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BHP details dam management actions as it publishes findings into Samarco disaster

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th August 2016 Diversified mining giant BHP Billiton has announced a number of actions to enhance the risk management of its dams, including creating a centralised dam management function and assessing technology options to enhance dam management across its portfolio. BHP Billiton will also apply, with... 

Orca Gold reunites Red Back senior management in executive shakeup

By: Henry Lazenby     30th August 2016 Canadian junior explorer Orca Gold has reunited the senior management of erstwhile Red Back Mining in an executive shakeup announced Monday, which the company believes will set it on a path to regional dominance in North and West Africa. The Orca board has appointed chairperson Richard Clark its... 

Kia SA targets selective local assembly, plans bakkie launch in 2020

By: Irma Venter     29th August 2016 Kia Motors South Africa (KMSA) is close to finalising a deal with Hyundai Motors South Africa (HMSA) to assemble its K2700 and K2500 workhorse bakkies at HMSA’s Benoni plant, says KMSA CEO Ray Levin. HMSA assembles the Hyundai HD65 and HD72 medium-duty trucks at the Benoni facility, as well as... 

Indo-Russia Summit expected to fast-track mining, hydrocarbon collaboration projects

By: Ajoy K Das     26th August 2016 The forthcoming yearly Indo-Russia Summit, in October, is expected to lay down the framework for scaling up bilateral engagements in the mining, energy and hydrocarbon sectors, wherein mega marquee investments have already been put on the anvil. While the bilateral agreements up for discussion... 

Brazil's Vale expects Samarco to restart mid-2017

By: Reuters     26th August 2016 Brazilian miner Vale expects Samarco, an iron-ore joint venture it owns with BHP Billiton, to restart operations in the middle of 2017, a company executive said on Thursday. Samarco's mine has been shut since November when a tailings dam on the site burst, killing 19 people and causing Brazil's... 

Amid low prices and weak demand, steel protectionism goes global

By: Bloomberg     26th August 2016 From the US to India, regulators around the world are pushing harder than ever to shield local steel industries from foreign competition. Nations imposed 85 new duties and other taxes on steel imports in the first half, according to the Russian Steel Association, which counted preliminary and... 

Electric propulsion the future of aircraft

By: Sebastian Whyle     26th August 2016 As battery systems improve, there is a shift towards electrically powered aircraft, which is causing a rapid change in propulsion systems in the aerospace industry, says South African aircraft manufacturer The Airplane Factory (TAF) director and shareholder Mike Blyth.  

Francophone Africa seen as untapped market for South African firms

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th August 2016 Despite significant opportunities across a range of sectors, the Francophone African markets remain relatively untapped from South Africa, speakers stated at the ‘Doing Business in Francophone Africa’ business forum. Speaking at the forum in Johannesburg at the end of June, Africa House strategy... 

PRASA New Rolling Stock Acquisition Programme, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     26th August 2016 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has reported that manufacturing of the trains is progressing well. 

SA slides down global manufacturing competitiveness ranking

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th August 2016 Despite being regarded as the most competitive manufacturing country in Africa, South Africa is losing momentum when compared with other countries, particularly China. South Africa dropped three places – to twenty-seventh position – on the global ranking of the world’s most competitive countries,... 

UAVs lead way for smaller aerospace manufacturers

By: Sebastian Whyle     26th August 2016 Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – commonly referred to as drones – have led the way in introducing smaller manufacturers to what has typically been a large-scale industry, says South African aerospace-focussed programme National Aerospace Centre (NAC) director Philip Haupt.  

South32 to pay inaugural dividend despite significant revenue drop

By: Samantha Herbst     25th August 2016 Despite a 25% drop in revenue for the 2016 financial year, diversified mining major South32 announced on Thursday that it would pay an inaugural shareholder dividend of $0.01 a share, reflecting the company’s belief in its operations and the flexibility of its balance sheet. With revenue down... 

Govt, AMSA reach accord on steel price basket

By: Kim Cloete     23rd August 2016 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) and government have agreed to remove import parity pricing with immediate effect in a bid to boost South Africa’s steel industry. The local price for flat steel products will be based on an import-weighted basket. 

