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Project Management News

Copper mining offers growth opportunity to dust suppressant supplier

By: Nadine James     2nd December 2016 Johannesburg-based nanotechnology provider Cruze Holdings expects to secure more work from African copper mining operations as its products generate savings by ensuring companies spend less on their existing road dust suppression measures. The company may double its mining revenue within the next... 

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2016 Tuesday's approval by the federal Liberal government of Kinder Morgan’s C$6.8-billion Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project and Enbridge’s C$7.5-billion Line 3 Replacement project has drawn equally strong praise and criticism from Canadian business and civic organisations. Gathering almost... 

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument
Photo by Reuters
Protesters walk down Robson Street in opposition to Canada's decision to approve Kinder Morgan's pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, in Vancouver

Namibia Rare Earths files mining licence application for Lofdal

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Heavy rare earth elements project developer Namibia Rare Earths has filed an application with the Namibian Mines and Energy Ministry for a mining licence for its Lofdal project, the company reported Wednesday. Since releasing its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in November 2014, the company... 

PTM’s Maseve ramp-up dogged by DMR safety blitzes

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 The ramp up of South Africa-focused miner Platinum Group Metals’ (PTM’s)  cornerstone Maseve mine has been hampered in recent weeks by safety blitzes in the North West province by the inspectorate branch of South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). The company noted on Tuesday that... 

Critical Elements welcomes lithium bigwig as president

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Quebec-based lithium/tantalum project developer Critical Elements has appointed former Rockwood Lithium senior executive Dr Steffen Haber as its president effective January 1, 2017. Haber is a well-known figure in the lithium industry, having been CEO and president of Rockwood Lithium up until it... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Despite a modestly more buoyant outlook for key metal prices, mining capital expenditures (capex) are expected to continue on a downward slide over the next three years as miners seek further cost cuts and to improve operational margins, according to analysis by Fitch Group research arm BMI.... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

Drone solution offers built-in compliance features

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Mining companies need to be able to track their daily operations and have full visibility of their sites in real time without having to worry about putting in place time-consuming administrative systems to comply with the complex regulatory regimen for commercial drones, says commercial drone... 

Drone solution offers  built-in compliance features
REAL-TIME VIEW By accelerating a previously manual process, we are giving quarry operators real-time visibility across their sites

Fraser Alexander’s structured funding offering well received by mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons     25th November 2016 Mining services and construction company Fraser Alexander’s Integrated Mining Service (IMS) structured funding offering has been very positively received by the mining industry, says CEO Velile Nhlapo. He informs Mining Weekly that the IMS offering has been particularly popular among emerging... 

Fraser Alexander’s structured funding offering well received by mining sector
WELL RECEIVED Integrated Mining Service offerings have been particularly popular among emerging mining companies and companies with coal-to-power projects

Mining boom will highlight geology degree shortage

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Should we enter another mining boom, there may not be enough universities offering bachelor degrees in geology to meet the industry’s subsequent demand for geological services, says mining software solutions provider MICROMINE technical product manager Frank Bilki. 

Mining boom will highlight geology degree shortage
GEOLOGY FIELDWORK Good fieldwork is critical to the success of early exploration and it is vital that exploration companies hire competent geologists.

Orocobre takes 31% Advantage stake as activity in South America’s lithium triangle heats up

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd November 2016 Investment activity in South America’s so-called ‘lithium triangle’ salt flats, or salars, is heating up with the announcement Wednesday that lithium producer Orocobre has signed a letter of intent (LoI) to acquire 31% of Advantage Lithium, in a deal valued at about $33-million. In return,... 

Orocobre takes 31% Advantage stake as activity in South America’s lithium triangle heats up
Photo by Orocobre
Olaroz, Argentina

Canada accelerates transition to clean power; to phase out coal-fired generation by 2030

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd November 2016 The Liberal Canadian federal government on Monday announced accelerated plans to transition the economy to renewable energy sources, saying it would aim to phase out coal-fired plants by 2030. According to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, coal-fired electricity... 

