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Aluminium News

China 2020 aluminium output climbs to record high

By: Reuters     18th January 2021 China's aluminium production in 2020 rose 4.9% from the prior year to a record 37.08-million tonnes as smelters cashed in on soaring prices, with December output hitting a monthly all-time high even as the rally cooled. Primary aluminium production in December was 3.27-million tonnes, the... 

Rio Tinto enters scandium market with Canada plant

By: Mariaan Webb     15th January 2021 Diversified major Rio Tinto is set to become North America’s first producer of scandium oxide, with the construction of a commercial scale demonstration plant at its Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. Rio Tinto is investing$6-million in the construction... 

Rio extends life at NZ smelters

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th January 2021 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has settled on a new electricity agreement with ASX-listed Meridian Energy that allows New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) to continue operating the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter until the end of December 2024. The extension provides certainty to employees, the... 

Rio extends life at NZ smelters

Net-zero emissions commitments hold benefits, but also downsides, for miners 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th January 2021 Miners are targeting massive carbon reductions over the next 10 to 15 years on the path to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, with equity research company Jefferies warning that this implies higher costs and capital expenditure (capex), but also a trend of less supply, higher commodity prices,... 

Rio invests in Canadian aluminium

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th December 2020 Diversified major Rio Tinto has announced a $8.4-million investment to expand the recycling capacity of its aluminium operations in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec. The expansion would offer rolled product customers in North America a new, sustainable solution combining low-carbon and recycled... 

Rio invests in Canadian aluminium
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal role spurred Europe sanctions warning to US

By: Bloomberg     17th December 2020 European officials have provided information to the US government indicating that Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska continued to exert control this year over United Co. Rusal International, which the officials say was a breach of a US sanctions agreement reached in 2018. An assessment sent to... 

Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal role spurred Europe sanctions warning to US

Portland smelter given a lifeline

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th December 2020 The Australian government has offered aluminium major Alcoa a A$76.8-million commitment over a four-year period to support the Portland aluminium smelter, in Victoria, as the state struggles with energy supplies. Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor on Monday pointed out that... 

Portland smelter given a lifeline

Steps South Africa needs to take to attract global exploration investment 

By: Martin Creamer     10th December 2020 Countries wanting to attract exploration investment need readily available geophysics data to offer to prospective investors. “Geophysics is now key to the exploration industry, particularly for metalliferous-type deposits, which have the largest value,” Exploration Geological Consultancy MD... 

Steps South Africa needs to take to attract global exploration investment
Photo by Creamer Media
Exploration Geological Consultancy MD Regina Molloy

Metal prices expected to average higher in 2021 amid recovery from Covid-19 – Fitch Solutions

By: Donna Slater     1st December 2020 Financial risk management, solutions and insights company Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch Solutions) expects miners and metal producers to experience a more favourable pricing environment in 2021 with nearly all mineral and metal prices forecast to average higher on a... 

Climate-driven surge in scrap use could slash primary metal demand - Woodmac  

By: Reuters     27th November 2020 A surge in the use of scrap metal due to strict environmental policies could slash global demand for primary aluminium by almost half and cut demand for primary copper and iron by more than a third by 2040, Wood Mackenzie said on Thursday. In a report on the future of mining, the consultancy... 

Govt study into local lithium-ion battery value chain almost complete  

By: Irma Venter     27th November 2020 A study into the possible development of a lithium-ion (li-ion) battery value-chain in South Africa will be completed by the end of the year. The study is being undertaken by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), on behalf of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). It... 

Govt study into local lithium-ion battery value chain almost complete
Gaylor Montmasson-Clair

Coal mine on point of turning acid mine drainage into potable water at no cost  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd November 2020 An Mpumalanga coal mine is on the point of entering into an agreement before year-end to have its acid mine drainage water curse turned into potable water at no cost, Mining Weekly can today report. Recovered potassium nitrate, which retails at about R15 000/t and which is marketed at about R11... 

Coal mine on point of turning acid mine drainage into potable water at no cost
Trailblazer Technologies director John Bewsey interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Australia's project pipeline grows despite Covid

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd November 2020 The number of resources and energy major development projects has increased by 19% over the last 12 months, new data from the Office of the Chief Economist has shown. There are currently 335 major projects in the development pipeline, with the value of the projects in the pipeline increasing by... 

Australia's project pipeline grows despite Covid

Alcore proves economics

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2020 An economic assessment of ASX-listed Australian Bauxite’s planned Alcore processing plant, has shown that it would land in the lowest cost quartile of global aluminium fluoride production. Australia’s aluminium smelters are currently entirely reliant on imported aluminium fluoride, with more... 

