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Glencore says South African coal strike violence worsens

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Glencore has laid arson charges against a South African mining union as a three-week coal strike turns increasingly violent, the mining company said on Thursday.

Workers from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) torched two trucks and offices at the Wonderfontein Mine on Wednesday night, taking the petrol bomb incidents to around 10 since the strike started, Glencore said.

Around 60 striking workers accused of intimidating other employees and damaging nearby farms have been arrested.

AMCU and the police were not available to comment.

Wonderfontein is a joint venture between Glencore and Shanduka Group, which was founded by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. The mine produces 3.6 million tonnes annually.

Glencore said it was engaging with AMCU leadership over a wage dispute.


(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Joe Brock)

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South Africa turns on Saudi-built solar to cut coal reliance

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa and Saudi Arabian ACWA Power launched a $328 million solar power plant in the Northern Cape province on Monday, as Africa’s most industrialised country rushes to expand its power supply and cut its coal reliance.

The Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Project, developed by a consortium led by ACWA Power, is set to provide 1,300 megawatts per hour, powering more than 200,000 homes, a statement from media firm OLB said.

Construction of the plant began in 2013, following a successful bid by ACWA Power, as part of South Africa’s plan to expand the use of renewable energy.

“It is aimed at providing energy security and diversified energy. It instils confidence that major green projects are going to be built in South Africa,” said the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) deputy director general Yunus Hoosen.

Chronic energy shortages are pushing the government to seek alternative sources of electricity from state-owned power utility Eskom’s coal-powered stations that take much longer to build.

Eskom, which provides virtually all of South Africa’s power, is facing a funding crunch as it races to bring new power plants online.

With year-round sunshine and thousands of miles of windswept coast in South Africa, investors are warming to the renewable energy potential, with 66 projects completed or underway since the government launched a first bid round four years ago. [L5N0W61SY]

Bokpoort CSP plant is the first in a series of investments that ACWA Power is making in the power sector in South Africa, said the DTI.

The company expects to commence construction on the 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar power project, also in Northern Cape, later this year and is awaiting the outcome of tender submissions for a 300 MW coal-fired plant in Mpumalanga province in eastern South Africa.


(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia and Alexander Smith)

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Eskom names short-term suppliers for Arnot coal-fired plant

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Eskom will use coal from Glencore, South32 and five other suppliers to power the Arnot power station, including Exxaro Resources with whom it did not renew a 40-year contract in December, the utility’s spokesman said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

The short-term supply agreements are separate from the list of bidders for the new long-term contract, the outcome of which Eskom said it will announce before the end of the first quarter of this year.

Eskom listed lesser-known Tegeta, Keaton Energy, Hlagisa Mining and Umsimbithi Mining as the other short-term suppliers to the 2,100 MW Arnot plant.


(Reporting by TJ Strydom; editing by Jason Neely)

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Anglo American to sell Australian Callide coal mine

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

callide coal mine

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Global mining firm Anglo American will sell its Callide coal mine in Australia to Batchfire Resources, it said on Wednesday.

“The transaction will be effected via a sale of shares in the subsidiary companies holding Anglo American’s interest in Callide,” the company said in a statement.

Anglo said the terms of the deal were confidential.

The company announced a major restructuring in December, saying it would offload three-fifths of its assets as it attempts to tackle sliding commodities prices.

Callide, an open pit thermal coal mine that produced 5.6 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2015, is one of four Australian coal mines the company plans to sell.

Anglo announced last month it would sell its majority interest in Dartbrook coal mine to Australian Pacific Coal Ltd in a deal worth up to A$50 million ($34 million).

The company is scheduled to give more details on its future global portfolio in February.

The overhaul at Anglo American highlights the scale of the fallout from the commodities slide, which is forcing mining companies across the board to cut jobs, investment and costs.

($1 = 1.4571 Australian dollars)


(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; editing by Susan Thomas)

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Strong India, Africa demand lifts South Africa 2015 coal exports

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

RICHARDS BAY, South Africa (Reuters) – Coal exports from South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBTC) rose by 5.7 percent to 75.4 million tonnes in 2015 helped by demand in Africa and India.

Africa’s largest coal export facility, a major supplier to Europe and Asia, RBCT had set a target of 75 million tonnes and aims for similar results in 2016.

“Its going to be hard to beat 75 million tonnes, because of where prices are sitting this year,” Chief Executive Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane told a news conference.

Shipments to Africa and India rose sharply, offsetting a fall in demand from Europe and from China, where RBTC said it did not send a single vessel in 2015.

Coal prices have tumbled in recent years due to a glut of supply and weaker demand growth, pushing some producers to curtail activity, sell or shut coal mines.

RBCT, which moves the commodity on behalf of producers and shareholders such as Exxaro and Anglo American, said it had shelved expansions plans due to weak prices.

RBTC had planned to increase its capacity to 110 million tonnes from 91 million tonnes.



(By Zandi Shabalala. Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; editing by James Macharia and Jason Neely)

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