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Middle East News

Platinum ETFs hit record high, palladium seen as over-bought 

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2019 Platinum-backed exchange traded fund (ETF) holdings increased for the ninth consecutive day yesterday reaching 2.96-million ounces, the highest level on record, the BMO Metals Brief noted on Friday. The report put out by BMO Global Commodities Research addedthat ETF inflows had been strong in the... 

Exxaro unveils new ultramodern headquarters  

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2019 South Africa’s largest coal producer and black-empowered coal company Exxaro has unveiled its new ultramodern headquarters. The conneXXion, in Centurion, has e-parking bays for employees to charge their electric or hybrid vehicles while they work, and attractive central staircases to encourage... 

New Exxaro headquarters
New Exxaro headquarters

Exciting DRDGold expertise deserves international prominence – Froneman 

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2019 The exciting gold-from-tailings expertise of DRDGold, which has decades of experience in recovering precious metals profitably from mine dump material, deserves international prominence which Sibanye-Stillwater intends to afford it, CEO Neal Froneman said on Wednesday. Froneman drew attention to... 

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman with Joburg Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel
Photo by Wynand van der Merwe
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman with Joburg Indaba chairperson Bernard Swanepoel

Russian tycoon Potanin plans crypto tokens backed by palladium

By: Bloomberg     27th March 2019 MMC Norilsk Nickel and its billionaire chief Vladimir Potanin are planning several digital platforms, including using crypto tokens for trading palladium. The world’s top palladium producer is in talks with Swiss authorities about issuing tokens by its Switzerland-based palladium fund, and may... 

LME waives listing fees for cobalt brands for six months

By: Reuters     26th March 2019 The London Metal Exchange (LME) on Tuesday suspended listing fees for new cobalt brands for six months to encourage interest from producers of the element widely used in rechargeable batteries. The LME, the oldest and largest market for industrial metals, launched a cash-settled cobalt contract... 

Global emissions hit record as energy demand boosts fuel use  

By: Bloomberg     26th March 2019 Carbon emissions from fossil-fuel use hit a record last year after energy demand grew at its fastest pace in a decade, reflecting higher oil consumption in the US and more coal burning in China and India. Those findings from the International Energy Agency mark a setback for the effort to rein in... 

Palladium rally is seen fading this year  

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2019 Palladium has been one of the hottest commodities for a while now, but analysts think this year may be the time to book profits. Prices have rallied to fresh records on tighter supplies of the material mainly used in gasoline vehicle autocatalysts. But analysts surveyed by Bloomberg see the metal... 

Greenpeace opposes Eskom’s application to postpone air quality legislation compliance

By: Simone Liedtke     19th March 2019 Nonprofit organisation Greenpeace Africa on Tuesday reaffirmed its opposition to State-owned Eskom’s application for further postponements and/or suspensions from air quality legislation. The organisation explained that, in the interests of realising the Constitutional right to a healthy... 

Greenpeace global air pollution unit lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Greenpeace global air pollution unit lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta

Palladium tops $1 600 as metal sets new highs on supply shortage  

By: Bloomberg     19th March 2019 Palladium topped $1 600/oz for the first time, and there’s little sign of the rally slowing as global supply tightens. The price of the metal – mainly used in autocatalysts in gasoline vehicles – has almost doubled from a recent low in August. Demand has remained robust as manufacturers scramble... 

Menar’s Canyon offers Eskom cheaper coal on open-book basis  

By: Martin Creamer     19th March 2019 Coal mining company Canyon Coal, a Menar group company, is prepared to offer coal to State-owned electricity utility Eskom at a cheaper price on an open-book basis from two new projects. The Menar group, which does not supply coal to Eskom at present, employs 3 500 people on a R7-billion asset... 

Menar MD and Canyon Coal executive chairperson Vuslat Bayoğlu
Menar MD and Canyon Coal executive chairperson Vuslat Bayoğlu talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photos: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Nicholas Boyd

Opec+ affirms commitment to oil cuts, defers decision to extend

By: Bloomberg     18th March 2019 Saudi Arabia led fellow members of the Opec+ coalition to reaffirm their commitment to output cuts, but conceded they should defer until June the decision on whether to extend the curbs. A committee of the most influential members in the 24-nation alliance, which includes Russia, Iraq and the... 

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases

By: Tracy Hancock     15th March 2019 Investors focused on the mining sector may not fully appreciate how quickly the electric vehicle (EV) is being adopted globally, in light of the world pursuing a low-carbon emissions future, says battery metals investment vehicle Colbalt 27 Capital chairperson and CEO Anthony Milewski, who warns... 

Huge demand for copper, cobalt, lithium and nickel in the offing as EV uptake increases

'No tomorrow' for many unless consumption falls – UN

By: Reuters     13th March 2019 Global exploitation of natural resources – from water, sand and timber to oil, coal and gemstones – has more than tripled in 50 years, the United Nations (UN) said on Tuesday, warning of devastating environmental impacts unless demand is reduced. Surging consumption of natural resources –... 

