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PRICE INCREASE NOTICE

Dear Valued Customers,

Please click on the following link for the latest price increase notice:

Price Increase 1st Nov 2017

Kind Regards,

Ropa Mhlanga

Operations Director – Southern African Region

PRICE INCREASE NOTICE

Dear Valued Customers,

Please click on the following link for the latest price increase notice:

Price Increase 1st Oct 2017

Kind Regards,

Ropa Mhlanga

Operations Director – Southern African Region

PRICE INCREASE NOTICE

Dear Valued Customers,

Please click on the following link for the latest price increase notice :

Price Increase 1st September 2017

Kind Regards,

Ropa Mhlanga

Operations Director – Southern African Region

Technology set to unleash mining innovation – Anglo’s O’Neill

In the next ten years, technology is set to unleash a wave of mining innovation, with the sweet spot centred on changing the thinking around ore bodies and processing plants rather than much-spoken-about automation.

“Our focus has changed from hunting technologies to hunting value,” Anglo American technical director Tony O’Neill told Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online in an exclusive interview.

Three-dimensional metal printing, non explosive breakage of rock and microwave preconditioning of rock, as well as medical imaging equipment, are finding rapid application in mineral mining and processing.

The word in the industry is that mining companies that embrace the new era will be successful and the ones that do not will ultimately not survive. Anticipated are mines with footprints that can more readily coexist alongside a community in much the same way as farming.

The good news is that pathways are already starting to develop that change the current mining and processing paradigm.

Technologies are being reconfigured to make mining and processing far more precise, which offers massive potential reward.

Currently, much larger volumes of waste are brought to surface, compared with the scenario more than a century ago. This is because, outside of safety improvements, old methods are still being used today. For instance, in 1900, to obtain 40 kg of copper, 2 t of material had to be mined using 3 m3 of water and 10 kWh of energy, compared with currently having to mine 16 times more material, using 16 times more energy and drawing on double the volume of water.

“It’s risen at such a rate that it’s becoming unsustainable,” O’Neill commented to Mining Weekly Online.

While mining was, in the past, content to be a research and development laggard, other industries were not – and they shot ahead on the technological front, proving up technology that is now available off the shelf for mining to implement.

A successful pilot plant is already pointing the way for the more widespread introduction of coarse-particle recovery, which brings considerably larger-sized particles to surface and slashes water use.

Moreover, with the maturing of robotics technology, research is also being conducted into the introduction of swarm robotic mining, involving the use of small robots that will bring ultra-precision to a hugely wasteful industry.

As more precise mining methods gather momentum, those 40 kg of copper used to illustrate mining’s deteriorating position may one day be mined without any waste at all.

Coarse-particle recovery and advanced fragmentation (using smart blasting technologies) are good examples of putting existing technologies into new configurations to deliver value right now.

None of the technologies used is unproven, but what Anglo has managed to do is configure them in a way that adds immense value, with minimal additional capital investment.

While technology will have to be honed specifically for mining at some stage, a surfeit of technologies is ready for instant application.

“It’s more about a mindset change than having to make massive investments,” Anglo American technology development head Donovan Waller added to MiningWeekly Online.

Much of the improvement is being driven by data science and the modern world’s ability to analyse increasing volumes of data to a very high degree.

Virtually all the technologies needed have come of age; one of the biggest being the stabilisation of information technology, in which other industries have tended to advance much faster than the mining industry. These other industries include consumer electronics, manufacturing, automotive engineering and the pharmaceutical sector.

COARSE-PARTICLE RECOVERY

The coarse-particle recovery process captures coarse particles that are not recoverable using conventional flotation.

By needing to grind to only 500 micron instead of 170 micron, capacity is increased. Less energy is required in the crushing and grinding and water is more easily extracted from the larger particles and then recycled, significantly reducing the need for fresh water. The extraction of interstitial water results in a dry product, which can be dry-stacked, ultimately eliminating the need for tailings dams.

In copper, coarse-particle flotation has the potential to change the cost curve of the industry by allowing for 30% to 40% more throughput at a recovery loss of 2% to 3%, a 20% energy saving and 30% to 40% less water.

This is already a significant achievement for Anglo American in copper, and the company is hopeful of migrating it to other commodities, including platinum in South Africa, where test work is still at an early stage.

If, for example, platinum ore can be pre-sorted in advance and be presented at a grade of 10 g/t instead of 4 g/t, output can be increased by two-and-a-half times from the exact same capital invested.

