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Aluminium News

Glencore, Century Aluminum ink sale of 150 000 t of Natur-Al aluminium

By: Simone Liedtke     4th February 2021 Glencore and Century Aluminum Company have finalised the sale of 150 000 metric tons of Natur‐Al aluminium over five years to Austrian firm Hammerer Aluminium Industries (HAI). Natur‐Al products are made with energy from 100% renewable sources at Century’s Norðurál Grundartangi aluminum plant in... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors 

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2021 A new global partnership has been formally launched in an effort to accelerate the decarbonisation of seven heavy industrial and transport sectors that together represent 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and where carbon-abatement pathways have yet to be defined. Known as the ‘Mission... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors

Hulamin appoints new CFO

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2021 Aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin has appointed Meganathan (Mark) Gounder CFO and executive director, with effect from April 1. Gounder is an experienced finance professional with over 25 years’ experience, and he has held various senior finance roles within the Illovo Sugar Group, which... 

Govt study into local lithium-ion battery value chain almost complete  

By: Irma Venter     27th November 2020 A study into the possible development of a lithium-ion (li-ion) battery value-chain in South Africa will be completed by the end of the year. The study is being undertaken by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), on behalf of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). It... 

Govt study into local lithium-ion battery value chain almost complete
Gaylor Montmasson-Clair

Bleak outlook for packaging, reports research company

16th October 2020 According to the 2019/20 Packaging Overview report released by full-service research company BMi Research in August, South Africa’s packaging industry could decline by more than 9% in 2020 as a result of severely impaired disposable income following the national lockdown enforced as a response to... 

Hulamin's performance continues to improve

By: Simone Liedtke     14th October 2020 Order books in all operations for aluminium supplier Hulamin have continued to improve throughout the third quarter of the 2020 financial year, and are approaching “normal levels”, the company reported on October 14. The company also confirmed that orders for beverage can products, heat-treated... 

Rio Tinto, AB InBev sign MoU to deliver sustainable, low carbon aluminium cans

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2020 Beer drinkers will soon be able to enjoy their favourite brew out of cans that are both recyclable and responsibly produced as a result of a global partnership between diversified miner Rio Tinto and brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). The two companies have signed a memorandum of... 

World Trade Fair postponed to next year

25th September 2020 Owing to the serious consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, event organiser Reed Exhibitions has announced the postponement of the Aluminium World Trade Fair to May 18 to 20, 2021. The trade fair was scheduled to take place in Düsseldorf, Germany from October 6 to 8, this year. 

Recycling tech boosted by crystallisation research

25th September 2020 An innovative method for aluminium recycling has been boosted by research showing the microscopic changes that take place when molten alloys cool.   University of Birmingham School of Metallurgy and Materials researcher Dr Biao Cai used sophisticated high-speed X-ray imaging to record the... 

Press tech allows for high-quality extrusions

25th September 2020 Metallurgical industry plant and integrated systems provider SMS group recently received the final acceptance certificate from aluminum frames supplier Garner Aluminium Extrusions (Garnalex). The certification was received for the complete extrusion line supplied by SMS group and its consortium... 

Press tech allows for  high-quality extrusions
GREATER ACCESSIBILITY The enclosure design is not only state-of-the-art, but also takes into account all aspects of operational safety while also ensuring better machine accessibility

Metal industry sees no need for LME green aluminium platform

By: Reuters     22nd September 2020 The London Metal Exchange does not need a separate platform to trade low carbon aluminium and should focus instead on services its users need more urgently, such as a euro-denominated steel contract, metal industry sources told Reuters. As pressure mounts on investors and companies to prove their... 

Hulamin expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st September 2020 Significant cost reduction efforts, coupled with stringent controls over working capital, helped to reduce the impact of Covid-19-related restrictions on aluminium supplier Hulamin's performance for the six months ended June 30, CEO Richard Jacob said on September 21. The company noted that cost... 

Hulamin expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year
Richard Jacob

Insimbi ‘cautiously optimistic’ as earnings fall

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2020 Germiston-based foundry Insimbi Industrial Holdings remains cautiously optimistic for the year ahead as its headline earnings a share for the financial year ended February 29, was 25% lower year-on-year at 10c a share. Earnings a share also decreased, but by 32% year-on-year, to 8c a share. 

South32 progressing negotiations with Eskom for Hillside  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th August 2020 Dual-listed South32 is making good progress with its negotiations with State-owned power utility Eskom on electricity prices for its Hillside aluminium smelter in Richards Bay, the group said during a media call on August 20. COO Mike Fraser said the group had reached an agreement with Eskom on a... 

