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Cover Story

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

By: Rebecca CampbellThe financially-beleaguered South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which falls under the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), had a new board appointed in late January, to oversee and turnaround the agency. The chairperson of this new board, which has a term of three... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

First Word

Eskom must sign contracts that ensure smart coal- to-renewables transition

By: Martin CreamerOne major South African coal mining company is already transitioning to renewable energy by generating sun and wind energy for sale on the national grid. It has a strategy of mining increasingly lower volumes of thermal coal and generating increasingly higher volumes of sun and wind energy. This... 

Eskom must sign contracts that ensure smart coal- to-renewables transition

News & Insight

Adcock Ingram to acquire leather products manufacturer

By: Simone LiedtkeIn line with JSE-listed pharmaceuticals manufacturer Adcock Ingram’s strategy to pursue value-adding acquisitions, particularly in less-regulated areas of the market, the company has concluded a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of shoe and leather products manufacturer Plush. The... 

AECI’s acquisition of Brazilian explosives business finalised

By: Tasneem BulbuliaJSE-listed chemicals manufacturer AECI’s acquisition of an explosives business near Lorena, in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, for $6.3-million, has been concluded. 

Agri-fintech company moves to provide digital support for small-scale farmers

By: Schalk BurgerAgri-fintech company eSus Africa is supporting small-scale and emerging farmers by gathering and using data. Its onsite system enables farmers to gather machine and sensor data, monitor inputs and feeds from weather and agriculture agencies for planning and decisions, as well as record yields,... 

AI community launches two initiatives to fight Covid-19 using tech

By: Natasha OdendaalData science competition platform Zindi and Ghana-based education organisation Runmila AI Institute have launched two initiatives to flesh out potential artificial intelligence- (AI-) and data-science-based solutions to the current Covid-19 pandemic. The viral disease has spread across the world... 

Auto battery makers looking to alternative chemistry to lower costs

By: Tasneem BulbuliaMajor automotive battery makers and car manufacturers are planning to alter battery chemistry to lower the cost of new electric vehicles (EVs) being rolled out this year, mining and materials forecaster Afriforesight says. The race to cost cuts intensified last week with the largest Chinese EV... 

Business and labour agree lockdown was responsible decision

By: Marleny ArnoldiBusiness organisation Sakeliga says the next three weeks present the most acute challenge ever faced by businesses in South Africa, while the Small Business Institute (SBI) has questioned whether all small businesses that need help will be supported. stions whether all small businesses that need... 

Cape Town building showcases pioneering use of ecobricks

By: Kim CloeteA new building under construction at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has become among the first commercial buildings in the world to use ecobrick technology.   Recycled beverage bottles, including the typical ‘Coke’ 2 litre bottles, are being used as ecobricks in the construction of The Ridge, a... 

Coega signs lease agreement with property group for retail centre

By: Tasneem BulbuliaThe Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has signed a lease agreement with Eris Property Group for the development of the Vulindlela Retail Centre, in Port Elizabeth. 

Covid-19 business support measures unveiled as lockdown is implemented

By: Marleny ArnoldiAmid government’s strategy to ‘flatten the curve’ of Coronavirus infections, government departments have shared more details on the measures that would be implemented to support businesses during the nationally declared lockdown and afterwards.  Speaking at an economic cluster briefing on March... 

Covid-19 business support measures unveiled as lockdown is implemented

Digital tools emerge as key means to support rural teachers

By: Schalk BurgerResearch has found that mobile messaging service WhatsApp can provide rural teachers with organisational support, serve as virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) and support skills and professional development, Stellenbosch University (SU) Life Sciences facilitator and SU Centre for Pedagogy... 

Governments urged to integrate energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages

By: Terence CreamerThe stimulus plans being developed by governments to counter the economic damage of the Covid-19 pandemic “offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities”, International... 

Governments urged to integrate energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages

Iata forecasts much worse Covid-19 impact on airlines than previously predicted

By: Rebecca CampbellThe latest analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the revenues of airlines worldwide, undertaken by their global representative body, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has indicated that the impact will be much worse than previously believed. Iata has now estimated... 

Local building sector confidence reaches 20-year low

By: Simone LiedtkeSouth Africa’s building sector is expected to contract further in the second quarter. The First National Bank (FNB) and Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Building Confidence Index, had already reached a two-decade low of 13 points in the first quarter of this year, down from 25 points in the... 

Mining to be ‘scaled down significantly’

By: Terence CreamerMining operations in South Africa are to be “scaled down significantly” during the 21-day lockdown period, particularly labour-intensive, deep-level mining activities, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reported on March 25. However, mines supplying coal to Eskom would remain in... 

Mining to be ‘scaled down significantly’

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

By: Rebecca CampbellThe financially-beleaguered South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which falls under the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), had a new board appointed in late January, to oversee and turnaround the agency. The chairperson of this new board, which has a term of three... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

Off-grid solar-powered boreholes for Limpopo community

By: Marleny ArnoldiCoca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has launched the first of its off-grid, solar-powered groundwater harvesting and treatment projects to commemorate National Water Week. The first project, called Coke Ville, is based in the Tshikota village community, just west of Louis Trichardt, in... 

