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Sweden's Granges halts plans for US aluminium joint venture

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Sweden's Granges put on ice on Friday plans to form an aluminium manufacturing joint venture in the United States with Japan's Mitsubishi Aluminum Co, saying that the project was less attractive in "current circumstances". It did not specify what circumstances it was referring to though a Granges... 

Threat of contagion in emerging markets deepens commodity risk

By: Bloomberg     13th August 2018 When Thailand devalued its currency two decades ago, few in global commodity markets took note. Within a year, the crisis morphed into an emerging-market rout that eviscerated the price of everything from crude oil to copper. Fast forward to today and Turkey is presenting a similar challenge. The... 

Copper shorts exposed to supply shock as giant mine faces strike

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2018 Copper bears could get caught wrong-footed as a strike looms at the world’s biggest mine. In the US, hedge funds’ bearish bets outnumber bullish wagers by the most since 2016, latest government data show. The top brokers on the Shanghai Futures Exchange boosted their net-short position by more... 

More northeast China cities cancel alumina projects amid public backlash

By: Reuters     6th August 2018 Four more cities in northeast China's Liaoning province have abandoned their pursuit of alumina projects amid public environmental concerns, after Chaoyang last week scrapped plans to build the world's biggest alumina refinery. The new cancellations - announced in recent days by the cities of... 

Gold pinned near one-year lows on dollar strength

By: Reuters     1st August 2018 Gold was stable near one-year lows on Wednesday on a stronger dollar, as the market waited for signals on the direction of US monetary policy from a Federal Reserve meeting later in the day. Spot gold edged down 0.1% to $1 223.08 per ounce by 1045 GMT, close to a one-year low of $1 211.08 reached... 

WTO chief sees trade war ending in political talks

By: Reuters     26th July 2018 The nascent global trade war will have to be ended by a political agreement between world leaders, because continuing down the current path will only damage the global economy, the head of the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday. WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said that world leaders... 

Premium prices being paid for Kumba’s quality iron-ore 

By: Martin Creamer     24th July 2018 China’s flight to quality iron-ore is benefiting South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore, which is receiving strong price premiums for high-grade ore.  Two thirds of Kumba ore is lump ore compared with the third or less of its main competitors. 

Copper heads for fifth weekly loss, aluminium awaits Trump-Putin summit

By: Reuters     13th July 2018 Copper headed for a fifth weekly loss on Friday as trade tensions between the United States and China rumbled on, while aluminium hit a three-month low ahead of a summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump and Putin are due to meet in Helsinki on Monday... 

Copper slides to 1-year low, zinc sinks in broad selloff

By: Reuters     11th July 2018 Copper prices slumped to their weakest level in a year and zinc fell to 13-month lows amid a broad selloff on Wednesday after the Trump administration said it would slap 10 percent tariffs on an extra $200-billion worth of Chinese imports. US President Donald Trump’s latest tariff threat... 

Buzzkill for US coal may come from weak yuan, not tariffs

By: Bloomberg     11th July 2018 Washington’s trade war with Beijing doesn’t pose much of a direct threat to US coal miners, since just a tiny percent of their sales go to China. But Appalachia may feel some heat from the sinking value of the Chinese yuan. A weaker Chinese currency makes it more expensive for the Asian giant to... 

CITIC Metal gets internal green light to buy 19.5% stake in Ivanhoe

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2018 China State-owned investment company CITIC’s subsidiary CITIC Metal has completed its confirmatory due diligence and has received the necessary internal approvals to complete the long-term, strategic cooperation and investment agreement with TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines.  

Goldman says buy commodities as clock ticks toward trade war

By: Bloomberg     5th July 2018 Commodity bull Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has poured cold water on the notion that a trade war between the US and China represents a serious threat to raw materials, saying most of them aren’t likely to be significantly impacted, and after recent declines now’s the time to buy. The Wall Street... 

China says former Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu released from prison

By: Reuters     4th July 2018 China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Stern Hu, an Australian citizen and former Rio Tinto executive jailed in China on bribery charges eight years ago, has been released. Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the announcement at a daily news briefing in Beijing. 