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential 

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2019 The demise of State power utility Eskom has caused South Africa to lose its optimal position in the lucrative ferrochrome business. Because of Eskom’s decline, unbeneficiated chrome ore exports from South Africa to China have enabled the Asian giant to ascend up the ferrochrome production ladder. 

South African chrome underpins China's ferrochrome dominance.
Photo by Merafe
South African chrome underpins China's ferrochrome dominance.

Merafe declares record dividend on lower profit, higher output

By: Martin Creamer     11th March 2019 Chrome and ferrochrome company Merafe, which on Monday reported lower profit on higher production, has declared a record dividend that represents a distribution of 51% of headline earnings. The ungeared company had net year-end cash of R281-million and the R200-million unsecured, three-year... 

Merafe CEO Zanele Matlala
Photo by Creamer Media
Merafe CEO Zanele Matlala

Opinion: In the pursuit of gender equality

8th March 2019 In this opinion piece, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver outlines the diamond miner's approach to creating a more inclusive world for all. For more than a century, International Women's Day has been celebrated annually on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political... 

De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver

Global gold-backed ETF holdings retreat in February – WGC

By: Simone Liedtke     7th March 2019 After four consecutive months of inflows, holdings in global gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and similar products fell by 33 t in February to 2 479 t, which is equivalent to about $1.3-billion in outflows. Global assets under management (AUM) fell by 2% to $105-billion over the course of... 

RBPlat reopens UG2 shaft, creates UG2 access points at Styldrift  

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2019 Flexibility is a re-emphasised aspect of platinum group metals (PGMs) mining strategy. Changed demand has resulted in the need to twist and turn quickly to benefit from the rise in prices of metals in the PGM basket. Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri made special mention of... 

RBPlat CEO Steve Phiri (right) and Martin Creamer
Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Christo Greyling.

Govt support for platinum strategy encouraging – RBPlat 

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2019 The government’s support for the national platinum strategy is encouraging, says Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri. In an interview with Mining Weekly Online after reporting before-tax profit of R316-million in a presentation of turned-around 2018 financial results, Phiri expressed... 

South Africa's platinum group metals mines
Photo by Minerals Council South Africa
South Africa's platinum group metals mines

RBPlat studying solar energy, upgrading slimes dams  

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2019 Black-owned and black-managed mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) is investigating the use of renewable energy sources and investing in the upgrading of its tailings storage facilities. The company said in reply to Mining Weekly Online during question time at Tuesday’s presentation of... 

RBPlat executive head: operations Neil Carr
RBPlat executive head: operations Neil Carr outlines solar, tailings plans to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photo: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd.

Shortages, shrinking stocks to energise zinc bulls

By: Reuters     5th March 2019 Shortages for a fourth year running and historically low stocks of zinc are likely to propel prices of the metal to $3,000 a tonne over coming months, while an end to the US-China trade dispute could spur even more gains. Benchmark zinc on the London Metal Exchange at around $2 760/t is up... 

RBPlat highlights encouraging new govt approach to mining  

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2019 South Africa’s only community owned mining group, Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), on Tuesday highlighted the positive contribution being made to the local mining industry by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and pledged to do its bit towards conquering... 

RBPlat CEO Steve Phiri
RBPlat CEO Steve Phiri endorses new government approach at presentation covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photo: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd

Royal Bafokeng Platinum secures R1bn building block  

By: Martin Creamer     5th March 2019 Black-owned and black-managed platinum group metals mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) on Tuesday announced a capital raise of R1 029-million through a rights offer that represents the key final building block to secure the company's path to 500 000 oz of platinum group element (4E)... 

RBPlat CFO Hanré Rossouw
RBPlat CFO Hanré Rossouw spells out rights offer at presentation covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photo: Creamer Media’s Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd

Glencore cites trade as its 'foremost risk', others rising

By: Reuters     1st March 2019 Miner and trader Glencore said trade barriers are its "foremost risk", but climate, political, legal and other risks had become more prominent. Glencore, said in its annual report published on Friday that it was seeking to mitigate these challenges through conservative spending and strict... 

Gazetting of platinum group metals zone expected by May – Implats 

By: Martin Creamer     1st March 2019 The gazetting of the area dedicated to platinum-using fuel cell development in the Springs area is expected to be complete by May this year, Impala Platinum (Implats) group executive refining and marketing Sifiso Sibiya said this week. Responding to Mining Weekly Online during the Implats media... 

Impala Platinum group executive refining and marketing Sifiso Sibiya
Impala Platinum group executive refining and marketing Sifiso Sibiya

Junkyard palladium growing as an answer to waning resource

By: Bloomberg     1st March 2019 Junkyard palladium is quickly becoming a growth market as mined supplies of the silvery-white metal used to control harmful auto emissions run increasingly short. With palladium prices up 83% since mid-August, recyclers are gaining an edge at a time when some producers are forecasting a deficit... 

