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Norway's Hydro notifies Rusal of possible force majeure

By: Reuters     20th April 2018 Aluminium maker Norsk Hydro may declare a force majeure on contracts it has with Russia's United Company Rusal due to recently imposed US sanctions, the Norwegian company said on Friday. "Hydro has notified Rusal it may be necessary to declare force majeure on certain contracts, as the company... 

Kazakhstan seeks new alumina markets amid Rusal's troubles

By: Reuters     20th April 2018 Kazakhstan is looking to open up new markets for its alumina exports, concerned US sanctions on Russian aluminium giant Rusal could hit business and jobs. Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a company part-owned by the Kazakh government, produces 1.5-million tonnes a year of alumina, which is used... 

India seeks consultants to frame regulations for gas trading hub

By: Ajoy K Das     20th April 2018 With the Indian government aiming to set up a natural gas trading hub in the country, sector regulator the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is seeking to appoint a consultant to help determine a regulatory mechanism for such a trading exchange. “In  order to further boost the... 

Bolivia nearing deal on partner to develop lithium – Minister

By: Reuters     20th April 2018 Bolivia's energy minister said on Thursday the government would pick a partner to develop the country's ample lithium resource "in coming days" after narrowing the field of candidates to two firms from Russia and Germany. The South American nation hopes to sign a deal with a foreign partner after... 

Cape institution uses space to train students and benefit country at same time

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2018 Engineers and researchers at the French South African Institute of Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) are in an advanced stage of developing the institution’s second nanosatellite, designated ZACube-2. “CPUT has used CubeSat programmes to encourage students to train... 

BRICS members work towards better trade by 2021

By: African News Agency      19th April 2018 The BRICS member countries are working towards strengthening co-operation and mutual assistance to facilitate trade with one another, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Thursday. The delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in the coastal city of Durban for... 

Sanctions fallout upends metals as aluminum, nickel burst higher

By: Bloomberg     19th April 2018 The turmoil unleashed by US sanctions against United Co. Rusal reverberated in metals markets, sending aluminium and nickel to multi-year highs. Global metals markets have been rocked for the past two weeks by the clampdown on Russia’s Rusal, which set off a rush for alternative supplies and... 

Bell laments import duties on steel, tyres; Kamaz assembly could start in 2019

By: Irma Venter     19th April 2018 “South African manufacturers are paying 22% too much for their steel; whether you are making lamp posts or electrical cabinets, you are not going to pay what you would pay on the global market,” says Bell Equipment CEO Gary Bell. Bell Equipment manufactures six lines of capital equipment,... 

Nornickel exec says in talks with battery makers on investments, cooperation

By: Reuters     18th April 2018 Russia's Norilsk Nickel, or Nornickel, is in talks with battery makers over possible investment in its mining assets, but is also interested in downstream joint ventures in return, a company executive said on Wednesday. "We might be interested in having some deeper cooperation, say on the... 

Polymetal’s new mine slightly ahead of schedule, Q1 output up

By: Mariaan Webb     18th April 2018 Construction activities at the new Kyzyl mine, which LSE-listed Polymetal is building in Kazakhstan, are slightly ahead of schedule, with commissioning brought forward by a couple of weeks. Dry commissioning of the processing plant would start on June 1, followed by first concentrate production... 

Russia sanctions throw aluminium supply chain into chaos

By: Bloomberg     18th April 2018 The US sanctions on United Co. Rusal that have sent aluminium prices surging should be great news for rival producers like Rio Tinto Group. Spoiler alert: they’re not. 

Rio Tinto flags changes to 2018 aluminium output after US sanctions

By: Reuters     18th April 2018 Global miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday flagged possible changes to its 2018 aluminium output following US sanctions on its Russian partner Rusal earlier this month. Rio, which reported a 5% rise in first-quarter iron ore shipments in the March quarter, has declared force majeure on some customer... 

Polyus says no change to business after US sanctions list

By: Reuters     17th April 2018 Polyus said on Tuesday that the inclusion on a US sanctions list of a member of the family that controls Russia's biggest gold producer would not lead to changes in the way the company conducted its business. Suleiman Kerimov was among several Russian tycoons targeted by a new list of US sanctions. 

