Tuesday, May thirteen, 2008
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
World number-one aluminium producer Rio Tinto Alcan said on Monday that the task team looking into the timing of its planned aluminium smelter at Coega was making good progress, and that the firm still viewed South Africa as a "good place to do business".
Director of communications and external relations for the Coega smelter, Robert Valdmanis, said that the company was not phased by reports of the ruling African National Congress embarking on a review of energy-intensive projects "in line with the country's strategic needs".
In fact, he said that Rio Tinto Alcan would gladly work with the party to examine how the proposed project would benefit the country, but that nobody had contacted the firm to this end thus far.
The Energy Intensive Users Group, or EIUG, comprising Eskom's biggest industrial customers, was sceptical of the utility's ability to continue through winter without load shedding, and was waiting for a date to meet with its CEO Jacob Maroga, Paul van Niekerk, a technical advisor to the group, said on Monday.
This was after many of the EIUG members continued to ration themselves to a power usage level of 90% of their normal demand.
Van Niekerk said that some of the group's members had spent "huge amounts" on making alternative power arrangements.
He raised questions over the sustainability of Eskom's load shedding suspension ahead of winter, when power use was traditionally higher.
Gold junior Pamodzi was looking to buy more gold mines, chairperson Ndaba Ntsele said on Monday.
Ntsele said that the company was talking to its neighbours in both Orkney and the Free State to buy adjacent mines.
This follows Pamodzi's recent take over at President Steyn gold mine in the Free State and also Orkney gold operations in the North West Province. The company's other two operations are on the East Rand and West Rand.
Pamodzi CEO Peter Steenkamp said Pamodzi's new North West Shaft on the East Rand, which was officially opened on Monday, would be producing at a rate of 30 000 tons a month at a gold grade of three to four grams a ton, in addition to the current 90 000 tons a month of underground East Rand production.
Also making headlines:
Africa mobile subscriber grows 33% says GSMA
Bharti seeks Middle East funds for MTN bid, the Wall Street Journal reports
Steel giant completes Saldanha Works reline
Power shortages may push aluminium to record high
African Eagle says joint venture partner won't take stake in Zambian copper project
And, 100-million rand jewellery factory to be opened in Kimberley
In political news:
Attacks on immigrants dent South Africa's image
Uganda and Congo say they will re-mark their common border
US court lets apartheid claims proceed
And, the South African Communist Party expels Willie Madisha
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories, visit engineeringnews.co.za, miningweekly.com and polity.org.za