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Africa's Sula Iron and Gold changes gear with DRC cobalt licence

By: Reuters     12th December 2017 Junior explorer Sula Iron and Gold plans to change its name to African Battery Metals, reflecting a shift in focus after it bought a controlling stake in a cobalt licence in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The deal, which needs to be approved by shareholders later this month, would make Sula... 

Seasonal battery demand, tight supply to buoy lead prices

By: Reuters     12th December 2017 Seasonally strong demand from battery makers, tight supplies caused by mine shutdowns and dwindling inventories in London Metal Exchange warehouses are expected to sustain lead prices, which recently hit six-year highs. Benchmark lead on the London Metal Exchange at around $2 500/t is up about... 

Congo mines say revised code threatens industry's future

By: Reuters     12th December 2017 Mining companies in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Monday that proposed changes to the mining code adopted by the lower house of parliament last week would do lasting damage to investment in Africa's top copper producer. The process of revising the 2002 mining code in Congo has dragged on... 

Cameco, Kazatomprom restructure JV Inkai

By: Henry Lazenby     11th December 2017 Canadian uranium producer Cameco and the National Atomic Company of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazatomprom) have agreed to restructure their joint venture over the Inkai in situ recovery uranium mine, in south Kazakhstan. Kazatomprom CEO Galymzhan Pirmatov and Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel... 

Thor’s ASX shares surge on Pilbara option

By: Mariaan Webb     11th December 2017 Shares in dual listed Thor Mining gained by 55% on the ASX on Monday, after the company announced to the Australian market that it had entered into an option agreement to acquire a project with potential for conglomerate gold in the Pilbara. UK-headquartered Thor, which made the initial... 

Brazil's Vale says to slash debt to $10bn by 2019

By: Reuters     8th December 2017 Brazilian miner Vale will likely reduce its $21-billion debt load to $10-billion by 2019, and will dedicate cash flow from then on to paying out dividends, the CFO of the world's top iron-ore producer said on Friday. "The message is very clear here, which is that beyond the achievement of the... 

Biggest African phone-tower firms said to be mulling 2018 listings

By: Bloomberg     8th December 2017 Three of Africa’s largest telecommunication towers companies plan to pursue share sales in either London or New York early next year, taking advantage of high industry valuations to fund expansion, according to people familiar with the matter. Closely-held IHS Towers, targeting an enterprise... 

European technology groups cooperating on electric propulsion for airliners

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft which will be test flown in the near term, the three enterprises... 

Vedanta's Zambian arm to set up new processing plants

By: Reuters     7th December 2017 London-listed Vedanta Resources said on Thursday its Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) plans to set up a new copper smelter, cobalt refinery and other infrastructure under a $1 billion investment programme announced earlier. In March Vedanta announced the $1 billion investment after a... 

Last day of share trading for Datatec as Aim-listing cancellation takes effect

By: Dylan Slater     7th December 2017 Thursday was the last day that shares of international information and communications technology company Datatec could be traded on London’s Aim, as the company’s cancellation of its listing will take effect on Friday.  

Pallinghurst targets London, okays share buyback, halves executive pay

By: Martin Creamer     7th December 2017 Diversified mining and marketing company Pallinghurst, which has moved fast to stabilise the now-integrated coloured gemstone acquisition, is initiating a listing on the main board of the London Stock Exchange, going ahead immediately with a share buyback programme and benefitting from executive... 

Stratex invests more in Thani Stratex

By: Mariaan Webb     6th December 2017 London-listed Stratex International on Wednesday announced that it would invest another $200 000 in Thani Stratex Resources (TSR), which is exploring for gold in Africa and the Middle East. The investment will increase Stratex’s holding in TSR from 29.8% to 30.1% and forms part of TSR’s share... 

Glencore bets big on car battery metals

By: Reuters     5th December 2017 Glencore has increased production of the metals used to make electric car batteries faster than its major mining rivals, according to an industry-wide analysis that shows the scale of a strategy that has big prospective risks and rewards. The Anglo-Swiss company's output of cobalt and copper... 

