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Alibaba’s Jack Ma to speak at Ramaphosa’s Investment Conference dinner 

By: Terence Creamer     18th October 2018 Chinese tech sensation Jack Ma will deliver the keynote speech at a dinner to be hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa on October 26 as part of the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference. The conference will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Gauteng, from October 25 to 27, in... 

Alcoa jumps on profit surprise, first share buyback since split

By: Bloomberg     18th October 2018 Alcoa reported third-quarter earnings that were double estimates and announced its first share buyback in more than a decade in a sign that the top US aluminum producer is weathering the trade war. Shares jumped 4.8% at 5:05 p.m. in New York as the company said it would buy $200-million of its... 

Organisations raise objections to the draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 Industry bodies and organisations have welcomed aspects of the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 but have also raised concerns during public hearings held in Parliament on Wednesday. They are hoping that their suggestions will be included in a final plan for South Africa’s energy future. 

Alcoa to close two Spanish aluminium plants with job losses

By: Reuters     17th October 2018 Alcoa said on Wednesday it would close two of its three aluminium plants in Spain with a combined annual production of 180 000 metric tonnes, resulting in the lay off of almost 700 workers. The Aviles and La Coruna plants were two of the least productive due to intrinsic structural problems such... 

Kenmare to declare maiden dividend for H1 2019; reports strong Q3 ilmenite, zircon production  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th October 2018 LSE-listed mineral sands producer Kenmare Resources on Tuesday announced its dividend policy, a watershed moment for the company, with dividends to be based on a minimum of 20% of profits after tax. Kenmare will start with an interim dividend for the first half of 2019, which will be paid in the... 

Chilean court freezes sale of stake in lithium giant SQM to Tianqi

By: Reuters     12th October 2018 SANTIAGO – A Chilean court on Thursday suspended the sale of a coveted stake in lithium producer SQM to China's Tianqi Lithium, saying it will consider a lawsuit filed by the Chilean company's controlling shareholders, who oppose the deal. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, alleges a previous... 

Court says Colombia votes cannot block mining, oil projects

By: Reuters     12th October 2018 Colombia's constitutional court on Thursday ruled that local referendums that ban mining and oil extraction cannot halt energy projects, after a raft of votes spooked multinational companies. A wave of environmentally focused anti-mining referendums over the past 18 months have worried... 

TerraCom looks at increased output at BNU

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2018 oal junior TerraCom on Friday revealed the potential to expand production at its Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) coking coal mine, in Mongolia, to three-million tonnes a year. TerraCom told shareholders that following an extensive exploration programme, the company has compiled a detailed execution plan... 

Malaysian minister offers to step down from review of Lynas rare earth plant

By: Reuters     12th October 2018 The Malaysian minister in charge of a committee reviewing Australian rare earth miner Lynas Corp's plant has offered to step down following company criticism that she would not be impartial. Malaysian Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister's Office Fuziah Salleh said in a statement on Friday that... 

Lithium leaders tout bright EV future after tough trading debut

By: Bloomberg     12th October 2018 The market for lithium will remain tight through 2025 as producers struggle to lift output fast enough to meet demand for the material that’s essential in making batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), according to the sector’s newest public company, Livent. “We think demand is going to grow... 

Congo miners seek concessions in new code as arbitration on hold

By: Bloomberg     12th October 2018 Miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo are seeking concessions under the nation’s new industry code and holding off challenging it through arbitration, in the hope they can still wring out a compromise in the world’s main source of cobalt and Africa’s biggest copper producer. Producers... 

China swoops in on Canadian oil that's $50 below US crude

By: Bloomberg     11th October 2018 Chinese oil buyers are making a beeline for a bargain across the Pacific. With Canadian oil over 60% cheaper than US benchmark West Texas Intermediate and global marker Brent, China’s refiners are being lured to the heavy, sludgy crude. That’s because – apart from being a source of fuel – it’s... 

Gold gets ignored as global equity rout fails to fire up havens

By: Bloomberg     11th October 2018 Equities are plummeting, President Donald Trump says the Federal Reserve’s gone ‘loco’ and the trade war’s heating up, yet traditional havens in times of trouble such as gold are not getting any love. The biggest selloff in equities since February rolled through Asia and into Europe on Thursday,... 

