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Weekly Features

Advancing base metals recovery from platinum production

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 State-owned research organisation for the minerals industry Mintek is partnering with platinum producers in South Africa to improve the recovery of base metals associated with platinum-group metal (PGM) production. Mintek GM Peter Craven notes that the challenging economic environment is... 

Copper heading for supply deficit

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 The protracted period of lower commodities prices, which started during 2011, will leave a legacy of limited new capital for exploration and development spend in the mining sector, including the copper industry, which is moving towards a supply deficit, says research and consultancy group Wood... 

Copper heading  for supply deficit
AFRICAN ADVANCEMENT Restarting the Kamoto/KOV project in 2017 will contribute to a yearly increase of 6.2% in copper supply from Africa over 2015 to 2019

Mining company weathers market volatility to further zinc project

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 While very few mining companies are implementing new projects as they struggle to navigate a volatile commodities market, zinc miner Vedanta Zinc International is developing its Gamsberg zinc project, in the Northern Cape. 

Mining company weathers market volatility to further zinc project
Photo by Duane Daws
RIGHT TIME AND PLACE Vedanta’s new Gamsberg project is well positioned to take advantage of the global zinc supply shortage

Nickel market swings into undersupply

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 After several years of surplus, the nickel market moved to deficit in the second quarter this year and, with the price of the commodity now above $10 000/t, a smaller portion of global nickel producers are now cash negative, research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie nickel markets principal... 

Nickel market swings into undersupply
SEAN MULSHAW A continued drop in the world’s nickel supply will result in the price of the commodity rising above the current $10 000/t in the medium term

War on illegal copper exports wages on

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 Illegal scrap copper exports continue to place South African manufacturers that use the metal under pressure to maintain the profitability of their operations and so retain their labour force, says Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) executive chairperson Evert Swanepoel. 

War on illegal copper  exports wages on
SCRAP IN DEMAND South African scrap merchants are being offered top prices for copper scrap by overseas buyers, possibly prompting illegal exports

Zinc price to reach cyclical high in 2018

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 The outlook for the zinc market over the next few years is positive, with the price forecast to reach a cyclical high of more than $3 800/t in 2018, says research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie zinc markets principal analyst Jonathan Leng. 

Zinc price to reach cyclical high in 2018
JONATHAN LENG New zinc projects will boost Africa’s mined zinc output in an undersupplied market

Cobalt concentrate proficiency testing scheme gains traction

By: Nadine James     15th April 2016 Laboratory service provider Qotho Laboratory Services launched the first round of its Cobalt Concentrate Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme earlier this year, expanding its range of PT schemes, which already includes copper, nickel, chrome, iron, manganese and precious metals. Qotho MD Dr Hannelie... 

Cobalt concentrate proficiency testing scheme gains traction
Photo by Bloomberg
CREDIBILITY IS KEY Qotho Laboratory Services proficiency testing schemes allow laboratories to assess the accuracy of their methods and results

SA base metals sector neglected – explorer

By: Nadine James     15th April 2016 South Africa’s base metals sector is underdeveloped, owing to neglect and disinterest, says base metals explorer Horomela Resources, which is undertaking the first phase of its noninvasive prospecting programme on 14 zinc, copper, silver and lead properties in the Namaqualand region of the... 

SA base metals sector neglected – explorer
ABONGILE MDINGI Diversification towards base metals is imminent in South Africa

SA expected to remain reliant on zinc imports

By: Nadine James     15th April 2016 Zinc exports to South Africa will probably continue to account for the bulk of South Africa’s zinc consumption in the medium term, despite the projects, such as diversified miner Vedanta Resources’ Gamsberg project, expected to come on-stream in the country within the next three to five years,... 

SA expected to remain reliant on zinc imports
SKORPION ZINC MINE & REFINERY The Namibian refinery supplies 30% of its refined product to South Africa

$630m Northern Cape project construction starts

By: Ilan Solomons     14th August 2015 With LSE-listed diversified miner Vedanta Resources’ Lisheen zinc/lead mine in Ireland reaching the end of its life next month, the company has started construction of the Gamsberg zinc mine. On July 27, the company broke ground at the project, in the Northern Cape, 20 km east of its existing... 

$630m Northern Cape project construction starts
GAMSBERG DEVELOPMENT Vedanta broke ground on the Gamsberg project, in the Northern Cape, last month

Approval granted for Chilean copper mine extension EIA

     14th August 2015 Diversified base metals mining company Lundin Mining announced that it had received approval of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the extension of operations and mine life for its Candelaria copper mine in Chile last month. The $413-million Candelaria 2030 project includes a number of... 

