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Covid-19

Vaccination roll-out a vital growth stimulus, but decisive action on reforms remains key to recovery 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 6 hours ago Finance Minister Tito Mboweni made a direct link to a successful roll-out of South Africa’s free Covid-19 vaccination programme and the country’s economic recovery, telling lawmakers on Wednesday that a successful roll-out would support a full reopening of the economy, boost growth and facilitate... 

Greenfield exploration drilling restarts at Target North gold prospect  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2021 Greenfield exploration drilling has restarted at the Target North prospect in the Free State, which Covid-19 temporarily halted, Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp told Mining Weekly on Tuesday. Speaking during a Zoom interview after presenting an outstanding set of dividend-yielding  financial... 

Greenfield exploration drilling restarts at Target North gold prospect
Harmony gold CEO Peter Steenkamp interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Aveng hopes to build on first positive earnings since 2014 as restructuring nears end 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2021 Infrastructure and contract mining group Aveng, which is at the tail-end of a far-reaching restructuring exercise that has been under way since 2017, has reported its first positive earnings since 2014, recording headline earnings of R109-million for the six months to December 31. The recovery... 

Aveng hopes to build on first positive earnings since 2014 as restructuring nears end
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Aveng CEO Sean Flanagan

Harmony starts on first 10 MW of own solar, keen to pursue next 20 MW 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2021 Gold mining company Harmony Gold, which is in the process of introducing 30 MW of own-generation solar power into its electricity mix, has begun the phasing in of the first 10 MW of renewable energy generation. “Generating our own power from solar power is the way to go,” Harmony Gold CEO Peter... 

Harmony starts on first 10 MW of own solar, keen to pursue next 20 MW
Harmony Gold mineworkers underground at Masimong gold mine.

Business gears up to support mass-vaccination campaign despite variant setback 

By: Donna Slater     19th February 2021 While government’s belated, yet accelerating, efforts to secure enough doses of an effective Covid-19 vaccine to begin a phased mass vaccination roll-out gathers momentum, several business organisations are finalising their plans to support the endeavour – one that is seen as crucial for creating... 

Business gears up to support mass-vaccination campaign despite variant setback

Having gold in your portfolio is a very solid insurance right now – Bristow

By: Martin Creamer     18th February 2021 Having gold in your portfolio is a very solid insurance right now, as it always has been during global crises. That is the view of Barrick Gold president and CE Dr Mark Bristow, whose company on Thursday reported 91% higher fourth-quarter operating cash flow to $5.4-billion and annual free cash... 

Having gold in your portfolio is a very solid insurance right now – Bristow
Barrick Gold president and CE Dr Mark Bristow

Sibanye-Stillwater profit soars, free cash rockets, R9.4bn dividend 

By: Martin Creamer     18th February 2021 The free cash flow of precious metals company Sibanye-Stillwater rocketed 63-fold to within a hair’s breadth of R20-billion in the six months to the end of December. The Johannesburg- and New York-listed company, headed by CEO Neal Froneman, reported a sky-high profit rise to R29.3-billion for... 

Sibanye-Stillwater profit soars, free cash rockets, R9.4bn dividend
Photo by Creamer Media
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman.

Crime and (no) punishment: Why Africa's ports are vulnerable to counterfeit Covid vaccines

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 Black-green tears of moss streak the facades of once-white buildings. The city is a maze of narrow streets, some cobbled with sea-stones, calcified by the centuries that have passed since they were laid. The air, always humid, is aromatic with sweet spices and fish, salt-washed from the nearby... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize receive J&J vaccine in Khayelitsha 

By: Sashnee Moodley     17th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have received two of the country’s first ever Covid-19 vaccine shots from the Johnson & Johnson consignment, which arrived in the country on Tuesday evening. Ramaphosa and Mkhize were vaccinated alongside health workers at the Khayelitsha... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize receive J&J vaccine in Khayelitsha
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Second Covid-19 wave and stricter lockdown impact on trade conditions

By: Donna Slater     17th February 2021 The second wave of Covid-19 infections and the return to a more stringent lockdown in December 2020 caused a setback in trade conditions during the holiday period, which spilled over into January, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci's) Trade Activity Index (TAI) shows.... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize to be vaccinated in Khayelitsha

By: Sashnee Moodley     17th February 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be vaccinated at the Khayelitsha District Hospital, in the Western Cape, on Wednesday, following the late-night arrival of 800 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Tuesday. Ramaphosa said in statement that he and Mkhize will join health... 

Ramaphosa, Mkhize to be vaccinated in Khayelitsha
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Nagle expresses firm belief in Glencore’s coal-depleting climate change strategy 

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2021 Firm belief in the climate change strategy being embarked upon by diversified mining and marketing company Glencore was expressed on Tuesday by incoming Glencore CEO Gary Nagle, Outgoing Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg announced in December that he would be handing over the reins of the global... 

