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Middle East News

Space mining is getting close to reality 

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th December 2017 Space mining – the mining of bodies and other worlds in outer space for minerals and other natural resources – remains within the realm of science fiction. For now. But, during the younger years of most of the world’s current senior mining executives, personal communication devices (cellphones)... 

Electronic waste at new high, squandering gold, other metals – study

By: Reuters     14th December 2017 Electronic waste rose to a record 45-million tonnes worldwide in 2016, squandering valuable metals such as gold and copper since few trashed televisions, cellphones or other products get recycled, a UN-backed study showed on Wednesday. Rising incomes and falling prices for everything from solar... 

Fed spells relief for gold traders worried over rate-hike pace

By: Bloomberg     14th December 2017 Spot gold headed for the biggest gain in three weeks after Federal Reserve officials stuck with a projection for three interest-rate increases in the coming year, easing concerns that quickening economic growth would spur an even faster pace of monetary tightening. By a 7-2 vote, the Fed on... 

Moody’s sees stable year ahead for base metals, but also expects some risk factors

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th December 2017 Ratings agency Moody’s believes 2018 will be a year of relative stability for the global base metals industry after some recovery was experienced this year. In a 2018 outlook analysis, released on Wednesday, the agency noted that these improved supply/demand fundamentals would hold on the back of... 

Moody’s sees stable year ahead for base metals, but also expects some risk factors

Macron's climate summit draws pledges to make coal a risky bet

By: Bloomberg     13th December 2017 Some of the world’s biggest investors turned their backs on US President Donald Trump’s plan to revive the coal industry, pledging to divest from fossil fuels at a conference organised by French President Emmanuel Macron. The One Planet Summit in Paris was designed to galvanise support for the... 

Macron's climate summit draws pledges to make coal a risky bet

Seasonal battery demand, tight supply to buoy lead prices

By: Reuters     12th December 2017 Seasonally strong demand from battery makers, tight supplies caused by mine shutdowns and dwindling inventories in London Metal Exchange warehouses are expected to sustain lead prices, which recently hit six-year highs. Benchmark lead on the London Metal Exchange at around $2 500/t is up about... 

Cameco, Kazatomprom restructure JV Inkai

By: Henry Lazenby     11th December 2017 Canadian uranium producer Cameco and the National Atomic Company of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazatomprom) have agreed to restructure their joint venture over the Inkai in situ recovery uranium mine, in south Kazakhstan. Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov and Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel... 

Crucial for commodity countries to build economic resilience – Unctad 

By: Martin Creamer     11th December 2017 Without policy change, commodity-dependent developing countries risk falling short of achieving their sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) economic affairs officer Stefan Csordas warned on Monday. Unctad and the Food and... 

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) economic affairs officer Stefan Csordas
Unctad’s Stefan Csordas discusses commodities report with Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel de Silva.

Cyril Ramaphosa calls for mining sector action 

By: Martin Creamer     11th December 2017 South Africa must urgently break the ongoing deadlock on the regulation and transformation of the mining sector to ensure the proper use of this country’s world-class mineral resources, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. In an article on the CR17 Siyavuma campaign website, ahead of this... 

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Owner’s engineer role by ‘Proudly South African’ Erudite pleasing Perth 

By: Martin Creamer     8th December 2017 New ‘Proudly South African’ start-up Erudite Strategies has hit a rich vein of acceptance in Australia, where investors in junior mining projects in Africa are showing alacrity in taking up its unique client representative and owner’s engineer offering. Each of Erudite’s three leading lights has... 

Erudite founding director Johann de Bruin (right) and Martin Creamer
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer interviews Johann de Bruin, the founding director of the new project engineering company Erudite. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd and Lionel da Silva.

New polishing facility a boost to Dubai’s status as a diamond trading centre

By: Donna Slater     8th December 2017 The global diamond industry is either growing in affluent regions or remaining steady in less affluent ones, thereby reflecting a degree of positivity, as well as signs of growth. This also points to untapped potential that is ready to be unlocked through increased investment upstream and... 

New polishing facility a boost to Dubai’s status as a diamond trading centre

Pallinghurst targets London, okays share buyback, halves executive pay

By: Martin Creamer     7th December 2017 Diversified mining and marketing company Pallinghurst, which has moved fast to stabilise the now-integrated coloured gemstone acquisition, is initiating a listing on the main board of the London Stock Exchange, going ahead immediately with a share buyback programme and benefitting from executive... 

Pallinghurst CE Arne Frandsen
Photo by Duane Daws
Pallinghurst CE Arne Frandsen

World's No 1 miner sees bigger role for carbon-capture systems

By: Bloomberg     7th December 2017 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, said wider use of systems that trap carbon emissions will be needed to meet international climate goals, even as investments in the technology stall. “We have knowledge of geology, markets and economics, so there’s probably something we can bring... 

