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Metals & Engineering News

Metals, new mine investment required now to support future energy transition 

By: Donna Slater     5th April 2022 Despite the significant energy intensity required to mine metals, the commodities are still “essential for the energy transition to succeed”, says BHP market analysis and economics VP Dr Huw McKay. He says that, although having a common goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C of... 

Kogi raises $5m for Nigeria iron project

By: Darren Parker     30th March 2022 ASX-listed Kogi Iron has announced a $5-million capital raising programme, comprised of a $1.73-million share placement and an upcoming share purchase plan (SPP) to raise up to $3.3-million. Kogi is developing its 100%-owned Agbaja iron and steel project in Kogi State, Nigeria. 

Steel Master Plan to remain ineffectual unless focus is narrowed, Macsteel CEO warns 

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2022 Without far greater focus and prioritisation, Macsteel CEO Mike Benfield believes the Steel Master Plan will remain captive to high levels of ambition with limited real-world effectiveness. There has been little implementation progress since the master plan’s official launch in 2021, when... 

Macsteel CEO Mike Benfield
Macsteel CEO Mike Benfield

Higher realised prices, local demand drives Hulamin’s return to profitability  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th March 2022 JSE-listed aluminium semi-fabricator and supplier Hulamin’s response to the hardships of 2019 and 2020 has paid off with a return to profitability in 2021. The group posted a 760% year-on-year rise in operating profit to R538-million for the year ended December 31, 2021, on the back of... 

Rolled aluminium
Hulamin CEO Richard Jacob unpacks the company's operational performance in 2021

Mandela arrest warrant NFT sold for R1.9m

By: Sane Dhlamini     28th March 2022 Former statesman Nelson Mandela’s original warrant of arrest has been digitally minted as a non-fungible token and sold for R1.9-million. The proceeds are expected to save the Liliesleaf Farm and Museum. The NFT of the 1961 Warrant of Arrest for Nelson Mandela was specially minted 61 years after... 

Image of former statesman Nelson Mandela
Former statesman Nelson Mandela

New Seifsa COO calls on govt to create a business-friendly environment

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2022 The South African government should focus on implementing a set of policy objectives that make the operating environment in the metals and engineering sector more business-friendly and ensures that the cost of production is lower, industry organisation the Steel and Engineering Industries... 

Seifsa COO Tafadzwa Chibanguza 
Seifsa COO Tafadzwa Chibanguza 

AMSA shuts furnace over rail troubles and grapples with pricing impacts of Russia-Ukraine conflict

By: News24Wire      17th March 2022 Transnet's poor performance has forced ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to shut off a blast furnace for three weeks while the steelmaker has also warned customers that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is pushing key input prices skyward. The curveballs come just a month after the group, South... 

Weekly Commodities Market Wrap

14th March 2022 ENERGIES - Coal markets had a wild ride last week, with Richards Bay Coal Terminal physical prices reaching a high of around $450/mt, before coming back down to around $380. As we said previously, this was likely to be the high water mark with the most desperate utilities covering in the spot... 

A table with the latest global commodity spot prices

Hulamin reports improved performance in 2021

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th March 2022 JSE-listed Hulamin says it responded to the tough trading conditions of 2019 and 2020, producing improved results for the year ended December 31, 2021. In a business review and trading update published on March 14, it notes that the company’s focus for the year was on increasing volumes,... 

An image showing rows of aluminium bars
Photo by Bloomberg
A higher rand London Metal Exchange aluminium price was one of the contributing factors to Hulamin's improved profitability.

Metals, engineering sector expands above pre-Covid-19 levels, but downside risks remain

By: Schalk Burger     11th March 2022 Production levels in the metals and engineering sector had reached pre-Covid-19 levels by December 2021, and production in the sector expanded by 4.7% month-on-month between December 2021 and January 2022. Total sales also rose by 6.2% to R71.6-billion from R67.4-billion during this period, says... 

Rail revamp on cards

By: Anna Moross     11th March 2022 Galvanized steel and zinc products provide several benefits for rail infrastructure and can help to revamp rail infrastructure in South Africa, says International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa Desk senior consultant Simon Norton. 

An image of locomotive parts
GALVANIZED STEEL AND ZINC PRODUCTS The key benefit of using zinc galvanized steel in rail infrastructure is that it has a longer lifespan than ungalvanized or just painted stee

Hillside Aluminium calls for refractory service providers for carbon, reduction departments and casthouse services 

By: Schalk Burger     10th March 2022 The Hillside Aluminium smelter, in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, has called for expressions of interest from refractory services companies to render furnace repairs and maintenance, ladle and launder relining and repairs, as well as pot relining and cathode sealing services for its reduction and... 

