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Aluminium News

Judgment reserved at Mining Charter review hearing 

By: Martin Creamer     7th May 2020 A full bench has heard the application for a judicial review of certain aspects of the Mining Charter gazetted in September 2018. Judge President Mlambo, judges Vally and  Van Der Schyff reserved judgment on the application lodged by the Minerals Council South Africa on March 27, 2019, when the... 

Rio Tinto invests $10m in Canada and US efforts to fight pandemic

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th May 2020 Diversified mining company Rio Tinto is investing $10-million in a variety of grassroots projects across Canada and the US to support local community efforts to fight Covid-19. The group’s investment is targeted at practical solutions like funding the food banks or counselling and support... 

Morale high as Covid-masked South African miners get back to work 

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2020 Morale is reportedly high as Covid-masked and physically distanced South African mineworkers get back to mining underground for companies that have gone the extra mile to ensure that they have been fully remunerated and host communities generously funded during the national lockdown. In a... 

Mineworkers with personal protective equipment.
Mineworkers with personal protective equipment.

Opencast mines may return to 100% of capacity from May 1 – Patel

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2020 Opencast mines are permitted to return in phases to 100% operation from May 1 but underground mines must continue at 50% of production capacity, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Saturday. Speaking during a media briefing covered by Mining Weekly on South Africa’s easing from the... 

Openast mines like this one may return to 100% production capacity.
Openast mines like this one may return to 100% production capacity.

Learning curve still too steep to define ‘best practice’ mining response

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2020 The rapidly evolving Covid-19 crisis learning curve is still too steep to conclusively define what a ‘best practice’ response looks like from the mining industry, says the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), which is facilitating a rapid exchange of information and knowledge to... 

ICMM CEO Tom Butler
ICMM CEO Tom Butler

Firm directive to ensure safe mining resumption

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on Thursday issued a firm directive to all mining operations to ensure safe start-up procedures as the sector prepares to ramp up to 50% of capacity. Mining Weekly can report that the directive is issued to ensure compliance with Section 5(1)... 

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.

Alcoa cuts costs and output in ‘fundamentally shifted’ world

By: Bloomberg     23rd April 2020 Alcoa is the latest commodity producer that’s cutting costs and output to mitigate the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The company is the top US producer of aluminum, which is found in everything from jets to iPhones and has been among the worst-performing commodities during the crisis.... 

Alcoa CEO Roy Harvey
Alcoa CEO Roy Harvey

Reeling aluminum market braces for mining giant Alcoa’s outlook

By: Bloomberg     22nd April 2020 With the coronavirus crisis clouding the outlook for almost every industry, the aluminum market is hoping to get at least a glimpse of what’s in store from top US producer Alcoa on Wednesday. Aluminum, found in everything from jets to iPhones, has been among the worst-performing commodities... 

Reeling aluminum market braces for mining giant Alcoa’s outlook

Paul O’Neill, former Treasury chief and Alcoa CEO, dies at 84

By: Bloomberg     20th April 2020 Paul O’Neill, whose outspokenness cost him his job as President George W. Bush’s first Treasury secretary after having led Alcoa Inc. through a period of consistent profitability, has died. He was 84. O’Neill died Saturday at his home in Pittsburgh after battling lung cancer for the last few... 

Impala CE granted bail after appearance on Covid-19 charge 

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2020 The arrest of the chief executive of Implats' Implala Platinum Rustenburg mining operations was on Friday welcomed by the Mineral Resources and Energy Parliamentary chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo, who on Thursday called on law enforcement agencies to act decisively against mining executives who... 

Impala Platinum Rustenburg CE Mark Munroe
Photo by Creamer Media
Impala Platinum Rustenburg CE Mark Munroe

Minerals Council welcomes revised Covid-19 regulations

By: Martin Creamer     16th April 2020 The Minerals Council South Africa on Thursday welcomed the amendments to the Disaster Management Act regulations as they pertain to mining. These regulations allow a phase-up in mining capacity to 50% during the lockdown period, but with all the preventative and mitigating controls in place to... 

Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter
Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter

Mining may resume at 50% capacity – Minister 

By: Martin Creamer     16th April 2020 All mining operations, excluding collieries supplying Eskom which have been permitted to operate at full capacity throughout national lockdown, may now resume at 50% capacity during the remaining lockdown days, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday. Thereafter,... 

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Matashe during virtual media conference.
Photo by Veronica Creamer
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Matashe during virtual media conference.

