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Alrosa signs 67 long-term diamond supply contracts

By: Creamer Media Reporter      Updated 7 hours ago Diamond major Alrosa has signed 67 long-term agreements for the sale of gem quality and industrial rough diamonds, 12 of which are agreements with Russian companies. Of the eight Russian companies that are buying rough diamonds from Alrosa, three are new clients – Aives, Diapur and Kristalldiam. 

New French firm Orano, formerly called Areva, says uranium price too low to invest in mines

By: Reuters     23rd January 2018 Philippe Knoche, chief executive officer of French uranium and nuclear fuel group Orano - formerly called Areva - said current market prices for uranium are too low to invest in new uranium mines. He added that long-term contract prices for uranium are about $10/lb higher than spot prices. 

Copper production declined in first ten months of 2017 – ICSG

By: Schalk Burger     23rd January 2018 Worldwide copper mine production declined 2.6% in the ten months to October 2017, while concentrate production declined by 2.2% and production through solvent extraction-electrowinning declined by 4.3% in the same period, according to the intergovernmental copper body The International Copper... 

China to drive another year of rapid developments in aluminium market

By: Anine Kilian     23rd January 2018 Buoyed by events in China, the aluminium market is expected to see rapid growth in 2018, according to global energy, chemicals, renewables, metals and mining research and consulting group Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac). In its latest aluminium report, the company highlighted that China supply reforms,... 

Thakadu’s nickel plant secures R50m black industrialist grant

By: Martin Creamer     23rd January 2018 Innovative metals and energy company Thakadu Battery Materials has secured a R50-million black industrialist grant from South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the construction of its pure nickel sulphate plant in North West province, which will make use of platinum producer... 

Strandline signs offtake deal for Tanzania mineral sands project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd January 2018 ASX-listed Strandline Resources has secured a binding offtake agreement for 100% of the zircon/monazite product to be produced at its Fungoni mineral sands project, in Tanzania. Marking it as a major step towards bringing its first mineral sands project into production, the company said on Monday... 

'There has never been a bigger disconnect between price and value' – VRIC 2018

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd January 2018 "The disconnect between price and value is as stunning as I've ever seen," founder of The Stock Catalyst Report Michael Alkin told attendees at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference (VRIC) on Sunday. Industry participants seemed to agree. 

2017's worst-returning precious metal becomes hedge fund darling

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2018 After lagging behind other precious metals last year, platinum is finally outperforming, and hedge funds are taking notice. Money managers increased their bets on a rally for platinum, a commodity used in pollution-control devices for cars. Investors had been pessimistic on prices until the... 

Offtake agreements now cover 60% of Montepuez production – Battery Minerals

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2018 ASX-listed Battery Minerals has signed a binding offtake agreement with Qingdao Black Dragon Graphite for 10 000 t/y of graphite concentrate from its Montepuez project, in Mozambique, for an initial term of three years. This marks the third offtake agreement for the project. 

Regulatory uncertainty casting shadow over South Africa amid forecast for further minerals market uptick

By: Mia Breytenbach     19th January 2018 The South African mining industry has had a tumultuous time because of the controversial Reviewed Draft Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry, also known as Mining Charter III, which, amid lingering political uncertainty, led to low... 

China's proposed dual-credit scheme can reshape the EV market – WoodMac

By: Henry Lazenby     19th January 2018 China's electric vehicles (EV) market has grown exponentially to overtake the US as the world's largest EV market, thanks to heavy government subsidies to spur growth in the emerging automotive sector. However, research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) warns that these subsidies are... 

S Africa may lose out to other African gas sectors

By: Victor Moolman     19th January 2018 Several major international independent power producers and power generation developers are interested in South Africa’s gas-to-power programme (GPP), for which direction in the form of request for quotations and request for proposals from the Department of Energy (DoE) is keenly awaited.... 

Envoy urges SA, Brazil to share ideas on improving mining

By: Mia Breytenbach     19th January 2018 With the mining sector having played a significant role in the history and development of South Africa and Brazil, it is “natural and appropriate” that the two countries come together to discuss and exchange ideas about how to improve the mining sector in both countries, says Ambassador of Brazil... 

