurgical or coking coal and was sent to the Steel Authority of India (SAIL). This was revealed to... 

Modular Mining Systems honours Palabora Copper for using its solutions for 30 years

By: Chantelle Kotze Mine management solutions provider Modular Mining Systems last month presented a long-term client service award to refined copper producer Palabora Copper (PC), a subsidiary of Palabora Mining Company (PMC), which extracts and beneficiates copper and other by-products in the Ba-Phalaborwa area,... 

Modular Mining Systems honours Palabora Copper  for using its solutions for 30 years
AWARD HANDOVER Palabora Copper mining division GM Johan van Dyk with the client achievement award presented to it by Modular Mining Systems on October 29, 2014

EY’s Canadian Mining Eye falls 15% during Q3, expects sluggish Q4

By: Henry Lazenby Professional services firm EY's quarterly ‘Canadian Mining Eye’ index fell 15% in the September quarter, paring a 9% gain during previous quarter. The firm said on Thursday that the fall in the index was in line with the S&P/TSX Composite index, which also plummeted 15% during the period, while... 

EY’s Canadian Mining Eye falls 15% during Q3, expects sluggish Q4

Canada provides funding for lithium, copper projects

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian mining technology firm Stria Lithium on Wednesday reported that it had received a funding commitment of up to $137 700 from the Canadian federal government to support the company’s work to develop novel lithium processing technologies aimed at producing low-cost, high-purity lithium... 

Bonfire of the juniors avoided as role of alternative finance gathers pace

By: Simon Rees The number of companies that have delisted from the TSX and the TSX-V is far fewer than many commentators predicted, while the level of financing activity by mining companies on both exchanges has also increased, attendees at the mineLatinAmerica convention, in Toronto, were told. Alternative... 

Economic volatility, low commodity prices to hurt mining industry

By: Henry Lazenby Global economic challenges, the strengthening US economy and an imbalance of supply and demand have had a devastating impact on the commodities market, a new report by professional services firm PwC has found. PwC’s 'Gold, silver and copper price report 2015’ noted that low prices had led to... 

Mining sector to herald M&A boom time as planets align – Grant Thornton

By: Henry Lazenby A new report from international firm Grant Thornton has found that the mining sector will experience a new era in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a near perfect alignment of factors was taking place. Following a slow period for transactions, in which last year's deal volumes failed to breach... 

Software developers, mining majors collaborate for better, faster mine planning

By: Samantha Moolman Global infrastructure software developer Bentley Systems last week launched its new range of mining software applications, developed in collaboration with mining technology solutions provider Cyest Technology, through a syndicated-driven development programme (SDDP) with mining majors Anglo... 

Software developers, mining majors collaborate for better, faster mine planning
DAVE BODY MineCycle is the first of Bentley’s products created through syndicated development, whereby industry participants were directly involved in developing the software’s definition and design

Mixed signals for global 2015 growth as US recovery gathers pace

By: Simon Rees The US recovery will continue to advance, supporting the uptake and price of several commodities into 2015, CIBC senior economist world markets Peter Buchanan told an audience at the mineLatinAmerica symposium on Tuesday. Even gold, which had come under price pressure over the past week, could... 

Mixed signals for global 2015 growth as US recovery gathers pace

Molycorp stock slides on disappointing earnings

By: Henry Lazenby US rare earths producer Molycorp’s NYSE-listed stock on Wednesday slid more than 19% in after-market trading following the publication of disappointing third-quarter results. Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Molycorp reported a net loss of $105.2-million, or $0.47 a share, for the three months... 

Molycorp stock slides on disappointing earnings

Ivanhoe picks up shovels at Platreef project after S Africa OKs mining right

By: Henry Lazenby South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has executed the mining right for Africa-focused project developer Ivanhoe Mines' multi-metal Platreef project, near Mokopane, on the Northern Limb of the country’s mineral-rich Bushveld Complex. The mining right, which would allow Ivanhoe to... 

Ivanhoe picks up shovels at Platreef project after S Africa OKs mining right

FMC to lift lithium prices 10% across the board

By: Henry Lazenby Diversified firm FMC Corporation on Tuesday announced a 10% increase, effective from December 1, or as contracts permitted, to the global pricing for all grades of lithium carbonate and lithium salts, including lithium hydroxide, pharmaceutical carbonate and speciality salts. The... 

American Vanadium gains UI certification of Cellcube energy storage systems

By: Henry Lazenby The CellCube vanadium flow energy-storage systems sold by TSX-V-listed American Vanadium in North America has received Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 508A certification, which is considered the single-most-accepted product accreditation in the US and generally a prerequisite for permitting and... 

Report highlights economic impact of gold mining in Ontario

By: Henry Lazenby A recent independent report has highlighted the significant economic impact of Ontario’s mineral sector and found that all stakeholders – including miners, Aboriginal and other local communities, governments and supplier industries – benefitted from the sector’s activity. The University of... 

Largo Resources achieves 71% of Maracas Menchen mine’s first phase capacity

By: Henry Lazenby Vanadium producer Largo Resources' flagship Maracas Menchen mine, in Bahia state, Brazil, last week achieved a production record, representing about 71% of the plant’s designed Phase 1 capacity. The company reported a 40% production rate early this month. 

Importance of developing cutting-edge mining technology stressed

By: Chantelle Kotze The future of mining through the eyes of the next generation places importance on working towards ensuring a sustainable future, by means of developing cutting edge mining technology and finely honed skills. 

Importance of developing cutting-edge  mining technology stressed
LOOKING FORWARD Developing cutting edge mining technology and relevant skills is important in ensuring productive future mines

Global REE supply threatened after reports that 40% of Chinese supply is illegal

By: Henry Lazenby China, the world's most prolific producer of rare earth elements (REE),  has revealed that 40% of its supply is from illegally mined sources in the country, market-focused research house Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Simon Moores reported on Tuesday. Industrial Minerals Company of... 

Global REE supply threatened after reports that 40% of Chinese supply is illegal

Concerns about possible deflationary spiral as commodity prices continue to slide

By: Henry Lazenby In a global economy witnessing passive consumer inflation, sluggish wage growth and falling commodity prices, some market observers have shown concern about the potential for deflation in developed markets. Last month, gold dipped below $1 200/oz, before recovering marginally, as inflation... 

Concerns about possible deflationary spiral  as commodity prices continue to slide

Renewable energy a tough sell for prospective RoF developers

By: Henry Lazenby Among the many challenges facing as many as 20 mining companies holding claims in the Ring of Fire (RoF) mineral region of Northern Ontario, the most significant might be the limited infrastructure. However, besides having to deal with exploration, project planning, First Nations negotiations and... 

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