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Rio Tinto produces more iron-ore and coal, but cuts copper guidance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th October 2017 Diversified major Rio Tinto has reported increased production across its iron-ore and coal assets, but has adjusted its copper output expectations for the full year on the back of delays at the Escondida operation. “The business performed very well in the September quarter, with a strong... 

As race for energy metals heats up, nickel expected to benefit most from EV revolution

By: Henry Lazenby     13th October 2017 Nickel prices stand to gain most from the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) said on Friday in its latest ‘Global Metals Weekly’ report. According to the research team, despite China remaining an important driver of market demand, following on from being the... 

Iron-ore rallies as China imports bust 100Mt level

By: Bloomberg     13th October 2017 Iron-ore imports by China surged above 100-million metric tons to a record, smashing the previous high set in 2015, as the country’s concerted push to clean up the environment stoked demand for higher-grade material from overseas while hurting local mine supply. Prices rallied. 

Portland back to full capacity

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     13th October 2017 Aluminium major Alcoa’s Portland smelter, in Victoria, has been restored to full production capacity, following a power outage in December last year. “Our interventions have protected this crucial industry, saved local jobs and continue to support communities in Portland and throughout... 

Company highlights cost benefit of brand

By: Nadine James     13th October 2017 Bearings and power transmission product distributor Bearings International (BI) – a member of Hudaco Group – highlights the cost benefits of its KML bearings offering amid local economic conditions. The current economic climate, characterised particularly by the suppressed mining sector, has... 

Gamsberg zinc prestrip close to halfway mark – Vedanta

By: Martin Creamer     10th October 2017 The prestripping of waste rock at the Gamsberg zinc mine project in the Northern Cape is close to the halfway mark, Vedanta Resources reported on Tuesday, when its interim CEO Kuldip Kaura described as “strong” the quarterly production performances of the London-listed, India-rooted mining... 

Numsa ends strike at South32 aluminum smelter

By: Reuters     6th October 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Friday its members were ending a strike at mining and metals group South32's aluminium smelter in KwaZulu-Natal province after they accepted its latest wage offer. Numsa said in a statement that its more than 600 members who had... 

Rio is said to weigh sale of Europe's top aluminum smelter

By: Reuters     6th October 2017 Rio Tinto Group is weighing the sale of Europe’s biggest aluminium smelter, according to people with knowledge of the matter, amid a rebound in the price of metal used in airliners and beverage cans. London-based Rio has been speaking with potential buyers for the Dunkerque smelter in northern... 

US defers China aluminium foil dumping decision

By: Reuters     6th October 2017 The US Commerce Department said on Thursday it would defer issuing its preliminary determination in an anti-dumping duty probe into imports of aluminium foil from China. 

BofAML updates mined commodity price forecasts as Chinese policies prop up prices

By: Henry Lazenby     4th October 2017 The Global Research team at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has updated its price forecasts for mined commodities, saying on Wednesday that its prior price outlook had been too bearish for cyclical raw materials, while the near-term outlook for gold and silver looks less bullish than... 

Metalworkers to intensify wage strike at South32 smelter in South Africa

By: African News Agency      2nd October 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Monday vowed to intensify the strike against Australian miner South32 in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, after a marathon negotiation session to resolve the strike was deadlocked. The global mining company has an aluminium smelter in... 

The graphite fix: Inside China's newest commodity addiction

By: Reuters     21st September 2017 China's aggressive environmental protection campaign has tightened supplies of graphite electrodes used in steelmaking, boosting the fortunes of big producers like Fangda Carbon as mills search far and wide for a material now in short supply. Beijing's campaign for clearer skies has closed... 

Rally in zinc price raises spectre of substitution

By: Reuters     19th September 2017 A sharp rally in zinc prices is posing the threat that industrial users will find ways to substitute the metal with cheaper alternatives or use less, curbing overall consumption. High prices may also dampen a nascent move by Chinese automakers to use more zinc for galvanising, while the Western... 

