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Australia's Pilbara Minerals to ship first spodumene cargo to China in Aug

By: Reuters     19th April 2018 Pilbara Minerals Ltd aims to ship the first cargo of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum development in Australia to China in August, its managing director said on Thursday. Spodumene is a mineral mined as a source of lithium, a key ingredient in electric vehicle... 

Bluebird reports ongoing progress at South Korea mines

By: Anine Kilian     16th April 2018 Asia-focused Bluebird Merchants has commissioned a water-treatment plant at the Gubong mine, in South Korea. The plant will ensure that water being released from the mine, which Bluebird plans to reopen, meets acceptable standards. 

LG Chem cobalt deal sets tone for battery cathode market

By: Henry Lazenby     12th April 2018 A new deal by Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem and China’s Huayou Cobalt is expected to set the tone for the lithium-ion battery cathode market. The two partners have announced a significant deal worth about $440-million to build a 40 000 t/y lithium-ion battery precursor materials plant and a... 

Developing New Manufacturers

     9th April 2018 Advancement in machine learning and industrial innovations vital to boosting South Africa’s manufacturing sector. Following the 2008 financial crisis, which caused many industrial sectors around the globe to dwindle, South Africa’s manufacturing industry experienced a similar downturn and almost... 

World's top iron shipper says China import boom to level off

By: Bloomberg     9th April 2018 The world’s largest iron-ore exporter delivered a mixed message on the outlook, raising near-term price forecasts, but combining that revision with a more somber message that China’s gargantuan imports are set to level off as steel production eases in the coming years. Iron-ore will average... 

Dormant Swedish mine comes alive in rush for car batteries

By: Bloomberg     6th April 2018 The global race to develop batteries for electric cars is reaching deep into the pine forests of central Sweden, where a dormant graphite mine is getting a new lease on life. Woxna, situated about 259 km north of Stockholm, was mothballed in 2001 amid a slump in prices. Now, a Canadian company... 

Bluebird completes farm-in expenditure at Gubong

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd April 2018 Asia-focused Bluebird Merchant Ventures last week executed a formal joint venture (JV) agreement with Southern Gold for the Gubong mine, in South Korea. This follows the completion of the required farm-in expenditure of $500 000 at the mine. 

Pilbara welcomes Posco as strategic investor

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     3rd April 2018 South Korean steelmaker Posco has acquired a 4.57% stake in ASX-listed Pilbara Minerals, contributing some A$80-million to the company’s balance sheet. The deal, initially announced in February, woul establish a long-term strategic offtake and joint venture (JV) relationship between the two... 

Petrol autocatalysts, fuel cells seen driving automotive platinum demand in future

By: Nadine James     30th March 2018 Multidisciplinary research team Afriforesight expects that future platinum demand will rely heavily on the successful uptake of fuel cells as well as petrol autocatalyst manufacturers switching from palladium-based to platinum-based coatings. Afriforesight chief chrome and platinum group metals... 

Rio Tinto sees iron-ore market staying balanced through 2019 – exec

By: Reuters     23rd March 2018 Rio Tinto expects the global iron ore market to stay balanced through 2019 despite a likely moderation in steel demand growth in China, the world's biggest steel consumer, a senior executive said on Friday. "I think the iron-ore market is pretty well balanced...We don't see remarkable change in... 

Trump temporarily excludes EU, six other allies from steel tariffs

By: Reuters     23rd March 2018 US President Donald Trump has temporarily excluded six countries, including Canada and Mexico, and European Union states from higher US import duties on steel and aluminum meant to come into effect on Friday. In a Presidential proclamation published late on Thursday, Trump said he would suspend... 

The lithium sector surge is poised to ignite a deals bonanza

By: Bloomberg     21st March 2018 The tripling in lithium prices over three years is poised to fuel a multi-billion dollar rush of deals as major players jostle for dominance to supply the metal needed for the electric vehicle battery revolution. China’s expected to lead a mergers and acquisition bonanza as companies seek to... 

Battery makers descend on Australia, Canada cobalt developers

By: Reuters     19th March 2018 Nervous Asian battery makers are turning to early-stage cobalt projects in Australia and Canada to lock in supplies of the critical battery ingredient ahead of expected shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up. Mine developers say interest from Japanese and Korean firms is particularly... 

US tariff exemptions to boost Australian exports - industry

By: Reuters     12th March 2018 Australian steel and aluminium manufacturers said on Monday exports to the United States will grow after securing exemptions from tariffs signed into law by US President Donald Trump. Trump on Friday said Australia would become the third country to be free from a 25% tariff on steel imports and... 

Chile says companies to invest $754m in lithium industry

By: Reuters     10th March 2018 Chile's development agency Corfo said on Friday that companies from China and South Korea, as well as Chile, had been approved to make investments of around $754-million in the red-hot lithium industry. The companies selected in a bidding process to develop technology focused on the lithium... 

WTO chief urges States to stop first dominoes of trade war

By: Reuters     6th March 2018 The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) told member states on Monday they must prevent "the fall of the first dominoes" in a trade war and warned of a real risk of triggering an escalation of global trade barriers and a deep recession. World trade policy is in turmoil because of US... 

Europe's firm response to stop short of trade war with Trump

By: Reuters     2nd March 2018 The firm response Europe has pledged to planned US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports is likely to stop short of triggering the trade war that open market supporters fear. US President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States would apply duties of 25% on imported steel and 10% on... 

Trump says US to impose steep tariffs on steel, aluminium imports

By: Reuters     2nd March 2018 US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminium to protect US producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighbouring Canada as well as helping to trigger a large selloff on Wall Street. Trump said... 

