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Aluminium News

Pumped storage has potential to throw Hillside Aluminium green lifeline 

By: Martin Creamer     10th January 2022 Power utility Eskom should link its delayed Tubatse pumped storage scheme to the need for Hillside Aluminium to go green. This could be done, a close observer of the intensive electricity user sector of the South African economy contends, through Eskom enabling an independent power producer (IPP)... 

Working on options to secure green energy for Hillside Aluminium ­– South32 

By: Martin Creamer     7th January 2022 Diversified mining company South32 is working on options to secure green electricity at Hillside Aluminium smelter in South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) province. If South32 is unable to secure an affordable source of low-carbon electricity for Hillside, this key KZN operation risks becoming... 

Picture supplied.
South32's Hillside Aluminium in Richards Bay that is working on green energy options.

Minerals Council backs State capture commission’s recommendations 

By: Martin Creamer     6th January 2022 Minerals Council South Africa on Thursday endorsed the recommendations of the first report of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. The Minerals Council said these recommendations, aimed at preventing endemic and corrosive corruption in organs of the state and within the private sector,... 

Supplied picture
Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter

South32 and Alcoa restart Brazil smelter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th January 2022 Diversified miner South32 and its joint venture (JV) partner Alcoa will restart the Alumar aluminium smelter, in Brazil. Brazil Aluminium has been on care and maintenance since 2015, and South32 is expected to invest $70-million across 2022 and 2023 to support its share of restart expenditure. 

Image shows a worker at an aluminium smelter

Australian exports flourish as project pipeline grows

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th January 2022 Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are forecast to reach A$379-billion in 2021–22 as demand for coal and gas surges in the face of a global energy shortage, the December edition of the Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) found. The 2021-22 prediction was up from the A$310-billion... 

Fitch Solutions lowers gas spot price forecast

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd January 2022 Fitch Solutions lowers gas spot price forecast Research agency Fitch Solutions has lowered its natural gas spot price forecast from $3.90/million British Thermal Unit (MBTU) to $3.70/MBTU, following a sharper than expected decline in prices in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Rusal launches production at new aluminium smelter in Siberia

By: Reuters     17th December 2021 Russian aluminium producer Rusal said on Friday it had launched production at its long-stalled Taishet aluminium smelter in Siberia. Hong-Kong listed Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer outside China, started work on the Taishet project in 2007. The project was mothballed in 2009 due... 

Energy transitioning countries stand to attract major FDI investment, webinar hears 

By: Martin Creamer     15th December 2021 Countries that choose to transition into clean energy stand to attract major foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, as do companies that follow a clear pathway towards decarbonisation responsibly, a global webinar event has emphasised. The timing of the clean energy leapfrog by transitioning... 

Creamer Media screenshot
Wood Mackenzie Metals and Mining webinar covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Leading mining companies commit to contract transparency 

By: Martin Creamer     9th December 2021 Members of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) on Thursday announced their commitment to disclose all mineral development contracts from the start of January this year, wherever they operate, marking a significant step by about a third of the global mining and metals industry to... 

Picture supplied.
ICMM CEO Rohitesh Dhawan

China steps up overseas hunt for ore needed to make aluminium 

By: Bloomberg     9th December 2021 China’s aluminum industry, the world’s biggest, is becoming increasingly dependent on overseas supplies of the ore needed to make the metal, another sign of the nation’s chronic reliance on raw-material imports. The aluminum used in everything from aircraft to drinks cans is made from alumina,... 

Specify energy transition action now, the money’s there for it, UN climate envoy urges  

By: Martin Creamer     7th December 2021 The energy transition is woefully under specified, the United Nations special envoy on climate change action and finance Mark Carney told a global webinar, in which he described the specifying of energy transition action as being “a matter of urgency”. Such specification, the webinar heard,... 

Picture from Reuters
UN Climate Action Finance Envoy Mark Carney covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Glencore targeting recycling step change  

By: Martin Creamer     6th December 2021 The goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change are best achieved through the circular economy, says diversified mining and marketing company Glencore, which sees recycling as being a significant means for relieving the growing burden that global decarbonisation is set to place on finite raw... 

Picture supplied by Glencore
Glencore 2021 investor update covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Exploration debate highlights Nema challenge  

By: Martin Creamer     3rd December 2021 The withdrawal of a portion of the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) has created a major challenge for mineral exploration in South Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) co-sponsored exploration webinar heard on Thursday. Taking part in the panel discussion under... 

Creamer Media image.
IDC co-sponsored webinar covered by Mining Weekly.

Transport group eyes Copperbelt

By: Halima Frost     3rd December 2021 Specialist logistics group Unitrans Africa plans to use its copper handling success, in Botswana, as a launchpad to enter into mining operations in the Copperbelt of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Our recent success in on-mine copper materials handling and pit development, paired... 

