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Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday urged mines to test for Covid-19 to the full extent without fearing mine closure. The Minister was responding to a media question on the steps the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) was taking to end the backlog of... 

Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Gwede Mantashe

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

28th May 2020 For the duration of South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown period, Creamer Media is providing free digital access to our flagship Engineering News & Mining Weekly news magazine. Click now to read our latest edition. 

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

Mining industry well prepared to tackle Covid-19 with new, existing protocols 

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 The South African mining industry is, generally, well prepared to deal with the return to work of a large percentage of staff as lockdown Alert Levels move from Level 4 to Level 3 on June 1, reports the Minerals Council South Africa. The council noted in its second weekly Covid-19 update... 

Mining industry well prepared to tackle Covid-19 with new, existing protocols
Minerals Council of South Africa head of health Thuthula Balfour

South Africa’s biggest emitters to be exposed to public scrutiny 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 South Africa’s emission levels are as high as those of the eight-times-larger UK economy, EDS Systems business development head Eckart Zollner pointed out on Friday, when he also drew attention to the mounting pressure on South Africa’s biggest polluters to curb their greenhouse-gas (GHG)... 

South Africa’s biggest emitters to be exposed to public scrutiny
Eskom's coal-fired Duvha power station.

From field hospitals to ventilator prototypes, South Africa's state of readiness for Level 3 outlined 

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2020 Cabinet’s economic cluster sought to offer assurances on Friday that significant preparations had been made to facilitate a safe transition to a Level 3 lockdown from June 1, which opens the way for the return to work of eight-million more people. The easing of the lockdown is expected to... 

From field hospitals to ventilator prototypes, South Africa's state of readiness for Level 3 outlined
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi

Merafe subsidiary buys stake in Glencore’s Unicorn subsidiary

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 Diversified miner Glencore has agreed to sell a 20.5% interest in Unicorn Chrome to a subsidiary of JSE-listed Merafe for R32.2-million. The subsidiary, Merafe Ferrochrome and Mining, will gain access to Unicorn’s shareholding in a chrome concentrate producer that extracts chrome concentrate... 

Katoro to consider potential funding offers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th May 2020 Aim-listed Katoro Gold notes that the recent positive announcement by the Blyvoor joint venture (JV) project’s gold tailing scoping study has resulted in a significant increase in interest from potential funders who may provide the necessary financing to support the construction and development... 

Sadpo suggests diamond stocks be held back until market improves

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 In its latest newsletter, the South African Diamond Producers Organisation (Sadpo) has advised that diamond producers hold back on production and sales, as the rough diamond market remains under immense pressure. Sadpo says the rough diamond market, particularly for larger diamonds, has... 

Raubex divisions see return to profitability

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Infrastructure development and construction materials supply group Raubex managed to maintain sufficient capacity to participate in any improvement in the sector, while simultaneously undertaking rightsizing initiatives has seen the company’s roads and earthworks division return to profitability.... 

This year's Electra Mining cancelled

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 Organisers of Southern Africa’s mining, manufacturing, automation, electrical and power trade exhibition Electra Mining Africa, Specialised Exhibitions, reports that the 2020 edition of the trade fair has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s show had been scheduled to... 

Botswana Diamonds recovers over 100 diamonds from Marsfontein bulk sampling

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Aim- and BSE-listed Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has concluded the processing of two bulk samples taken from the Marsfontein diamond development project, in Limpopo; the samples of which comprised 58 t of fresh high-interest kimberlite and 62 t of kimberlite material from one of the residual... 

Lithium producers must wait as pandemic slows electric vehicle revolution

By: Reuters     26th May 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has paused the electric vehicle revolution, forcing producers of battery metal lithium into survival mode with output cuts, expansion delays and sales of major assets. Lithium industry shares have dropped sharply since January as the economic downturn from the pandemic... 

Contract worker killed at South32 subsidiary’s colliery

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 Diversified miner South32 has reported that an employee of a contract mining company, Modi Mining, died following an accident at subsidiary South Africa Energy Coal’s Ifalethu Colliery, on May 27. South32 on May 29 said the area where the incident occurred had been immediately secured and the... 

Global mining industry will need to operate, sustain itself under new normal post Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 The mining and metals industry will need to operate under a new normal post Covid-19, one in which it can operate and sustain itself under the new constraints and challenges that a post-pandemic world brings with it, says industry research company Fitch Solutions. The pandemic and its aftermath... 

