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HYDROGEN SHOWCASE: Luxury carmaker BMW has unveiled its BMW iX5 in South Africa, with the aim of showcasing the vehicle’s combined long range and short refuelling times. The BMW iX5‘s 6 kg of hydrogen allows for a 500 km range, with the car’s platinum-based fuel cell using green hydrogen produced by Sasol to produce the clean electricity that powers the quiet drive train. BMW has also installed hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at its Midrand campus in Johannesburg.
HYDROGEN SHOWCASE
1st March 2024

Luxury carmaker BMW has unveiled its BMW iX5 in South Africa, with the aim of showcasing the vehicle’s combined long range and short refuelling times. The BMW iX5‘s 6 kg of hydrogen allows for a... 


CURRENCY CRUNCH: Zimbabwe may back its currency with gold to end exchange-rate instability, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced earlier this month. “In order to manage growth of liquidity, we may link the exchange rate to a hard asset such as gold,” Ncube said in an online press briefing a week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa signalled that a revamp of the world’s worst-performing currency was under consideration. At the time of the announcement, the Zimbabwe dollar had slumped almost 50% against the US dollar this year after plunging 90% in 2023.
CURRENCY CRUNCH
23rd February 2024

Zimbabwe may back its currency with gold to end exchange-rate instability, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced earlier this month. “In order to manage growth of liquidity, we may link the... 


COLLATERAL DAMAGE
COLLATERAL DAMAGE
16th February 2024

Egypt’s Suez Canal revenue plunged by almost half in January after attacks by Houthi militants on Red Sea vessels forced major shipping firms to avoid the waterway. Income was about $428-million... 


ESKOM ECHOES
ESKOM ECHOES
9th February 2024

There are slight echoes of South Africa’s Eskom in Taiwan, where the precarious financial state of the country’s sole electricity utility, Taipower, is threatening the island’s clean energy... 


AI & ELECTIONS: As many countries, including South Africa and a highly divided US, prepare for elections in 2024, there is concern that Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools could be used to spread disinformation. Ahead of the recent Republican primary in New Hampshire a ‘deepfake’ audio message purporting to be US President Joe Biden urged voters to “Save your vote for the November elections”, even though voting in a primary cannot preclude a voter participating in the presidential elections. While obviously fake, it heightened fears that AI-powered video and image generators could well be used for political gain this year. Photograph: Bloomberg
AI & ELECTIONS
2nd February 2024

s many countries, including South Africa and a highly divided US, prepare for elections in 2024, there is concern that Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools could be used to spread disinformation.... 


SHIPPING RISKS: Recent hostilities in the Red Sea have added to the risks that global shippers will have to navigate in 2024. Reuters reports that they also face the prospect of significant disruptions from other conflicts, including any possible further souring of China-Taiwan relations, as well as droughts affecting key routes such as the Panama Canal. Should these risks increase or materialise, there could be delays that raise costs for retailers globally. Photograph: Reuters
SHIPPING RISKS
26th January 2024

Recent hostilities in the Red Sea have added to the risks that global shippers will have to navigate in 2024. Reuters reports that they also face the prospect of significant disruptions from other... 


TEA TO CHINA
TEA TO CHINA
19th January 2024

China has lowered duties on South Africa’s rooibos tea to 6% from a range of 15% to 30%, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition reported earlier this month. The industry produces... 


LOOMING CHALLENGE: Coal-dependent South Africa needs to more than double climate financing to achieve its emissions reduction targets, a Presidential Climate Commission paper states. Current yearly average funding of R131-billion needs to be boosted to R334-billion for the country to meet its net-zero goal by 2050, the paper states.
LOOMING CHALLENGE
15th December 2023

Coal-dependent South Africa needs to more than double climate financing to achieve its emissions reduction targets, a Presidential Climate Commission paper states. Current yearly average funding of... 


IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: South Africa finally published its implementation plan for the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan ahead of COP28 and amid news of fresh funding flows arising from the now expanded $9.3-billion partnership with various developed countries. The document outlines an $80-billion, five-year investment plan aimed at stimulating a transition from the economy’s current over-reliance on coal. With the detail out, the devil now resides firmly in actual implementation. Photograph: Bloomberg
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
8th December 2023

South Africa finally published its implementation plan for the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan ahead of COP28 and amid news of fresh funding flows arising from the now expanded $9.3-billion... 


PRICE RISE: In late November, uranium prices topped $80 a pound for the first time in more than 15 years. Bloomberg reports that prices have rallied during 2023, after more than a decade of moving sideways, amid interest in nuclear and numerous production challenges. While spot uranium (picture here in the form of a yellowcake concentrate) is a thinly traded market, the term price — which is more important for power plants — has also been trending higher. Photograph: Bloomberg
PRICE RISE
1st December 2023

In late November, uranium prices topped $80 a pound for the first time in more than 15 years. Bloomberg reports that prices have rallied during 2023, after more than a decade of moving sideways,... 


ELECTRIC EXPANSION: Hyundai hosted a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this month for a $1.5-billion investment into a new electric vehicle plant in South Korea, which will be capable of producing 200 000 cars a year. The plant will be in Ulsan, where the company built its first auto plant in 1968. Bloomberg reports that work will begin later this year and mass production will start in the first quarter of 2026, with the luxury Genesis large-size sport utility vehicle the first model to roll off the assembly line. Photograph: Bloomberg
ELECTRIC EXPANSION
24th November 2023

Hyundai hosted a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this month for a $1.5-billion investment into a new electric vehicle plant in South Korea, which will be capable of producing 200 000 cars a year.... 


RISING EMISSIONS: Greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s top meat and dairy producers increased further this year, Bloomberg reports. Disclosed emissions from the world’s 20 largest listed meat and dairy companies rose 3.3% from 2022 levels, according to a report by investor network FAIRR Initiative. The food industry’s climate footprint accounts for about one-third of global greenhouse gases. Livestock, which releases potent methane, makes up 14.5% of worldwide emissions. Photograph: Bloomberg
RISING EMISSIONS
17th November 2023

Greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s top meat and dairy producers increased further this year, Bloomberg reports. Disclosed emissions from the world’s 20 largest listed meat and dairy... 


SINKING FEELING: South Africans responded with a mix of anger and resignation as the country’s other large and failing State-owned enterprise, Transnet, move to secure taxpayer support for its turnaround plan only months after Eskom was granted a R254-billion debt-relief package. The Transnet leadership have warned that absent an injection and debt relief the recovery plan will fail. The plan does open the door for more private sector participation in the ailing ports and rail systems, however. Photograph: Bloomberg
SINKING FEELING
10th November 2023

South Africans responded with a mix of anger and resignation as the country’s other large and failing State-owned enterprise, Transnet, move to secure taxpayer support for its turnaround plan only... 


CRITICAL EXPANSION: While South Africa continues to work on its critical minerals strategy, Australia has announced a $2-billion expansion in financing in a bid to solidify its position as a leading producer of critical minerals, including lithium (pictured). Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Resources Minister Madeleine King announced the expansion on October 25, surrounded by Australian and US industry leaders and following the inaugural meeting of the Australia-US Taskforce on Critical Minerals. Photograph: Bloomberg
CRITICAL EXPANSION
3rd November 2023 By: Creamer Media Reporter

CRITICAL EXPANSION: While South Africa continues to work on its critical minerals strategy, Australia has announced a $2-billion expansion in financing in a bid to solidify its position as a... 


CARBON REPORTING: China’s Environment Ministry has told factories releasing the equivalent of more than 26 000 t/y of carbon dioxide to verify their 2022 data by December. Bloomberg reports that the Ministry is centralising a reporting process that was previously handled locally to help exporters meet the requirements of the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which began data collection this month and formally launches in 2026. The aluminium, cement and steel industries covered in the first phase of the CBAM will need to complete their data verification by September from 2024.
CARBON REPORTING
27th October 2023

China’s environment ministry has told factories releasing the equivalent of more than 26 000 t/y of carbon dioxide to verify their 2022 data by December. Bloomberg reports that the ministry is... 