Glencore continues to engage to minimise Covid-19 impact

By: Martin Creamer     14th April 2020 Diversified mining and marketing Glencore is continuing to engage with authorities, labour unions and other stakeholders on steps to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on its operations. The London- and Johannesburg-listed company stated on Tuesday that its goal was to operate only when it could... 

Ivan Glasenberg
Photo by Bloomberg
Ivan Glasenberg

Too early to comment on when mining will resume – Minerals Council

By: Martin Creamer     9th April 2020 Comment on when mining industry operations will resume is premature but what is certain is that when resumption does occur, it will not be business as usual, Minerals Council South Africa said on Thursday. Noting reports on the resumption of mining operations after 16 April, Minerals Council... 

Glencore launches $25m support fund in response to Covid-19 

By: Martin Creamer     9th April 2020 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore on Thursday announced the launch of a $25-million fund in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The fund will support the London- and Johannesburg-listed company’s teams that are working closely with governments, health agencies and others key... 

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg
Photo by Bloomberg
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

The state of Chinese commodities shows recovery taking hold

By: Bloomberg     7th April 2020 From oil to copper to coal, China’s gigantic commodities industry is signaling that the first economy to be flattened by the coronavirus is getting closer to a return to normality. Bloomberg Economics estimates that most of China was 90% to 95% back to work at the end of last week, noting... 

Global GDP to contract 1.9% this year, spark commodity oversupply, says Fitch

By: Simone Liedtke     6th April 2020 Owing to unprecedented lockdown in much of Europe, the US and across the globe, the world is currently experiencing considerably lower economic activity, which in turn significantly reduces commodity consumption, says ratings agency Fitch Ratings. As a result, it expects global gross domestic... 

Global GDP to contract 1.9% this year, spark commodity oversupply, says Fitch

Rusal, Glencore agree aluminium deal worth up to $16.3bn

By: Reuters     3rd April 2020 Russia's Rusal has approved a new long-term aluminium supply contract with Glencore worth up to $16.3-billion, it said in a Hong-Kong regulatory statement on Friday. Swiss trader and metals producer Glencore has long been one of the main clients of Hong Kong-listed Rusal, the world's largest... 

Standard Bank meeting all capital and liquidity requirements 

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2020 Capital and liquidity requirements across all the markets in which it operates are continuing to be met, Standard Bank Group FD Dr Arno Daehnke said during an investor call. Daehnke disclosed that the bank was benefitting from building up increased capital levels over the last few years in line... 

Sim Tshabalala
Sim Tshabalala

Rio halts potline at NZ smelter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st March 2020 Major Rio Tinto will close one of its four potlines at Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, in New Zealand, as part of measures to combat Covid-19. CEO and GM of the New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter, in which Rio holds a 79.36% interest, Stewart Hamilton said that the company had worked hard to... 

Mining could be enormous post-virus stabiliser – Minerals Council

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2020 The mining industry could be an enormous asset in stabilising and growing the economy post the coronavirus crisis – but the right economic and regulatory circumstances would have to prevail, Minerals Council South Africa stated in a weekend media release. Post coronavirus, South Africa would... 

Automotive battery makers looking to alternative chemistry to lower costs

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th March 2020 Major automotive battery makers and car manufacturers are planning to alter battery chemistry to lower the cost of new electric vehicles (EVs) being rolled out this year, mining and materials forecaster Afriforesight says. The race to cost cuts intensified last week with the largest Chinese EV... 

HPA First to cost A$308m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th March 2020 The definitive feasibility study (DFS) into ASX-listed Alpha HPA’s high purity alumina (HPA) First project, in Queensland, has found that it could generate free annual cash flows of A$280-million a year from the production of 10 000 t/y HPA. The project is expected to require a capital... 

China warns metals firms not to race back from virus

By: Reuters     6th March 2020 China's Industry Ministry said on Friday metals firms should not seek to ramp up production at all costs and should "avoid vicious competition" with one another as they return to work in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Industrial production in China, the world's biggest metals consumer,... 

New Zealand on tenterhooks over Rio Tinto smelter closure risk

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 Meridian Energy, New Zealand's top power producer, on Wednesday played down market expectations that Rio Tinto would keep its New Zealand Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) open when it decides on the plant's fate in the next month. The global miner's smelter at Tiwai Point is New Zealand's largest power... 

Rio Tinto's aluminium smelter in New Zealand.
Photo by Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto's aluminium smelter in New Zealand.

Rio punts refinery technology

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th February 2020 Mining giant Rio Tinto and aluminium equipment supplier STAS have agreed to terms to commercialise Rio’s advanced compact filtration (AFC) technology for aluminium cast houses. The ACF technology developed by Rio will now be manufactured and sold under license by equipment manufacturer STAS... 

