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Despite El Niño, Omnia maintains agri sales volumes, chemicals division excels

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th June 2016 Despite the effects of the El-Niño weather phenomenon and the resulting drought this past year, JSE-listed Omnia’s Agriculture division maintained sales volumes, with revenue growing 13% to R8.22-billion. This was despite a 4% decrease in total volumes, said group CEO Rod Humphris on Tuesday,... 

Zimbabwe loses half its daily power supply after technical hitch

By: Reuters     28th June 2016 Zimbabwe lost half of its daily power supply on Tuesday after a technical hitch, the State power company said, disrupting business in an economy struggling to overcome a commodities downturn and severe drought. The power firm said a total of 800 MW of electricity was lost due to the fault on its... 

LionSteel puts the roar back into Capital Star Steel

     28th June 2016 Despite its war-torn past, Mozambique has long been viewed as a country that offers great commercial potential to companies which are prepared to invest and commit to its economic and social growth. LionSteelís recent acquisition of Capital Star Steelís (CSS) steel pipe mill in Matola, Maputo,... 

Substantive mineral law issues still far from resolved – Herbert Smith Freehills 

By: Martin Creamer     27th June 2016 The content and the implications of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill are extraordinarily complicated. Three issues, which embody the most significant negative implications for the mining industry and South Africa, have been delaying the finalisation of... 

Stringent specs for plastic pipes in gas pipelines

     24th June 2016 South Africa’s gas industry is on the cusp of great growth and expansion in light of a potential global oversupply of shale gas. As a result, local plastic pipe manufacturers have to ensure that the pipes used in gas pipelines have been manufactured according to stringent specifications and... 

Truck group seeks to regain lost market share after restructuring

By: Irma Venter     24th June 2016 Following a slump in truck sales in South Africa in 2015, MAN Truck & Bus South Africa (SA) and MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa MD Markus Geyer is confident the company can win back its lost market share “within a year”. The local arm of the German group sold 1 317 trucks in South Africa in 2015, at a... 

Prefabricated data centres an efficient sustainable solution

     22nd June 2016 “There is a drive towards simplification in the data centre,” was one of the central messages by Maria de Lurdes Carvalho, vice-president for Data Centre Solutions, EMEA region, during her presentation at the recent IDC CIO Summit in Mozambique.The main challenge numerous data centres are facing,... 

Rightsizing of African power projects will enable faster development

By: Liezille Vermeulen     22nd June 2016 The combination of a challenging business environment, liquidity constraints as well as a limited number of financially credible off-takers in many jurisdictions indicates that there may be a need for right-sizing some of Africa’s planned power projects 

FDI into South Africa fell to ten-year low in 2015, Unctad shows 

By: Terence Creamer     21st June 2016 Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to South Africa slumped to a ten-year low of only $1.8-billion in 2015, a 69% decline, the latest World Investment Report (WIR16) shows. Inward FDI into Africa’s most developed economy was recorded by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development... 

Coca-Cola opens new $130m bottling plant in Mozambique

By: African News Agency      21st June 2016 Coca-Cola Bottling Company on Tuesday announced the official opening of its world-class bottling facility in Matola Gare, near Maputo, Mozambique. The plant, built over three years at a cost of $130-million, is the largest green-field facility in Coca-Cola Sabco’s history across its seven-country... 

Gemfields’ latest ruby auction raises $44.3m in revenue

By: Anine Kilian     20th June 2016 Aim-listed Gemfields’ latest auction of ruby extracted from its 75%-owned Montepuez ruby mine, in Mozambique, earned revenues of $44.3-million. The auction, held in Singapore this month, recorded average realised prices of $29.21/ct. Forty-four companies placed bids at the auction, which offered... 

Graphite rush intensifying

By: Martin Creamer     20th June 2016 Verification by Armadale of high-grade graphite in Tanzania came hot on the heels of Australian graphite developer Syrah Resources raising A$194-million for its Balama graphite project in Mozambique and smaller Volt Resources, with the Namangale graphite project in Tanzania, announcing a... 

