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Radebe insists IRP to be approved soon, amid Nedlac uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2019 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has reiterated that Cabinet could soon approve the long-awaited update to South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, despite persistent suggestions that National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) sign-off of the document is still... 

Mantashe highlights challenges facing South Africa’s mining sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th January 2019 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has stressed that the key factor in the future of South African mining was the human element. He did so when delivering the keynote address at the launch, in Pretoria last month, of a book – "The Future of Mining in South Africa: Sunset or Sunrise" – by... 

November mining production down 5.6% y/y  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th January 2019 South Africa’s mining production decreased by 5.6% year-on-year in November. Statistics South Africa on Tuesday reported that the largest contributors to the decrease had been the iron-ore, gold, diamonds and other non-metallic minerals sectors. 

Merkel seeks to preserve jobs while phasing out coal plants

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2019 Angela Merkel’s commission plotting Germany’s exit from coal faces a tricky balancing act: how to stop mining and burning the dirtiest fossil fuel without whipping up more voter anxiety over job losses. Germany’s chancellor meets with coal-state governors who sit on the commission on Tuesday in... 

Electric cars seen getting cleaner even where grids rely on coal

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2019 Electric cars are better for the environment than traditional gasoline models, and that benefit will grow as power generators shift away from coal. That’s the conclusion of research by BloombergNEF, which found carbon dioxide emissions from battery-powered vehicles were about 40% lower than for... 

Mining needs to embrace Industry 4.0

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th January 2019 Challenges faced by the mining industry today like increasing production costs, depressed commodity prices and the high cost of electricity, are forcing the mining sector to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it brings industrial transformation. Such developments will bring the training... 

Eskom warns of 'debt trap' as it pleads for 15% hike  

By: Kim Cloete     14th January 2019 Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe has apologised for the severe predicament Eskom is in, but has pleaded for an electricity tariff increase of 15% over the next three years.   Hadebe made the call at the opening of public hearings into electricity tariffs held by the National Energy Regulator of South... 

Hydrogen leap needed to aid platinum’s future 

By: Martin Creamer     11th January 2019 A South African decision to step firmly into the hydrogen age, like so many other countries are doing, has great potential benefit for the country. Because South Africa has better combined solar and wind resources than just about any other country, it is well positioned to generate hydrogen using... 

Eskom is said to extend job cuts beyond top management tier  

By: Bloomberg     7th January 2019 Eskom Holdings will extend its strategy of trimming top executive positions to include lower ranking managers and finally the general workforce as South Africa’s cash-strapped power utility looks to cut costs, according to a person familiar with the plans. The state-owned company last month... 

Climate ideals clash with coal realities at Polish-led UN talks

By: Reuters     14th December 2018 Delegates at UN climate talks in the Polish city of Katowice point to the mining museum next to the conference venue as the proper place for coal, which provides 80% of the country's electricity. Poland's decision to host the negotiations to revive the 2015 Paris agreement on phasing out fossil... 

Ramaphosa declares end to 'investment strike' and unveils R290bn in commitments  

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa declared an end to South Africa's proverbial 'investment strike', when he unveiled firm investment commitments of R290-billion across a diverse range of sectors, from mining and energy to infrastructure and manufacturing, at a well attended and vibrant investment... 

Shake-up at US energy regulator raises specter of coal bailout

By: Bloomberg     26th October 2018 An untimely resignation has given one Kentucky Republican a second shot at saving coal. Neil Chatterjee, former energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has been tapped to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after Chairman Kevin McIntyre stepped down this week due to... 

Industry 4.0 won’t be a death knell for mining jobs, but will require reskilling

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th October 2018 The rapid developments around the concept of the mine of the future and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are sending mixed reactions over jobs in what is a struggling sector. However, stalling or adopting what is inevitable, in a slow fashion, will deliver penalties for the economy on an... 

Mali's first independent power project to start up next week

By: Reuters     25th October 2018 Mali's first independent power project – a €122-million ($139.06-million), 90 MW diesel plant – will go online next week in the country's gold-rich southwest, a board member of the operator said on Wednesday. The new plant could spur more of the foreign investment Mali has struggled to attract... 

Cosatu calls for overhaul of draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has rejected the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, calling for an overhaul. It also called for a firm commitment not to retrench workers as well as tougher, hard-hitting plans to halt looting and recover money stolen from Eskom. 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2018 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is preparing to roll-out battery energy storage systems (BESS) across multiple sites as part of a replacement plan for the 100 MW Kiwano concentrated solar power (CSP) project initially approved as part of the $3.75-billion World Bank loan extended to the... 

Bosnian government to help keep Aluminij smelter on power grid

By: Reuters     19th October 2018 A Bosnian regional government will help to keep aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar running, a Minister said on Friday, after heavy debt brought it to the brink of closure. Management at Bosnia's sole aluminium smelter had called for the Bosniak-Croat Federation to intervene after the business was... 

