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Mining sector unloved as investors find it hard to trust

By: Reuters     17th February 2018 Investors are shunning the mining sector, data from Thomson Reuters shows, as they struggle to forget the string of multi-billion dollar takeovers and expensive development projects that left them empty handed. A decade-long commodity boom coincided with years of economic growth when China took... 

Acacia Mining says valuing Tanzania mines for possible sale

By: Reuters     17th February 2018 Gold miner Acacia Mining confirmed on Friday it had begun to value its Tanzanian operations for a potential sale after expressions of interest from Chinese buyers. "The company is engaging with a small number of potential investors, the process remains at a very early stage and there can be no... 

Volatility, improving supply erase year-to-date index gains

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2018 The Materials Price Index (MPI) from Global Insight by IHS Markit has fallen back to levels at which it started the New Year, as a return of volatility shook markets again last week, dampening appetites for risk and souring the exuberant mood that has prevailed this year. The MPI plunged 3% last... 

Nautilus completes production tools sea trials in PNG

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2018 Marine mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals has successfully completed submerged trials for its seafloor production tools (SPTs), in Papua New Guinea. "The overarching objective of the trials was to ensure that all three machines met the requirements of their respective functional design... 

Country-specific hazards emerge during self-driving car’s world tour

By: Irma Venter     16th February 2018 It may surprise the taxi haters, but South Africa is not the most challenging country to sit behind the wheel of a vehicle in self-driving mode. The winner is China, with its sometimes erratic cyclists, lack of lane markings and confusing traffic signals. Mercedes-Benz at the end of last year... 

Projects boding well for geotechnical contractor

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th February 2018 Specialist geotechnical contractor and subsidiary of Keller Group, Franki Africa, is providing 46 000 Columns with Mixed Moduli (CMM) for the 350 000 m2 Clairwood logistics park construction site project.  

Northam opens R900m platinum smelter expansion

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2018 Platinum mining company Northam on Thursday officially opened a R900-million smelter expansion at its Zondereinde platinum mine in Limpopo province. The addition of a second furnace extends the JSE-listed company’s 30-year-old partnership with metals company Heraeus, which contributed €20-million... 

Indian mineral royalty rate revision on the cards

By: Ajoy K Das     15th February 2018 Signaling an imminent revision in royalties payable, barring coal, lignite and sand, the Indian government has constituted a study group to review existing rates, recommend any revision and suggest policy changes in administration of the royalty regime. According to a government order, the... 

Vanitec Applauds New Stricter Chinese Rebar Standard

     15th February 2018 Vanitec, the International Trade Association representing the companies and organisations involved in the processing, manufacture, mining, research and use of vanadium and vanadium-containing products, today praised the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China on its... 

Global wind energy installations remain above 50 GW - GWEC

By: Simone Liedtke     14th February 2018 Installations in the global wind energy market remained above 50 GW in 2017, with Europe, India and the offshore sector having had record years. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Wednesday released its 2017 market statistics, which highlighted a decrease to 19.5 GW for Chinese... 

Mongolia's January coal exports drop nearly 25% from last year

By: Reuters     14th February 2018 Mongolia's coal exports dropped by nearly a quarter in January from a year earlier, with deliveries disrupted by ongoing congestion at the border with key trading partner China. The fall was part of a 6.3% year-on-year decline in overall mineral exports, according to data published by Mongolia's... 

Kumba profit up 12% in 'royal flush' year – CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th February 2018 In a year that CEO Themba Mkhwanazi describes as a "royal flush", Kumba Iron Ore posted a 12% increase in headline earnings to R9.7-billion. Headline earnings reached R30.47 a share, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased by 6% year-on-year to R19.6-billion... 

Resource-rich Mongolia rejects cap on foreign workers for 2018

By: Reuters     13th February 2018 Mongolia will not put a cap on immigration in 2018, authorities said on Tuesday, after lawmakers rejected new policy proposals that set to put tough restrictions on the numbers of foreign workers in the remote north Asian nation. Some members of Mongolia's Parliament sought to limit the number... 