Approval granted for Chilean copper mine extension EIA
CANDELARIA COPPER MINE The $413-million Candelaria 2030 project includes a number of enhancements to the current operation, the most important one being the construction of the new Los Diques tailings facility

China’s downturn still affecting base metals prices

     14th August 2015 Sentiment in the metals markets has been poor mainly as a result of the slowdown in Chinese growth, which, in turn, seems to be prompting a combination of destocking and “hand-to-mouth operating”, according to international derivatives broker Sucden Financial’s ‘July 2015 Quarterly Metals... 

China’s downturn  still affecting base metals prices
TOUGH TIMES The March-May rallies have mainly been unwound as aluminium, nickel, zinc, copper and tin are all extending below their March lows

Copper provides health, aquaculture benefits

     14th August 2015 Pan African industry body Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) is actively working to develop the downstream production of copper items, particularly in the healthcare sector, by highlighting the dangers of hospital acquired infections in hospitals and clinics, says CDAA centre director... 

Copper provides health, aquaculture benefits
COPPER TOUCH SURFACES During December 2014 and January 2015, 240 antimicrobial door handles were installed in Phelophepa I and II trains in total

Copper urban mining holds significant potential, says institute

     14th August 2015 The high economic value of copper metal is driving the collection and recycling of copper scrap from the downstream value chain as well as from end-of-life products, says European copper industry representative body the European Copper Institute CE John Schonenberger. He adds that copper is also... 

Copper urban mining holds significant  potential, says institute
URBAN COPPER MINING Copper is 100% recyclable, without any loss in performance, and can therefore be reintroduced again and again into the material cycle

Kinsenda mine’s R9.5-million laboratory installation completed

By: Ilan Solomons     14th August 2015 Mining laboratory quality-control and services provider Tramecon completed the installation and cold commissioning of a R9.5-million laboratory at midtier mining group Metorex’s Kinsenda copper mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) Katanga province, in March this year. According to... 

Kinsenda mine’s R9.5-million laboratory installation completed
KINSENDA LABORATORY The installation of the laboratory started in late September 2014 and was completed in March this year

Opportunities on the horizon for base metals – consultant

By: Ilan Solomons     14th August 2015 There has been a downturn in most base metal prices over the past five years, particularly copper, which is at its lowest level in six years, having traded at about $2.45/lb at the end of January this year. Geological, mining and environmental consulting services company The MSA Group principal... 

Opportunities on the horizon for base metals – consultant
Photo by Bloomberg
COPPER PRICE INDICATORS The copper price is generally regarded as an indicator for the state of the global economy

Underground lab contract awarded to cut costs, improve efficiencies

     14th August 2015 Analytical chemistry laboratory Set Point Laboratories, a division of the Set Point Group announced in May that it had secured the labour contract for a “unique” underground laboratory at refined copper producer Palabora Mining Company’s (PMC’s) copper mine in Phalaborwa, Limpopo. The mine... 

Underground lab contract awarded to cut costs, improve efficiencies
CLOSER TO THE ACTION The closer monitoring of ore copper concentrations is “imperative” to ensure maximum output from the mine and a sustained ore supply from the current operations to the envisaged new mining level

Antidumping duties imposed on base metals products

By: Dylan Stewart     17th April 2015 As of December 31, 2014, definitive antidumping duties have been imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry on several base metals products, law firm Norton Rose Fulbright competition director Marianne Wagener and competition associate Candice Upfold state. 

Copper a good bet in the long term – consultancy

By: Dylan Stewart     17th April 2015 Although the copper price has weakened considerably since its cyclical peak in January 2011, many important stakeholders, such as midtier and major mining houses, are still investing in copper, says professional services firm EY mining and metals sector leader for Africa Wickus Botha. 

Copper a good bet  in the long term  – consultancy
Photo by Bloomberg
UNIVERSAL INDICATOR The strength of base metals, particularly copper, is often a reliable litmus test to indicate the strength and the direction of the world economy

First tin produced from Rwanda mine

By: Dylan Stewart     17th April 2015 Mining company Piran Resources achieved first tin production and the first sales of the final tin product from its Musha and Ntunga mine, in Rwanda, at the end of last month, the company told Mining Weekly at the time. 

Philippines likely to ban export of nickel ore, says consultancy 

By: Dylan Stewart     17th April 2015 To take full advantage of its booming nickel production, there is internal pressure on the Philippines to encourage local beneficiation and ban the export of ore, says mining consultancy firm Core Consultants MD Lara Smith. 

