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Coal capped at 150 Mt/y – Glencore 

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2019 Diversified mining company Glencore has capped its coal capacity at 150-million tonnes of coal a year, a figure that it is close to and which it will not exceed. The company has been working on the cap with its investors since 2016 in the interests of the transitioning to a low carbon global... 

R69bn in support for Eskom made conditional on restructuring 

By: Terence Creamer     20th February 2019 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has turned down a proposal for R100-billion of Eskom’s debt to be transferred across to the National Treasury, but has instead announced R23-billion a year in financial assistance for the debt-laden utility that is directly tied to a restructuring of the business.... 

AfDB optimistic about Eskom’s turnaround prospects

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2019 The African Development Bank (AfDB), which has extended billions of rands in loans to Eskom, says it is optimistic the actions being taken to turnaround the embattled South African power utility will bear fruit. Power, energy, climate and green growth complex VP Amadou Hott told Engineering News... 

Radebe says IRP to be finalised in March and promises to address IPP issues soon 

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2019 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe listed the finalisation of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity as South Africa’s main energy priority and indicated on Tuesday the policy should be approved in March. Speaking on the sidelines of the 2019 edition of Africa Energy Indaba he said he would... 

Motsepe rejects Eskom conspiracy claims as ‘ridiculous’, but admits to ‘serious’ perception problem 

By: Terence Creamer     18th February 2019 Black business luminary Patrice Motsepe has labelled as “ridiculous” a recurring allegation that African Rainbow Energy & Power (AREP) is part of an unscrupulous plan to collapse Eskom and supplant the State-owned power utility with independent power producers (IPPs), in which the business would... 

On-The-Air (15/02/2019) 

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2019 African countries are streaking ahead of South Africa on the mining automation front; mining companies are opting for solar power because it is cheaper than Eskom power; and only black-owned companies will be allowed to buy the seven mining operations that are up for sale in Mpumalanga.... 

Harmony Gold and DRDGold make headlines  

15th February 2019 Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer unpacks Harmony Gold rising to President Cyril Ramaphosa's ten-point mining challenge, DRDGold calling Eskom’s grid upkeep problematic and, Harmony looking to solar power and biofuel energy.   

Gold, operational costs drag down South Africa’s December mining production

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th February 2019 South Africa’s mining production decreased by 1.6% year-on-year in 2018, following a 3.9% year-on-year increase in 2017 and a decrease of 3.7% year-on-year in 2016, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) revealed on Thursday. In December, mining production decreased by 4.8% year-on-year, with the... 

Ramaphosa promises to correct lack of consultation with labour on Eskom unbundling 

By: Terence Creamer     14th February 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged on Thursday that there had been insufficient consultation with labour on government’s plan to unbundle Eskom into three separate companies, but he also stressed that the proposed restructuring would not result in privatisation. In his response to the debate... 

South32 finalising preferred list of coal mine bidders 

By: Martin Creamer     14th February 2019 The complete preferred list of bidders for South32’s energy coal interests is still being finalised, South32 CEO Graham Kerr told Mining Weekly Online on Thursday, when he also provided three reasons why the company’s Australian manganese operations are doing better than its South African... 

NUM seethes over lack of consultation on Eskom unbundling 

By: Terence Creamer     14th February 2019 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has expressed deep unhappiness with the decision of President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce the unbundling of Eskom in the absence of any prior consultation with the union, which is a formal ally of the governing African National Congress (ANC). The union,... 

Shifting R100bn in Eskom debt to government will have ‘dire’ economic consequences 

By: Terence Creamer     13th February 2019 Amid confirmation that Eskom is technically insolvent and will require a capital injection by April to remain a going concern, a leading economist is cautioning against the proposed transfer of R100-billion of the utility’s debt to government’s balance sheet. Instead, Standard Bank chief... 

