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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

Editorial Insight

SA’s 25% failed-State chance, mineral rich but mining poor, union money in breach of law

By: Martin Creamer     30th November 2012 Scenario planner Clem Sunter has adjusted South Africa’s post-Marikana probability of becoming a failed State to 25%; Free Market Foundation executive director Leon Louw says that South Africa has already been reduced to a minerals-rich, but mining-poor country; and Pretoria University sociology... 

Mozambique’s coal contribution, Australia’s cost disadvantage, Petra funds diamond expansions

By: Martin Creamer     23rd November 2012 Coal has become Mozambique’s number two export earner; project costs in Australia have risen faster than elsewhere; and diamond miner Petra has secured new debt facilities to make the funding of its expansions more "comfortable". 

New Chamber president confident, new social compact for mining urged, US challenges China on rare earths

By: Martin Creamer     16th November 2012 New Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mark Cutifani is confident that South Africa’s stricken mining sector will find creative solutions to its current problems of labour unrest, social deficits and dismal productivity. “We’re going to turn it around together,” Cutifani assures in a... 

Pilot titanium powder plant, ‘rapid results’ at Voorspoed, Implats’ hydrogen research

By: Martin Creamer     9th November 2012 A new titanium pilot plant is expected to be operational next year; De Beers' Voorspoed diamond mine is lifiting its game; and Impala Platinum is spending on the development of the platinum market.  

Marikana mirrors SA’s ills, Amplats cuts more capex, mining funds rural schools

By: Martin Creamer     2nd November 2012 Economic enfranchisement’s lagging of political enfranchisement may have sparked Marikana, a conference on the tragedy at the Rustenburg platinum mine has heard. Read on page 14 of this edition of Mining Weekly of the contention that South Africa’s platinum sector is a microcosm of the political,... 

‘There’s a chance to settle mine labour in villages, not compounds’ – Cry, the Beloved Country, 1948

By: Martin Creamer     26th October 2012 “There’s a chance to settle mine labour in villages, not compounds, where a man can live with his wife and children,” Alan Paton wrote in Cry, the Beloved Country, which was published in February 1948, shortly before the National Party came into power and introduced apartheid. On pages 148 and... 

Labour law must be reviewed, migrant labour and unrest, ‘mine of future’ launch soon

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2012 South Africa’s Labour Relations Act needs radical reform; migrant labour systemmust conform to global best practice; and Exxaro plans to lauch a 'mine-of-the-future'concept next month.  

Strife-torn platinum industry going all out to co-craft new dispensation for sector

By: Martin Creamer     12th October 2012 The beleaguered South African platinum industry is going all out as a collective to co-craft a new dispensation for the strife-torn sector, but worry centres on the disconnect with those striking outside of union affiliation. The structure of the roundtable engenders confidence, but the... 

Every major mine should add education and training to operational activity

By: Martin Creamer     5th October 2012 South Africa’s mineral endowment, which is exceedingly valuable to the economy of the country, is the victim of a dereliction of duty by all South Africans. There is a lack of widespread awareness of the key niches that this county can fill in the modern global economy. 

Will Porter’s ‘shared value’ concept emerge as mining industry’s new post-Marikana strategy?

By: Martin Creamer     28th September 2012 The January 2011 Harvard Business Review article, Shared Value, written by Michael Porter, is providing a basis on which the South African mining industry appears to be moving forward. Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri quoted from it at length as he sketched the way forward during... 

It’s time to recreate prosperous and equitable South African mining industry

By: Martin Creamer     21st September 2012 The best South African response to the post-Marikana mining-industry crisis is to sit down collectively and recreate a mining industry that is more prosperous and equitable than ever before. It is essential that the words prosperous and equitable follow in that order because without the growth of... 

Strike damage judgments, mineral detection assertion, business’s Marikana response

By: Martin Creamer     14th September 2012 Court judgements on damage caused by strikers analysed; strong claims on new mineral detection technology; and Marikana mayhem prompts corporate rethink. 

