Mining Weekly
Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure
Fri, 29 May 2020 17:03:00 +0200
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday urged mines to test for Covid-19 to the full extent without fearing mine closure. The Minister was responding to a media question on the steps the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) was taking to end the backlog of close to 100 000 tests and how testing could be increased. He was also questioned on what would trigger a mine shutdown.
From field hospitals to ventilator prototypes, South Africa's state of readiness for Level 3 ...
Fri, 29 May 2020 16:45:00 +0200
Cabinet’s economic cluster sought to offer assurances on Friday that significant preparations had been made to facilitate a safe transition to a Level 3 lockdown from June 1, which opens the way for the return to work of eight-million more people. The easing of the lockdown is expected to coincide with a rapid rise in Covid-19 infections, with South Africa’s infection peak expected only in either August or September.
Mining industry well prepared to tackle Covid-19 with new, existing protocols
Fri, 29 May 2020 16:36:00 +0200
The South African mining industry is, generally, well prepared to deal with the return to work of a large percentage of staff as lockdown Alert Levels move from Level 4 to Level 3 on June 1, reports the Minerals Council South Africa. The council noted in its second weekly Covid-19 update briefing on May 29 that, historically, it has sound medical quarantining, screening, testing and treating infrastructure which has been used to combat tuberculosis (TB), HIV and AIDS, all of which have been legacy, prevalent issues within the industry.
Sadpo suggests diamond stocks be held back until market improves
Fri, 29 May 2020 16:28:00 +0200
In its latest newsletter, the South African Diamond Producers Organisation (Sadpo) has advised that diamond producers hold back on production and sales, as the rough diamond market remains under immense pressure. Sadpo says the rough diamond market, particularly for larger diamonds, has remained under immense pressure since the start of South Africa’s lockdown 63 days ago.
Raubex divisions see return to profitability
Fri, 29 May 2020 16:18:00 +0200
Infrastructure development and construction materials supply group Raubex managed to maintain sufficient capacity to participate in any improvement in the sector, while simultaneously undertaking rightsizing initiatives has seen the company’s roads and earthworks division return to profitability. CEO Rudolf Fourie says the company had seen a “substantial increase” in tender activity in the second half of the financial year, which ended on February 29.
Katoro to consider potential funding offers
Fri, 29 May 2020 15:56:00 +0200
Aim-listed Katoro Gold notes that the recent positive announcement by the Blyvoor joint venture (JV) project’s gold tailing scoping study has resulted in a significant increase in interest from potential funders who may provide the necessary financing to support the construction and development of the project. The company was already engaged with a number of potential funders before announcing the scoping study results but has received significant interest subsequently.
Coal mine in Serbia gives up new Roman treasure
Fri, 29 May 2020 15:06:00 +0200
As the sun sank over a vast opencast coal mine in eastern Serbia earlier this month, a small crane eased the front half of a Roman ship from the steep sides of the pit. An excavator cutting through the coal-rich soil had pulled out some muddy timber weeks before, but coronavirus restrictions had meant the retrieval had had to wait. The ship was part of Viminacium, a sprawling Roman city of 45 000 people with a hippodrome, fortifications, a forum, palace, temples, amphitheatre, aqueducts, baths and workshops.
Kevitsa crushing station damaged in fire
Fri, 29 May 2020 14:43:00 +0200
Metals company Boliden has halted production at the concentrating plant of its Kevitsa nickel/copper mine, in northern Finland, after a fire occurred in the building for the primary crushing at the mine. The company reports that no person was injured in the fire on Thursday night. The damages, however, were extensive. Mining production at the Kevitsa openpit is unaffected.
Pandemic saps union clout as talks loom with Chile copper miners
Fri, 29 May 2020 14:32:00 +0200
Chile's powerful copper unions are headed into contract talks with a hand weakened by the coronavirus pandemic, giving an edge to miners like Codelco, Glencore and Antofagasta in negotiations that could influence wages and benefits for years. Chile's generally well-paid copper mine workers argue they should be adequately compensated for working in a riskier environment to keep pits open during the pandemic. Their position has not found much support, even in a country that was already racked by protests over inequality before the coronavirus hit. Union leaders said it would be harder to achieve wage hikes, bonuses and benefit boosts now that the pandemic has swept through the global copper market and hit profits for miners in Chile, the world's top producer.
Iron-ore powers past $100 as supply woes meet robust demand
Fri, 29 May 2020 14:10:00 +0200
Iron-ore surged past $100/t as supply woes in Brazil coincide with sustained, robust demand in top steel producer China. Benchmark spot prices climbed to $101.05 on Friday as Brazil, the world’s second-largest exporter, saw a surge in coronavirus infections, stoking worries that the pandemic may curb local supply. In April, miner Vale cut its annual shipment guidance on bad weather and the virus’s impact on operations. Meanwhile, port stockpiles of iron-ore in China have continued to decline.