PUBLIC GOOD: The Public Investment Corporation says it will increase its investment in renewable energy, with chief investment officer Kabelo Rikhotso revealing that its current exposure already stands at R16.5-billion. The State-owned fund manager, which oversees about R2.6-trillion rand in assets, has renewable investments that have contributed more than 2 000 MW to the grid through solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power and wind technology. Photograph: Bloomberg
PUBLIC GOOD
20th October 2023

The Public Investment Corporation says it will increase its investment in renewable energy, with chief investment officer Kabelo Rikhotso revealing that its current exposure already stands at... 


HYDROGEN SHOWCASE: Sasol, Toyota South Africa Motors and Air Products South Africa unveiled a proof-of-concept second-generation Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle earlier this month. The vehicle is being used to showcase the potential for domestic green hydrogen as a zero-emission transport alternative. Pictured here is Air Products South Africa’s Lutendo Mammburu, an electrical engineerwho is also currently responsible for the group’s refuelling technology. Photograph: Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater.
HYDROGEN SHOWCASE
13th October 2023

Sasol, Toyota South Africa Motors and Air Products South Africa unveiled a proof-of-concept second-generation Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle earlier this month. The vehicle is being used... 


REFORM VS RENEWAL: As South Africa prepares to host a forum on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in November, concern that the country could be disqualified from the preferential trade arrangement seems to have ebbed somewhat. However, given the diplomatic tensions and America’s extreme political divisions, renewal remains uncertain. What is clear is that America wants to make changes to the scheme, with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai arguing that the world is “really different” from when Agoa was enacted in 2000. “We’re on a timeline - you’ve got to reform, you’ve got to update while the world is changing,” Tai said at an event in Washington last month. Photograph: Bloomberg
REFORM VS RENEWAL
6th October 2023

As South Africa prepares to host a forum on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in November, concern that the country could be disqualified from the preferential trade arrangement seems to... 


THROUGH THE HAZE: While the aviation industry has promised to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, harsher weather conditions are already forcing a rethink of critical infrastructure in airports, such as this Arizona airport pictured during a recent protracted heat wave. Bloomberg reports that airports around the world are relocating sensitive electrical equipment to rooftops to protect it from flooding, reinforcing runways to handle extreme temperature swings and revving up air conditioning as climate change complicates operations. Photograph: Bloomberg
THROUGH THE HAZE
29th September 2023

While the aviation industry has promised to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, harsher weather conditions are already forcing a rethink of critical infrastructure in airports, such as this... 


HIGHER GRADE: The Mbombela-based Manganese Metal Company’s manganese refinery, built in 1974 to beneficiate manganese minerals mined in South Africa’s Hotazel’s region, produces two high-grade (99.9% pure), selenium-free manganese products, including flakes (seen here) and powder. Manganese is a key mineral used in lithium-ion batteries, steel, specialty alloys and even aluminium beverage cans, among others. The refinery – the only one of its kind outside of China which produces the highest-quality of refined manganese globally – is eyeing significant expansion, with intentions to add a brownfields 5000 t/y plant to the existing28000 t/y electrolytic manganese metal plant, which will target demand stemming from the expanding global battery electric vehicle market. Photograph: Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater
HIGHER GRADE
22nd September 2023

The Mbombela-based Manganese Metal Company’s manganese refinery, built in 1974 to beneficiate manganese minerals mined in South Africa’s Hotazel’s region, produces two high-grade (99.9% pure),... 


GIVE & TAKE
GIVE & TAKE
15th September 2023

South Africa will provide fiscal support to the automotive industry to help it transition to electric vehicles, Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo confirmed earlier this month. But given the... 