South32 progressing negotiations with Eskom for Hillside
Graham Kerr

Women’s network growing steadily

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The Protea Network – for women working in the predominantly male-dominated steel and other market sectors – is growing steadily and organically since its launch in April, says steel fabrication company Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer. She launched the network to provide women in the industry... 

Women’s network growing steadily
NICOLETTE SKJOLDHAMMER The objective of the Protea Network for this year is to encourage and facilitate online forum membership, where members can engage on a daily basis

Steel awards go virtual

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The South African Institute for Steel Construction’s (SAISC’s) yearly Steel Awards will be judged and hosted virtually through a dedicated application (app) this year. This comes on the back of efforts to mitigate restrictions on social gatherings and take advantage of the digital marketing... 

Steel awards go virtual
VIRTUOSITY ASSESSED Small teams of judges attend sites physically, observing Covid-19 health and safety protocols, while others attend site visits virtually

Greater collaboration needed in steel supply chain

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 To ensure security of steel supply, the South African Institute for Steel Construction (SAISC) is calling for greater collaboration among all players in the local steel supply chain, from upstream producers to downstream merchants. Local steel demand was low before the Covid-19 pandemic, which... 

Greater collaboration needed  in steel supply chain
Photo by Adobe
RELIABLE ROLLOUT? The security of steel supply is a key concern for downstream merchants and fabricators

Market disruption expected to continue after Covid-19

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The world will most likely never revert to pre-2020 norms, says steel grating and related products supplier Vital Engineering director Glen Pringle. He tells Engineering News that he expects continued market disruption and the rethinking of various elements of the market, including supply chains. 

Market disruption expected to continue after Covid-19
GRATE CHANGE AHEAD Vital Engineering needs to ensure that it is as agile as possible to take advantage of the ever-changing status quo

New duties another dose of 'slow poison' to steel industry, says Neasa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2020 The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) has reiterated its dissatisfaction with government's approval of an extended 8% safeguard duty on hot rolled coil, bringing the total duty payable on this product to 18%. This follows after Neasa launched an urgent application in the... 

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Stainless steel manufacturer Columbus Stainless advocates that the much longer life span of ore wagons achieved using 3CR12, makes it clear why stainless steel is the cost-effective choice for equipment in ore-handling processes. “Owing to its excellent properties in wet sliding conditions, the... 

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons
UP ORE DOWN Wagons manufactured by Columbus Stainless using 3CR12 transport ore for substantially longer with less degradation than those made of mild steel or other materials

Manufacturer obtains welding certification

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Rolling stock manufacturer Transmashholdings (TMH) Africa, which acts as the centre of excellence for narrow-gauge rolling stock within the TMH Group, announced in March that it had been awarded the ISO 3834 welding certification. The certification was awarded to the company by the Southern... 

Manufacturer obtains welding certification
ACCREDITED FUSION Transmashholdings Africa have been awarded an International Standards Organisation 3843 welding certification which will help draw in new clients for the company

Hulamin becomes first aluminium semi-fabricator to achieve emissions milestone 

By: Donna Slater     9th July 2020 Aluminium products manufacturer Hulamin reports that it has become the first global aluminium semi-fabricator to have a greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).   The SBTi mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their... 

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Steel merchant Macsteel has been re-evaluating its business strategy, owing to a steady decline in steel consumption over the past five years, with 2019 being a “new low” and the start of 2020 faring just as poorly – a situation that has been exacerbated by the lockdown because of Covid-19.... 

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market
BUILDING THE RIGHT WAY Macsteel aims to build its market share through strong, well-established and sustainable relationships with customers

Automation reduces costs, increases productivity

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 With companies that invest in technology and automation showing signs of being more adaptable and strategically well positioned to take advantage of an inevitable upswing in the economy, local manufacturer and supplier of cutting and welding equipment consumables as well as distributor of steel... 

Automation reduces costs,  increases productivity
ANDREW POOLE Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets

New booster for industry 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Nitrogen generation equipment manufacturer and supplier NitraLife has introduced a booster for its NitraCut nitrogen generator product, which ‘bolts’ onto the company’s NitraCut nitrogen generator, to increase its nitrogen delivery pressure and therefore also increase the thickness of steel it... 

New booster for industry
NitraLife MD Tom Sowry discusses the new NitraCut booster. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 11.06.2020

Future order book to relieve pressure for fabricator 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Although the strategic decision to continue to pay employees full salaries during the Level 5 lockdown in April put pressure on its cashflow, steel fabricator and erector Betterect believes a healthy order book of projects for the next 18 months should ensure that the pressure will be relieved.... 