Canada accelerates transition to clean power; to phase out coal-fired generation by 2030

Fewer entries from mining sector indicative of state of the sector

By: Ilan Solomons     18th November 2016 The current depressed nature of the mining industry globally was reflected in the lower number of entries that infrastructure software provider Bentley Systems received for its Be Inspired Awards in the Innovation in Mining category. The Be Inspired Awards highlight the world’s most “outstanding... 

Fewer entries from mining sector indicative of  state of the sector
AWARD WINNER The Be Inspired Award in the Innovation in Mining category was awarded to Tetra Tech Proteus for its work on Newmont Mining’s Tanami expansion project, in Australia

Mining promoted before protection of communities

By: Nadine James     18th November 2016 Many of the deficits pertaining to the implementation of social and labour plans (SLPs) reflect a legal regime established by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) that, despite defined transformative objectives, primarily targets the promotion of mining activity rather than... 

Mining promoted before protection of communities
Photo by Reuters
LIVING IN MINING"S SHADOW Despite attempts to ensure that communities benefit from mining activity, the legislation surrounding social and labpur plans is flawed and skewed in the mining company's favor

Mobile technology helps eliminate blasting obstacles

By: Kimberley Smuts     18th November 2016 Explosives firm BME explored how mobile technology and centralised data could provide mine managers with an edge to comprehensively eliminate potential blast problems, through among others management of blast inputs, thereby improving blast results, at its annual Drilling and Blasting Conference.... 

Nyrstar hedges more zinc as price downside protection

By: Henry Lazenby     17th November 2016 European base metals business Nyrstar has entered into further short-term strategic hedging arrangements utilising put and call collar structures to mitigate potential down side risks to the zinc price. The global multi-metals business, with a market leading position in zinc and lead, said... 

Pure Energy hits lithium brines in Clayton Valley drill campaign

By: Henry Lazenby     17th November 2016 Canadian lithium explorer Pure Energy Minerals plans to collect new brine samples for lithium analysis and integrate that data into its existing inferred lithium brine resource through its current drill programme at the Clayton Valley South (CVS) project, in Nevada. The Vancouver-based public... 

SA mining sector generally not yet ready to willingly adopt modernised mining methods

By: Dylan Slater     11th November 2016 The South African mining sector is, generally, not yet in a position to willingly adopt and implement an array of digitalised and modernised mining methods, contrary to advisory and general industry views on the need to modernise mines to prepare them for the future, according to University of... 

SA mining sector generally not yet ready to willingly adopt modernised mining methods
IMAGINEERS The Kumba Virtual Reality Centre for Mine Design at the University of Pretoria helps students immerse themselves in realistic mining environments

Miners set to cash in on Trump's White House

By: Reuters     10th November 2016 Mining companies led gains on London's FTSE bluechip index on Wednesday as Republican Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election spurred hopes for higher metal demand and drove investors to buy gold as a shelter against economic uncertainty. The FTSE mining index rose around 5% to... 

Following initial knee-jerk ‘Trump Slump’ reaction, markets recover losses

By: Henry Lazenby     9th November 2016 With the pall of political uncertainty lifted once President-elect With the pall of political uncertainty lifted once president-elect Donald Trump won the US presidential elections Tuesday night, the US now enters a period of market uncertainty over what economic, financial and political policies... 

Following initial knee-jerk ‘Trump Slump’ reaction, markets recover losses

Trumpism doesn’t play in Canada, which just eased takeover rules

By: Bloomberg     4th November 2016 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, bucking a global trend toward greater protectionism, will loosen foreign takeover rules for more than 50 Canadian publicly traded companies next year, including those in mining, oil and marijuana production. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this week Canada... 

Trumpism doesn’t play in Canada, which just eased takeover rules

Gold Fields plans $1.4bn investment to extend Damang’s life-of-mine

By: David Oliveira     4th November 2016 Gold Fields will invest $1.4-billion to extend the life of its Damang mine, in Ghana, from 2017 to 2024, the company announced last month at its third quarter operating update in Johannesburg. Over the life of the mine, 165-million tons will be mined, with 32-million tons processed at a grade of... 

