Archive | Platinum Group Metals

Zimbabwe mulls scrapping majority black ownership on diamond, platinum sectors – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – January 23, 2018)

Zimbabwe’s new government may soon scrap a 51% requirement of local ownership for foreign investors in the diamond and platinum sectors, in an effort to re-engage international lenders, curb spending and attract investors to revive the country’s battered economy.

The so-called indigenization laws intended to increase black Zimbabweans’ share of the economy, but were opaque and open to abuse.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took the post in November after Robert Mugabe quit under pressure from the military, had already said he would revoke such rule on all other minerals, except from diamonds and platinum. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe May End Local Ownership Rule on Platinum, Diamonds – by Antony Sguazzin and Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg News – January 23, 2018)

Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum reserves, may lift a requirement that companies mining the metal or diamonds must be at least 51 percent owned by black citizens of the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa, who became president in November after Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure from the military, has announced that the ownership requirement on all other minerals will be abolished. The government needs to assess its platinum and diamond industries more carefully, he said.

“I only excluded diamonds and platinum for now. We do not have a real or deep-rooted or well-interrogated policy on diamonds or platinum,” the 75-year-old president said in an interview in his office in the capital, Harare, last week. “Down the line when we are satisfied that this can also go into the open basket we will do so.” Continue Reading →

Palladium risks tripping up as prices stampede higher – by Jan Harvey(Reuters U.S. – January 16, 2018)

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Palladium, the hottest property in the precious metals deck last year, is tipped for a record performance in 2018 even among bearish forecasters, but the metal could become a victim of its own success.

The prospect of sharply higher prices could well prompt substitution of the metal for cheaper platinum in autocatalysts and higher recycling volume.

The metal has posted a string of deficits in recent years, fuelled by strong gains in autocatalyst demand. That helped send prices above $1,000 an ounce last year for the first time since 2001, and to a record $1,138 this week. Continue Reading →

Amplats reaches deal with S.African tribal leader in community fund row – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters Africa – January 9, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African tribal leader has agreed to a more transparent structure for a 175 million rand ($14 million) community trust funded by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), a move that aims to curb unrest around the firm’s most profitable mine.

The changes relate to the Mapela Trust, which was set up to fund development projects in communities around Amplats’ Mogalakwena operation, the world’s largest open-pit platinum mine and the Anglo American unit’s main cash spinner.

The structure of the fund has proved a flashpoint, with local communities saying the way cash was spent has not transparent and too much authority was given to the local chief, known as Kgoshi, to determine where money was invested. Continue Reading →

Precious Metals Outlook for 2018 – by Stefan Gleason (Lawrie On Gold – January 5, 2018)

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group.

The first trading days of 2018 are confirming signs of renewed investor interest in the precious metals sector after a long period of malaise. Gold and silver markets entered the year with some stealth momentum after quietly posting gains late in 2017. Gold finished the year above $1,300/oz. – its best yearly close since 2012.

Over the past five years, the yellow metal has been basing out in a range between $1,050 and $1,400. A push above $1,400 later this year would therefore be significant. It would get momentum traders and mainstream financial reporters to take notice.

The alternative investing world was enthralled by Bitcoin in 2017. While we don’t expect a Bitcoin-like mania to take hold in precious metals in 2018, we do expect gold and silver markets to make some noise. Continue Reading →

Marilyn Monroe’s Wedding Ring Loses Its Shine – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – January 3, 2018)

Just as electric cars seem to be taking over, an element inextricably tied to the fortunes of the internal combustion engine is surging.

Palladium hit a 16-year high of $1,094.51 an ounce Tuesday and is 1.5 percent away from breaching its 2001 record of $1,110.50 an ounce, after doubling in price over the past two years. Having traded for a fifth of the cost of platinum as recently as 2009, palladium is now worth more than its sister metal’s $943.65 an ounce.

To understand what’s going on, it’s worth looking to the long shadow cast by Volkswagen AG’s diesel-testing scandal, and the growing toll of diesel emissions on European cities. Continue Reading →

South African dealmaker takes a punt on platinum – by Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume (Financial Times – January 1, 2018)

He is known in banking circles as Neal “the deal” Froneman, and for good reason.

Since 2015, the South Africa-born mining engineer has launched four takeover offers, turning Sibanye-Stillwater, the company he runs, into a major force in the precious metals market.

But Mr Froneman’s appetite is far from sated. In December, he made his boldest move yet, launching a £285m all-share offer for Lonmin, the London-listed miner on the brink of collapse.

If the deal is approved by regulators and shareholders, Sibanye will become the second-largest producer of platinum in the world, a remarkable result for a company that was formed only five years ago out of two unwanted gold mines spun off from South African producer Gold Fields. Continue Reading →

South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater to be No. 2 platinum miner with Lonmin buy – by Zandi Shabalala and Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – December 15, 2017)

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater (SGLJ.J) agreed to buy troubled miner Lonmin (LMI.L) (LONJ.J) for about 285 million pounds ($382 million) to create the world’s No. 2 platinum producer in a bid to ride out depressed prices for the metal.