Philippines likely to ban  export of nickel ore,  says consultancy
INCREASED MARKET SHARE By 2014 the Phillipines export of nickel ore has increased six fold since 2006, with a large portion of the ore being sold to China

Zinc tipped for a price revival in medium term

By: Dylan Stewart     17th April 2015 Owing to several significant zinc mines worldwide reaching their end of life, zinc might be in short supply, pushing the price upwards in the medium term, says International Zinc Association regional director for sub-Saharan Africa Rob White. 

$26.5m restart of Zim nickel smelter under way

By: Bruce Montiea     15th August 2014 Plans are under way to restart a nickel smelter at the Zimbabwe-based Trojan nickel mine, owned by mining company Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC), a subsidiary of pan-African multicommodity resources company Mwana Africa. The company announced in June that an independent study of an accelerated... 

$26.5m restart of  Zim nickel smelter  under way
Photo by Bloomberg
ACCELERATED RESTART The smelter at Trojan nickel mine will be in operation by 2015

Australian company invests $1.1m in Zambian copper mine

By: Bruce Montiea     15th August 2014 Australia-based mineral exploration and development company Argonaut has increased its ownership of the Lumwana Copper Concentrate Project (Lumwana West), in Zambia, from 51% to 90% through a final payment of $1.1-million to the project vendors. Argonaut achieved the acquisition through a deal,... 

Australian company  invests $1.1m in Zambian copper mine
DRILL RIG Exploration work started at Lumwana West in May

Base metals explorer to increase Tanzania nickel deposit

By: Bruce Montiea     15th August 2014 Base metals exploration company IMX Resources is aiming to increase the current nickel sulphide deposit and establish a world-class nickel project at its Ntaka Hill nickel sulphide project, in south-east Tanzania, through the ongoing Nachingwea exploration project, says IMX Resources MD Gary... 

Base metals explorer  to increase Tanzania nickel deposit
MINING OPERATION IMX Resources aims to increase nickel sulphide deposit at Ntaka Hill

Base metals to see growth in Africa

     15th August 2014 Africa, and Southern Africa is particular, is contributing significantly to the increase in global copper supply, says mining consultancy The MSA Group GM Dr Ian Haddon tells Mining Weekly that, in addition to copper, mining projects in Africa promise to yield increased amounts of base metals,... 

Base metals to see growth in Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
PROSPECTING Africa promises to yield increased amounts of base metals

Copper mine enhances project management capabilities

By: Bruce Montiea     15th August 2014 Refined copper producer Palabora Copper has successfully enhanced its project management and tracking functions by implementing Project Portfolio Office (PPO), an online project portfolio management and collaboration application. Having first implemented PPO in September 2012, Palabora has since... 

Copper mine enhances project management  capabilities
ON-SITE ORGANISATION Palabora has enhanced its project management by implementing a project portfolio management system

Zinc still a priority for SA, says industry body

By: Bruce Montiea     15th August 2014 Several zinc mining projects, such as the development of JSE-listed Vedanta Resources’ Gamsberg zinc reserve, in the Northern Cape, will ensure that zinc remains a priority for South Africa’s mining industry as well as the government, says International Zinc Association Southern Africa (Izasa)... 

Zinc still a priority for SA, says industry body
Despite promising developments, the zinc industry is facing several challenges, such as the strike in the engineering and metals sector

Base metals growth outlook positive for Africa and S America

By: Mia Breytenbach     18th April 2014 Africa will be recognised as the largest contributor to the growth of mined copper production from 2013 to 2017 in percentage terms, says research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie base metals research head Helen Matthews, who highlights Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as key... 

Base metals growth  outlook positive for  Africa and S America
MINE GROWTH Global copper and zinc production is expected to increase, owing to new mines and mine expansions in Africa and South America

Base metals prospects attract investment across continents

By: Mia Breytenbach     18th April 2014 In addition to focusing on copper mining investment opportunities in Africa, energy-focused global private-equity firm Denham Capital Management is investing in new copper projects in South America this year, company director Caroline Donally tells Mining Weekly. As a growth-equity firm, Denham... 

Base metals prospects  attract investment  across continents
PROSPECTIVE INVESTMENT Denham Capital Management believes the outlook for copper and zinc prospects in South America is positive

Copper from other African mines can help SA industry

By: Mia Breytenbach     18th April 2014 As South Africa’s primary copper reserves are slowly being depleted, the country will need assistance from other African copper mines – particularly those in the Copperbelt region – for additional supply, says Copper Development Association Africa (CDAA) centre director Evert Swanepoel.... 

Copper from other African mines can help SA industry
Photo by Bloomberg
NECESSARY SUPPLY South Africa needs to look to African copper mines for future copper supply
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