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CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT

By: Martin Creamer     2nd November 2018 The constructive engagement that is under way to fix the growth-negative aspects of Mining Charter Three is commendable. The wise rapprochement between Minerals Minister Gwede Mantashe and Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter has nullified the destructive non-collaboration that separated these two... 

CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT

HERE WE GO AGAIN

By: Darlene Creamer     2nd November 2018 South Africans would have experienced a collective sense of déjà vu when Eskom confirmed that it is applying for hikes of 15% a year for the coming three-year tariff period, over-and above what it has already been granted through Regulatory Clearing Account applications. This pattern has been... 

HERE WE GO AGAIN

LET'S PULL OURSELVES UP BY OUR OWN BOOTSTRAPS:

By: Martin Creamer     26th October 2018 The current very low contribution of only 4% to gross domestic product (GDP) by the South African mining sector needs to be firmly uplifted for the good of the South African people. Advisory firm Eunomix CEO Claude Baissac rightly describes the 4% contribution as being ridiculously low. Mineral... 

LET'S PULL OURSELVES UP BY OUR OWN BOOTSTRAPS:

WOOING INVESTORS

By: Darlene Creamer     26th October 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa has rightly concluded that South Africa will not be able to extract itself from its current low-growth trap in the absence of far higher levels of investment. He has, thus, set a goal of attracting $100-billion-worth of domestic and foreign investment over the coming... 

WOOING INVESTORS

END THE EXPLORATION VACATION:

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2018 It is good that government is freeing mineral exploration from the regulatory burdens of the mining industry as a whole, because a massive amount of catch-up has to take place for the country to keep its mining at a critical mass. Against the backdrop of its exceptional mineral endowment, the... 

END THE EXPLORATION VACATION:

THE RIGHT ROAD

By: Darlene Creamer     19th October 2018 South Africa’s super confident new Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, is unlikely to be intimidated by the prospect of having to present a Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement less than a month into the job. Nevertheless, he will be expected to demonstrate clearly how he plans to remain on the road... 

THE RIGHT ROAD

RESTORE THE GLEAM:

By: Martin Creamer     12th October 2018 Gold mining has lost its investment glitter and needs to, in the words of the Economist magazine of London, restore its gleam. To do this, gold-mining companies Barrick and Randgold Resources want their shareholders to allow them to present an improved investment case as a merged entity. The plan... 

RESTORE THE GLEAM:

UPWARD PRESSURE

By: Darlene Creamer     12th October 2018 South Africans have been forced to endure, and absorb, some devastating fuel-price news since the start of 2018. And the bad news could keep flowing. This was the unhappy message contained in statement released by the South African Petroleum Industry Association following the Department of... 

UPWARD PRESSURE

CONSOLIDATING GOLD MINING:

By: Martin Creamer     5th October 2018 When Mining Weekly reported last month that African gold mining company Randgold Resources was looking across the Atlantic, the last merger target in mind was gold mining company Barrick. It was the northern edge of South America that effectively hosts the same geology as West Africa that we... 

CONSOLIDATING GOLD MINING:

POIGNANT REMINDER

By: Darlene Creamer     5th October 2018 It was more than ironic that the United Nations (UN) unveiled a new statue of Nelson Mandela at its New York headquarters ahead of a General Assembly at which US President Donald Trump urged world leaders to “reject globalism”. Mandela, by contrast, valued both international solidarity and the UN... 

POIGNANT REMINDER

CARBON TAX OWN GOAL:

By: Martin Creamer     28th September 2018 South Africa’s Treasury will be scoring a spectacular own goal if it insists on imposing carbon tax next year; the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) renders carbon tax superfluous and all its imposition will do is risk smelter closure and the exportation of South African jobs when the country needs... 

CARBON TAX OWN GOAL:

SERIOUS SHORTFALL

By: Darlene Creamer     28th September 2018 Electricity utility Eskom has made it clear that it is indeed having problems in addressing the coal-stock shortages at some power stations. It attributed the problem partly to the fact that Gupta-family’s Tegeta has entered business rescue. However, it also reflects some bad decisions regarding... 