Nagle expresses firm belief in Glencore’s coal-depleting climate change strategy
Gary Nagle

Glencore ready to support transition to low-carbon economy – Glasenberg 

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2021 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is ready to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, CEO Ivan Glasenberg said on Tuesday when the company reported finishing 2020 with earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $11.6-billion, Covid-19... 

Glencore ready to support transition to low-carbon economy – Glasenberg
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

DRDGold declares 60%-higher dividend on soaring earnings

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2021 Surface gold recovery company DRDGold has declared an interim cash dividend on soaring six-month earnings. The operating profits of the Johannesburg- and New York-listed company, headed by CEO Niël Pretorius, rose by 100% to R1.4-billion in the six months to the end of December. 

DRDGold declares 60%-higher dividend on soaring earnings
DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius

London listing on way as mining company strives to become green gold producer  

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2021 A Kenyan gold asset with expansion, exploration and green status upside is scheduled to reverse list on the London Stock Exchange in March. The Kilimapesa gold mine, with a declared Joint Ore Reserves Committee resource of 670 000 oz, is an operating three-adit asset with fairly extensive... 

London listing on way as mining company strives to become green gold producer
Mayflower Capital executive Gerard Kisbey-Green interviewed by Mining Weekly ‘s Martin Creamer on the Kilimapesa gold-mining opportunity. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Ramaphosa’s SoNA holds bold promises, but lacks finer details, says BLSA

By: Donna Slater     15th February 2021 In his February 13 State of the Nation Address (SoNA), President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted factors that will serve to lift the economy, tackle Covid-19 and boost ailing electricity infrastructure, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso. Of particular interest, she says,... 

Renergen unveils Covid-19 vaccine transport solution, the Cryo-Vacc  

By: Simone Liedtke     15th February 2021 South African emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen on February 15 unveiled its Covid-19 transportation solution, the Cryo-Vacc. The Cryo-Vacc has been designed to keep Covid-19 vaccines ultra-cold during transportation for up to 30 days, allowing for the vaccines to be... 

Renergen unveils Covid-19 vaccine transport solution, the Cryo-Vacc
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani gives more detail on the company’s logistics solution for Covid-19 vaccines, the Cryo-Vacc. Production of which is expected soon. Video: Creamer Media’s Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media’s Darlene Creamer.

ArcelorMittal South Africa reports second-half profit as supply squeeze lifts prices 

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2021 Steelmaker ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) return to profit in the second half of its 2020 financial year on the back of steel-shortage-induced price rises that negatively affected many domestic downstream consumers and have led to growing calls for a lifting of import protection. The... 

ArcelorMittal South Africa reports second-half profit as supply squeeze lifts prices

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2021 A leading bank economist expects fixed investment in South Africa to remain muted in 2021, weighed down by ongoing power shortages, political uncertainty and the Covid-19 pandemic. Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim forecasts that investment levels will pick up in 2022, however, spurred... 

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021
Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim

Green hydrogen and powerfuels could revive ailing PetroSA, unlock green steel and create €160bn export platform   

By: Terence Creamer     9th February 2021 The combination of South Africa’s world-class wind, solar and land resources, its platinum group metals reserves, as well as its historical experience in industrial-scale synthetic-fuel manufacture, position the country strongly for the production of green hydrogen and tradeable synthetic... 

Green hydrogen and powerfuels could revive ailing PetroSA, unlock green steel and create €160bn export platform
Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande on South Africa's comparative advantage when it came to the production of renewable hydrogen and green powerfuels.

Platinum group metals outlook: constrained supply, very strong demand growth – WPIC  

By: Martin Creamer     8th February 2021 The outlook for platinum group metals (PGMs) is one of constrained supply and very strong demand growth. “You’ve got the entire PGMs suite that is short and that certainly will translate into tight markets,” World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) Director of Research Trevor Raymond told Mining... 

Platinum group metals outlook: constrained supply, very strong demand growth – WPIC
World Platinum Investment Council Director of Research Trevor Raymond interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Third quarter exports grow as economies recover – TIPS

By: Donna Slater     8th February 2021 South Africa’s exports have benefitted from the recovery of the Chinese economy and rising global demand for commodities, such as precious stones, which has led to growth exceeding pre-Covid-19 lockdown levels during the third quarter of 2020, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's)... 

Rand falls as South Africa puts AstraZeneca vaccinations on hold

By: Reuters     8th February 2021 South Africa's rand weakened early on Monday after the country's Covid-19 vaccination plan suffered a setback over the weekend as the government put on hold the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine in its programme. At 0635 GMT, the rand traded at 14.8850 against the dollar, 0.32% weaker than its close... 

DuPont covers used to protect Covid-19 vaccines

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th February 2021 The arrival of the first AstraZeneca vaccine doses in South Africa on February 2 was a significant moment for the country, says chemicals company DuPont, which notes that its Tyvek AirCargo covers were used to offer a critical level of protection by completely enveloping the pallet containing the... 

Nersa committee holds back approval on Eskom application to buy short-term power 

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) electricity subcommittee decided, on February 5, not to approve Eskom’s application for the emergency procurement of electricity from eight private generators under its Short-Term Power Purchase Programme (STPPP). In March 2020, the... 