Eskom grid upkeep increasingly problematic – DRDGold  

By: Martin Creamer     13th February 2019 The quality of maintenance of the Eskom distribution infrastructure is becoming increasingly problematic, DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius said on Wednesday. At the company's presentation of power-hit interim results for the six months to December 31, Pretorius said that although DRDGold's own power... 

DRDGold profit down, gold reserves up

By: Martin Creamer     13th February 2019 Surface gold mining company DRDGold on Wednesday reported a 54% fall in operating profit to R102.2-million in the six months to December 31, but a major jump in mineral reserves. Reserves shot up by 83% to six-million ounces of gold from a former 3.28-million ounces but gold production in the... 

South Africa's biggest labour group embarks on nationwide strike

By: Bloomberg     13th February 2019 South Africa’s biggest labor federation will embark on a nationwide protest on Wednesday that will keep teachers, policemen, miners and workers at embattled power utility Eskom away from their posts amid a fourth day of rolling blackouts. The National Union of Mineworkers -- an affiliate of the... 

Battle lines drawn as opposition parties contest Ramaphosa’s Eskom unbundling plan  

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2019 The future structure of South Africa’s debt-laden electricity producer Eskom emerged as the central topic during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s February 7 State of the Nation Address (SONA), in which he announced that the utility would be split, under Eskom Holdings, into three... 

Harmony cuts energy consumption, ushering in solar, mulling biofuels  

By: Martin Creamer     12th February 2019 Gold mining and exploration company Harmony Gold is intensifying its efforts to cut electricity consumption to a minimum while also looking at introducing solar power and biofuel energy. CEO Peter Steenkamp said on Tuesday when the company issued its half-year results that Eskom’s problems could... 

Opinion: Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables? 

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     12th February 2019 There is considerable support in South Africa for the notion that a transition in the electricity system from coal to renewable energy will trigger a jobs bloodbath at both Eskom and the Mpumalanga coal mines. A detailed analysis of the job numbers, however, suggests quite the opposite. In fact,... 

Stemming slow progress in science & tech requires encouragement

11th February 2019 In an era where South African women have become increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, why are there so few women scientists and engineers?  Encouragement vs. acumen seems to be the key to speeding up the take-up of careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). In... 

Learners represent South Africa at Taiwan International Science Fair

By: Simone Liedtke     8th February 2019 Pretoria-based Hoërskool Waterkloof learner Christiaan Bauman won the fourth prize in the engineering category at the 2019 Taiwan International Science Fair, which was held from January 26 to February 1. Bauman’s project, titled ‘Mine Safety – The Robotic Way’, addresses the problem of miners and... 

Minerals council applauds Ramaphosa's focus on improving ease of doing business

By: African News Agency      8th February 2019 The Minerals Council South Africa on Friday applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s emphasis on improving the ease of doing business in the country during his annual address in Parliament on the state of the nation. The council also welcomed Ramaphosa's commitment to fighting corruption and state... 

Ramaphosa promises ‘meaningful consultation’ as he confirms split of Eskom into three units 

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed on Thursday that South Africa’s embattled State-owned electricity producer would be split, under Eskom Holdings, into three separate entities – generation, transmission and distribution – in an effort to bring credibility to the turnaround of the utility and to... 

Sort out Eskom or beneficiation will suffer, warns Mantashe

By: Kim Cloete     7th February 2019 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has expressed concern about progress in beneficiating minerals, while Eskom is still battling. “If we don’t sort out Eskom problems, we are going to be in trouble with beneficiation. There must be an arrangement for certain categories of customers for an... 

Steel group to approach Nersa for power-tariff relief  

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2019 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) says it will submit site-specific applications to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to secure tariff relief from Eskom for its operations in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The submissions will be made in line with... 

