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Metals & Engineering News

Record stash of steel in China as demand slammed

By: Bloomberg     25th February 2020 The world’s largest steel industry just sent out another warning flare as producers grapple with the coronavirus outbreak: nationwide stockpiles of reinforcement bar have swelled to the most on record. The surge is a reflection of the dislocation caused by the disease and efforts to fight it.... 

Kumba pays out 92% of HEPS to shareholders as iron-ore prices lift earnings 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th February 2020 JSE-listed miner Kumba Iron Ore delivered a payout ratio of 92% of headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended December 31, exceeding its 50% to 75% dividend payout policy. The company declared a final cash dividend of R15.99 apiece, which, combined with the interim dividend of R30.79... 

Kumba pays out 92% of HEPS to shareholders as iron-ore prices lift earnings
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Kumba Iron Ore CEO Thamba Mkhwanazi

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs  

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 While the energy transition is gaining a lot of traction, integrated primary vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo laments that the battery storage narrative is “still dominated by electric vehicles (EVs)”. He tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly that there is still a lack of... 

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo chats to Engineering News & Mining Weekly about the energy transition, how vanadium plays a role in this as well as how this fits into the company's growth plans. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Metals, engineering sector set for ‘unremarkable’ growth this year  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th February 2020 Last year was generally challenging for both the domestic and global economy, as weakening demand, manufacturing and trade and investment restrained progress, with extended negative implications for the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, which is poised for “unremarkable” growth this year.... 

Metals, engineering sector set for ‘unremarkable’ growth this year
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Dr Michael Ade

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 Despite various heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry participants contesting the banning of disposable gas cylinders in South Africa for years, there is no indication of a decision on the matter being reached. South African Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning... 

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders
TIME TO SCRAP THIS PRACTICE Disposed cylinders create about 3 150 m3 scrap metal and can explode if not thoroughly evacuated

Tribunal approves AMSA’s acquisition of Highveld Structural Mill

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th February 2020 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) acquisition of the manufacturing and production of structural steel and rail business of Highveld Structural Mill (HSM), a subsidiary of Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium. HSM, in... 

Vedanta sets sights on zinc, silver, iron-ore output growth 

By: Kim Cloete     12th February 2020 CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – Natural resources company Vedanta Resources is aiming to become the world's biggest producer of zinc, as well as to double its production of silver and increase its iron-ore output from 10-million to 15-million tonnes a year.  Vedanta has a presence in steel,... 

Vedanta sets sights on zinc, silver, iron-ore output growth
Vedanta Resources executives tell Mining Weekly correspondent Kim Cloete about the group's growth plans and its corporate social investment initiatives. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Patel asked to brief lawmakers on government’s response to ongoing steel job cuts 

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2020 The opposition Democratic Alliance has written a letter to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel calling on him to brief lawmakers about developments at steel group ArcelorMittal South Africa, which recently warned of additional job cuts at the company. AMSA confirmed on February 6 that,... 

Patel asked to brief lawmakers on government’s response to ongoing steel job cuts

AMSA says regulatory changes could open way for 100 MW Vanderbijl solar farm 

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2020 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) believes there is potential to develop a 75 MW to 100 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant adjacent to its Vanderbijlpark mill, in Gauteng. The JSE-listed company is also convinced that such a project could proceed relatively quickly should South... 

AMSA says regulatory changes could open way for 100 MW Vanderbijl solar farm
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
AMSA CEO Kobus Verster

AMSA slumps to R3.3bn loss amid ‘exceptionally difficult’ conditions 

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2020 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) slumped to a R3.3-billion headline loss in 2019, which the JSE-listed group described as an exceptionally difficult one for the South African economy and also the most challenging for the world steel industry since the global financial crisis of... 

AMSA slumps to R3.3bn loss amid ‘exceptionally difficult’ conditions
Wind-down of the Saldanha Works, in the Western Cape, to be largely completed by the end of the first quarter

Coronavirus hurts base metals, iron-ore prices

By: Simone Liedtke     5th February 2020 The outbreak and contagion of a new strain of the coronavirus – which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December – has contributed to renewed concerns over economic growth prospects, particularly in China. China, which is a major supplier and consumer of base metals as well as a major... 

Hudaco performs well, despite economic downturn

By: Simone Liedtke     31st January 2020 Automotive, industrial and electrical consumable products supplier Hudaco managed to grow its headline earnings a share for the financial year ended November 30, 2019, by 5.1% year-on-year to R13.55. The company said this was “an achievement” given the tough business environment in South Africa,... 

