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South Africa’s energy system on knife-edge – NPC commissioner  

By: Kim Cloete State-owned power utility Eskom is in very real danger of a ratings downgrade, with the energy system on knife-edge at the moment, warns Professor Anton Eberhard, a member of the National Planning Commission (NPC). South Africa has been plunged into an energy crisis, which Eberhard says is the... 

Eskom to receive R20bn injection, but no other SoC bailouts 

By: Terence Creamer Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene confirmed a further direct allocation to power utility Eskom of at least R20-billion. But he also stressed on Wednesday that the injection would have no impact on the Budget deficit as the capital would be raised through the sale of “non-strategic State assets”.... 

MCA pushes for greater policy reform

By: Esmarie Swanepoel While complementing the Tony Abbott-led government on its policy reforms aimed at reducing the red tape burden on Australian businesses, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) on Wednesday called for an even greater reform. On the Spring Repeal Day, the Abbott government introduced legislation... 

Drilling services provider secures NGL contract

Integrated exploration drilling services, equipment and performance tooling provider Boart Longyear was awarded a contract in August this year for drilling services at the renewable energy company Magnum’s Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) Storage project at the Western Energy Hub, in Utah, in the US.... 

Renewable energy a tough sell for prospective RoF developers

By: Henry Lazenby Among the many challenges facing as many as 20 mining companies holding claims in the Ring of Fire (RoF) mineral region of Northern Ontario, the most significant might be the limited infrastructure. However, besides having to deal with exploration, project planning, First Nations negotiations and... 

Renewable energy could open door to social licence for new mines in RoF 

By: Henry Lazenby A poll released on Thursday revealed that First Nations living in the remote far northern reaches of Ontario, including near the latent Ring of Fire minerals-rich district, would be more agreeable to allow mining projects to take root near their communities if the mines were to make use of... 

At Mining Sites Renewable Energy Systems Are up to 70 Percent Less Expensive than Diesel Power

Mining companies were not traditionally considered a good fit for renewable energy. A closer look shows that this is not true anymore. Numerous renewable energy systems already power mines today, and experts from both worlds – mining and renewables – agree that a boom in this field is ahead.... 

Eskom grid study highlights major future shifts in power-flow patterns 

By: Terence Creamer The transmission unit of South African electricity utility Eskom has completed a strategic grid study for the period to 2040. The study signals major shifts in future generation and demand patterns that will have implications for the domestic network and future investment decisions. Strategic... 

Eskom warns on IPP connections as it defers some transmission capex 

By: Terence Creamer State-owned power utility Eskom has made significant changes to its transmission infrastructure expansion plan for the coming ten years, owing to financial constraints that made its previous plan “no longer realistic”. Group executive for transmission Mongezi Ntsokolo reported on Friday that the... 

Electricity to ‘anchor’ gas roll-out, but progress mired in policy uncertainty

By: Terence Creamer Electricity generation was the natural “anchor” for the commercialisation of conventional and shale-gas resources in South Africa, particularly in light of prevailing security-of-supply problems. But energy experts speaking at the Joburg Indaba on Thursday warned that legislative, regulatory and... 

American Vanadium signs-up first flow-battery customer

By: Henry Lazenby North America’s first vanadium redox flow energy-storage system provider American Vanadium on Friday announced that it had signed up its first customer, subject to financing. American Vanadium said it believed the order from Newfound Energies would enable the company to switch its primary source... 

2014 Joburg Indaba set to build South Africa into a globally competitive, sustainable mining industry

The top five risks that pose the greatest challenges to the mining and metals sectors include investment fears, margin protection, productivity improvements, resource nationalisation, a social licence to operate, and an education and skills shortage. Ten years ago South Africa had reliable power,... 

No imminent increase in global coal prices expected

By: Mia Breytenbach Owing to the current depressed coal prices and lower international demand for coal, the global coal export market is facing one of its poorest periods in many years, says Pretoria-based coal consultancy XMP Consulting senior analyst Xavier Prévost, who tells Mining Weekly that he does not foresee... 

Renewables repositioning to meet mining industry’s energy needs 

By: Creamer Media Reporter It is increasingly clear that mining and renewable energy are two businesses that belong together and, yet, figuring out the nuts and bolts of getting projects off the ground is not always easy. For many renewable-energy companies, the slow pace of approving projects poses an ongoing challenge.... 

Positive steps to secure South Africa’s future energy mix

Updated in November last year, the very ambitious Integrated Resources Plan for 2010-2030, states its main aim is to reduce South Africa’s reliance on coal in electricity generation to below 50% by 2030. In procuring renewable energy the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement... 