Merafe subsidiary buys stake in Glencore’s Unicorn subsidiary
Fri, 29 May 2020 12:35:00 +0200
Diversified miner Glencore has agreed to sell a 20.5% interest in Unicorn Chrome to a subsidiary of JSE-listed Merafe for R32.2-million. The subsidiary, Merafe Ferrochrome and Mining, will gain access to Unicorn’s shareholding in a chrome concentrate producer that extracts chrome concentrate from a tailings stream in North West.
This year's Electra Mining cancelled
Fri, 29 May 2020 12:25:00 +0200
Organisers of Southern Africa’s mining, manufacturing, automation, electrical and power trade exhibition Electra Mining Africa, Specialised Exhibitions, reports that the 2020 edition of the trade fair has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s show had been scheduled to take place from September 7 to 11 in Johannesburg.
Global mining industry will need to operate, sustain itself under new normal post Covid-19
Fri, 29 May 2020 11:23:00 +0200
The mining and metals industry will need to operate under a new normal post Covid-19, one in which it can operate and sustain itself under the new constraints and challenges that a post-pandemic world brings with it, says industry research company Fitch Solutions. The pandemic and its aftermath will cause miners and metal producers to reassess their investment and operational strategies in both the short- and long-term.
South Africa’s biggest emitters to be exposed to public scrutiny
Fri, 29 May 2020 11:16:00 +0200
South Africa’s emission levels are as high as those of the eight-times-larger UK economy, EDS Systems business development head Eckart Zollner pointed out on Friday, when he also drew attention to the mounting pressure on South Africa’s biggest polluters to curb their greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Zollner stated that the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries was scheduled to release its report on the GHG emissions pertaining to South Africa’s largest polluters within seven days of the end of the national lockdown.
Contract worker killed at South32 subsidiary’s colliery
Fri, 29 May 2020 10:24:00 +0200
Diversified miner South32 has reported that an employee of a contract mining company, Modi Mining, died following an accident at subsidiary South Africa Energy Coal’s Ifalethu Colliery, on May 27. South32 on May 29 said the area where the incident occurred had been immediately secured and the workforce withdrawn.
Botswana Diamonds recovers over 100 diamonds from Marsfontein bulk sampling
Fri, 29 May 2020 09:46:00 +0200
Aim- and BSE-listed Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has concluded the processing of two bulk samples taken from the Marsfontein diamond development project, in Limpopo; the samples of which comprised 58 t of fresh high-interest kimberlite and 62 t of kimberlite material from one of the residual stockpiles, known as Dump E. More than 100 macro diamonds were recovered from the bulk sample.
Fortescue facing compensation claims after High Court ruling
Fri, 29 May 2020 08:59:00 +0200
Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals on Friday moved to assure shareholders that a decision by the High Court of Australia to deny the company leave to appeal an earlier ruling on a native title determination would not affect the current or future mining operations at the Solomon Hub, in the Pilbara. The High Court on Friday rejected Fortescue’s application for special leave to appeal an October decision by the Full Federal Court to uphold the Yindjibarndi people’s native title rights over land in the Pilbara, which includes the site of the Solomon Hub. The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation in 2003 first lodged its native title claim over the 2 700 km2 area, making it one of the longest running native title claims in the country. Fortescue in 2005 discovered the Solomon iron-ore deposit, but has been operating the mine without a native title agreement with the Yindjibarndi people after negotiations collapsed in 2008.
Albemarle seeks full control of Australia's Greenbushes lithium mine
Fri, 29 May 2020 07:24:00 +0200
Albemarle says it wants to take control of Australia's Greenbushes, the world's largest lithium mine, signaling it intends to block any rival from buying Tianqi Lithium Corp's controlling stake. Tianqi, which owns 51% of Greenbushes to Albemarle's 49%, is selling some of its prized assets, including Greenbushes, to pay down debt. While Albemarle said earlier this month that it was interested in the sale, Thursday's comments were the strongest to date that the company intends to exercise its right of first refusal to supersede other potential buyers.
Mabilo granted permit in the Philippines
Fri, 29 May 2020 07:16:00 +0200
The Mabilo copper/gold project, in the Philippines, has been granted a mining license, ASX and TSX-listed RTG Mining reported on Friday. The company told shareholders that it had received written confirmation that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau had approved the expansion of the current Mineral Production Sharing Agreement for the Nalesbitan project to include the Mabilo project, subject to the approval of a mine feasibility study and environmental clearance certificate.
Pure Alumina raises funds for gold exploration
Fri, 29 May 2020 07:14:00 +0200
ASX-listed Pure Alumina has announced its intentions to raise A$2-million through a share placement and entitlement issue to fund exploration work at its gold tenements. A two tranche share placement of more than 73.2-million shares at a price of 0.9c each, will raise an initial A$659 377, with the first tranche placement consisting of more than 33.2-million shares and to be issued under the company’s existing placement capacity.