SWARM ROBOTIC MINING

Swarm robotic mining descales mining to make it much more precise, mimicking the actions of a swarm of locusts devouring a field or an army of ants working independently to execute tasks.

The technology envisages highly selective mining of ore types linked to real-time algorithms across a broad spectrum that includes constraints in energy, prices and associated issues.

As many people as possible are taken out of harm’s way in a remotely controlled environment.

Small operational teams will communicate with each other, without the need for a big-brother view from the surface that controls each of those small operational elements independently in self-learning operations.

WATERLESS MINES

Currently, the industry spends a lot of time adding water to its processes and even more time trying to get the water out afterwards.

A pathway has been developed to end up with a waterless mine through the adoption of a closed loop, using only a fixed amount of water that is then recycled time and again. Anglo already recycles or re-uses more than 60% of its water requirements.

Ultimately, the aim is to arrive at potentially chemical means that allow for the liberation of particles without having to add water to them, to arrive at a waterless process.

SUN, WIND, GRAVITY AND SMALL, GREEN NUCLEAR

In terms of energy, the focus is on using renewables for energy self-sufficiency.

The solutions will be a combination of sun and wind. As the sun does not shine at night and the wind does not always blow, other energy forms, including gravity, will take advantage of the mining sector having depth as one of those solutions.

Ultimately, nuclear may be incorporated should it become “greener”, smaller and more modular, as is expected.

MODULAR CONCEPT

Instead of spending billions to build one big plant, small modular plants will be built and scaled up quickly, with the lifespan of the modules being influenced by the next step up in technology.

Mines will move away from using the same technology for long periods of time and outlaying large capital expenditure on plants that last for 50 years and more.

Smaller, modular, cheaper units will allow for technology upgrades every five years, providing scalability as well as the opportunity to ramp up on new technology that has arisen.

Although mining is not an industry that has been used to technological change, there is no reason why it should not, from now on, accelerate advancing technology quickly, as other industries do.

“Our Future Smart Mining program is about far more than technologies alone. It is end-to-end innovation, in its broadest sense, addressing all aspects of sustainability for the business – safety, health, the environment, the needs of our communities and host governments, and the reliable delivery of our products to customers. Those that innovate and are agile will thrive in this industry. That is mining’s new future.” O’Neill concluded.

 

Source: Mining Weekly

Efforts to reposition balance sheet, price improvements lift Glencore’s H1 earnings

Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore said “extensive efforts” to reposition its balance sheet and propel the company’s industrial asset portfolio improvements over the last two years were reflected in its strong interim financial performance.

The group on Thursday published its financial results for the six months to June 30, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) and earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) up 68% and 334%, respectively, year-on-year.

Net debt decreased by $1.6-billion to $13.9-billion between December 31, 2016, and June 30.

Earnings a share increased to $0.17 a share from a loss of $0.03 a share in 2016.

CEO Ivan Glasenberg said that, after a number of years of challenging commodity and economic conditions and declining prices, the recovery seen in late 2016 had continued into the first half of this year, which occurred amid the “best growth momentum” in the global economy in recent years.

Reflecting the success of its efforts to reposition the group during the recent economic downturn, adjusted Ebitda increased by about 70% to $6.7-billion during the six months under review, while net profit attributable to equity holders increased to $2.5-billion from a loss in the prior period.

Glasenberg said the turnaround was underpinned by higher prices for most commodities, resulting in margin expansion across Glencore’s key industrial assets and its “highly cash generative” marketing business.

Marketing performed above the implied run-rate of the $2.3-billion to $2.6-billion full-year guidance range provided in May.

First-half marketing adjusted Ebit was $1.4-billion, which was up 13% year-on-year, which was supported by generally supportive market conditions across the board as improving fundamentals created a more supportive marketing environment for the group’s core commodities.

Glasenberg commented that, supporting this result, evidence of the group’s efforts to reinforce the company’s “leading low cost positions” was seen during the period, with adjusted Ebitda mining margins up 36% in metals and 141% in coal.

“As we look forward, the potential large-scale roll-out of electric vehicles and energy storage systems looks set to unlock material new sources of demand for enabling underlying commodities, including copper, cobalt, zinc and nickel.

“Our portfolio of tier one commodities underpins our ambition to create significant long-term value for our shareholders,” he noted.

