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May 24, 2012

Calculating Africa’s “natural capital”

JOHANNESBURG, May 24 (Reuters) – Capital in Africa remains
scarce by any traditional measure of the term.

But conservationists say the continent is rich in “natural
capital” and argue that if this was properly harnessed, the
region would reap dividends and grow its economy and more
orthodox forms of capital.

May 23, 2012

Labour strife shuts Implats mine for second day

JOHANNESBURG, May 23 (Reuters) – The world’s largest
platinum mine, run by Impala Platinum, remained closed
for a second day on Wednesday, taking another 3,000 ounces out
of global output, as a union turf war rumbled on.

“The rival unions are still playing a game of winner takes
all. This should not be a fight to the death,” Johan Theron,
Implats head of human resources, told Reuters.

May 22, 2012

Rustenburg labour unrest cuts Implats output

JOHANNESBURG, May 22 (Reuters) – Impala Platinum,
the world’s second-largest platinum producer, said it was losing
production of 3,000 ounces a day as most workers were not
reporting for duty at its Rustenburg mine on Tuesday because of
labour unrest.

The mine, shut for six weeks earlier this year because of a
power struggle war between unions, has been hit again by fresh
clashes between the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union

May 17, 2012

S.Africa gives gold a break as it moots mine tax hikes

JOHANNESBURG, May 17 (Reuters) – As African governments seek
to extract more revenue from their mining sectors, the
continent’s biggest economy has given gold producers a
much-needed tax break tha t removes at least one head wind from a
struggling industry.

Gold Fields, the world No. 4 bullion producer, on
Thursday became the latest South African gold miner to report
better-than-expected earnings partly on the back of the new,
lower tax regime. It benefited to the tune of close to 1 billion
rand ($120.46 million) from the change in the first quarter.

May 17, 2012

Anglo’s struggle over platinum showcases sector woes

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG, May 17 (Reuters) – Miner Anglo American
has made a priority of its struggling platinum business,
admitting earlier this year that the world’s largest primary
producer is underperforming in the face of soaring costs,
imposed safety stoppages and weak demand.

But South Africa’s politics, restive unions and a lacklustre
market mean its keenly awaited “operational review” of its Anglo
American Platinum unit, due later this year, is more
likely to mark an evolution than a revolution — and constitute
a case study in the woes holding back a battered industry.

May 14, 2012

S.Africa stocks felled by euro zone woes, gold price

JOHANNESBURG, May 14 (Reuters) – South African stocks sank
on Monday, snapping two days of gains, as Europe’s debt
imbroglio, a slumping gold price and bad results smacked
investor confidence, with Gold Fields leading blue
chips lower.

Local markets remain hostage to sentiment being driven by
the euro zone, which is putting investors off riskier emerging
market assets, but analysts do see some technical support
kicking in if local shares lose further ground.

May 14, 2012

S.Africa 2012 platinum supplies unlikely to rise-JM

JOHANNESBURG, May 14 (Reuters) – There is little prospect
for a rise in South African platinum supplies in 2012 and
shipments of the precious metal from the world’s top producer
will likely decline this year, metals refiner Johnson Matthey
said in a report on Monday.

About 80 percent of the world’s known platinum group metal
reserves, valued by Citibank at $2.2 trillion, lie in South
Africa, where the industry has been hit by labour unrest and a
government safety drive.

May 10, 2012

Analysis: World’s platinum lies on African political faultlines

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Platinum markets have avoided an eruption that would have shaken them to the core with mine nationalization effectively killed as policy in South Africa, which sits on about 80 percent of the global supply of the precious metal.

But they should brace for aftershocks.

The world’s richest platinum veins lie along the political faultlines of South Africa and Zimbabwe, where income disparities, labor strife and political populism are fueling intense brands of resource nationalism.

Apr 26, 2012

Legalising rhino horn, ivory trade in focus

JOHANNESBURG, April 26 (Reuters) – Almost two rhinos a day
are being poached in South Africa for their horns, which are
worth more than their weight in gold.

This surge in rhino killings has coincided with a rise in
elephant poaching for ivory across the continent and reignited
debate about whether or not the trade in the commodities these
animals are being killed for should be opened up.

Apr 24, 2012

African big game poaching surges on Asian affluence

* Rhino poaching surges, horn worth more than gold

* Record seizures of elephant ivory

* Organized crime, helicopters involved

By Jonny Hogg and Ed Stoddard

(Reuters) – T he hit job was done by professionals who swooped
over their quarry in a helicopter before opening fire.

The scene beneath the rotor blades would have been chilling:
panicked mothers shielding their young, hair-raising screeches
and a mad scramble through the blood-stained bush as bullets
rained down from the sky.

    • 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."
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