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Metals & Engineering News

Vale to shutter Mozambique coal operations for three months 

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2019 Vale, the Brazilian mining giant, plans to place its Mozambican coal operations on maintenance for three months, essentially closing the tap on about one-third of the southeast African country’s export earnings. The move could have severe implications for the country’s balance of payments and... 

Crude steel output slumps globally in October

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th November 2019 Global crude steel production decreased by 2.8% year-on-year in October to 151-million tonnes. World Steel Association reported on Tuesday that China’s production was 0.6% lower year-on-year at 81.5-million tonnes, while India’s production was 3.4% lower year-on-year at 9.1-million tonnes. 

Climate risk widely acknowledged, but rarely incorporated into strategy  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2019 The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) says that although the majority of South African corporate companies recognise climate change as an already occurring and imminently worsening risk, they are slow to mitigate and manage these risks, at least according to publicly accessible information.... 

Newcastle mill now firmly in ArcelorMittal South Africa’s restructuring crosshairs 

By: Terence Creamer     25th November 2019 The focus of steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) strategic asset footprint review has shifted to its Newcastle mill, in KwaZulu-Natal, following the completion of the first phase of the review, which resulted in a decision to close the Saldanha Steel operation in the Western... 

Newcastle mill now firmly in ArcelorMittal South Africa’s restructuring crosshairs
Vanderbijlpark, pictured, may become AMSA's only liquid-steel producer should company decide to halt Newcastle production

Anglo American joins ResponsibleSteel initiative 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th November 2019 Diversified miner Anglo American has become a member of ResponsibleSteel, a nonprofit organisation and the steel industry's first global, multi-stakeholder standard and certification programme. ResponsibleSteel covers the entire steel supply chain, from raw material supply through steel... 

Cloud-based software anchors steel construction design

By: Halima Frost     22nd November 2019 Construction industry services and technology provider Hilti South Africa’s new, fully cloud-based steel anchor design software Profis has been well received in the South African construction sector. Launched in July, Profis Engineering is customised software used in the design of steel anchor... 

Cloud-based software anchors steel construction design
HARD JOB The new cloud-based software makes the design of steel erections, stiffeners and welding associated with the connection easier

Industry boasts third positive year despite global downturn

By: Halima Frost     22nd November 2019 Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist and commercial executive Dr Michael Ade says the local metals and engineering (M&E) industry has thus far had a third ‘good year’ in a row. This is in spite of the current challenge of increasing intermediate... 

Industry boasts third positive year despite global downturn
BRIGHT FUTURE Improved trade to to the Southern African Development Community brings with it a positive outlook for the steel construction industry

Large contracts taking up fire rated cladding

By: Halima Frost     22nd November 2019 South African steel supplier Stalcor has successfully negotiated to supply its Alubond mineral core (A2) noncombustible façade cladding panels for State-owned Airports Company South Africa’s Western Precinct development, which is currently under way. “This is the fourth notable project where the... 

Large contracts taking up fire rated cladding
PRETTY LADY The A2 cladding on the Katherine towers is not only aesthetically pleasing but also noncombustible

Welding safety extends to petrochem industry

By: Theresa Bhowan     22nd November 2019 Welding fumes are known to be particularly poisonous and a contaminant to the surrounding air, which is why welding solutions provider Unique Welding focuses on advanced welding safety, particularly in the petrochemicals industry for companies such as integrated chemicals and petrochemicals... 

Welding safety extends to petrochem industry
BREATHING EASY The powered, air-purifying respirator system not only eliminates welding fumes, but also petrochemical fumes

Alcoa joins the ICMM

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st November 2019 US-headquartered bauxite, alumina and aluminium products producer Alcoa has become the twenty-seventh company to become a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), which brings together companies and regional and commodities associations to strengthen the mining industry's... 

Iron-ore futures reverse losses as steel prices extend gains

By: Reuters     19th November 2019 Chinese iron ore futures recouped early losses to extend their rally into a sixth straight session on Tuesday as steel prices stretched gains amid shrinking inventories and possible fresh output restrictions to curb air pollution. Dalian Commodity Exchange's most-traded iron ore contract , with... 

Shanghai rebar extends rally as steel margins recover

By: Reuters     18th November 2019 Rebar futures in China rose for a fifth consecutive session on Monday amid improving steel margins in the world's top producer of the construction and manufacturing material. The Shanghai Futures Exchange's most-traded contract for the construction material, for delivery in January 2020, ended... 

