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MORE LITHIUM: Four new Argentinian lithium projects are set to enter production in the coming months, which will almost double the country’s production capacity. Built on salt lakes nestled in the Andes mountains in South America’s so-called lithium triangle, Bloomberg notes that the extra production comes when buyers are already well supplied and prices are under pressure. Photograph: Bloomberg.
MORE LITHIUM
12th July 2024

Four new Argentinian lithium projects are set to enter production in the coming months, which will almost double the country’s production capacity. Built on salt lakes nestled in the Andes... 




SUPPLY UNCERTAINTY: The global market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) faces supply uncertainty from factors including sanctions on Russian fuel, aging plants and attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, the International Gas Union warns. Gas has become an increasingly global commodity, with Europe leaning heavily on LNG to help fill the gap after Russia cut most pipeline supplies. At the same time, Asian demand has surged, leaving the market more susceptible to supply disruptions.
SUPPLY UNCERTAINTY
5th July 2024

The global market for liquefied natural (LNG) gas faces supply uncertainty from factors including sanctions on Russian fuel, aging plants and attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, the International... 


LINES AUCTIONS: The head of South Africa's Independent Power Producer Office, which oversees the public procurement of renewable energy, believes it is feasible to set up a similar agency to facilitate private investment in transmission infrastructure (see also page 14) . “It’s not going to be a cut and paste into the transmission space,” Bernard Magoro stressed at a recent conference, noting that different companies with the requisite skills would need to be encouraged to bid. Photograph: Bloomberg
LINES AUCTIONS
28th June 2024

The head of the Independent Power Producer Office, which oversees the public procurement of renewable energy, believes it is feasible to set up a similar agency to facilitate private investment in... 


EXPORT SHIFT: Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) is sceptical about South Africa’s plans to produce electric vehicles for export to developed markets and is instead focusing on sustaining outlets for its internal combustion engine vehicles, notably the Polo, seen here being assembled at its Kariega plant. VWSA MD Martina Biene is quoted by Bloomberg as saying that Europe “won’t call on us to make battery electric vehicles” as there is enough capacity on the continent where transport costs are lower. Photograph: Bloomberg
EXPORT SHIFT
21st June 2024

Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) is sceptical about South Africa’s plans to produce electric vehicles for export to developed markets and is instead focusing on sustaining outlets for its internal... 


FUNDING APPETITE: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is headquartered in Beijing, plans to invest $1-billion in projects across Africa, where only 4% of the $52-billion it has financed since its inception eight years ago has been directed. AIIB president Jin Liqun reports it has a pipeline of seven projects in Africa, which it is seeking to build further, while there is also interest from African members to issue Panda bonds. Photograph: Bloomberg
FUNDING APPETITE
14th June 2024

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is headquartered in Beijing, plans to invest $1-billion in projects across Africa, where only 4% of the $52-billion it has financed since its... 


GRID AUCTIONS: An office to manage auctions of independent transmission projects could be set up at a leading South African development finance institution. Bloomberg reports that the Development Bank of Southern Africa is aiming to establish the office to bring in private funding into the deployment for the grid so as to help connect renewable generation to a network that needs to be expanded urgently to meet demand. Photograph: Bloomberg
GRID AUCTIONS
7th June 2024

An office to manage auctions of independent transmission projects could be set up at a leading South African development finance institution. Bloomberg reports that the Development Bank of Southern... 


GOLDEN AGE: The gold price is extremely sensitive to global developments and to newsflow, and the strong upward momentum in the price of the precious metal during 2024 has been underpinned by geopolitical uncertainty. This month, gold surged to an all-time dollar high, and with persistent inflation, economic pressures and central bank interest, supportive factors appear to remain in place.
GOLDEN AGE
31st May 2024

The gold price is extremely sensitive to global developments and to newsflow, and the strong upward momentum in the price of the precious metal during 2024 has been underpinned by geopolitical... 


