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Martin Creamer

Martin Creamer

Martin Creamer is Creamer Media Publishing Editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

First Word

Govts respond ‘pleasingly' to trans-Kalahari railway, Implats may close underperforming platinum mine, Canadian-owned mines in Africa to double by 2010

By: Martin Creamer     4th September 2009 Governments have reportedly responded pleasingly to the private-sector-led idea of establishing a trans-Kalahari rail link to Walvis Bay. 

Waterberg-Witbank coal rail needed for power, Transnet allocates manganese export capacity, Iron-ore pricing heading to greater transparency

By: Martin Creamer     28th August 2009 Coal would in time need to be railed from the emerging Waterberg coalfield to power stations in the depleting Witbank coalfield to ensure South Africa's energy security, says diversified resources company Exxaro, which will also use the line to get its coal to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal for... 

R5,5bn more for Khumani iron-ore expansion, true commodity picture in 2010, says BHP, Brazilian miner introduces new iron-ore pricing

By: Martin Creamer     21st August 2009 An additional R5,5-million has been approved for the completion of the expansion of the Khumani iron-ore-mining project in the Northern Cape, to a capacity to 16-million tons of iron-ore a year. 

Zimbabwe wooing mining investment, gold scrap sales drop after soaring, ferrochrome destocking cycle ending

14th August 2009 Zimbabwe is going all out to rebuild itself as a destination of choice for mining investment. Read on page 11 of this edition of Mining Weekly of Zimbabwe Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and Chamber of Mines president Victor Gapare painting a new picture of Zimbabwe’s resources prospects.  

Two more Anglo Platinum shafts may close, Saldanha iron-ore terminal expansion 2011, Zimbabwe eyeing London Bullion Market

By: Martin Creamer     7th August 2009 A process is under way that could lead to two further shafts in Anglo Platinum’s (Angloplat’s) Rustenburg complex being placed on care and maintenance. Read on page 14 of this edition of Mining Weekly of Angloplat’s Blesbok shaft being on care and maintenance and of Angloplat’s plan to put more... 

Kumba’s R4bn/y capex on iron-ore growth, China’s $3,6bn in Zambian copper projects, R100m for platinum beneficiation initiatives

By: Martin Creamer     31st July 2009 Cash-pumping JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore (KIO), which reversed the global cutback trend and increased its production 14% in the first half of the year, expects to be spending capital in South Africa at a rate of R4-billion a year going forward. Read on page 12 of this edition of Mining Weekly of... 

Obama admin set to change US mining code, gold equities tipped to outperform the metal, Mongolia wooing foreign mining investments

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th July 2009 President Barack Obama’s US administration has announced the reform of the country’s 137-year-old federal hard-rock-mining law as a top priority. US Senate Natural Resources Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says that it’s time to ensure a fair return to the public for mining activities that occur... 

Xstrata-Anglo potentially another BHP Billiton, first new State-owned coal mine on cards, fuel-cell power generator in SA coalfield

By: Martin Creamer     17th July 2009 There was once a standalone BHP that was doing so badly that a UK magazine dubbed it 'Broken Hearted People'. Then it merged to became BHP Billiton and became the world's undisputed leading diversified mining company. 

Miners’ tough decisions on costs and margins, withdrawal from South African exploration, board in place for coal ‘road map’ initiative

By: Martin Creamer     10th July 2009 Mining companies have some difficult decisions to make if they are to reduce costs and protect margins in the prevailing economic environment, professional services group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says in a report on page 17 of this edition of Mining Weekly. 

Coal exports to remain below capacity in 2009, no Xstrata-Anglo job cuts, SA net beneficiary, Metorex sells gold to fund Ruashi, reduce debt

By: Martin Creamer     3rd July 2009 Coal volumes railed to South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal are continuing to fall far short of the corridor’s nameplate yearly capacity of 70-million tons, coming in at closer to an annualised 60-million tons. 

Iron-ore pricing faces uncertain future, manganese project enters design phase, Zim mulls levy on unused mine claims

By: Martin Creamer     26th June 2009 The current benchmark pricing system for iron-ore faces an uncertain future, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) on page 6 of this edition of Mining Weekly. But a new pricing mechanism is unlikely to be introduced overnight, Unctad adds. 

More ironing out to come?

By: Martin Creamer     19th June 2009 There is little question that the proposed Rio Tinto/BHP Billiton tie-up in the iron-ore-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia is the biggest development in the resources sector this year. Should it proceed as planned, the world would effectively have two extremely dominant iron-ore forces -... 