SERIOUS SHORTFALL

CARBON TAX CRACKS:

By: Martin Creamer     21st September 2018 The release of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) promises to lower emission intensity to a point where someone should tell National Treasury to abandon its plans to introduce carbon tax, which is almost certain to result in the closure of metal smelters at a time of desperate need for job... 

CARBON TAX CRACKS:

UNENVIABLE POSITION

By: Darlene Creamer     21st September 2018 While news of yet another recession is not altogether surprising, it is nevertheless depressing and confidence sapping. Equally discouraging is the state of the discourse within the African National Congress about how best to navigate the economy out of its low-growth trap. At best the ideas lack... 

UNENVIABLE POSITION

CLEAR THE RUNWAY AND WE'LL SOAR:

By: Martin Creamer     14th September 2018 The mining sector could attract an additional R122-billion worth of investment if the policy and legislative perception lifted out of the lowest quartile of the Fraser Institute’s Policy Perception Index, Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello... 

CLEAR THE RUNWAY AND WE'LL SOAR:

DREAM DEFERRED

By: Darlene Creamer     14th September 2018 A sense of gloom descended across South Africa last week, when it was confirmed that the country had slumped into recession. Immediately questions were asked about whether President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ‘New Dawn’ was actually a ‘false dawn’. What’s clear is that the many governance-induced failings... 

DANGLING THE EXPLORATION CARROT:

By: Martin Creamer     7th September 2018 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe used his speech to the Africa Down Under conference in Perth to dangle an attractive ten-year, R20-billion carrot before junior explorers. He revealed the government’s intention to assist juniors with access to finance and told Mining Weekly that the... 

DANGLING THE EXPLORATION CARROT:

RAISING RENEWABLES

By: Darlene Creamer     7th September 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has confirmed that the least-cost pathway for new generation in South Africa is a mix of wind, solar and gas. The draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 makes the same point, but has included five policy adjustments to cater for two coal private coal projects that have... 

RAISING RENEWABLES

PETROLEUM’S LEGISLATIVE UNBUNDLING:

By: Martin Creamer     31st August 2018 The P for petroleum in the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) is heading for an unbundling. Invariably honoured in the breach, mining’s dominance always took centre stage. Along came the MPRDA Amendment Bill of 2013 and suddenly petroleum was awakened from it slumber. It was... 

PETROLEUM’S LEGISLATIVE UNBUNDLING:

CAUTIONARY COLLAPSE

By: Darlene Creamer     31st August 2018 For years now, South African engineers have been warning of mounting infrastructure maintenance backlogs. However, it remains far from clear as to whether the country has any long-term strategy for managing its critical infrastructure? Following the horrific collapse of the motorway bridge in... 

CAUTIONARY COLLAPSE

DARTING AHEAD:

By: Martin Creamer     24th August 2018 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is darting ahead of its US Department of Justice (DoJ) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mining code issues. Most of the commodities in the basket of the London- and Johannesburg-listed company are set to grow, notes Goldman Sachs Equity... 

DARTING AHEAD:

SHIFTING DECKCHAIRS

By: Darlene Creamer     24th August 2018 Recent power-cut-prone wage negotiations at Eskom were akin to watching the deckchairs being moved on the Titanic before the liner hit its fatal iceberg. It is now broadly accepted that the business is not sustainable in its current form. Yet the negotiations had all the hallmarks of ‘business as... 

SHIFTING DECKCHAIRS

DERAILING REPUTATION:

By: Martin Creamer     17th August 2018 State-owned rail enterprise Transnet has derailed its reputation by allowing six derailments, four for iron-ore and two for manganese, and rail cancellations to occur on what should be a problem-free line from the Northern Cape to the port of Saldanha. As it is, South Africa’s logistics costs are... 

DERAILING REPUTATION:

UNHAPPY SEQUEL

By: Darlene Creamer     17th August 2018 Expectations ahead of Zimbabwe’s July 30 election were somewhat elevated by the absence of Robert Mugabe from the ballot. However, events soon took on a very familiar, and unhappy, tone, with strong indications of vote rigging and with protests being violently supressed. Nevertheless, the... 

UNHAPPY SEQUEL

TIGHTROPE TRIBULATION:

By: Martin Creamer     10th August 2018 Of all industrial sectors, it is the mining sector that requires ongoing investment at a magnitude that dwarfs most other sectors. Because internal savings are insufficient to fund mining, foreign investment is a must. Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe is having to walk a tightrope and... 