Low carbon future to dictate PDAC 2020 talks

By: Tracy Hancock     14th February 2020 Mineral exploration and mining’s role in the global shift towards a low carbon future could dominate discussions at this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention, PDAC executive director Lisa McDonald tells Mining Weekly. “To meet demand for electric vehicle... 

Popular topics that should continue to attract high attendance at the PDAC Convention are diversity and inclusion, sustainability, capital markets and Indigenous affairs
CRITICAL GATHERING Popular topics that should continue to attract high attendance at the PDAC Convention are diversity and inclusion, sustainability, capital markets and Indigenous affairs

Rio Tinto reviews future of unprofitable Iceland smelter

By: Mariaan Webb     12th February 2020 Diversified mining major Rio Tinto has announced a strategic review of the ISAL smelter in Iceland, to determine the operation's “ongoing viability and explore options to improve its competitive position”. The smelter, which the company unsuccessfully tried to sell a year-and-a-half ago, is... 

Rio Tinto reviews future of unprofitable Iceland smelter

Vedanta sets sights on zinc, silver, iron-ore output growth 

By: Kim Cloete     12th February 2020 CAPE TOWN ( – Natural resources company Vedanta Resources is aiming to become the world's biggest producer of zinc, as well as to double its production of silver and increase its iron-ore output from 10-million to 15-million tonnes a year.  Vedanta has a presence in steel,... 

Vedanta sets sights on zinc, silver, iron-ore output growth
Vedanta Resources executives tell Mining Weekly correspondent Kim Cloete about the group's growth plans and its corporate social investment initiatives. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Alpha HPA picks spot for HPA plant

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th February 2020 ASX-listed Alpha HPA has tipped Gladstone, in Queensland, as the preferred site for it’s A$200-million high purity alumina (HPA) plant. The company has secured an option with Economic Development Queensland on a 10 ha land parcel, and would now seek to negotiate the final purchase terms for... 

HPA scoping proves up for Pure Minerals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th February 2020 A scoping study into the production of high purity alumina (HPA) as a cop-product at the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH project), in northern Queensland, has demonstrated that the project could become a one-stop shop for key battery chemicals, owner Pure Minerals said on Friday. A... 

Alcore appoints Clough as engineering firm

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th February 2020 ASX-listed Australian Bauxite subsidiary Alcore has appointed engineering firm Clough Projects Australia to provide the engineering for the design and construction of its planned bauxite refining plant. “Clough is an ideal engineer for Alcore’s transition from lab research stage to its first... 

En+ raises stake in Rusal to 57% after Glencore asset swap

By: Reuters     3rd February 2020 Russia's En+ Group has raised its stake in aluminium giant Rusal to 56.88% after completing an asset swap with Glencore, part of a deal that has helped companies controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska to ward off US sanctions. En+ Group and Glencore agreed in 2017 that Glencore would swap... 

Alcoa says power restored to Australian plant after heat waves

By: Reuters     3rd February 2020 Power to Alcoa's Portland aluminium smelter has returned to normal levels after a blackout on Friday caused by heat waves in Australia's south, the company said in a statement on Monday. One of two transmission lines to the smelter remains out of service due to the outage, however, Alcoa added.... 

South Africa will caution Trump against ‘premature’ trade review

By: Bloomberg     29th January 2020 South Africa’s government will tell President Donald Trump’s administration that its review of a preferential trade agreement that could put as much as $2.4-billion in exports at risk is premature and potentially damaging for both economies. The US Trade Representative will start public hearings... 

South Africa will caution Trump against ‘premature’ trade review

Indonesian mining giant seeks to triple aluminium production

By: Bloomberg     22nd January 2020 PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium has set a long-term goal of tripling its production capacity by expanding operations to the island of Borneo as it seeks to utilise the region’s abundant bauxite reserves. The State-owned company known as Inalum plans to boost capacity to 750 000 tons by building a... 

Court paves way for Vedanta to source alumina from competitor Nalco

By: Ajoy K Das     22nd January 2020 India’s Supreme Court has permitted Vedanta to bid for alumina from State-run National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) for the former’s bauxite starved smelters in the eastern state of Odisha. Under the court order, Vedanta has been permitted to participate in Nalco’s alumina export tenders... 

World risks 'disaster' as reuse of natural resources declines

By: Reuters     21st January 2020 The proportion of raw materials the world is reusing has fallen, researchers said on Tuesday, warning of a "global disaster" as annual consumption of natural resources rose to 100-billion tonnes for the first time. Just 8.6% of the 100-billion tonnes of materials – including minerals, metals,... 

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