Resources Watch  

7th February 2019 Minerals Council's warns of tipping point for mining if electricity tariffs increase by 15% a year; and, BME to focus on product improvement and organic growth 

Minerals Council welcomes President’s statements at Mining Indaba

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th February 2019 The Minerals Council South Africa has welcomed the statements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, on Tuesday. The Minerals Council said the President had, throughout his address, echoed the sentiments expressed by Mineral... 

South Africa to unveil Eskom support package in coming days – Ramaphosa

By: Reuters     5th February 2019 South Africa will in the coming days unveil a package of measures to shore up State-owned Eskom's finances and address structural issues facing the struggling power firm, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday. "In the coming few days we will be announcing a package of measures to stabilise as... 

Nersa to make Eskom tariff decision before March 15  

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2019 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) says it will make a ruling on Eskom’s heavily contested revenue application before March 15, but has not committed to a firm date for the release of the determination. Full-time regulatory member Nomfundo Maseti, who chaired the marathon... 

Eskom’s own survival at risk should big hikes be permitted, EIUG warns  

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2019 The Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) has added its voice to the overwhelming chorus of societal opposition to Eskom’s latest tariff submission, warning on Tuesday that above-inflation hikes would have “immediate, catastrophic and irreversible” consequences for South Africa’s mining and... 

High Court to hear environmental organisations’ application for access to coal IPP documents 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th February 2019 The Pretoria High Court will, on Wednesday, hear an application brought by environmental organisations, groundWork and Earthlife Africa, for the handover of various documents relating to the judicial review of the environmental authorisations granted to two coal-fired power station preferred... 

Expect some tough announcements on Eskom soon – Davies 

By: News24Wire      5th February 2019 Eskom is in deep trouble financially and operationally and South Africa is facing enormous challenges in the electricity industry, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said on Tuesday. Davies was a guest speaker at a round table discussion hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry on... 

South32’s South Africa Energy Coal expresses concern about Eskom’s fragile state 

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Mining and metals company South32 says it is concerned about the challenges that have increasingly threatened the stability of South African power utility Eskom and needs to ensure the continuity of supply of its coal to Eskom in the long run. South32’s South Africa Energy Coal (SAEC) company... 

Busa calls for inflation-linked Eskom hikes until power market is restructured  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to suspend its methodology for setting power tariffs and to grant Eskom only inflation-linked increases until the electricity supply industry has been restructured. In a presentation during Gauteng... 

DRDGOLD: Operating Update And Trading Statement

4th February 2019 Power issues impact Ergo production; Far West Gold Recoveries off to flying start DRDGOLD Limited, in an operating update for the quarter ended 31 December 2018, reports a 5% decline in gold production, primarily as a consequence of an 8% drop in tonnage throughput. 

Eskom lays bare its monumental challenges 

By: Martin Creamer     4th February 2019 When Eskom had 32 000 employees, debt of R40-billion and an output of 40 000 MW, it was a world-beater, Eskom group CE Phakamani Hadebe said on Monday. But its current employee level of 47 000 employees, debt of R440-billion and output of only 38 000 MW are presenting major turn-around challenges. 

Coal exports have not risen since 2008, with the IRP posing a further threat, says Minerals Council

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Coal production, exports and investment in the industry have remained stagnant since 2008, despite higher export prices and South Africa’s abundant coal reserves, says the Minerals Council South Africa. “Even as the coal export price soared, export volumes failed to respond,” Minerals Council... 

Eskom warns of R20bn losses this year and next, even after big hikes  

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is warning that its loss for 2018/19 will be worse, at R20-billion, than the R15-billion loss it had projected earlier and that it will be followed by another big loss in 2019/20 even if it receives hikes it is currently seeking from the regulator. CFO Calib... 

Transnet says coal exports expected to dip this year

By: Kim Cloete     1st February 2019 Coal exports are expected to drop this year, following a disappointingly slow run over the past few months, says Transnet Freight Rail coal GM Mandisa Mondi. “For the current financial year, the target for export was 77-million tonnes. We are trending at 73-million tonnes. We hope to have a good... 

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