SQM controlling shareholder moves to block stake sale to China's Tianqi

By: Reuters     11th October 2018 The controlling shareholder in Chilean lithium producer SQM on Wednesday filed suit with Chile's Constitutional Court to block a deal allowing the sale of nearly one-fourth of the miner to China's Tianqi Lithium. The lawsuit alleges that Chile's antitrust court last week failed to follow due... 

Alaska's Graphite Creek is potentially key to US defence industrial base

By: Mariaan Webb     10th October 2018 The Graphite Creek graphite project that TSX-V-listed Graphite One Resources is studying in Alaska could be a key source of supply for the US defence industry, which has recommended that the country reduce its import reliance for critical equipment and material. Commenting on the White House/US... 

Hydro CEO says focus on full output at Alunorte, no layoffs

By: Reuters     10th October 2018 Norway's Norsk Hydro is focused on a return to full output at its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil and is not contemplating layoffs there, CEO Svein Richard Brandtzaeg told Reuters on Wednesday. Hydro had said last week it would close down the world's largest alumina refinery and lay off 4... 

New equipment to boost PE port’s manganese export capacity by 1.8 Mt/y

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th October 2018 Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has taken delivery of the first two of four RAM rotating spreaders that are set to create an additional 1.8-million tons a year of capacity for manganese exports at its Port Elizabeth (PE) terminal. A further two spreaders will arrive from China at the end of... 

The battery boom created a new lithium superpower in China

By: Bloomberg     10th October 2018 With a ruined 13th Century castle, the Irish town of Carlow is an unlikely staging post in the super-charged rise of a key player in China’s push to dominate the global electric-vehicle revolution. Ganfeng Lithium Co. sent a team to the town -- a 90-minute drive southwest of Dublin -- in 2013,... 

The real cash cow in mining isn't metals. It's bad old coal

By: Bloomberg     10th October 2018 For all the bullish talk about metals of the future, miners are making some of their biggest profits from heavy-industry stalwart coal. Base metals from copper to zinc have tumbled this year, caught up as a proxy for trade fears and emerging market jitters. Meanwhile, coal has ground steadily... 

China aluminium exports to surge on trade war - CRU

By: Reuters     9th October 2018 Chinese aluminium exports are expected to surge in coming months and next year after Beijing boosted tax rebates as part of a package to soften the impact of a trade war with the United States, according to industry consultancy CRU. High Chinese exports of metals such as aluminium and steel in... 

Is the reign of Glencore’s billionaire copper king near its end?

By: Bloomberg     9th October 2018 Aristotelis Mistakidis is one of the world’s most powerful commodity traders. For nearly 20 years, the brash, hyperactive Greek known to everyone simply as “Telis” has ruled over the global copper market, buying and selling enough of the red metal to supply every factory in the US twice over.... 

Technology cost assumptions used to produce IRP explained 

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2018 An experienced electricity system modeller has corrected a suggestion that the draft 2018 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) uses levelised cost assumptions for the various generation technologies tested, explaining that overnight capital cost assumptions for each technology are key inputs. The... 

Altura ships first lithium

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th October 2018 Lithium miner Altura Mining has shipped its first cargo of spodumene concentrate from Port Hedland to its offtake partner in China. The company on Tuesday said that some 5 000 t of spodumene concentrate was loaded onto the vessel MV Clipper Tenacious, which was shared with two other exporters. 

Gold nudges up on risk aversion amid China worries

By: Reuters     9th October 2018 Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday as risk appetite fell, with Asian stocks slipping to 17-month lows amid concerns over a potential slowdown in China's economic growth. Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1 189.58/oz at 07:15 GMT. On Monday, it fell 1.2%, its biggest one-day percentage fall since August... 

Chile eyes new copper markets to shield economy from trade war

By: Reuters     9th October 2018 Chile aims to find new copper markets and expand its lithium industry as it seeks to shield its economy from a US.China trade war, the mining minister of the world's biggest copper producer said on Monday. Baldo Prokurica also told Reuters the South American nation was considering further... 

