R/€ = 15.54 Change: 0.09
R/$ = 13.86 Change: 0.08
Au 1428.45 $/oz Change: -10.71
Pt 849.87 $/oz Change: -5.57

Asia News

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... 

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... 

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