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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

Minerals Minister makes no bones about mines of future being less labour-intensive

By: Martin Creamer     31st May 2013 Minerals Minister Susan Shabangu made no bones about the mines of the future being less labour intensive when she addressed the central executive committee of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at the weekend. The former unionist was also unequivocal about the fate of migrant labour. 

Ivanplats’ Africa confidence, new Botswana kimberlite, mining, farming coexistence

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2013 Ivanplats is moving to finalise its right to mine South Africa’s platinum- and coproduct-rich Platreef; TSX-V-listed explorer Pangolin Diamonds reports the discovery of new kimberlite in Botswana;and Australian case studies show how mining and agriculture can work together. 

‘What Amplats has announced other mining companies will be forced to replicate until nobody’s left standing’

By: Martin Creamer     17th May 2013 After agonisingly long consultations with government, the troubled platinum company, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), lowered the number of employees that it planned to retrench to 6 000 from the controversial 14 000, and at the same time announced that it would compress its Rustenburg... 

Mining investors need new injection of confidence after ‘miserable year’

By: Martin Creamer     10th May 2013 “I don't know if we’re at the bottom, but it feels like we’re getting close. From a returns perspective, the risks look asymmetric to the upside,” says Liberum Capital mining head Michael Rawlinson of the new investment opportunities that are developing in mining investment after what has he... 

Is underground coal gasification ‘ugly duckling’ potential swan?

By: Martin Creamer     3rd May 2013 The so-called underground coal gasification 'ugly duckling' appears to have the potential to be a useful swan, not only in South Africa, but in countries including Botswana, Mozambique and even Namibia, a Fossil Fuel Foundation workshop has heard in Johannesburg.  

Shale gas resource, dismissal fears arise, China-Africa collision

By: Martin Creamer     26th April 2013 Exploration needs to go ahead to determine how much of the shale gas in South Africa’s Karoo is commercially viable; law firm fears dismissals as workers go it alone; an executive warns of an economic head-on collision between Chinese business imperatives and Africa’s aspirations to derive more... 

What’s South Africa doing to become mining finance centre for Africa?

By: Martin Creamer     19th April 2013 The Cameroon-Congo-Gabon region is being likened to Australia’s iron-ore-rich Pilbara and the coking-coal resources of Mozambique-South Africa-Zimbabwe to Australia’s Bowen Basin. It is said to be only a matter of time before the Democratic Republic of Congo-Zambia region overtakes Chile as the... 

Why South Africa’s mining industry is indispensable

By: Martin Creamer     12th April 2013 Without coal mining, there would be no electricity and alternatives like use turbines packed with mined ingredients; cellphones can't function without eight mined metals and minerals, and cars need ten mined products. 

High price of nationalisation, R1bn iron-ore drill contract, Wits’ acid water membrane

By: Martin Creamer     5th April 2013 State-centric policies can lose resource-rich countries a fortune; JSE-listed Master Drilling is providing services of Kumba Iron Ore; and local researchers have come up with a membrane to tackle acid mine drainage 

Coking coal bonanza, gold miner buys coal, coal funding quest

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2013 Makhado has hard coking coal, gold miner Village has bought into thermal coal company Continental and Resgen is mulling alternative funding for its Boikarabelo coal project. 

Anglo American is a South African company, Minerals Minister reminds new CEO

By: Martin Creamer     22nd March 2013 “Mark, this Anglo American plc, it’s ours. It’s a South African company,” Minerals Minister Susan Shabangu reminded incoming Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani at a Chamber of Mines function in his honour. “We hope you’ll make sure that it remains South African,” the Minister added. Her comments... 

Resource nationalism thread weaving its way through African continent

By: Martin Creamer     15th March 2013 Mining law specialist Peter Leon took the opportunity to tell the story of the growth of resource nationalism on the continent of Africa when he addressed MineAfrica’s 11th annual seminar in Toronto last week. Webber Wentzel’s Africa mining head used the platform of the large Prospectors and... 

JSE hurt by migration, benefits of confidence, electricity tariff halved

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2013 South Africa’s JSE being hurt by South African companies migrating their primary listings to foreign stock exchanges; investor confidence in South Africa must be restored; and the Chamber of Mines welcomes the halving of the proposed electricity tariff increase.  

Clean coal a must, cutters want diamonds, mine using solar power

By: Martin Creamer     22nd February 2013 Carbon capture and storage is a must if global temperature is to be limited to a 2 °C-only rise by 2020; more diamonds should be made available for local cutting; and a chrome mine in South Africa’s Limpopo province is using solar power. 

Politics shaping minerals supply, market ‘overly pessimistic’, platinum’s ’90s hard work lost

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2013 Politics is shaping world minerals supply; the global commodities market is “overly pessimistic”; and the hard work that the South African platinum industry did in the 1990s has been thrown away.  

Serious lack of coal supply for Eskom – Roadmap

By: Martin Creamer     8th February 2013 Coal will remain one of the top two primary energy sources in the world until 2035, says South African Coal Roadmap steering committee chairperson Ian Hall. In the last ten years, coal has accounted for 45% of all energy demand growth in the world and in the run up to 2035, this growth for coal... 

Chinese fund platinum project, workers uplifting themselves, new diamond mine shaping up

By: Martin Creamer     1st February 2013 The China Development Bank has approved a $650-million loan for the development of Wesizwe’s new Bakubung platinum project; mineworkers are accrediting their own further-education-and-training college; and Diamond junior DiamondCorp has started work on the development of 47 level at its... 

Harmony’s help appeal, aluminium smelter fall, forensic diamond review

By: Martin Creamer     18th January 2013 Gold major Harmony took out a large advertisement at the weekend appealing for all-inclusive help at its troubled Kusasalethu gold mine; income of diversified miner BHP Billiton’s two aluminium smelters could fall in the half-year ending June; and South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development... 

Nine platinum shafts closed, platinum M&A opportunities, tough Amplats action on way

By: Martin Creamer     14th December 2012 Nine platinum shafts have closed in the last six months; merger-and-acquisition opportunities are surfacing in platinum mining; and Anglo American Platinum has let it be known that tough action is on the way to right-size and reshape the business. 

Align, mine and shine, new coal mine planned, new Eskom buy-back

By: Martin Creamer     7th December 2012 The mining sector has the potential to multiply indirect job creation; ASX coal explorer ZYL is planning a new anthracite mine in Mpumalanga; and Ferrochrome producer Hernic has voluntarily shut two of its De Kroon furnaces until March.  

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... 

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