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Du Plessis stalls iron-ore growth as Rio opts for ‘any-and-all’ debt cutting

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 7 hours ago While South African-born Rio Tinto chairperson Jan du Plessis was vowing not to expand Rio’s iron-ore division beyond 360-million tonnes a year, the globally perceived over-producer of iron-ore was outlining the steps it had taken to cut near-term maturing gross debt by $1.5-billion. Rio said... 

Du Plessis stalls iron-ore growth as Rio opts for ‘any-and-all’ debt cutting
Photo by Duane Daws
Jan du Plessis

Rio's new boss focused on cost savings

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining giant Rio Tinto’s incoming CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques on Thursday told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting, in Brisbane, that his focus would remain firmly on productivity improvements. Jacques, who was previously employed as Rio’s copper and coal CEO, will succeed Sam... 

Sibanye eyes more platinum acquisitions

By: Reuters Sibanye Gold aims to show its faith in platinum with further acquisitions while looking to benefit from a broader commodities revival by strengthening its portfolio of gold, base metals and coal assets. The South African company bought Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) Rustenburg mines in... 

Sibanye eyes more platinum acquisitions
Photo by Duane Daws
Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman

Namibia, De Beers to sign new diamond sales agreement within days

By: African News Agency      Updated 7 hours ago Global diamond mining and trading concern De Beers says it is finalising a new diamond sales agreement that will govern the disposal of diamonds from its Namdeb Mine, which is a joint venture with the Namibian government. In a briefing posted on its Report to Society 2015 bulletin released this... 

World's biggest diamond to be auctioned in London

By: Reuters Lesedi la Rona, the largest gem-quality rough diamond discovered in more than 100 years, will be auctioned in London next month and is expected to sell for $70-million, international auction house Sotheby's said on Wednesday. Ahead of the auction on June 29, the 1 190-ct diamond, its name in... 

Lily Mine protesters demand answers over unpaid salaries

By: News24Wire Failure to pay workers at Mpumalanga's collapsed Lily Mine resulted in a massive protest involving local residents and more than 700 disgruntled miners on Thursday morning. Thursday marked exactly three months since a shaft collapsed at Lily Mine in Louieville, outside Barberton, on February 5.... 

PTM completes Maseve plant commissioning, lowers guidance

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 7 hours ago On the heels of completing commissioning of its Maseve mine plant on March 31, South Africa-focused precious-metals producer Platinum Group Metals (PTM) has produced about 1 700 ‘4E ounces’ containing platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold in April alone. The Vancouver-incorporated company advised... 

PTM completes Maseve plant commissioning, lowers guidance
Photo by Platinum Group Metals
Maseve plant, South Africa

Power, equipment challenges impede Metallon’s Q1 production

By: Creamer Media Reporter Power supply interruptions and equipment breakdowns have contributed to a 15% year-on-year decrease in Zimbabwe-based Metallon Corporation’s production for the quarter ended March 31. The company on Thursday reported production of 20 676 oz for the quarter under review, compared with the 24 386... 

Power, equipment challenges impede Metallon’s Q1 production

Alecto awarded extended exploration contract

By: Anine Kilian Africa-focused gold and base-metal exploration and development company Alecto Minerals has been awarded an additional three years for its Gassel-Manere and Arae mineral exploration permits, known as the Kerboulé project, in Burkina Faso.   The company said on Thursday that this was a crucial step... 

Aus govt must ban fracking – report

By: Esmarie Swanepoel An interim report by a Select Committee on unconventional gas mining in Australia has recommended that the federal government work with state and territory governments to ban the process of hydraulic fracturing across the country. In November, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee... 

Aus govt must ban fracking – report

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Creamer Media’s readers continue to be part of the mobile revolution.  Over 20% of Creamer Media’s online readers view the websites on their mobile devices. To cater for this growing mobile readership Creamer Media offers a app for iPhone and Android users.  These apps offer... 

Mining Weekly iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

Chilean SQM's Argentina joint venture project to cost up to $600m

By: Reuters     Updated 11 minutes ago SQM, the Chilean chemicals group, said late Wednesday its joint venture with Canadian junior miner Lithium Americas to develop a lithium project in Argentina will require $500-million to $600-million in total expenditures. SQM and Lithium Americas signed the joint venture in March for the... 