PFS outlines 'compelling case' for Pilgangoora expansion – Pilbara

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th February 2018 Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals has delivered a prefeasibility study (PFS) for its flagship 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium/tantalum project, in Western Australia. The company reported on Tuesday that the PFS outlined a "compelling business case" for the expanding the project to... 

China urges US to rein in 'trade remedy measures' for steel

By: Reuters     13th February 2018 China has expressed concerns over excessive protectionism in the steel sector by the United States, and urged it to show restraint in using trade remedy measures, an official with Chinese Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) said on Tuesday. Wang Hejun, the head of Mofcom's Trade Remedy and... 

Zuma defiant till the end as party moves to recall him

By: News24Wire      13th February 2018 A defiant President Jacob Zuma has refused to resign immediately as head of state, daring the African National Congress's (ANC's) National Executive Committee (NEC) to recall him. The party's highest decision making body resolved to recall him, invoking the clause in the African National Congress... 

Wind energy installations continue to grow – WWEA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th February 2018 The overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide by the end of 2017 reached 539 291 MW, preliminary statistics published by World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) has shown. A WWEA report, released on Monday, further showed that 52 552 MW of wind energy capacity were added last year,... 

Top mining companies' value increased by 15.5% y/y

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th February 2018 The 25 top global mining companies were worth an aggregate $818.2-billion at the end of January, a 15.5% increase compared with their value in the corresponding month in 2017, when the same companies held a value of $708.5-billion, research firm S&P's Global Market Intelligence said on Monday. A... 

Triton signs offtake term sheet for Ancuabe graphite project

By: Simone Liedtke     12th February 2018 ASX-listed Triton Minerals has signed an offtake term sheet with China's Haida Graphite for graphite concentrate from the Ancuabe project, in Mozambique. The term sheet sets the framework for a binding offtake agreement that is anticipated to be signed by March 15. 

Browns Range pilot plant on track for completion in June

By: Simone Liedtke     12th February 2018 Despite heavy rains in the area over the last two weeks causing some delays, rare earths developer Northern Minerals MD George Bauk confirmed in a progress update on Monday that the Browns Range pilot plant project, in Western Australia, was on track for completion by the end of June. He said in... 

China will crack down on illegal coal mining in 2018 – safety watchdog

By: Reuters     12th February 2018 China will carry out "special action" in 2018 to crack down on illegal coal mining to ensure safe mine operations and reduce output capacity, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement on Monday. Coal mines that fail to meet safety measures or operational standards will be... 

India's Tata Steel Q3 profit surges on volume growth

By: Reuters     9th February 2018 India's Tata Steel on Friday posted a five-fold rise in third-quarter profit, boosted by strong volume growth in India and increasing steel prices. "Global steel prices have been buoyant with improved trade position in China along with cost push from raw materials," Chief Executive Officer T V... 

On-The-Air (09/02/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     9th February 2018 Every Friday morning, SAfm's AMLive's radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.  Reported here is this Friday's At the Coalface transcript: Kamwendo: China's colossal Clean Air Revolution is poised to give massive support to... 

China gives new incentives to boost high-quality coal capacity

By: Reuters     9th February 2018 China plans to increase high-quality coal supply by allowing mines to boost capacity if they shut outdated production processes, the latest effort by authorities to further streamline the industry and stabilise coal prices. Coal companies will be encouraged to close inefficient and polluting... 

Sappi moves to consolidate dissolving pulp leadership

By: Anine Kilian     9th February 2018 Pulp and paper producer Sappi plans to significantly expand its operations in South Africa, Europe and the US by 2020, starting with the preparatory work for the potential expansion of its South Africa-based Saiccor dissolving wood pulp (DWP) mill. The South African group supplies about 20% of... 

