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South Africa playing key role in hydrogen economy – Minister  

By: Martin Creamer     24th March 2021 South Africa is playing an important role in the ‘hydrogen economy’ as the country targets clean and reliable alternative energy sources, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday. In his opening keynote address to the Platinum Group Metals Industry Day chaired by... 

Steel production up 4.1% y/y in February

By: Donna Slater     24th March 2021 Global crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) increased by 4.1% year-on-year to 150.2-million tonnes in February. Worldsteel reports that China produced about 83-million tonnes of steel in February, a 10.9% year-on-year increase.  

Scientists develop non-toxic and cheaper compound for infrared semiconductors

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th March 2021 A research team composed of scientists in Japan and the UK has discovered a chemical compound that could be used to produce non-toxic infrared (IR) semiconductors. It would also be cheaper than the compounds currently used to produce such semiconductors. The compound is composed of calcium,... 

Total to resume Mozambique LNG work after security reinforced

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 Total will restart construction at its $20-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Mozambique after the government increased security, the French energy firm said on Wednesday. In January, Total withdrew most of its workforce from the site in Mozambique's northernmost province of Cabo... 

Civil construction index rises for third quarter, but most experiencing work shortage

By: Schalk Burger     24th March 2021 The FNB and Bureau of Economic Research Civil Confidence Index rose by five points to 21 in the first quarter of this year. This was the third consecutive quarterly increase, but the current index level means that the vast majority (close to 80%) of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing... 

February inflation slips to 2.9%, below the Reserve Bank's target range  

By: News24Wire      24th March 2021 February inflation slipped to 2.9% year-on-year, from 3.2% reported in January. Consumer inflation data, released by Stats SA on Wednesday, showed that this is the lowest reading since June 2020 when the rate was 2.2%. The Reserve Bank's monetary policy committee is meeting this week and is due... 

 February inflation slips to 2.9%, below the Reserve Bank's target range

$200m IFC loan to boost Nedbank CIB’s green investment reach

By: Donna Slater     24th March 2021 Financial services provider Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) says a recent agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will contribute to enhancing the investment scales in favour of sustainable development in the future Nedbank CIB sustainable finance solutions head... 

Sudan's cabinet backs UAE mediation in border, dam disputes with Ethiopia

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 Sudan's cabinet has backed an initiative for the United Arab Emirates to mediate in a dispute over Sudan's border with Ethiopia, and over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Sudanese information minister said on Tuesday. Tensions surrounding the control of farmland in al-Fashqa, on... 

Denel appoints Thandeka Sabela as acting CFO

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 South African state-owned defence company Denel has appointed Thandeka Sabela as acting CFO, the firm said on Tuesday. The firm's former CFO, Carmen le Grange, resigned earlier in March, extending a series of exits including the board chair and chief executive, deepening a crisis at the... 

Supply an issue as new-vehicle market continues to recover, says Motus 

By: Irma Venter     24th March 2021 The South African new-vehicle market is on the recovery path, with sales bouncing back in February compared with January. The main issue currently holding back manufacturers is not market appetite, but the ability to supply sufficient vehicles to meet demand, says vehicle retailer Motus. 

Supply an issue as new-vehicle market continues to recover, says Motus

Dale completes its first-ever 96 t carton chiller 

24th March 2021 Dale Spiral Systems & Bakery Automation is this month getting its first-ever 96 t carton cooler ready for delivery to a dairy manufacturer, which has been in development for the last four years. Marleny Arnoldi visited the site. 

Dale completes its first-ever 96 t carton chiller
Dale completes its first-ever 96 t carton chiller

Suez Canal blockage set to ripple through global energy market

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2021 The blockage of the Suez Canal by a giant container vessel is likely to send a ripple of disruption through the global energy supply chain. European and US refiners that rely on the vital waterway for cargoes of Mideast oil may be forced to look for replacement supplies should the blockage... 

John Deere expands its construction equipment line-up to 18 African countries

By: Irma Venter     24th March 2021 John Deere has announced the expansion of its construction equipment line-up to 18 countries across Southern and Western Africa, where Deere-branded construction products were previously not available.  This expansion, which will include backhoe loaders, excavators, wheel loaders, motor graders... 