Illegal mining scourge needs to be tackled at all levels

By: Martin Creamer     12th June 2009 The bodies of at least 96 illegal miners have been brought to the surface in South Africa so far this year, more than miners killed on legal duty. 

Nicky O wants Africa’s economic lions to roar, small car push may favour palladium, rhodium, exploration cuts could see prices soar on upturn

By: Martin Creamer     5th June 2009 De Beers chairperson Nicky Oppenheimer wants Africa’s economic lions to be made to roar. Read on page 6 of this edition of Mining Weekly of Oppenheimer’s call for the economic lions of Africa to work together towards improving the continent’s competitiveness “urgently”. 

Asia, Africa and commodities cycle upturn, South Africa-style charter for Namibia, Zambia inks uranium-mining regulations

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2009 Frontier Advisory CEO Dr Martyn Davies told mining investors in Johannesburg last week that those who believed, as he obviously does, in the long-term urbanisation success story of China and India, should invest in mining in Africa, “because that’s where the commodities are going to come from”.  

Gold is having a rebirth, says AngloGold, new Kopanang uranium plant planned

By: Martin Creamer     22nd May 2009 AngloGold Ashanti CEO Mark Cutifani sees gold as having a rebirth and was also very bullish on uranium as the company presented a “milestone” set of first-quarter results that recorded an “all-time US dollar earnings high”. 

Free cash, best-ever safety from Gold Fields, debt-free cash flow from Harmony Gold, more discovery at Gounkoto from Randgold

By: Martin Creamer     15th May 2009 South African gold-mining major Gold Fields put R1,4-billion of free, unencumbered cash into the till in the March quarter, achieved its best-ever safety performance, fixed production on a firm upward trajectory and cut costs by 2%. 

Pamodzi Gold gets R7,5m for water pumping Liberia clears Delta of impropriety, iron-ore trades on exchange for first time

By: Martin Creamer     8th May 2009 The South African government’s Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) last week deposited R7,5-million into the account of the provisionally liquidated Pamodzi Gold East Rand to enable it to fight off the dangerous rising water onslaught at the Grootvlei gold mine. 

Second-quarter Lonmin platinum sales up, six gold mines in provisional liquidation, BRC DiamondCore liquidation hearing

By: Martin Creamer     1st May 2009 Platinum producer Lonmin maintained its sales guidance of 700 000 oz for its 2009 financial year, reporting last week that sales in the first half were around 45% of the full-year target and ahead of its initial expectations for the period. Read on page 47 of this edition of Mining Weekly of the... 

Anglo says commodity prices stabilising, Rio sees Chinese steel rise in second half, De Beers sees diamond improvement signs

By: Martin Creamer     24th April 2009 he prices of most commodities appear to have stabilised, says Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll. Read on page 5 of this edition of Mining Weekly of the copper price increasing by more than 50% off its December low, platinum going above $1 200/oz from its sub-$800/oz October lows, nickel going to... 

Ferrochrome price seen to have bottomed, survey forecasts new highs for gold, big Mozambique coal project under way

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2009 Merafe Resources CEO Steve Phiri believes that the ferrochrome price has bottomed at the European benchmark price of US69c/lb. Read on page 5 of this edition of Mining Weekly of Phiri’s belief that the price “can only go up from here”. Phiri made this forecast after the second-quarter (Q2) level... 

Carbon capture and storage centre opens, new beneficiation strategy gets CoM nod, dominate in resources, urges Clem Sunter

By: Martin Creamer     10th April 2009 South Africa’s Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) was opened on March 27, and will start working towards its vision of having a CCS demonstration plant operational in South Africa by 2020. 

Capital raising back for reviving platinum, AngloGold pays Pamodzi Orkney wages, commercial gold from under Golden City

By: Martin Creamer     3rd April 2009 Midtier platinum-miner Aquarius Platinum plans to raise between $233-million and $249-million through an equity capital raising and a convertible bond issue to help fund its proposed acquisition of Ridge Mining. 

New 100% junior mining tax write-off, second wave of BEE may be harder, Pamodzi trying to avoid full liquidation

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2009 South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s July 1 tax-break introduction for investment in support of junior mining is seen as an attempt to create a new class of investor that is “generously incentivised” to support the bottom end of the junior mining scale. 

Far-reaching mineral-rights judgement, R4,5bn for Mpumalanga coal mine, move to clean coal vital for South Africa

By: Martin Creamer     20th March 2009 A new judgement has thrown the cat among the mineral-rights pigeons. In terms of the use-it-or-lose-it principle of South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), holders not using the rights are expected to meekly withdraw without compensation. 

