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Middle East News

WDC president to resign by end of week

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th June 2017 Andrey Polyakov will resign as president of the World Diamond Council (WDC) by the end of the week. VP Stephane Fischler will serve as acting president from July 1 until May 1, 2018, when he will start his two-year term as WDC president.  

Court bid to halt coal project fails

By: Martin Creamer     28th June 2017 An urgent Pretoria High Court bid to stop Atha-Africa Ventures from proceeding with the development of the Yzermyn coal mining project in Mpumalanga has failed, with the matter removed from the urgent roll and each party made to pay own costs. The court found that the allegations of the eight... 

Praveer Tripathi
Praveer Tripathi

AngloGold to restructure South African mines to ensure viability

By: Martin Creamer     28th June 2017 Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti has begun consulting with employees on placing the 59-year-old Savuka mine and the 36-year-old Kopanang mine on care and maintenance, and evaluating the integration of the 60-year-old TauTona mine into the neighbouring Mponeng mine, which is being set up as a... 

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat)
Photo by Duane Daws
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat)

As nasty quarter ends, iron's reprieve sees futures back in $60s

By: Bloomberg     28th June 2017 After what’s been a tough quarter, iron ore’s getting a small reprieve. Futures clawed their way back above $60 a metric ton and spot prices have rebounded from a one-year low as steel output holds up in China, buoying demand for the material even as its supply rises. The SGX AsiaClear contract... 

More precious than gold? Copper's the better inflation hedge

By: Bloomberg     28th June 2017 For centuries, gold has been a go-to asset among investors worried about all sorts of financial risks. In the past decade, exchange-traded funds backed by the metal drew more money than any other commodity. Even the world’s biggest central banks hoard bullion as a reserve asset. But when it comes... 

More precious than gold? Copper's the better inflation hedge

Iron-ore outlook cut back by Morgan Stanley over rest of year

By: Bloomberg     27th June 2017 Iron-ore forecasts at Morgan Stanley have been chopped back for the remainder of the year, with the bank flagging prospects for rising low-cost production and the likelihood that the worldwide surplus will increase every year through to 2021. The commodity will average $50 a ton in the third... 

Greenhouse tightening as govt imposes Paris agreement – Exxaro

By: Martin Creamer     26th June 2017 The legislative changes around emission of greenhouse gases is becoming more onerous as the South African government implements the Paris Agreement, diversified black-owned resources group Exxaro said on Monday, when the coal-mining major announced that “good progress” had been made finalising... 

Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo
Photo by Duane Daws
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Gold plunges as 1.8Moz traded in a New York minute

By: Bloomberg     26th June 2017 Gold sank like a stone at 09:00 in London after a huge spike in volume in New York futures that traders said was probably the result of a "fat finger," or erroneous order. Trade shot up to 1.8-million ounces of gold in just a minute, a level not reached even with the surprise election of US... 

Zinc rally to slow in H2 as headwinds mount – BofAML

By: Henry Lazenby     24th June 2017 Headwinds to the current zinc price rally are expected to mount during the second half of the year as consumption slows, undermining the base metal’s strong fundamentals, new analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has found. The banking group’s Global Commodities Research team said in... 

Mining Charter violates shareholder rights – Hogan Lovells

By: Martin Creamer     23rd June 2017 Mining Charter Three’s arbitrary increase of empowerment shareholding to 30% violates the property rights of shareholders, and the new charter’s requirement to pay 1% of yearly turnover is not expected to survive challenges under the Companies Act and the Constitution. Property rights under the... 

Hogan Lovells partner Wessel Badenhorst
Hogan Lovells partner Wessel Badenhorst

Glencore paid $4bn in taxes, royalties in 2016

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd June 2017 Triple-listed Glencore on Friday reported it had paid some $4-billion in taxes and royalties to governments in 2016. Some $1.78-billion related to payments in respect of the extractive activities under the reporting requirements of the European Union (EU) directive, the mining giant’s yearly... 

Electric car demand boosts companies engaged with lithium 

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 Lithium demand is surging, boosting shares of the companies linked to mining and manufacturing the light metal used in electric-car batteries. Global X Lithium & Battery Tech, an exchange-traded fund of the 27 biggest companies linked to the light metal, has increased 65% in the past 18 months,... 

Slow, bumpy market recovery on the cards for most commodities

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd June 2017 The global commodity market is probably in for a slow, drawn-out recovery following the five-year bear market, S&P Global Market Intelligence director for reports on the metals and mining sectors Dr Chris Hinde said during a webcast on Wednesday. According to S&P’s ‘State of the Market’ report,... 

