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Asia News

Anglo hopes to run truck on hydrogen in 12 months – O’Neill 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd April 2019 Diversified mining company Anglo American hopes to have a truck running on hydrogen in the next 12 months, Anglo American technical director Tony O’Neill said on Wednesday, when he spoke of foreseeing the company’s installed diesel fleet one day being replaced by an electrical alternative.   To... 

Coal India production surges at close of financial year

By: Ajoy K Das     3rd April 2019 A last lap unprecedented surge in production has enabled State-miner Coal India Limited to end the 2018/19 financial year with production of 607-million tons, marginally short of the 610-million-ton target agreed with the government. The miner thus achieved a production growth of 7% during the... 

Iron-ore thunders higher as mine dams closed, exports collapse

By: Bloomberg     3rd April 2019 Iron-ore’s supply-driven rally picked up pace on Wednesday, with futures topping $90 a ton, amid increasing concern the crisis at Brazil’s Vale will be drawn out as regulators ordered dozens of dams to be shut. Futures for benchmark material rallied as much as 4.1% in Singapore, while spot ore... 

Iron-ore thunders higher as mine dams closed, exports collapse

Kibo, Sepco III still discussing finalisation of SDA for Mbeya project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd April 2019 Dual-listed Kibo Energy on Wednesday said a final decision regarding a strategic development agreement (SDA) with China-based Sepco III at the Mbeya coal-to-power project (MCPP), in Tanzania, has not been made and that discussions are ongoing. As previously reported by Mining Weekly Online, Kibo... 

Northam trying out tunnelling first at rhodium-rich Eland mine development 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd April 2019 Platinum group metals mining company Northam is preparing to deploy innovative tunnel boring technology at its Eland mine as part of a R93-million shared risk-and-reward contract with Master Drilling. Eland, on the southeastern limit of the western limb of the Bushveld Complex, has a 19.3-million... 

Northam trying out tunnelling first at rhodium-rich Eland mine development
Photo by Creamer Media
Paul Dunne (right) and Martin Creamer

Tariff war will hammer global trade growth this year, WTO says

By: Bloomberg     2nd April 2019 The World Trade Organization (WTO) slashed its global trade growth projection for 2019 to the lowest level in three years, citing the impact of rising commercial tensions and tariffs. World merchandise trade growth will slow to 2.6% this year and 3% next year, after notching 3% in 2018, the WTO... 

Walkabout finds taker for Lindi Jumbo flakes

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd April 2019 Graphite developer Walkabout Resources has signed its first binding offtake term sheet with expandable graphite producer Inner Mongolia Qianxin Graphite (IMQG) over its Lindi Jumbo project, in Tanzania. Under the terms of the agreement, Walkabout would deliver between 10 000 t/y and 20 000 t/y of... 

Marginal recovery in gold price expected this year – Metals Focus  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st April 2019 Last year was challenging for the gold price, precious metals consultancy Metals Focus’ ‘Gold Focus 2019’ report, which was published on Monday, shows. Against the backdrop of a healthy US economy, strong employment and signs of US inflation picking up, most analysts expected US policy rate... 

Marginal recovery in gold price expected this year – Metals Focus
Photo by Bloomberg
Gold Bars

Tirupati commissions Madagascar graphite production plant

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2019 Flake graphite producer Tirupati Graphite has commissioned a 3 000 t/y plant at its Sahamamy project, in Madagascar, which is expected to eventually produce 21 000 t/y of flake graphite. This is the first of six planned flake graphite production plant modules that will be built by the company in... 

Tirupati commissions Madagascar graphite production plant

Bacanora still in discussions with Oman fund for Sonora investment

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st April 2019 Aim-listed Bacanora Lithium’s share price was dented on Monday by the news that it has not yet concluded a previously announced investment agreement with the sovereign wealth fund of Oman. The company stated that the agreement with the State General Reserve Fund of Oman, which entails a proposed... 

Polymetal teams up with a junior to explore in Russia

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st April 2019 Global gold and silver producer Polymetal on Monday announced its first strategic partnership with a junior for early-stage exploration in the Taimyr Peninsula, Russia. Polymetal will hold 70% in the Taimyr Joint Venture by way of an initial cash investment of $1.9-million towards an agreed field... 

Platinum ETFs hit record high, palladium seen as over-bought 

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2019 Platinum-backed exchange traded fund (ETF) holdings increased for the ninth consecutive day yesterday reaching 2.96-million ounces, the highest level on record, the BMO Metals Brief noted on Friday. The report put out by BMO Global Commodities Research addedthat ETF inflows had been strong in the... 

Platinum ETFs hit record high, palladium seen as over-bought
Photo by Bloomberg
Platinum bar.

