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Middle East News

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... 

‘Auspicious’ time for M&A, yet difficult to secure capital – mining survey

By: Henry Lazenby     6th June 2017 There is a clear indication that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity among smaller players in the mining sector will increase this year, while the majors will increase divestitures to focus on core commodities. This will, in turn, benefit some of the midtiers that are able to make... 

‘Auspicious’ time for M&A, yet difficult to secure capital – mining survey

Major Transnet Freight Rail mineral mining, chrome maintenance shut

By: Martin Creamer     5th June 2017 Transnet Freight Rail will embark on a seven-day shutdown in the Mineral Mining & Chrome (MMC) area of operation from June 5 to 11. This year’s affected areas include Witbank, Nelspruit, Koedoespoort, Swaziland, Maputo, Empangeni and other lines tapping into Transnet Port Terminals and Transnet... 

Major Transnet Freight Rail mineral mining, chrome maintenance shut

Young bull run kickstarts cyclical mining industry into exploration mode

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd June 2017 With the commodity and equity markets in much better shape than a year ago, mining industry players are navigating the early days of a new bull run with renewed interest in exploration and mergers and acquisitions activity to secure future supplies. While the commodity market is perhaps not... 

Resource Maven newsletter writer Gwen Preston on a mining site visit
Photo by Resource Maven
Resource Maven newsletter writer Gwen Preston on a mining site visit

US decision to withdraw from climate change agreement problematic

By: African News Agency      2nd June 2017 The office of the United Nations Secretary-General says the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change is a major disappointment for global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to promote global security. “The Paris Agreement was adopted by all... 

Structural supply side changes, growing demand support rising vanadium prices

By: Henry Lazenby     1st June 2017 Surging vanadium prices so far this year are underpinned by structural supply side changes and stable, growing demand from most end uses, analysis by independent market intelligence firm Roskill has found. Since falling to a 12-year low of $13.5/kg of ferrovanadium in the fourth quarter of 2015,... 

Vanadium pentoxide flakes ready for shipment at Largo Resources' Maracas Menchen mine, Brazil
Photo by Henry Lazenby
Vanadium pentoxide flakes ready for shipment at Largo Resources' Maracas Menchen mine, Brazil

Implats liquidity poised for bond-offer boosting

By: Martin Creamer     1st June 2017 Platinum mining company Impala Platinum (Implats) has concluded its invitation to holders of outstanding 2018 convertible bonds, the company said following the expiry of the invitation on May 31. Implats launched dual convertible bond offerings last week to enhance its short-to-medium-term... 

Implats CEO Nico Muller
Photo by Duane Daws
Implats CEO Nico Muller

Top miner sees 'huge demand' lift from China's new Silk Road

By: Bloomberg     1st June 2017 China’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative can deliver a major boost for commodities and will add about 150-million tons to global steel demand, according to BHP Billiton, the world’s largest miner. The plan to develop infrastructure and rebuild ancient trading routes from China to... 

Mongolia coal mine
Mongolia coal mine

Carlyle's $700m Africa fund is eyeing two deals in Egypt

By: Bloomberg     1st June 2017 Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, sees two buying opportunities in Egypt this year after a commodity rout depressed prices in the region. The Washington, DC-based investor’s $700-million Sub-Saharan Africa Fund will spend between $30-million and $100-million on each,... 

De Beers taking Minerals Minister to court over bewildering diamond export obfuscation

By: Martin Creamer     31st May 2017 The South African government is refusing to grant an exemption to diamond mining company De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) relating to the exportation of diamonds to neighbouring Botswana for aggregation, Mining Weekly Online can today report. Aggregation is the process of mixing like-for-like... 

De Beers Consolidated Mines taking Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane to court.
Photo by Duane Daws
De Beers Consolidated Mines taking Minerals Minister Mosebenzi Zwane to court.

