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Asia News

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... 

Kingsgate signs A$82m HoA with insurer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th March 2019 The share price of ASX-listed Kingsgate Consolidated increased by more than 53% on Monday, on news that the company had settled for more than A$82-million in its legal dispute with its political risk insurer. The company had political risk insurance in place in 2016 when the government of... 

Pilbara and Posco to form South Korea downstream processing JV

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th March 2019 Lithium producer Pilbara Minerals has taken a step closer to develop downstream processing capabilities, exercising an option with Korean major Posco. Pilbara will enter into an incorporated joint venture (JV) with Posco for the development of a 40 000 t/y lithium carbonate equivalent chemical... 

India’s Shipping Ministry unveils guidelines of LNG FSRU at all major ports

By: Ajoy K Das     15th March 2019 India’s Shipping Ministry has drawn up guidelines for setting up floating storage regasification units (FSRU) for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at all major ports in the country. The new guidelines aim to promote a shift from land-based LNG storage terminals to offshore units, as the latter cost... 

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases

By: Tracy Hancock     15th March 2019 Investors focused on the mining sector may not fully appreciate how quickly the electric vehicle (EV) is being adopted globally, in light of the world pursuing a low-carbon emissions future, says battery metals investment vehicle Colbalt 27 Capital chairperson and CEO Anthony Milewski, who warns... 

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases

Vedanta to shut Namibian zinc refinery for five weeks

By: Reuters     14th March 2019 Vedanta Zinc International, a unit of diversified miner Vedanta Resources, said on Thursday it would close its Skorpion Zinc Refinery in Namibia for five weeks after a strike by its mining contractor depleted stocks. "During the strike period, the Skorpion Refinery continued to run which led to... 

2018 a year of ‘transformational’ growth, says B2Gold 

By: Simone Liedtke     13th March 2019 For dual-listed B2Gold, 2018 was a year of “transformational” growth, which was highlighted by the first full year of commercial production from its new large and low-cost Fekola mine, in Mali, and record yearly production from its Masbate mine, in the Philippines. The year also marked the gold... 

China becomes world's biggest importer of rare earths - analysts

By: Reuters     13th March 2019 China, the world's top producer of rare earth elements, last year also emerged as the biggest importer of the group of minerals used in everything from ceramics to consumer electronics, analysts said on Wednesday. China has for years been the world's biggest rare earths exporter, raising... 

Mayur signs offtake deal at Orokolo Bay

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th March 2019 ASX-listed Mayur Resources has struck a binding offtake agreement over its Orokolo Bay industrial sands project, in Papua New Guinea. The agreement covers the initial requirements for a bulk sample of vanadium-titano-magnetite (VTM), subject to statutory approvals, from the Orokolo Bay Stage 1... 

'No tomorrow' for many unless consumption falls – UN

By: Reuters     13th March 2019 Global exploitation of natural resources – from water, sand and timber to oil, coal and gemstones – has more than tripled in 50 years, the United Nations (UN) said on Tuesday, warning of devastating environmental impacts unless demand is reduced. Surging consumption of natural resources –... 

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential 

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2019 The demise of State power utility Eskom has caused South Africa to lose its optimal position in the lucrative ferrochrome business. Because of Eskom’s decline, unbeneficiated chrome ore exports from South Africa to China have enabled the Asian giant to ascend up the ferrochrome production ladder. 

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential
Photo by Merafe
South African chrome underpins China's ferrochrome dominance.

Lydian UK, Canada notify Armenia of dispute

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th March 2019 TSX-listed gold developer Lydian International on Monday announced that its subsidiaries in UK and Canada had formally notified Armenia’s government of disputes related to ongoing blockades of road access to the Amulsar gold project. The subsidiaries, Lydian UK Corporation and Lydian Canada... 

Merafe declares record dividend on lower profit, higher output

By: Martin Creamer     11th March 2019 Chrome and ferrochrome company Merafe, which on Monday reported lower profit on higher production, has declared a record dividend that represents a distribution of 51% of headline earnings. The ungeared company had net year-end cash of R281-million and the R200-million unsecured, three-year... 

Merafe declares record dividend on lower profit, higher output
Photo by Creamer Media
Merafe CEO Zanele Matlala

India’s Coal Ministry cancels coal block auction

By: Ajoy K Das     11th March 2019 Barely a week after starting the process, India’s Coal Ministry has called off the auction of coal blocks. In a notification the Ministry said, “the sixth and seven tranche of coal block auction stands cancelled,” without stating any reasons. 

Polish mining majors keen to develop Asia’s largest coal block

By: Ajoy K Das     11th March 2019 The Deocha-Pachami coal block, in the east Indian state of West Bengal, and billed as the largest single-location reserve in Asia, is likely to be developed by the state government in collaboration with mining majors in Poland. Several rounds of talks have been held over the past month between... 

Polish mining majors keen to develop Asia’s largest coal block

Gindalbie flags major changes

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th March 2019 ASX-listed Gindalbie Minerals on Monday announced the demerger of its subsidiary Coda Minerals, and its simultaneous takeover by Chinese shareholder Ansteel. The demerger of Coda, which holds the rights to a significant and strategic portfolio of tenements in South Australia, would be done... 

IRC's K&S mine ramping up

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th March 2019 The K&S mine, which has been experiencing trouble with the drying unit, has managed to ramp up capacity to 86% in the second half of February, Hong Kong-listed IRC reported on Friday. The operating issues with the drying unit had prevented K&S from operating at a higher capacity, but the company... 