Chalco leapfrogs Rusal as second-biggest listed aluminium producer

By: Reuters     29th March 2019 China's Chalco said on Friday it boosted annual aluminium output by 16% in 2018, putting it ahead of Russia's Rusal as the world's second-biggest publicly traded producer of the metal. The increase underscores China's growing dominance of the global aluminium market, as the world's biggest... 

TSX delists marine miner Nautilus

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th March 2019 Marine mining hopeful Nautilus Minerals will be delisted from the TSX on April 3, a decision from the Canadian bourse that the company has unsuccessfully appealed. Nautilus last month field for creditor protection while it restructures. 

Captive coal miners beat growth trends of merchant miners

By: Ajoy K Das     28th March 2019 In contrast to State-run merchant miners, coal production from captive mines from April 2018 to February 2019 has been estimated at 44-million tons, recording a growth of 31% and outstripping the government’s target of 40-million tons for the current financial year, according to data sourced from... 

Vedanta announces oil discovery at its Bay of Bengal block

By: Ajoy K Das     28th March 2019 Resource major Vedanta on Wednesday announced an oil discovery in its Krishna-Godavari block in the Bay of Bengal along the eastern Indian coastline. The company earlier established a discovery of natural gas at the same block. 

Exxaro unveils new ultramodern headquarters  

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2019 South Africa’s largest coal producer and black-empowered coal company Exxaro has unveiled its new ultramodern headquarters. The conneXXion, in Centurion, has e-parking bays for employees to charge their electric or hybrid vehicles while they work, and attractive central staircases to encourage... 

Exxaro unveils new ultramodern headquarters
New Exxaro headquarters

Exciting DRDGold expertise deserves international prominence – Froneman 

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2019 The exciting gold-from-tailings expertise of DRDGold, which has decades of experience in recovering precious metals profitably from mine dump material, deserves international prominence which Sibanye-Stillwater intends to afford it, CEO Neal Froneman said on Wednesday. Froneman drew attention to... 

Exciting DRDGold expertise deserves international prominence – Froneman
Photo by Wynand van der Merwe
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman with Joburg Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel

State resource companies a bonanza for India's cash-strapped government

By: Ajoy K Das     27th March 2019 State-run resource majors are proving to be a bonanza for the cash-strapped Indian government ahead of the national elections. Nudged by the government, these companies were putting up cash through special second interim dividends and share buybacks. 

India’s Coal Ministry eases coal supply linkage rules for thermal power companies

By: Ajoy K Das     27th March 2019 India’s Coal Ministry has eased rules for thermal power companies allowing them to source coal even without power purchase agreements (PPAs) with electricity distribution companies in place. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the revised rules for sourcing of coal by such power... 

Russian tycoon Potanin plans crypto tokens backed by palladium

By: Bloomberg     27th March 2019 MMC Norilsk Nickel and its billionaire chief Vladimir Potanin are planning several digital platforms, including using crypto tokens for trading palladium. The world’s top palladium producer is in talks with Swiss authorities about issuing tokens by its Switzerland-based palladium fund, and may... 

LME waives listing fees for cobalt brands for six months

By: Reuters     26th March 2019 The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Tuesday suspended listing fees for new cobalt brands for six months to encourage interest from producers of the element widely used in rechargeable batteries. The LME, the oldest and largest market for industrial metals, launched a cash-settled cobalt contract... 

WGC opens consultations on draft Responsible Gold Mining Principles 

By: Nadine James     26th March 2019 Gold industry market development organisation, the World Gold Council (WGC), on Tuesday launched the exposure draft of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles, which establish a new framework with clear expectations for investors and downstream users as to what constitutes responsible gold mining.... 

Global emissions hit record as energy demand boosts fuel use  

By: Bloomberg     26th March 2019 Carbon emissions from fossil-fuel use hit a record last year after energy demand grew at its fastest pace in a decade, reflecting higher oil consumption in the US and more coal burning in China and India. Those findings from the International Energy Agency mark a setback for the effort to rein in... 

Wesfarmers makes A$1.5bn bid for Lynas

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th March 2019 Rare earths miner Lynas went into a trading halt on Tuesday after fellow-listed Wesfarmers launched a A$2.25c a share cash offer for the company. The A$1.5-billion cash bid offered a premium of 44.7% to Lynas’ last closing price, and a 36.4% premium to its 60-day volume weighted average share... 

Wesfarmers makes A$1.5bn bid for Lynas

Gemfields confirms $60m full-year loss 

By: Simone Liedtke     25th March 2019 JSE-listed Gemfields on Monday confirmed that it had posted a $60.4-million net loss for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared with a $45.1-million profit in 2017. As set out in a trading statement published on Friday, the group attributed the loss to impairment charges and fair value loss... 

