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Articles in category: Resources
PROSPECTS for South Africa’s mining and manufacturing sectors have long been grim, and deteriorate with every crippling strike. For firms supplying the sectors, achieving profit growth has become a daunting challenge.
For Invicta and Hudaco, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) strike now under way has forced closure of all their Gauteng facilities, many of which have been extensively vandalised by strikers. A number in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape have also been closed or disrupted.
The manufacturing sector strike led by Numsa has the potential to do multiple times the damage of the platinum strike, says ...(Read Full Article)
A CONCERTED effort by the major platinum companies is needed to bring mines back into production as quickly as possible to restore confidence in the sector, says Derek Engelbrecht, who has retired after 22 years as head of marketing for Impala Platinum (Implats).
In addition to denting South Africa’s reputation as a reliable and sustainable platinum supplier, the strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union had reduced above-ground stocks of the metal, Mr Engelbrecht said in an interview marking his retirement.(Read Full Article)
THE Competition Commission is studying ways to improve competitiveness in the market for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which it says could become an affordable alternative energy source for households.
LPG, a by-product of the oil-refinery process, is mainly used for heating and cooking.
Only about 3% of households use LPG as their main energy source for cooking, according to statistics from the Department of Energy.
“The demand for LPG seems to be growing as more users diversify their energy mix in response to, among others, the power shortfalls and the increasing electricity price,” said the commission(Read Full Article)
SOME months ago, many South Africans had a fit when Nigeria rebased its gross domestic product (GDP), making the West African country the biggest economy on the continent. The idea of being "overtaken" by a country many clearly didn’t think much of, didn’t sit well.
They shouldn’t have bothered. Nigeria’s economy has probably been bigger than ours for some years now. The only reason we had no idea was that successive Nigerian governments had not measured economic activity the way our government so diligently does.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) produces a constant stream of economic ...(Read Full Article)
THE prolonged strike by platinum mine workers has had an effect on the manufacturing sector, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, but he is confident that the economy will recover and possibly avoid recession.
The five-month platinum strike ended on Monday and the wage agreement was to be formally signed on Tuesday with producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.
The agreement provides for a R1,000-a-month increase each year for the two lowest bands of employees. These include unskilled labour and semiskilled labour such as rock drillers and other machine operators.(Read Full Article)
Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton, two of the world’s biggest iron ore producers, are benefiting as falling iron ore prices put pressure on smaller rivals in China to shut down.
The price of iron ore has plunged 44 percent from its peak in February last year amid record output. That is hurting mining companies in China, where between 20 percent and 30 percent of mines have closed, according to the China Metallurgical Mining Enterprise Association.(Read Full Article)
A housing allowance is apparently one of the “smaller issues” to be resolved between Amcu and platinum producers.
South Africa's platinum producers and union Amcu have agreed on a broad wage offer to end a protracted strike but details such as the timeframe and additional benefits are still outstanding, Impala Platinum said on Tuesday.
“The big principle in the offer has apparently been agreed to. It's just other smaller issues like the timeframe and housing allowance that needs talking about,” company spokesman Johan Theron said.
The platinum producers had received the union's response to a wage offer ...(Read Full Article)
Platinum mining companies are preparing to return to normal operations, which could take at least three months, with a pay deal to end the 21-week strike looking likely.
The latest proposal is for entry-level workers to get increases of 13% in the first year, up from the previous offer of 10%. Officials, artisans and miners will get an increase of 8%, while management will get no increase in the first year, according to Impala Platinum.
Amcu, which represents 70,000 striking platinum workers, has accepted the five-year wage deal “in principle” even though it falls short of their demand for ...(Read Full Article)
THE platinum strike is in its fifth month. We learned last week that it has already caused a 0.6% annualised contraction of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter. Mining production shrank a huge 25%. Manufacturing contracted, too, at an annualised 4.4%. Some of this is because manufacturers supplying the platinum mines are also being hurt by the strike. But it also reflects a deeper weakness in the economy as a whole, which was already causing great anxiety.(Read Full Article)
The Department of Science and Technology’s flagship project, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, may benefit from the government’s latest list of critical skills eligible for visas and residence permits, as it includes disciplines related to radio astronomy.
The SKA is an international science project which, when completed, will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope. South Africa is co-hosting the telescope with Australia, and will invest about R2bn in it in the next three years.(Read Full Article)
The Competition Commission (Commission) has recommended that the merger between Ferro Industrial Products and Arkema Resins be prohibited. The Commission argues that the merger will remove the only competitor to Ferro in the provision of composite resin to the mining sector. Even in other sectors, the Commission contends that the combined market share of the parties will be around 64%, with only a small local supplier and some imports as a constraint.(Read Full Article)
Reports from US-listed firms covering their use of conflict minerals in electronic products “fall short of the mark”, according to a campaign group.
