Ecuador, the smallest of the OPEC members, is working hard to diversify away from a dependence on oil exports.
So now the country’s leftwing president, Rafael Correa, is pushing for a new law to fast track mining contracts and investments in the Andean country. Continue reading »
The latest bout of trouble in South Africa’s mining industry entered its second week on Monday with the country’s gold stocks index hitting an almost 12-year low and the rand down at levels last seen four years ago. Continue reading »
Battered by falling metal prices and labour unrest, the South African rand touched a four-year low on Thursday of 9.3836 to the US dollar.
And with the mining industry suffering strikes, the economy sluggish and credit rating agencies nervously eyeing the country’s finances, the currency could have further to fall. Continue reading »
By Nicholas Watson of bne
When the new chairman of Czech coal miner New World Resources warned back in February that the first part of 2013 was going to be challenging, few probably envisaged it would be quite as bad as this. But on May 16, NWR revealed that it made another record loss in the first quarter and said it would take a series of measures worth €100m to bolster its finances. Continue reading »
South African mining firms are in a delicate position. Squeezed by falling commodity prices, production problems and labour unrest, they are trying to push on with plans to cut costs while treading carefully to keep workers onside.
On Friday, top global platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced its decision to slash 6,000 jobs, a far cry from the 14,000 originally planned – but the main union AMCU rejected the announcement, and Amplats may find itself dragged back to the drawing board. Continue reading »
Zimbabwe this week started consultations on proposed new mining policies aimed at increasing the state’s role in the industry in everything from environmental management to marketing.
The move echoes the controversial indigenisation and empowerment law, requiring companies to divest 51 percent of their shares to indigenous (black) investors. The approach is different – with officials intending transparent in contrast to the secretive methods of the political radicals who pushed through indigenisation. But there is still much to worry the mining industry. Continue reading »
Botswana may be the world’s top diamond producer, but it is keen to diversify its exports away from precious stones. The country has been steadily mapping out a plan to develop what it says are its huge coal resources.
The benefit would be clear: in addition to boosting domestic energy supplies, a coal industry would be able to export to countries such as China and India in the future. The question is, just what is the size of its reserves? Continue reading »
South African mining stocks have had a tough time of it in the last 12 months what with strikes, outages and falling commodity prices. So you’d expect much of the bad news to be priced in.
However, Harmony Gold pulled off a surprise on Friday. The company announced a headline loss for the latest quarter of $23m, mainly due to the prolonged closure of a key mine. Its shares fell over 8 per cent to a low not seen since 2005. Continue reading »
One day Ollanta Humala, Peru’s president, is unnerving investors with a hankering for state-run enterprise, the next he is making it easier for miners to push through projects despite community opposition.
According to Reuters, Humala is on the verge of reneging on his key election pledge to give Andean indigenous communities the right to better consultation over mining projects near their homes. Continue reading »
When Dilma Rousseff emerged from a meeting with Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner last Thursday, saying that Vale would soon reach an agreement over its $6bn Rio Colorado potash project in the country, some feared the worst.
Local media took it as a sign that she wanted the Brazilian miner to stick by the cash-draining mine, which Vale ditched in March after rampant inflation and exchange rate controls doubled the project’s costs. Continue reading »
Chile is concerned.
It is the world’s top copper producer; copper makes up more than half the value of its exports and 15 per cent of its GDP. Windfalls from sales of the red metal are squirreled into sovereign wealth funds, to allow countercyclical spending on a rainy day. The last thing Chile wants is for copper prices to fall, as they have been doing lately – hitting an 18 month low this week. Continue reading »
When is a new policy not a new policy? When it’s introduced by the Indonesian government, which has a tendency to rush out new measures with minimal consultation, sparking protests from those affected and eventually leading officials to backtrack with all the elegance of Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk. Continue reading »
Gold’s dramatic fall over in the past week has sent analysts scurrying to work out who is feeling the pinch, and how hard.
As beyondbrics reported on Tuesday, there may be some positive effects for India, one of the biggest gold buying countries in the world. But what about South Africa, one of the bigger gold producers? Continue reading »
By Jude Webber and Naomi Mapstone
Another mining project in a minerals-rich Andean country has been hit by another environmental/indigenous complaint. Digging up precious metals as a way of achieving economic prosperity, especially in areas of outstanding natural beauty, has never been so fraught.
The latest casualty is the Chilean side of Barrick Gold’s Pascua-Lama project, which promises to be one of the world’s biggest gold mines. Continue reading »