China’s ambitious Belt and Road hinges on international cooperation – BHP

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th March 2019 Diversified major BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie says that the success of China’s Belt and Road initiative will hinge on cooperation within the international community. Speaking in Beijing at the weekend, he noted that the ambitious infrastructure initiative, which, like the ancient Silk Road trade... 

China’s ambitious Belt and Road hinges on international cooperation – BHP
Photo by Bloomberg
BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie

India’s crude oil imports from Iran, Venezuela come under US pressure

By: Ajoy K Das     22nd March 2019 India is negotiating with the US for exemptions from “extended sanctions” to maintain its current level of crude oil imports from Iran, but the country is also under pressure from the US administration to halt all crude purchase from Venezuela. According to officials here familiar with ongoing... 

Italy’s SME Ekoplant floats Indian subsidiary

By: Ajoy K Das     22nd March 2019 To tap into the rapidly growing Indian ferrous and non-ferrous metals processing industry and stricter air quality monitoring norms, Milan-headquartered SME Ekoplant has set up shop in the country, floating a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary Eko Air Filtration India Private Limited (EAFIPL). “For... 

Palladium rally is seen fading this year  

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2019 Palladium has been one of the hottest commodities for a while now, but analysts think this year may be the time to book profits. Prices have rallied to fresh records on tighter supplies of the material mainly used in gasoline vehicle autocatalysts. But analysts surveyed by Bloomberg see the metal... 

CIL told to ensure Indian power stations have 20 days coal supply

By: Ajoy K Das     20th March 2019 To cope with peaking electricity demand during the summer months ahead, India’s Coal Ministry has directed State-run Coal India Limited (CIL) to ensure that each thermal power plant has assured stocks of 20 days on any given day. The Ministry has directed the coal miner to sustain the momentum of... 

Indian consortium plans EV battery plant linked to overseas lithium acquisitions

By: Ajoy K Das     20th March 2019 The newly formed joint venture (JV) of Indian government mineral companies has entered into a lithium-ion battery manufacturing business, linked to its plans to acquire lithium and cobalt mineral assets overseas. The lithium-ion battery manufacturing venture will be led by State-run National... 

Sumitomo says Ambatovy nickel plant shut for 2 weeks in February

By: Reuters     20th March 2019 Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp said on Wednesday its Ambatovy nickel plant in Madagascar was forced to shut for about two weeks in early February due to trouble at its hydrogen plant, and may miss its revised annual production target. Sumitomo owns a 47.7% stake in Ambatovy, while South... 

Greenpeace opposes Eskom’s application to postpone air quality legislation compliance

By: Simone Liedtke     19th March 2019 Nonprofit organisation Greenpeace Africa on Tuesday reaffirmed its opposition to State-owned Eskom’s application for further postponements and/or suspensions from air quality legislation. The organisation explained that, in the interests of realising the Constitutional right to a healthy... 

Greenpeace opposes Eskom’s application to postpone air quality legislation compliance
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Greenpeace global air pollution unit lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta

Palladium tops $1 600 as metal sets new highs on supply shortage  

By: Bloomberg     19th March 2019 Palladium topped $1 600/oz for the first time, and there’s little sign of the rally slowing as global supply tightens. The price of the metal – mainly used in autocatalysts in gasoline vehicles – has almost doubled from a recent low in August. Demand has remained robust as manufacturers scramble... 

Menar’s Canyon offers Eskom cheaper coal on open-book basis  

By: Martin Creamer     19th March 2019 Coal mining company Canyon Coal, a Menar group company, is prepared to offer coal to State-owned electricity utility Eskom at a cheaper price on an open-book basis from two new projects. The Menar group, which does not supply coal to Eskom at present, employs 3 500 people on a R7-billion asset... 

Menar’s Canyon offers Eskom cheaper coal on open-book basis
Menar MD and Canyon Coal executive chairperson Vuslat Bayoğlu talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photos: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Nicholas Boyd

Bluebird raises funds for South Korean gold projects

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th March 2019 Asia-focused resource development group Bluebird Merchant has successfully raised £436 500, which it will use to advance its South Korean gold projects. The London-listed company reported on Monday that it had placed all the available headroom of 19 400 000 shares and that its management had... 

Opec+ affirms commitment to oil cuts, defers decision to extend

By: Bloomberg     18th March 2019 Saudi Arabia led fellow members of the Opec+ coalition to reaffirm their commitment to output cuts, but conceded they should defer until June the decision on whether to extend the curbs. A committee of the most influential members in the 24-nation alliance, which includes Russia, Iraq and the... 

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