London's black cabs going electric spurs aluminium restart

By: Bloomberg     18th September 2017 London’s black cabs going electric shows the new wave of automobile technology is already reshaping the metals industry. After being closed for three years due to a weak market, Sapa SA’s aluminium plant in south Wales will reopen this week to supply lightweight parts for automakers such as... 

Sizeable limonite find exposes Horizonte to burgeoning EV market

By: Samantha Herbst     14th September 2017 Brazil-focused nickel development company Horizonte Minerals on Thursday reported sizeable limonite mineral resources at its Araguaia nickel project, which exposes the Aim- and TSX-listed company to the fast-growing nickel/cobalt electric vehicle (EV) battery market. Limonite is treated to... 

Improved fundamentals prompt Moody’s to adjust higher several commodity price sensitivity ranges

By: Henry Lazenby     14th September 2017 Improved fundamentals amid global economic growth are expected to sustain a higher pricing environment for the global base metals industry, prompting credit ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service to adjust higher the price sensitivity ranges for copper, iron-ore, and metallurgical and thermal... 

Nokeng mulling two or three more fluorspar mines by 2026 as huge shortage is predicted

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th September 2017 Following the breakthrough of opening the first new mine in Gauteng, South Africa, in the last 12 years, which is being developed by producer SepFluor’s wholly owned Nokeng fluorspar mine, the company aims to become vertically integrated in the fluorspar value chain in future. Fluorite ore is... 

Humidity, moisture sensors see growth

     8th September 2017 The need for optimal safety, high yield and combustion value to ensure process integrity is spurring double-digit growth and adoption of humidity and moisture sensors in various industries, including the mining and minerals processing industry, states market research company Frost & Sullivan.  

Poor market conditions lead to diversification

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th September 2017 Owing to tough ferrochrome and ferromanganese market conditions globally, process and engineering service provider Metix has had to widen its focus beyond ferrous metals and target the processing of other commodities.  

Nokeng mulling two or three more fluorspar mines by 2026 as huge shortage is predicted

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th September 2017 Following the breakthrough of opening the first new mine in Gauteng, South Africa, in the last 12 years, which is being developed by producer SepFluor’s wholly owned Nokeng fluorspar mine, the company aims to become vertically integrated in the fluorspar value chain in future. Fluorite ore is... 

Rare earth metals electrified by China's illegal mining clean-up

By: Bloomberg     7th September 2017 Rare earths are booming again as a clampdown on wildcat miners in China crimps supply in the world’s biggest producer while the clean energy boom bolsters their use in everything from electric vehicles to wind turbines. Prices for “light” rare earths including neodymium and praseodymium have... 

Rusal says prices second tranche of its Panda bonds

By: Reuters     1st September 2017 Russian aluminium giant Rusal said on Friday the second tranche of its Panda bonds with the principal of 500-million yuan had been priced, with a tenor of 2+1 years and a coupon rate of 5.5% per year. The proposed offering of the Panda bonds is expected to be completed before Sept. 5, 2017, the... 

Lighting equipment eliminates glare

By: Nica Schreuder     1st September 2017 Lighting plays an important role in mining, as it is vital to be visually aware of potential mine and machinery-related safety hazards, as well as to allow for accommodating working conditions in the dark. 

Despite high upfront costs, technology investments yield long-term savings – BMI

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 With metals and mining companies increasingly investing in technology that will help reduce their carbon footprints, owing to the global drive to lower carbon emissions, meaningful efforts to improve environmental standards in the extractive industries require significant upfront costs, according... 

Advancing technology signals imminent opening of undersea mineral treasure chest

By: Henry Lazenby     29th August 2017 In a new era of ever-advancing technology and increased legal certainty, ocean floor mining is set to take off in the next decade as several juniors jostle to be first to exploit the wealth hidden on the deep ocean floor. DeepGreen Resources chief development officer Anthony O’Sullivan believes... 

Higher aluminium prices lift Rusal Q2 core earnings

By: Reuters     25th August 2017 Russian aluminium giant Rusal reported a 48% rise in second-quarter core earnings on Friday due to a higher aluminium price, and pointed to a positive outlook for the second half as supply in China tightens. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to... 