China continues to encourage foreign mining investment

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2018 In early April the People’s Republic of China established a new Ministry, that of Natural Resources (MNR). The creation of the new Ministry was part of a programme to restructure the country’s State Council (Cabinet). The MNR took over all the responsibilities of the previous (and now... 

China continues to encourage foreign mining investment

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd June 2018 In early April the People’s Republic of China established a new Ministry, that of Natural Resources (MNR). The creation of the new Ministry was part of a programme to restructure the country’s State Council (Cabinet). The MNR took over all the responsibilities of the previous (and now... 

Chinalco starts $1.3bn expansion of Peru copper mine

By: Reuters     4th June 2018 Aluminum Corp of China, known as Chinalco, at the weekend said it had started work on a $1.3-billion expansion of its Toromocho copper mine in central Peru. The investment will increase the mine's copper output by 45% by 2020, with the value of production exceeding $2-billion annually, Chinalco... 

EU starts new investigation into steel imports from China

By: Reuters     24th May 2018 The European Commission has opened an investigation into hot-rolled steel sheet piles imported from China to determine whether they are being dumped in Europe, according to a notice in the EU Official Journal on Thursday. The investigation into a form of steel used in construction was launched... 

Tariff war could derail global recovery – ECB

By: Reuters     7th May 2018 Protective tariffs imposed by the US in recent months have only had a minor impact on the world economy but a significant escalation in tensions could derail the recovery in global trade, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Monday. Retaliation and a full fledged trade war could increase... 

Qatar steps in to buy Rosneft stake after China deal collapses

By: Bloomberg     7th May 2018 Qatar emerged as a major shareholder in Rosneft on Friday after a $9-billion deal to sell a stake in Russia’s State-run oil producer to China’s troubled CEFC Energy collapsed. Qatar Investment Authority stepped in after the sellers – a consortium of QIA itself and mining giant Glencore – told... 

Up to 500 000 t of alumina being exported from China as Rusal crisis bites

By: Reuters     30th April 2018 Multiple shipments of alumina are being exported from China, with major suppliers agreeing deals of up to 500 000 t, in a rare move prompted by supply problems after U.S. sanctions on Russian producer Rusal. China is the biggest global producer and consumer of alumina, a compound extracted from... 

Mining firms from China to Canada watch as Greenland holds election

By: Reuters     21st April 2018 With melting ice expanding access to the Arctic, investors from China to Canada are watching Greenland's election next week for signs of the political will to get a flagging mining programme on the island back on track. Greenland is hoping rising commodity prices can help attract foreign... 

World's top iron shipper says China import boom to level off

By: Bloomberg     9th April 2018 The world’s largest iron-ore exporter delivered a mixed message on the outlook, raising near-term price forecasts, but combining that revision with a more somber message that China’s gargantuan imports are set to level off as steel production eases in the coming years. Iron-ore will average... 

Ex-Microsoft manager lands Responsible Cobalt Initiative role

By: Reuters     29th March 2018 A former manager for Microsoft Corp in China has been named as the first executive secretary of the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI), which works to address social and environmental risks in the cobalt supply chain. Christina Feng, who managed the US tech giant's programme for the responsible... 

Profit at China's Jinchuan International surges on higher cobalt, copper prices

By: Reuters     28th March 2018 Chinese miner and metals trader Jinchuan Group International Resources said on Tuesday its 2017 net profit was almost five times bigger than a year earlier due to higher cobalt and copper prices. Jinchuan, which operates the Ruashi copper and cobalt mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and... 

Rio sees $5bn copper expansion on track amid Swiss probe

By: Bloomberg     26th March 2018 Rio Tinto Group has yet to be contacted by Swiss authorities over a bribery investigation related to Mongolia’s giant Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine and the site’s $5.3-billion expansion remains on track, according to the producer’s top executive. The attorney general of Switzerland is... 

