Senior Correspondent
Ed's Feed
Jul 30, 2015

Lonmin: victim of price falls and management wobbles

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG, July 30 (Reuters) – Platinum producer
Lonmin is facing its deepest crisis to date, hurt by a
downturn in the metal and haunted by a mixture of bad luck and
debatable management choices that are putting its survival at
risk.

Times are tough for everyone in the platinum sector.

Producers are squeezed between soaring costs and a rout in
platinum prices to lows not seen since the 2008 financial crash.

Jul 28, 2015

Mozambique coal: boom to bust to wait it out

MAPUTO, July 28 (Reuters) – Mozambique’s coal rush is
officially over and the government is now looking offshore to a
gas bonanza, according to analysts at a coal conference this
week in the capital Maputo.

Just a few years ago, billions of dollars poured into
Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest nations, in a twin
scramble for inland coal and offshore gas.

Jul 27, 2015

Mozambique port accident deals blow to Vale coal project -sources

MAPUTO, July 27 (Reuters) – A coal stacker has collapsed at
the Mozambique port of Nacala, dealing a blow to Brazilian miner
Vale’s effort to start coal shipments from the
African nation in the third quarter, sources told Reuters on
Monday.

The giant piece of machinery, which is used to handle coal
and other bulk materials, buckled last week, according to a
mining industry source with knowledge of the situation.

Jul 27, 2015

In Africa’s ‘cradle,’ an old fossil site yields new finds

KROMDRAAI, South Africa (Reuters) – Crouched in a shallow square grid dug into the red African earth, American graduate student Sarah Edlund uses a hand brush to scrape soil into a dustpan.

She is uncovering scraping tools of a different kind — implements fashioned from quartz that were used 100,000 years ago to prepare animal hides.

Jul 24, 2015

Lonmin says 6,000 S.Africa jobs at risk in proposed restructuring

JOHANNESBURG, July 24 (Reuters) – Platinum producer Lonmin
is planning to close or mothball several mine shafts in
a bid to survive plunging prices, putting 6,000 South African
jobs at risk and sending its shares to a historic low.

The platinum sector has been under huge stress, with the
spot price at 6-1/2 year lows below $1,000 an ounce,
while power and labour costs in South Africa have risen sharply.

Jul 20, 2015

Weak platinum price hampers Amplats’ drive to shed assets

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Tumbling metals prices are delaying Anglo American Platinum’s (AMSJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (Amplats) plan to divest its labor-intensive Rustenburg and Union operations, with the South African miner yet to decide between a sale or flotation, it said on Monday.

Amplats, the world’s biggest platinum producer, wants to rid itself of the mines — the epicenter of an often violent five-month strike last year — to improve profitability and focus more on mechanized mining.

Jul 6, 2015

Milk, paint, wild beasts and an ancient African mystery

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Around 49,000 years ago, someone in what is today South Africa mixed milk with ochre to produce a paint mixture.

What the paint was used for remains unknown. But what is startling is that it was made earlier than the first previously know use of the paint – 47,000 years earlier.

Jul 6, 2015

South African union may take legal action over Glencore layoffs

JOHANNESBURG, July 6 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers is considering taking legal action against
the government if Glencore cuts over 600 jobs at its
Optimum Coal unit, it said on Monday.

Glencore said last week it would proceed with a plan to
close some of its Optimum Coal operations because of weak
prices.

Jul 6, 2015

South Africa reaps more crops, cuts jobs in twin farm revolution

VILJOENSKROON, South Africa (Reuters) – South African farmer Cobus van Coller scans the flashing computer screen in the cab of his harvester. As the machine mows down corn stalks, numbers instantly update, giving the precise yield and moisture levels on each part of his field.

“This shows you if you’re going to make money,” he said in a demonstration of “precision” farming — the use of technology to target farm inputs precisely to maximize profit.

Jul 6, 2015

Analysis – South Africa reaps more crops, cuts jobs in twin farm revolution

VILJOENSKROON, South Africa (Reuters) – South African farmer Cobus van Coller scans the flashing computer screen in the cab of his harvester. As the machine mows down corn stalks, numbers instantly update, giving the precise yield and moisture levels on each part of his field.

“This shows you if you’re going to make money,” he said in a demonstration of “precision” farming — the use of technology to target farm inputs precisely to maximise profit.

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
      Joined Reuters:
      1995
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