 

Source: Mining Weekly

 

Moratorium aside, Zwane approves Lonmin’s bid to acquire Anglo’s Pandora stake

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi  Zwane has given platinum major Lonmin the go-ahead to acquire Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats) 42.5% stake in the Pandora platinum joint venture (JV) operation, which saves the 3 000 jobs that would have been lost had the operation been placed under care and maintenance.

Zwane granted consent for the cession of the right in terms of Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

With Lonmin having acquired the remaining 7.5% stake in the Pandora platinum operation from Northam Platinum in May, this acquisition increases Lonmin’s ownership interest in the Pandora JV to 92.5%.

Before the acquisition, the Pandora JV was 50% held by Lonmin subsidiary Eastern Platinum, 42.5% by Amplats through Rustenburg Platinum and 7.5% by Northam, through Mvelaphanda Resources Proprietary.

“One of our primary considerations when assessing [Lonmin’s] application was how we were best going to prevent retrenchments at the time,” noted the Minister in a statement released Wednesday.

“We are indeed pleased that we have been able to save 3 000 jobs, particularly in the current global economic climate.”

Zwane added, however, that Lonmin had five days to issue the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) with a plan on how it would address broad-based black economic-empowerment compliance at Pandora, as the DMR “cannot afford a situation where transformation is compromised”.

“We are a reasonable regulator and apply our laws consistently to all right-holders. We continue to appeal to right-holders to make use of our open-door policy and engage with us frankly and openly on issues pertaining to this critical sector of our economy. We will always put the interests of South Africa and its people first in all our deliberations,” concluded Zwane.

The Minister’s approval of Lonmin’s application to acquire Amplats’ stake in Pandora comes amidst his proposed moratorium on the granting or renewal of mining and prospecting rights, the granting of mining and prospecting rights renewals, the granting of applications for the transfer of mining and prospecting rights, and the sale and transfer of a majority shareholding in holders of these rights, which has been met with the contempt of the public and civil society organisations, who have dismissed the move as illegal, irrational and unreasonable.

Zwane has essentially proposed that these activities be restricted until the High Court delivers its judgement on the implementation of Mining Charter 3.

The Minister’s proposal is open for public comment until August 4.

 

Source: Mining Weekly

Botswana invites bids for coal-to-liquids project

The Botswana government is seeking prospective bidders for the establishment of a coal-to-liquids plant in the Southern African county, with support from its State-owned oil company, Botswana Oil.

Botswana Oil, which manages State-owned strategic fuel reserve facilities, says in a prequalification tender advertisement that the project aims to diversify Botswana’s economy and attain fuel self-sufficiency through the exploitation of the country’s abundant coal resources.

The invitation is extended to prospective private companies and parastatal bidders to undertake a bankable feasibility study for the design, financing, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of a coal-to-liquids plant in Botswana, which will be facilitated by Botswana Oil.

The bids, which must be in by August 2, follow the closing on July 12 of a request for proposals for owners of coalbed methane (CBM) prospecting licences to develop a 100 MW CBM pilot power plant.

At the Botswana Resource Sector Conference in June, Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Minister Sadique Kebonang expressed the government’s determination to better its legislative framework and policies to ensure the country becomes more investor friendly, against a backdrop of low foreign direct investment in the country.

Botswana Oil is mandated to ensure security of petroleum supply for Botswana, where it manages State-owned strategic fuel reserve facilities, strategic stocks as well as bulk storage and distribution in the petroleum sector.

 

Source: Mining Weekly

Lonmin boosts turnaround on upped output, suffers fatalities

In the three months to June 30, platinum mining major Lonmin recorded lower unit costs and higher net cash on improved production and rising sales – but suffered two fatalities in a quarter when the overall injury level was on a firmly downward trajectory.

On sustaining the company’s financial turnaround, CEO Ben Magara said: “We continue to find levers to pull, even in the lower-for-longer platinum price environment.”

Increased mining momentum saw total tonnage propelled by 13.2% to 2.7-million tonnes and concentrator recoveries holding steady at 86.8%.

Having assumed direct hands-on COO control of all operations in addition to his chief executive role, Magara expressed “great regret” in having to report two fatalities in a period when the 12-month rolling safety lost-time injury frequency rate improved by 2% quarter-on-quarter.

The London- and Johannesburg-listed primary platinumproducer and refiner generated 84% of its tonnage from its Generation 2 shafts, where output was 9% higher at 2.2-million tonnes.