A large yellow mining machine with EV capability used to load ore onto Unitrans road trains
POWER PUSH The use of electric power vehicles in the mining sector is being successfully pushed further up into the Central African region by Unitrans

Rising demand for separation compound 

By: Halima Frost     3rd December 2021 Since the partnership between global chemicals producer 2M Holdings and speciality materials company Celanese, established in 2014, demand for its methyl isobutyl carbinol (MIBC) compound, used to separate copper from ore, has grown substantially in the Central Africa region. 2M Holdings South... 

Large plastic containers of methyl isobutyl carbinol (MIBC) compound which is used in the separation or flotation of ores on the African Copperbelt
2M Holdings South Africa MD Denzyl O’Donoghue discusses the use of MIBC as an effective flotation agent in the separation of copper

Use renewables to cut carbon and create hydrogen, use hydrogen to cut diesel – Cutifani   

By: Martin Creamer     2nd December 2021 Use renewables to cut carbon and create hydrogen, and then use the hydrogen that has been created to replace diesel. Anglo American CE Mark Cutifani proposed this climate blueprint while also outlining his London- and Johannesburg-listed mining company’s entry into crop nutrients that can free up... 

Creamer Media screenshot during GlobeScan climate webinar
GlobeScan climate event covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Altech raises cash for German coating plant

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd December 2021 Alumina technology and production company Altech Chemicals will raise A$8.1-million in a share placement to help fund the construction of a battery materials coating plant in Germany. Some 76-million shares would be placed in a single tranche, priced at 10.7c a share, representing a 24% discount... 

Froneman tells world of Sibanye’s confidence in hydrogen economy  

By: Martin Creamer     26th November 2021 Platinum group metals (PGMs) are poised to be a very significant underpin in the green hydrogen economy and Sibanye-Stillwater is intent on ensuring that the supply of PGMs is sustainable and that the company is part of the global climate change solution, Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman told a global... 

Creamer Media screenshot
Sibanye-Stillwater hydrogen presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Law firm creates outsourced compliance solution for mining industry 

By: Martin Creamer     25th November 2021 A specialist mining law firm, which prefers people to paper, has created an outsourced compliance solution for Africa’s mining industry. NSDV will not simply rely on the paper trail when a client calls with an issue, but instead phone, WhatsApp, or drive there and chat to the officials. 

NSDV supplied picture
NSDV director and co-founder Lili Nupen

Orica and Alpha HPA sign up for Qld clean energy agreement

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2021 Mining equipment, technology and services provider Orica and high purity alumina (HPA) producer Alpha HPA have signed the Central Queensland Statement of Cooperation with the state government. Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said Orica and Alpha HPA would join... 

Rio invests A$87m in Quebec aluminium

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2021 Diversified major Rio Tinto will invest $87-million to increase its low-carbon aluminium production in Canada with 16 new smelting cells at its AP60 smelter, in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. The investment will increase production at the smelter by around 45%, or 26 500 t/y of... 

Expect to be unemployed from age 40, Miller warns graduates entering mining   

By: Martin Creamer     15th November 2021 Because of the collapse of investment in greenfields exploration in South Africa, any mining graduate entering the profession today can expect to be unemployed from the age of 40, said AmaranthCX director and founder Paul Miller on Monday, when he pointed out that South Africa is now at an... 

Provided by Paul Miller
AmaranthCX director Paul Miller interviewed by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer

Mineral exploration should be incentivised, says IDC’s Thabiso Sekano  

By: Martin Creamer     12th November 2021 Mineral exploration should be incentivised so that South Africa’s great mineral endowment can be optimally leveraged to lower unemployment, improve export revenues, and strengthen this country’s gross domestic product (GDP). That is the view of Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) mining,... 

Creamer Media screenshot of IDC head Thabiso Sekano
IDC Mining Metals Beneficiation Head interviewed by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

FYI and Alcoa extend HPA trials

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th November 2021 ASX-listed FYI Resources and aluminium major Alcoa Australia on Friday announced that the two companies would undertake an extended high purity alumina (HPA) trial production run at FYI’s facility in Western Australia. The production run would be the second joint pilot plant trial between FYI... 

US adds nickel, zinc to draft critical minerals list, drops potash

By: Mariaan Webb     11th November 2021 The US Geological Survey (USGS) has added nickel and zinc to its proposed list of 50 ‘critical minerals’ – defined as those essential to economic or national security and have a supply chain vulnerable to disruption – while four others, including potash, have fallen off the draft 2021 list. The... 

Image of pure nickel sulphate
The Biden Administration's 100 day supply chain review states that there is an 'urgency' to develop a strategy around Class 1 nickel.