SUBSIDY REINSTATED: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the reintroduction of a gasoline subsidy in Nigeria could consume almost half of the country’s projected oil revenue this year. President Bola Tinubu halted the subsidy at in mid-2023 to help government repair its finances. However, the removal and a devaluation of the naira, led fuel prices to more than triple, fanning inflation and protests. The IMF said it expects the fuel subsidy to be phased out within two years, as a cash-transfer programme was implemented to cushion poor consumers. Photograph: Bloomberg
SUBSIDY REINSTATED
24th May 2024

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the reintroduction of a gasoline subsidy in Nigeria could consume almost half of the country’s projected oil revenue this year. President Bola... 


COPPER LEVERAGE: A revamped minerals-for-infrastructure deal between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and China’s Sicomines is contingent on the price of copper. Under the new contract, DRC will get $324-million yearly for infrastructure projects from its Chinese partners through to 2040 as long as the copper price remains above $8000/t. If copper rises above $12000/t, 30% of the additional profit will go to financing more infrastructure. If it falls below $8 000, funding will diminish and stop altogether at $5,200/t. Photograph: Bloomberg
COPPER LEVERAGE
17th May 2024

A revamped minerals-for-infrastructure deal between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and China’s Sicomines is contingent on the price of copper. Under the new contract, DRC will get... 


COPPER IN FOCUS: There is a long way to go and there is much uncertainty, but the $39-billion bid by BHP for Anglo American certainly underlines the growing importance of copper not only to the mining majors but also a world economy undergoing an energy transition. If successful, the deal, which would exclude Anglo’s South African iron-ore and platinum assets, would create the world's biggest miner of copper, seen being produced here at Anglo’s Quellaveco mine in Peru. Photograph: Reuters
COPPER IN FOCUS
10th May 2024

There is a long way to go and there is much uncertainty, but the $39-billion bid by BHP for Anglo American certainly underlines the growing importance of copper not only to the mining majors but... 


LOGISTICS CRUNCH: Kumba Iron Ore reported a 10% fall in first quarter sales due to port equipment challenges. The Anglo American company reduced production by 2% to 9.3-million tons in line with its strategy to match output to available logistics capacity. Ore taken to port by Transnet Freight Rail was flat at 9.4-million tons, but sales declined to 8.5-million tons because of problems at the Port of Saldanha. Photograph: Reuters
LOGISTICS CRUNCH
3rd May 2024

Kumba Iron Ore reported a 10% fall in first quarter sales due to port equipment challenges. The Anglo American company reduced production by 2% to 9.3-million tons in line with its strategy to... 


WEIGHING OPTIONS: Eskom and government are considering private and foreign options to fund a R390-billion expansion of the electricity grid as more renewable generation comes online. Bloomberg reports that talks are under way on the funding of South Africa’s transmission requirements, including the potential use of money pledged by rich nations toward an energy transition and another option to tap private sources. Photograph: Bloomberg
WEIGHING OPTIONS
26th April 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Eskom and government are considering private and foreign options to fund a R390-billion expansion of the electricity grid as more renewable generation comes online. Bloomberg reports that talks are... 


REMEMBERING: Rwandan President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame, preparing to light the Rwandan genocide flame of hope, known as the ‘Kwibuka’ (Remembering), to commemorate the 1994 Genocide at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 7. Thirty years ago more than one-million people were systematically massacred over 100 days by extremists, led by the Rwandan army and a militia known as the Interahamwe. Photograph: Reuters
REMEMBERING
19th April 2024

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame, preparing to light the Rwandan genocide flame of hope, known as the ‘Kwibuka’ (Remembering), to commemorate the 1994 Genocide at the... 


GREEN LETTER DAY: Deutsche Post’s last night flights transporting mail between northern and southern Germany took place in the early hours of March 28, ending a near 63-year airmail service that had operated since September 1961. The shift to road will result an 80% fall in carbon dioxide emissions on affected routes. The move is being facilitated by legislative reforms allowing the company to deliver 95% of domestic mail within three working days, instead of the previous stipulation that 80% of letters be delivered on the next working day.
GREEN LETTER DAY
12th April 2024

Deutsche Post’s last night flights transporting mail between northern and southern Germany took place in the early hours of March 28, ending a near 63-year airmail service that had operated since... 