Bluebird makes speedy progress on Kochang reopening

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th February 2018 Asia-focused resource development group Bluebird Merchant Ventures on Wednesday said that it had made significant progress on the Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea, since signing its $750 000 farm-in agreement with ASX-listed Southern Gold, in February. Bluebird is currently looking to... 

Pilbara to fast-track Pilgangoora development as new investor comes to play

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th February 2018 The multi-faceted agreement signed between South Korean steelmaker Posco and Australian lithium miner Pilbara Minerals this week would strengthen the latter's balance sheet, allowing it to accelerate Stage 2 and complete Stage 1 of its Pilgangoora project in Western Australia, the miner said on... 

Bluebird to inject new life into old South Korean gold veins

By: Reuters     19th February 2018 Asia-focused mine developer Bluebird Ventures, with venture partner Southern Gold, plans to reopen South Korean gold mines closed decades ago and is aiming for profits of around $100/t, Bluebird's CEO said. The mines closed in the late 1960s and 1970s when the gold price was less than $140/oz,... 

Cobalt cannot be eradicated from electric car batteries – Umicore

By: Reuters     13th February 2018 Makers of electric vehicle batteries will have to keep using scarce, expensive cobalt in their products for the foreseeable future despite a push towards higher nickel compositions, materials technology company Umicore said on Monday. Manufacturers have been trying to increase the proportion of... 

Bluebird, Southern sign JV to reopen South Korean silver mine

By: Anine Kilian     12th February 2018 Aim-listed Bluebird Merchant Ventures has signed an agreement with Southern Gold to develop and reopen the Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea. Under the terms of the agreement, a joint venture (JV) will be formed once Bluebird has spent $500 000 to complete a report on the feasibility to... 

Samsung SDI turns to used phones for cobalt as prices surge

By: Bloomberg     12th February 2018 Samsung SDI, a battery supplier to carmakers including BMW, plans to recycle cobalt from used mobile phones as companies around the world scramble to secure supplies of the metal amid surging prices. The plan fuels a trend among battery makers to reduce dependence on the Democratic Republic of... 

Sumitomo sees Ambatovy at 50% utilisation rate in Jan to March

By: Reuters     8th February 2018 Sumitomo said on Thursday it expects its Ambatovy nickel/cobalt project in Madagascar to run at about a 50% utilisation rate in the January-March quarter, rising to 80% from April. The trading house said last week that the project had resumed operations from end-January after halting operations... 

Botswana power plant expansion plan stalls over terms 

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 A planned $800-million expansion of a coal-fired power plant in Botswana by Japan's Marubeni Corp and South Korea's Posco Energy has been put on hold due to a disagreement over terms, the energy minister said on Monday. Marubeni and Posco Energy were due to start work in January last year on a... 

Record-breaking year for Richards Bay Coal Terminal

By: Martin Creamer     26th January 2018 Despite a loss of 38 days to bad weather, 2017 has been a record-breaking year for South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) in KwaZulu-Natal, which loaded a record 76.47-million tonnes of South African-mined coal in the 12 months to the end of December. The private sector terminal, which... 

Legal expertise advances local gas investment

By: Robyn Wilkinson     26th January 2018 Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has helped Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil navigate South Africa’s myriad legislative requirements to acquire a participating interest in two gas exploration blocks offshore of South Africa’s east coast.  

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... 

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... 

Queensland LNG exports surpass prior records in 2017

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th January 2018 Queensland has achieved record liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in the year to December 2017, Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said on Friday. During 2017, Queensland exported 20.2-million tonnes of LNG, an increase of 2.7-million tonnes on the exports reported in 2016. 

Australia cobalt rush accelerates on electric vehicle demand, DRC troubles

By: Reuters     15th December 2017 Australia, home to the world's second-biggest cobalt reserves, is seeing a rush of interest in projects still years from production as makers of batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs) seek supplies of the metal from a more costly but less risky source than top miner, the Democratic Republic of... 

Southern Gold in advanced talks for Cannon underground

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th December 2017 ASX-listed Southern Gold has advanced discussions with multiple parties over the financing and commercial arrangements for the development of the underground mine at the Cannon project, in Western Australia. The gold explorer and producer expected to conclude the talks and align the arrangements... 

South Africa crucial to global chrome supply, Chromium 2017 hears 

By: Martin Creamer     10th November 2017 South Africa is an irreplaceable supplier of chrome ore and ferrochrome, which is, in turn, an irreplaceable component of China-dominated stainless steel production, global delegates to last week’s well-attended Chromium 2017 conference heard. South Africa, as the dominant global chrome producer,... 

Australian uranium hopefuls welcome Cameco production cuts

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     10th November 2017 Australia’s uranium hopefuls have welcomed a decision from uranium major Cameco to shutter its McArthur River mining and Key Lake milling operations, in Canada. Cameco this week announced its plans to remove some 10% of the current global uranium supply, on the back of continued uranium price... 

Pilbara eyeing downstream processing

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     10th November 2017 Lithium developer Pilbara Minerals has signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to potentially develop a downstream lithium chemical conversion facility in South Korea. The ASX-listed company on Friday noted that the MoU with Polaris Shipping and LG Chem would see Pilbara supply up... 

Brexit takes bureaucracy to the atomic level for UK industry

By: Bloomberg     17th October 2017 To understand the implications of Brexit, it helps to go nuclear. Of all the international regulatory challenges created by the UK’s impending departure from the European Union, the atomic-energy industry may best encapsulate the decision’s bottom-line effect: more bureaucracy and costs for a... 

Zinc deficit grows 30% in first eight months of 2017; lead narrows gap – ILZSG

By: Henry Lazenby     11th October 2017 The zinc supply gap has widened by 30% year-on-year for the first eight months of this year, new data published by the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) shows. The Lisbon, Portugal-based organisation on Wednesday said the zinc deficit had grown from 221 000 t over the same... 

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