May 17, 2020

ZIMEC 2014: Warnings and Cabbages for Conference Participants

Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibi
2 min
  Kagem Head of Products and Planning Dibya Jyoti Baral showing cabbages grown by farmers for Lufwanyama to supply the mine, to delegates at the Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and E
A stark warning has been issued to mining companies operating in Zambia who are not mindful of the countrys mining regulations.The warning made by the c...

A stark warning has been issued to mining companies operating in Zambia who are not mindful of the country’s mining regulations.

The warning made by the country’s Vice-President Dr Guy Scott has come in the wake of recent reports surrounding Vedanta Resources’ Konkola Copper Mines whose majority owner, Mumbai-based Anil Agarwal allegedly boasted about the money it is making in Zambia.

Dr Scott made his remarks at the Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition (ZIMEC 2014) in Lusaka this week.

He was reported in the Zambia Daily Mail as saying that the country’s mining industry had showed encouraging growth since privatisation and annual copper production is predicted to reach about 1.5 million tonnes in the next two years.

He said: “Government is developing reliable systems that will be used to monitor Zambia’s mineral value chain from production to export.

“We will put in place mechanisms to ensure that right from exploration, mining, processing and export and we must have full data to depend on.”

On a lighter note, participants at the conference and exhibition were met with an unusual display at Kagem Mining’s stand.

Kagem, which operates the world’s largest emerald mine, showcased a selection of cabbages grown by farmers in the Chantete area of Lufwanyama District with support from the company, which buys their produce for its catering department.

Operations Director CV Suresh said: “Kagem works closely with people in the communities surrounding the mine, providing jobs and supporting health and education initiatives.

 “As part of that support we believe in working with local suppliers, and have developed a strong relationship with local farmers who supply vegetables for the mine canteen, catering for some 600 workers.”

Kagem, which is 74 percent owned by London-listed Gemfields plc in partnership with the Zambian government, has consistently produced some of the finest Zambian emeralds since 1984. 

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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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