Fuel for rockets, Zeppelins points toward green heat solution 

By: Bloomberg     18th November 2019 It’s the most nettlesome problem in the quest to ditch fossil fuels: how can you get thousand-degree heat used in factory furnaces without pumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Heat-intensive processes like steelmaking and oil refineries are the starting point for... 

Fuel for rockets, Zeppelins points toward green heat solution
The Enel Fusina hydrogen plant near Venice, Italy.

Quality gratings can reduce maintenance and costs

By: Darren Parker     15th November 2019 Grating, stair treads, expanded metal and handrail manufacturer Vital Engineering has supplied its Vitex expanded metal range of raised expanded metal walkway gratings and the Vitex flattened range, for safety guarding applications, to various mining and process plants in the last six months. The... 

Quality gratings can reduce maintenance and costs
GRATE JOB All products supplied by Vital Engineering are produced in compliance with local and international safety standards

Modular installation systems fitted in abattoir

By: Darren Parker     15th November 2019 Multinational construction services company Hilti designed and supplied the modular installation systems to support wet services for chicken producer Early Bird Farms, in Olifantsfontein. Early Bird Farms has been refurbishing and refitting its operations as part of Project Phoenix, which... 

Modular installation systems fitted in abattoir
CRIZETTE VAN DEN BERGH The modular installation system is beneficial in terms of maintenance because of reduced downtime

Refurbished building boasts new materials

By: Darren Parker     15th November 2019 Shared workspace provider WeWork will officially open its newly refurbished 155 West street building, in Sandton, next month. The building, which is more than 25 years old, was previously occupied by health insurance provider Discovery before it was overhauled. 

Refurbished building boasts new materials
NOT JUST A PRETTY FAÇADE The interior of the refurbished building includes upgraded safety features and improved facilities

Failing cities stymie South African bid to revive growth

By: Bloomberg     14th November 2019 South African municipalities’ inability to provide consistent power is exacerbating supply disruptions by the debt-stricken state electricity utility, hobbling efforts to revive the nation’s economy. While State-owned Eskom Holdings has subjected the country to controlled, timed blackouts... 

Mergence acquires controlling stake in Lasercraft

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th November 2019 Laser cutting company Lasercraft has completed a shareholder transaction with black-owned Mergence Group, enabling the company to obtain a Level 2 black economic empowerment rating. The transaction will provide the necessary capital for Lasercraft to continually invest in metal laser cutting,... 

Mergence acquires controlling stake in Lasercraft

Anglo upbeat on bulk commodities performance; Kumba cuts sales guidance 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th November 2019 Following ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) decision to wind down its steel operations at Saldanha Works, in the Western Cape, Kumba Iron Ore has reduced its iron-ore sales guidance for the full year to between 41.5-million and 42.5-million tonnes. Initial guidance was set at between... 

Inaugural Africa wire, cable and tube conference gets under way in Jhb 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th November 2019 Research and consulting company CRU and the Southern Africa–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK), along with global trade shows, Wire & Tube as lead sponsor, on Monday kicked off the inaugural Africa Wire, Cable & Tube Conference, which is being held until November 13 in Johannesburg.... 

Inaugural Africa wire, cable and tube conference gets under way in Jhb
CRU Wire and Cable head Michael Finch details the conference, and speaks briefly about the markets

Patel suggests AMSA sell Saldanha plant to avoid loss of industrial capacity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th November 2019 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has expressed its disappointment at the decision by steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to retrench nearly 1 000 workers across the company and to put its Saldanha Works plant on care and maintenance. This followed after AMSA... 

Iron-ore output to show modest growth to 2028 – Fitch Solutions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th November 2019 Mine expansions in Brazil and increasing output from India, offset by declining output in China, will result in modest growth for global iron-ore production up to 2028, said research agency Fitch Solutions. Fitch Solutions on Tuesday published its global iron-ore mining outlook, stating that... 

AMSA to put Saldanha Works on care and maintenance

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th November 2019 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has decided to undertake an orderly and commercial wind-down of steel operations at its Saldanha Works, with the intent to place the operation on care and maintenance. This follows the completion of the first phase of a review of the operational... 

AMSA to put Saldanha Works on care and maintenance

AMSA's liquid steel production down 18% in September quarter

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th November 2019 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa's (AMSA's) liquid steel production decreased by 18.2% year-on-year to 1.06-million tonnes in the quarter ended September 30, mainly as a result of planned production curtailments to adjust volumes to lower demand. AMSA's capacity utilisation was 65% in... 

