Archive | Platinum Group Metals

South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater to be No. 2 platinum miner with Lonmin buy – by Zandi Shabalala and Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – December 15, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater (SGLJ.J) agreed to buy troubled miner Lonmin (LMI.L) (LONJ.J) for about 285 million pounds ($382 million) to create the world’s No. 2 platinum producer in a bid to ride out depressed prices for the metal.

Sibanye, whose CEO is called “Mr Fix It” for turning his firm from a spin-off with three old mines into a global precious metals player, said it would cut a third of Lonmin’s employees and deliver savings of about $112 million a year by 2021.

Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, has burned through $1.6 billion in cash which was raised from investors since platinum prices plunged 60 percent from their peak in 2008. But it has still struggled to fund its mines. Continue Reading →

Sibanye-Stillwater deal consigns Lonmin to history – by Neil Hume and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – December 14, 2017)

https://www.ft.com/

South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater has made a £285m all-stock offer for platinum producer Lonmin, signalling an end to a century-old company that is one of the world’s largest producers of the metal.

London-listed Lonmin has struggled to make money as the price of platinum dropped 45 per cent over the past five years.

Sibanye, an acquisitive South African company run by Neal Froneman, made an offer for Lonmin that will give shareholders 0.967 new Sibanye-Stillwater shares for each Lonmin share, implying a premium of 57 per cent to Wednesday’s closing price. Continue Reading →

Platinum’s discount to palladium hits 16-year-high – by Renita D. Young (Reuters U.S. – December 7, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Platinum’s discount to fellow precious metal palladium reached its highest level since 2001 on Thursday, as the latter soared on heightened vehicle demand and an ongoing supply deficit.

Palladium hit a high of $1,022.70 on Thursday, just off a 16-year high from last week, while platinum hit a low of $887.50 per ounce, putting it on track for its biggest weekly loss in nine months.

The platinum discount widened to around $120 on Thursday, the steepest since April 2001, according to Reuters data going back to 1985. “Palladium is powering on with the demand for more vehicles,” said George Gero, managing director of RBC Wealth Management in New York. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe flatters to deceive as reform doesn’t extend to mining – by Memory Mataranyika (MiningMx – December 7, 2017)

http://www.miningmx.com/

ZIMBABWE’S new cabinet has retained the controversial 51% indigenisation thresholds for foreign diamond and platinum miners, but it has deferred a 15% tax on unprocessed and semi-processed platinum exports as the country implements policy reforms to attract foreign investment.

The reforms follow the exit of Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe last month and the subsequent swearing in of a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The new Zimbabwean leader has committed himself to restoring respect for property rights and investment protection.

Zimbabwean Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, laid out some of the new policy measures in his 2018 budget statement on Thursday. He said the contentious 51% indigenisation ownership framework for foreign firms had been scrapped for all the other sectors of the economy, except parts of the mining sector. Continue Reading →

Special Report: ‘Treacherous shenanigans’ – The inside story of Mugabe’s downfall – by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Joe Brock and Ed Cropley (Reuters U.S. – November 26, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

HARARE (Reuters) – Inside State House in Harare, Robert Mugabe was in the tightest spot of his 37-year rule. Tanks were on the streets and troops had occupied the state broadcaster, from where the army had announced it had taken control of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe, 93 years old but still alert, remained defiant. The only leader the country had known since independence was refusing to quit.At a tense meeting with his military top brass on Nov. 16, the world’s oldest head of state put his foot down: “Bring me the constitution and tell me what it says,” he ordered military chief Constantino Chiwenga, according to two sources present.

An aide brought a copy of the constitution, which lays out that the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.Chiwenga, dressed in camouflage fatigues, hesitated before replying that Zimbabwe was facing a national crisis that demanded military intervention. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk] Metals Billionaire to Win Whether Electric Cars Boom or Bust – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – November 21, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

There are two major reasons mining billionaire Vladimir Potanin is within a hair’s breadth of regaining his ranking as Russia’s richest tycoon this year.

One is higher prices for nickel used in batteries as metals traders bet electric vehicles are the future of transportation. The other is a jump in palladium on wagers that gasoline cars will be here for a long time yet.

They’ve boosted the value of Potanin’s 30 percent in MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the top miner of both metals, lifting his net worth 12 percent this year to $19 billion. They also show how Nornickel, as it’s known, will gain from auto-industry changes even if optimism on electric cars is overdone. Continue Reading →

Platinum market deficit to expand sharply in 2018: WPIC – by Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – November 21, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – The global platinum market deficit will rise sharply next year thanks to resurgent demand from the jewellery and industrial sectors and declining production, an industry report said on Tuesday.

The shortfall will jump to 275,000 ounces from an expected 15,000 ounces this year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said in its latest Platinum Quarterly report.

That would put the industry in deficit for a sixth consecutive year and cut above-ground stocks to 1.605 million ounces by the end of next year, said the WPIC, which is funded by platinum mining companies. Continue Reading →

Russia miner Nornickel sees capex rising by 2019-2020 – by Eric Onstad and Polina Devitt (Reuters U.S. – November 20, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel plans to increase capital expenditure to an average of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion a year in 2019 and 2020 from about $2 billion in 2018 due to an environmental project and infrastructure modernization, it said on Monday.

Nornickel, part-owned by Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin and aluminum giant Rusal, is the world’s top palladium producer and second-largest nickel producer.