Regulatory uncertainty casting shadow over SA amid forecast for further minerals market uptick

By: Mia Breytenbach     19th January 2018 The South African mining industry has had a tumultuous time because of the controversial Reviewed Draft Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry, also known as Mining Charter III, which, amid lingering political uncertainty, led to low... 

Graphite miner closes more sales agreements for its Mozambique mine’s product

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th January 2018 Australian Securities Exchange-listed miner Syrah Resources has announced a number of sales agreements for flake graphite produced by its Balama project in Mozambique. These agreements are with China’s Yichang Xincheng Graphite Company Limited and Germany’s CS Additive GmbH. Yichang Xincheng is a... 

Top China nickel producer joins BHP in prepping for EV boom

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2018 China’s top nickel supplier aims to boost output of a material used in car batteries by 40% this year, joining the ranks of global producers ramping up operations to meet demand from electric vehicles. Jinchuan Group Co expects to raise production of nickel sulphate to 70 000 metric tons from 50... 

Turquoise Hill says Oyu Tolgoi declares force majeure due to border protests

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 Turquoise Hill Resources said that Oyu Tolgoi, a copper and gold mine in the southern Gobi Desert, has declared force majeure in connection with customer contracts for concentrate due to a protest by Chinese coal transporters in the Ganqimaodu Border Zone. Protesters used vehicles to obstruct... 

China's Dec coal output hits 2-year record over firm demand in winter

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 China's December coal output rose from November to hit its highest level since December 2015, as miners boosted output to meet increasing demand after Beijing softened winter coal burning restrictions in northern homes due to gas shortages. The world's biggest coal miner produced 314.87-million... 

China govt curbs drop avg daily steel output to 12-mth low in Dec

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 China's average daily steel output fell 1.9% in December from the previous month, official data showed on Thursday, touching the lowest level in a year as government-imposed production curbs deepened. Total output climbed to 67.05-million tonnes in December from 66.15-million tonnes in November,... 

Eskom challenges need to be addressed urgently, or South Africa will sink – Gigaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th January 2018 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday painted a grim picture of the financial challenges facing power utility Eskom, stating that the national fiscus would be unable to bail the State-owned enterprise (SOE) out in the event of a default. Speaking at a pre-World Economic Forum (WEF)... 

WoodMac urges automakers to ‘get out their chequebooks’, secure energy metal supplies

By: Henry Lazenby     17th January 2018 Auto manufacturers are ramping up strategies to cash in on the accelerating worldwide acceptance and demand for electric vehicles (EVs), prompting advice from research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie for automakers to ‘get out their chequebooks’ and take stakes in mines or new mine projects... 

Firestone Diamonds revises Liqhobong mine plan to yield better results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th January 2018 Aim-listed Firestone Diamonds, which sold 156 942 ct of diamonds recovered at its Liqhobong mine, in Lesotho, in the quarter ended December 31, has adopted a revised mine plan to increase cash flow in the short term, while resolving issues that affect the value of recovered diamonds. Diamonds... 

Marathon mineral rights tangle goes to Constitutional Court

By: Martin Creamer     17th January 2018 The Constitutional Court of South Africa is being asked to pronounce on a marathon mineral rights entanglement that lower courts have failed to resolve. What the High Court proclaimed, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned, and now Chinese subsidiary company Aquila Steel has applied to the... 

Palladium risks tripping up as prices stampede higher

By: Reuters     17th January 2018 Palladium, the hottest property in the precious metals deck last year, is tipped for a record performance in 2018 even among bearish forecasters, but the metal could become a victim of its own success. The prospect of sharply higher prices could well prompt substitution of the metal for cheaper... 

NextSource soars on Japanese approval of registered SuperFlake product trademark

By: Henry Lazenby     17th January 2018 The TSX-listed equity of one of the graphite industry’s best kept secrets, NextSource Materials, has recorded significant gains on Tuesday following a company announcement that Japan has approved the company’s registration of ‘SuperFlake’ graphite as a trademark in the country. The registration... 

As stockpiles fall, which metals are really in tight supply?

By: Reuters     16th January 2018 Stocks of industrial metals in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses fell more than 40 percent last year and further declines are expected in 2018, which should in theory signal tighter supplies and fuel a blistering price rally. But rising inventories of metals at smaller rival exchanges... 

