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Walkabout welcomes cornerstone investor

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th September 2017 Junior graphite developer Walkabout Resources has welcomed Chinese engineering firm Jinpeng Mining and Machinery as a cornerstone investor. Through a $1-million investment, Jinpeng will become Walkabout’s largest investor, holding 10.6% of the company’s shares. 

Fleet Renewal Puts Burma Plant Hire At Cutting Edge

     18th September 2017 A restructuring and fleet renewal programme at Cape Town-based Burma Plant Hire has put the company on track for further growth in the construction, mining and other sectors. Significantly, the company is a Level 2 contributor to BBBEE. In addition to its traditional base load work in the... 

Lesotho’s Letšeng mine recovers several 100-ct-plus diamonds, expects trend to continue

By: Ilan Solomons     15th September 2017 The Letšeng diamond mine, in Lesotho, recovered several diamonds larger than 100 ct during the first half of 2017, with LSE-listed diamond miner Gem Diamonds upbeat that this trend will continue for the remainder of the year. These gems include the 114.38 ct Type II, the 126 ct D-colour Type IIa... 

Manufacturing output down 1.4% y/y in July

By: Reuters     7th September 2017 South Africa's manufacturing output fell 1.4% year-on-year in July after contracting by a revised 2.2% in June, Statistics South Africa said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing volumes would contract by 0.35% year-on-year in July. 

SA out of recession but growth far from NDP ambitions

By: African News Agency      5th September 2017 The South African economy is out of recession at the moment, owing to a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.5% in the second quarter of 2017, StatsSA announced on Tuesday. “Let’s go straight into the numbers … the GDP quarter-on-quarter [growth rate] is 2.5%. I saw that analysts in the media... 

Revolutionary industrial changes set to shift the heavy haul industry

By: Kim Cloete     4th September 2017 Heavy haul rail operators across the world have been urged to adapt to rapid advances in technology and improvements in cybersecurity. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change everything. The rise in technology will be profound, but it will also open up bridges for us,” World Economic Forum... 

Ghost tomato factory showcase for Nigeria's farming problems

By: Reuters     30th August 2017 At a state-of-the-art plant in northern Nigeria, shiny machines stand next to a conveyor belt ready to crush tomatoes to satisfy the country's insatiable demand for tomato paste. But a lonely cleaner mopping the floor is the only sign of activity in Nigeria's biggest tomato factory, equipped with... 

Rising prices signal end of ‘hand-to-mouth’ CREE market 

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd August 2017 Higher prices for critical rare earth elements (CREE) are marking a return of confidence to the industry and the end of the so-called “hand-to-mouth” market as users increasingly turn to contracting to secure long-term security of supply. “For several years users were unsure about the market... 

Work advancing to secure Chinese funding for large Greenland zinc project

By: Mariaan Webb     11th August 2017 Base metals developer Ironbark Zinc is continuing to work towards securing Chinese funding for a large potential zinc mine – the Citronen base metals project, in Greenland. Ironbark, which is listed in Australia, is working with China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and... 

Austrian engineering firms complain to EU about 'wage dumping' law

By: Reuters     9th August 2017 An Austrian law which could deter companies from contracting out work to lower-cost eastern Europe firms is in breach of EU law, the country's engineering industry has argued in a filing to the European Commission. Austria's Association of Metaltechnology Industries said late on Tuesday it had... 

Hydraulic breakers from Chicago Pneumatic first choice for major infrastructure projects contractor in Qatar

     8th August 2017 Rock Fall Contracting WLL (RFC), a major civil engineering and earthmoving specialist contractor based in Doha, Qatar, has augmented its fleet of Chicago Pneumatic rig-mounted hydraulic breakers with the addition of new RX8 and RX54 units. The breakers are destined for use in demanding... 