Pulling together to ride out diamond slowdown, State Diamond Trader and structural inefficiency, De Beers keen to help industry weather meltdown

By: Martin Creamer     13th March 2009 Diamond Council of South Africa and Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa chairperson Ernest Blom is leading the charge to keep the diamond industry sparkling during this period of global economic slowdown. 

New Exxaro coal mine for ‘another Medupi’, 20 trespassing gold-miners are found dead, TWP project pipeline cut down to R100bn

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2009 Black-controlled JSE-listed coal-miner Exxaro is talking to independent power producers (IPPs) about sizing one of its new mines to support what could be “another Medupi”, but made up of several IPPs. 

Anglo senses increasing Chinese demand, Kumba Iron Ore in rail PPP talks, diamond improvement as year progresses

By: Martin Creamer     27th February 2009 The share price of diversified mining major Anglo American fell heavily after the iconic South Africa-rooted company said that it was suspending dividend payments and was shedding 19 000 jobs, but a glimmer of hope is contained in the comment from Anglo CEO Cynthia Carroll that the company senses... 

Manuel postpones royalties to save mine jobs, call for more rail capacity for coal exports, coal junior snaps up port export entitlements

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2009 In an effort to mitigate job losses in the mining industry, South Africa’s Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, has seen fit to delay the implementation of the new royalties, against which mining companies have campaigned unsuccessfully for some time. 

Prepare SA coal for next boom, Northam foresees platinum recovery in 2010, Mozambique to start shipping coal in 2010

By: Martin Creamer     13th February 2009 South Africa’s coal industry needs to ready itself for the next coal boom, which will undoubtedly occur, says Anglo Coal South Africa CEO Ben Magara on page 9 of this edition of Mining Weekly. 

Gold shares to outshine platinum shares, Zim central bank moots mining overhaul, manganese smelter to close for two months

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2009 South African gold shares are poised to outdo South African platinum shares in the first half of 2009, Royal Bank of Canada Europe analysts Leon Esterhuizen, Arnold van Graan and Yuen Low calculate. 

De Beers inspires with stirring oratory, Petra changes to larger diamonds, JCI-Randgold & Exploration rematch

By: Martin Creamer     30th January 2009 Ranking first for inspiration in the face of unprecedented global economic adversity is the stirring oratory of De Beers chairperson Nicky Oppenheimer and De Beers MD Gareth Penny. Read on page 16 of this edition of Mining Weekly of the mood in the world diamond camp as last year’s growth plans... 

GFMS says $1 080/oz gold possible this year, Xstrata-Merafe ferrochrome down to 20%

By: Martin Creamer     23rd January 2009 Metals consultancy GFMS expects gold prices to range between $750/oz and $1 080/oz in 2009, executive chairperson Phillip Klapwijk says on page 14 of this edition of Mining Weekly. 

BHP Billiton investing, maintaining volumes, new Barrick CEO sees ‘exciting’ time for gold, Delta sues Liberia govt over iron-ore concession

By: Martin Creamer     16th January 2009 The world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton, is proving exemplary, even during the worst global financial meltdown since the 1930s. Read on page 4 of this edition of Mining Weekly that BHP Billiton is maintaining its sales volumes and continuing to invest. 

Mining cuts back across the globe, retrenchments seen as ‘last resort’

By: Martin Creamer     12th December 2008 The credit crunch has set mining off on a losing streak as the world looks to putting the brakes on production to avoid the build-up of surplus stocks. 

Chamber warns on new mine safety Bill, Transnet moves more export coal, copper-miner Metorex to raise R922m

By: Martin Creamer     5th December 2008 South Africa’s new Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill is “unconstitutional” and will lead to more highly skilled managers and supervisors leaving the country, the Chamber of Mines of South Africa says. 

Froneman re-enters fray as Gold One, Randgold expects clean-out of juniors, unsolicited bids pour in for Zim mines

By: Martin Creamer     28th November 2008 Modder East gold mine on South Africa’s East Rand is set to be “unbelievably profitable”, the proposed Ventersburg mine in the Free State is “really promising”, the Tulo prospect in Mozambique could be a “company maker”, Bothaville could eventuate as the first Bothaville Gap mine and Etendeka, in... 

Chinese fiscal stimulation effects in 2009, diamond-miner in ‘difficult’ period, Anglo Platinum in R1,4bn housing project

By: Martin Creamer     21st November 2008 The effects of Chinese fiscal stimulation can be expected “sometime in 2009”, says Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese on page 6 of this edition of Mining Weekly. 

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