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Oct 14, 2014

Labour strife, safety concerns push S.Africa platinum mechanisation

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, Oct 14 (Reuters) – For decades,
production in South Africa’s platinum mines has rested on the
muscular shoulders of men risking life and limb to drill into
the rock face with jackhammers.

Three years of labour upheaval and a political push to make
the shafts safer and transform the low-wage workforce have set
in motion a drive to replace such rock drillers with machines.

Oct 6, 2014

South Africa’s Kruger Park invites bids for rhinos

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Kruger National Park is inviting bids for rhinos under a plan to move 500 of the animals to safety to counter a wave of poaching for their horns, highly prized in some Asian countries as a sign of wealth.

In newspaper ads on Sunday, South African National Parks invited potential buyers to “make a written offer to purchase white rhinos in batches of 20 or more”.

Oct 3, 2014

Zambia considers simpler tax for miners as VAT row simmers – source

LUSAKA/JOHANNESBURG Oct 3 (Reuters) – Zambia could simplify
its fiscal regime for mining companies by scrapping corporate
tax for the sector next year, a government source said on
Friday, a move that comes against the background of a simmering
dispute over value-added tax (VAT).

Instead of corporate tax, regarded as hard to administer,
companies would face a higher mineral royalty rate in Africa’s
second-largest copper producer, the source said, without
detailing the size of the rise. The rate is currently 6 percent.

Sep 26, 2014

Africa adds climate change bonds to global warming arsenal

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Global warming in Africa
may soon move bond markets.

In 2016, the first climate change bonds will be issued from
Africa – unique instruments that will enable the world’s poorest
continent to tap both capital markets and donor funds to bolster
its defenses against extreme weather events such as prolonged
drought or extreme heat.

Sep 16, 2014

Housing project helps South Africa’s platinum miners escape shanty towns

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, Sept 16 (Reuters) – South African
platinum miner Vincent Nyeleka has just moved up in the world,
leaving behind a cramped hovel that he rented for a new,
three-bedroom house he can call his own.

“This is better. Now my wife and children can come live with
me,” said Nyeleka, a 32-year-old winch operator, as he walked
through his new neighborhood, its streets lined with brick
houses and green lawns.

Sep 15, 2014

AngloGold makes U-turn on restructuring after shareholder revolt

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – South Africa-based
AngloGold Ashanti has pulled the plug on a planned
restructuring only five days after announcing it, following a
shareholder revolt against the plan for a new London-listed
company and a $2.1 billion rights issue.

The gold producer last week unveiled its intention to split
its South African mines from international assets, mirroring
moves by other producers to reduce exposure to a country hit by
rising labour costs and policy instability.

Sep 14, 2014

S.Africa’s Eskom to raise more debt, get state equity injection

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 14 (Reuters) – South Africa’s government
has approved a support package for troubled state-run power
utility Eskom, which will include the company raising over $4
billion in additional debt and receiving an equity injection
from the state.

The announcement highlighted the gravity of the situation
facing Eskom, which provides virtually all of the power to
Africa’s most advanced economy but has massive funding issues as
its costs are running way ahead of its revenues.

Sep 12, 2014

Sibanye says in talks about possible S.Africa job cuts

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 (Reuters) – South African-focused
bullion producer Sibanye Gold said on Friday it was
starting talks with unions and other stakeholders about possible
job cuts at its Cooke 4 mine to boost profits and productivity.

Sibanye said it had entered “into section 189 consultations
on the future of the Cooke 4 mine” – a reference to a legal
requirement that companies must talk with organised labour and
other affected parties in advance about potential lay offs.

Sep 10, 2014

South Africa’s AngloGold plans London listing for international operations

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – Africa’s biggest bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti is to restructure its mining and exploration operations outside South Africa under a new British-based company and aims to raise $2.1 billion in a rights issue.

The move announced by the company on Wednesday mirrors those of other large mining groups seeking to reduce exposure to South Africa, the vast resources of which come with the risk of a volatile labor market, policy uncertainty, dizzying shaft depths and soaring costs.

Sep 8, 2014

Sasol eyes Angola, Ghana and Tanzania opportunities

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Sasol is eyeing
potential expansion into Angola, Ghana and Tanzania but
Mozambique remains its immediate focus in Africa, the South
African petrochemicals company’s chief executive said on Monday.

Sasol reported a 14 percent increase in full-year earnings
on Monday, boosted by higher chemical prices and a weaker rand
but still short of analysts’ expectations.

    • 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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