Project Disruption, And Its Invisible Cost To Electrical Contractors

     7th August 2017 Electrical contractors are often disadvantaged – both operationally and financially – when their planned contribution to a construction or engineering project is disrupted, but are seldom able to claim compensation for their losses. Disruption to contractors is becoming an even more common... 

Engineering marvel at foot of Lions Head places JG Afrika at the top of SAICE Awards

     4th August 2017 It is more than just sheer magnitude and modern aesthetics that have placed a new residential development in a very affluent area of Cape Town in the spotlight. This new six-storey residence at 145 Kloof Road at the foot of Lions Head in Clifton is also a major civil- and structural-engineering... 

New association aims to support emerging truck operators

By: Ilan Solomons     4th August 2017 The newly launched Emerging Truckers Association of South Africa (Tasa) aims to assist in meaningfully transforming the local truck and freight industry, with a long-term view of ensuring work for women and black truck owners and operators. This is according to Tasa convener Mary Phadi, who was... 

Land Bank hikes FY17 profits to R372m

By: African News Agency      3rd August 2017 The Land and Agricultural Development Bank on Thursday, released a strong set of results for the financial year ending March 31, 2017, as the group and bank generated a profit of R372.2-million and R316.3-million respectively, compared to R181.9-million and R94-million in 2016. The bank said this... 

Manufacturing key to Africa’s economic transformation

By: Anine Kilian     31st July 2017 Manufacturing will drive Africa’s transformation, African Export-Import Bank intra-African finance trade manager Gerald Nsomba said on Monday. Addressing delegates from across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at the SADC Industrialisation Week, in Johannesburg, he pointed out... 

New association launched to support emerging truck operators 

By: Ilan Solomons     21st July 2017 The newly launched Emerging Truckers Association of South Africa (Tasa) aims to assist in meaningfully transforming the local truck and freight industry, with a long-term view of ensuring work for women and black truck owners and operators. This is according to Tasa convener Mary Phadi, who was... 

A pearl at a time, Fission redefines Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin 

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 Since the November 2012 discovery of a new high-grade uranium deposit just outside the south-western corner of Saskatchewan’s famed Athabasca basin, where the world’s highest-grade uranium mines are found, explorer Fission Uranium has succeeded in stringing together new uranium discoveries “like... 

Ivanhoe's Congo success follows deals with President's brother

By: Bloomberg     18th July 2017 In the two decades since billionaire mining investor Robert Friedland founded Ivanhoe Mines, his small team has made some of the biggest mineral discoveries in the world. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has done so while trading and contracting with companies controlled by one of... 

Eurasia to apply for licence to mine 1.9Moz Monchetundra PGM project

By: Mariaan Webb     17th July 2017 Platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Eurasia said on Monday it would submit a mining licence application for its Monchetundra project, in the “near future”, after the Russian State Agency for Suboil use granted a discovery certificate for the project. The certificate, which is a prerequisite for a... 

Murray & Dickson Construction Group breaks concrete boundaries

     17th July 2017 This year’s prestigious Fulton Awards have again showcased the extent of concrete expertise and capability enshrined within the Murray & Dickson Construction Group, a leading and black-owned contracting company. This proficiency played a prominent role in the highly successful outcome of the... 

Dominion is said to seek sweeter deal from Montana billionaire

By: Bloomberg     15th July 2017 Canada’s Dominion Diamond Corp is hoping Montana billionaire Dennis Washington will cough up a little more cash to buy the world’s third-largest producer of rough diamonds by value. However, the company – which has put itself on the block twice in the past two years – says there’s no guarantee a... 

Murray & Dickson Construction Group breaks concrete boundaries

     14th July 2017 This year’s prestigious Fulton Awards have again showcased the extent of concrete expertise and capability enshrined within the Murray & Dickson Construction Group, a leading and black-owned contracting company. This proficiency played a prominent role in the highly successful outcome of the... 