Iron-ore powers past $100 as supply woes meet robust demand

By: Bloomberg     29th May 2020 Iron-ore surged past $100/t as supply woes in Brazil coincide with sustained, robust demand in top steel producer China. Benchmark spot prices climbed to $101.05 on Friday as Brazil, the world’s second-largest exporter, saw a surge in coronavirus infections, stoking worries that the pandemic may... 

Iron-ore powers past $100 as supply woes meet robust demand

Coal mine in Serbia gives up new Roman treasure

By: Reuters     29th May 2020 As the sun sank over a vast opencast coal mine in eastern Serbia earlier this month, a small crane eased the front half of a Roman ship from the steep sides of the pit. An excavator cutting through the coal-rich soil had pulled out some muddy timber weeks before, but coronavirus restrictions had... 

Kevitsa crushing station damaged in fire

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th May 2020 Metals company Boliden has halted production at the concentrating plant of its Kevitsa nickel/copper mine, in northern Finland, after a fire occurred in the building for the primary crushing at the mine. The company reports that no person was injured in the fire on Thursday night. The damages,... 

Pandemic saps union clout as talks loom with Chile copper miners

By: Reuters     29th May 2020 Chile's powerful copper unions are headed into contract talks with a hand weakened by the coronavirus pandemic, giving an edge to miners like Codelco, Glencore and Antofagasta in negotiations that could influence wages and benefits for years. Chile's generally well-paid copper mine workers argue... 

Pandemic saps union clout as talks loom with Chile copper miners
Antofagasta's Zaldivar mine, in Chile.

Fortescue facing compensation claims after High Court ruling

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th May 2020 Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals on Friday moved to assure shareholders that a decision by the High Court of Australia to deny the company leave to appeal an earlier ruling on a native title determination would not affect the current or future mining operations at the Solomon Hub, in the... 

Fortescue facing compensation claims after High Court ruling

Albemarle seeks full control of Australia's Greenbushes lithium mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th May 2020 Albemarle says it wants to take control of Australia's Greenbushes, the world's largest lithium mine, signaling it intends to block any rival from buying Tianqi Lithium Corp's controlling stake. Tianqi, which owns 51% of Greenbushes to Albemarle's 49%, is selling some of its prized assets,... 

Mabilo granted permit in the Philippines

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th May 2020 The Mabilo copper/gold project, in the Philippines, has been granted a mining license, ASX and TSX-listed RTG Mining reported on Friday. The company told shareholders that it had received written confirmation that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau had approved the expansion of the current Mineral... 

Pure Alumina raises funds for gold exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th May 2020 ASX-listed Pure Alumina has announced its intentions to raise A$2-million through a share placement and entitlement issue to fund exploration work at its gold tenements. A two tranche share placement of more than 73.2-million shares at a price of 0.9c each, will raise an initial A$659 377, with... 

Australian emissions falling - report

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th May 2020 Greenhouse gas emissions in Australia fell by 0.9% in 2019, or 50-million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Co2-e) to 532.5-million tonnes CO2-e, the federal government’s latest National Greenhouse Gas Inventory has found. Emissions are now 13.7% below 2005 levels, which is the baseline year... 

Australian emissions falling - report

Concept study shows potential to lower capital cost at Zanaga project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th May 2020 A concept study on the viability of a floating dewatering, storage and offloading port facility (FDSO) at Aim-listed Zanaga Iron Ore Company's (ZIOC's) Zanaga project, in Congo-Brazzaville, has demonstrated the potential for a $184-million reduction in capital costs. There is no change expected... 

Glencore chairman Hayward defends climate policy

By: Reuters     28th May 2020 Glencore on Thursday defended its climate policy from activists who want targets set for the use of its products, with chairman Tony Hayward saying the miner's current plan will cut greenhouse gas emissions. Pressure on miners has mounted after Norway's $1 trillion wealth fund this month said it... 

Glencore chairman Hayward defends climate policy
Tony Hayward

Alcoa considering more than 500 layoffs at Spanish plant

By: Reuters     28th May 2020 Alcoa said on Thursday it is considering laying off up to 534 workers from its San Ciprian aluminum plant in the Spanish region of Galicia, though a final decision has not yet been made. High energy costs and low aluminum prices led to persistent losses and left the plant unable to compete... 