John Deere expands its construction equipment line-up to 18 African countries

South Africa seeks lesser of two evils with Eskom debt options

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2021 South Africa’s National Treasury is considering whether it would be better to move a chunk of Eskom Holdings' R464-billion of debt into a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) or have the State take over responsibility for it directly, people familiar with the situation said. While banks have led... 

South Africa seeks lesser of two evils with Eskom debt options

Master Drilling advancing mechanisation for two top-tier local clients  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2021 Mine mechanisation is being advanced for two top-tier  local clients of Master Drilling, the CEO of the JSE-listed company, Danie Pretorius, said on Tuesday. Speaking to Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview after reporting 72.7%-higher 2020 net cash generation of $25.5-million, 18%-lower debt to... 

Master Drilling advancing mechanisation for two top-tier local clients
Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Norway bans sale of Rolls-Royce subsidiary to Russian group

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2021 The Norwegian government has vetoed the sale, by UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce, of its Norwegian subsidiary company Bergen Engines to Russian locomotive and railway equipment manufacturing and services company TMH Group. Rolls-Royce Bergen produces medium speed... 

Canada, AfDB formalise gender-focused Climate Fund for Africa

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Canada on March 17 signed an agreement to formalise the Canada–African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF), which is a transformative special fund aimed at providing concessional loans for climate... 

Move to impact-based weather forecasting assisting South Africa, says Creecy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd March 2021 The South African Weather Services (SAWS) plays an important role in mitigating the impacts of severe weather, natural disasters and climate-related challenges, and its success in mitigating the impacts of Cyclone Eloise this year was mainly the result of its progress in the 2020/21 financial... 

Changes to water-use licence issuing powers to help agricultural industry, says AgriSA

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2021 Agricultural industry organisation AgriSA has welcomed the decision by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) acting director-general Deborah Mochotlhi to give regional DWS offices and catchment management agencies the power to issue water-use licences for low-risk and low-volume... 

Attacq maintains interim profit

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2021 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Attacq has posted a 57.5% lower distributable income per share for the six months ended December 31 at R148-million, mainly owing to rental discounts of R53-million incurred during the period. The rental discounts were mainly granted to support... 

Attacq maintains interim profit
Attacq's Nexus Waterfall property

Remote-operation drilling footprint providing sizeable benefit – Master Drilling  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2021 An increased remote-operation drilling footprint is providing considerable benefit for Master Drilling, the JSE-listed drilling services company said on Tuesday, when it reported 72.7%-higher 2020 net cash generation of $25.5-million, 18%-lower debt to $42.1-million, and a halved gearing ratio to... 

Remote-operation drilling footprint providing sizeable benefit – Master Drilling
Master Drilling results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Against the odds, solar-plus-storage project emerges with lowest RMIPPPP bid 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2021 The fact that a hybrid generation project – combining solar photovoltaic (PV), a battery energy storage system (BESS) and a small portion of gas – emerged with the lowest evaluation price in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) has been described as... 

Against the odds, solar-plus-storage project emerges with lowest RMIPPPP bid

Agriculture bodies call for increased access to growing Brics markets

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2021 The Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz), industry organisations Agri SA, the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa), the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) and the National African Farmers’ Union (Nafu) have met with the Department of Trade, Industry... 

Private equity firm looking to invest R350m in South Africa's mining, manufacturing sectors

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2021 South African private equity firm Moshe Capital Fund Managers aims to invest up to R350-million in manufacturing, industrial and mining products or services and secondary agriculture in South Africa, says Moshe Capital founder and CEO Mametja Moshe. The company predominantly invests in... 

Absa report shows second quarter of raw material constraints in manufacturing supply chain 

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2021 Financial services firm Absa's 2021 first-quarter Manufacturing Survey shows that, for a second quarter in a row, manufacturers are reporting issues in the supply chain that are resulting in raw material shortage constraints negatively affecting their production processes. “Currently, a major... 

MetroFibre secures R2.5bn debt funding package

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd March 2021 Gauteng-based fibre infrastructure provider MetroFibre Networx has secured a R2.5-billion debt funding package from Investec to support its fibre deployment across South Africa. The funding agreement builds on an existing relationship between the two companies since 2016, when MetroFibre... 

