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Chemicals News

New hydrogen investment by PGMs-linked venture fund bodes well for South Africa 

By: Martin Creamer     1st December 2020 A new investment in hydrogen, made by the sustainability-focused AP Ventures, bodes well for South Africa. AP Ventures, an independent venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies that use platinum group metals (PGMs), has invested €5-million equity in HPNow, which has introduced a... 

Mining can retake investor darling status by going green – Frandsen  

By: Martin Creamer     30th November 2020 The taking of clear sustainability steps can make mining the darling of the investor community once again. Mining cannot participate in anything that leaves the world a worse place and needs to be cognisant of what it takes to have a licence to operate. Mining must have a smaller carbon... 

Mining can retake investor darling status by going green – Frandsen
Pallinghurst Group Managing Partner and Co-Founder Arne Frandsen interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer on the current demand for sustainable mining. Video: Darlene Creamer.

New chrome mine owner plans to grow in ‘very sustainable manner’ 

By: Martin Creamer     27th November 2020 The new owner of a chrome mine in North West province that was placed on care and maintenance following the Covid-19 lockdown, plans to grow production in a phased, sustainable manner that will ultimately lead to the creation of more than 1 000 jobs, Mining Weekly can today report. The... 

New chrome mine owner plans to grow in ‘very sustainable manner’
Photo by Creamer Media
Highly experienced Clover Alloys CEO Philip Kotze

African green hydrogen can provide important economic impetus – BMBF 

By: Martin Creamer     24th November 2020 The establishment of an African hydrogen economy based on renewable energy can provide important impetus in the Southern African region and offer new perspectives, especially to young people. That is the view of German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Energy and Green Hydrogen... 

African green hydrogen can provide important economic impetus – BMBF
Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek and Innovation Commissioner ‘Green Hydrogen‘ Dr Stefan Kaufmann: Small bottle, huge effect. Sufficient energy to supply a refrigerator for a day – 48 litres of hydrogen are bound in this 80 ml liquid, referred to as liquid organic hydrogen carrier or LOHC. Dr Kaufmann was in South Africa earlier this month. © BMBF/Hans-Joachim Rickel

Omnia firmly in ‘fix and renew’ phase following September interim period 

By: Simone Liedtke     24th November 2020 JSE-listed diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings is now firmly in the "fix and renew" phase of its turnaround strategy, where implementation of the new operating model during the six months, ended September 30, was “substantially completed” and has already resulted in improved production... 

Omnia firmly in ‘fix and renew’ phase following September interim period
Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy discusses the group's interim performance. Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Coal mine on point of turning acid mine drainage into potable water at no cost  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd November 2020 An Mpumalanga coal mine is on the point of entering into an agreement before year-end to have its acid mine drainage water curse turned into potable water at no cost, Mining Weekly can today report. Recovered potassium nitrate, which retails at about R15 000/t and which is marketed at about R11... 

Coal mine on point of turning acid mine drainage into potable water at no cost
Trailblazer Technologies director John Bewsey interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Sasol shareholders back JV with LyondellBasell for US project 

By: Reuters     20th November 2020 South Africa's Sasol said on Friday shareholders have approved a proposed agreement to form a joint venture with chemical company LyondellBasell Industries at its US Lake Charles Chemicals Project in a bid to pay down debt. LyondellBasell agreed last month to acquire a 50% stake of Sasol's base... 

Sasol shareholders back JV with LyondellBasell for US project

NGOs call on global investor climate initiative to intervene in Sasol shareholder issue

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th November 2020 Nongovernmental organisation Just Share, supported by shareholder activist organisations ShareAction (UK), Majority Action (USA), Follow This (Netherlands) and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), has written to Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) − the world’s largest investor... 

Platinum-linked green hydrogen economy right for Africa, says project manager  

By: Martin Creamer     10th November 2020 The long value chain of green hydrogen economy has the potential to create a multiplicity of jobs and open up the market for investment possibilities for the Southern African region into what is expected to become a multi-trillion-dollar global decarbonisation market. Forschungszentrum Jülich... 

Platinum-linked green hydrogen economy right for Africa, says project manager
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer is given update on platinum-linked green hydrogen. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Decision soon on platinum process that can save a Medupi power station worth of power   

By: Martin Creamer     26th October 2020 The definitive feasibility study for the installation of a revolutionary new electricity-slashing processing plant at Pilanesberg Platinum Mine in the North West will be completed next month, in time for an investment decision from the shareholders in KellTechnology South Africa, which are... 

Decision soon on platinum process that can save a Medupi power station worth of power
Kelltech’s Keith Liddell interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

South Africa is well positioned to export green hydrogen ­– PwC  

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2020 South Africa is in an extraordinary position to revolutionise its own economy and supply green hydrogen to the world, PwC said on Monday. “The energy transition is and will be biggest global theme this decade,” PwC associate director James Mackay told journalists at a virtual event covered by... 