Tianqi Lithium to name 'fair, responsible' directors for SQM board

By: Reuters     8th March 2019 hina's Tianqi Lithium plans to appoint three members to the board of Chilean miner SQM who will be "fair" and "responsible toward shareholders", Tianqi chairperson Jiang Weiping said on Friday. Tianqi's $4.1-billion purchase of a 23.77% stake in SQM, the world's second-biggest producer of... 

Indonesia approves copper concentrate export allowances for Freeport, Amman Mineral

By: Reuters     8th March 2019 The Indonesian government has approved one-year export allowances for copper concentrate for miners PT Freeport Indonesia and PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara, officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said on Friday. Freeport will be given an allowance of 198,282 wet tonnes of... 

Opinion: In the pursuit of gender equality

8th March 2019 In this opinion piece, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver outlines the diamond miner's approach to creating a more inclusive world for all. For more than a century, International Women's Day has been celebrated annually on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political... 

Opinion: In the pursuit of gender equality
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver

Global gold-backed ETF holdings retreat in February – WGC

By: Simone Liedtke     7th March 2019 After four consecutive months of inflows, holdings in global gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and similar products fell by 33 t in February to 2 479 t, which is equivalent to about $1.3-billion in outflows. Global assets under management (AUM) fell by 2% to $105-billion over the course of... 

Alrosa sees gradual recovery in smaller diamond market

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th March 2019 Russian diamond miner Alrosa in February sold rough and polished diamonds worth $345-million, which was up 23% compared with January’s sales of $281-million, but down significantly on the $541.9-million sold a year earlier. Rough diamond sales in February comprised $340-million, compared with... 

RBPlat reopens UG2 shaft, creates UG2 access points at Styldrift  

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2019 Flexibility is a re-emphasised aspect of platinum group metals (PGMs) mining strategy. Changed demand has resulted in the need to twist and turn quickly to benefit from the rise in prices of metals in the PGM basket. Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri made special mention of... 

RBPlat reopens UG2 shaft, creates UG2 access points at Styldrift
Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Christo Greyling.

Govt support for platinum strategy encouraging – RBPlat 

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2019 The government’s support for the national platinum strategy is encouraging, says Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri. In an interview with Mining Weekly Online after reporting before-tax profit of R316-million in a presentation of turned-around 2018 financial results, Phiri expressed... 

Govt support for platinum strategy encouraging – RBPlat
Photo by Minerals Council South Africa
South Africa's platinum group metals mines

India’s Coal Ministry moves to get coal auction under way

By: Ajoy K Das     6th March 2019 India’s Coal Ministry has taken the first step to get the much delayed coal block auctions for private miners under way, but uncertainties loom large over timelines with the national elections just round the corner. The Coal Ministry last week floated a request for proposal (RFP) for the... 

India approves ‘first right to refusal’ to mineral reconnaissance permit holders

By: Ajoy K Das     6th March 2019 The Indian government will grant reconnaissance permit (RP) holders a ‘first right of refusal’ in cases where a mineral block is put up for auction wherein the RP holder has established evidence of minerals. The move is aimed at boosting sentiment among prospective investors, as RP holders would... 

RBPlat studying solar energy, upgrading slimes dams  

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2019 Black-owned and black-managed mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) is investigating the use of renewable energy sources and investing in the upgrading of its tailings storage facilities. The company said in reply to Mining Weekly Online during question time at Tuesday’s presentation of... 

RBPlat studying solar energy, upgrading slimes dams
RBPlat executive head: operations Neil Carr outlines solar, tailings plans to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photo: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd.

Shortages, shrinking stocks to energise zinc bulls

By: Reuters     5th March 2019 Shortages for a fourth year running and historically low stocks of zinc are likely to propel prices of the metal to $3,000 a tonne over coming months, while an end to the US-China trade dispute could spur even more gains. Benchmark zinc on the London Metal Exchange at around $2 760/t is up... 

RBPlat highlights encouraging new govt approach to mining  

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2019 South Africa’s only community owned mining group, Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), on Tuesday highlighted the positive contribution being made to the local mining industry by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and pledged to do its bit towards conquering... 

RBPlat highlights encouraging new govt approach to mining
RBPlat CEO Steve Phiri endorses new government approach at presentation covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photo: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd

Royal Bafokeng Platinum secures R1bn building block  

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2019 Black-owned and black-managed platinum group metals mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) on Tuesday announced a capital raise of R1 029-million through a rights offer that represents the key final building block to secure the company's path to 500 000 oz of platinum group element (4E)... 

Royal Bafokeng Platinum secures R1bn building block
RBPlat CFO Hanré Rossouw spells out rights offer at presentation covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photo: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd

Exxaro expects to report higher FY18 earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th March 2019 JSE-listed coal and heavy minerals miner Exxaro Resources expects to report attributable earnings per share (AEPS) of between R26.90 and R28.86 for the year ended December 31, 2018, which is an increase of between 39% and 49% compared with the R19.23 apiece reported for the year ended December... 

Exxaro expects to report higher FY18 earnings

Glencore cites trade as its 'foremost risk', others rising

By: Reuters     1st March 2019 Miner and trader Glencore said trade barriers are its "foremost risk", but climate, political, legal and other risks had become more prominent. Glencore, said in its annual report published on Friday that it was seeking to mitigate these challenges through conservative spending and strict... 

Gazetting of platinum group metals zone expected by May – Implats 

By: Martin Creamer     1st March 2019 The gazetting of the area dedicated to platinum-using fuel cell development in the Springs area is expected to be complete by May this year, Impala Platinum (Implats) group executive refining and marketing Sifiso Sibiya said this week. Responding to Mining Weekly Online during the Implats media... 

Gazetting of platinum group metals zone expected by May – Implats
Impala Platinum group executive refining and marketing Sifiso Sibiya

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