Core stage of Nasa’s biggest ever rocket has passed final major test

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) successfully conducted a second ‘hot fire’ test of the core stage of its new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket late last week. The SLS core stage, the prime contractor for which is Boeing, is powered by four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25... 

Core stage of Nasa’s biggest ever rocket has passed final major test
Photo by Nasa
The SLS core stage second hot fire test being conducted at the B-2 test stand

TCTA put forward as new water agency implementor 

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd March 2021 State-owned entity Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) had been put forward as a possible potential proto-agency for the implementation of the new National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency (NWRIA). On February 11, 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the establishment of a national... 

TCTA put forward as new water agency implementor

Embraer hit by about 50% cut in revenues of its commercial jet business

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2021 Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, one of the world’s leading companies in the sector, has released its results for last year. Embraer’s financial year is identical to the calendar year. The financial results were released on a consolidated basis and according to International Financial Reporting... 

Senqu river bridge construction tender launched in early March

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2021 The tender for the construction of the largest of three bridges that will span the Polihali reservoir and that will be built as part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase 2 – the Senqu River bridge – was released on March 4. The bridge will be the first extradosed bridge, which... 

Resolving energy challenges is fundamental to economic recovery – Ramaphosa 

By: Thabi Madiba     23rd March 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged the disruption caused by load-shedding and outlined government’s plans to restructure and strengthen the country’s electricity system to fundamentally change the country’s energy future. Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly letter to the nation that for more... 

Resolving energy challenges is fundamental to economic recovery – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

BLSA calls for further review of embedded generation licensing threshold

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd March 2021 The announcement last week of preferred bidders for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, as well as the request for proposals that starts off Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, is a step forward for energy... 

BLSA calls for further review of embedded generation licensing threshold
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Master Drilling in muted but resilient 2020 performance 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2021 Drilling services company Master Drilling, which operates in 23 countries and which is continuing to grow its presence in new global markets, on Tuesday reported a “muted but resilient performance” for the full year ended December 31, thanks to what it described as a “flexible business model and... 

Master Drilling in muted but resilient 2020 performance
Photo by Creamer Media
Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius.

Northam pays most tax as growth strategy heads for 8 500 jobs boost 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2021 “We’ve made the single-largest tax payment in the history of the company,” Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne said during last week’s presentation of 74%-higher headline half-year earnings.   The JSE-listed platinum group metals (PGMs) mining company’s half-year contribution to the fiscus topped... 

Northam pays most tax as growth strategy heads for 8 500 jobs boost
Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne’s half-year presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Three European companies join renewable organisation RES4Africa

By: Schalk Burger     19th March 2021 Three Europe-based companies have joined renewable energy industry organisation Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa Foundation (RES4Africa). The companies are renewable energy company EDP Renewables; energy management and automation company Schneider Electric; and wind energy company Vestas 

USAID provides four investment funds with capital for SME, emerging farmer growth in Southern Africa

By: Schalk Burger     19th March 2021 The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded catalytic funding to four investment vehicles to drive inclusive economic growth in Southern Africa. As a result, R357-million ($24-million) in private sector investment will go towards supporting small and medium-sized enterprises... 

Atterbury reduces water use by 250 000 ℓ a day across eight properties

By: Schalk Burger     19th March 2021 Property investment and development company Atterbury's intensive water consumption reduction drive, using sustainable water management systems at eight of its buildings, has enabled it to use 250 000 ℓ less a day compared with historical consumption. It achieved this through a combination of... 

Northam Platinum building 10 MW solar power plant at Zondereinde smelter  

By: Martin Creamer     19th March 2021 Platinum group metals (PGMs) mining company Northam Platinum said on Friday that it was designing and building a 10 MW solar energy plant for the company’s smelter at its Zondereinde mine, in Limpopo province. Located on the northern end of the western limb of the Bushveld Complex, near the town... 

Northam Platinum building 10 MW solar power plant at Zondereinde smelter
Northam Platinum CEO Paul Dunne’s half-year presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.
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