Polyus reports Q1 production, sales results

By: Mariaan Webb     17th April 2018 Russia’s largest gold miner Polyus has confirmed its 2018 full-year production guidance of 2.375-million to 2.425-million ounces, after reporting first-quarter production of 506 500 oz. The March-quarter performance is a 13% increase on production in the corresponding period of 2017, when output... 

Highland Gold profit up 37% to $66m

By: Mariaan Webb     17th April 2018 London-listed company Highland Gold on Tuesday posted a 37% increase in its net profit for 2017, as above-guidance production boosted revenue, costs were controlled and no impairment losses were reported. The company, which mines in the Khabarovsk, Chita and Chukotka regions of Russia,... 

South Africa readies latest ocean-watching satellite for launch

By: News24Wire      17th April 2018 Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will unveil South Africa's most sophisticated satellite on Tuesday ahead of its launch in India in July. The nanosatellite, dubbed ZACUBE-2, was developed by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the French South African... 

Polymetal swaps Russian property for Kazakhstan deposit

By: Anine Kilian     16th April 2018 Gold miner Polymetal has reached an agreement with the Russian Copper Company in which it would exchange its Tarutin property, in Russia, for the East Tarutin property, in Kazakhstan. The asset-swap deal would give Polymetal an 85% stake in the East Tarutin property, which CEO Vitaly Nesis said... 

Gensource offtake MoUs signal supply malaise in N American potash market

By: Henry Lazenby     14th April 2018 The fact that junior Canadian start-up Gensource Potash has been able to secure two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) from separate US offtake partners that support the establishment of a new and independent supply of potash, speaks to a certain malaise in the continent’s crop nutrient market.... 

Same-day delivery to be the norm by 2022, survey finds

By: Anine Kilian     13th April 2018 Manufacturers, transportation and logistics firms and retailers are moving to meet the growing needs of the on-demand economy, in which the online buying, smartphone-wielding consumer expects a seamless, faster purchasing journey, a global survey has shown. The ‘Future of Fulfilment Vision... 

Goldman Sachs says you must own commodities in these tense times

By: Bloomberg     13th April 2018 The case for owning commodities has rarely been stronger, according to Goldman Sachs Group. With raw materials rallying on escalating political tensions across the globe and economic growth remaining strong, the bank’s analysts including Jeffrey Currie doubled down on their “overweight”... 

Russia takes aim at titanium, US workers in sanctions plan

By: Bloomberg     13th April 2018 Russia outlined a broad range of potential retaliatory moves against new US sanctions, including curbs on imports of American farm products and cooperation in nuclear energy and space launches, as well as a possible ban on titanium sales to Boeing Co. The proposals, which also include a... 

Kun-Manie field engineering campaign to start soon

By: Simone Liedtke     13th April 2018 Exploration and resources company Amur Minerals has completed the restocking and mobilisation of all machinery, spares and supplies needed to complete the 2018 field season at its Kun-Manie nickel/copper sulphide project, in Far East, Russia. The resupply transport effort began on February 15 and... 

Aspire hopes to finalise rail FS

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     13th April 2018 Coal developer Aspire Mining and its rail subsidiary Northern Railways have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company (CGGC) to advnce the Erdenet to Ovoot rail project. The parties have agreed to work quickly to finalise the... 

Global silver output falls 4.1% in 2017, as industrial demand ramps up – GFMS

By: Henry Lazenby     12th April 2018 A new survey by the GFMS team at Thomson Reuters has found that global silver output had fallen 4.1% in 2017 to 852.1-million ounces. Prepared by GFMS, the report found that total physical demand of 1.02-billion ounces was 25% lower year-on-year, signalling that the tightening of the... 

Glencore is losing billionaire allies to Trump's sanctions

By: Bloomberg     12th April 2018 The reach and power of US sanctions are hemming in the world’s largest commodity trader. In just four months, Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg has lost two of his closest business allies as President Donald Trump’s aggressive foreign policy hits home, forcing him to cut ties with billionaires Oleg... 