Citigroup says this ‘hot commodity’ is destined to cool off soon

By: Bloomberg     23rd August 2016 Iron-ore, dubbed by Citigroup as one of the hot commodities of 2016, looks set to cool off. Prices may sag toward the end of the year and into 2017 as supply rises and steel demand fades, the bank said, adding to the list of banks that are calling time on an unexpected rally. The raw material... 

Eldorado diversifies exploration portfolio

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd August 2016 Canadian gold producer Eldorado Gold has added four new exploration properties located in Romania, Serbia and Brazil to its portfolio, the miner said on Monday. Eldorado VP of of exploration Peter Lewis said the company was excited by the addition of the projects, since they all included defined... 

Sanral provides R30m funding to Stellenbosch programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd August 2016 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Monday endowed Stellenbosch University with R30-million for its Sanral Chair in Pavement Engineering research fund. Established in 2001, the Sanral research chair is an academic programme committed to the development of human capital and... 

New unit to be set up to oversee rail local-content push

By: Terence Creamer     22nd August 2016 The Department of Public Enterprises and National Treasury will consolidate procurement for locomotives into a single institution, under Transnet, to ensure “efficiency and compliance with the localisation requirements”. The decision to set up the unit was made at the recent Cabinet lekgotla,... 

CIC said to pursue $9-billion Vale iron-ore streaming deal

By: Bloomberg     20th August 2016 China Investment Corp (CIC), the $814-billion sovereign fund, is leading a Chinese investor group in talks for a multibillion-dollar iron-ore streaming deal with Brazil’s Vale, people familiar with the matter said. The consortium is negotiating the potential purchase of a portion of Vale’s... 

High-Performance Material Handling Technologies on Display at MINExpo 2016

     19th August 2016 A broad range of advanced technologies for safer and more productive bulk handling will be on display at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2016, as Martin Engineering unveils new and improved component designs for conveyor belt cleaning, dust management, load containment, risk reduction and improved... 

Mozambique's coal mines shed 4 000 jobs as coal price drops – State news agency

By: Reuters     19th August 2016 Nearly 4 000 coal miners have lost their jobs in Mozambique's Tete province over the past year as mining firms such as Brazil's Vale cut back due to lower prices, the African nation's state news agency said on Thursday. Vale, which operates an open cast coal mine in the northwestern part of one... 

Packaging manufacturer joins renewable-energy campaign

     19th August 2016 Food processing and packaging solutions provider Tetra Pak has joined the RE100 renewable-energy campaign, committing to increase its use of renewable electricity from 20% today, to 100% across all global operations by 2030. The announcement was made at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) forum​... 

Rising uptake of vanadium-based batteries bodes well for market as price turns a corner 

By: Henry Lazenby     18th August 2016 A more than 40% increase in the price of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) since December lows is invigorating the industry, just as it is poised to see significant new demand for the steel-strengthening ingredient coming from the increasing adoption of vanadium-redox flow batteries (VRBs). The commodity... 

Three-decade iron-ore veteran says 2017 to bring challenges

By: Bloomberg     18th August 2016 Iron-ore strayed well off-script in 2016 as a rally surprised the bears. Michael Zhu, former global sales director at Vale SA, says the commodity will probably face a tough year in 2017 as supply keeps on expanding while China’s steelmakers struggle to sustain output at current levels. “I’m not... 

Gas suppliers Praxair, Linde hold merger talks

By: Reuters     16th August 2016 US industrial gas supplier Praxair and German peer Linde are in early-stage talks about a merger to create a market leader with a value of more than $60-billion, Linde said on Tuesday, sending shares in both companies higher. An agreement would accelerate consolidation sweeping the industrial gas... 

BHP plunges into the red with $6.4bn loss

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th August 2016 One of the world’s largest mining companies, BHP Billiton, has posted a $6.4-billion full-year loss on weaker commodity prices, offshore US asset impairments and the Samarco dam failure. Speaking to journalists during a global conference call on Tuesday, CEO Andrew Mackenzie said the  financial... 