G20 sees need for 'dialogue,' fails to diffuse trade war threat

By: Reuters     21st March 2018 The world's financial leaders rejected protectionism on Tuesday and urged "further dialogue" on trade, but failed to diffuse the threat of a trade war days before US metals tariffs take effect and Washington is to announce measures against China. Finance ministers and central bankers of the... 

Coal miner in China's Shanxi aims to boost 2018 coalbed gas output by 25%

By: Reuters     9th March 2018 Shanxi province's state-run coal mining business plans to increase coalbed methane (CBM) output by a quarter this year, an official told Reuters on Friday, as China's second-largest coal-producing region looks to boost clean fuel output. That comes in the wake of a push by Beijing to crack down... 

China's Hebei aims to cut iron, steel making capacity by 20Mt in 2018

By: Reuters     8th March 2018 China's top steelmaking province of Hebei will aim to slash iron and steel making production capacity by more than 10-million tonnes each and shut down all "zombie" mills this year, the province's vice governor said on Thursday. Yuan Tongli, speaking on the sidelines of China's parliament, said... 

UBS warns of 'deep trade war' as commodity giant sees no winners

By: Bloomberg     7th March 2018 Raw materials are at great risk as Donald Trump’s White House prepares to pull the trigger on tariffs. UBS Group warned metals to energy will be hurt should US levies spark a global trade war, while commodity powerhouse Australia forecast only a damaging race to the bottom. “Obviously, going... 

Australia's Lowe warns Trump tariffs could shock global economy

By: Bloomberg     7th March 2018 Australian central bank Governor Philip Lowe slammed President Donald Trump’s tariffs proposal, warning escalation and retaliation could develop into a “very big shock for the global economy.” In unusually strong language for the Reserve Bank of Australia chief, Lowe described Trump’s proposed... 

Pushback on Trump tariffs gathers steam, Mexico rejects bid to split NAFTA

By: Reuters     6th March 2018 Republican lawmakers stepped up calls for President Donald Trump to pull back from proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports as key trading partner Mexico rejected a bid by Washington to drive a wedge between it and Canada in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.... 

Glencore's talks to sell cobalt to Chinese firm falter on price

By: Reuters     6th March 2018 Glencore is in talks to sell around a quarter of its cobalt output in a one-year deal to Chinese firm GEM, but price is a sticking point as Glencore and other major producers are now able to exert more influence in negotiations, sources said. Cobalt has increasingly come under the spotlight over... 

Africa’s leading industry trade fair prepares to open its doors

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th March 2018 The countdown has begun: bauma CONEXPO AFRICA opens its doors for the third time in one week. The largest trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines and construction vehicles in Africa continues to attract international participation, highlighted by four... 

China will cut 30Mt of steel, 150Mt of coal this year – NDRC

By: Reuters     5th March 2018 China will cut steel capacity by 30-million tonnes and coal output by 150-million tonnes this year, its top economic planner said on Monday, putting the world's top metal and energy market on track to beat long-term targets. In a work report at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament, the... 

Vale notches record iron-ore output in 2017, sales slip

By: Reuters     16th February 2018 Brazilian miner Vale said on Friday that total iron-ore output reached a record of 366.5-million tonnes last year, boosted by record high production from its so-called northern system, even as iron ore sales slipped slightly from 2016. The northern system, composed of its Carajás, Serra Leste... 

China will crack down on illegal coal mining in 2018 – safety watchdog

By: Reuters     12th February 2018 China will carry out "special action" in 2018 to crack down on illegal coal mining to ensure safe mine operations and reduce output capacity, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement on Monday. Coal mines that fail to meet safety measures or operational standards will be... 

On-The-Air (09/02/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     9th February 2018 Every Friday morning, SAfm's AMLive's radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.  Reported here is this Friday's At the Coalface transcript: Kamwendo: China's colossal Clean Air Revolution is poised to give massive support to... 

China gives new incentives to boost high-quality coal capacity

By: Reuters     9th February 2018 China plans to increase high-quality coal supply by allowing mines to boost capacity if they shut outdated production processes, the latest effort by authorities to further streamline the industry and stabilise coal prices. Coal companies will be encouraged to close inefficient and polluting... 

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