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Asia News

China's first-quarter gold consumption cut in half by virus, price spike

By: Reuters     28th April 2020 China's gold consumption fell by almost half in the first quarter as coronavirus containment measures and rising prices hit demand in the world's biggest market, the China Gold Association said on Tuesday. Consumption totalled 148.63 tonnes in January-March, down 48.2% from a year earlier, the... 

Mongolia annuls IPO order for giant Tavan Tolgoi coal mine

By: Reuters     28th April 2020 Mongolia has scrapped an executive order calling for its giant Tavan Tolgoi coal project near its southern border with China to be funded through an international initial public offering, the country's cabinet said. The massive project with estimated reserves of more than seven-billion tonnes... 

Papua New Guinea warns Barrick over gold mine control

By: Reuters     28th April 2020 Papua New Guinea has threatened to take control of a gold mine operated by Barrick Gold in the country after Barrick's local unit suspended operations at the weekend following news the mine's lease would not be renewed. Barrick, one of the world's biggest gold miners, had applied for a... 

Papua New Guinea warns Barrick over gold mine control
The Porgera mine, in Papua New Guinea.

Ivanhoe advances Kakula underground development at record pace

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th April 2020 TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has now completed 13.5 km of underground development at the Kakula copper mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company is 4.2 km ahead of plan on the mine’s development. 

Ivanhoe advances Kakula underground development at record pace
Members of Kamoa-Kakula’s multi-national team of geologists and engineers that is helping to build the Kakula mine, in front of the mine’s high-grade ore stockpile.

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... 

Opencast mines may return to 100% of capacity from May 1 – Patel
Openast mines like this one may return to 100% production capacity.

Zijin cuts 2020 gold output target after Porgera mine snub

By: Reuters     27th April 2020 China's Zijin Mining on Monday revised down its gold production target for 2020 after Papua New Guinea (PNG) refused to extend the mining lease at the Porgera mine it operates with Barrick Gold. Zijin, which produced 40.8 t of mined gold in 2019, was previously targeting output of 44 t this... 

Tshipi opencast miner able to recommence 100% from May 1 – Jupiter

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2020 Tshipi Borwa, an opencast manganese mine in the Kalahari manganese field of the Northern Cape, will be able to commence operations at  100% levels from May 1, Jupiter Minerals has noted. During a briefing hosted on Saturday April 25, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel provided... 

Tshipi opencast miner able to recommence 100% from May 1 – Jupiter
The Tshipi Borwa manganese mine.

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... 

Learning curve still too steep to define ‘best practice’ mining response
ICMM CEO Tom Butler

Barrick says PNG’s Porgera decision is tantamount to nationalisation

By: Mariaan Webb     24th April 2020 Global miner Barrick Gold will challenge Papua New Guinea’s decision not to extend its special mining lease (SML) for the Porgera gold mine, saying the move is tantamount to nationalisation. Prime Minister James Marape on Friday announced that Papua New Guinea had refused an application to... 

Barrick says PNG’s Porgera decision is tantamount to nationalisation
Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow

Freeport-McMoRan announces cost cuts in response to virus

By: Mariaan Webb     24th April 2020 NYSE-listed Freeport-McMoran (FCX) on Friday announced a 30% reduction in planned capital expenditure (capex) for 2020, as it unveiled a new operating plan in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant negative impact on the global economy. The group, which operates mines in North... 

Freeport-McMoRan announces cost cuts in response to virus
Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson

Miners will weather the year, despite Covid-19, says Fitch

By: Simone Liedtke     24th April 2020 While Fitch Solutions Macro Research has long held the view that major miners are better positioned to weather unexpected storms, grow further and tackle new challenges, the ratings agency has questioned whether this would be the case with the Covid-19 pandemic – which brings with it operational... 

Gold likely to rise as global Covid-19 restrictions start to ease

By: Donna Slater     24th April 2020 Financial services company INTL FCStone Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia market analysis head Rhona O’Connell says the majority of precious metals have moved into uncertain territory, with future trends difficult to predict as Covid-19 disrupts international buying and selling markets.... 

Wesizwe Platinum expecting earnings to soar

By: Martin Creamer     24th April 2020 Platinum group metals (PGM) mining company Wesizwe is expecting earnings to soar. Wesizwe stated in a stock exchange news service trading statement that its board of directors is expecting to report 2019 basic earnings per share of between 5.80 c and 6.87 c per share, which would be between 207%... 

Wesizwe Platinum expecting earnings to soar
Photo by Creamer Media
Wesizwe's Bakubung.