Iron-ore seen back at $40 by Morgan Stanley as seasons shift

By: Bloomberg     16th August 2016 Iron-ore’s 2016 rally may be about to face a challenge from the changing of the seasons. Morgan Stanley has forecast that prices may tumble back to $40 a metric ton this half as the approach of winter in China typically blunts steel demand and output. “Our short-term forecast still features a... 

Ramaphosa appoints panel on minimum wage 

By: News24Wire      15th August 2016 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a seven-person panel to advise on an appropriate level at which the national minimum wage could be set. Ramaphosa did this in his capacity as chair of the Committee of Principals of the National Economic Development Council (Nedlac). The committee... 

AngloGold’s free cash trebles, slashes net debt  

By: Martin Creamer     15th August 2016 Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti announced on Monday that it had more than trebled free cash flow generation in the first half of the year to $108-million and lowered net debt by almost a third, as costs fell and it took advantage of a higher gold price. In its presentation of results for... 

Stalled BHP-Vale mine said seeking waiver on bank repayments

By: Bloomberg     13th August 2016 Brazilian miner Samarco is seeking a standstill agreement on about $1.6-billion in bank loans as its owners BHP Billiton and Vale refuse to cover debt payments, people with knowledge of the matter said. The iron-ore venture, whose operations were halted last year after a dam spill, is asking... 

Innovation Metals successfully separates high-value rare earths

By: Henry Lazenby     12th August 2016 Mississauga-based private rare earths company Innovation Metals Corp (IMC) has successfully demonstrated that its proprietary RapidSX can produce commercial-grade praseodymium-neodymium (Pr-Nd) oxide, using feedstock from the Mineração Serra Verde (MSV) deposit in Goias state, Brazil. The company... 

Gigaba challenges Western media perspectives on Brics 

By: News24Wire      11th August 2016 For developing countries to achieve meaningful development, they must rely on their own resources to achieve their objectives. The Brics Forum and the introduction of the New Development Bank (NDB) are contributing to this independent development, according to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.... 

Wacker Neuson cautious for H2 despite of a strong second quarter

     11th August 2016 In the second quarter of 2016, leading international light and compact equipment manufacturer the Wacker Neuson Group almost equaled its record revenue from the prior-year quarter. In light of increased market uncertainties and volatility for H2, the Group revised its forecast for 2016. Revenue... 

South Africa slips down manufacturing competitiveness ranking

By: African News Agency      10th August 2016 South Africa has dropped down the global ranking of most competitive manufacturing regions, according to data released by Deloitte on Wednesday. While the country is still seen as the most competitive manufacturing country in Africa, it has dropped three places globally since 2013 to come in at... 

New Technology Generates Power Using Conveyor Belt Energy

     8th August 2016 A global leader in bulk handling equipment has introduced an innovative technology that uses the kinetic energy from a moving conveyor belt to generate enough power to run a wide variety of electronic systems.  Martin Engineering designed the Martin® Roll Gen™ System to create a self contained... 

Brazilian group to help develop aviation industry in Morocco

By: Keith Campbell     5th August 2016 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer and Morocco’s Mohammed VI International Aviation Academy (AIAC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Casablanca last week. The aim of the MoU is to develop aviation-related engineering in the North African country. Embraer will train Moroccan engineers... 

Global defence aviation market predicted to expand, but competition to rise too

By: Keith Campbell     5th August 2016 European aerospace and defence company Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus DS) expects the global defence market to grow at an annual average rate of 2.4% between now and 2020. Currently, total global defence expenditure is estimated at about €400-billion. In terms of regions, defence spending in... 

China miners downplay call for iron-ore antidumping probe

By: Reuters     4th August 2016 A call by Chinese iron ore miners for an anti-dumping investigation into imports from top suppliers was a suggestion rather than an official request, a senior official at Metallurgical Miners' Association of China told local media. The association hasn't organized further study or discussion on... 

Tanzania plans to boost sugar output 31% in four years

By: Reuters     4th August 2016 Tanzania aims to raise sugar production by about 31% over the next four years to meet domestic demand, the prime minister's office said on Wednesday. Local growers produce around 320 000 t of raw sugar per year against demand of 420 000 t, with imports from Brazil and elsewhere filling the deficit. 

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