Fourth month of continuous growth for Deloitte WA Index

     9th February 2018 The Deloitte WA Index climbed marginally higher in the first month of 2018, as the market capitalisation of Western Australia-listed companies increased by 0.48% to close out January at A$181.83-billion. This marks the fourth month of continuous growth, Deloitte clients and markets partner for... 

SA pulp and paper group moves to consolidate dissolving pulp leadership

By: Anine Kilian     9th February 2018 Pulp and paper producer Sappi plans to significantly expand its operations in South Africa, Europe and the US by 2020, starting with the preparatory work for the potential expansion of its South Africa-based Saiccor dissolving wood pulp (DWP) mill. The South African group supplies about 20% of... 

Global aeronautics body promoting networking among young researchers

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th February 2018 The International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) is seeking to develop international interactions between young professionals working in both technical and non-technical areas of aviation research around the world. This initiative is described as “early career networking” and is a focus area... 

Laoting steel plant, China

By: Sheila Barradas     9th February 2018 HBIS Laoting Steel Co is building a new production facility for high-quality steels. 

Aluminium foil makers say US devastated by cheap China imports

By: Bloomberg     8th February 2018 US producers of aluminium foil said cheap imports from China have devastated the American industry, making it imperative for the US to impose duties on Chinese shipments. 

China wealth fund said to join fray for $2bn Rio coal portfolio

By: Bloomberg     8th February 2018 The Chinese sovereign wealth fund is considering joining the bidding for Rio Tinto Group’s last remaining coal mines, which may fetch more than $2-billion, people familiar with the matter said. China Investment Corp is discussing making a joint offer with Australian private equity firm EMR... 

Triton signs term sheet with Chinese firm for Ancuabe graphite

By: Anine Kilian     8th February 2018 ASX-listed Triton Minerals has signed a five-year offtake agreement to supply China-based Qingdao Tianshengda Graphite with graphite from the Ancuabe project, in Mozambique. The agreement is expected to result in the supply of 16 000 t/y of graphite concentrate from Ancuabe with a minimum... 

Smelters expected to reduce zinc processing fees amid mine supply shortage

By: Reuters     8th February 2018 Zinc smelters are set to accept lower fees for processing concentrate into metal when annual contracts are hammered out next week at a conference in California, as a crunch in mine supply stretches into a third year. Treatment charges (TCs), the fees miners pay smelters to process their ore, are... 

China iron-ore imports hit 2nd-highest on record on restocking

By: Reuters     8th February 2018 China's iron-ore imports jumped to the second highest level on record in January as the world's top buyer built stockpiles ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and the lifting of steel production curbs next month. Shipments of the steelmaking raw material in January climbed 19% from December to... 

China aims to meet 2020 target for steel capacity cuts this year, warns on resumption

By: Reuters     7th February 2018 China aims to meet its target for reducing steel production capacity two years earlier than planned, the industry ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, as the world's top steel producer ramps up its years-long push to reduce excess output. The original plan called for reducing 150 million... 

New dawn for platinum mining – Robert Friedland

By: Martin Creamer     7th February 2018 New cars being produced in Japan have platinum- and copper-intensive fuel cell drives that outdo battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) in cold climates as the EV batteries drain when the heaters are switched on, Ivanhoe Mines executive chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday.... 

China's war on noxious smog stokes rally in minor metals

By: Reuters     7th February 2018 China's environmental crackdown is curbing supplies of minor metals such as steel-making ingredient vanadium and defence equipment material germanium, and fuelling an already potent price rally which shows no sign of abating. Strict environmental rules and inspections to ensure standards are... 

Goldman's a raging bull on commodities as turmoil aids view

By: Bloomberg     7th February 2018 Goldman Sachs Group is standing by its very bullish call on commodities, saying that the recent global markets selloff only bolsters its view that raw materials are set to perform well in the months ahead. “Commodities proved to work just as advertised” during the equity-led declines, Jeffrey... 

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