Eurasia plans to operate at least two openpits at West Kytlim in 2018

By: Mariaan Webb     5th December 2017 London-listed Eurasia Mining is considering bringing on board mining contractors to operate more than one openpit at the West Kytlim platinum and gold mine in the Ural mountains to mitigate the risk of a single operator. This comes as the contractor, RegionMetall, discontinued operations in... 

Japan Airlines invests $10m in supersonic jet company Boom

By: Reuters     5th December 2017 Denver-based startup Boom Supersonic said on Tuesday Japan’s No.2 carrier Japan Airlines has invested $10-million in the company, which is building a supersonic passenger aircraft it claims will be faster, quieter and more affordable to fly than Concorde. Boom is developing a 55-seat plane that... 

New, adaptive prototype zebra crossing responds to pedestrian behaviour

By: Irma Venter     4th December 2017 UK-based technology company Umbrellium has installed an interactive pedestrian crossing in South London that responds dynamically, in real-time, to its environment. Umbrellium says the familiar zebra crossing design (originating in the 1940s) has not been updated for the ways that city... 

Iron-ore enters bull market as China's curbs supercharge steel

By: Bloomberg     4th December 2017 Iron-ore has rallied back into a bull market. Prices are surging as China’s crackdown on steel output this winter runs down inventories, helping mills’ profitability and stoking demand for high-grade ore even as investors discount signs of ample supply. Spot ore with 62% iron content jumped 3.7%... 

South Africa re-elected to International Maritime Organisation council

By: African News Agency      4th December 2017 South Africa has been re-elected to serve on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) council for 2018/19 – maintaining its unbroken service record since 1999, the transport department said on Sunday. Voting to elect new member States to the IMO council took place during the 30th regular... 

Rio picks Thompson for chairperson as investors target discipline

By: Bloomberg     4th December 2017 Rio Tinto named industry veteran Simon Thompson as chairman after shareholders rejected a plan to install a renowned dealmaker -- reinforcing an industry-wide investor drive for higher returns and caution over project spending. Thompson, 58, a Rio director since 2014 and previously an executive... 

The cobalt crunch for electric cars could be solved in suburbia

By: Bloomberg     1st December 2017 Almost 9 000 miles from the dusty Congo savanna, miners have hit on an entirely new source of cobalt – the rare mineral at the heart of the electric-car boom. And not only can they take coffee breaks, when they take a break, they can grab a doughnut at Tim Hortons. Scientists working for American... 

Electric vehicle revolution a rare investment opportunity as metals demand spikes

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2017 The rate at which global automotive markets are adopting electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at a much faster pace than even some of the keenest market observers estimated at the start of 2017, and is opening up once- in-a-lifetime investment opportunities among the four key ‘energy metals’ –... 

'Miner's revenge' is coming with electric cars, Friedland says

By: Bloomberg     1st December 2017 Surging demand for metals like copper, nickel and cobalt for use in electric vehicles promises to overturn the balance of power between mining companies and their customers, according to billionaire investor Robert Friedland. Automakers will have to change the way they approach procurement if... 

Dassault Systèmes heralding in new autonomous mining era  

By: Martin Creamer     30th November 2017 The 'mine of tomorrow' is expected to be a factory-like entity equipped with a multiplicity of autonomous devices, which are controlled by technology savvy personnel working from remote centres, attendees of the natural resources forum heard in Sandton on Thursday. The ‘mine of tomorrow’ would... 

Kibo advances strategy with Botswana IPP project stake acquisition

By: Anine Kilian     30th November 2017 In line with its strategy of building a diversified portfolio of energy production assets, Aim-listed Kibo Mining will acquire an 85% stake in a company that will hold the Mabesekwa coal independent power producer (MCIPP) project for about £9-million in shares. Kibo has entered into an agreement... 

Zambia's State-controlled investment firm wants bigger stake in copper mines

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 Following the sharp rise in copper prices this year Zambia's state-controlled firm ZCCM Investments Holdings wants to increase its stakes in the country's mines and also expects higher dividend payments, its chief executive said on Wednesday. ZCCM-IH, which was formerly called Zambia Consolidated... 