Investors focused on funding future base metals exploration

By: Robyn Wilkinson     4th November 2016 There is an increasing investment trend involving near-surface, easily mined base metal oxide deposits in Africa that can generate early cash flow amid current commodity prices to fund further exploration of the deposit at a later stage, advances specialist consultant to the mining industry The... 

Investors focused on  funding future base  metals exploration
SHORT-TERM FOCUS Oxidised near-surface deposits, such as high-grade secondary copper mineralisation in the oxide zone of Zambian copper deposits, are drawing investor interest

Mozambique coal project on track for 2017 financial close

By: Robyn Wilkinson     4th November 2016 Power development company Ncondezi Energy tells Mining Weekly it is making steady progress towards financial close in 2017 for its 300 MW power plant and integrated openpit thermal coal mine project, in Mozambique. 

Mozambique coal  project on track for  2017 financial close
SCALABLE POWER SUPPLY Ncondezi’s power plant and integrated coal mine project will initially supply 300 MW of power to Mozambique but will ultimately be scaled up to 1 800 MW

Need for greater focus on economic risks

By: Robyn Wilkinson     4th November 2016 More scrutiny should be applied to economic risk factors amid contractions in the global mining sector when evaluating new mining projects, as a result of a prolonged downturn in commodities prices and uncertainty in global demand, South African risk insurance provider Export Credit Insurance... 

Need for greater focus on economic risks
TSIDISO DISENYANA Low-cost producers stand a better chance of success, even in a depressed commodity market, than those in areas where production costs are high

Ontario invests C$2.5m in mining R&D; Minister outlines progress to position province as mining leader

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd November 2016 The Ontario government on Tuesday announced that it would invest C$2.5-million in the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation's (CEMI's) ongoing work with the Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN), which is helping the mining sector develop and adopt commercially viable innovations. Part of a... 

Ontario invests C$2.5m in mining R&D; Minister outlines progress to position province as mining leader
Photo by Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle addresses the Mining Innovation Summit 2016, held in Sudbury

Arconic slips, Alcoa gains in market debut; Moody’s downgrade for both

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd November 2016 The equities of spun-out companies Alcoa Corp and Arconic Inc officially started trading on the NYSE on Tuesday, charting divergent trajectories and compounded by ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service downgrading the companies' ‘corporate family’ and ‘probability of default’ ratings by one... 

Arconic slips, Alcoa gains in market debut; Moody’s downgrade for both
Photo by Arconic Inc
Arconic 3D printed polymer prototype patterns: aero engine components

Energy sector trade show launch a ‘success’ – organiser

By: Simone Liedtke     28th October 2016 The inaugural PowerEx trade show, held last month alongside the biennial Electra Mining Africa at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, in Nasrec, has been declared a success by the show’s organiser, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery. 

Energy sector trade show launch a  ‘success’ – organiser
Photo by Duane Daws
GROWTH OPPORTUNITY There is excellent opportunity for growth going into PowerEx 2018, with not all floor space in Hall 9 dedicated to this year's show

Mines turn to off-grid power amid low commodity prices, revenue

By: Simone Liedtke     28th October 2016 More companies are considering the use of an independent power producer (IPP) to meet their mines’ energy needs, as many projects are under pressure to achieve capital savings to weather the current operating environment comprising low commodity prices and diminished revenue streams. 

Mines turn to off-grid power amid low commodity prices, revenue
TRADITIONAL ANSWER Off-grid mines have typically bought and operated their own diesel or heavy fuel oil power generating facilities, as security of energy supply is an important factor in the mining industry

Caterpillar’s Q3 profit sags, casts dim outlook with lowered 2016 guidance 

By: Henry Lazenby     26th October 2016 The world’s largest earthmoving and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has booked a sharply lower third-quarter profit, citing global economic weakness and an abundance of used equipment available, which is slowing sales. The NYSE-listed company expressed concern that the tough market... 

