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Eskom says facing coal shortages at seven power plants

By: Reuters     17th April 2018 South African power utility Eskom, which is battling to recover from a financial and leadership crisis, said on Tuesday that it was facing coal shortages at seven power stations. Eskom supplies around 95% of South Africa's electricity, predominantly by burning coal. The state-owned utility has... 

Eskom outlines case for R67bn clawback amid tariff-hike hostility

By: Terence Creamer     12th April 2018 State-owned electricity group Eskom has expressed confidence that its three applications to recoup nearly R67-billion through the Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) mechanism will succeed, stressing that its submissions are fully aligned to the most recent RCA decision made in 2016 for the 2013/14... 

Contract duration key to hybrid-power-for-mines investment case

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2018 Alignment between a mine’s life and the tenor of a power purchase agreement (PPA) has been held up as the main consideration for those mining operations considering investments into hybrid power solutions, which combine renewable energy and battery storage with gas or diesel generators. Speaking... 

Managing severely distorted high temperature cylinders

     15th February 2018 Millions of Rands saved through improved Turbine maintenance practices by Eskom Rotek Industries. 

Electric cars and niche metals lure cash back to African mines

By: Bloomberg     2nd February 2018 Rising commodity prices may have revived enthusiasm for African resources, but it’s unlikely to be the old mainstays of coal and iron ore pulling crowds next week as the mining industry meets in Cape Town. The electric-vehicle boom and shifting industrial demand have transformed formerly niche... 

Unions fear Norway export drive will end era of cheapest power

By: Bloomberg     30th January 2018 Norway’s vast resources of Europe’s cheapest and greenest electricity has helped its energy-intensive industry gain an edge and produce everything from aluminium to chemicals and tankers. But now the nation’s powerful unions are objecting to plans by grid managers and utilities to get in on the... 

A new era of batteries spells trouble for gas in America

By: Bloomberg     12th January 2018 California, the state that helped birth the global boom in battery-toting electric vehicles, is trying to spark a similar transformation for utilities. And that spells trouble for power plants all across the U.S. that run on natural gas. The California Public Utilities Commission approved an... 

Even with Trump minerals order, US miners seen trailing China

By: Reuters     23rd December 2017 Even if Donald Trump’s initiative on 'critical minerals' strengthens the US mining industry, domestic companies would still struggle to compete with low-cost Chinese competitors, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The president signed an executive order this week to identify new US sources of... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 A new, independently produced techno-economic model of South Africa’s cost-optimal power generation mix in 2040 outlines a system where 69% of the electrical energy is produced from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators, supported by batteries and gas-fired generators. Conducted by... 

DFS lowers capital and operating costs of WA rare earths project

By: Mariaan Webb     28th November 2017 The definitive feasibility study (DFS) of the Yangibana rare earths project in Western Australia has significantly improved the capital cost requirements and operating cost estimates. The project, which has been assigned a ‘lead-agency project’ status by the state government, will require... 

Camborne School of Mines pioneers ‘Fairtrade’ model for ethically, sustainably resourced raw materials

By: Henry Lazenby     10th November 2017 A team of researchers at the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines, based in Cornwall, the UK, are pioneering the development of a ‘Fairtrade’ model for ethically and sustainably resourcing raw materials that are crucial in the manufacturing of next-generation technologies. The research... 

Caterpillar selected to help install solar PV system for Otjikoto

     10th November 2017 Gold producer B2Gold has selected capital equipment giant Caterpillar (Cat) and global industrial company Barloworld to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Otjikoto mine, Namibia, which will provide 7 MW of solar power to the mine. “For many years, B2Gold has relied on dependable,... 

Uranium-endowed South Africa stands to benefit from ambitions to improve electricity access in Africa

By: Dylan Slater     3rd November 2017 In tandem with growing ambitions to increase access to electricity for many African citizens who currently have limited or no access to electricity comes the call for new large-scale power stations to be built. This has prompted a keen interest in nuclear power stations and, consequently, a... 