Cutting to match spend forecast, implementing Dodd-Frank, social investments to the fore

By: Martin Creamer     7th September 2012 Joy Global planning to accelerate cost cutting in response to “softer market”; nongovernmental organisations want swift implementation of Dodd-Frank; governments spotlighting social investment that needs to accompany mining. 

Platinum pay fiction, manganese plant shut, gold mine faces closure

By: Martin Creamer     31st August 2012 Rock drill operators (RDOs) across the South African platinum industry are paid between R10 000 and R12 000 a month, and not the R4 000 a month beamed across the world; BHP Billiton has shut its South African Metalloys silicomanganese plant “permanently”; and the troubled Buffelsfontein gold mine... 

Big gold CEO clear-out, Botswana ousts London, graphite deal in Malawi

By: Martin Creamer     24th August 2012 Five of the top 20 Canadian gold producers by market value, including world leader Barrick Gold, Kinross Gold and Centerra Gold, have named new CEOs this year – and an exit closer to home is that of former Great Basin gold CEO Ferdi Dippenaar. 

BEE mismanagement fears, dodgy DRC tax assessments, Moz govt gets 5% of Moatize

By: Martin Creamer     17th August 2012 Black-economic empowerment fears at community level; tax authorities in the DRC gerrymandering; Mozambique government takes 5% of promising coking-coal asset. 

Investment caution abounds, Anglo cuts capital spend, BHP bosses forego bonuses

By: Martin Creamer     10th August 2012 Capital investment caution abounds at the moment; Anglo American is making capital expenditure;BHP Billiton top-brass are foregoing their bonuses for 2012 to acknowledge ther responsibility in financial write-offs. 

Near-term weak but long-term trending to strong commodities demand

By: Martin Creamer     3rd August 2012 There is near-term weakness in the mining business but the future points to trillions of dollars worth of growth. Tough short-term demand conditions do confront the industry, but long-term demand and supply scenarios continue to point to the modern world being mining’s oyster. Projections to... 

Kumba starts work on expanding just-built Kolomela operation

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2012 Fast-growing Kumba Iron Ore is already moving to expand Kolomela, its just-commissioned nine-million-ton project still in ramp-up phase. The JSE-listed company, which is one of the world’s best performing in iron-ore-mining companies, remains committed to producing 70-million tons of iron-ore a... 

One mining job benefits 26 people, says South Africa’s second anti-mine-nationalisation document

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2012 For every person who works on a mine in South Africa, 26 other people benefit, South Africa’s latest anti-mine-nationalisation research document finds. The 370-page study, which was funded by the mine-dependent Bafokeng community, follows the publication by the ruling African National Congress... 

SA bets on clean coal success, Europe quickens coal burn, use mining to grow economy

By: Martin Creamer     13th July 2012 The realisation of coal’s worth to South Africa is being reinforced at the highest level; Europe is using more coal; Anglo American says mining should be used to grow the South African economy  

70Mt iron-ore target, cleaning mine mess, take-or-pay logistics

By: Martin Creamer     6th July 2012 Anglo American's Kumba Iron Ore believes it will be exporting 70-million tons of iron-ore a year from South Africa by 2019; a new JSE-listing wants to make money out of cleaning up South Africa's dirty mining legacy; and black economic-empowerment subsidiary of the ASX- and JSE-listed Resource... 

Another platinum mine closes, more platinum project rein-in, but platinum juniors march on

By: Martin Creamer     29th June 2012 Platinum miner Aquarius Platinum has placed another operation on care-and-maintenance; black-owned Royal Bafokeng Platinum has comes up with its own bad platinum news; but two sanguine platinum juniors press ahead with capital investment. 

Commodities ‘no man’s land’, New Largo coal cooperation, platinum start-up unfazed

By: Martin Creamer     22nd June 2012 Commodity prices are in “no man’s land”; public-private cooperation is on the go on the energy-coal front; and platinum’s bleak short-term outlook has not stopped the Garatau project goahead.  

Platinum cuts expected, SA policy at crossroads, deep mining innovation

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2012 Platinum mining is in a state of flux; crucial policy choices on way for South Africa’s mining industry; and automation way to go for deep-level mining. 