An aerial view of Hillside Aluminium's Richards Bay operations

Carmakers face soaring metal costs with Russian supplies at risk

By: Reuters     8th March 2022 Saving up for a new ride? Better start putting more cash aside. Russia's invasion of Ukraine is ramping up the price of metals used in cars, from aluminium in the bodywork to palladium in catalytic converters to the high-grade nickel in electric vehicle batteries, and drivers are likely to the... 

Foundation aims to build businesses

4th March 2022 Manufacturer, merchandiser and distributor of steel Macsteel has established Macsteel Foundation Solutions, a business born of the company’s strategy to reimagine and re-engineer its business model to drive growth for the company and create value for customers in the construction industry and... 

An image of steel based construction
MACSTEEL FOUNDATION SOLUTIONS Macsteel Foundation Solutions is differentiated from conventional construction services in Southern Africa and the rest of Africa

Company provides lifting, rigging solutions for efficiency and safety

4th March 2022 Local equipment supplier BMG’s Tools & Equipment Lifting team offers a specialist service to diverse sectors throughout Africa, including automotive and tyre manufacturing, paper and pulp, sugar, forestry and agriculture, as well as marine and mining. “BMG’s dedicated Lifting and Rigging division... 

Image of a container used to move giraffes
GAME RESERVE PROJECT BMG constructed a robust sling for the project, using high-strength McKinnon chain to load the crate holding the giraffes safely onto a truck

Company proposes solution for steel plants

By: Anna Moross     4th March 2022 Steelmakers globally are being pressured to reduce their carbon emissions, and the enhanced blast furnace is an “interesting solution” to ensure a reduced carbon footprint for steel plants, says plant supplier SMS group South Africa MD Pieter Bezuidenhout. 

Changes in steel industry create challenges

By: Anna Moross     4th March 2022 The steel sector has evolved over the past few years and steel and tube supplier Stewarts & Lloyds branch manager Richard Horsley says this is evident from the supply chain to the end-user.  

An image of Stewarts & Lloyds steel and tube supplies
STEEL SECTOR Stewarts & Lloyds is committed to providing the best products and services they can offer and will continue to innovate to give their best to customers, the industry and South Africa

Acquisition to boost company’s steel aspirations

By: Anna Moross     4th March 2022 With the acquisition of steel producer COMIR Industrial SA in November 2021, specialised importer and distributor of industrial and electronic products in Southern Africa, Actum Group, aims to expand its steel products range and become a valuable player in the steel processing industry. 

An image of the COMIR Industrial SA Actum Group team
ACTUM GROUP As a specialised importer and distributor of industrial and electronic products Actum group decided to acquire COMIR Industrial SA

Former London plumber taps aluminum scrap from Africa as metal soars

By: Bloomberg     2nd March 2022 As deepening shortages push aluminium to record highs, a London-based startup is raising cash to boost production of the critical industrial metal from untapped reserves of scrap in Africa’s biggest cities. Founded in 2015 by Raymond Onovwigun, a 31-year-old former plumber, Romco Metals has... 

Zimbabwe’s State-owned miner selected to revive steel firm

By: Bloomberg     23rd February 2022 Zimbabwe has selected Kuvimba Mining House, a State-owned company, which has been shrouded in controversy, to revive one of the continent’s largest steel mills. The miner, which already has vast interests in gold and nickel, has been picked as the “investment partner” to breath new life into the... 

Fitch revises short-term iron-ore price outlook higher on China stimulus

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2022 Business intelligence firm Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research is revising its 2022 iron-ore price forecast upwards, from $90/t to $120/t, and its 2023 forecast, from $75/t to $110/t, as Chinese demand has once again started picking up. The firm expects Chinese demand to also... 

Aluminium prices to remain high into 2023 amid high input costs, disrupted production

By: Donna Slater     18th February 2022 Following impressive rallies in the first and third quarters of 2021, financial risk management, solutions and insights company Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch Solutions) is revising its aluminium price forecasts for this year and next upwards to $3 000/t and $2 800/t,... 

An image of aluminium rolls
Aluminium rolls

Sector key in economic recovery

18th February 2022 National construction industry body Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) acting CEO Bongani Dlala says the construction sector can lead South Africa’s recovery as the country emerges into a post-Covid-19 economy, but only if emerging contractors are empowered. This was the consensus... 

Challenging project brings Swoosh to Soweto

By: Halima Frost     18th February 2022 Steel and tube supplier Stewarts & Lloyds Robertville has successfully completed a steel fabrication project for global brand Nike in the newly developed Shapa Soweto Training Centre, in Soweto, Gauteng. The project entailed the fabrication of a roofing structure, made of 406 individually made... 