Coca-Cola chooses plastic bottle collection over aluminium cans to cut carbon footprint

By: Reuters     7th November 2019 Coca-Cola is committed to collecting and recycling plastic bottles rather than switching to aluminium cans as the world's largest soft drinks maker seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, its chief executive officer told Reuters. Along with multinational rivals including PepsiCo and Nestle,... 

EU argues case against Trump's metal tariffs at WTO

By: Reuters     5th November 2019 The European Union argued on Monday for the withdrawal of tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump on metal imports in one of the most high-profile and potentially explosive cases to come to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Trump set duties in 2018 of 25% on incoming steel and 10% on... 

Antiplastic trend raising aluminium demand – Novelis

By: Reuters     1st November 2019 Moves to reduce plastic packaging to protect the environment are starting to increase demand for aluminium packaging, the European head of Novelis, the world's largest producer of rolled aluminium products, said. Aluminium demand will also be underpinned by a trend towards more electrically... 

MSI launches welders' recruitment programme to boost job creation

By: Yvonne Silaule     30th October 2019 The Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) have launched the Mpumalanga Informal Welders Recruitment Programme. MSI CEO Victor Mashego says the programme will assist welders in rural areas and townships gain access to the market and grow their... 

Global steel output falls 0.3% y/y in September

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th October 2019 World crude steel production decreased by 0.3% year-on-year to 151.5-million tonnes in September, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) reports. However, year-to-date production to September was up 3.9% year-on-year to 1.3-billion tonnes.  

Metals sector in costly battle to turn green

By: Reuters     25th October 2019 Metals producers, from miners to smelters, are grappling with increasingly tough and costly environmental demands imposed by banks seeking cleaner investments. While the transition may prove overwhelming for smaller producers, larger companies are playing a long game, casting ahead to a period... 

Mining, metals companies partner with WEF on responsible sourcing  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th October 2019 Seven mining and metals companies have partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to support the responsible sourcing of raw materials using blockchain technology. The Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative was founded by diversified miners Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group... 

Mining, metals companies partner with WEF on responsible sourcing

Correct use of consumables makes a good weld

By: Halima Frost     25th October 2019 Branded welding supplier Unique Welding has significantly upgraded its range of stainless steel consumables to improve weld performance to combat a market flooded with low-quality imported stainless steel welding consumables, Unique Welding CEO Nazmi Adams tells Engineering News. In addition,... 

Correct use of consumables makes  a good weld
IMPORTANT ROLE The welding of stainless steel can be successfully achieved if the welder adheres to the industry rules and standards

Medium-term investment buoying stainless steel industry

By: Halima Frost     25th October 2019 Despite a marked downturn in the global stainless steel industry, there are a few medium-term developments on the horizon for Southern Africa, notes research institute Afriforesight Commodities chief commodity economist Nathan Musson. “There are glimmers of hope in terms of investment in Southern... 

Medium-term investment buoying stainless steel industry
SPARKING INTEREST The stainless steel albeit somewhat stagnant offers a few sparks of investment interest

New membership structure set for stainless steel sector

By: Halima Frost     25th October 2019 The Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) is at a turning point in its history as it gears up for the future with the introduction of a new tiered membership model that will launch in March 2020, says Sassda acting executive director Michel Basson. As opposed to a... 

New membership structure  set for stainless steel sector
HOT TOPIC The restructuring of Sassda’s membership model aligns each member based on individual needs

Trio makes for steely supply

By: Halima Frost     25th October 2019 Three of South Africa’s most prominent companies in the stainless steel supply chain are completing a substantial supply to a gold mine in the Southern African Development Community. The project entails the supply of 250 t of grade 2304 stainless steel for the manufacture of ten tanks – the... 

Trio makes for  steely supply
RECOIL The knock-on effects of local supply were seen across the project in costs and time saved

SA exporting jobs and importing goods, Lasher Tools warns

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2019 Human capital is the cornerstone of any successful commercial venture and is the foundation of economies, but South Africa must insist on fairness and parity of imports to ensure that local businesses are not lost to cheaper and lower quality imports, says local tools maker Lasher Tools marketing... 

Labour department to host iron, steel indaba

By: African News Agency      23rd October 2019 The Department of Employment and Labour said on Wednesday it would this week host an iron and steel forum in Durban to reflect on the progress made since the signing of an accord on occupational health and safety in 2013. In a statement, it said the meeting would focus on regulations and... 

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