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Platinum odd one out in expected PGMs growth – analyst

By: Cameron Mackay     8th February 2019 Aside from the relative lag in demand and price for platinum, the other platinum group metals (PGMs) – osmium, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium and particularly palladium – are expected to develop a stronger presence in the markets after a strong 2018, says global precious metals mining company... 

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... 

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... 

Congo plans to build special economic zone for cobalt users

By: Bloomberg     12th September 2018 The Democratic Republic of Congo plans to establish special economic zones for companies that manufacture goods from the country’s minerals, President Joseph Kabila said. “There is a need to create special economic zones for the final users of Congolese natural resources,” Kabila said at a... 

China's Tianqi Lithium seeks up to $1bn in Hong Kong listing - sources

By: Reuters     20th August 2018 China's Tianqi Lithium Corp is looking to raise up to $1-billion in its Hong Kong stock market flotation, despite this year's fall in lithium prices, two people close to the deal told Reuters. The company, the world's second largest lithium producer by sales, on Friday filed plans for Hong... 

Currency shocks knock platinum to ten-year lows

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Platinum prices tumbled to ten-year lows as the collapse of Turkey's lira rippled through markets and weakened the currency of top producer South Africa, underlining persistent oversupply of the autocatalyst metal. Platinum has been caught in a broad sell-off as investors rush to the safety of... 

On-The-Air (29/06/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     29th June 2018 Good news for the economy is that Swiss-based mining giant Glencore is taking steps to boost its investments in South Africa. An Australian-funded company is moving at break-neck speed to reopen a rich zinc and copper mine in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. South Africa has supplied all... 

Ongoing fuel cell developments kindle hope for platinum demand 

By: Martin Creamer     26th June 2018 Ongoing hydrogen fuel cell developments across the globe are kindling hope for an eventual significant increase in platinum demand. This month alone, Hyundai Auto Canada took part in the official opening of Canada's first retail hydrogen fuelling station operated by Shell and Hydrogen Technology... 

Natural flake graphite market expected to move into a deficit around 2020

By: Melissa Zisengwe     8th June 2018 Graphite miner Syrah Resources is expecting the global flake graphite market to remain in a state of small oversupply this year but to move into a deficit in the coming years, as the company increases its graphite production ahead of an expected increase in demand from electric cars, buses and... 

Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2018 Ramping up production in the automotive sector, resuscitating the ailing tooling industry and boosting the clothing, textiles, leather and footwear industries are among successes the government has listed in its review of ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap). Despite a... 

Goal driven and competitive South African manufacturing can up the stakes in global competitiveness

28th March 2018 Manufacturing Indaba, the foremost Manufacturing event in sub-Saharan Africa and with its strategic partners, the dti and the Manufacturing Circle has grown exponentially, and now in its 5th year, is considered to be the leading manufacturing business platform. Manufacturing Indaba has relocated... 

Glencore faces off against labour group on Congo mine conditions

By: Bloomberg     26th March 2018 Commodity giant Glencore defended working conditions at its mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo after an international labour federation said its employees are poorly treated and underpaid. The spat with Geneva-based IndustriALL, a global union federation that says it represents more than... 

The auto world needs to acknowledge that platinum is the ideal metal to exorcise the demons out of diesel

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2018 Platinum and diesel engines have been joined at the hip, which has created wonderful demand for the locally mined product over decades - and then all hell broke loose when the Volkswagen emission scandal broke in 2015. Since then, diesel has been progressively demonised, to the point of a German... 

LME rethinks cobalt contract for electric vehicle sector

By: Reuters     9th March 2018 The London Metal Exchange has abandoned plans for a cobalt sulphate contract for the electric vehicle battery supply chain because pricing for the chemical has historically been based on the metal it is derived from, cobalt industry sources said. The exchange is instead looking at offering a... 

German ruling likely blessing in disguise for platinum - RBPlat 

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2018 The German Federal Court ruling on diesel car emissions, which could cost transgressors eight-billion euros in fines a year, is seen as a likely blessing in disguise for platinum, Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri said on Tuesday. The global backlash against diesel-engine cars,... 

Glencore's talks to sell cobalt to Chinese firm falter on price

By: Reuters     6th March 2018 Glencore is in talks to sell around a quarter of its cobalt output in a one-year deal to Chinese firm GEM, but price is a sticking point as Glencore and other major producers are now able to exert more influence in negotiations, sources said. Cobalt has increasingly come under the spotlight over... 

Apple is said to negotiate buying cobalt direct from miners

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2018 Apple is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter, seeking to ensure it will have enough of the key battery ingredient amid industry fears of a shortage driven by the electric vehicle boom. The iPhone maker... 

Deadly mines linked to child labour thrive in rush for batteries

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2018 The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labour. Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the... 

US seeks to boost output of 35 minerals, reduce import reliance

By: Reuters     17th February 2018 The United States should boost domestic production of 35 critical minerals including uranium, cobalt and lithium, to reduce its reliance on foreign suppliers, the Interior Department said on Friday. Aluminium and potash are also on the draft list of 35 critical materials used in basic... 