Papua New Guinea to take control of Barrick Gold mine

By: Reuters     24th April 2020 Papua New Guinea has refused an application to extend mining at Barrick Gold's Porgera gold mine, Prime Minister James Marape said on Friday. The decision, which would have extended by 20 years Barrick's rights, was based on the recommendation of the country's mining advisory committee, Marape... 

Papua New Guinea to take control of Barrick Gold mine

Gold stands out as a key portfolio component when identifying a long-term portfolio diversifier, says council

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd April 2020 The World Gold Council (WGC) says the benefits of certain portfolio hedges “came into clear focus” during the 2008/9 financial crisis, the subsequent European sovereign debt crisis, the 2018 December stock market pullback and the most recent Covid-19 pandemic. According to the council, “many tail... 

Kumba adds to liquidity with cost saving, capex deferral 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2020 Iron-ore mining company Kumba Iron Ore said on Thursday that it was targeting a cost saving of R325-million and deferral of R1-billion of non-critical capital expenditure (capex) as a measure of prudence in the face of broad-based economic uncertainty across the world’s markets. Mining Weekly can... 

Kumba adds to liquidity with cost saving, capex deferral
Kumba Iron Ore CE Themba Mkhwanazi

Most Anglo mines around the world continuing to operate

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2020 Most of Anglo American’s mining sites around the world are continuing to operate, with appropriate health, hygiene and distancing measures. The diversified mining company said on Thursday that it was taking all necessary steps to ensure the security and integrity of its assets for the long term... 

Most Anglo mines around the world continuing to operate
Photo by Bloomberg
Anglo American CE Mark Cutifani

South African Q1 diamond production up 97% – Anglo 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2020 Diversified mining company Anglo American reported on Thursday that its first-quarter diamond production in South Africa increased by 97% to 0.8-million carats as the final ore from the opencast Venetia mine in Limpopo was mined prior to transitioning to underground mining, Venetia’s underground... 

South African Q1 diamond production up 97% – Anglo
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Opencast Venetria diamond mine.

Good progress on converter plant repair – Amplats 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2020 Platinum group metals (PGMs) mining and marketing company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Thursday that repairs to its Anglo Converter Plant (ACP) Phase B that had continued throughout the national Covid-19 lockdown period, were making good progress and were on schedule.  Amplats' chain... 

Good progress on converter plant repair – Amplats
Matte tapping at the Anglo Converter Plant, where good repair progress is being made.

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)... 

Firm directive to ensure safe mining resumption
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.

Steel downturn evident in global production figures for March

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd April 2020 World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) decreased by 6% year-on-year to 147-million tonnes in March. The association says the global steel industry is being impacted on by factory shutdowns, disrupted supply chains, collapsing... 

Steel downturn evident in global production figures for March

US quandary: how to secure weapons-grade minerals without China

By: Reuters     22nd April 2020 The US wants to curb its reliance on China for specialised minerals used to make weapons and high-tech equipment, but it faces a Catch-22. It only has one rare earths mine - and government scientists have been told not to work with it because of its Chinese ties. The mine is southern... 

Sibanye-Stillwater releases suite of reports, will hold virtual AGM 

By: Martin Creamer     22nd April 2020 Precious metals mining company Sibanye-Stillwater on Wednesday released its annual suite of reports and that its annual general meeting (AGM) would be held entirely by electronic communication owing to the physical distancing and legal imperatives of the Covid-19 outbreak. Mining Weekly can... 

Sibanye-Stillwater releases suite of reports, will hold virtual AGM
Sibanye-Stillwater's Krooldal platinum group metals mine.

Post-Covid-19 EV growth to bolster copper, cobalt demand − ERG

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd April 2020 The Covid-19 outbreak is poised to strengthen the electric vehicle (EV) momentum, as well as the markets for cobalt and copper, says Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) CEO Benedikt Sobotka.   He notes that the drive towards EVs has been relentless over the past few years, with tens of billions of... 

Second-quarter ferrochrome price rises to higher level

By: Martin Creamer     22nd April 2020 The European benchmark ferrochrome price has been settled at $1.14/lb for the second quarter of 2020, Merafe Resources advised shareholders on Wednesday. This latest European benchmark price is an increase of 12.9% on the $1.01/lb price in the first quarter of 2020, the JSE-listed company said in... 

Second-quarter ferrochrome price rises to higher level
Photo by Creamer Media
This Lion ferrochrome smelter uses 37% less electricity.

Central Asia Metals mulls renewables opportunities, releases inaugural sustainability report

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd April 2020 London-listed Central Asia Metals (CAML), which produces base metals essential for modern living, has commissioned independent consultants to conduct feasibility studies on the potential of building a renewable energy plant at its Kounrad operation, in Kazakhstan. The studies will consider the... 