TIGHTROPE TRIBULATION:

OPEN VERSUS CLOSED

By: Darlene Creamer     10th August 2018 A high degree of cynicism arose following the announcement of new Chinese investments into South Africa worth some $14.7-billion. However, the investment forms only part of a broader charm offensive by China, which senses an opportunity to exploit the gap being created by the isolationist... 

OPEN VERSUS CLOSED

INVESTMENT UNLANDED:

By: Martin Creamer     3rd August 2018 Significant mining investment is not being landed because the Mining Charter is being kept in mid-air. While some mining majors have taken their eye off South Africa completely and have opted to land their investments in more predictable mining jurisdictions, at least two majors – Glencore and... 

INVESTMENT UNLANDED:

HARD TIMES

By: Darlene Creamer     3rd August 2018 South Africa’s construction industry has come under intense pressure in recent years. The industry’s reputation suffered severely in the wake of the collusion cases. However, a potentially fatal blow has come in the form of a collapse in demand, precipitated by the politically induced slowdown of... 

HARD TIMES

LEGISLATIVE LETHARGY:

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2018 The third Mining Charter, promised for June, will be now be gazetted “in October or November” once it has been ratified by Cabinet and finalised during a month-long extension to the public comment period to end-August, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has announced. In the interim,... 

LEGISLATIVE LETHARGY:

SHANK SHOTS

By: Darlene Creamer     27th July 2018 During an interview at the Trump Turnberry golf course, in Scotland, US President Donald Trump described the European Union (EU) as a “foe”. The comment promoted European council president Donald Tusk to Tweet: “America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake... 

SHANK SHOTS

WEALTH CREATION ON VACATION:

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2018 Mining has great potential to create wealth across a broad front. But South Africa is nullifying mining’s wealth potential by creating a long list of legislated rent seekers that quickly slurp up the wealth well before it has even had a chance to be created. The community of wealth consumers is... 

WEALTH CREATION ON VACATION:

HEAVEN SENT

By: Darlene Creamer     20th July 2018 Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, whose centenaries we celebrate this month and year, could signal to us how best to tackle some of the big issues of our time. In the absence of any heaven-sent Tweets, it is surely up to all South Africans, especially our political... 

HEAVEN SENT

GROW OR MOW:

By: Martin Creamer     13th July 2018 It is not only the South African mining industry that is faced with the dilemma of growing or mowing. Other mining jurisdictions with memories of past ups and downs are faced with a similar dilemma, but not the same dilemma. In South Africa the main worries – legislation and corruption – are... 

GROW OR MOW:

PRICE HEIST

By: Darlene Creamer     13th July 2018 Temperatures are rising again around the upward trajectory of fuel prices in South Africa. The taxes and levies embedded into the prices have emerged as the main source of irritation. However, in light of South Africa’s revenue-collection problems, there is arguably no realistic chance of these... 

PRICE HEIST

EROSION OF AN INDUSTRY:

By: Martin Creamer     6th July 2018 Bit by bit, South Africa’s mining industry has been eroded over the last two decades. From the dawn of our new democracy, Treasury, for reasons best known to itself, set out to ensure that mining played a lesser part in the overall economy. Legislators followed with consistent repression and... 

EROSION OF AN INDUSTRY:

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE . . .

By: Darlene Creamer     6th July 2018 US President Donald Trump did the unthinkable last month by imposing trade restrictions on his closest allies on the basis that their exports posed a threat to America’s national security. The move triggered retaliatory action, along with outrage. In the meanwhile, the main target of Trump’s... 

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE . . .

PGM BALANCE:

By: Martin Creamer     29th June 2018 Platinum-mining companies mine a group of metals and not only platinum, which in the current period of platinum price downturn is a blessing. If current platinum mining did not have the support of record-priced palladium and rhodium, a word stronger than crisis would need to be used to describe... 

PGM BALANCE:

WRONG TARGET

By: Darlene Creamer     29th June 2018 Without question, Eskom’s new management severely misread the labour relations situation at the utility. As a result, they definitely provided the triggering for the aggressive industrial action that followed. Ironically, though, the workers targeted the wrong people – individuals who are... 

WRONG TARGET
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