Chesapeake to sell some Oklahoma assets to Newfield for $470m

By: Reuters     Updated 14 minutes ago Debt-laden Chesapeake Energy, the second-largest US natural gas producer, said on Thursday it was selling $470-million in assets in Oklahoma to Newfield Exploration Co as part of a plan to shore up its finances through divestitures. Chesapeake's shares were up 12% at $6.31 in premarket trading... 

America's newest refinery falls victim to oil price slump

By: Reuters     Updated 15 minutes ago The owners of a North Dakota refinery that was the first to be built in the US since the 1970s have curtailed output and may try to sell it, the latest victim of the oil price slump roiling the energy industry. MDU Resources Group Inc and Calumet Specialty Product Partners LP, which jointly own... 

Lower 2015 silver prices drive record demand

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 18 minutes ago The global silver market saw record demand in 2015, driven by new highs in the jewellery, coin and bar, and photovoltaic sectors, which helped boost total silver demand to 1.17-billion ounces last year, a new report by market analysts at Thomson Reuters GFMS had found. Its latest ‘World Silver... 

Lower 2015 silver prices drive record demand

Zimnisky rough diamond price index up 2.4% in 30 days, as 2016 sales surprise

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 1 hour 36 minutes ago The Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index indicated that rough prices had risen 2.4% over the last 30 days, however, that did little to offset a 1.7% decline 1.7% over the last six months, and down 10.8% over the last 52 weeks. The index was up 5.4% after hitting a 52-week low on January 23,... 

Zimnisky rough diamond price index up 2.4% in 30 days, as 2016 sales surprise

Thompson Creek to install secondary Mount Milligan crusher

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 3 hours ago Gold producer Thompson Creek Metals will spend $47-million to install a new secondary crushing circuit at its Mount Milligan flagship operation in British Columbia, as the company banks on more reliable throughput levels for the long-term at lower cost compared with temporary secondary crushing... 

Alta oil operators demobilise to protect assets, assist devastated communities

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 6 hours ago Alberta oil sands operators on Thursday further scaled back operations to only critical staff levels as gigantic walls of fire engulfed and devoured entire neighbourhoods in the regional hub of oil sands operations Fort McMurray. The Alberta government stated that public safety remained the key... 

Alta oil operators demobilise to protect assets, assist devastated communities

OreCorp raises A$16.2m for gold projects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed gold developer OreCorp would raise some A$16.2-million through a share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors in Europe and Australia, to fund scoping and feasibility studies on its Nyanzaga gold project, in Tanzania. The company said on Thursday that up to 60-million... 

Newcrest hedges more gold at Telfer, adjusts lending faciilties

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Gold miner Newcrest Mining has hedged an additional 200 000 oz of gold sales from its Telfer gold mine, in Western Australia. The company said on Thursday that the gold sales for the 2018 and 2019 financial years were hedged at an average price of A$1 773/oz. 

Penny's Find gets the green light

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Western Australian government has given ASX-listed junior Empire Resources approval to start mining at the Penny’s Find gold project. “This is a critical approval that means there are no technical impediments for our plans to mine at Penny’s Find upon the completion of a bankable feasibility... 

Environmental groups' tax matters under the microscope

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian resources sector has welcomed a report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment that looks into the register of environmental organisations. In March 2015, Environment Minister Greg Hunt asked the committee to inquire into and report on the... 

AWE sells its interest in the Bulu PSC

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed AWE has continued with its strategy of divesting of its non-core assets, announcing on Thursday the sale of its 42.5% interest in the Bulu production sharing contract (PSC) for A$27.5-million in cash. The Bulu PSC is located offshore east Java and included the undeveloped Lengo gas... 

Fertoz eyes more offtake in British Columbia

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Phosphate developer Fertoz has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the supply of 2 000 t/y of phosphate rock, over a three-year period. The MoU followed on the 2 000 t of contracted sales announced by Fertoz in February, which was on track to start supplying in the third quarter of 2016. 

Fertiliser company Mosaic's sales beat estimates

By: Reuters US fertiliser company Mosaic Co forecast higher phosphate and potash sales for the current quarter after it reported higher-than-expected first quarter sales. The company's net sales fell 21.7% in the first quarter to $1.67-billion, but beat the average analyst estimate of $1.56-billion. 

Centerra remains open to negotiations with Kyrgyz govt on Kumtor mine

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian miner Centerra Gold on Wednesday said the Kyrgyz Republic had “very recently” voiced its dissatisfaction with the current arrangements governing Centerra and the Kumtor project, but had made no proposals to address the situation. TSX-listed Centerra noted earlier in the week that the... 