Slow, bumpy market recovery on the cards for most commodities

Mining Charter exposing South African economy to GATT angst  

By: Martin Creamer     21st June 2017 The procurement rules of the new Mining Charter may violate South Africa’s obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), exposing the country to challenges by other member states of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers Peter Leon and Patrick... 

Herbert Smith Freehills co-chair Peter Leon
Photo by Duane Daws
Herbert Smith Freehills co-chair Peter Leon

India seeks to extend LNG, energy cooperation with Qatar

By: Ajoy K Das     21st June 2017 Despite Qatar being pushed into diplomatic and economic isolation by its neighbours, India is deepening economic cooperation in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and energy with new proposals and initiatives. The Indian government has proposed a fresh long-term LNG purchase agreement, while the Qatari... 

Mining Charter set to worsen stakeholder relations – Bench Marks

By: Martin Creamer     20th June 2017 The new Mining Charter is the flawed outcome of inadequate consultation with communities, the board of the Bench Marks Foundation said on Tuesday, when it warned that the document is poised to worsen stakeholder relations. Bench Marks executive director John Capel condemned the new charter as a... 

 Rt Rev Dr Jo Seoka, chairperson of the Bench Marks Foundation, which has launched a scathing attack on the new Mining Charter.
Photo by Reuters
Rt Rev Dr Jo Seoka, chairperson of the Bench Marks Foundation, which has launched a scathing attack on the new Mining Charter.

Latest sales cycle earns De Beers $530m

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th June 2017 Diamond miner De Beers’ fifth sales cycle for the year generated revenue of $530-million. While this was up from the $522-million of diamonds sold in the fourth sales cycle, sales were lower than the $546-million earned in the fifth cycle in 2016. 

Latest sales cycle earns De Beers $530m

Iron seen in low-$40s by Citi as supply grows, demand peaks

By: Bloomberg     20th June 2017 Iron-ore may extend a slump into the low-$40s as supplies swell and demand reaches a short-term peak amid steel mill restarts and ramp-ups in China, according to Citigroup, which cut its forecasts by as much as 20% over the next year. The nadir in prices may occur in six to eight months, analysts... 

Chinese production, capacity cuts needed to rebalance aluminium market

By: Henry Lazenby     17th June 2017 New analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BofAML’s) Global Commodity Research team sees no alternative but for China to cut back production (temporary) and capacity (permanent) to rebalance the global market. While aluminium has been the best performing base metal since the start of the... 

BHP chooses MacKenzie to succeed Nasser as chairperson

By: Henry Lazenby     16th June 2017 The board of the world’s largest miner BHP Billiton has elected Ken MacKenzie to succeed Jac Nasser as chairperson. MacKenzie will assume the role of chairperson in September 1, following Nasser’s retirement as both chairperson and a non-executive director. 

Chamber going to court to halt devastating charter blow to already battered mining sector 

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2017 The Chamber of Mines of South Africa will be applying at the earliest opportunity for a court date for a declaratory order on continuing empowerment consequences, as well as immediately seeking an interim court interdict to suspend the implementation of Mining Charter Three, the devastating set... 

Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo
Photo by Creamer Media
Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo

Alrosa, Dubai trader strengthen ties

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th June 2017 The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Russian diamond miner Alrosa have agreed to enhance diamond trade cooperation. The parties discussed options for expanding Alrosa’s trading activities at the Dubai Diamond Exchange – a DMCC entity – as well as agreements on enhanced efforts to stem... 

From Tesla cars to underwear, metal makers seek new markets

By: Bloomberg     15th June 2017 The world’s biggest mining companies would like you to put more zinc in your zucchini and copper in your socks and dental floss. While builders and manufacturers remain the biggest metals users, producers are confronting the end of a Chinese industrial boom that fueled surging global demand and... 

Top mining, metals companies warned not to take debt reduction too far 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th June 2017 New research from advisory firm Ernst & Young (EY) has shown that global mining and metals companies are in danger of going too far in their efforts to reduce debt and could compromise their long-term growth opportunities. In a new report, EY noted that debt has fallen by almost 25% in the... 

De Beers opens platform for third-party polished diamond sales

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th June 2017 Sellers and buyers of responsibly sourced, exceptional polished diamonds will be able to transact anonymously through the De Beers Auction Sales platform for the first time, when the group’s exceptional polished stones auction is held on June 29. The diamond miner believes buyers and sellers will... 

Tri-Star shares surge on Oman supply agreement

By: Mariaan Webb     13th June 2017 Shares in Aim-qouted Tri-Star Resources surged on Tuesday as the company announced Traxys Europe will supply antimony and antimony gold concentrates to its project in Oman. Tri-Star owns an equity interest in Strategic & Precious Metals Processing (SPMP), which is building the Oman Antimony... 