Uranium-endowed South Africa stands to benefit from ambitions to improve electricity access in Africa

By: Dylan Slater     3rd November 2017 In tandem with growing ambitions to increase access to electricity for many African citizens who currently have no or limited access to electricity comes the call for new large-scale power stations to be built. In line with this expansion is a keen interest in nuclear power stations and,... 

SA black consumer body urges regulator to reject Eskom’s tariff hike application

By: African News Agency      11th October 2017 The National Black Consumer Council (NBCC) on Wednesday said that it opposed Eskom’s proposed application for a 20% electricity tariff increase next year. TheNBCC urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject the troubled power utility’s application and rather grant it “a... 

Qld releases more exploration acreage

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     11th October 2017 The Queensland government will release more than 19 000 km2 of land for gas exploration as part of its annual exploration programme, Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said on Wednesday. The gas generated from these exploration tenements will be used to power local... 

Thermaspray showcases thermal spray coating technologies and welding capabilities in Limpopo

     7th September 2017 Thermaspray showcased its ground-breaking thermal spray coating technologies and Plasma Transferred Arc (PTA) welding process capabilities at the Mining & Technical Exhibitions (MTE) which took place in Mogalakwena and Lephalale, Limpopo, on 1st and 3rd August 2017 respectively. Thermaspray’s... 

Rare earth metals electrified by China's illegal mining clean-up

By: Bloomberg     7th September 2017 Rare earths are booming again as a clampdown on wildcat miners in China crimps supply in the world’s biggest producer while the clean energy boom bolsters their use in everything from electric vehicles to wind turbines. Prices for “light” rare earths including neodymium and praseodymium have... 

SOFC and Thermal Spray, General.

     6th September 2017 R. Hinckley Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), and hybrid electrical generation systems based upon this technology offer the potential for highly efficient utilization of abundant natural gas resources.  Projected efficiency for SOFC-based systems for electrical power generation could reach as high... 

SOFC and Thermal Spray, General.

     29th August 2017 R. Hinckley Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), and hybrid electrical generation systems based upon this technology offer the potential for highly efficient utilization of abundant natural gas resources.  Projected efficiency for SOFC-based systems for electrical power generation could reach as high... 

Glencore asks Australia to focus on economy before climate deal

By: Bloomberg     2nd August 2017 Australia may need to consider delaying its goals to combat global climate change in order to prioritise energy security and economic prosperity, according to a senior executive at Glencore. The country’s emerging energy crisis, in conjunction with government-imposed clean-energy targets, has... 

Best-performing metals as hard to trade as they are to find

By: Bloomberg     14th July 2017 Even if you’d heard of this year’s best-performing metals, betting on them would probably have been a struggle. Ruthenium, iridium and the somewhat better known rhodium – used mostly in specialised products like hard disks, spark plugs and autocatalysts – have trounced almost all major... 

Burundi rare earths project on track for first production

By: Nica Schreuder     14th July 2017 Rare-earth element mining company Rainbow Rare Earths says it has made significant progress towards achieving first production at its Gakara rare earths project in Burundi, East Africa, with about $6-million has been invested in the project to date. Bolstered by Rainbow’s completion of an... 

Quebec govt to invest C$2.13m in Canadian Metals’ silica mine

By: Henry Lazenby     12th July 2017 The Quebec provincial government has given its investment vehicle Ressources Québec approval to invest C$2.13-million in junior project developer Canadian Metals, completing the company’s C$9.2-million global financing plan to implement its Langis high-grade silica project. The government... 

Outsourced maintenance strategy recommended

     23rd June 2017 Increasingly plant owners are looking to outsource the major elements of equipment maintenance to improve reliability and limit downtime, reports rotating equipment maintenance and repair service provider Sulzer.  