Off-grid solar-powered boreholes for Limpopo community

Pragmatic approach urged as business begins embracing 4IR

By: Natasha OdendaalThe technologies emerging from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) need to solve a customer pain point, as opposed to being deployed for the sake of just following the trends, says BCX CEO Jonas Bogoshi. Speaking on the sidelines of a recent 4.0 Focus conference, he told Engineering News &... 

Pragmatic approach urged as business begins embracing 4IR

Rain reports surge in data demand

By: Natasha OdendaalData-only mobile operator Rain’s network is expanding “according to plan” to achieve nationwide connectivity and improve network quality as data demand “gets wind from behind”. The group has also experienced an upsurge in connectivity demand as more employees work from home amid the current... 

Risk of load-shedding will be low during lockdown - Mantashe

By: Terence CreamerSecurity of energy supply remains critical during the Covid-19 lockdown period, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reiterated on March 25. The supply of fuel to critical and essential services, as well as the supply of coal to Eskom for electricity supply and liquid fuels... 

Risk of load-shedding will be low during  lockdown - Mantashe

SAICE appoints new CEO to drive organisation’s vision

By: Tasneem BulbuliaThe South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) on Friday announced that its executive board has appointed Vishaal Lutchman as CEO. Lutchman previously held the position of divisional director in development, transportation and infrastructure at WSP Group Africa. 

SAICE appoints new CEO to drive organisation’s vision

Schneider Electric academy develops smart energy management skills

By: Schalk BurgerAs global power capacity is set to double by 2040, and with 80% more renewable sources than there are currently, Schnieder Electric is providing energy management training to meet the needs of heterogeneous and automated buildings and infrastructure, says Schneider Electric head of sustainability... 

Editorial Insight

Virtue of necessity

By: Terence CreamerThis 21-day lockdown is quite obviously a solution that has been cooked up for a very different context to the one prevailing in South Africa. It is surely best suited to a setting where all citizens have access to decent houses or apartments that are constantly supplied with water, sanitation,... 

Virtue of necessity

Mining Weekly News

Africa needs $100bn stimulus to combat virus

By: BloombergAfrica needs an immediate emergency economic stimulus of $100-billion to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and almost half of that could come from waiving interest payments for countries on the continent, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The waiver of... 

Alternative processing method established for Kropz phosphate mine

By: Natasha OdendaalAn alternative processing method for Aim-listed emerging phosphate explorer and developer Kropz’s Elandsfontein project, in the Western Cape, has been confirmed to produce saleable concentrate, investment fund African Rainbow Capital (ARC) says. The advanced-stage phosphate mining project has... 

Canada’s economic heartland shuts down in effort to slow virus

By: BloombergCanada’s economic heartland is shutting down as Ontario and Quebec step up efforts to slow down the coronavirus outbreak. The two provinces, which together account for about 57% of the country’s economy, have ordered non-essential businesses to close by the end of Tuesday. The order is set to run... 

Canada’s economic heartland shuts down in effort to slow virus

First Quantum cuts executive salaries by 20% as part of Covid-19 response

By: Simone LiedtkeTSX-listed First Quantum Minerals has said its production and sales “remain stable” in the current environment and the company is maintaining its production guidance for the year. 

First Quantum cuts executive salaries  by 20% as part of Covid-19 response

Gold miner Polymetal gains exposure to ‘EV revolution’

By: Mariaan WebbPrecious metals miner Polymetal will buy a 9.1% stake for $20-million in ThreeArc Mining – a company that owns the Tomtor niobium and rare-earth element (REE) project (Tomtor), in north-west Yakutia, Russia. The acquisition provides Polymetal with a "high-quality exposure to the electric vehicle... 

If we don’t take climate change seriously, God help us – Mxolisi Mgojo

By: Martin CreamerCoal mining company Exxaro Resources, which acknowledges coal’s negative impact on climate in a 20-page publication just released, expresses the view that a just transition to a low-carbon future should inform global climate action. “If we don’t take climate change issues very, very seriously,... 

If we don’t take climate change seriously,  God help us – Mxolisi Mgojo

Master Drilling navigates tough conditions to record solid results

By: Tasneem BulbuliaJSE-listed Master Drilling Group recorded an increase in revenue of 6.9% to $148.3-million for the year ended December 31, and a slight decrease in operating profit of 5.1% to $22.4-million, owing to adverse global market conditions and an uncertain operating environment. “No one can run away... 

Master Drilling navigates tough conditions to record solid results

Mining major Vale taps credit as virus heaps on strain after dam breach

By: BloombergVale SA is tapping into $5-billion in credit lines to boost its cash position as the coronavirus pandemic forces cutbacks at a time when the iron ore producer was working to recover from a dam collapse last year. Vale asked banks to disburse the lines in two tranches, with $2-billion due in June... 

Oil and gas producers in for tough times - Woodmac

By: Esmarie IannucciThe upstream oil and gas sector was facing unprecedented uncertainty with the massive fall in the oil price and the uncertain market environment brought on by Covid-19, industry analyst Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac) has reported. 

Question marks over protracted re-entry of trimetal PGM catalysis

By: Martin CreamerTri-metal catalysts, which use three platinum-group metals (PGMs) rather than two and thereby balance PGMs demand, have a multidecade history of curbing petrol vehicle emissions, which poses questions over why their re-adoption should be so protracted. 

Question marks over protracted re-entry of trimetal PGM catalysis

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