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VALUABLE REEF THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THAT FLAT

By: Martin Creamer     22nd June 2018 Some have referred to it as the ‘platreef’, playing on the Afrikaans word ‘plat’, which means flat, but more recently the rich, extremely thick orebody on the northern limb of South Africa’s platinum-endowed Igneous Bushveld Complex has come to be consistently called the flatreef. But in truth,... 

VALUABLE REEF THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THAT FLAT

RECAPTURING RUNAWAYS

By: Darlene Creamer     22nd June 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has made it his mission to ‘recapture’ those State-owned companies that were, by all accounts, left to run amuck during the so-called ‘State capture’ era. Given the financial mess many of these companies are in, it’s far from certain whether government... 

RECAPTURING RUNAWAYS

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL:

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2018 The Junior Indaba has highlighted that South Africa’s one-size-fits-all approach to minerals legislation is ill-conceived. What the legislation purports to suggest is that the mining majors are on all fours with the junior exploration start-ups, which is by no means the case. The huge difference... 

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL:

SOLAR BLOOM

By: Darlene Creamer     15th June 2018 Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology was once again the star renewable-energy performer in 2017. Newly installed capacity increased by about 33%, or around 98 GW, over the record-setting additions of 2016. The ‘Renewables 2018 Global Status Report’, published last week by REN21, estimates that more... 

SOLAR BLOOM

USE CLEAN COAL, SAVE YOUR SOUL:

By: Martin Creamer     8th June 2018 By all accounts, burning coal cleanly is now possible. The technology to do so is available. To make it effective in a coal-fired furnace like the Mpumalanga province, new technology will also have to be installed in old coal-fired power stations. At last week’s Fossil Fuel workshop on air... 

USE CLEAN COAL, SAVE YOUR SOUL:

NEW SCIENCE DAWN

By: Darlene Creamer     8th June 2018 The recent official launch of the MeerLICHT telescope is arguably an ideal scientific accompaniment to South Africa’s political ‘New Dawn’. Likewise, the Sutherland-based instrument is the perfect optical accompaniment to the MeerKAT radio telescope. In other words, it will be the ‘eyes’ to the... 

NEW SCIENCE DAWN

PALATIAL PLATINUM:

1st June 2018 Prince Harry’s choice of a platinum wedding ring is a wonderful boost for South Africa’s struggling platinum mineworkers, who currently need every bit of help they can get. As Platinum Guild International (PGI) has noted, platinum jewellery is outperforming gold in some areas. The bridal markets... 

PALATIAL PLATINUM:

FROM NEW DAWN TO . . .

By: Darlene Creamer     1st June 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa’s workload during his first three-an-a-bit months in office has been heavy to say the least. Even before taking over as President, he needed to intervene urgently to prevent Eskom from running out of cash. The fire fighting has continued unabated since his February 15... 

FROM NEW DAWN TO . . .

GOOD FIT:

By: Martin Creamer     25th May 2018 Platinum-mining companies Lonmin and Sibanye-Stillwater make a good fit at asset level, where the abutting of their mines can unlock synergies of R1.5-billion a year and preserve 20 000 jobs. Lonmin currently employs 32 500, which will go down to by 12 600 in 2020, leaving close to 20 000, the... 

GOOD FIT:

BACK ON TRACK

By: Darlene Creamer     25th May 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has acted decisively against the board at Transnet; a State-owned company that he claims was repurposed to enable corruption and rent seeking. Gordhan says the new interim board, which will be led by Popo Molefe, has been directed to act on the findings... 

BACK ON TRACK

INVESTMENT 'BESTIE'

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2018 Indian mining billionaire Anil Agarwal’s association with South Africa began eight years ago when Vedanta Resources, the London-listed, India-rooted diversified mining company he founded and heads, bought Anglo American’s zinc assets, achieved payback in a couple of years and went ahead with... 

INVESTMENT 'BESTIE'

JUGGLING ACT

By: Darlene Creamer     18th May 2018 There is simply so much for President Cyril Ramaphosa to deal with at the moment that it’s little wonder he momentarily lost his cool in Parliament amid incessant heckling from the Democratic Alliance’s John Steenhuisen. For the sake of the country, however, we all need Ramaphosa at his composed... 