Chamber looks forward to years when platinum Mandela coin gains pre-eminence 

By: Martin Creamer     30th May 2017 The Chamber of Mines of South Africa is looking forward to the years when a platinum Mandela coin gains pre-eminence globally, emulating South Africa’s great success with gold coinage. This month’s launch by the UK’s Royal Mint of its first-ever platinum bullion products has rekindled hopes that... 

Chamber CEO Roger Baxter, president Mxolisi Mgojo, vice president Andile Sangqu and Senior executive public affairs Tebello Chabana.
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer questions Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter on efforts to assist the price-hit platinum mining sector. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd; Video editing: Lionel da Silva.

Zambezi Protocol to serve as guide for identity-changing chamber 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2017 The 128-year-old Chamber of Mines of South Africa provided an important indicator of its intended new direction when it revealed that the Zambezi Protocol would be its guiding light as it embarked on its identity and name-change programme. Under unanimously elected new president of Mxolisi Mgojo,... 

New Chamber of Mines president Mxolisi Mgojo (left), Andile Sangqu (centre) and Tebello Chabana.
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer asks new Chamber of Mines office bearers to spell out the influential institution’s decision to change its 128-year-old name and identity. Photographs and Video: Duane Daws. Video Editing : Lionel d Silva.

SA Mint should review Mandela coin plans after Royal Mint blazes new platinum coin trail

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2017 The decision of the Royal Mint, in the UK, to launch its first-ever platinum bullion products has rekindled hopes that the South African Mint will wipe the dust off its plans for a Mandela coin in platinum and mimic some of its gold coin success. In what is potentially a beneficial measure to... 

This week's Mining Weekly cartoon on prospect of launching a platinum Mandela coin.
Photo by Darlene Creamer
This week's Mining Weekly cartoon on prospect of launching a platinum Mandela coin.

Mgojo elected president as chamber heads for new beginning, new name, rebranding

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2017 It is an organisation that is more relevant today than it has ever been in its 128-year history. Its role is so much more than mining. It operates in a changing environment and needs to contemplate its own new identity and name. 

New Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo
Photo by Duane Daws
New Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mxolisi Mgojo

Vedanta hits production high spot at Black Mountain

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2017 Diversified mining company Vedanta has achieved its highest quarterly production in four years at Black Mountain in South Africa, where the Gamsberg zinc project is on track to begin production towards the middle of next year. In addition, mobilisation on the Skorpion pit layback, in neighbouring... 

Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal
Photo by Bloomberg
Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal

Despite production disruptions, copper saw February surplus of 150 000 t

By: Henry Lazenby     24th May 2017 Analysis of the latest data published by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) showed global surplus copper output of 150 000 t in February, despite disruptions at massive key mines in Chile and Indonesia. The ICSG ascribed the surplus mainly to a sharp decline in Chinese apparent demand,... 

Despite production disruptions, copper saw February surplus of 150 000 t

Gold miners slowly shift focus to growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd May 2017 Gold miners are gradually shifting their focus to growth and renewed investments after years of financial austerity measures and the prioritisation of cost competitiveness and core assets. While firms will remain committed to lowering costs to improve their competitiveness and reducing debt to... 

Thos Begbie’s global quality status boosted by on-the-spot Dekra 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd May 2017 The same-site working relationship that Thos Begbie has established with global quality inspectorate Dekra Industrial RSA is giving the prolific exporter of copper castings a commercial edge in its global dealings with mining and smelter-related customers worldwide. Thos Begbie now hosts the... 

Thos Begbie’s Edwin Dreyer (centre) with Dekra’s Johan Gerber (right) and Martin Creamer left.
Engineering News Online’s Martin Creamer talks to Thos Begbie’s Edwin Dreyer and Dekra’s Johan Gerber. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Trump woe seen double-edged sword for gold if inflation ebbs

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2017 For gold, the biggest crisis of Donald Trump’s Presidency could cut both ways. While prices may continue to rise as investors seek a “safety trade", they could also drop if the turmoil ends up damping inflation risks as growth expectations are disappointed, according to Michael Cuggino,... 

