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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... 

EU's biggest coal-mining nation plans output hike to cut imports

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2018 The biggest coal producer in the European Union plans to boost output of the dirty fuel by about 10% in the next several years to cut down on imports, which are set to jump to a record this year, according to the Polish government. The country, which saw its thermal coal output slumping 7% to... 

FROM COAL MINE TO HYDROPOWER STATION:

By: Martin Creamer     5th October 2018 Coal mining is all but over at the 150-year-old Prosper Haniel anthracite mine in Bottrop, Germany, now earmarked for pumped storage electricity generation. When the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, excess renewable energy will be used to pump the mine’s underground water to surface for... 

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... 

Coal reaching $100/t in Europe boosts greener alternatives

By: Bloomberg     4th October 2018 Coal’s push to $100/t in Europe may benefit the greenest energy providers more than it does for miners. Companies that provide alternatives ranging from renewable power plants to natural gas turbines are expecting a lift after the commodity reached a five-year high. Far from spurring a revival... 

Eskom, coal sector must collaborate to overcome challenges

By: Nadine James     3rd October 2018 Power utillity has not ruled out the possibility of introducing special tariffs for industry, Matleng Energy Solutions chairperson and Eskom nonexecutive director Nelisiwe Magubane noted in an address at the Joburg Indaba on Wednesday. She stated, however, that, to date, the coal mining “industry... 

High administrative costs, industry uncertainty holding mining back

By: Nadine James     3rd October 2018 The mining sector is poised for a positive future but is still hindered by a “harsh” environment, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter stated at the Joburg Indaba, on Wednesday. In his keynote address, titled ‘A harsh environment in South Africa or a new dawn’, he noted that one of the... 

Australia resources exports heading for record; country takes lithium crown

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd October 2018 Australia’s resources and energy exports are forecast to hit a record high of A$252-billion in 2018/19, helped along by a decline in the Australian dollar over the past quarter. In its newest Resources and Energy Quarterly, the Office of the Chief Economist notes that the new outlook had been... 

Radebe outlines additional cost of coal IPPs to consumers

By: Terence Creamer     1st October 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has confirmed that electricity consumers will pay 1.9c/kWh more by 2030 on a projected electricity tariff of 119c/kWh to accommodate the two independent power producer (IPP) coal-fired power stations included in the draft 2018 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) – a... 

Local strides to hydrogen economy tempered by cost, industrialisation questions

By: Schalk Burger     27th September 2018 The use of platinum group metals-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 technologies,... 

Stanbic Botswana secures $125m loan guaranty to support diamond sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th September 2018 Stanbic Bank Botswana, which is a member of Standard Bank Group, has, along with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, and Botswana Finance, a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International, signed a $125-million loan guaranty, which... 

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