JUGGLING ACT

MINING'S BURNING BRIDGE:

By: Martin Creamer     11th May 2018 Deep precious metals mining is being heated by the flames of extinction, made up of increasing mine depth, lengthening travel time to the rock face, higher electricity tariffs, rising labour costs, the fluctuating rand:dollar exchange rate and relatively weak commodity prices. Without greater... 

MINING'S BURNING BRIDGE:

DEPLETION WARNING

By: Darlene Creamer     11th May 2018 New regulations coming into force at the end of May state that data users must be informed when their data is nearing depletion and cannot be defaulted onto out-of-bundle data charges once their data is depleted. However, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa stopped short of... 

DEPLETION WARNING

WHEN CRISIS COMES KNOCKING:

By: Martin Creamer     4th May 2018 While there is a bit of palladium relief here and rhodium and chrome price relief there, South Africans need to face up to the harsh reality that its important platinum-mining industry is in crisis because that is what happens when the price for your main product is below economic levels. An... 

WHEN CRISIS COMES KNOCKING:

ROCK & A HARD PLACE

By: Darlene Creamer     4th May 2018 As would have been expected, opposition to Eskom’s application to recoup some R66.6-billion in foregone costs and revenue for three years of the third multiyear price determination period has been fierce. For Eskom, recovering the costs is seen as business critical. However, so is keeping its... 

ROCK & A HARD PLACE

REVIVE AND MODERNISE:

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2018 REVIVE AND MODERNISE: The Mandela Mining Precinct is the name chosen for the exciting new research thrust that promises to provide a revitalising and modernising platform for South Africa’s struggling mining industry. The research banner is flying high above Carlow Road, Johannesburg, where a... 

REVIVE AND MODERNISE:

WARNING LIGHTS

By: Darlene Creamer     27th April 2018 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has revealed that government is monitoring South Africa’s State-owned companies on the basis of a dashboard that shows red, amber and green lights. While he did not disclose which entities are flashing red, it’s fairly safe to say that Eskom, South African Airways,... 

WARNING LIGHTS

CRISIS NOT?

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2018 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe last week described the mining industry as one that is in self-doubt, believing that it is about to die, with suspicion and mistrust at a high level. "I fail to understand why platinum is in a crisis," he said, adding that mining stakeholders needed to... 

CRISIS NOT?

NEW ENERGY

By: Darlene Creamer     20th April 2018 Much credit must go to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe and Independent Power Producer Office head Karen Breytenbach for ensuring that the agreements for 27 long-delayed renewable-energy projects were eventually signed earlier this month. They pushed ahead despite fresh sniping from those who believe,... 

NEW ENERGY

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION:

By: Martin Creamer     13th April 2018 On the evening of Monday, April 2, a bus transporting 50 mineworkers from the Ga-Maroga village, in Mpumalanga, to the Modikwa Platinum Mine, 15 km northwest of Burgersfort, was set alight, killing six and injuring 44.  One of five suspects arrested appeared in the Mecklenburg Magistrate's Court... 

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION:

DISMAL OUTLOOK

By: Darlene Creamer     13th April 2018 South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed that it is now only likely to break even in its 2021 financial year, having reported a loss of R5.6-billion for 2017, and with a similar loss on the way for 2018. SAA is burning through cash despite the announcement of yet another turnaround strategy.... 

DISMAL OUTLOOK

CHARTER CHATTER:

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2018 At top corporate level, African Rainbow Minerals executive chairperson Patrice Motsepe expressed absolute confidence that the issues surrounding the Mining Charter III debacle would be nullified and that the new charter would ensure South Africa’s return to being a competitive mining investment... 

CHARTER CHATTER:

DANGEROUS & DAMAGING

By: Darlene Creamer     6th April 2018 When the dust eventually settles on Donald Trump’s Presidency, Americans, and the rest of the world, will be left to survey the damage. Prospects for multilateralism and international cooperation will have been seriously weakened. Together with his bellicose rhetoric on North Korea and Iran,... 

DANGEROUS & DAMAGING

POOF GOES SOUTH AFRICA DISCOUNT:

By: Martin Creamer     30th March 2018 The South Africa discount that the shareholders in local mining companies have had to endure for decades, is going up in a puff of smoke. Goldman Sachs analysts say in a multi-page report that the risks around South African operations are dissipating against the backdrop of the winds of political... 