Cameroon iron-ore pact, Eastplats stops project, Evander gold mine sale

By: Martin Creamer     8th June 2012 New Cameroon agreement to boost iron-ore; Eastplats stops platinum projects; Pan African happy to have the EVander gold mine all to itself.  

Indian gold demand down, commodities fall extends, court halts tungsten bid

By: Martin Creamer     1st June 2012 Gold is not playing the role of safe haven in bad economic times, Bearish conditions also persist in commodities and equities and the order against tungsten in the Western Cape is reiterated.  

Private rail participation, union rivalry intensifies, Fraser Alexander turns 100

By: Martin Creamer     25th May 2012 Private sector participation with South Africa’s State-owned rail enterprise is seen as critical to the success of upcoming expansion; there is new tension between rival mining unions; and Fraser Alexander turns 100. 

Fuel cell makes loco debut, better than asteroid mining, big demand change needed

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2012 A platinum-using fuel cell is driving a locomotive in a South African platinum mine; a platinum miner quips about asteroid mining; and current weak platinum demand is seen as hugely problematic. 

Mining, biodiversity planning, Zim platinum miners coalesce, Congolese to manage Kibali

By: Martin Creamer     11th May 2012 South Africa is to launch a new national mining and biodiversity guideline; Zimbabwe’s three beleaguered platinum miners have formed an association; already, more than half of the new Kibali gold project's management team are Congolese.  

Anglo puts State back into steel, competitive bid for Ezulwini, CoAL beating odds at Vele

By: Martin Creamer     4th May 2012 Diversified miner Anglo American has put the South African State back into steel making;TSX- and JSE-listed gold-and-uranium miner First Uranium is about to face minority shareholder resistance over its recent disposals; and Coal of Africa Limited continues to move ahead at Vele. 

Canada softens enviro rules, Australia eases miner listings, India finds platinum elements

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2012 Canada has unveiled a plan to streamline the environmental approval process; The Australian Security Exchange (ASX) is taking steps to making listing easier; and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) reports that it has discovered platinum group elements. 

Gold catalyst advance, mining output falls, rare earths reach far

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2012 After years of research, South Africa’s Project AuTEK is able to supply gold catalysts for use in a range of applications; South Africa’s mining output is down again; rare earths continue to attract attention 

Court halts tungsten dig, new call for chrome tax, platinum mining right

By: Martin Creamer     13th April 2012 The Cape High Court has granted an interim interdict to stop tungsten prospecting; South African ferrochrome aspirant Ruukki has added its voice to the debate on the export of raw chrome; and Canada’s Platinum Group Metals has been granted mining rights for its flagship South African project. 

IDC invests big in revamped Platmin, Wits plans major mine research thrust, Rio moves mine automation to India

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2012 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has made its biggest single investment in five years - R3.24-billion - in Platmin’s comeback as an integrated mining and beneficiation Newco; Wits University is resuscitating large-scale mining research; and Rio Tinto is moving... 

ArcelorMittal’s iron-ore investments, Australian gold exploration in W Africa, S Africa in low mining destination rung

By: Martin Creamer     30th March 2012 Steelmaker ArcelorMittal is investing more in iron-ore in South America and Africa; Australian junior Middle Island is pushing exploration hard in West Africa, and South Africa a low 20th on mining investment destination ladder. 

No point if Zimbabwe fails to show it has $500m/$1bn cash for 31% of Zimplats

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2012 There is no point in Implats going back to the Zimbabwe negotiating table if South Africa’s errant neighbour is unable to show that it has access to between $500-million to $1-billion in cash to pay for the 31% of Zimplats. While it has agreed to be “fully contributory for cash at an... 

South Africa’s stricken ferrochrome industry eyes Canada’s Canpotex as potential turnaround model

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2012 South Africa’s once mighty chrome-to-ferrochrome industry, now threatened by an unexpected local oversupply of raw ore, is looking to get itself back on its feet by emulating what the Canadians did 40 years ago for their then teetering but now thriving Saskatchewan potash industry. 

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