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Nigeria's economy contracted by 1.5% in 2016 on lower oil prices

By: Reuters     Updated 1 hour 54 minutes ago Nigeria's gross domestic product fell by 1.5% in 2016 due to lower oil revenues, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday, for its first annual contraction in 25 years. Africa's largest economy slid into recession in the second quarter of 2016 as a slump in crude prices hammered the Opec... 

World debt to increase to $44tr – S&P

By: News24Wire      27th February 2017 Absolute debt levels of countries continue to increase and total outstanding global sovereign commercial debt stock will rise to reach an all-time high of $44-trillion by the end of this year, according to rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P). In a report entitled Sovereign Debt 2017, S&P... 

Sasol says relations with Moz in ‘good space’ as new oil-find notice is issued

By: Terence Creamer     27th February 2017 Sasol joint president and CEO Stephen Cornell has described the group’s relations with the Mozambique government as being in a “good space”, despite the country’s current fiscal difficulties, as well as periodic criticism that the country is not benefiting fully from the South African energy and... 

Sanral CEO looks to regain South Africa’s trust despite ongoing e-toll tussle 

By: Irma Venter     24th February 2017 Not too long ago, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) was a firm darling among its peers. It was a well-funded State-owned enterprise (SOE) almost never under fire, seldom in retreat, grinding ever onward in its task to manage and expand the country’s road network. Then came... 

Diverse technologies combine to offer ‘smart’ ways of improving farm yields

By: Dylan Slater     24th February 2017 Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan’s science team finds that factors such as information and communications technology (ICT), chemicals, hydroponics and aquaculture inputs are augmenting profits for farmers.  

Gibraltar – a major Brexit casualty?

By: Riaan de Lange     24th February 2017 On the south-western tip of Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, lies a British overseas territory (formerly known as a colony) that is all of 6.7km2 in area. It even has a straight named after it. The territory is call Gibraltar. If you view it from a... 

Sanral CEO looks to regain South Africa’s trust despite ongoing e-toll tussle

By: Irma Venter     24th February 2017 Not too long ago the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) was a firm darling among its peers. It was a well-funded State-owned enterprise (SOE) almost never under fire, seldom in retreat, grinding ever onward in its task to manage and expand the country’s road network. Then came... 

Busa welcomes Budget, commits to playing a role in country’s economic transformation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd February 2017 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Thursday welcomed the prioritisation of education and social spending, as well as the reforms in public procurement outlined by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his Budget speech on Wednesday. Busa believes these measures will generate improved efficiencies... 

Analysts acclaim Glencore’s performance as good fundamentals return

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2017 Commodity market fundamentals are improving against a backdrop of better than expected demand and limited, if any, inventory build through the trough of the cycle, diversified mining and marketing company Glencore said on Thursday. This comes against the background of the London-, Hong Kong- and... 

New top tax bracket emerges amid revenue underperformance 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2017 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a new top personal income bracket of 45% for taxable incomes above R1.5-million in his 2017 Budget address as part of tax proposals designed to raise the additional R28-billion required to sustain the fiscal consolidation framework promised in previous... 

MAC laments Canada’s declining mining competitiveness

By: Henry Lazenby     17th February 2017 Canada's mining competitiveness is declining, while exploration and mining investment dollars are flowing offshore, a new report by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has found. “Very simply, Canada is not as attractive as it used to be for mineral investment and competition for those dollars... 

Global energy council ponders gas-related realities

     17th February 2017 In recent years, the gas market has undergone several changes - the discovery of new deposits, the evolution of gas transport techniques and the new gas pipelines are all elements that deeply modify this market, notes international energy organisation World Energy Council (WEC). The council notes... 

Chamber calls on mining to renounce its apartheid past

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2017 Mining is the foundation of the South African economy. Much of the manufacturing and services sectors exist because they were initiated to service and provide inputs to the mining industry since the second half of the 19th century. However, mining was also one of the foundation stones of South... 

Randgold proposes 52% dividend-payout increase as FY16 profits rise 38%

By: Ilan Solomons     6th February 2017 Africa-focused Randgold Resources has increased production for the sixth consecutive year in 2016, while reducing total cash cost per ounce, and remains upbeat about its future prospects despite global uncertainties. Speaking to Mining Weekly Online on the sidelines of the Investing in African... 

SADC-EU EPA opens up opportunities for South Africa’s fisheries sector

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st February 2017 The new Southern African Development Community (SADC)–European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has the potential to bolster South Africa’s muted fisheries sector and open up value-addition in a sector that holds much promise. The new SADC-EU EPA framework, which became effective... 

Parliamentary committee to start hearings on proposed sugar tax

By: Anine Kilian     30th January 2017 Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance will, on Tuesday, hold the first round of oral submissions as part of hearings into a proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs). In a bid to curb South Africa’s high obesity rate, government has proposed a 20% tax on sugary drinks, which will be... 

TransCanada reapplies for Keystone XL pipeline

By: Henry Lazenby     28th January 2017 A day after US President Donald Trump signed executive actions clearing the way for contentious oil pipelines to be built in the US, TransCanada on Thursday resubmitted its Presidential Permit application to the US Department of State for approval of the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline. This is the... 

Keystone pipeline Gulf Coast expansion project, Canada and the US

By: Sheila Barradas     27th January 2017 US President Donald Trump has cleared the way for the contentious TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline to be built in the US. 

Post-Brexit Britain, like China, recommits to globalisation

By: Keith Campbell     27th January 2017 The speech delivered on January 17 by British Prime Minister Theresa May on her government’s negotiating objectives for Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) – “Brexit” – contained nothing really surprising to anyone who has been paying attention to what she and her key relevant Ministers... 