Old school coal dealmaking nears end as Nippon flags new system

By: Bloomberg     13th June 2017 Japan’s lead negotiator on metallurgical coal contracts with global miners has sounded the death knell on a decades-old practice of setting prices after volatility whipped up by an Australian cyclone and China output cuts roiled markets. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. will shift to buying... 

Glencore doubles down on coal as mining rivals head for the exit

By: Bloomberg     12th June 2017 Glencore is doubling down on coal, even as rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group move away from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. The company, run by former coal trader Ivan Glasenberg, made a surprise eleventh-hour $3.5-billion bid for a huge patch of thermal coal-rich ground on Australia’s... 

Ivan Glasenberg
Photo by Bloomberg
Ivan Glasenberg

Impact of copper strikes fizzles on scrap inflow, mine rebound

By: Bloomberg     12th June 2017 Disruptions at the two biggest copper mines early this year may have only a muted impact on prices after a surge of scrap metal partially filled the supply gap and a recovery in mine output is due to help in the second half. A strike at the world's biggest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, and... 

Renewable energy eclipsing coal – Fieldstone 

By: Martin Creamer     12th June 2017 Renewable energy is very rapidly ousting coal, which could present a blow to Botswana, which has been pinning its hopes on coal replacing the static diamond industry as its new platform for economic growth. “Renewable energy is just about the only thing being invested in,” Fieldstone Africa MD... 

Fieldstone Africa MD Jonathan Berman
Photo by Martin Creamer
Fieldstone Africa MD Jonathan Berman

IHS Markit's materials price index registers 3.1% weekly decline

By: Henry Lazenby     9th June 2017 A broad basket of commodities tracked by market research house IHS Markit has declined the most in a single week since mid-April, falling 3.1% last week in a broad retreat. IHS senior economist Ben Orhan said in a news release to Mining Weekly Online on Thursday that the commodity price index... 

Cobalt upstarts eye Glencore's turf for electric car spoils

By: Bloomberg     9th June 2017 The race is on to supply more of the cobalt needed for batteries in the fast-growing market for electric vehicles -- and that means fresh competition for the big players Glencore Plc and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A pipeline of projects is looming in places including Australia, the US and... 

Zinc, tin, nickel, platinum evoke most optimism at Junior Indaba 

By: Martin Creamer     8th June 2017 UK market intelligence firm CRU is most optimistic about the prospects for zinc, tin, nickel and, to a certain extent, platinum over a 12-month time horizon and named copper, bauxite, nickel and gold as good commodities to be in over the longer term. CRU principal consultant Ben Jones told the... 

Panel discussion under way at Junior Indaba led by Standard Banks's Sandra du Toit
Report on commodities at Junior Indaba, by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs, Video and Video Editing: Darlene Creamer 8.6.2017

Gold steady as UK goes to polls, ECB meeting in focus

By: Reuters     8th June 2017 Gold held steady on Thursday as investors awaited cues on market direction amid a number of geopolitical events later in the day that could boost the safe-haven demand for the metal. Polling has started in the UK national elections, while the European Central Bank (ECB) may discuss dropping... 

Lydian crests 50% capex pledge at low-cost Armenian Amulsar mine

By: Henry Lazenby     8th June 2017 Armenia-focused gold project developer Lydian International has reached the halfway mark in terms of the capital committed to build its cornerstone $369.9-million Amulsar project. The coming months will see the company report regular news flow as it achieves key construction-based catalysts, with... 

Lydian International's 100%-owned Amulsar project, in Armenia, is slated to become a low-cost gold producer from mid-2018
Photo by Lydian International
Lydian International's 100%-owned Amulsar project, in Armenia, is slated to become a low-cost gold producer from mid-2018

Gold makes run toward $1 300 as risk flares from UK to Mideast

By: Bloomberg     7th June 2017 Gold’s taking aim at $1 300 an ounce. The metal has rallied to the highest since November as investors position themselves for the outcome of the UK election and potential drama of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, while also tracking tensions in the Middle East. Bullion for immediate... 

Gold makes run toward $1 300 as risk flares from UK to Mideast

Robot ghost ships to extend miner's technology drive to seas

By: Bloomberg     7th June 2017 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, is studying the introduction of giant, automated cargo ships to carry everything from iron-ore to coal as part of a strategic shift that may disrupt the $334-billion global shipping industry. “Safe and efficient autonomous vessels carrying BHP... 

De Beers subsidiary unveils synthetic screening device for multiple stones

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th June 2017 Diamond giant De Beers’ International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) subsidiary on Tuesday unveiled a synthetic screening device to test multiple stones in set jewellery at once without the need for a probe. Synthdetect, which also has a low referral rate of around 0.05%, uses... 

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