Caterpillar’s Q3 profit sags, casts dim outlook with lowered 2016 guidance

Sherritt widens loss as output slows; lowers Ambatovy FY guidance

By: Henry Lazenby     25th October 2016 Canadian diversified miner Sherritt International Resources has, for the second time this year, cut the nickel guidance at the 40%-owned Ambatovy mine, in Madagascar, citing a tailings pipe blockage and total shutdown that occurred in June and July, followed by weak output in August. The... 

Sherritt widens loss as output slows; lowers Ambatovy FY guidance
Photo by Sherritt International
Ambatovy, Madagascar

PTM launches $40m financing for Maseve development, working capital

By: Henry Lazenby     25th October 2016 South Africa-focused project developer Platinum Group Resources (PTM) has launched a $40-million bought deal financing to raise cash for underground development and production ramp-up of the Project 1 Maseve platinum mine, debt repayment and general corporate purposes. A syndicate of underwriters... 

Largo on track for further quarterly ops improvement as vanadium market turns 

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd October 2016 A string of quarterly performance improvements by Canadian vanadium producer Largo Resources bodes well for third-quarter numbers at the Maracás Menchen mine, in Bahia state, Brazil, to follow the same record-setting trend. “The company is looking to beat previous numbers,” president and CEO Mark... 

Largo on track for further quarterly ops improvement as vanadium market turns
Photo by Henry Lazenby
Vanadium pentoxide at Largo Resources' Maracas Menchen mine, Brazil

Possible Tesla flop could hit global EV adoption rate 

By: Henry Lazenby     14th October 2016 Tesla Motors will probably not be able to meet its aggressive production targets and will perhaps experience ramp-up delays in manufacturing the Model 3 electric vehicle (EV), auto analyst Edward Niedermeyer argues, questioning whether the company will still be around in two years. “I’m very... 

Energy metal demand to outpace output in wake of $20bn battery build boom

By: Henry Lazenby     14th October 2016 “The megafactories are coming.” This is the mantra of market analyst, founder and MD of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Simon Moores, citing research showing more than $20-billion currently committed to creating new, or expanding existing lithium- (Li-) ion battery cell plants.  

Energy metal demand to outpace output in wake of $20bn battery build boom
Photo by Reuters
Lithium-ion batteries being manufactured

Botswana diamond project poised for 2017 completion as it surpasses 80% completion mark

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th October 2016 Construction of Botswana-based diamond mining company Debswana’s Letlhakane Mine Tailings Resource Treatment Plant project (LMTRTP), in Lethakane Village near Orapa near Botswana, is currently 80% complete, with final project completion expected by 2017. “The plant will undergo C5 commissioning... 

Botswana diamond project poised for 2017 completion as it surpasses 80% completion mark
SUSTAINABILITY AIM The Letlhakane Mine Tailings Resource Treatment Plant project will deliver sustained and profitable operations at Letlhakane beyond the end of life of open pit mining

Initial product quality can lower maintenance costs

     14th October 2016 Like most products used in mining operations, industrial fans manufacturer MechCaL says ventilation fans require ongoing maintenance to ensure that day-to-day mining operations continue as normal. In line with this, MechCaL launched a dedicated maintenance and repair division as part of its... 

Initial product quality can lower maintenance costs
MECHCAL JET FAN Jet Fans have been designed by using computational fluid dynamics with specific reference to total pressure air entrainment, giving it superior distance/velocity ratio at lower input costs

Mining juniors poised for recovery – PwC

By: Henry Lazenby     13th October 2016 Junior mining companies make up more than 50% of the total market capitalisation on the TSX Venture Exchange, up from 36% on June 30, 2015, a new report by professional services firm PwC has found. As evidenced in PwC Canada's 2016 Junior Mine report, titled ‘Signs of Life’, cash flows from... 

Four key themes to dominate mining in the Americas – report

By: Henry Lazenby     13th October 2016 Miners in both North and South America will remain focused on improving operational performance over the coming years, while divergent regulatory policies will either improve or worsen the industry’s welfare, recent analysis by market intelligence firm BMI Research shows. According to the think... 

Four key themes to dominate mining in the Americas – report
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