Amid falling platinum prices, PGM miners upping chrome ore production to improve profitability 

By: Nadine James     19th October 2018 Some platinum group metals (PGM) producers have become large producers of chrome ore to improve their profitability, says Kagiso Asset Management investment analyst Mandi Dungwa. South Africa is the world’s largest chrome producer, delivering more than half of the global ore supply in 2017, with... 

Amid falling platinum prices, PGM miners upping chrome ore production to improve profitability

By: Nadine James     19th October 2018 Some platinum group metals (PGM) producers have become large producers of chrome ore to improve their profitability, says Kagiso Asset Management investment analyst Mandi Dungwa. South Africa is the world’s largest chrome producer, delivering more than half of the global ore supply in 2017, with... 

SRK Ghana expanding into other West African markets

By: Nadine James     19th October 2018 As the economic mood in the global mining industry turns towards the better, SRK Consulting’s Accra office, in Ghana, has been making inroads into new markets in Côte d’Ivoire and Togo, SRK Ghana country manager John Kwofie noted in a release last week. He believes that there is potential for... 

Keep coal’s current share of the energy mix, says NUM

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for coal to be retained far more strongly in the country’s energy mix. In its submission on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, the NUM Western Cape said it was concerned that coal’s share in the energy mix was set to be reduced. “As... 

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. 

First electricity from Imaloto slated for 2021 

By: Simone Liedtke     17th October 2018 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals, parent company of coal and energy company Lemur Holdings, on Wednesday announced that the Imaloto project is on track to deliver electricity to south-western Madagascar by 2021. The Imaloto project is a developing integrated thermal coal mining and independent power... 

GE calls for more coal power within the IRP 

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 General Electric (GE) has called on the South African government to reconsider investing in a further 1 600 MW of coal-fired power generation capacity, describing it as "the lifeblood" of South Africa’s economy, a significant job creator and important source of foreign exchange. “The removal of 1... 

India’s Coal Ministry passes strictures on Coal India

By: Ajoy K Das     17th October 2018 Passing strident strictures on Coal India Limited (CIL) for failing to effectively review production and supplies, the Coal Ministry has directed the miner to immediately start liquidating coal stockpiles to mitigate shortages at power plants across the country. The Coal Ministry, in a rare... 

Organisations oppose coal in IRP public hearings 

By: Kim Cloete     16th October 2018 Public hearings into the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) kicked off in Parliament on Tuesday, with several organisations voicing their concerns about the plan’s provision for new coal-fired power stations. Attorney Robyn Hugo of the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) told Parliament’s... 

Study that fails to back Trump coal rescue plan kept under wraps

By: Bloomberg     15th October 2018 A report commissioned by the Energy Department failed to reach conclusions favoring the Trump administration’s efforts to prop up coal and nuclear power – and remains under wraps six months after submission. “The report hasn’t seen the light of day,” the principal author, Michael Webber tweeted... 

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... 

Eskom optimistic plan to boost coal stocks will prevent power outages

By: Paige Müller     12th October 2018 The continuing coal supply shortage at State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings is considered a crisis by industry commentators. Although conceding that it “is not an ideal situation”, Eskom has assured Parliament that it is implementing a recovery plan to prevent any unplanned capacity loss.... 

Eskom optimistic plan to boost coal stocks will prevent power outages

By: Paige Müller     12th October 2018 The continuing coal supply shortage at State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings is considered a crisis by industry commentators. Although conceding that it “is not an ideal situation”, Eskom has assured Parliament that it is implementing a recovery plan to prevent any unplanned capacity loss.... 

Rio Tinto to restart sale of Icelandic aluminium plant – sources

By: Reuters     10th October 2018 Rio Tinto is close to restarting a sale process for some of its aluminium assets, including a plant in Iceland, which have been valued at around $350-million, two sources familiar with the matter said. The assets include a 53% stake in a Dutch anode facility and 50% of the shares in a Swedish... 

Plea for govt to awaken to massive economic potential of mining  

By: Martin Creamer     10th October 2018 A plea for the government to awaken to the massive real potential of the South African mining sector was made on Wednesday by Eunomix CEO Claude Baissac, who decried the disincentivising of South African mining over the past 20 years as an inexplicable paradox and a massive mineral policy... 

Mercedes-Benz rolls out fuel-cell SUV to tackle tech hurdles

By: Bloomberg     10th October 2018 Mercedes-Benz will soon start handing over its latest fuel-cell electric car to fleet customers to keep a toe-hold in a promising technology that’s been hampered by the difficulties of storing and refueling hydrogen. The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell model combines a fuel cell with a battery that can... 

Govt urged to include IRP adjustment that steers renewables jobs the way of coal regions 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th October 2018 South Africa should consider including a policy adjustment in its upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) directing developers of new renewable-energy infrastructure to build projects in regions currently geared towards coal mining and coal-fired electricity production. University of Johannesburg... 

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... 

Technologies listed in IRP may be used as ‘proxies’ for equivalent solutions

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2018 The Department of Energy (DoE) may consider using the generation technologies listed in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) as “proxies” for other technologies that are able to deliver an equivalent solution to the power system at the same cost. Speaking at a stakeholder workshop hosted by the... 

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... 

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