NO CREDIT: Several major carbon traders are finding that offsets they bought may now be valueless, Bloomberg reports. A carbon credit is a paper security representing one ton of carbon dioxide reduced or removed from the atmosphere, generated by projects like wind farms or planting trees and preventing deforestation, such as is the case with the Gabon forests pictured. Recently Trafigura Group, which is the world’s largest trader of carbon-removal credits, suspended a consignment as it awaited the results of a probe into the forestry project behind the units. It’s reportedly the latest in a string of cases in which traders handling carbon credits are having to treat such assets as stranded. Photograph: Bloomberg
NO CREDIT
8th September 2023

Several major carbon traders are finding that offsets they bought may now be valueless, Bloomberg reports. A carbon credit is a paper security representing one ton of carbon dioxide reduced or... 


SUNRISE INDUSTRY: A study commissioned by the Localisation Support Fund has found that there is local manufacturing capability for powerline components to meet current low levels of demand. However, to avoid an overreliance on imported products when this demand increases in line with Eskom’s grid roll-out plan, local manufacturers require support and workload certainty. Once established, the potential of supplying products to neighbouring countries and the rest of Africa could become a viable expansion strategy. Photograph: Bloomberg
SUNRISE INDUSTRY
1st September 2023

A study commissioned by the Localisation Support Fund has found that there is local manufacturing capability for powerline components to meet current low levels of demand. However, to avoid an... 


TRADE TURMOIL: The world’s biggest exporter, China, recently reported its biggest contraction in overseas shipments since the Covid-related slump of February 2020, while Germany, the world’s third-largest exporter, has also seen its exports fall. The impact on growth is uncertain and uneven, but a Bloomberg report suggests that until the global manufacturing cycle works off a build-up of inventories, export-orientated economies could pose a drag on economic prospects.
TRADE TURMOIL
25th August 2023 By: Bloomberg

The world’s biggest exporter, China, recently reported its biggest contraction in overseas shipments since the Covid-related slump of February 2020, while Germany, the world’s third-largest... 


CRIME & CONGESTION: The collapse of South Africa’s freight rail service has resulted in serious traffic congestion in Komatipoort, a town on South Africa’s border with Mozambique. Every day about 1000 trucks carrying coal and other commodities are picking up the slack left by declining volumes on key rail corridors. Bloomberg reports that there are fears that this number could rise to 3 000 trucks a day by the end of 2024 unless there is a drastic turnaround in the performance of rail. Photograph: Bloomberg
CRIME & CONGESTION
18th August 2023

The collapse of South Africa’s freight rail service has resulted in serious traffic congestion in Komatipoort, a town on South Africa’s border with Mozambique. Every day about 1 000 trucks carrying... 


SHALLOW WATERS: Companies reliant on the Rhine River, Europe’s most important trade route, are rushing to adapt as water regularly recedes to levels that impede shipping. Bloomberg reports that water levels this latest European summer fell to the point where ships could carry only about half of their normal capacity. Companies are also increasingly having to resort to costly workarounds, while freight operators have started overhauling fleets with barges able to navigate shallow water.
SHALLOW WATERS
11th August 2023

Companies reliant on the Rhine River, Europe’s most important trade route, are rushing to adapt as water regularly recedes to levels that impede shipping. Bloomberg reports that water levels this... 


GRID IN FOCUS: Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says South Africa will prioritise the expansion of its grid over the next decade and reports that work is under way on 25 projects at existing substations that could potentially unlock grid capacity for about 13 GW of much-needed generation in the near- to medium-term. He has also stressed that South Africa can ill-afford to “kick the can down the road” in the area of grid investment as it did in the early 2000s with generation. Photograph: Bloomberg
GRID IN FOCUS
4th August 2023

Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says South Africa will prioritise the expansion of its grid over the next decade and reports that work is under way on 25 projects at existing... 