Sibanye, whose CEO is called “Mr Fix It” for turning his firm from a spin-off with three old mines into a global precious metals player, said it would cut a third of Lonmin’s employees and deliver savings of about $112 million a year by 2021.

Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, has burned through $1.6 billion in cash which was raised from investors since platinum prices plunged 60 percent from their peak in 2008. But it has still struggled to fund its mines. Continue Reading →

Sibanye-Stillwater deal consigns Lonmin to history – by Neil Hume and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – December 14, 2017)

South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater has made a £285m all-stock offer for platinum producer Lonmin, signalling an end to a century-old company that is one of the world’s largest producers of the metal.

London-listed Lonmin has struggled to make money as the price of platinum dropped 45 per cent over the past five years.

Sibanye, an acquisitive South African company run by Neal Froneman, made an offer for Lonmin that will give shareholders 0.967 new Sibanye-Stillwater shares for each Lonmin share, implying a premium of 57 per cent to Wednesday’s closing price. Continue Reading →

Platinum’s discount to palladium hits 16-year-high – by Renita D. Young (Reuters U.S. – December 7, 2017)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Platinum’s discount to fellow precious metal palladium reached its highest level since 2001 on Thursday, as the latter soared on heightened vehicle demand and an ongoing supply deficit.

Palladium hit a high of $1,022.70 on Thursday, just off a 16-year high from last week, while platinum hit a low of $887.50 per ounce, putting it on track for its biggest weekly loss in nine months.

The platinum discount widened to around $120 on Thursday, the steepest since April 2001, according to Reuters data going back to 1985. “Palladium is powering on with the demand for more vehicles,” said George Gero, managing director of RBC Wealth Management in New York. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe flatters to deceive as reform doesn’t extend to mining – by Memory Mataranyika (MiningMx – December 7, 2017)

ZIMBABWE’S new cabinet has retained the controversial 51% indigenisation thresholds for foreign diamond and platinum miners, but it has deferred a 15% tax on unprocessed and semi-processed platinum exports as the country implements policy reforms to attract foreign investment.

The reforms follow the exit of Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe last month and the subsequent swearing in of a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The new Zimbabwean leader has committed himself to restoring respect for property rights and investment protection.

Zimbabwean Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, laid out some of the new policy measures in his 2018 budget statement on Thursday. He said the contentious 51% indigenisation ownership framework for foreign firms had been scrapped for all the other sectors of the economy, except parts of the mining sector. Continue Reading →

Special Report: ‘Treacherous shenanigans’ – The inside story of Mugabe’s downfall – by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Joe Brock and Ed Cropley (Reuters U.S. – November 26, 2017)

HARARE (Reuters) – Inside State House in Harare, Robert Mugabe was in the tightest spot of his 37-year rule. Tanks were on the streets and troops had occupied the state broadcaster, from where the army had announced it had taken control of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe, 93 years old but still alert, remained defiant. The only leader the country had known since independence was refusing to quit.At a tense meeting with his military top brass on Nov. 16, the world’s oldest head of state put his foot down: “Bring me the constitution and tell me what it says,” he ordered military chief Constantino Chiwenga, according to two sources present.

An aide brought a copy of the constitution, which lays out that the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.Chiwenga, dressed in camouflage fatigues, hesitated before replying that Zimbabwe was facing a national crisis that demanded military intervention. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk] Metals Billionaire to Win Whether Electric Cars Boom or Bust – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – November 21, 2017)

There are two major reasons mining billionaire Vladimir Potanin is within a hair’s breadth of regaining his ranking as Russia’s richest tycoon this year.

One is higher prices for nickel used in batteries as metals traders bet electric vehicles are the future of transportation. The other is a jump in palladium on wagers that gasoline cars will be here for a long time yet.

They’ve boosted the value of Potanin’s 30 percent in MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the top miner of both metals, lifting his net worth 12 percent this year to $19 billion. They also show how Nornickel, as it’s known, will gain from auto-industry changes even if optimism on electric cars is overdone. Continue Reading →

Platinum market deficit to expand sharply in 2018: WPIC – by Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – November 21, 2017)

LONDON (Reuters) – The global platinum market deficit will rise sharply next year thanks to resurgent demand from the jewellery and industrial sectors and declining production, an industry report said on Tuesday.

The shortfall will jump to 275,000 ounces from an expected 15,000 ounces this year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said in its latest Platinum Quarterly report.

That would put the industry in deficit for a sixth consecutive year and cut above-ground stocks to 1.605 million ounces by the end of next year, said the WPIC, which is funded by platinum mining companies. Continue Reading →

Russia miner Nornickel sees capex rising by 2019-2020 – by Eric Onstad and Polina Devitt (Reuters U.S. – November 20, 2017)

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel plans to increase capital expenditure to an average of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion a year in 2019 and 2020 from about $2 billion in 2018 due to an environmental project and infrastructure modernization, it said on Monday.

Nornickel, part-owned by Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin and aluminum giant Rusal, is the world’s top palladium producer and second-largest nickel producer.

“In the next three years, we are budgeting for an increase in capital investments that will allow us not only to maintain metal production volumes, but also put a solid foundation under new perspective projects,” Potanin, also Nornickel’s president, told an Investor Day in London. Continue Reading →