Western Cape earmarks R17.3 billion for infrastructural public works and construction

     11th July 2017 The Western Cape is now generating construction projects worth billions of rands which will create much-needed jobs in the province. Growth for the Western Cape is predicted to be 2.1% this year and is set to increase to 2.8% by 2018. From 23 to 24 August the Western Cape’s infrastructure leaders... 

Profound policy implications

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2017 A newly published academic paper offers something of a valuable signpost for African policymakers as they grapple with the problem of needing to add new electrical capacity at scale in a context of major global technological change – developments that will, undoubtedly, have material implications... 

Improving safety at Savage River with RCT’s Smart Technology

     4th July 2017 Grange Resources’ Savage River mine in Tasmania, Australia saw the opportunity to further safeguard its operators on site by equipping its mobile equipment with remote controls. Implementing remote control technology has allowed Savage River’s operators to control machines from a safe location,... 

WG Wearne posts FY17 losses amid tough market conditions

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd July 2017 A subdued local construction market, paired with the R59-million closing out of its construction services business, has seen WG Wearne widen its loss from continuing operations from R18.4-million in 2016, to R28.8-million for the year ended February 28. In a copy of its financial statements,... 

Young talent brings innovation to the construction industry

     30th June 2017 June is celebrated as Youth Month in South Africa because 16 June is commemorated as Youth Day and is a public holiday. The idea is to perpetuate the memory of those who died and suffered in 1976 and thereafter, as well as to support their legacy and uphold the principles of selfless action and... 

Automotive sector remains relevant in volatile market

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th June 2017 While South Africa works its way through the impact of the latest economic headwinds, the automotive sector is holding its own in a volatile market, Econometrix director and chief economist Dr Azar Jammine said on Wednesday. Despite an expected contraction in domestic vehicle production and sales... 

‘Significant implications’ for design of African power markets as renewables prices fall

By: Terence Creamer     26th June 2017 Recent renewable energy price reductions, together with sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA’s) formidable solar and wind resources, have made solar and wind technologies the cheapest sources of power in several countries, which carries significant implications, a newly published academic paper argues, for... 

Old dame receives her makeover

     26th June 2017 The old South African Police Service (SAPS) storage facilities in Cape Town, Western Cape, have undergone important upgrades that have given them a completely new lease on life. This extensive overhaul was driven by the South African Department of Public Works (DPW), which nominated JG Afrika as... 

Building confidence declines sharply in Q2

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd June 2017 The First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Building Confidence Index fell sharply to 32 for the second quarter, down from 43 in the first quarter. All of the measured subsectors registered a drop in confidence. 

Rooibos Limited faces abuse of dominance charge

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th June 2017 South Africa’s largest rooibos producer Rooibos Limited has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for allegedly abusing its dominance and engaging in uncompetitive behaviour. Historically, rooibos tea processors obtained their supply from farmers through one-year supply... 

Westgold buys mining contractor ACM

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     8th June 2017 Gold miner Westgold Resources will acquire privately held underground mining contractor Australian Contract Mining (ACM), which is currently operational at three of the company’s underground gold mines. ASX-listed Westgold on Thursday reported that following the successful commissioning of its... 

Waitsia Stage 2 advances

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     8th June 2017 The joint venture (JV) partners for the Waitsia Stage 2 gas project, in Western Australia, have short-listed four contractors to compete in a design competition for the front-end engineering and design for the project. The Stage 2 design would include a gas plant capable of processing 100 TJ/d,... 

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... 

South African economy enters recession as Q1 GDP contracts 0.7% 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th June 2017 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.7% in the first quarter of the year, pushing the country in a technical recession. This followed on the 0.3% contraction in GDP in the fourth quarter of last year. 

Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources loses JSE sponsor over associated risk

By: African News Agency      5th June 2017 Oakbay Resources and Energy, which is owned by the controversial Gupta family, on Monday lost its JSE sponsor, River Group, after being given notice of the termination of their appointment as sponsor. River Group is a JSE sponsor, designated adviser and international corporate finance boutique... 

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