Oil sands production throttled back as Fort McMurray burns

By: Henry Lazenby Oil and gas companies operating in Canada's oil sands capital of Fort McMurray have scaled back their operations in the face of an exteme wildfire hazard advisory issued by the Alberta Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Major oil sands producer Suncor Energy announced late on Tuesday that... 

Oil sands production throttled back as Fort McMurray burns

Implats secures US court order against platinum recycler

By: Martin Creamer Platinum mining company Impala Platinum (Implats) has secured a court order against a US platinum recycler, from which it is claiming $201-million. Implats said on Wednesday that the order, issued by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, confirmed a London Court of... 

Implats secures US court order against platinum recycler
Brenda Berlin

A watershed year ahead for DiamondCorp, says CEO

By: Natasha Odendaal As Aim-listed DiamondCorp wraps up the 2015 financial year, the diamond group is looking ahead to 2016 as a watershed year that will see the company officially transition from a developer into a diamond producer. DiamondCorp, which posted a net loss of £2.41-million for 2015, also restarted the... 

Amplats-backed developer in potential fuel cell breakthrough 

By: Martin Creamer A potentially far-reaching step has been taken towards the viable roll-out of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for platinum-using fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with the commercial launch of a system that allows hydrogen to be stored and transported in conventional fuel infrastructure.... 

Amplats-backed developer in potential fuel cell breakthrough
Photo by Duane Daws
Andrew Hinkly

Gemfields posts ‘solid’ production in Q3

Despite reporting lower year-on-year emerald and beryl production in the three months to March 31, Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle said the company had “another pleasing quarter of solid production across its emerald and ruby operations”. He noted that both its 75%-owned Kagem and Montepuez... 

Randgold’s Q1 earnings trend upwards as production falls

By: Natasha Odendaal London-listed Randgold Resources' flagship Loulo-Gounkoto complex, in Mali,  was the star performer in the first quarter of the year, partially offsetting the impact of the challenges hindering the group’s other operations. 

CoAL, Rio Tinto reach new agreement over disputed deferred payment

By: Natasha Odendaal Triple-listed Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) on Wednesday said it had reached an agreement with Rio Tinto Minerals Development and Rio Tinto’s joint venture partner Kwezi Mining over the deferred consideration payable by CoAL subsidiary MbeuYashu. Following the receipt – and subsequent dispute by... 

Glencore cuts supply cloth to fit demand coat

By: Martin Creamer The mix of mining and marketing within the same company provides sensitivity to commodity price falls. Continually highlighting the value of the mining-marketing mix is Glencore, which is quick to respond to market changes. 

Glencore cuts supply cloth to fit demand coat
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg hand-in-hand with Education Minister Angie Motshekga at school opening.

Deal opens way for commercialisation of Free State gas deposit, helium plant investment

By: Terence Creamer A contract signed on Wednesday between alternative energy company Renergen, JSE-listed Afrox and The Linde Group, of Germany, is expected to open the way for a €13-million investment into the commercialisation of a Free State natural gas resource and the creation of a large-scale helium... 

Deal opens way for commercialisation of Free State gas deposit, helium plant investment
Photo by Duane Daws
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani, The Linde Group’s Dr Alexander Brandl and head Nick Haines and Afrox MD Schalk Venter

Eskom claims ‘steady’ recovery in energy availability factor 

By: Terence Creamer State-owned electricity utility Eskom this week claimed that there had been a steady improvement in the energy availability factor (EAF) at its power stations, reporting “preliminary figures” indicating an EAF of 76.37% from the start of its financial year to May 3, 2016. The group’s financial... 

Eskom claims ‘steady’ recovery in energy availability factor

Chamber of Mines welcomes dismissal of consolidation application

By: Natasha Odendaal The Pretoria High Court has dismissed, with costs, law firm Malan Scholes’s application to consolidate its case with that of the Chamber of Mines (CoM) to seek clarity on certain aspects of the Mining Charter. The move was welcomed by the chamber, which had opposed Malan Scholes’s ambitions of... 

Era sets priorities for Ranger mine

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia (Era) has identified three priorities at its Ranger mine, in the Northern Territory, following a strategic review of the uranium project. The review was initiated after Era failed to gain approval for an extension of its Ranger authority. The current... 

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