South Africa is well positioned to export green hydrogen ­– PwC
PwC Hydrogen Report 2020 covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Exxaro continues its role in ensuring food security, nutrition in communities

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th October 2020 JSE-listed miner Exxaro Resources’ executive head of sustainability Mongezi Vetti has reiterated the company’s commitment to transferring its rehabilitated land to communities toward establishing agro-economies. This follows after President Cyril Ramaphosa on October 5 spoke about government’s... 

Exxaro continues its role in ensuring food security, nutrition in communities
Exxaro Resources’ executive head of sustainability Mongezi Vetti

Omnia intends to sell Oro Agri business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th October 2020 JSE-listed chemicals group Omnia Holdings has reached an agreement to sell its Oro Agri business to Rovensa – a European-based business that procures and distributes biocontrol, bionutrition and crop protection solutions. Omnia in June received a nonbinding offer for the business, which... 

Omnia intends to sell Oro Agri business
Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy

Grande Côte operation achieves ‘excellent’ results

9th October 2020 Multinational mining and metallurgy company Eramet 2020 half-year results, released on July 29, noted that its Grande Côte Operation (GCO) built on the “excellent operating performance” of 2019, producing 371 000 t  of mineral sands over the period. Notably, GCO is the largest single dredge... 

Grande Côte operation achieves ‘excellent’ results
NOT SCRAPING THE BOTTOM The dredging operation at Eramet's Grande Côte operation reported an excellent operating performance for the first half of 2020

Study paves way for engaging artisanal miners

By: Halima Frost     9th October 2020 Environmental consulting firm Digby Wells Environmental Mali country manager Mamadou Dembele says a dearth of opportunities drives the artisanal mining sector in Mali, and in West Africa. He tells Mining Weekly that a study conducted in June 2019 in the region by Digby Wells Environmental, which... 

Study paves way for engaging artisanal miners
LEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITY While considered illegitimate trade, artisanal mining space is well organised and financially fruitful

K+S sells Americas salt business for $3.2bn

By: Mariaan Webb     7th October 2020 German minerals company K+S Aktiengesellschaft has agreed to sell its Americas salt business to industrial holding company Stone Canyon Industries, Mark Demetree and affiliates for $3.2-billion. The Americas operating unit mainly comprises K+S Chile, formerly known as the Chilean company,... 

K+S sells Americas salt business for $3.2bn
K+S chairperson Burkhard Lohr

Butler retires as Omnia director

By: Donna Slater     21st September 2020 Frank Butler will retire as director of chemicals company Omnia at the company’s annual general meeting on September 23. He has served on the board since September 2002 and is chairperson of the board's social, ethics and risk committee.  

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen 

By: Terence Creamer     9th September 2020 International cooperation will be key to unlocking the competitive production of green hydrogen as global trade will be required to link those countries, such as South Africa, that are best suited to producing the energy carrier, using a combination of low-cost renewable energy, water and... 

Global trading platform key to unlocking competitiveness of green hydrogen

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2020 Implementing a digital transformation strategy is a “must”, rather than an option, and is driven by both external and internal forces, petrochemicals company Sasol Chemicals digital lead Oratile Sematle said on September 8. Speaking during an automation-themed webinar as part of this year’s... 

Sasol gives insight into its automation, digital journey

Company patents extraction method

4th September 2020 Canadian-listed rare earth clean technologies developer Geomega Resources’ patent application US15/578,498 titled, ‘A system and a method for metallurgical extraction of rare earth elements (REE) and niobium’, was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in June. 

Company patents extraction method
IT IS CHEMICAL A total of 58 kg of regenerated HCl is to be used per metric ton of ore to extract REE and niobium

New reagent increases recovery of phosphate

By: Theresa Bhowan     4th September 2020 Chemical reagents supplier and distributor Axis House has launched an extension to its phosphate range to include defoamer and decadmiation products in addition to the existing Rinkalore collector range for phosphate flotation. 

New reagent increases recovery of phosphate
PHOSPHATE SPECIALISED Axis House has launched an extension to its phosphate range to include defoamer and decadmiation products

Albemarle selected for lithium research projects

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd September 2020 NYSE-listed Albemarle has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DoE) as a partner for two lithium research projects over three years through a Battery Manufacturing Lab Call. Albemarle will work in conjunction with two DoE labs on the company's approved projects. 

Sasol shuts troubled Lake Charles plant as hurricane approaches

By: Bloomberg     27th August 2020 Sasol, the fuel and chemicals maker, will shut its $13-billion Lake Charles Chemicals Project due to Hurricane Laura making landfall on the US Gulf Coast. “Given Hurricane Laura’s forecast path,” Sasol will temporarily close down its facilities at Lake Charles, Louisiana, as well as Greens Bayou... 

Sasol shuts troubled Lake Charles plant as hurricane approaches

Trevisiol to lead First Cobalt refinery project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th August 2020 TSX-V-listed First Cobalt has appointed Mark Trevisiol as VP, project development as the company prepares for the construction and commissioning of its refinery in Ontario, Canada. Trevisiol, who spent more than 20 years with Glencore predecessor companies Falconbridge and Xstrata Nickel, will... 