Modular, mobile dry-type transformers ideal for Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     25th August 2017 As mining projects move into ever more remote locations in Africa, modular and mobile energy solutions – such as dry-type transformers – are gaining popularity, says transformer supplier Trafo Power Solutions MD David Claassen. 

Despite high upfront costs, technology investments reap long-term savings – BMI

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th August 2017 With metals and mining companies increasingly investing in technology that will help reduce their carbon footprints, owing to the global drive to lower carbon emissions, meaningful efforts to improve environmental standards in the extractive industries require significant upfront costs, according... 

South32 sees upswing in South African, Mozambique aluminium production

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th August 2017 Diversified miner South32 reported solid performances across its aluminium supply chain for the financial year ended June 30, with record production from Mozal Aluminium, in Mozambique, and near-record production at the Hillside aluminium smelter, in South Africa. “Our aluminium smelters and... 

South32 aims to increase base metals exposure to tap into battery market

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     24th August 2017 Diversified mining company South32 is considering opportunities to enlarge its foray into the lithium-ion battery market, CEO Graham Kerr said on Thursday. The group, which swung back to the black in the 2017 financial year, is particularly keen on adding more base metals exposure to tap into... 

Aluminium market deficit on the cards this year; price reacts to Chinese curtailments – BofAML

     22nd August 2017 The Chinese government has so far this year ordered 4.3-million tonnes of aluminium capacity closures at smelters in Inner Mongolia, Shandong and Xinjiang, pointing to the potential for a global aluminium market deficit to emerge before year-end, the latest analysis from Bank of America Merrill... 

Portland smelter approaching full capacity

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st August 2017 The Portland smelter, in Victoria, is expected to return to full production shortly, securing the future of more than 650 employees and contractors, Industry and Employment Minister Wade Noonan reported on Monday. Aluminium major Alcoa in January initiated work to restart smelting capacity,... 

Zinc refiner needed in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2017 A local zinc refiner needs to be established to provide more intimate support for the South African galvanising industry to capitalise on the recovery of the South African economy, says International Zinc Association of South Africa (Izasa) regional director Rob White. He notes that, with the... 

BMI says outlook for Russian nickel sector bleak

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd August 2017 Fitch group company BMI has lowered its forecast for Russian nickel production in 2017, and says the outlook for the country’s domestic production over the next five years looks bleak. BMI stated this week that Russia’s nickel production would remain on a negative trend this year, following a... 

Sub-Saharan Africa’s iron-ore sector to benefit from Chinese investment

     28th July 2017 Sub-Saharan African iron-ore production is expected to continue to edge up from 93-million tons in 2017 to 103-million tons in 2021, as continued Chinese investment in the region offsets the effects of lower global prices, says research firm BMI, which also, however, warns of the risk the... 

India's Vedanta Q1 consolidated profit doubles

By: Reuters     25th July 2017 Vedanta, the Indian unit of diversified energy group Vedanta Resources, reported a doubling of quarterly consolidated profit on Tuesday, as higher zinc prices helped the company to reap improved margins. Consolidated profit came in at 15.25-billion rupees in the quarter ended June 30, with... 

Norsk Hydro rides aluminium price, divisions underperform

By: Reuters     25th July 2017 Overall profit growth at Norsk Hydro was overshadowed on Tuesday by below-forecast performances from several businesses including rolled products, knocking the aluminium producer's shares. Norsk Hydro's stock was down 3.04% at 12:01 GMT, lagging an Oslo benchmark index, and CEO Svein Richard... 

Fast-growing Chinese aluminium sector attracts increased govt scrutiny

By: Henry Lazenby     21st July 2017 As the Chinese aluminium sector comes under greater pressure to moderate its capacity growth, the government is cracking down on so-called ‘illegal’ smelters, analysis by Wood Mackenzie global aluminium markets senior research analyst Ami Shivkar has found. Shivkar argues that unqualified... 

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