Palladium surges 6% on jitters over Russia sanctions

By: Reuters     11th April 2018 Palladium has surged 6% this week on the back of concerns that supply from number one producer Russia could be hurt by sanctions imposed by the US. Although the supply pipeline of the metal, more than two-fifths of which is sourced in Russia, has not been directly hit by the sanctions, the... 

Palladium's slide from record high hits solid floor

By: Reuters     10th April 2018 Palladium's 20% fall from its January record high has put the metal in bear market territory, but strong chart support and tightness in the underlying market suggest it has hit a solid floor more than 40% above its ten-year average. Palladium, the most industrial of the major precious metals,... 

Monale Ratsoma appointed as Brics bank Africa region director-general

By: Simone Liedtke     10th April 2018 The National Treasury’s deputy director-general for economic policy Monale Ratsoma has been appointed director-general of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or Brics, New Development Bank (NDB) Africa Regional Centre. The appointment is effective from April 16. 

Deripaska's fall: From Davos party king to outcast in three days

By: Bloomberg     10th April 2018 At Davos this year, Oleg Deripaska threw a party with champagne, Russian folk dancers and a performance by Enrique Iglesias. Now the Russian billionaire is on an international blacklist usually reserved for terrorists and warlords. On Friday, the US aimed its toughest sanctions at Deripaska’s... 

Hydro denies Brazil alumina plant contaminated local environment

By: Reuters     10th April 2018 Aluminium producer Norsk Hydro denied on Monday its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil had contaminated local waters, contradicting the findings of a Brazilian public health group. Citing an internal study and a report commissioned from green consultancy SGW Services, Hydro said no evidence was... 

Kinross says it remains unaffected by US sanctions on Russia

By: Henry Lazenby     10th April 2018 Canadian miner Kinross Gold said on Monday that a fresh round of US sanctions targeting Russian State officials or connected businesses that were announced on Friday does not affect its Russian operations. The US announced on Friday new sanctions against Russian oligarchs with ties to President... 

Rio Tinto stands to win from Rusal sanctions, US consumers to lose

By: Reuters     9th April 2018 Rio Tinto will be among the biggest winners from the US sanctions imposed on Russian aluminium giant United Company Rusal as the penalties further shake up the global metals trade and boost costs for US consumers, industry sources said on Monday. The United States on Friday imposed the sanctions... 

Deripaska's Rusal and aluminium market roiled by US sanctions

By: Bloomberg     9th April 2018 Russian aluminum maker United Co. Rusal’s stock plunged about 40%, while prices of the metal surged, after US sanctions on the company and its billionaire owner Oleg Deripaska prompted the producer to warn of potential debt defaults and “materially adverse” consequences. The stock fell to... 

Embattled EPA chief's calendar shows industry had his ear

By: Reuters     9th April 2018 US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt held 25-times more meetings with industry representatives than environmental advocates during his first seven months in office, according to a Reuters analysis of his schedule, reflecting the agency's pro-business approach under his... 

Mikhail Nikomarov

     6th April 2018 This week we profile Mikhail Nikomarov, CEO of Bushveld Energy, which is developing utility-scale energy storage projects in Africa using vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) technology and launching the manufacture of VRFB components in South Africa, starting with vanadium electrolyte   

Manufacturer continues to grow in power tools market

     6th April 2018 Power tools manufacturer Bosch’s Power Tools division recorded a ‎€4.7-billion turnover last year, which was higher than the year before. This growth corresponds to 5% in local currency and 4% yearly. Bosch is continually expanding its range of cordless tools, which are becoming increasingly... 

CAPP urges feds to ensure Canadian oil, gas benefit from growing global energy demand

By: Henry Lazenby     4th April 2018 Despite surging demand globally for all forms of energy, Canada’s oil and natural gas industry is at risk as the cumulative effect of federal and provincial policies and regulations are fast thinning the country’s market opportunity by thwarting industry growth, competitiveness and market access,... 

Cliffs to break ground on first hot-briquetted iron plant Thursday

By: Henry Lazenby     3rd April 2018 US iron-ore company Cleveland-Cliffs of Ohio expects to break ground on its first hot-briquetted iron (HBI) plant in Toledo on Thursday. The $700-million plant signals a strategic step change for the company, whose HBI product is expected to supply the growing electric arc furnace (EAF) steel... 

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