COPPER CONTENDER: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) overtook Peru as the world's second largest copper producer in 2023, Reuters reports, while noting that it still lagged the South American country in exports. The DRC produced 2.84-million tons last year, the country's central bank reported, against Peru's output of 2.76 million tons. Chile remains the top producer of the red metal.
COPPER CONTENDER
5th April 2024

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) overtook Peru as the world's second largest copper producer in 2023, Reuters reports, while noting that it still lagged the South American country in exports.... 


CRITICAL CONTINENT: The US is looking to Africa to help loosen a Chinese stranglehold on battery metals and reduce Russia's influence over the market for other minerals, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Reuters during a recent visit to a platinum mine in Marikana, owned by Sibanye-Stillwater. Adeyemo (right) with Sibanye Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman during his visit to a platinum mine where he said: “Africa is going to play a huge role. A lot of critical minerals are located here.” Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko for Reuters.
CRITICAL CONTINENT
29th March 2024

The US is looking to Africa to help loosen a Chinese stranglehold on battery metals and reduce Russia's influence over the market for other minerals, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told... 




DISAPPOINTING DEMAND: The iron-ore price has come under pressure in recent weeks after disappointing demand in China left the market with high inventory levels. Bloomberg reports that Chinese construction activity remains lackluster, squeezing a vital source of steel demand, while Beijing has also refrained from deploying the type of massive infrastructure stimulus that it has used in the past. Photograph: Bloomberg
DISAPPOINTING DEMAND
22nd March 2024

The iron-ore price has come under pressure in recent weeks after disappointing demand in China left the market with high inventory levels. Bloomberg reports that Chinese construction activity... 


The International Monetary Fund is urging the Nigerian government to urgently address growing food insecurity, amid surging food-price inflation and a steep hike in interest rates, implemented by the central bank in a bid to stabilise a rapid weakening naira. “With about 8% of Nigerians deemed food insecure, addressing rising food insecurity is the immediate policy priority,” the IMF said in a statement earlier this month. Photograph: Bloomberg
FOOD CRISIS
15th March 2024

The International Monetary Fund is urging the Nigerian government to urgently address growing food insecurity, amid surging food-price inflation and a steep hike in interest rates, implemented by... 


NO CARBON CRUNCH: The Presidency has expressed confidence that South Africa will meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets even if it keeps some coal-fired plants, such as the one pictured here, open beyond their current decommissioning dates. “It’s not about stopping decommissioning,” Rudi Dicks, head of the project management office in the Presidency, said last month. “It’s about delaying decommissioning until we have sufficient generating capacity and reserve margins.” Photograph: Bloomberg
NO CARBON CRUNCH
8th March 2024 By: Terence Creamer

The Presidency has expressed confidence that South Africa will meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets even if it keeps some coal-fired plants, such as the one pictured here, open beyond... 


HYDROGEN SHOWCASE: Luxury carmaker BMW has unveiled its BMW iX5 in South Africa, with the aim of showcasing the vehicle’s combined long range and short refuelling times. The BMW iX5‘s 6 kg of hydrogen allows for a 500 km range, with the car’s platinum-based fuel cell using green hydrogen produced by Sasol to produce the clean electricity that powers the quiet drive train. BMW has also installed hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at its Midrand campus in Johannesburg.
HYDROGEN SHOWCASE
1st March 2024

Luxury carmaker BMW has unveiled its BMW iX5 in South Africa, with the aim of showcasing the vehicle’s combined long range and short refuelling times. The BMW iX5‘s 6 kg of hydrogen allows for a... 


CURRENCY CRUNCH: Zimbabwe may back its currency with gold to end exchange-rate instability, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced earlier this month. “In order to manage growth of liquidity, we may link the exchange rate to a hard asset such as gold,” Ncube said in an online press briefing a week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa signalled that a revamp of the world’s worst-performing currency was under consideration. At the time of the announcement, the Zimbabwe dollar had slumped almost 50% against the US dollar this year after plunging 90% in 2023.
CURRENCY CRUNCH
23rd February 2024

Zimbabwe may back its currency with gold to end exchange-rate instability, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced earlier this month. “In order to manage growth of liquidity, we may link the... 