A red roof made of Y8 Rebar bent at various angles to create a Swoosh effect for client Nike at the Shapa Soweto Training Centre
NIKE? NICE! The Nike Swoosh effect was successfully created through various bends on a rebar based roofing structure at the Shapa Soweto Training Centre

South32 to proceed with energy efficiency project at Hillside smelter

By: Darren Parker     17th February 2022 Diversified miner South32 has made a final investment decision on the roll-out of the AP3XLE energy efficiency project at its Hillside aluminium smelter, in KwaZulu-Natal. The technology has already been deployed at the company’s Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique. 

South32's Hillside aluminium smelter
South32's Hillside aluminium smelter

Seifsa says no-work-no-pay rule to apply for Saftu strikers on Feb 23

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th February 2022 The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) will hold a protected general strike, in the Western Cape, on February 23, in support of workers’ rights to a living wage. The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has provided general guidance for its... 

Saftu logo

What conflict in Ukraine would mean for oil, gas and food

By: Bloomberg     15th February 2022 Tensions over Ukraine are entering a critical period, driving up prices of raw materials key to the global economy, and piling pressure on governments already struggling with surging inflation. The US has warned that Russia could attack its neighbor as early as this week, even though Moscow has... 

South Africa equipped on all fronts to ramp up wind turbine manufacture, rollout – Nordex

By: Donna Slater     10th February 2022 The South African Renewable Energy Master Plan’s emerging actions discussion document represents a significant opportunity to create new jobs and contribute to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) through yearly production across the value chain, says renewable energy developer Nordex... 

ArcelorMittal South Africa reports best earnings since 2008, but Transnet poses threat to outlook 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2022 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has reported its best financial performance since 2008, with headline earnings surging to R6.86-billion in 2021 from a R2-billion loss in 2020. No dividend was declared, however. 

ArcelorMittal South Africa CEO Kobus Verster
Photo by Creamer Media
ArcelorMittal South Africa CEO Kobus Verster

Glass shortages in Africa help indebted Nampak sell drinks cans

By: Bloomberg     9th February 2022 Demand for aluminum and tin cans is on the rise in Africa, delivering a boost to the most indebted packaging company on the continent and the Middle East. Nampak is taking advantage of the supply-chain disruptions that have led to a shortage of glass bottles, CEO Erik Smuts said in an interview.... 

SAWEA chair sees 100 MW reform unlocking wind investments in Mpumalanga 

By: Terence Creamer     28th January 2022 The chairperson of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) says the industry is well placed to take advantage of both the 100 MW reform and recent moves to release 36 000 ha of Eskom land in the grid-rich Mpumalanga province to accelerate renewables investments and facilitate a just... 

South African Wind Energy Association chair Mercia Grimbeek
South African Wind Energy Association chair Mercia Grimbeek

Macsteel business launched to support construction industry

By: Schalk Burger     26th January 2022 Steel products distributor Macsteel has established Macsteel Foundation Solutions, which provides customers in the construction industry with steel-based construction and innovative lateral support services and products The new business is part of the company’s strategy to reimagine and... 

Green primary iron could help South Africa offset fall in coal export revenues – study 

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2022 Producing carbon-free primary iron in South Africa using green hydrogen direct reduced iron (GHDRI) technology could create a new globally competitive green export industry that could help offset the losses associated with the eventual decline in coal exports, a new study shows. Such exports... 

Green primary iron made in South Africa could help global steelmakers lower the cost of their decarbonisation efforts
Photo by Creamer Media
Green primary iron made in South Africa could help global steelmakers lower the cost of their decarbonisation efforts

Global steel production increased by 3.7% y/y in 2021

By: Schalk Burger     26th January 2022 World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) reached 1.95-billion tonnes in 2021 – a 3.7% year-on-year increase. China produced 1.03-billion tonnes – a 3% year-on-year decline. 

MSI assists young people with business development skills

By: Yvonne Silaule     25th January 2022 The Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI) will from next week run an entrepreneurship programme to assist young people to effectively start businesses or scale up existing small businesses into high-growth ventures, through structured entrepreneurship training. MSI is a nonprofit technology... 

AMSA’s shares rise on expected earnings rebound

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2022 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) share price on the JSE rose by more than 18% on January 25 after the company reported that it expects to report a significant improvement in earnings for 2021. AMSA expects to report earnings a share of between R5.80 and R6.10 for the year... 

Opinion: Steelmaking remains a key strategic industry for South Africa

21st January 2022 In this opinion article, ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) stakeholder management and communications group manager Tami Didiza writes about the state of the South African steel industry, trade protection measures and AMSA's investment in its own facilities, as well as its support for the... 

Tami Didiza
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