South Africa has much to do as risk of ratings downgrade remains

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th January 2017 South Africa still had much to do to avoid potentially being downgraded to junk status in the year ahead, with the country having already “dodged some bullets” at the end of last year. During a panel discussion at Deloitte’s Africa Outlook 2017, Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) MD Konrad Reuss said the... 

‘TPP minus one’ still has much to offer, says Australia’s MCA as Trump nixes trade deal

By: Mariaan Webb     24th January 2017 The absence of the US in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) does not have to mean the end of the planned trade deal, the CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, Brendan Pearson, said on Tuesday. Commenting on US President Donald Trump’s formal withdrawal from the trade pact, which was the... 

Opinion: South Africa at an electricity crossroads 

     23rd January 2017 In this commentary, independent economic consultant Rob Jeffrey cautions that a future electricity mix which relies heavily on wind and limits the contribution of coal could undermine South Africa’s plans for addressing unemployment and poverty 

South Africa’s mining sector at a crossroads, collaborative effort required

By: Ilan Solomons     20th January 2017 The global mining industry has been struggling since the 2008 international financial crisis set off a chain of events resulting in contracted growth in important markets, such as China, and recession in others, such as Europe, leading to severe declines in commodity prices. In South Africa, the... 

Innovation, outward-looking approach will bolster industry growth

By: Nadine James     20th January 2017 The plastics converter industry needs to alter its mindset and look for innovative solutions while becoming more outward-looking to experience real economic growth, says industry body Plastics SA. Plastics SA chairperson Bernhard Mahl describes real growth as “thousands of tons of plastics,... 

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, Canada

By: Sheila Barradas     20th January 2017 British Columbia has issued an environment assessment certificate for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project, adding its own 37 specific conditions. 

Kenmare lifts FY17 production guidance as market looks positive

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th January 2017 LSE-listed Kenmare Resources on Monday adjusted its production guidance for this year to between 950 000 t and 1.05-million tonnes of ilmenite, 5% to 16% higher than production for 2016, owing to increased utilisation and recovery rates at its Moma titanium minerals mine, in Mozambique. The miner... 

Rains offer silver lining in agriculture sector – FNB

By: Anine Kilian     16th January 2017 Although the ongoing drought in South Africa, alleviated by rain in some provinces notwithstanding, has resulted in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) decelerating in 2016, the prices of various agricultural products are expected to moderate this year as rain across producing areas boosts... 

How agricultural sector will help tame food inflation in 2017

     16th January 2017 The current rains are a welcome relief to farmers; they are the proverbial silver lining in what has been a gloomy season.   “The past year has been testing for the industry; the drought has had an impact on the economy with South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) decelerating in 2016. We... 

Shining iron-ore future for Sierra Leone possible as Chinese investors commit

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2017 The $700-million planned injection by Chinese State-owned mining company Shandong Iron and Steel into an iron-ore processing plant at the Tonkolili mine, in Sierra Leone, has further cemented the West African region’s strong mining outlook, BMI Research said on Friday. The new investment, which... 

BC agrees Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion meets 5 prerequisites

By: Henry Lazenby     12th January 2017 British Columbia has issued an environment assessment certificate for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion project, adding its own 37 specific conditions. These conditions are based on the National Energy Board's (NEB's) project report on May 19, 2016, recommending to the federal government... 

World Bank warns rand could take hit amid global policy flux

By: Terence Creamer     10th January 2017 The World Bank has issued a warning that the South Africa currency could come under pressure in 2017, owing to heightened policy uncertainty in the US and Europe, which could constrain capital flows to emerging and frontier markets. However, the bank’s baseline projection is for the South African... 

New-car prices jumped 11% in 2016, fuel costs a concern for 2017

By: Irma Venter     10th January 2017 New-car prices jumped by around 11.03% in 2016, says asset finance house WesBank. The increase has been measured based on the average transaction value WesBank recorded on new-vehicle sales last year. 

Absent growth SA’s junk escape may be short-lived

By: Bloomberg     16th December 2016 South Africa’s chances of repeating its escape from a junk credit rating in 2017 are in the balance as focus intensifies on tepid economic growth and simmering political tensions. 

QRC publishes research to quash ‘flawed’ TAI coal report

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     9th December 2016 The resources sector has countermanded think tank The Australian Institute’s (TAI’s) data on the importance of coal mining to the Queensland economy, saying the research is based on “unfounded assumptions” and that it “discounted critical economic impacts”. The TAI in September released a report... 

Desalination helps South32’s KZN aluminium smelter beat water woes

By: David Oliveira     9th December 2016 To ensure sustainable operations in drought-stricken Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, diversified miner South32 has invested R74-million in a seawater desalination plant that uses membrane technology to produce cooling process water for its Hillside aluminium smelter. The diversified miner appointed... 

Importance of energy efficiency highlighted at DoE conference

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2016 The importance of energy efficiency as part of policy is increasing in many countries, subsequently making it important to develop and maintain well founded indicators to better inform policymaking. 

South African commercial aviation sector outperforming economy, index shows

By: Keith Campbell     9th December 2016 The South African commercial aviation sector “is alive and well and outperforming most other sectors of the economy by a considerable margin” reported the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (Caasa) in a statement released on November 29. The release marked the publication of the... 

Work starts on Exploring for the Future programme

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     8th December 2016 The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has welcomed the federal government’s implementation of the A$100-million Exploring for the Future programme, which seeks to boost the productivity and competitiveness of the minerals sector. Resources and Northern Australia Minister... 

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