Sales at a 10.8%-higher 180 348 oz underpinned full-year guidance of 650 000 oz to 680 000 oz.

While the stronger rand cut 3% off the year-on-year basket price to R11 506 a platinum group metal (PGM) ounce, the improved mining performance lowered unit costs by 4.7% to R11 278/PGM ounce on a six element basis.

Gross cash increased to $236-million from $225-million quarter-on-quarter, when net cash rose to $86-million from $75-million.

Lonmin is proving that it is still able to deliver and aims to be “at least cash neutral”, Magara said in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.

The deaths of both locomotive operator Simon Sibitaneand rail maintenance team leader Mangi Bunga occurred at Shaft 4B, causing its quarterly production to plummet by 26.5%.

“The five fatalities experienced during the first nine months are unacceptable. We’ll be holding a safety workshop with stakeholders this month as we continue to work with all stakeholders to identify and implement sustainableremedies,” said Magara.

MINING OPERATIONS

The Marikana mining operations, including Pandora, produced 2.7-million tonnes during the three months to June 30, an increase of 3.8% on the prior-year period.

Tonnes mined from Generation 2’s K3, Rowland, Saffy and 4B saw a 38% quarter-on-quarter increase from K3 to 806 000 t, a 16.4% quarter-on-quarter increase from Saffy to 580 000 t and a 20.8% year-on-year increase at Rowland shaft to 528 000 t.

In line with the group’s rationalisation of high-cost areas, production from the Generation 1 Hossy, Newman, W1, E1, E2, E3 and Pandora shafts of 431 000 t, was 18.1% lower than the prior-year period.

Operational flexibility was preserved with the immediately available ore reserve position of 20 months’ average production.

During his days as COO of New Denmark Colliery, Magara succeeded in propelling the then struggling coal operation on to a positive new trajectory that doubled its output.

A source of encouragement to him is that production is turning nicely upwards, buoyed by encouraging new cooperation between his company, the once-hostile Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the principal inspectorate of the Department of Mineral Resources, and platinum assets that he regards as the biggest and the best on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex.

 

Source: Mining Weekly

Billionaire Steinmetz recovers from setback in Simandou battle

LONDON – Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz recovered from a setback in a long-running legal battle over an iron-ore project in Guinea, when one of his employees defied the advice of lawyers and gave hours of testimony to a Paris arbitration court denying allegations of bribery.

Asher Avidan was the top official in Guinea for Steinmetz’s BSG Resources, which is accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes in 2008 to win the right to mine part of the West African country’s giant Simandou iron-ore deposit. Steinmetz’s company sought compensation at the World Bank arbitration tribunal in Paris after Guinea’s government stripped BSGR of its rights to the deposit in 2014.

BSGR’s case suffered a setback last week when Avidan failed to appear after his lawyers advised him it could jeopardize an Israeli investigation into Guinea bribery allegations. Avidan said via video link from Israel on Thursday that he decided to speak without their approval.

During more than six hours of testimony, Avidan denied allegations that he or Steinmetz’s company had been involved in bribery. Guinea’s lawyers allege that BSGR secured Simandou claims in part through bribes to Mamadie Toure, who they say was the fourth wife of Guinea’s president at the time.

Avidan said Toure was never one of the president’s wives. He said his meetings with her were merely out of courtesy to one of his local colleagues, Ibrahima Sory Toure, who he said was her half-brother. Avidan said he didn’t make payments to her.

“When I got Ibrahim, I wanted to keep working with him,” Avidan testified from Israel. “When I arrived, I got her existence as a fait accompli. It was like something I had to live with,” he said, adding that she “definitely never influenced” any Guinea ministers.

TIMELY TESTIMONY
The testimony was Avidan’s first public response to the bribery allegations involving Simandou, which some miners consider the world’s largest untapped iron-ore asset.  The deposit and others in Guinea have been the subject of corruption investigations and legal disputes in the US, Switzerland and Israel, with allegations and counter allegations drawing in Steinmetz’s company as well as mining giants including Rio Tinto Group and Vale.

Last month in New York, an ex-Wall Street banker who served as Guinea’s mining minister was convicted of laundering $8.5-million in bribes he was accused of taking to help a Chinese company win mining rights in the country.

BSGR has consistently denied wrongdoing and is hoping to obtain compensation through an award from the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, whose findings are meant to have equal force as those reached through member countries’ courts. The hearings are due to end Friday, before the three-person panel deliberates on the case.

Source : Mining Weekly