COLLATERAL DAMAGE
COLLATERAL DAMAGE
16th February 2024

Egypt’s Suez Canal revenue plunged by almost half in January after attacks by Houthi militants on Red Sea vessels forced major shipping firms to avoid the waterway. Income was about $428-million... 


ESKOM ECHOES
ESKOM ECHOES
9th February 2024

There are slight echoes of South Africa’s Eskom in Taiwan, where the precarious financial state of the country’s sole electricity utility, Taipower, is threatening the island’s clean energy... 


AI & ELECTIONS: As many countries, including South Africa and a highly divided US, prepare for elections in 2024, there is concern that Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools could be used to spread disinformation. Ahead of the recent Republican primary in New Hampshire a ‘deepfake’ audio message purporting to be US President Joe Biden urged voters to “Save your vote for the November elections”, even though voting in a primary cannot preclude a voter participating in the presidential elections. While obviously fake, it heightened fears that AI-powered video and image generators could well be used for political gain this year. Photograph: Bloomberg
AI & ELECTIONS
2nd February 2024

s many countries, including South Africa and a highly divided US, prepare for elections in 2024, there is concern that Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools could be used to spread disinformation.... 


SHIPPING RISKS: Recent hostilities in the Red Sea have added to the risks that global shippers will have to navigate in 2024. Reuters reports that they also face the prospect of significant disruptions from other conflicts, including any possible further souring of China-Taiwan relations, as well as droughts affecting key routes such as the Panama Canal. Should these risks increase or materialise, there could be delays that raise costs for retailers globally. Photograph: Reuters
SHIPPING RISKS
26th January 2024

Recent hostilities in the Red Sea have added to the risks that global shippers will have to navigate in 2024. Reuters reports that they also face the prospect of significant disruptions from other... 


TEA TO CHINA
TEA TO CHINA
19th January 2024

China has lowered duties on South Africa’s rooibos tea to 6% from a range of 15% to 30%, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition reported earlier this month. The industry produces... 


LOOMING CHALLENGE: Coal-dependent South Africa needs to more than double climate financing to achieve its emissions reduction targets, a Presidential Climate Commission paper states. Current yearly average funding of R131-billion needs to be boosted to R334-billion for the country to meet its net-zero goal by 2050, the paper states.
LOOMING CHALLENGE
15th December 2023

Coal-dependent South Africa needs to more than double climate financing to achieve its emissions reduction targets, a Presidential Climate Commission paper states. Current yearly average funding of... 


IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: South Africa finally published its implementation plan for the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan ahead of COP28 and amid news of fresh funding flows arising from the now expanded $9.3-billion partnership with various developed countries. The document outlines an $80-billion, five-year investment plan aimed at stimulating a transition from the economy’s current over-reliance on coal. With the detail out, the devil now resides firmly in actual implementation. Photograph: Bloomberg
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
8th December 2023

South Africa finally published its implementation plan for the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan ahead of COP28 and amid news of fresh funding flows arising from the now expanded $9.3-billion... 


PRICE RISE: In late November, uranium prices topped $80 a pound for the first time in more than 15 years. Bloomberg reports that prices have rallied during 2023, after more than a decade of moving sideways, amid interest in nuclear and numerous production challenges. While spot uranium (picture here in the form of a yellowcake concentrate) is a thinly traded market, the term price — which is more important for power plants — has also been trending higher. Photograph: Bloomberg
PRICE RISE
1st December 2023

In late November, uranium prices topped $80 a pound for the first time in more than 15 years. Bloomberg reports that prices have rallied during 2023, after more than a decade of moving sideways,... 


