The combined economies of the BRICS member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are set to expand by about 20 percent in roughly a decade, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has announced.
“The BRICS countries’ economy today accounts for a third of the global economy. According to our conservative estimates, by 2030 our economies will make up more than half of the entire world economy,” Siluanov said at the BRICS International Competition Conference in Moscow on Wednesday.
Members of the alliance continue to work on eliminating trade barriers between them and can set an example for other counties, the minister added.
BRIC was established in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India and China, before South Africa joined the bloc in 2010, adding the “S” to the acronym. As of 2018, combined nominal GDP of these five emerging economies amounted to $18.6 trillion….Read More
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The South African mining industry returned to profitability this year, despite a challenging operating environment owing to regulatory uncertainty, energy constraints, labour disputes, illegal mining activities and a skills shortage, PwC’s eleventh ‘SA Mine’ edition, published on Thursday, shows.
PwC Africa energy utilities and resources leader Andries Rossouw said during a briefing on Thursday that the industry’s good performance during the year was in spite of the speed of technological advancement, climate change, sustainable operations and the changing of consumer behaviour defining some of the industry’s key risks.
While these should be “top of mind” for mining companies, he added that operating performance, investor sentiment and the global attractiveness of the industry continued to erode, with investors questioning whether the industry can create sustainable value for its stakeholders.
Because of this, Rossouw urged miners to “find a balance between stakeholder needs and long-term sustainable operations in their capital allocation decisions”.
He said that, in order to restore faith in a challenged industry, mining leaders would need to show that they were at the forefront of creating sustainable value for all stakeholders.
“By aligning financial and sustainable strategies to prioritise green-, customer- and community-focused strategies, further enabled by technology, [the industry] will help build a long-term vision of growth, access, equality, innovation and trust.”
PwC’s report, meanwhile, highlights that, in 2019, South African miners’ total market capitalisation increased to R884-billion, well above the R482-billion market capitalisation of the prior year.
This was mainly owing to the increase in market capitalisation of companies within the platinum-group metals (PGMs) and gold sectors…Full Story
By Loni Prinsloo and Paul Burkhardt | Bloomberg
Sasol Ltd. is planning to sell its South African coal-mining business, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company will begin a formal sales process in the coming weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public yet. The mining business had turnover of 20 billion rand ($1.4 billion) in the 2018 financial year, according to the company’s financial report, mostly from internal sales to Sasol’s other operations.
The company is the world’s biggest manufacturer of fuel from coal, an energy-intensive process. Sasol’s coal mines produce about 40 million tons of coal a year, almost entirely for use in its own operations, according to its website.
The company would plan to sign a coal-purchase agreement with whoever buys the asset, said one of the people.
Sasol announced a long-term review process in November 2017 that would involve disposing of some assets at prices that ensure value for the company, it said in an emailed response to questions, while declining to comment directly on a possible mine sale…Full Story
The Ministry of Mines has allowed Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) to offload, in a year, up to a quantity equivalent to maximum of 25 per cent of total iron ore production in the previous year. This is subject to clearance from the respective State governments where the mines are located, a statement said.
It is valid for a period of two years. This development implies that around 7 million tonnes of iron ore, produced at mines in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, can be offloaded by SAIL to the domestic market after getting the necessary clearances.
SAIL has also been allowed to dispose of old stock of 70 million tonnes of low-grade iron fines and ores (including slime) dumped across different captive mines of SAIL, after getting the necessary permission from Jharkhand, Odisha and Chattisgarh, where the mines are located…Full Story
Optimum Coal Mine in Middelburg, Mpumalanga went up in flames after a fire set the mine’s conveyor belts alight on Sunday.
The Middleburg Observer reports that while it is unclear what caused the fire, it is believed that it may be sabotage.
Initial reports suggest that the fire started next to the conveyor belts and then spread onto the mine grounds.
The former Gupta-linked mine, which supplied coal to Eskom, had gone under business rescue in February 2018.
Gupta-owned Tegeta bought Optimum from Glencore in 2016 for R2.15bn in a deal shrouded in mystery, Fin24 previously reported.
Business rescue practitioner, Louis Klopper told News24 on Monday he did not want to speculate on the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“One of the overhead transmission cables fell down into the dry grass and set it alight, simple as that…Full Story
India is the world’s fastest-growing market for the fossil fuel. So why are investors fleeing?
If India is such a bright hope for global coal demand, why can’t investors see it?