Davies outlines agricultural benefits from new EU trade deal

By: Terence Creamer     17th June 2016 South Africa is “satisfied” that the recently signed Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU) will lead to improved market access for some additional South African agricultural products, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said at the weekend, reporting that Cabinet had,... 

Botswana to double Morupule power output by 2020

By: African News Agency      17th June 2016 The government of Botswana says power output from the Morupule Power Plant will be ramped up from the current 300 MW to 600 MW by 2020 through the addition of two new plants with a capacity to produce 300 MW each. Addressing the Botswana Resource Sector Conference (BRSC) held in Gaborone on... 

Syrah raises A$194m for Mozambique project

By: Mariaan Webb     16th June 2016 Australian graphite developer Syrah Resources has raised A$194-million for its Balama project, in Mozambique, and updated the project’s cost estimates and development schedule. The funds were raised in a fully underwritten equity raising of 32-million new shares, at an issue price of A$6.05... 

Zimbabwe expects power supplies from Kariba expansion to start in Dec 2017

By: Reuters     15th June 2016 Zimbabwe, which endured power cuts almost daily last year, is on track to start generating additional power supplies at its Kariba hydro plant in December 2017, a senior government official said on Wednesday. Construction of two new generating units at the country's biggest power plant to add 300... 

Drilling just got smarter with new Atlas Copco SmartROC

     15th June 2016 Atlas Copco’s new ground-breaking SmartROC D65 down-the-hole drill rig combines brains and brawn to set the industry benchmark in intelligent, powerful and efficient high-precision drilling for improved production, productivity and ultimately profitability. In the current protracted tough... 

Vale's Mozambique unit stops using Sena railway after attacks – State news agency

By: Reuters     15th June 2016 Brazil's Vale has stopped transporting coal on the Sena railway line from its mine in the western Mozambique after two gun attacks on its trains last week, the State news agency said on Tuesday. In both attacks, the gunmen fired at the cabin of the lead locomotive, the news agency reported,... 

GE invests R500 million to innovate in Africa for Africa

     14th June 2016 GE opens state of the art Africa Innovation Centre The centre will leverage GE’s global expertise and will be GE’s innovation and technology transfer centre of excellence in Africa The centre will  enable skills and SME development in Africa and collaboration between  GE, it’s customers and... 

Castrol Africa sales up 5% in 2015; new GTX range launched

By: Irma Venter     13th June 2016 The volume of Castrol oil sales in Africa increased by around 5% in 2015 compared with 2014, says Castrol Africa MD David Bouet. Despite the visible slump in the continent’s mining industry, the automotive and industrial markets are still ticking over, he notes. Some countries, such as those... 

Vale's Mozambique unit says trains attacked by gunmen

By: Reuters     10th June 2016 The Mozambique unit of Brazilian mining company Vale said on Friday that its trains had targeted by gunfire twice in recent days on the Sena rail line which carries coal from the interior to the Indian Ocean port of Beira. "Vale has been working with the relevant authorities to ensure that... 

Debts leave Mozambique staring at economic crisis

By: African News Agency      10th June 2016 Mozambique is on the verge of debt crisis that is having serious repercussions on the economy. Barely a decade after international creditors wrote off over US$6 billion of loans to the country as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, the country is showing alarming signs... 

On-The-Air (10/06/2016) 

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2016 New joint action is underway to arrest the devastating decline of the South African mining industry; Great news for platinum is that fuel cell development is bursting out all over the country; and Petrochemicals giant Sasol is investing R20-billion in neighbouring Mozambique to find more natural... 

Syrah signs major offtake deal with Marubeni

By: Mariaan Webb     10th June 2016 Graphite developer Syrah Resources has clinched a second supply deal with Japanese major Marubeni Corporation, this time for 50 000 t/y of spherical graphite. The five-year offtake agreement would afford Marubeni the exclusive right to import and sell coated and uncoated spherical graphite from... 

Aligning welding training with international standards

By: Robyn Wilkinson     10th June 2016 Welding industry association Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) is working with government organisations, such as the South African Qualifications Authority and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, to further develop its courses so that they are aligned with local... 