How Biden’s win affects commodities hit by trade wars, tariffs

By: Bloomberg     9th November 2020 It’s been a tumultuous four years for US commodity industries that found themselves a key focus of the White House through its aggressive trade policy agenda. From steel and aluminum tariffs to grain subsidies to boosting exports of liquefied natural gas, very few corners of the global... 

How Biden’s win affects commodities hit by trade wars, tariffs

Exploration is priority, says Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe  

By: Martin Creamer     3rd November 2020 South Africa should be an exploration site that contributes to gross domestic product growth and employment creation. “Exploration is the way to go and a priority,” Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe told the 2020 Junior Indaba in his keynote address on Tuesday. (Also watch... 

Exploration is priority, says Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe
The Junior Indaba covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Flow-through must not only incentivise exploration but also market participation – Miller 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd November 2020 A flow-through share scheme tax incentive, currently under consideration for South Africa, must serve to incentivise not only exploration but also public listed market development and market participation by a diversity of investors. Mining supply sales consultancy AmaranthCX director Paul Miller... 

Flow-through must not only incentivise exploration but also market participation – Miller
Photo by Creamer Media
Mining supply sales consultancy AmaranthCX director Paul Miller

Aluminium demand growth will soon outpace production growth

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th October 2020 Research agency Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research says the global primary aluminium market will remain largely in oversupply, owing to absolute production remaining higher than consumption this year, but the surplus is likely to start narrowing from 2021. This will remain the case... 

Rio invests in Canadian alumina

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th October 2020 Major Rio Tinto will invest $51-million on upgrading facilities at its Vaudreuil alumina refinery, in Quebec. The company said this week that three new energy efficient buildings are under construction and existing facilities will be rearranged to provide close to 400 employees with a... 

En+ Group urges EU to adopt inclusive decarbonisation strategy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th October 2020 Low-carbon aluminium producer En+ Group has urged the European Union (EU) to adopt a more effective climate change strategy that will better support the decarbonisation of the entire aluminium value chain and boost the competitiveness of lower-carbon manufacturers across the region. In its... 

Trump lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum, warns he may resume them

By: Reuters     28th October 2020 US President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Tuesday formally removing tariffs on raw aluminum imports from Canada but threatening to reinstate them if there was a surge in imports of the metal across the northern US border. The proclamation follows an agreement with Canada announced last... 

Hopes rise as top firms arrive at potential flow-through share model to stimulate mining exploration  

By: Martin Creamer     27th October 2020 A flow-through share model has been drawn up with the help of top firms to stimulate badly neglected mining exploration in South Africa, Minerals Council South Africa junior and emerging miners leadership forum chairperson Errol Smart said on Tuesday. Speaking to Mining Weekly in a Zoom... 

Hopes rise as top firms arrive at potential flow-through share model to stimulate mining exploration
Minerals Council South Africa Junior Miners’ Forum Chairperson Errol Smart interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

FYI completes HPA trial

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2020 ASX-listed junior FYI Resources has completed a high purity alumina (HPA) production trial at its pilot plant in Western Australia. The objective of the trial was to produce stipulated end production specially tailored to the requirements of targeted potential customers and to incorporate several... 

$1tr needed for key energy transition metals by 2035 – WoodMac

23rd October 2020 More than $1-trillion of investment will be needed in key energy transition metals - aluminium, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium - over the next 15 years to meet the growing demands of decarbonisation, says consultancy group Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac). This is almost double the figure invested... 

$1tr needed for key energy transition metals by 2035 – WoodMac

Covid has highlighted the value of operating remotely – mining editor 

By: Martin Creamer     22nd October 2020 The extraction of data from machinery to improve decision-making is a key benefit of the digital mine and has changed the way that mines manage their assets and perform machine maintenance, Australia Mining managing editor Ben Creagh said on Wednesday. Creagh was speaking during a virtual... 

Covid has highlighted the value of operating remotely – mining editor
ifm Australia’s Freddie Coertze and Aditya Kunder.

South Africa is well positioned to export green hydrogen ­– PwC  

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2020 South Africa is in an extraordinary position to revolutionise its own economy and supply green hydrogen to the world, PwC said on Monday. “The energy transition is and will be biggest global theme this decade,” PwC associate director James Mackay told journalists at a virtual event covered by... 

South Africa is well positioned to export green hydrogen ­– PwC
PwC Hydrogen Report 2020 covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Low prices, demand results in drop in Afarak’s mining, processing volumes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th October 2020 LSE- and Nasdaq-listed Afarak Group has reported that its group production for the third quarter of the year at 40 766 t was 60.1% lower than the 102 219 t produced in the third quarter of 2019. This was owing to reduced mining activity in South Africa, the protection of staff amid Covid-19, low... 