“In the next three years, we are budgeting for an increase in capital investments that will allow us not only to maintain metal production volumes, but also put a solid foundation under new perspective projects,” Potanin, also Nornickel’s president, told an Investor Day in London. Continue Reading →

SA platinum miners watchful of political events in Zimbabwe – by David McKay (MiningMx – November 15, 2017)

http://www.miningmx.com/

SOUTH African platinum producers operating in Zimbabwe said they were watchful of political developments following reports that armed forces had seized power in the southern African country.

“While there are reports of military presence in the country’s capital, to date, there has been no sign of unrest or military presence at any of our operations,” said Johan Theron, a spokesman for Impala Platinum (Implats). “Our operations are all located some distance from the capital, and have continued to operate normally this morning.

“We will continue to assess the situation, and have appeal for calm and the continued safety and wellbeing of the people of Zimbabwe, and our colleagues at the mining operations,” he said. Continue Reading →

Lonmin to showcase social projects after share price meltdown – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – November 5, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Embattled London and Johannesburg-listed platinum producer Lonmin will unveil new health and road projects in South Africa on Monday in a ceremony that will be overshadowed by its latest share price collapse.

Lonmin, not for the first time, is facing an uncertain future after its shares lost 30 percent on Friday when it delayed annual financial results due this month pending the conclusion of a business review.

The company said it had adequate liquidity to fund it through a review that could include the sale of assets, job cuts and the renegotiation of loan agreements. There has also been speculation about a deal to combine with fellow South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater Continue Reading →

The German Auto Industry’s Darkest Secrets – by Melanie Bergermann, Simon Book, Alexander Busch and Martin Seiwert (Handelsblatt Global – November 3, 2017)

https://global.handelsblatt.com/

German consumers purchasing a new electric car may be buying a few extras they didn’t reckon with – such as child labor, corruption and police brutality.

The young man shyly moves his T-shirt down over his belly, hiding the scars from the operation and the exit holes. His fellow South Africans call Mzoxolo Magidiwana, 24, “dead man walking” because he will never recover from the injuries he suffered when police opened fire on him and his fellow workers five years ago. Bullets tore into his stomach and his right arm no longer has any strength; nor can he walk properly anymore.

Mr. Magidiwana was one of the leaders of the 3,000 miners who went on strike on August 12, 2012 to protest poor working conditions and low pay at the Marikana platinum mine some 100 kilometers from Johannesburg in South Africa.

The workers were being paid just €400 ($464) per month for back breaking work. Below ground, they had to contend with constant accidents and dust that made them ill. Above ground, they were breathing the toxic fumes coming out of the platinum smelter. Continue Reading →

A time for change: New leadership and new technology inspired a digital revolution at Lac des Iles – by Eavan Moore (CIM Magazine – October 02, 2017)

http://magazine.cim.org/en/

In the last two years, North American Palladium’s (NAP) Lac des Iles mine, located 106 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has made a complete technological turnaround – beginning with its first fibre-optic installation in 2015 up to the launch of real-time mine management in 2017.

Advanced as part of a broader improvement program, the rapid succession of new technologies found acceptance because it came with careful attention to the needs of the mine’s workforce. Management at Lac des Iles hopes that investing in these technologies will improve its production efficiency and set an example among Canadian mines.

“Our mine site’s really been on a constant change since 2013, when we went from a ramp access mine to a shaft access mine,” said general manager Bryan Wilson. Continue Reading →

Protests test tribal authority on South Africa’s platinum belt – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – October 8, 2017)

https://www.reuters.com/

MOGALAKWENA, South Africa (Reuters) – A new power struggle is unfolding in South Africa’s old homelands between global mining giants, traditional leaders and an impoverished rural populace.

Parts of an industry long used to labor unrest are now contending with community protests that have cut production of the country’s largest mineral export earner, platinum, and may shut some operations down altogether.

At the heart of the conflict are tribal leaders who have royal titles and feudal-style control over the homelands, poor rural areas designated to South Africa’s black majority by its former white minority rulers during apartheid. Tribal leaders are also key allies of President Jacob Zuma, whose political base has become increasingly rural, and his African National Congress party has drafted a law that would cement their control. Continue Reading →

Platinum’s Lesson for Lithium-Ion Batteries – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – September 26, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Half a century ago, the commodities industry was in a flap about whether new, less-polluting automotive technologies would cause the world to run out of rare metals.

It wasn’t about electric batteries, but catalytic converters. Introduced in the mid-1970s in the U.S. to remove carbon monoxide and toxic hydrocarbons from car exhausts, their most important ingredients were some of the rarest elements on earth: platinum and palladium.

The so-called platinum group metals occur in large quantities in only four places. Then and now, about 90 percent of output comes from what were then apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union. With technology moving toward widespread adoption of catalytic converters in the late 1960s, metallurgists began to worry supply would simply be insufficient. Continue Reading →

Marikana: death and fear still stalk platinum belt – by Theto Mahlakoana (Business Day – September 27, 2017)

https://www.businesslive.co.za/

The eyes of SA and the world have turned away from the platinum belt, returning there only when the Marikana massacre is commemorated every August. Yet mine workers there are being continually snuffed out.

Union leaders, fathers, sons and brothers are being gunned down by unknown assailants for reasons that may never surface. Law enforcement authorities have not paid special attention to the region to solve the crimes, despite several pleas by civil society and political formations.

In the past two weeks, the bodies of four regional leaders of the Association of Construction and Mineworkers Union (Amcu) were found riddled with bullets at the Lonmin and Impala mines. Continue Reading →