Chinese delegation to witness proudly South African logging system 

By: Martin Creamer     8th October 2018 The high-ranking delegation from China, which is due to arrive in South Africa next Monday to undertake a three-week study of South Africa’s globally recognised mineral reporting codes, will be given insight during their visit into a South African borehole logging system that is poised to go... 

Northern produces first rare earth carbonate

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th October 2018 Rare earths miner Northern Minerals has produced its first rare earth carbonate at its Browns Range pilot plant, in Western Australia. The production of the first final product followed the start of plant commissioning in June this year. 

Hydro restarts Brazil alumina refinery at half capacity

By: Mariaan Webb     8th October 2018 Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro will restart its Alunorte alumina refinery, in Brazil, at 50% capacity, following approval by federal environmental agency IBAMA to use its press filter technology for processing bauxite residues. The “exceptional” authorisation, which was granted on... 

Vitol, Trafigura to bid for coal mines once owned by Guptas

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2018 Commodities traders Vitol Group and Trafigura Group have entered the bidding process for South Africa’s Optimum Coal, a miner under bankruptcy protection that was once controlled by the Gupta family. The interest from two of the biggest commodities trading houses underscores the strategic value... 

South Africa researching hydrogen storage for platinum-using fuel cells

By: Martin Creamer     5th October 2018 South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is researching innovative hydrogen storage technologies that have the potential to be key enablers of platinum-catalysed fuel cells, which generate clean electricity using hydrogen as a fuel and platinum as a catalyst. The... 

On-The-Air (05/10/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     5th October 2018 Minerals Minister Gwede Mantashe this week made a strong call for price-hit platinum to be vigorously marketed; Desperately needed mineral exploration has received a major boost by being freed from regulatory red tape; and China is so impressed with South Africa’s mining investment codes that it... 

Lynas shares jump on Malaysia review comments

By: Reuters     5th October 2018 Shares in Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp jumped 12% on Friday after Malaysia's prime minister downplayed the roles of two Lynas critics in an environmental review of its processing plant in the country. Concerns that Malaysia's newly elected government could close down Lynas'... 

Brazil authorities question Hydro move to halt Alunorte operations

By: Reuters     5th October 2018 The Brazilian state of Para on Thursday said it was surprised when Norsk Hydro decided a day earlier to halt operations at Alunorte, the world's largest alumina refinery, and asked for a report explaining the decision. Brazilian regulators in February ordered Hydro to slash output by half at the... 

Company opens new office to increase its footprint

By: Donald Makhafola     5th October 2018 Screening and vibrating equipment solutions and services provider Aury Africa has opened a new office near eMalahleni to significantly extend its presence in the Mpumalanga coalfields region. Aury Africa has subsequently entered into supply contracts with significant players in the area. 

Costs, limited markets hampering progress towards hydrogen economy

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2018 The use of platinum group metals- (PGMs-) based fuel cells in electricity and mobility applications is expected to provide ample commercial opportunities for South Africa, in line with worldwide trends to decarbonise electricity generation and transport. However, the high cost of these... 

Macro disquiet drowns out signs of base metals shortages

By: Reuters     4th October 2018 Uncertainty about how metals demand will be hit by trade wars, rising US interest rates and a slowdown in China is weighing on industrial metals prices, submerging signals pointing to potential shortages. The index of copper and five other top industrial metals traded on the London Metal Exchange... 

Fresh blow for emerging markets as rising oil hits importers

By: Bloomberg     4th October 2018 For years, higher oil prices have stoked gains in emerging-market currencies. But now, Brent crude’s rally to a four-year high is beginning to hurt them. Crude-oil futures rose above $85 a barrel this week for the first time since 2014 as concern about shrinking Iranian exports outweighed higher... 

Rio is hunting deals, discoveries for 'beautiful' diamonds unit

By: Bloomberg     4th October 2018 Two of the world’s top diamonds producers are both shopping for deals, with Rio Tinto following De Beers in hunting for projects to replace aging operations and position for an improving global market outlook. Rio is actively looking for more acquisitions after making a small investment in a... 

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