Policy reliability made Botswana mine investment possible – Gem Diamonds

By: Martin Creamer Botswana’s policy reliability and investment certainty made it possible for Gem Diamonds to commit a billion pula to the initial phase of the country’s first underground diamond mine despite institutional funding having dried up in the aftermath of the world’s worst financial crisis. Learning... 

Gem opens Botswana’s first underground diamond mine

By: Martin Creamer London-listed diamond mining company Gem Diamonds on Friday officially opened its new Ghaghoo diamond mine, which is the first underground diamond mine in Botswana, the world’s leading diamond producer and home to the planet’s largest diamond operations. The 2 400 carats recovered so far sell in... 

Renewable-energy projects compete for capital in low-price milieu

By: Creamer Media Reporter Several industry pressures, ranging from greater competition for capital because of lower metal prices, to the expense of electrical energy storage, delay the widespread acceptance of renewable energy within the mining sector, Barrick Gold director of power projects Scott Fraser says. 

WorleyParsons consolidates EPCM offering in new HQ

By: Natalie Greve Establishing it as one of the largest engineering contractors in the country, engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) group WorleyParsons has moved into its new, purpose-built South African headquarters in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, consolidating its local project delivery... 

Goldcorp reducing costs by embracing renewable energy

By: Creamer Media Reporter Over the past 18 months, Goldcorp, based in Vancouver, has built the organisational infrastructure to manage its energy demands far more efficiently, explained corporate energy manager Flyn McCarthy. He discussed how Goldcorp measured energy costs and the various options under consideration now... 

Cronimet turns sod on large Namibian PV plant

By: Henry Lazenby Mining and energy solutions firm Cronimet Mining Power Solutions officially broke ground and began its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracting activities for a large Namibian photovoltaic (PV) power plant on August 18. The PV project is located in Omburu, two hours north-west... 

B&W Instrumentation and Electrical

Established more than 40 years ago, B&W Instrumentation and Electrical has grown into one of South Africa’s largest specialist electrical and instrumentation (E&I) construction groups, with a footprint throughout South Africa and across Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Harmony Gold pilots bioenergy crops, Glencore mine stores wind energy, remote mines turning to renewables

By: Martin Creamer Harmony Gold pilots bioenergy; Glencore's Raglan installs wind energy storage; and solar and hydro also playing role in Africa 

Klüber Lubrication

German group Klüber Lubrication is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of speciality lubricants, offering high-end tribological solutions to virtually all industries and markets worldwide.  

R47-million bioenergy project under development by Harmony

By: Chantelle Kotze Gold miner Harmony Gold is implementing a R47-million bio-energy pilot scale project involving the procreation of bio crops, namely giant king grass and sugarbeet, on mine-impacted land and tailings in the Free State. 

Glencore builds Canada’s first large wind and energy storage facility

By: Creamer Media Reporter The decision to install a 3 MW wind turbine at Glencore’s Raglan mine came after nearly five years of careful investigation, assessment, and analysis, says Jean-Francois Verret, director of strategy, projects, and public affairs. Because of the Arctic conditions at the mining site, which sits on... 

Power generation now a ‘major focus’ for mines as fuel costs soar

By: Anine Vermeulen Owing to the increasing cost of conventional fuels in the mining industry such as diesel, power generation is becoming a major focus for mining companies, says renewable-energy solutions company MCD director Manuel Duggal. MCD recently designed and supervised the installation of a new heavy fuel... 

Iamgold to generate 15% of own electricity in 5 yrs – CEO Letwin

By: Creamer Media Reporter Toronto-based gold producer Iamgold president and CEO Steve Letwin is championing the use of renewable energy as an opportunity for gold mines to reduce costs – a proposition that the company is testing through its Rosebel gold mine, in Suriname. Although saving money is an imperative for all... 

Nedbank Capital set to raise energy exposure to cater for baseload 

By: Terence Creamer The investment banking business of Nedbank, which has a R20-billion exposure to South Africa’s renewable-energy market, expects to significantly increase funding limits in the South African energy space to create capacity for involvement in the upcoming coal and gas baseload programmes. Nedbank... 

Diesel-like hydrogen breakthrough rekindles platinum fuel-cell excitement 

By: Martin Creamer A breakthrough that gives stored hydrogen diesel-like characteristics for safe and efficient long-term energy storage is rekindling excitement that the introduction of new clean energy from platinum-based hydrogen fuel cells may be close at hand. Liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology... 

Access to water, electricity key risk for local mining and metals companies

By: Chantelle Kotze Although productivity has been identified as the top business risk facing mining and metals companies globally in advisory firm EY’s ‘Business risks facing mining and metals 2014/15’ report, access to water and electricity – a new entrant, ranking tenth on the list – emerged as one of the biggest... 

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