Future order book to relieve pressure for fabricator
Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer discusses the company’s strategic decisions, facility upgrades and the concept of ‘Team Africa’. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 12.06.2020

Metso Outotec can drive industries towards responsible use of natural resources

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2020 Metso Minerals, a subsidiary of global industrial company Metso, has officially merged with Finnish-listed technology company Outotec. The merger has formed a leading process technology, equipment and services company serving the minerals, metals and aggregates industries. The combined company... 

Hulamin experiences difficult 2019, but balance sheet remains robust

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th June 2020 JSE-listed aluminium supplier Hulamin says it experienced particularly difficult conditions during the financial year ended December 31, 2019, which resulted in its loss a share increasing by 57% year-on-year to 380c. Headline earnings were down 182% year-on-year to a loss of R240-million, which... 

Cables for corrosive conditions

By: Tracy Hancock     26th June 2020 Industrial equipment supplier BMG’s extensive portfolio of Tsubaki Kabelschlepp cable carrier systems and safety cables includes S/SX steel cable carriers, which have been designed to carry heavy mechanical loads in harsh environments, including corrosive conditions. “The S/SX series comprises... 

Cables for corrosive conditions
OPTIMISED GEOMETRY The link design of the S/SX series allows contaminants found in harsh environments to fall through the system when the cable carrier is in motion

Hulamin expects headline loss a share of at least 70c

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th June 2020 JSE-listed aluminium supplier Hulamin expects to report a basic loss a share of between 370c and 380c for the year ended December 31, 2019. This compares with a loss a share of 242c reported for the year ended December 31, 2018.  

Covid-19 compounds challenges in Africa

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 The legislation put in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic is compounding the “exceptionally challenging” business environment already faced by companies when operating in Africa, where each country presents its own challenges, says Macsteel Exports senior branch manager Adrian Isemonger. He... 

Covid-19 compounds challenges in Africa
AFRICAN REACH Macsteel Exports supplies sub-Saharan Africa with the broadest range of carbon steel, stainless steel, specialty steels, aluminum products and value-added processes to all industry sectors

Fitch Solutions expects most metal markets to move into a surplus this year

By: Simone Liedtke     13th May 2020 Most metals markets are expected to move into a surplus this year, says research firm Fitch Solutions, noting that consumption is likely to decrease more than the decreases in production capacity, as a result of the spread of Covid-19. Although some operational hurdles, owing to government... 

Hulamin expects Covid-19 to negatively impact on earnings

By: Simone Liedtke     17th April 2020 South Africa’s national lockdown is a significant disruption to JSE-listed Hulamin’s operations and has resulted in a decrease in demand for its products, particularly in the general engineering and automotive sectors. Consequently, Hulamin expects this to negatively impact on its earnings before... 

Global GDP to contract 1.9% this year, spark commodity oversupply, says Fitch

By: Simone Liedtke     6th April 2020 Owing to unprecedented lockdown in much of Europe, the US and across the globe, the world is currently experiencing considerably lower economic activity, which in turn significantly reduces commodity consumption, says ratings agency Fitch Ratings. As a result, it expects global gross domestic... 

Global GDP to contract 1.9% this year, spark commodity oversupply, says Fitch

Hulamin finalises acquisition of rolling slab business from Isizinda venture

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd April 2020 JSE-listed aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin says all conditions have been fulfilled around the transaction between its subsidiary Hulamin Operations (Hulamin Opco) and Bingelela Capital to acquire the rolling slab business from Isizinda Aluminium company. The Isizinda company owns the... 

Hulamin finalises acquisition of rolling slab business from Isizinda venture

South32 cuts expenditure as operations are adjusted 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th March 2020 Diversified miner South32 has announced a $160-million cut to capital expenditure over the next 15 months, with the miner also announcing a number of operational changes in response to COVID-19. In response to a 21-day lockdown in South Africa, Soutnh32’s manganese assets in that country, along... 

South32 cuts expenditure as operations are adjusted
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

First bauxite cargo from Chalco's Guinea mine arrives in China

By: Reuters     27th February 2020 The first cargo of bauxite shipped from Aluminum Corp of China's Boffa mine, in Guinea, has arrived in China, a spokesperson for the company, which is also known as Chalco, said on Thursday. The 55 000 t cargo arrived at the port of Rizhao in eastern China's Shandong province on Wednesday after... 

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