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15th December 2011
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Creamer Media’s Resources Watch highlights some major events that took place during the year.

January:
Gold in early stages of bubble – GFMS

The gold price, which set a record above $1 430/oz in December 2010, settled back to its January price of $1 380-odd, and was described as being in the “early stages of a bubble”.

Metals consultancy GFMS believed the gold price would rise over 2011, possibly breaching $1 600/oz later this year or early 2012.

GFMS chairperson Philip Klapwijk

February:
AngloPlat adamant capex plan is sufficient to meet growth goals

Anglo Platinum said in February it was confident that its “prudent” capital expenditure model would be more than sufficient to ensure that the market was adequately supplied in 2011 and beyond, as well as to meet its aspiration of increasing the production of “low-cost” ounces.

Anglo Platinum CEO Neville Nicolau

March:
Launch of State mining company re-opens political divisions

In March, the South African government launched the State-owned mining company, re-opening some political divisions.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu

April:
Kumba opens automated iron-ore sampling plant

JSE-listed iron-ore miner Kumba opened a new automated iron-ore sampling plant in April at the port of Saldanha, which last year exported 47-million tons of iron-ore from South Africa.

Kumba CEO Chris Griffith

May:
Samrad designed to clean up SA’s minerals application process

In May, the Department of Mineral Resources launched the South African mineral resources administration online application system in an attempt to streamline the application process and make it transparent.

DRM acting deputy DG Joel Raphela

June:
Coal road map to be released by mid-2012

A road map to chart development plans for South Africa’s coal reserves could be released by mid-2012, panellists at the Coaltrans South Africa conference in Johannesburg said in June.

South African Coal Road Map steering committee chairperson Ian Hall

July:
Nationalisation unlikely to pass as ANC policy in 2012

African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema is unlikely to gain enough support to pass nationalisation as ANC policy at the ruling party’s national conference in December next year, political analyst Justice Malala said in July.

Political analyst Justice Malala

August:
Sovereign wealth fund could quell nationalisation talk

In August, Coal of Africa chairperson and mining entrepreneur Richard Linnell said that discussions around nationalisation created uncertainty and South Africa instead should look at alternatives to nationalisation, such as the creation of a sovereign wealth fund.

Coal of Africa chairperson and mining entrepreneur Richard Linnell

September:
The CSIR working on robots to improve mine safety

Mining is a dangerous occupation, and South Africa’s hard rock mining is more dangerous than most types. For this reason, there is a widespread desire to increase the use of technology in South African mining.

CSIR mining robotics project manager Liam Candy

October:
One-time Soweto rioter kicking up a storm at Kalagadi manganese mine, sinter, alloy project

Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, who was in the thick of it when students went on the rampage for better education on that historic June 16, 1976, day in Soweto, was, in October, more than halfway through the mining and sintering segment of an integrated project in South Africa’s dusty Kalahari manganese field.

Kalagadi Manganese chairperson Daphne Mashile-Nkosi

November:
6 000 worker shareholders become half millionaires overnight

In November, 6 209 worker shareholders of JSE-listed Kumba Iron Ore each became pre-tax half millionaires in a R2.7-billion payout in the first phase of an employee share ownership plan.

Kumba Iron Ore CEO Chris Griffith

Solidarity national organizer Louis Pretorius

December:
LontohCoal to open offices in Hong Kong

South Africa-based junior coal miner LontohCoal revealed plans in December to open an office in Hong Kong.

LontohCoal CEO Tshepo Kgadima

Those were some of the headline makers for 2011. With the global commodity market consistently keeping us on our toes, it’s best to stay logged on to MiningWeekly.com to see which markets will steal the show in the coming year.
 

Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove

 

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