Hydrogen fast-tracking will be much quicker than imagined – Sibanye-Stillwater  

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2020 The fast-tracking of the hydrogen economy will be much quicker than most people have imagined, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said at the Financial Times (FT) Commodities Mining Summit, where he was part of a panel that included Anglo American Platinum CEO Natasha Viljoen and South32 CEO... 

Hydrogen fast-tracking will be much quicker than imagined – Sibanye-Stillwater
Financial Times Commodities Mining Summit covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer.

Mining committed to doing all it takes to improve worker health – Matlala 

By: Martin Creamer     15th October 2020 Minerals Council South Africa VP and Masoyise Health Programme chairperson Zanele Matlala on Thursday committed the South African mining industry to doing all it takes to ensure that employee lives are saved and health is improved. Speaking at a global virtual health seminar to reprioritise... 

Mining committed to doing all it takes to improve worker health – Matlala
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa VP and Masoyise Health Programme chairperson Zanele Matlala

Southern Africa’s green hydrogen buy-in exceeding expectations – Sacreee  

By: Martin Creamer     14th October 2020 Southern Africa’s buy-in into the green hydrogen economy concept is exceeding expectations, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (Sacreee) executive director Kudakwashe Ndhlukula said on Tuesday. Green hydrogen is a clean form of hydrogen... 

Southern Africa’s green hydrogen buy-in exceeding expectations – Sacreee
Sacreee executive director Kudakwashe Ndhlukula discusses green hydrogen with Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer.

Rio invests C$160m at Canadian plant

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th October 2020 Mining major Rio Tinto has announced a C$160-million investment into its Isle-Maligne hydroelectric power station, in Quebec, to continue its production of low-carbon aluminum. The investment would see Rio replace valves used to cut off the water flow in the power plant if required. Located in... 

Rio invests C$160m at Canadian plant
The investment will have economic spinoffs for Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

Mining majors must convince investors of need to replace value – Sir Mick Davis  

By: Martin Creamer     8th October 2020 Major mining companies need to convince investors of the crucial need to replace the value that they are taking out of the ground, mining luminary Sir Mick Davis said on Thursday. “Every single day that they take something out of the ground, that value disappears forever, and unless you do... 

Mining majors must convince investors of need to replace value – Sir Mick Davis
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer reports on Sir Mick Davis at Joburg Indaba. Video: Darlene Creamer

Exploration strategy in three months, hydrogen under scrutiny – DMRE  

By: Martin Creamer     8th October 2020 A comprehensive exploration strategy will be developed in the next three months and engagement on the potential of the platinum group metals-linked hydrogen economy is taking place, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy director-general Advocate Thabo Mokoena said on Thursday. In a keynote... 

Exploration strategy in three months, hydrogen under scrutiny – DMRE
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer reporting on DMRE DG Advocate Thabo Mokoena. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Flow-through must form part of overall exploration strategy – Minerals Council  

By: Martin Creamer     7th October 2020 The introduction of a flow-through share scheme must form part of a full suite and package of measures tailored for a comprehensive exploration strategy for South Africa, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said on Wednesday. Speaking during question time on day one of the Joburg... 

Flow-through must form part of overall exploration strategy – Minerals Council
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer putting a question at Joburg Indaba. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Rio Tinto, AB InBev sign MoU to deliver sustainable, low carbon aluminium cans

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2020 Beer drinkers will soon be able to enjoy their favourite brew out of cans that are both recyclable and responsibly produced as a result of a global partnership between diversified miner Rio Tinto and brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). The two companies have signed a memorandum of... 

Hydrogen can be game-changer for South African economy ­– PwC  

By: Martin Creamer     6th October 2020 Hydrogen has the potential to be a game-changer for the South African economy, PwC African mining leader Andries Rossouw said on Tuesday. Speaking during the virtual release of the professional services firm’s 12th edition SA Mine, a series of publications that highlights trends in the South... 

Hydrogen can be game-changer for South African economy ­– PwC
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer reports on PwC SA Mine 2020 event. Video: Darlene Creamer

Colombia's mining future tied to metals not coal, Minister says

By: Reuters     5th October 2020 Colombia's mining future is in metals and not coal, Minister of Mines and Energy Diego Mesa said, and the Andean country will continue developing oil and gas projects, including non-conventional deposits. The coal sector's problems have accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic, Mesa told... 

Cabinless, emissionless vehicle foretelling underground’s autonomous future 

By: Martin Creamer     30th September 2020 Mining Weekly on Wednesday watched a cabinless emission-free next-generation mining vehicle autonomously load, haul and dump in an underground mine, without a human in sight. The cabinless design places emphasis on the extent to which traditional human operation at the rockface is becoming a... 

Cabinless, emissionless vehicle foretelling underground’s autonomous future
Photo by Creamer Media
Sandvik global product line manager automation David Hallett
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