ELECTRIC EXPANSION: Hyundai hosted a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this month for a $1.5-billion investment into a new electric vehicle plant in South Korea, which will be capable of producing 200 000 cars a year. The plant will be in Ulsan, where the company built its first auto plant in 1968. Bloomberg reports that work will begin later this year and mass production will start in the first quarter of 2026, with the luxury Genesis large-size sport utility vehicle the first model to roll off the assembly line. Photograph: Bloomberg
ELECTRIC EXPANSION
24th November 2023

Hyundai hosted a ground-breaking ceremony earlier this month for a $1.5-billion investment into a new electric vehicle plant in South Korea, which will be capable of producing 200 000 cars a year.... 


RISING EMISSIONS: Greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s top meat and dairy producers increased further this year, Bloomberg reports. Disclosed emissions from the world’s 20 largest listed meat and dairy companies rose 3.3% from 2022 levels, according to a report by investor network FAIRR Initiative. The food industry’s climate footprint accounts for about one-third of global greenhouse gases. Livestock, which releases potent methane, makes up 14.5% of worldwide emissions. Photograph: Bloomberg
RISING EMISSIONS
17th November 2023

Greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s top meat and dairy producers increased further this year, Bloomberg reports. Disclosed emissions from the world’s 20 largest listed meat and dairy... 


SINKING FEELING: South Africans responded with a mix of anger and resignation as the country’s other large and failing State-owned enterprise, Transnet, move to secure taxpayer support for its turnaround plan only months after Eskom was granted a R254-billion debt-relief package. The Transnet leadership have warned that absent an injection and debt relief the recovery plan will fail. The plan does open the door for more private sector participation in the ailing ports and rail systems, however. Photograph: Bloomberg
SINKING FEELING
10th November 2023

South Africans responded with a mix of anger and resignation as the country’s other large and failing State-owned enterprise, Transnet, move to secure taxpayer support for its turnaround plan only... 


CRITICAL EXPANSION: While South Africa continues to work on its critical minerals strategy, Australia has announced a $2-billion expansion in financing in a bid to solidify its position as a leading producer of critical minerals, including lithium (pictured). Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Resources Minister Madeleine King announced the expansion on October 25, surrounded by Australian and US industry leaders and following the inaugural meeting of the Australia-US Taskforce on Critical Minerals. Photograph: Bloomberg
CRITICAL EXPANSION
3rd November 2023 By: Creamer Media Reporter

CRITICAL EXPANSION: While South Africa continues to work on its critical minerals strategy, Australia has announced a $2-billion expansion in financing in a bid to solidify its position as a... 


CARBON REPORTING: China’s Environment Ministry has told factories releasing the equivalent of more than 26 000 t/y of carbon dioxide to verify their 2022 data by December. Bloomberg reports that the Ministry is centralising a reporting process that was previously handled locally to help exporters meet the requirements of the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which began data collection this month and formally launches in 2026. The aluminium, cement and steel industries covered in the first phase of the CBAM will need to complete their data verification by September from 2024.
CARBON REPORTING
27th October 2023

China’s environment ministry has told factories releasing the equivalent of more than 26 000 t/y of carbon dioxide to verify their 2022 data by December. Bloomberg reports that the ministry is... 




PUBLIC GOOD: The Public Investment Corporation says it will increase its investment in renewable energy, with chief investment officer Kabelo Rikhotso revealing that its current exposure already stands at R16.5-billion. The State-owned fund manager, which oversees about R2.6-trillion rand in assets, has renewable investments that have contributed more than 2 000 MW to the grid through solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power and wind technology. Photograph: Bloomberg
PUBLIC GOOD
20th October 2023

The Public Investment Corporation says it will increase its investment in renewable energy, with chief investment officer Kabelo Rikhotso revealing that its current exposure already stands at... 


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Rentech
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Rentech provides renewable energy products and services to the local and selected African markets. Supplying inverters, lithium and lead-acid...

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GreaseMax
GreaseMax

GreaseMax is a chemically operated automatic lubricator.

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At SMS group, we have made it our mission to create a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry.

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VEGA Controls SA (Pty) Ltd
VEGA Controls SA (Pty) Ltd

For over 60 years, VEGA has provided industry-leading products for the measurement of level, density, weight and pressure. As the inventor of the...

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