From Yukon to Patagonia, gold explorers stir after sleep

By: Bloomberg     19th May 2017 From Canada’s Yukon to southern Patagonia, outbreaks of gold-rush fever are popping up as bullion markets stage a tentative recovery. The number of holes drilled at gold deposits has been rising steadily for more than a year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

From Yukon to Patagonia, gold explorers stir after sleep

Pallinghurst share price leaps on value unlock outline

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2017 The share price of mining investment fund Pallinghurst leapt in Johannesburg after the company outlined its plans to swop its investment fund shawl for a diversified miner’s mantle, unlock value through full absorption of its coloured gemstone associate and target a possible listing of the... 

Arne Frandsen (left) and Brian Gilbertson at Pallinghurst's listing on the JSE ten years ago
Photo by Duane Daws
Arne Frandsen (left) and Brian Gilbertson at Pallinghurst's listing on the JSE ten years ago

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

By: Henry Lazenby     19th May 2017 Project valuations based on elevated price assumptions in the absence of more reasonable scenarios to provide a more balanced view to the market is potentially damaging to the credibility of management teams, their consultants and the mining industry as a whole, London-based boutique investment... 

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

New cost-slashing platinum technology gaining impressive momentum

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 The new cost-slashing, time-saving, capital-unlocking, mine-broadening and cobalt-saving platinum technology, driven by diversified mining company Pallinghurst and South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is gaining impressive international momentum as an initiative... 

Pallinghurst chairperson Brian Gilbertson (centre), Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen (right) in an earlier discussion with Martin Creamer on the new platinum technology.
Photo by Duane Daws
Pallinghurst chairperson Brian Gilbertson (centre), Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen (right) in an earlier discussion with Martin Creamer on the new platinum technology.

Shadow Minerals Minister warns of ‘disastrous’ mining outlook 

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2017 Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer forecasts that South Africa’s new minerals legislation and new charter will be “disastrous” for an industry already crippled by hugely diminished capital injection and massive year-on-year job loss. The Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, who... 

Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer
Shadow Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer

Glencore says electric car boom is coming faster than expected

By: Bloomberg     16th May 2017 Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said the rise of electric cars will significantly boost demand for minerals including copper and lithium in the coming decades. “The electric vehicle revolution is happening and its impact is likely to be felt faster than expected,” Glasenberg told investors at an... 

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg
Photo by Duane Daws
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

De Beers' sales reach $520m as industry enters ‘quieter season’

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th May 2017 Diamond miner De Beers’ fourth cycle of rough diamond sales for this year has generated $520-million. This was slightly lower than the $586-million achieved in the third sales cycle. 

Iran's mining projects on hold as investors fear new sanctions

By: Bloomberg     15th May 2017 Iran has put on hold “almost all” of its mining agreements with foreign investors as companies from Europe to Asia fear additional sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation’s economy, according to the deputy minister of Iran’s Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade. Less than $100-million of projects... 

Royal Mint launches first ever platinum products

By: Martin Creamer     15th May 2017 The Royal Mint, one of the world’s oldest issuers of bullion coins and bars, on Monday launched its first ever platinum bullion products. In what is potentially a beneficial measure to boost platinum demand, the 1 000-year-old organisation has launched 500 g and kilo platinum bars as... 

Platinum coins
Platinum coins

Lonmin buys remaining Pandora stake

By: Martin Creamer     15th May 2017 Platinum mining company Lonmin has bought the remaining 7.5% stake in Pandora platinum operation from Northam Platinum. In November last year, Lonmin entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire Anglo American Platinum’s 42.5% stake in Pandora, taking ownership to 92.5% of an asset with... 

Lonmin CEO and COO Ben Magara
Lonmin CEO and COO Ben Magara
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