Zinc demand and production to increase over the next four years

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st March 2019 Data and analytics company GlobalData has forecast that worldwide zinc production will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% between this year and 2022. This growth will be underpinned by production increases and the opening of new mines in Canada, China, India, Kazakhstan and Mexico, and... 

Merger with Newmont will unlock $7bn-plus – Barrick 

By: Martin Creamer     28th February 2019 Shareholders will lose more than $750-million a year for every year that the merger with Newmont is delayed, Barrick said on Thursday. Barrick calculates that there is potential to unlock more than $5-billion of real synergies from the Nevada mines alone and $7-billion-plus overall. It contends... 

Barrick president and CEO Dr Mark Bristow
Photo by Creamer Media
Barrick president and CEO Dr Mark Bristow

Implats pumps cash, slashes debt in laudable turnaround 

By: Martin Creamer     28th February 2019 A higher platinum group metals (PGMs) rand basket price boosted by increases in palladium, rhodium and nickel resulted in an laudable operational and financial turnaround by Impala Platinum (Implats) in the six months to end December, when earnings before interest tax depreciation and... 

Implats CEO Nico Muller
Photo by Creamer Media
Implats CEO Nico Muller

Freight rates drop as more ships become available – Assore 

By: Martin Creamer     27th February 2019 Freight rates have dropped quite substantially since the iron-ore tailings dam tragedy in Brazil ,with more vessels becoming available, Assore CEO Charles Walters reports. Since the Brumadinho dam disaster, some 30-million tonnes of iron-ore supply have been withdrawn from the market. 

Assore CEO Charles Walters
Photo by Creamer Media
Assore CEO Charles Walters

Mick Davis’ Niron believes Zogota can unlock Guinea’s rich potential 

By: Martin Creamer     25th February 2019 Mining luminary Mick Davis’s new company Niron Metals on Monday expressed the belief that the development of the Zogota iron-ore endowment in Guinea had the potential to unlock the country’s rich resources for the benefit of all stakeholders.  Davis, who is well known for his impressive record in... 

A flashback to Mick Davis' Xstrata days with South Africa's former Mineral Resources Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Photo by Creamer Media
A flashback to Mick Davis' Xstrata days with South Africa's former Mineral Resources Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Barrick sees Newmont merger as unprecedented value creator 

By: Martin Creamer     25th February 2019 Gold mining company Barrick on Monday announced that it had made a proposal to the Newmont board of directors to merge with Newmont in an all-share transaction, saying a combination of the two companies would form the world’s best gold company with unprecedented potential for value creation.... 

Barrick president and CEO Dr Mark Bristow
Barrick president and CEO Dr Mark Bristow

Mpumi Zikalala to head De Beers managed operations 

By: Martin Creamer     25th February 2019 De Beers Group has announced an initiative to consolidate its mining assets in South Africa and Canada into one business called De Beers Group Managed Operations. The new business will streamline operational management and identify synergies to create a more sustainable business in the two... 

MD De Beers Broup Managed Operations Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Zikalala
MD De Beers Broup Managed Operations Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Zikalala

Steinmetz stages Guinea comeback in Sarkozy-brokered deal

By: Bloomberg     25th February 2019 Israeli mining tycoon Beny Steinmetz is making a dramatic return to Guinea after the billionaire ended a bitter dispute with the West African country that brought his business empire to its knees. The settlement, brokered by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, ends a seven-year-old dispute... 

Too much zinc has miners begging for smelters as new mines open

By: Bloomberg     25th February 2019 A likely rebound in the amount of raw zinc produced this year could have miners "begging smelters” to refine the metal used to galvanize steel, potentially boosting their fees to the highest in two years. Supplies of the refined metal have been tight following smelter disruptions in China. This... 

De Beers says laboratory-grown diamond wholesale prices fall by up to 60%

By: Reuters     22nd February 2019 Wholesale prices for laboratory-grown diamonds have fallen by up to 60% since De Beers began selling synthetic stones for jewellery in September, CEO Bruce Cleaver said on Thursday, adding margins for the sector would continue to fall. De Beers, part of mining group Anglo American, shocked the... 

UG2 outperforms as Sibanye positions for new world ­  

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2019 The soaring prices of rhodium and palladium have put new focus on the upper group two (UG2) reef, for long the poor cousin of Merensky reef in the hierarchy of platinum group metals (PGMs) mining. Merensky's predominant platinum content has made it the preferred reef for decades but UG2 is... 

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman's results presentation reported on by Mining Weekly Online's Martin Creamer. Photograph: Creamer Media's Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media's Darlene Creamer.

Strike-hit but upbeat Sibanye confident of value uplift as precious metals shine 

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2019 Precious metals company Sibanye-Stillwater expressed confidence on Thursday that the global precious metals surge would enable it to deliver value despite the prolonged strike challenge that the company is contending with. The company reported 8%-lower earnings before interest, taxes,... 

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman
Photo by Creamer Media
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman
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