Richards Bay Minerals continues to assist communities

By: Simone Liedtke     28th May 2020 In keeping with its commitment of spending R1.5-million to meet critical food supply in the King Cetswayo district, Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) is delivering food parcels totaling R900 000 to the uMfolozi and uMhlathuze municipalities for distribution among communities. On May 28, food parcels... 

Richards Bay Minerals continues to assist communities

Big shareholder thumbs up for Endeavour’s Semafo buy

By: Mariaan Webb     28th May 2020 The C$1-billion deal to create West Africa’s largest gold miner received a near 100% vote of support from shareholders in Endeavour Mining. The TSX-listed company on Thursday held a live audio webcast to allow shareholders to vote on the acquisition of fellow-listed Semafo Gold on the basis of... 

Big shareholder thumbs up for Endeavour’s Semafo buy

Health and safety burden shifts onto firms as Level 3 opens way for big resumption of economic activity 

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2020 The nationwide transition from lockdown Level 4 to Level 3 on June 1 would facilitate the return-to-work of almost eight-million more South Africans than had hitherto been allowed to do so, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Thursday. He cautioned, however, that the... 

Health and safety burden shifts onto firms as Level 3 opens way for big resumption of economic activity
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

Africa's debt burden to rise from Covid-19 capital disinvestments

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2020 As a result of the economic impact of Covid-19, there have been significant outflows of capital from emerging markets, many in Africa, thus far this year, as risk appetite weakens significantly and capital is redirected into safe haven assets, like gold, reports insurance company Alexander Forbes... 

51 Sibanye employees test positive for Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     28th May 2020 JSE- and NYSE-listed gold and platinum-group metals (PGMs) miner Sibanye-Stillwater has confirmed that 51 employees from the Thembelani shaft, at its Rustenburg PGM operations, have tested positive for Covid-19. This follows as two employees from the shaft tested positive for the virus last week,... 

Conversation on getting economy back on track post-Covid has begun   

By: Martin Creamer     28th May 2020 The conversation has begun on getting the South African economy back on track with the necessary structural reforms post-Covid, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said on Wednesday. Speaking at question time during a virtual media conference following the council’s annual general... 

Minerals Council’s virtual media conference covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Juwi starts work on fourth hybrid renewable energy project in Australia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th May 2020 Juwi Renewable Energy has signed an agreement with Perth-based Contract Power to build the solar and wind power components of a new hybrid generation solution for the town of Esperance in, Western Australia. The hybrid project comprises a renewable energy hub, including a 4 MW solar farm and... 

Juwi starts work on fourth hybrid renewable energy project in Australia
Juwi Renewable Energy's hybrid project at Degrussa mine

Organisations say Covid-19 should not further delay universal access to energy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th May 2020 In a report, 'Tracking Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7): Energy Progress', international organisations have warned that universal access to energy by 2030 will fall short unless efforts are scaled up significantly. According to the authors − the International Energy Agency (IEA), the... 

Organisations say Covid-19 should not further delay universal access to energy

Glencore helps communities through Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th May 2020 Global diversified miner Glencore has responded to the societal needs that have arisen during the lockdown period in South Africa and has played an active role in assisting distressed communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Glencore South Africa’s two major businesses, Coal South Africa... 

Glencore helps communities through Covid-19
Some food parcels that Glencore supplied to its host communities

Covid-19 did not leave gold ‘unscathed’, says World Gold Council

By: Simone Liedtke     28th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the gold supply chain unlike any other event in modern history, the World Gold Council (WGC) said in a market update on May 28. With all elements of the chain affected, from mining operations to consumption, this has resulted in some distortions within parts of... 

Covid-19 did not leave gold ‘unscathed’, says World Gold Council

Kodal marks progress on projects

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th May 2020 Mineral exploration and development company Kodal Minerals says the Malian Ministry of Mines and Petroleum has accepted a feasibility study over the Bougouni lithium project, for which a mining licence application has been submitted. The Ministry confirmed that no further technical and financial... 

Mkango Resources to recycle rare earths from scrap equipment

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th May 2020 Aim-listed Mkango Resources, together with its 25%-owned subsidiary HyProMag, has launched a project called Rare-Earth Recycling for E-Machines. The project features a strong set of partners including Advanced Electric Machines Research, Bentley Motors, Intelligent Lifecycle Solutions and Unipart... 

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