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world 

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2020 Embattled chemicals and energy group Sasol aims to officially unveil its new-look strategy, dubbed Future Sasol, later this year. It has already indicated, however, that the plan will seek to reposition the 70-year-old company, built around a highly carbon-intensive technology that converts coal... 

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world

Sasol will execute rights issue in 2021 calendar year as it refines ‘ticket size’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2020 Debt-laden chemicals and energy group Sasol confirmed on Monday that it was preparing to execute a rights issue during the second half of its 2021 financial year, despite reporting that it was on track to deliver disposals of greater than $2-billion and exceeding its initial cash conservation... 

Sasol will execute rights issue in 2021 calendar year as it refines ‘ticket size’
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Sasol swings to R91.3bn annual loss on lower oil prices, writedown

By: Reuters     17th August 2020 South African petrochemicals group Sasol reported an annual loss on Monday, hit by a writedown of R111.6-billion and a drop in oil and chemical prices due to the coronavirus outbreak. The world's top producer of motor fuel from coal reported a loss of R91.3-billion for the full year ended June... 

Sasol swings to R91.3bn annual loss on lower oil prices, writedown

Sasol warns of dramatic earnings collapse as it confirms R112bn impairment

By: Terence Creamer     11th August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol warned of a dramatic collapse in its 2020 financial performance on Tuesday, confirming that losses for the period would represent a deterioration of more than 100% when compared with results reported for the 2019 financial year. The decline, the company told... 

Sasol warns of dramatic earnings collapse as it confirms R112bn impairment

Forums advancing women representation

By: Mamaili Mamaila     7th August 2020 Specialty chemicals company Clariant – which is focused on sustainability and innovation – strongly believes in diversity and inclusion within the company. 

Forums advancing women representation
LINDA MAHLANGU The metallurgical sector does not struggle to attract women as much as it struggles to retain them

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects  

By: Terence Creamer     4th August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol intends issuing, during its current financial year, a request for proposals (RFP) for wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of between 200 MW and 300 MW having received a strong response to a market-testing request for information (RFI) issued in May.... 

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects
Photo by Creamer Media
Sasol's Secunda complex stands in the background with power lines in the foreground

Sasol to sell world's biggest oxygen production site to Air Liquide 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th July 2020 JSE-listed petrochemicals company Sasol has signed a negotiation agreement with industrial gas company Air Liquide for the sale of Sasol South Africa’s 16 air separation units (ASUs), in Secunda. The ASUs, with a 42 000 t/d capacity, provides oxygen for Sasol’s fuels and chemical production... 

Sasol to sell world's biggest oxygen production site to Air Liquide
Air seperation units at Sasol Secunda

Partnership formed to distribute hand sanitisers to vulnerable communities

By: Donna Slater     23rd July 2020 Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater, gold miner AngloGold Ashanti, energy and chemicals company Sasol and logistics company Imperial Logistics have formed a strategic partnership to distribute hand sanitisers to school health facilities and taxi ranks. As part of the partnership, Sibanye... 

Menar’s R250m cash-funded solar-served East Manganese project is under way  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd July 2020 Initial project activities are under way at the R250-million cash-funded East Manganese project in Hotazel, Northern Cape, where the hot sun will be harvested to provide solar power to the mine’s infrastructure. The development forms part of the company’s strategy of building a manganese... 

Menar’s R250m cash-funded solar-served East Manganese project is under way
Menar MD and co-founder discusses manganese project with Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Sasol expects delay in last unit in US project to come onstream

By: Reuters     23rd July 2020 Sasol said on Thursday a unit damaged by fire at its Lake Charles Chemical Project (LCCP) should reach meaningful output by October, a month later than previous guidance. Even before a fire earlier this year, the Louisiana plant, which converts natural gas into plastics ingredient ethylene, had... 

Nevada Zinc inks collaboration agreement with partner in US agriculture industry

By: Simone Liedtke     13th July 2020 TSX-V-listed Nevada Zinc has entered into a collaboration agreement with US granular micronutrients producer and distributor Cameron Chemicals. Granular micronutrients are used for the agricultural, turf, and horticultural industries with manufacturing facilities in the states of Virginia,... 

Omnia more than halves debt as stabilisation plan is concluded

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 JSE-listed diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings reports that it achieved solid results for the financial year ended March 31, noting that this reflected the finalisation of the group’s stabilisation plan which included the successful recapitalisation of the business. Omnia’s balance sheet... 

Air Products and thyssenkrupp sign green hydrogen agreement

By: Schalk Burger     6th July 2020 NYSE-listed industrial gases multinational Air Products and industrial technology multinational thyssenkrupp on July 5 announced that they had signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement to develop world-scale electrolysis plants to generate green hydrogen. The two companies will... 

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