Central Asia Metals mulls renewables opportunities, releases inaugural sustainability report
Central Asia Metals' Kounrad operation, in Kazakhstan.

South Africa resolved to forge new post-virus economy – Ramaphosa

By: Martin Creamer     22nd April 2020 Going forward from the current devastating coronavirus pandemic, South Africa will forge a radical economic transformation that will make its cities, towns, villages and rural areas vibrant centres of economic activity, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated in a far-reaching and inspiring televised... 

South Africa resolved to forge new post-virus economy – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Gold to reach $3 000/oz —50% above its record, Bank of America says

By: Bloomberg     21st April 2020 Bank of America raised its 18-month gold-price target to $3 000/oz – more than 50% above the existing price record – in a report titled “The Fed can’t print gold.” Analysts including Michael Widmer increased the target from $2 000 previously, as policy makers across the globe unleash vast... 

Bearish stance on coal prices remains – S&P

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st April 2020 Research agency Standard & Poor’s Global Platts (S&P) says there is a lack of upside signals for global coal demand, and the agency remains cautious around any significant rebound. This follows a bull market for coal that ran from 2016 to 2018, when global coal prices appeared to bottom out by... 

Exxaro to contest Eskom’s force majeure notice

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2020 State electricity utility Eskom has informed coal producer Exxaro that it will not be taking the full contractually agreed tons of coal from the JSE-listed company from April 16 until one month after national lockdown has been completely lifted – a stance that Exxaro said it will vigorously... 

Exxaro to contest Eskom’s force majeure notice
Photo by Creamer Media
CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Anglo, De Beers announce additional $3m donations for Covid relief 

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2020 Anglo American and De Beers on Monday announced additional donations of $2-million to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund, which addresses the impacts of Covid-19, and $1-million to the Oppenheimer family’s South African Future Trust, established to support small- and medium-sized businesses through... 

Anglo, De Beers announce additional $3m donations for Covid relief
Photo by Reuters
Anglo American CE Mark Cutifani

Kumba pledges third of top pay, provides services to communities

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2020 Iron-ore mining company Kumba has provided a wide range of essential services in its host communities, while also responding directly with additional support to help alleviate the health and economic effects of Covic-19, the company said on Monday. Beyond the company’s breadth of support... 

Kumba pledges third of top pay, provides services to communities
Photo by Creamer Media
Kumba CE Themba Mkhwanazi.

Harmony Gold committed to safe resumption of underground mines

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2020 Gold mining company Harmony said on Monday that it was committed to the safe resumption of its nine underground operations that had been placed on care and maintenance in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Care and maintenance at the underground mines during the lockdown included the continued... 

Harmony Gold committed to safe resumption of underground mines
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp

Molybdenum ore spill is China's biggest tailings leak in nearly 20 years

By: Reuters     20th April 2020 A spillage of waste molybdenum ore in northeast China last month was the biggest tailings leak the country witnessed in almost 20 years and needed the toughest environmental emergency response, the environment ministry said on Monday. The incident on March 28 in Heilongjiang province sent... 

AngloGold, Sasol, Imperial provide bulk sanitiser to Gauteng hospitals

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2020 A trio of top companies has partnered to protect frontline medical staff, patients and visitors at four major Gauteng state hospitals. AngloGold Ashanti, Sasol and Imperial are collectively providing bulk hand sanitiser supplies to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic, Charlotte Maxeke Academic, Helen... 

AngloGold, Sasol, Imperial provide bulk sanitiser to Gauteng hospitals
Photo by AngloGold
Bulk sanitiser provided for four Gauteng hospitals.

Weekly Coal Index Report

20th April 2020 Crude and natgas prices stabilised over the week, with EU emissions prices also recovering from their lows end March. However, it remains a torrid time for SA coal exporters as demand for spot physical cargoes evaporates. The RB1 physical discount to paper widened dramatically as RBCT stocks... 

Weekly Coal Index Report

Amplats paying employees in full, 30% of top pay to Covid-19 relief

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2020 New Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) CEO Natascha Viljoen said on Monday that “thankfully” the company was able to pay all of its employees their full fixed basic salaries, pension and medical benefits, as well as housing allowances where applicable, for the full 35 days of the Covid-19 lockdown... 

Amplats paying employees in full, 30% of top pay to Covid-19 relief
Photo by Amplats
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) CEO Natascha Viljoen

Nervous bankers leave the gold market stuck in disconnect

By: Bloomberg     17th April 2020 Gold has rarely been a hotter trade, but the world’s two most important markets remain out of sync. In New York, the price of gold topped $1 750 for the first time in seven years on April 9. In London, it still hasn’t caught up. The dislocation first blew out in late March, when disruptions from... 

Nervous bankers leave the gold market stuck in disconnect
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