Lonmin to cut social, discretionary spending to save cash

By: Reuters     30th November 2017 Troubled platinum producer Lonmin plans to cut spending on social and labour projects and freeze "non-critical" recruitment, part of an array of measures to save cash, according to an unpublished presentation reviewed by Reuters. The South African miner, not for the first time, is facing an... 

Robots will run mines within the next decade, Anglo says

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2017 Some mines in the next decade will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors, according to Anglo American. Anglo is betting on technology, such as computerized drills with "chiseling ability as good as a human" to increase productivity, cut costs and reduce... 

London Stock Exchange CEO quits after TCI, board feud

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2017 Xavier Rolet said he will step down immediately as chief executive officer of London Stock Exchange Group Plc after a weeks-long spat between the board and a hedge-fund activist that demanded he stay in the role. Rolet resigned following a request from the board, and will be replaced in the... 

PIC wants Lonmin board seats, Johannesburg main listing

By: Reuters     29th November 2017 South Africa's Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is planning to ask for two seats on the board of Lonmin by the end of 2017 and has suggested the platinum miner move its main listing to Johannesburg, its chief executive said. Lonmin, majority-owned by state-run PIC and listed in London since... 

Gem smuggling thwarts revival of Central African Republic

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2017 In the lounge of a luxury hotel in Bangui, the capital of war-torn Central African Republic, soft-spoken diamond dealers cautiously sidle up to guests. Their whispered offers of gems for sale are a visitor’s first hint of the thriving illegal market for the precious stones in a country that five... 

Goldman Sachs among bidders for Scotiabank's metals unit – sources

By: Reuters     29th November 2017 Goldman Sachs Group is among around five bidders for ScotiaMocatta, the metals trading arm of Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia, for which it is seeking up to $1-billion, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Scotiabank began a review of its ScotiaMocatta metals business in 2016... 

Volvo Cars owner buys US flying car aspirant, targets 2019 launch

By: Irma Venter     28th November 2017 China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) will acquire the operations and assets of Terrafugia, a US-based company focused on the engineering and production of flying cars and other future technologies. Geely also owns Lotus and Volvo Cars, and sells taxis under the London Taxi brand. 

Rand bulls hold sway, at least until ANC's December ballot

By: News24Wire      28th November 2017 Rand bulls will win out over rand bears, at least for the next few weeks. That’s the view of analysts from Credit Agricole CIB and Toronto-Dominion Bank on the back on the rand’s best day in almost two years after Moody’s Investors Service kept South Africa’s local rating investment grade.... 

Withdrawal of entire MPRDA only constitutionally acceptable solution – Leon

By: Martin Creamer     28th November 2017 The process of reconsidering the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill has generated a new range of procedural missteps and failed to address any of the substantive problems in the Bill, leaving the entire withdrawal of the Bill as the only constitutionally... 

Volkswagen's talks with cobalt producers end without deal

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 Meetings last week between major cobalt producers including mining giant Glencore to supply the world's largest automaker Volkswagen with the material used to make batteries for electric vehicles ended without a deal, cobalt industry sources said. In September, Reuters reported exclusively that... 

Canada's Dalradian plans to dig deep for Northern Irish gold

By: Reuters     28th November 2017 Canadian miner Dalradian Resources has filed a planning application and secured a new tranche of funds to build Northern Ireland's first major underground gold mine, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs. Mining has largely died out in Britain, but the sector sees the potential for a... 

Gold flirts with $1 300 as low inflation dents rate-hike case

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2017 Gold futures climbed above $1 300/oz for the first time in six weeks as the dollar wavered and investors braced for an onslaught of economic data and political news. Bullion rose for the third time in four days as a gauge of the dollar traded close to the lowest since September. A report later... 

Oil slips on US drilling but Opec cuts support market

By: Reuters     27th November 2017 Oil prices slipped on Monday, with US crude easing from two-year highs on prospects of higher output but losses were limited before an OPEC meeting that is expected to extend output limits. Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 25 cents at $63.61 a barrel by 1110 GMT. US light crude was 45 cents lower... 

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