Hudaco performs well, despite economic downturn
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Hudaco CEO Graham Dunford

Fallout from coronavirus expected to have a ripple effect on coal, iron-ore

By: Kim Cloete     31st January 2020 The fallout from the coronavirus in China is expected to have a ripple effect on many sectors in the Chinese economy, slow down its economic growth and impact on its coal industry and imports. Coal trader Noble Resources research head Rodrigo Echeverri says the impact had been severely... 

Fallout from coronavirus expected to have a ripple effect on coal, iron-ore

South Africa will caution Trump against ‘premature’ trade review

By: Bloomberg     29th January 2020 South Africa’s government will tell President Donald Trump’s administration that its review of a preferential trade agreement that could put as much as $2.4-billion in exports at risk is premature and potentially damaging for both economies. The US Trade Representative will start public hearings... 

South Africa will caution Trump against ‘premature’ trade review

Global crude steel output increased 3.4% in 2019

By: Schalk Burger     28th January 2020 Global crude steel production increased by 3.4% year-on-year to 1.87-billion tonnes in 2019, despite output having contracted in all regions, except Asia and the Middle East, industry association, the World Steel Association (worldsteel), reports. Asia produced 1.34-billion tonnes of crude steel... 

Averda secures three-year AMSA contract

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th January 2020 End-to-end waste management company Averda has been awarded a three-year contract by steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) for the collection, transportation and disposal of several complex waste streams including sludge, coal tar, oil and grease, effluent, borax and phosphates,... 

Commission recommends tribunal approve Barnes Reinforcing buyout

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th January 2020 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that it approve a proposed transaction whereby Barnes Group Holdings intends to acquire Barnes Reinforcing (BRI). Barnes Group manufactures steel tubes, pipes, black galvanised wire, and fencing posts and gates, as well as... 

Brother Group gets go ahead to buy Lanxess CISA, chrome tanning salts business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th January 2020 The Competition Commission has approved the proposed merger whereby Brother Industrial South Africa (Brothers SA) wants to acquire Lanxess CISA and the chrome chemicals business of Lanxess SA. Brothers SA was established by the Brother Group to effect the transaction. The group is involved in... 

Ramaphosa presents sustainability award to casting producer

24th January 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa presented local automotive casting producer Atlantis Foundries with the prestigious Best Brownfield / Expansion Project award at the 2019 Investment Conference in Sandton held in November. The award is in recognition of the company’s efforts towards its continued... 

Ramaphosa presents sustainability award  to casting producer
CREATING LOCAL VALUE The award is in recognition of automotive component manufacturers in SA who create value in South Africa and contribute to exports and GDP

Component manufacturer ‘gears up’ for new automotive business

24th January 2020 Local chassis manufacturer KLT Automotive and Tubular Products South Africa is the only independent chassis manufacturer in Africa, supplying chassis frames and other high-tech components to motor vehicle manufacturers. It is also one of eight automotive component manufacturers which, according... 

Component manufacturer ‘gears up’ for new automotive business
STEELY PARTNERSHIPS Allied Steelrode's steel processing equipment allows the company to supply a wide range of products and sizes to the automotive component manufacturing sector

Local supplier grows through development programme

By: Cameron Mackay     24th January 2020 Local automotive tool manufacturer and supplier Naicker Toolmakers has benefited from completing nonprofit organisation Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness Initiative’s (ASCCI’s) Black Supplier Development Programme (BSDP). Naicker Toolmakers began its involvement in the programme in May... 

Local supplier grows through development programme
DEVELOPING LOCAL SUPPLIERS The BSDP aims to drive transformation and skills sharing in the automotive sector by facilitating access to markets for component manufacturers like Naicker Toolmakers

Global sights set for export association

By: Mamaili Mamaila     24th January 2020 Steel industry association the Steel Tube Export Association of South Africa (Steasa) and some of its members will participate at the national pavilion at the International Wire and Tube Trade Fair 2020. 

Global sights set for export association
SOARING HIGHER Exports of high-carbon and low-alloy steel tubes and pipes remain on an upward trajectory and are resilient amid export competitiveness challenges

AMSA warns of big 2019 loss, as it sheds more than 1 000 jobs

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2020 JSE-listed steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) warned on Thursday that it would swing back into a large lossmaking position following an “exceptionally difficult” 2019 financial year, which the company described as the most challenging for the steel industry since the Global... 

