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Articles in category: Resources
SHAFT Sinkers is putting a deal in place to recapitalise the company after a heavy drain on its balance sheet from a legal battle and a five-month platinum strike in SA, but the deal has cost it its chairman and a nonexecutive director.
Chairman Stephen Oke resigned with immediate effect on Friday, as did nonexecutive director Roger Williams.
No reason was given in Friday’s statement outlining the financing transaction to raise up to £9.2m in an issue of convertible notes representing 78% of shares if they were all converted.(Read Full Article)
EXXARO Resources, South Africa’s fourth-largest coal producer and the biggest supplier of coal to Eskom, said trading conditions during the past six months were challenging as the average price of export coal dropped more than expected.
The company, which released its results on Thursday, said export volumes for the six months ended June 2014 increased by 43% to 2.7-million tonnes compared with the year-earlier period.
"Demand in the domestic market for metallurgical, power station and steam coal, however, was lower than in the corresponding period," it said.(Read Full Article)
At this week’s Mining Lekgotla (13-14 August 2014), the future of the currently suppressed platinum industry is likely to be a key agenda item. Whether fuel cell technology takes off is a critical determinant of what this future might look like.
In its latest set of ‘facts and figures’, the Chamber of Mines states that ‘despite the significant role and contribution of the platinum mining sector to the South African economy, the industry is currently in a challenging position.’ It cites the combined impact of slowing global demand, market surpluses and associated declining prices, escalating production costs and the ...(Read Full Article)
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto raised hopes it could boost cash returns to investors sharply in February after topping market forecasts on Thursday with a 21% rise in first-half profit.
The world’s second-largest miner slashed costs and cut capital spending quicker than expected at the same time as it boosted shipments of iron ore by a fifth, which helped it offset a 29% slump in prices of the steel-making ingredient this year.(Read Full Article)
ROYAL Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), which would consider looking at assets disposed of by Anglo American Platinum, has plans in place to protect the development of its Styldrift mine.
Shaft Sinkers, the London-listed main shaft-sinking contractor at the Styldrift mine south of Sun City, has run into financial difficulties after the five-month wage strike at platinum mines around Rustenburg, a key source of income for the company.(Read Full Article)
ACTIVITY in the manufacturing sector fell for the fourth consecutive month in July as a strike by metals and engineering industry workers limited production.
This was suggested by the Kagiso purchasing managers index (PMI), which indicates activity in the manufacturing sector. The index, released on Friday, fell to 45.9 in July from 46.6 in June — remaining below the desired 50 level.(Read Full Article)
What do the sanctions on Russia mean for global business in terms of sourcing strategies and commodity prices? We look at the effects from a procurement standpoint.
It looks as though the economic war between the West and Russia is heating up. Yesterday, the EU announced its next tier of sanctions, targeting the finance and energy sectors.
EXXARO Resources, South Africa’s fourth-biggest coal producer and the biggest supplier of coal to Eskom, has agreed to buy Total Coal South Africa, South Africa’s fifth-largest coal producer and the owner of two main operating complexes near Witbank for a total of $472m, it said on Monday.
The deal would be funded from Exxaro’s existing corporate debt facilities, it said. Exxaro’s shares gained 1.4% to R143.19 immediately after the announcement.(Read Full Article)
ANGLO American’s underlying operating profit for the interim period fell 10% to $2.9bn and the group’s net debt deepened to $11.5bn, forcing the company to hold its dividend steady.
Anglo would sell a number of unspecified assets, CEO Mark Cutifani said on Friday in a statement accompanying the results to end-June. The results showed a swathe of the company’s divisions posting operating losses, with the notable exception of diamonds where Anglo holds an 85% stake in De Beers.(Read Full Article)
Palladium will reach its highest yearly price on record this year and could top that in 2015 as the expectation for lower South African output combines with a recovery in demand and doubts over Russian supply, a Reuters poll showed.
Palladium, which has averaged $777/oz in the first half, is expected to average $805.50/oz in the full year, up more than 10% from 2013 and its highest since Reuters data began in 1984, a survey of 31 analysts and traders showed.(Read Full Article)
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)