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... 

Proposed DRC tax could boost Swedish cobalt project

9th February 2018 If the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) applies its plan to more than double tax on two-thirds of the global cobalt supply, high-grade energy metal deposits explorer and developer Sienna Resources says this could potentially increase the cost of the critical battery metal just as the world... 

Palladium rally may mean auto catalytic converter price hikes coming

By: Reuters     5th February 2018 With the price of palladium spiking to a record high last month, the effects could be felt in the automotive industry as manufacturers of catalytic converters consider raising their prices and may change the mix of metals in their products. Increased automotive industry demand and a supply... 

Benchmark downplays investor fears of looming lithium oversupply, subsequent price crash

By: Henry Lazenby     25th January 2018 London-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has downplayed top-level investor fears this week regarding the potential for lithium market oversupply and an inevitable price crash to follow. The energy metals-focused research company pointed out that rumours about up to 180 000 t/y of added lithium... 

2017's worst-returning precious metal becomes hedge fund darling

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2018 After lagging behind other precious metals last year, platinum is finally outperforming, and hedge funds are taking notice. Money managers increased their bets on a rally for platinum, a commodity used in pollution-control devices for cars. Investors had been pessimistic on prices until the... 

China's proposed dual-credit scheme can reshape the EV market – WoodMac

By: Henry Lazenby     19th January 2018 China's electric vehicles (EV) market has grown exponentially to overtake the US as the world's largest EV market, thanks to heavy government subsidies to spur growth in the emerging automotive sector. However, research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) warns that these subsidies are... 

Congo may more than double tax on critical global cobalt supply

By: Bloomberg     10th January 2018 The Democratic Republic of Congo is preparing to more than double a tax on two-thirds of global cobalt supply, potentially increasing the cost of the critical battery metal just as the world begins to embrace electric vehicles. Congo, the world’s biggest cobalt producer, will increase the royalty... 

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... 

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 The rate at which global automotive markets are adopting electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at a much faster pace than even some of the keenest market observers estimated at the start of 2017, and is opening up once- in-a-lifetime investment opportunities among the four key ‘energy metals’ –... 

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 The rate at which global auto markets are adopting electrically powered vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at a much faster pace than even some of the keenest market observers have estimated at the start of 2017, and is opening up once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunities among the four key ‘energy... 

Electric cars' success leaves Toyota isolated with hydrogen bet

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2017 Toyota Motor, which has made a big bet on hydrogen-powered cars, is looking more isolated as industry rivals double down on plug-in electric vehicles as the dominant technology in the emerging post-fossil fuel era. Three years ago, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, grandson of company founder... 

German car makers warned of possible battery materials shortage-Welt am Sonntag 

By: Reuters     26th November 2017 The German car industry risks running short of key raw materials for automotive batteries, hampering a planned boost in the production of electric vehicles (EVs), Germany's largest industry association BDI warned. "The risk of running into bottlenecks in raw material supply is increasing because... 

Ghost town of Cobalt gets first jolt from Tesla’s electric cars

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2017 Ironically, Cobalt, Ontario – population 1,100 – was built on silver. Remnants of a boom that transformed the town more than a century ago are everywhere. A mine headframe still protrudes from the roof of the bookstore, which was previously a grocery. The butcher used to toss unwanted bones down... 

Battery boom relies on one African nation avoiding chaos of past

By: Bloomberg     27th October 2017 The cars of the future will depend increasingly upon supplies of an obscure metal from a country in the African tropics where there has never been a peaceful transition of power and child labor is still used in parts of the mining industry. Most major automakers are pledging to build millions of... 

Rowan Karstel

By: Martin Creamer     27th October 2017 This wek Mining Wekly features Rowan Karstel, the interim CEO of Buffalo Coal, a 1 250-employee coal exploration, mining and trading company with assets worth abour R500-million 

Avalon intent to cash in on rapidly rising technology metal demand

By: Henry Lazenby     15th September 2017 A whole new world for lithium demand has aspiring technology metals firm Avalon evaluating its options to cash in on the red-hot industry, with the company patiently advancing three projects in its portfolio that will benefit from higher metals prices. Just this week, new evidence was provided... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level  

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2017 German car manufacturer Daimler has cut the platinum loading of its new fuel cell Mercedes to catalytic converter level. “We reduced the amount of platinum by 90%, which provides a significant cost reduction. Our fuel cell is not much above the platinum loading of a catalytic converter on a... 

Electric car demand boosts companies engaged with lithium 

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 Lithium demand is surging, boosting shares of the companies linked to mining and manufacturing the light metal used in electric-car batteries. Global X Lithium & Battery Tech, an exchange-traded fund of the 27 biggest companies linked to the light metal, has increased 65% in the past 18 months,... 

This year's best commodity is one of the smallest metals markets

By: Bloomberg     12th June 2017 In the main commodity markets, nothing is doing better than palladium this year. The metal is up 30%, beating 33 other raw materials, including lean hogs and aluminum, tracked by Bloomberg. On Friday, prices surged as much as 7.9% to a 16-year high of $928.36/oz as some traders were said to... 

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