AMSA warns of big 2019 loss, as it sheds more than 1 000 jobs
Photo by Creamer Media
Wind-down of Saldanha Works (pictured) anticipated to be largely completed by the end of the first quarter

First group of MSI welder trainees graduate

By: Yvonne Silaule     22nd January 2020 More than 20 aspiring welding entrepreneurs have graduated after completing a training course under the Mpumalanga Informal Welders Recruitment Programme, which was organised by the Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), the Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Manufacturing, Engineering... 

Iron-ore demand to slow, while seaborne supply rises 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2020 Slower demand growth, especially in China, and a decent recovery in seaborne supply is expected to continue to feature prominently in the iron-ore industry this year, says global energy, chemicals, renewables, metals and mining research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac). Prices are... 

World risks 'disaster' as reuse of natural resources declines

By: Reuters     21st January 2020 The proportion of raw materials the world is reusing has fallen, researchers said on Tuesday, warning of a "global disaster" as annual consumption of natural resources rose to 100-billion tonnes for the first time. Just 8.6% of the 100-billion tonnes of materials – including minerals, metals,... 

South African chrome firms warn of more than 1 200 job cuts

By: Reuters     21st January 2020 South African chrome firms on Monday warned of more than 1 200 potential job cuts, citing power cuts, rising electricity tariffs and increased competition from overseas. The potential layoffs highlight the risks posed to Africa's most industrialised economy by struggling state power utility... 

Glencore, Merafe to retrench Rustenburg Smelter employees 

By: Simone Liedtke     17th January 2020 Global miner Glencore Alloys and Merafe Resources have started a Section 189A process. The companies confirmed on Friday that written notice had been given to its employees at its joint venture (JV), the Rustenburg Smelter, in the North West. 

Seifsa welcomes lower repo rate

By: Simone Liedtke     17th January 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has welcomed the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB’s) decision to reduce the repo rate by 25 basis points, thereby “providing another boost to the stagnant economy”. The federation’s economist Marique Kruger is of the... 

Company expands into boiler manufacturing

By: Cameron Mackay     17th January 2020 Boiler management, consulting, engineering and quality-assurance services provider GM Boiler and Steam Consulting Engineering (GMB) will continue to expand its business this year to include the manufacturing of boilers and boiler components for plant and production industries. Last year, the... 

Company expands into boiler manufacturing
BOILER UPKEEP The company’s knowledge and expertise in refurbishment services has become vital for the maintenance of second- and third-hand boilers

Despite IRP gaps, the outlook for solar in SA has strengthened

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2020 One of the first questions posed to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe after Cabinet finally approved the 2019 edition of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019) in October related to the ongoing capacity addition gaps for solar photovoltaic (PV). While the IRP 2019 envisages... 

Despite IRP gaps, the outlook for solar in SA has strengthened

ELB to restructure Engineering Services business

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2020 Engineering services company ELB plans to restructure its Engineering Services business, downsize its head office function and possibly sell its Australian equipment business, ELB Australasia. This is in response to a depressed trading environment, as well as the losses incurred on the Gamsberg... 

Ebrahim welcomes potential Saldanha Steel buyers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th December 2019 Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel outlined, in a Parliamentary reply this week, the efforts taken by government to help make a positive case for why steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) should not close down its Saldanha Steel Works operation. Patel said four potential... 

Top gold sector investor demands more action on carbon emissions

By: Reuters     11th December 2019 South Africa's biggest money manager has written to 22 gold mining companies asking them to disclose data on the emissions they cause, adding to pressure on the resources sector to tackle climate change. Investec Asset Management, which manages around £111-billion, including over $1-billion in... 

Edenville inks two key coal supply contracts

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2019 Aim-listed Edenville Energy has signed two new significant contracts to supply washed coal from the company’s flagship Rukwa coal project, in western Tanzania. The two contracts are for the supply of up to 6 000 t and up to 3 000 t, respectively, of washed coal a month to industrial customers in... 

Afarak warns of retrenchments at South African subsidiaries 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2019 Specialist alloy producer Afarak has said two of its South African subsidiaries – Afarak Mogale and Ilitha Mining – might retrench some employees. The subsidiaries have issued a notice, in terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, to start to a 90-day period of consultations with workers... 

Apple buys first carbon-free aluminium from Alcoa, Rio Tinto JV 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th December 2019 Technology company Apple has bought the first-ever commercial batch of carbon-free aluminium from a joint venture (JV) between two aluminum suppliers. The metal is being made by Elysis, the Montreal-based JV of Alcoa and Rio Tinto. The JV was established last year, with $144-million in funding... 

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