Under US law companies, which report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), had until a deadline of today to file reports with the SEC covering efforts to source responsibly if products contained tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold.
Global Witness said firms had published “minimal” information on efforts to discover the source of minerals, many had not explained how they assess suppliers, and others “have not shown the steps they have taken to identify and mitigate the ...(Read Full Article)
Developing its own natural shale and offshore gas resources will be South Africa’s best long-term energy option, but building liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals would be the quickest and cheapest way to develop the gas market, according to Shell South Africa Energy’s LNG market access manager John Shoobridge.(Read Full Article)
Shares of South African iron-ore producers Assore, Kumba Iron Ore and African Rainbow Minerals are down on oversupply concerns. China's statistics bureau data shows iron ore production is up 12.3 percent from a year ago to 122.4 million tonnes, sending Assore and African Rainbow down 2.4 percent, while Kumba has lost 2 percent.(Read Full Article)
South African platinum producer Lonmin is laying the groundwork to restart its operations next week after a concerted effort to woo striking miners back to work by taking its latest wage offer directly to them.
This points to a possible end game in the 15-week strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the longest and most costly ever for South Africa's mines, which has also hit Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum.
Wage talks collapsed two weeks ago and the trio of companies -(Read Full Article)
As the next phase of the Zanaga iron-ore project starts, Zanaga Iron Ore Company (ZIOC) expects to cut the project’s capital expenditure costs from a single-stage $7.5-billion development to a two-stage $4.7-billion ramp-up. Nonexecutive chairperson Clifford Elphick said the recently completed GlencoreXstrata-managed feasibility study showed that a multistage development of the Congo-based mine had “significant advantages” over the 2012 prefeasibility study (PFS), which had considered a single-stage 30-million-tonne-a-year development at a capital cost of $7.5-billion.(Read Full Article)
After several Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) subcomponents lost ground in April, the seasonally adjusted Kagiso PMI declined by 2.9 index points to 47.4 for the month – its lowest level since July 2011.(Read Full Article)
Customers of Impala Platinum (Implats) had agreed to receive less metal from this month because of the three-month strike, the world’s second-largest platinum producer has said.
All Implats’s Rustenburg operations have been closed and it is operating at 40 percent of capacity because only its mines in Limpopo and Zimbabwe are running.
Implats spokesman Johan Theron said international customers would be more affected as it continued to prioritise South African customers in an effort to preserve jobs.(Read Full Article)
Multinational Indian mining, steel and power conglomerate Jindal Group has officially launched its new Jindal Africa head office, in Johannesburg, marking the company’s fifth year of activity in South Africa and creating a springboard for its penetration into other Southern African countries.
Affirming his belief in the country’s status as the gateway to Africa, Jindal Steel & Power MD and CEO Ravi Uppal said at the launch on Friday that the company’s core competencies were in sectors central to the needs of developing States, such as South Africa.
“This is why we feel we can share our expertise ...(Read Full Article)
The prolonged strike of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in the platinum belt is highlighting the colossal potential opportunity loss to the South African economy should the country lose out on its platinum patrimony, which has an amazingly bright latent future. Platinum has the potential to tick all the important economic boxes for a South Africa that is striving to add maximum value to its metals and minerals. A fuel cell industry, ...(Read Full Article)
South Africa's seasonally adjusted HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index dipped to 50.2 in March from 51.5 in February as a mining strike caused contraction in private sector output, sponsor HSBC has said.(Read Full Article)
LUSAKA - Zambia's energy regulator approved a 28.8 percent electricity price increase for mining companies in the African copper producer, effective on April 2. The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) said the bulk supply agreement tariffs between state power company Zesco and Copperbelt Energy Corporation would be adjusted to 6.84c/KWh from 5.31c/KWh.(Read Full Article)
The chief executive, Mark Cutifani, of Anglo American, one of the world's largest diversified miners, said divesting the strike-afflicted platinum division could be an option if it does not perform as well as the others. Anglo American's Amplats, the world's top platinum producer, and rivals Impala Platinum and Lonmin are together battling an almost 10-week-old mining strike over wages, which has slashed about 40 percent of global production of the precious metal.(Read Full Article)
Anglo American Platinum has sent force majeure notices to some of the suppliers to its South African mines, the world's top platinum producer said on Tuesday, underscoring the widening economic impact of an almost 10-week-old strike.
“Suppliers of goods and services whose contractual obligations cannot be met due to the strike have been advised that force majeure is being asserted,” the company said in a statement obtained by Reuters at an industry conference in Switzerland.(Read Full Article)