May 17, 2020

South Africa mining unions reject latest offer from gold producers

South Africa
Harmony Gold
AngloGold Ashanti
2 min
South Africa mining unions reject latest offer from gold producers
In the fight for fair salary wages, South African mining unions arent backing down. On Monday, the unions rejected the first pay offer presented by gold...

In the fight for fair salary wages, South African mining unions aren’t backing down. On Monday, the unions rejected the first pay offer presented by gold mining companies, sticking to their demand for a wage increase of more than 80 percent, according to Bloomberg.

“We want the money,” said Livhuwani Mammburu, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers on Monday.

The proposed offer from AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold Mines and Village Main Reef included wage increases ranging from 7.8 percent to 13 percent, based on a five-year deal, with a  five percent increase in the first year. In addition, share of profits and improved job security and living conditions were included in the offer.

• Related content: Wage negotiations get underway for South Africa's gold miners

The unions, which include the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Association of Mineworks and Construction Union (Amcu), Solidarity and United Association of SA (Uasa), have all refused the offer.

Instead, the unions are demanding gold producers to raise the basic pay for underground workers to 10,500 rand (US$846) a month from 5,700 rand (US$456), and to raise basic pay for above-ground employee to 9,500 rand (US$760), including a 15 percent increase for all other categories.

“In large part, all four unions retained their demands without any movement,” Charmane Russell, a spokeswoman for the gold producers, told Bloomberg.

Russell said talks will continue on Tuesday as the “companies remain committed to reaching agreement based on the sustainability of the industry and the retention of jobs.”

The latest rejection appears to be the first signs of a long and difficult road in appeasing both sides. 

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May 6, 2021

Copper, iron ore surge as Chinese investors unleash demand

Iron ore
3 min
Iron ore broke $200 a tonne for the first time, while copper approached a record high as Chinese investors unleashed fresh demand following May holiday

The reopening of major industrial economies is sparking a surge across commodities markets from corn to lumber, with tin climbing above $30,000 a tonne for the first time since 2011 on Thursday.

In the wake of mounting evidence of inflation fuelled by higher raw materials prices, investors are also increasingly focused on when the U.S. Federal Reserve might start throttling back its emergency support.


Many banks say the rally has further to run, particularly for copper, which will benefit from rising investment in new energy sectors. Copper is at the highest in a decade, fueling bets it will rally further to take out the record set in February 2011. Steel demand is surging as economies chart a path back to growth just as the world’s biggest miners have been hampered by operational issues, tightening ore supply.

“The long-term prospects for metals prices are ‘too good’ and point to higher prices in the next few years,” said Commerzbank AG analyst Daniel Briesemann. “The decarbonization trends in many countries, which include switching to electric vehicles and expanding wind and solar power, are likely to generate additional demand for metals.”

Trading house Trafigura Group and several major Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. expect copper to extend gains.

Copper rose as much as 1.6% to $10,108.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $10,080 as of 4:07 p.m. in London.


Iron Ore

Benchmark spot iron ore prices rose to a record, while futures in Singapore and China climbed.

The boom comes as China’s steelmakers keep output rates above 1 billion tons a year, despite a swath of production curbs aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reining in supply. Instead, those measures have boosted steel prices and profitability at mills, allowing them to better accommodate higher iron ore costs.

Spot iron ore with 62% content hit $201.15 a ton on Thursday, according to Mysteel. Futures in Singapore jumped as much as 5.1% to $196.40 a ton, the highest since contracts were launched in 2013. In Dalian, prices closed 8.8% higher.

Erik Hedborg, Principal Analyst, Steel at CRU Group commented: “Recent production cuts in Tangshan have boosted demand for higher-quality ore and prompted mills to build iron ore inventories as their margins are on the rise. Iron ore producers are enjoying exceptionally high margins as well, around two thirds of seaborne supply only require prices of $50 /dmt to break even.”


Still, some analysts including Commerzbank’s Briesemann expect a short-term correction as metals become detached from fundamentals. There’s also a risk that China could engage in policies that may cool demand for iron ore and copper.

The metals rally has boosted concerns about short-term Chinese demand. Some manufacturers and end-users have been slowing production or pushing back delivery times after costs surged, while weaker-than-expected domestic consumption has opened the arbitrage window for exports.

Tin climbed as much as 2% to $30,280 a ton on the LME, boosted by rising orders for the soldering metal. Tin is at the highest since May 2011, with a 48% gain this year making it the best performing metal on the LME.



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