POOF GOES SOUTH AFRICA DISCOUNT:

LEAKING FUNDS

By: Darlene Creamer     30th March 2018 The financial collapse of the Department of Water and Sanitation, together with reports of operational dysfunction, is almost as worrying as the state of the country’s water security in certain provinces. Fortunately, Parliament appears determined to get to the bottom of the problems with a joint... 

LEAKING FUNDS

'I'LL DESTROY THIS AND IN THREE MONTHS REBUILD IT':

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2018 New Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, who many recall playing a major role in the creation of the first widely accepted mining charter, has been advised not to be over hasty in creating a replacement charter for Mining Charter 111, which he has vowed to replace with a new charter in... 

'I'LL DESTROY THIS AND IN THREE MONTHS REBUILD IT':

FIRED IN ANGER

By: Darlene Creamer     23rd March 2018 In the face of stiff opposition and strong arguments again, US President Donald Trump has pushed ahead with new trade protection measures for steel and aluminium. He has even gone so far as describing trade wars as good. The evidence, however, points to the fact than many countries, including the... 

FIRED IN ANGER

WHEN 'NUM' TURNS INTO DUMB:

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2018 Just when the world economy was showing signs of positive stability, up popped Donald Trump with import tariffs on aluminium and steel. Given that the North Americans refuse to keep the second 'i' in aluminium, and insist on alumi'num', one is in good company in describing the entire thing as... 

WHEN 'NUM' TURNS INTO DUMB:

ALARM BELLS

By: Darlene Creamer     16th March 2018 Warning lights should be flashing across South Africa in light of recent comments made by Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) commander in chief Julius Malema. Given Malema’s partiality for the outrageous, many are simply dismissing the “cutting the throat of whiteness” rhetoric as mere political... 

ALARM BELLS

THE STRONG HAND OF THE RAND:

By: Martin Creamer     9th March 2018 Commodity prices in rands are, in the main, no dripping roast. Particularly when it comes to deep-level mining, the local currency is presenting challenges. Mining Weekly reports in this edition of mining companies with deep assets going this way and that way to get rid of unprofitable outcomes.... 

THE STRONG HAND OF THE RAND:

ART OF THE POSSIBLE

By: Darlene Creamer     9th March 2018 There are mixed feelings across society about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet appointments. His economic ‘dream team’ has been tainted by some nightmarish compromises. The appointments serve to highlight that politics is, and most probably always will be, nothing more than the art of the... 

ART OF THE POSSIBLE

HOLDING BACK THE WRECKING BALL:

By: Martin Creamer     2nd March 2018 Spirits are sky high following the strong hand new President Cyril Ramaphosa is playing to prevent the Mining Charter III wrecking ball from destroying the mining industry. True to his negotiation style, government, labour and business are back at the negotiating table. The hope now is that the... 

HOLDING BACK THE WRECKING BALL:

WANNA TURN IT AROUND

By: Darlene Creamer     2nd March 2018 It certainly won’t last forever, but there is definitely a new mood of cooperation and optimism in the air since Cyril Ramaphosa because the fifth president of South Africa’s democratic era. His decision to align his nascent presidency with that of the country’s greatest statesman, Nelson... 

WANNA TURN IT AROUND

TRASHING THE CHARTER:

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2018 The prolonged uncertainty created by the introduction of Mining Charter III has left South Africa's mining industry in limbo, CDH mining law head Allan Reid stated in a recent article, in which he added that an unintended consequence of Mining Charter III is its role in solidifying what... 

TRASHING THE CHARTER:

NAIL THE LANDING

By: Darlene Creamer     23rd February 2018 The first part of the Olympian task needed to restore South Africa’s position as a high-potential investment destination is complete. It took time, but the toxic Jacob Zuma presidency has ended. The focus has to shift now to placing the country on to a growth path that is robust enough to begin... 

NAIL THE LANDING

CLEAN AIR REVOLUTION

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2018 China's clean air revolution is poised to stand South Africa in good stead. When China chooses, scale results, and scale is just what fuel cells need to lower costs. Fuel cell electric vehicles use compressed hydrogen gas that, when combined with oxygen and drawn through an electrolyte, creates... 

CLEAN AIR REVOLUTION

BRIDGE TO FAR

By: Darlene Creamer     16th February 2018 Many South Africans expressed resigned exasperation at the announcement that the Public Investment Corporation would extend a R5-billion short-term loan as part of a larger R20-billion in emergency funding required to take the cash-strapped utility to its year-end. Sadly, this is but the end of... 

BRIDGE TO FAR
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