The country will experience the largest increase in coal burning through 2023, according to the International Energy Agency, with a 3.9% annual pace of growth that should be enough to offset falling consumption in developed countries. BloombergNEF, whose forecasts tend to be less bullish than the IEA’s on fossil fuel demand, is not far behind: Coal-fired generation will increase about 48% by 2030 to hit 1,512 terawatt-hours, more than all of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
The curious thing is that when you look at the Indian power sector, there are few signs it’s on the brink of a boom. Quite the opposite: As many as 65 gigawatts of the 90GW of private-sector generators connected in India are under financial stress, according to a parliamentary report last year. As my colleague Andy Mukherjee has written, the resulting 1.8 trillion rupees ($26 billion) in bad loans is contributing to a nonperforming asset crisis that risks undermining the Indian financial system.
Furthermore, activity to increase coal-fired generation is overwhelmingly dependent on state support. Out of 48GW of coal generators planned to be built by 2027 under the country’s current electricity plan, just 14% is being developed by the private sector; a matching 48GW of generation is already slated for retirement by the same date.
Even that modest level of private investment appears to be retreating now, according to a report published Friday by the Centre for Financial Accountability, a Delhi-based group pushing for better standards of development finance. Lending to coal-fired power fell 90% in 2018, to 60 billion rupees from 608 billion rupees the previous year, the CFA said. The vast majority of that total was refinancing of existing plants: Just 12 billion rupees was dedicated to new generation, all of it to just one state-backed plant in Uttar Pradesh…Full Story
President Donald Trump is scaling back sweeping Obama-era curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants burning coal, his biggest step yet to fulfill his campaign promises to stop a “war” on the fossil fuel.
Yet the Environmental Protection Agency’s rewrite of the Clean Power Plan — which is being unveiled Wednesday — will do little to halt a nationwide shift away from that fossil fuel and toward cheaper electricity generated by the wind, the sun and natural gas.
The U.S. is experiencing “a wave of coal retirements — and we don’t think we’re near the end of it,” said Nicholas Steckler, head of U.S. power for BloombergNEF. “Coal is inferior to natural gas in many ways today — it’s less flexible, it’s higher cost, even its fuel is generally more expensive, and, of course, it’s dirty. It has so many reasons stacked against it.”
The EPA’s final “Affordable Clean Energy” rule is designed to pare carbon dioxide emissions by encouraging efficiency upgrades at individual power plants. Like an earlier proposal released in October, the final rule will empower states to develop performance standards for plants based on assumptions about the kind of improvements that can be eked out by plugging duct leaks, installing advanced soot blowers and making other upgrades at the sites.
EPA says more Americans will die under its power-plant rollback
Where the new plan focuses on what can be achieved at individual coal plants, the Clean Power Plan it is replacing aimed to drive broader changes in the U.S. electric mix and threatened to spur a wave of coal plant closures. That measure — one of former President Barack Obama’s signature initiatives to combat climate change — compelled states to make systemwide changes in the name of cutting emissions, from bolstering energy efficiency and adding renewables to shutting coal-fired plants altogether.
Industry advocates say the Trump administration is curbing federal government overreach and leveling the playing field.
“It won’t necessarily be the saving grace for coal,” but “this regulation gives coal a fighting chance,” said Nick Loris, an economist with the Heritage Foundation. The EPA is following the rule of law and removing “government-imposed barriers that will lead to increased innovation, competition and efficiency that will ultimately drive down pollution.”
The EPA’s new approach is rooted in Clean Power Plan foes’ arguments that the agency does not have legal authority to regulate emissions beyond the boundaries of existing plants. In some cases, efficiency gains spurred by the new rule could encourage utilities to run their coal power plants more often, undercutting potential environmental benefits…Full Story
Gold built on last week’s gains on Monday rising 1.5% in heavy volume as investors seek a safe haven amid a widening trade war unleashed by US President Donald Trump.
Gold for delivery in August, the most active futures contract, reached a high of $1,333 an ounce, the highest 10 weeks with over 33m ounces changing hands in New York by early afternoon.
Trump’s plan to impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods, Chinese adding tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods over the weekend coupled with Beijing’s threat to blacklist foreign companies in retaliation to punitive US levies are rattling markets and hurting the dollar.
Gold is seen as a store of value in turbulent times and the price of the metal usually moves in the opposite direction of the US currency. Gold is also finding investors’ favour as bond yields in the US fall and a rate cut in the world’s largest economy moves from possibility to probability…Full Story
By Marta Nogueira |Reuters
Brazilian iron ore miner Vale SA told prosecutors in the state of Minas Gerais that a dam is at risk of rupturing at its Gongo Soco mine, about 40 miles from where its Brumadinho dam collapsed, killing more than 230 people.
According to a document published on Thursday, prosecutors said Vale is predicting the dam in the city of Barao de Cocais may collapse next week if the current rate of movement in the embankment of the mine pit close to the dam is maintained.
The warning underlines ongoing concern about the stability of dams in Brazil’s mining heartland of Minas Gerais in the aftermath of the Brumadinho accident, which itself came less than four years after another deadly dam collapse at a joint venture between Vale and BHP Group…Full Story