Minerals Council backs Eskom leadership, urges govt to cut procurement red tape

By: Martin Creamer     10th November 2021 Minerals Council South Africa on Wednesday supported the Eskom leadership team in its efforts to stabilise South Africa’s electricity supply and urged government to focus on shortening the bureaucratic processes hindering Eskom’s ability to procure urgently required spares for power stations and... 

Supplied picture
Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter

Alpha advances Qld HPA project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th November 2021 ASX-listed Alpha HPA’s A$300-million high purity alumina (HPA) industrial plant, in Queensland, is a step closer after the company received state government approval for the project and acquired a 9.2 ha site in the Queensland government’s Gladstone State Development Area. “Alpha is delighted to... 

ELYSIS produces first GHG-free aluminium

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th November 2021 Major Rio Tinto has announced that its ELYSIS initiative had successfully produced its first aluminium without any direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at its Industrial Research and Development Center in Saguenay, Canada. ELYSIS is a joint venture (JV) led by Rio and aluminium major Alcoa,... 

Rusal seen completing demerger of higher carbon assets in H2 2022

By: Reuters     2nd November 2021 Russian aluminium producer Rusal is expected to complete the demerger of its higher-carbon assets into a separate company in the second half of 2022, its largest shareholder, En+ Group said on Monday. Hong-Kong listed Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer outside China, previously... 

EU and US end clash over steel and aluminium, take aim at China's 'dirty' steel

By: Reuters     1st November 2021 The United States and the European Union on Sunday ended a dispute over steel and aluminium tariffs and said they would work on a global arrangement to combat "dirty" production and overcapacity in the industry. The future EU-US arrangement will be a challenge for China, which produces more than... 

Rio partners on CCS in Iceland

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th October 2021 Major Rio Tinto has partnered with carbon storage solutions provider to implement a technology for capturing carbon and permanently storing it underground at the ISAL aluminium smelter in Iceland. Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a strategic partnership, Carbfix will use Rio’s land... 

An image of the Rio Tinto ISAL smelter
Rio Tinto's ISAL smelter

Metals rebound as world's energy crisis keeps roiling the market

By: Bloomberg     22nd October 2021 Base metals were mostly higher, paring a weekly slump, as the global energy crisis kept roiling the energy-intensive sector. The global energy shortage, fueled by record coal and gas costs, has forced metal output cuts from China to Europe, depleting inventories. Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s... 

Metals rebound as world's energy crisis keeps roiling the market

No zero carbon without green hydrogen, US pledging $1/kg coal-parity price 

By: Martin Creamer     21st October 2021 The world will be unable to meet its zero-carbon targets without the introduction of green hydrogen solutions, says Plug Power chief strategy officer Sanjay Shrestha, at a time when the US has launched a programme to cut the cost of clean hydrogen by 80%. Nasdaq-listed Plug Power, a pure play... 

Creamer Media Screenshot
Photo by Creamer Media
Plug Power chief strategy officer Sanjay Shrestha

Rio continues bauxite partnership in Canada

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th October 2021 Mining giant Rio Tinto has renewed its partnership with the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), in Canada, for another three years. The miner this week said that it would commit more than $2-million over the next three years to continue research and development (R&D) in bauxite and... 

Policy-not-law charter judgment going long way towards providing certainty – NSDV 

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2021 The court judgement that the mining charter is policy and not law goes a long way towards providing regulatory certainty, says NSDV mining law senior associate Muhammed Khan ­– but it is not the end of the road, he cautions in a 1 500-word analysis entitled The Great Mining Charter Debate. Khan... 

Picutre supplied by NupenStaudeDeVries
NSDV mining law senior associate Muhammed Khan.

Incentive needed for smaller end of stock exchange to survive – Miller  

By: Martin Creamer     18th October 2021 An incentive is needed for the listing of companies on the smaller end of the stock exchange, which is facing an existential crisis, said AmaranthCX director and owner Paul Miller on Monday. Reacting to the groundswell of headlines about delistings and lack of listings on the Johannesburg Stock... 

Creamer Media screenshot of Paul Milller during October 2021 Zoom interview.
AmaranthCX director and owner Paul Miller interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Energy crisis pushes copper towards best week since 2016

By: Reuters     15th October 2021 Copper on Friday was heading for its biggest weekly gain since 2016 as surging power prices threaten to curb supply at a time when exchange stockpiles are at rock bottom. A rapid rise in the cost of energy and shortages of power in China have already forced zinc and aluminium smelters to cut... 

An image of molten copper

Rio adjusts production expectations following tough quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2021 Mining major Rio Tinto has seen production declines across its portfolio of commodities during the three months to September, and has adjusted some of its targets for 2021. “It has been another difficult quarter operationally and despite improving versus the prior quarter, we recognise the... 

Image shows one of Rio Tinto's iron-ore operations in the Pilbara
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