FOOD-PRICE EMERGENCY: Nigeria’s annual inflation rate climbed to a fresh 18-year high in June. This, after President Bola Tinubu scrapped fuel subsidies and allowed the currency to weaken before declaring a state of emergency to control the cost of staple foods, Bloomberg reports. Prices increased 22.79% in the year through June from 22.4% the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The upswing was fuelled by a 25.3% increase in food prices. Photograph: Bloomberg
FOOD-PRICE EMERGENCY
28th July 2023

Nigeria’s annual inflation rate climbed to a fresh 18-year high in June. This, after President Bola Tinubu scrapped fuel subsidies and allowed the currency to weaken before declaring a state of... 


BEES AT WORK: JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has installed 16 beehives at eight of its properties in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as part of an initiative designed to assist in addressing a decline of global bee populations. The first hives were installed in August 2020 at the Knightsbridge office park, in Bryanston and Hyde Park Lane, in Sandton. The hives are located away from areas of heavy foot traffic, are clearly sign-posted, and beekeeping activities take place at night.  Emira reports that the bees have produced 85 kg of honey to date from five hive sites, with the first honey harvests shared with staff and some service providers.
BEES AT WORK
21st July 2023

JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has installed 16 beehives at eight of its properties in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as part of an initiative designed to assist in addressing a decline of global bee... 


SILVER LINING: Changes to solar panel technology are accelerating demand for silver, which is used in a paste form to provide a conductive layer on the front and the back of silicon solar cells. Bloomberg reports that more efficient versions of cells use a lot more of the metal, which is set to boost already-increasing consumption. Solar is still a fairly small part of overall silver demand, but it’s growing. It’s forecast to make up 14% of consumption this year, up from around 5% in 2014, according to a report from The Silver Institute. Much of the growth is coming from China, which is on track to install more panels this year than the entire total in the US.
SILVER LINING
14th July 2023

Changes to solar panel technology are accelerating demand for silver, which is used in a paste form to provide a conductive layer on the front and the back of silicon solar cells. Bloomberg reports... 


COAL BOTTLENECK: Exxaro Resources has warned that coal shipments by State-owned freight logistics group Transnet in 2023 have dropped to an annualised rate of only 46.5-million tons. The figure represents a fall from the 50.4-million tons of coal transported to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal for export in 2022, already the lowest volume recorded in three decades. Exxaro attributed the slump to locomotive availability, train derailments, and instances of cable theft and vandalism. Photograph: Bloomberg
COAL BOTTLENECK
7th July 2023

Exxaro Resources has warned that coal shipments by State-owned freight logistics group Transnet in 2023 have dropped to an annualised rate of only 46.5-million tons. The figure represents a fall... 


HAZE ALERT: While South African scientists are urging government and business to increase their preparedness for the pending El Niño, there are warnings of a high risk of haze in some Asian countries. Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia could face the most severe haze in at least five years, with the Singapore Institute of International Affairs having assigned a rating of “red” in its Haze Outlook 2023. In South Africa, meanwhile, previous droughts in the summer rainfall regions of the country, and seasons with a high frequency of heat waves days, are associated with previous El Niño events. Photograph: Bloomberg
HAZE ALERT
30th June 2023

While South African scientists are urging government and business to increase their preparedness for the pending El Niño, there are warnings of a high risk of haze in some Asian countries.... 


OFFICIAL COLLAPSE: Sudan’s official gold industry, the country’s largest revenue earner, has collapsed after a deadly conflict broke out in the country in April. Sudan officially exported 34.5 t of gold worth over $2-billion last year. Mubarak Ardol, general-director of the Sudanese Mineral Resources Limited, has confirmed that official exports have ground to a halt, while processing equipment has been damaged, and the headquarters of several gold companies looted. However, both the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces have also been accused of smuggling large amounts of illicit gold out of the country. Photograph: Bloomberg
OFFICIAL COLLAPSE
23rd June 2023

Sudan’s official gold industry, the country’s largest revenue earner, has collapsed after a deadly conflict broke out in the country in April. Sudan officially exported 34.5 t of gold worth over... 


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SBS Tanks
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Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East
Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East

Weir Minerals Europe, Middle East and Africa is a global supplier of excellent minerals solutions, including pumps, valves, hydrocyclones,...

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Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...

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Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...

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