Serendipity smiles on Mkango’s Malawian assets as renewables growth demands more REEs

By: Henry Lazenby     13th June 2017 Demand for rare earth elements (REEs) for use in magnetic applications such as electric vehicles and wind turbines is driving renewed interest in securing supplies of these hard-to-come-by metals outside of the world’s dominant supplier China. This is exacerbated by the fact that while REEs are... 

Polish coal affection poses dilemma for funding-thirsty firms

By: Bloomberg     8th June 2017 As Poland is reluctant to budge in its feud with Europe over coal, some of the country’s biggest power and mining companies admit it may be the time to change the course. The EU’s largest eastern economy argues it needs coal plants, fired by local resources, to ensure energy security and cheap... 

Move over Tesla, Europe's building its own battery gigafactories

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2017 Battery-making gigafactories are about to arrive in Europe, challenging a lead Tesla is building at a plant in Nevada and opening the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday is scheduled to break ground at a €500 million... 

German coal mine to be reborn as giant pumped hydropower battery

By: Bloomberg     17th March 2017 A coal mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease on life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy. The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine into a 200 MW pumped-storage... 

Digitisation momentum building up to boost mine productivity

By: Martin Creamer     3rd February 2017 The word ‘digitisation’ is on the lips of many at conferences and universities these days, with many outlining the notion of the total connectivity bringing significant productivity gains. Step one is said to be vertically integrating the supply chain from the mine stope to the boardroom and step... 

Ikea Canada picks up second Alberta wind farm, pays Teck, TransAlta C$119.6m

By: Henry Lazenby     27th January 2017 Scandinavian furniture and furnishings company Ikea Canada has bought a second wind farm in Alberta as part of its global ambition to match its electricity consumption with renewable energy production by 2020. Ikea will acquire an 88 MW wind farm located near Drumheller, about 130 km east of... 

Caterpillar beats Q4 earnings forecast, optimistic about infrastructure plans

By: Henry Lazenby     27th January 2017 US earthmoving and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has reported flat year-on-year adjusted earnings for the December quarter, reflecting pressure in many of its end markets owing to weak economic conditions in several parts of the world. The Peoria, Illinois-based company reported... 

Lower costs, higher grades are key for U3O8 to attract attention in difficult market 

By: Henry Lazenby     14th January 2017 Uranium-focused resource companies paid attention to the changing uranium landscape this week after major producer Kazakhstan said it would curtail output by 10%, pushing spot prices higher. One of them was project developer U3O8 Corp, which is focused on uranium and by-product commodities at its... 

Alcoa says Australia aluminium smelter running at 30% capacity

By: Reuters     21st December 2016 Australia's 300 000 t/y Portland aluminium smelter is operating at below a third of its capacity after power to the plant was temporarily knocked out three weeks ago, operator Alcoa Corporation said on Wednesday. The smelter was hit when a power interconnector between the states of Victoria and... 

New automatic system safeguards equipment

By: Nadine James     9th December 2016 Early detection is critical to combat electrical fires in confined spaces and mitigate the risk of injuries and fatalities while limiting high-value equipment damage and system downtime, says environmental solutions provider I-CAT. To eliminate the difficulties associated with fire detection in... 

Gas technology group makes case for flexibility as South Africa mulls power road map 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2016 Leading gas-engine technology provider Wärtsilä has started making the case for greater flexibility within South Africa's evolving electricity supply industry, as well as within the gas-to-power subsector itself, as the country seeks comment on its future electricity road map. The Finnish group,... 

Dismissive of 2037 nuclear timeline in IRP base case, Eskom to release RFP by year-end 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2016 State-owned power utility Eskom indicated on Tuesday that it planned to move ahead with a controversial request for proposals (RFP) for nuclear before the end of 2016, despite the base case in a draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) update indicating that the first reactor would only be required... 

Energy sector trade show launch a ‘success’ – organiser

By: Simone Liedtke     28th October 2016 The inaugural PowerEx trade show, held last month alongside the biennial Electra Mining Africa at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, in Nasrec, has been declared a success by the show’s organiser, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery. 

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