World's No 1 miner sees bigger role for carbon-capture systems

Newmont poised to oust Barrick as world's top gold producer

By: Bloomberg     7th December 2017 Newmont Mining’s Gary Goldberg has the title of world’s biggest gold producer within his grasp. The CEO raised his 2018 production forecast to a range of 4.9-million to 5.4-million ounces. That exceeds Barrick Gold’s 2018 guidance of 4.8-million to 5.3-million given in February, which doesn’t... 

Newmont poised to oust Barrick as world's top gold producer

Stratex invests more in Thani Stratex

By: Mariaan Webb     6th December 2017 London-listed Stratex International on Wednesday announced that it would invest another $200 000 in Thani Stratex Resources (TSR), which is exploring for gold in Africa and the Middle East. The investment will increase Stratex’s holding in TSR from 29.8% to 30.1% and forms part of TSR’s share... 

Harmony Gold spells out value of Moab investment

By: Martin Creamer     6th December 2017 The acquisition of the Moab Khotsong gold mine represents a significant list of advantages for Harmony Gold, the company outlined in an investor brief on Wednesday. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed gold mining company calculates that inclusion of the Moab Khotsong operations the company... 

Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp
Photo by Duane Daws
Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp

Don't expect fireworks for gold in 2018, just a gentle nudge up

By: Bloomberg     6th December 2017 Gold has its fans for next year, but sparks are probably not going to fly. Even as the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy and the European Central Bank tapers bond purchases, gold is set to rise marginally as real interest rates stay low and the dollar weakens, according to Bart Melek,... 

Glencore-Canada venture hitched to low-carbon economy shift

By: Martin Creamer     5th December 2017 The joint venture partnership Glencore struck with a Canadian pension plan on Tuesday provides exposure to commodities that benefit from a low-carbon economy. BaseCore Metals, a 50:50 partnership centred on base metals streams and royalties, involves Glencore Canada Corporation contributing a... 

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

Uranium companies jump on another round of Kazatomprom production cuts

By: Henry Lazenby     4th December 2017 An announcement Monday by the world’s largest uranium producer, the National Atomic Company of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazatomprom), that it would curtail another 20% of output for three years, starting from January, sent most TSX-listed uranium companies’ equities soaring. The national miner... 

Uranium companies jump on another round of Kazatomprom production cuts

Change or lose another 100 000 mining jobs – Cutifani

By: Martin Creamer     4th December 2017 Without change, the South African mining industry would lose another 100 000 jobs, said Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani, who six years ago accurately predicted the recent 100 000 job demise in South African mining. “I'll say it again, absent of change, we’ll lose another 100 000 jobs,” the... 

Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani

Demand for battery metals will drive African exploration, investment

By: Nadine James     1st December 2017 Growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market will boost demand for battery metals exponentially, driving exploration and investment in Africa. This was discussed during a live-streamed Mining Indaba panel on energy metals in which Cobalt 27 chairperson Anthony Milewski, Montero president and CEO Dr... 

Cobalt’s dramatic demand bump gives rise to novel investment vehicle

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 Cobalt supply constraints, coupled with a never-before-seen boom in the adoption rate of electric vehicles (EV) across the globe, have conspired to create an ideal market in which a pure-play cobalt investment and participation vehicle's profits can outpace its peers. Cobalt, a critical ‘energy... 

Cobalt’s dramatic demand bump gives rise to novel investment vehicle

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 The rate at which global automotive markets are adopting electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at a much faster pace than even some of the keenest market observers estimated at the start of 2017, and is opening up once- in-a-lifetime investment opportunities among the four key ‘energy metals’ –... 

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

Dassault Systèmes heralding in new autonomous mining era  

By: Martin Creamer     30th November 2017 The 'mine of tomorrow' is expected to be a factory-like entity equipped with a multiplicity of autonomous devices, which are controlled by technology savvy personnel working from remote centres, attendees of the natural resources forum heard in Sandton on Thursday. The ‘mine of tomorrow’ would... 

Dassault Systèmes Geovia CEO Raoul Jacquand and Martin Creamer
Dassault Systèmes Geovia CEO Raoul Jacquand interviewed by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer on mine modernisation. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Bitcoin haters don't get its gold-like qualities – Goldman Sachs

By: Bloomberg     30th November 2017 Bitcoin is a commodity with many similarities to gold, and the volatility that has sparked investor concern stems mainly from its lack of liquidity, said Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research for Goldman Sachs Group. “I don’t see why there is all this hostility to it,” Currie said in... 