Nersa committee holds back approval on Eskom application to buy short-term power

Govt has secured vaccines for 26-million people 

By: Sane Dhlamini     5th February 2021 Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize revealed on Friday that government had secured enough Covid-19 vaccines for 26-million people, so far, with more agreements in the pipeline. He revealed that China could be one of the countries that South Africa procures vaccines from. On Monday, the country... 

Govt has secured vaccines for 26-million people
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize

Halt to Richards Bay Minerals project depriving South Africa of R100bn 

By: Martin Creamer     5th February 2021 Rio Tinto's KwaZulu-Natal mineral sands mining company, Richards Bay Minerals, has got a major project called Zulti South that is fully permitted and fully funded – but is not being developed. Construction began in the first half of 2019, but was then brought to a halt in December 2019 amidst... 

Halt to Richards Bay Minerals project depriving South Africa of R100bn
Photo by Creamer Media
From top left clockwise, Gary Felthun, Roger Baxter, Werner Duvenhage, Mzila Mthenjane, Advocate Thabo Mokoena and Neal Froneman.

Vaccine nationalism may create conditions for increased political turmoil – Zane Dangor

By: Sane Dhlamini     4th February 2021 Special advisor to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Zane Dangor stated on Thursday that vaccine nationalism is the opposite of the solidarity approach that was spoken of at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. Dangor was addressing an online discussion on ‘Trade, Patent Law... 

Vaccine nationalism may create conditions for increased political turmoil – Zane Dangor

US provides additional field hospital support to South Africa 

By: Thabi Madiba     4th February 2021 Field hospitals in the Free State and Eastern Cape have received support from the US Agency for International Development in the form of medical equipment and technical assistance in the provinces’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The US government has provided several tons of medical... 

US provides additional field hospital support to South Africa

Botswana intensifying effort to attract non-diamond exploration  

By: Martin Creamer     3rd February 2021 Botswana has intensified efforts to digitise and make geoscience information readily available to local and international potential investors in an effort to encourage prospecting for non-diamond minerals, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi told the virtual 2021 Investing in African Mining... 

Botswana intensifying effort to attract non-diamond exploration
Photo by Creamer Media
Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi

Illicit market booms during alcohol, cigarette sales bans  

By: Donna Slater     3rd February 2021 To overcome the challenge of a seemingly booming illicit market for cigarettes and alcohol, and to stem the tide of such illicit products in the local economy, requires enforcement of existing laws and adaptation of new ones, says South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) CEO Kurt... 

Illicit market booms during alcohol, cigarette sales bans
South African Liquor Brandowners Association CEO Kurt Moore talks about the challenges the legal alcohol industry is facing from the illicit market and several prohibitions

R12bn cost of vaccination roll-out ‘immaterial’ relative to Covid’s economic cost  

By: Terence Creamer     3rd February 2021 Having received finer pricing details from Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers over the past month, organised business is currently estimating that it will cost about R12-billion to vaccinate 70% of South Africa’s adult population – well below government’s earlier and heavily criticised estimate of... 

R12bn cost of vaccination roll-out ‘immaterial’ relative to Covid’s economic cost

Breaking ground on key infrastructure projects would be ‘immune booster’ for ailing economy  

By: Terence Creamer     3rd February 2021 Consulting Engineers South Africa believes that visible progress on a select number of high-profile infrastructure projects in 2021 could serve as an “immune booster” for South Africa’s ailing economy and provide impetus for a much-needed recovery in investor confidence. Presenting CESA’s yearly... 

Breaking ground on key infrastructure projects would be ‘immune booster’ for ailing economy
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sugen Pillay

Govt launches Electronic Vaccine Data System ahead of vaccine roll-out 

By: Yvonne Silaule     3rd February 2021 Healthcare workers are encouraged to register on the Department of Health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System Self Enrolment Portal, as part of government’s phased approach to the vaccine roll-out. More than 34 000 health workers have already registered on the system, which forms part of... 

Govt launches Electronic Vaccine Data System ahead of vaccine roll-out
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

We want to promote greater exploration and beneficiation – President  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd February 2021 “We want to promote greater exploration and beneficiation of minerals,” President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday in his opening address to Mining Indaba Virtual 2021, where he praised South African mining for having shown tremendous resilience in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.... 

We want to promote greater exploration and beneficiation – President
Mining Indaba Virtual 2021 reported on by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Covid-19: SA records lowest number of daily infections since December

By: News24Wire      2nd February 2021 South Africa has recorded the lowest number of Covid-19 daily infections since the beginning of December last year. This was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his televised address to the nation on Monday night. 

Covid-19: SA records lowest number of daily infections since December
President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa to get 2-million vaccine doses from COVAX by March – Ramaphosa

By: Reuters     2nd February 2021 South Africa will get 2-million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the World Health Organization and an African Union (AU) arrangement by March, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday. "We have secured 12-million doses in total from the global COVAX... 

South Africa to get 2-million vaccine doses from COVAX by March – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
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