World Gold Council spots trends that'll be gold’s 2018 friends

By: Martin Creamer     16th January 2018 Synchronised global economic growth, shrinking central bank balance sheets, rising interest rates, insubstantial asset prices and market transparency are the trends that will be gold’s best friends in 2018, the World Gold Council said on Tuesday. These trends, the council said in delivering its... 

Copper falls most in 6 weeks as metal rally starts to give

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2018 After a non-stop rally, metals prices are starting to pull back. Copper, aluminium and nickel slid more than 2% on Tuesday as investors focused on the rebounding dollar and evidence of ample supply in the physical market. Precious metals also retreated, with silver falling as much as 3.2%. 

Australian LNG exports surge on strong Chinese demand

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th January 2018 Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports hit 56.8-million tonnes last year, jumping 26.3% from 44.9-million in 2016, owing to a watershed year of exports to China. Combined with higher oil prices, the increase in volumes pushed up Australia’s 2017 LNG export revenue by 44.1% to... 

China's State-owned coal firms target 12.65Mt of capacity cuts – Xinhua

By: Reuters     15th January 2018 China's central government-owned enterprises will target coal capacity cuts of 12.65-million tonnes in 2018, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday. The Xinhua report, which followed a meeting of the heads of companies controlled by China's State-owned Assets Supervision and... 

Polyus says $887m deal with China’s Fosun dropped

By: Mariaan Webb     15th January 2018 Russia's Polyus said on Monday that an agreement to sell a 10% stake in the company to a consortium led by China’s Fosun International had been terminated. A condition precedent to the transaction was not met, following which the agreement to sell 12 561 686 of the ordinary shares in Polyus for... 

Metals power higher as sickly dollar spurs copper-to-gold rally

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2018 Copper jumped by the most in two months and zinc hit a fresh decade-high as base metals rallied on a potent combination of a softer dollar and continued robust outlook for demand. Gold and palladium also climbed. Copper surged as much as 2.1%, the most since November 13, to $7 259 a metric ton... 

Palladium bulls rule as prices hit record on tight supply

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2018 Palladium bulls are having a party. The metal used to curb pollution from gasoline-fueled engines climbed to a record in the spot market amid signs of robust demand. In China, Honda Motor Co.’s vehicle sales climbed 16% to a record last year. General Motors Co.’s sales in the Asian nation, the... 

Fura closes in on Colombian emerald mine buy; to create single-stop Dubai-based gemstone shop

By: Henry Lazenby     13th January 2018 Canadian gemstone-focused miner Fura Gems is setting up a single-stop destination in Dubai, where rubies and emeralds produced from its Mozambique and Colombian assets will be graded and sold at the Almas Tower. “The Almas Tower is arguably one of the most secure spaces in the world, from where... 

US trade panel allows China aluminium sheet dumping probe to proceed

By: Reuters     12th January 2018 The US International Trade Commission on Friday said in an initial finding that imports of aluminium alloy sheet metal from China harm US producers, allowing a US probe to proceed into whether the product was being dumped or unfairly subsidized. Employing a seldom-used tactic aimed at speeding... 

Smarter mining, manufacture, agriculture needed, says IDC’s Maia 

By: Martin Creamer     12th January 2018 South Africa needs to aim towards smarter mining, smarter agriculture and smarter manufacturing. “It’s about taking all the major sectors of the economy forward, with each feeding on the other,” says Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) research and information head Jorge Maia of the roles... 

Gold set for 5th week of gains, buoyed by slump in dollar

By: Reuters     12th January 2018 Gold prices rose for a third session on Friday to hit their highest since September, with a slump in the US dollar helping drive bullion towards its fifth-straight weekly gain. Spot gold had edged up 0.5% to $1 328.84/oz by 0703 GMT, after earlier touching its highest since Sept. 15 at $1 330.34. 

Chinese coal imports rise in Dec on looser customs curbs

By: Reuters     12th January 2018 China's coal imports rose in December from the previous month, as Beijing loosened curbs on shipments brought in through some ports to ease supply shortages of the fuel. Arrivals of coal, which include lignite, reached 22.74-million tonnes last month, up from 22.05-million tonnes in November,... 

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