Bitcoin haters don't get its gold-like qualities – Goldman Sachs

Robots will run mines within the next decade, Anglo says

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2017 Some mines in the next decade will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors, according to Anglo American. Anglo is betting on technology, such as computerized drills with "chiseling ability as good as a human" to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce... 

Withdrawal of entire MPRDA only constitutionally acceptable solution – Leon

By: Martin Creamer     28th November 2017 The process of reconsidering the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill has generated a new range of procedural missteps and failed to address any of the substantive problems in the Bill, leaving the entire withdrawal of the Bill as the only constitutionally... 

Herbert Smith Freehills Africa co-chair and partner Peter Leon.
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa co-chair and partner Peter Leon.

Electric cars' success leaves Toyota isolated with hydrogen bet

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2017 Toyota Motor, which has made a big bet on hydrogen-powered cars, is looking more isolated as industry rivals double down on plug-in electric vehicles as the dominant technology in the emerging post-fossil fuel era. Three years ago, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, grandson of company founder... 

De Beers’ Voorspoed diamond mine on market

By: Martin Creamer     27th November 2017 The decision of diamond giant De Beers to place its Voorspoed diamond mine on the market opens the way for a lower-cost operator to buy the mine and potentially extend its life, the company said on Monday, when it invited expressions of interest from prospective buyers and appointed Standard Bank... 

Voorspoed Diamond Mine in Kroonstad, Free State.
Voorspoed Diamond Mine in Kroonstad, Free State.

South32 okays R4.3bn project, eyes JSE for rejigged energy coal 

By: Martin Creamer     27th November 2017 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Monday approved the R4.3-billion, 20-year Klipspruit life extension project at South Africa Energy Coal (SAEC), and at the same time set out to turn its South African energy coal business into a standalone entity, earmarked for further empowerment... 

South32 CEO Graham Kerr
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

German car makers warned of possible battery materials shortage-Welt am Sonntag 

By: Reuters     26th November 2017 The German car industry risks running short of key raw materials for automotive batteries, hampering a planned boost in the production of electric vehicles (EVs), Germany's largest industry association BDI warned. "The risk of running into bottlenecks in raw material supply is increasing because... 

Agromining may provide new opportunities to extract remaining value from mined land

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 With a significant portion of large mineral deposits having been discovered worldwide, and, in many cases, reaching the end of viable economic recovery, phytomining is one option that could be chosen to extract the remaining value from this mined ground, Florida International University... 

Agromining may provide new opportunities to extract remaining value from mined land

Sibanye share price rises on gold tailings deal with DRDGold

By: Martin Creamer     22nd November 2017 The share price of Sibanye-Stillwater rose quickly and sharply on Wednesday on the news that the precious metals company had moved to create an industry-leading surface mining partnership with gold tailings retreatment company DRDGold. The proposed transaction, which saw the share price of... 

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman (left) and DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius.
Photo by Duane Daws
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman (left) and DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius.

Gold miners shifting focus back to growth

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2017 While global gold miners will gradually shift their focus from financial austerity to growth through acquisitions and increased spending, miners operating in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will face elevated costs owing to regulatory uncertainty, power shortages and labour unrest, according to... 

Gold miners shifting focus back to growth

Glencore sees nickel in best shape in decade before EVs take off

By: Bloomberg     21st November 2017 Glencore is seeing the best market conditions for nickel in at least a decade, and electric cars are barely playing a part yet. The miner and trading giant expects nickel’s 2017 deficit at 170 000 metric tons -- one of the biggest in years and more than most market estimates – to be driven by a... 

WPIC forecasts yet another platinum deficit in 2018

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st November 2017 A global platinum deficit of 275 000 oz is expected in 2018, further reducing the availability of above ground stocks of the metal, which have contributed about 2.5-million ounces in the last year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said on Monday. “[This] represents the sixth year that... 

WPIC research director Trevor Raymond
WPIC research director Trevor Raymond

Indian oil firms shift focus to Israel from Iran amid changing geopolitics

By: Ajoy K Das     20th November 2017 Changing geopolitical alignments and receding investment prospects in Iran are prompting a consortium of Indian oil companies to push for domestic energy security through wider exploration and production projects in Israel and Latin American countries. With the $5-billion investment offer to... 

Sampling confirms lithium in Namibia – Montero

By: Martin Creamer     17th November 2017 Exploration and development company Montero, which is putting mineralisation to the test in Namibia in search of a lithium resource, on Friday confirmed the presence of the soft silver-white metal in central Namibia. “Montero’s first channel sampling programme has confirmed lithium,” Montero CEO... 

Montero CEO Dr Tony Harwood
Montero CEO Dr Tony Harwood
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