The battle of the sandbar at Durban harbour

By: Jade Davenport     10th June 2016 Durban’s first Harbour Engineer and the Battle of the Sandbar The greatest obstacle that has always challenged the successful use of the natural lagoon that is today Durban’s harbour is the containment of a massive sandbar, which, left unchecked, has the natural inclination to block the entrance... 

Upscaled infrastructure and regional integration needed in Africa

     10th June 2016 Africa is urbanising at a rapid pace, which means infrastructure such as bypasses, bridges, new highways and new technologies needs to be deployed in congested areas where traditional methods cannot work, notes Africa-focused consultancy Africa House director Duncan Bonnett. 

MAN aims to win back lost market share; van on the horizon

By: Irma Venter     8th June 2016 Following a slump in truck sales in South Africa in 2015, MAN Truck & Bus South Africa (SA) and MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa MD Markus Geyer is confident the company can win back its lost market share “within a year”. The local arm of the German group sold 1 317 trucks in South Africa in 2015, at a... 

Dubai-based solar firm pursuing 650 MW African project pipeline

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2016 Solar energy company Phanes Group, of the United Arab Emirates, reports that its African project pipeline currently exceeds 650 MW, including a 150 MW project under development in South Africa, where it recently opened a regional office. The Johannesburg office is the Dubai-headquartered firm’s... 

$11bn the ‘worst-case’ capex scenario for Louisiana project

By: Terence Creamer     7th June 2016 Outgoing Sasol CEO David Constable has described the possible increase, from $8.9-billion to $11-billion, in the capital budget for the Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, as the “worst-case” scenario. Speaking to investors following the release of a LCCP review “preliminary... 

Mozambique’s Rovuma gas field faces investment drought – Indian officials

By: Ajoy K Das     7th June 2016 Mozambique’s Rovuma Area 1 gas project, in which India government-owned oil and gas companies hold a 30% stake, has been hit by an investment drought. The start of production from the fields too has become uncertain with no binding agreement from prospective liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers as... 

Ten SADC countries enter new MoU for cooperation in competition matters

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th June 2016 To enhance cooperation and strengthen the effective enforcement of competition law across the South African Development Community (SADC) States, the relevant competition authorities have inked a “landmark” memorandum of understanding (MoU). With a focus on cooperation in competition policy, law... 

South African industry has new infrastructure opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa if they take long term view

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th June 2016 In the face of growing international competition in Sub-Saharan Africa, South African-based companies need to take a long-term strategic view of the region and how best to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the demographic, industrial and energy evolution that is taking place. “Low... 

Illovo endures ‘perfect storm’ of macro challenges

By: Tracy Hancock     3rd June 2016 The tough commercial sugar environment saw JSE-listed sugar producer Illovo’s group revenues reduce by 0.7% to R13 169.9-million which, in turn, resulted in the operating margin falling from 12.5% to 10.7%, during the 12 months to March 31. "The 'perfect storm' of sustained low export sugar... 

Malawi and neighbours studying several new electricity interconnectors

By: Marcel Chimwala     3rd June 2016 Malawi is implementing several feasibility studies for electricity interconnectors with neighbouring countries as it moves to offset its electricity deficit. Joseph Kalowekamo, energy affairs spokesperson at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, says the interconnector projects at... 

On-The-Air (03/06/2016) 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd June 2016 Wonderful news is that the acid mine water curse can now be turned into Garden of Eden profit; Deputy Minerals Minister Godfrey Oliphant this week called for a massive turnaround of South Africa’s dying mining industry.  

Energy efficient solutions reduce carbon footprint, improve quality of life

By: Kimberley Smuts     3rd June 2016 Solar system specialist and engineering design company ZRW Mechanika has since 2012 supplied and installed up to 25 000 units of their solar direct current (DC) home power solution in low-cost housing units, called Siyakhanyisa. The renewable energy capacity of up to 500 kWp was installed in... 

Moz coal sector under strain as country looks to cooperation with Botswana

By: Keith Campbell     3rd June 2016 It is reported from Mozambique that three of the companies producing coal in that country have stopped, or significantly scaled back, their mining activities. According to the Maputo daily Notícias that are the Indian groups International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL) and Jindal Africa, and... 

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