Global scramble for metals thrusts Africa into mining spotlight

With Russia’s 7 percent of global nickel supply, 10 percent of the world’s platinum, and 25-30 percent of the world’s palladium off the table, Africa’s rich deposits of those metals start looking a lot more attractive. File
With Russia’s 7 percent of global nickel supply, 10 percent of the world’s platinum, and 25-30 percent of the world’s palladium off the table, Africa’s rich deposits of those metals start looking a lot more attractive. File
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Updated 08 May 2022

Global scramble for metals thrusts Africa into mining spotlight

Global scramble for metals thrusts Africa into mining spotlight

JOHANNESBURG: The need to secure new sources of metals for the energy transition amid sanctions on top producer Russia has increased the Africa risk appetite for major miners, who have few alternatives to the resource-rich continent.

Companies and investors are considering projects they may have previously overlooked, while governments are also looking to Africa, anxious to ensure their countries can procure enough metals to feed an accelerating net-zero push.

This year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba conference, which runs May 9-12 in Cape Town, will see the highest-ranking US government official in years attending, organizers say, as well as representatives from the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals Corp.

“The reality is that the resources the world wants are typically located in difficult places,” said Steven Fox, executive chairman of New York-based political risk consultancy Veracity Worldwide.

The US administration wants to position itself as a strong supporter of battery metals projects in sub-Saharan Africa, he said.

“While Africa presents its challenges, those challenges are no more difficult than the corresponding set of challenges in Canada. It may be easier to actually bring a project to fruition in Africa, than in a place like Canada or the US,” he added.

New avenues

The US has voiced support for new domestic mines, but projects have stalled. Rio Tinto’s Resolution copper project, for example, was halted over Native American claims on the land, and conservation issues.

Certainly, the risks of mining in sub-Saharan Africa remain high. The acute security challenge facing mines in the gold-rich Sahel region was highlighted last month when Russia’s Nordgold abandoned its Taparko gold mine in Burkina Faso over an increasing threat from militants.

And even in the continent’s most industrialized economy, South Africa, deteriorating rail infrastructure is forcing some coal producers to resort to trucking their product to ports.

Yet with Russia’s 7 percent of global nickel supply, 10 percent of the world’s platinum, and 25-30 percent of the world’s palladium off the table, Africa’s rich deposits of those metals start looking a lot more attractive.

“As a mining company, there aren’t many opportunities and if you are going to grow, you’re going to have to look at riskier countries,” said George Cheveley, portfolio manager at Ninety One.

“Clearly, after Russia-Ukraine people are more sensitive to geopolitical risk and you cannot predict which projects are going to work out and which are not,” he added.

Kabanga Nickel, a project in Tanzania, secured funding from global miner BHP in January, and CEO Chris Showalter said it is seeing increased demand from potential offtakers.

Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine are forcing metals supply chains to reconfigure along geopolitical lines, Showalter said.


Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government
Updated 12 sec ago

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

RIYADH: State-owned Saudi Electricity Co. has transferred its entire stake in the Saudi Power Procurement Co. to the government, the company said in a bourse filing.

SPPC as of today is an independent company wholly owned by the government, following completion of all legal arrangements for sale and transfer of assets, liabilities, and contracts

SPPC and SEC also signed energy conversion agreements, bulk supplies, and fuel supply novations, all effective July 1.

With that, SEC, SPPC and the Ministry of Finance signed a fuel inventory sale agreement, which stipulates that the ministry shall pay SEC its net book value for the fuel inventory.

The sale price shall be calculated based on the book value of SPPC's net assets at the end of the second quarter of 2022.

SEC does not expect the carve-out of SPPC to negatively impact its business since SPPC possesses no material tangible assets.


Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 
Updated 4 min 1 sec ago

Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

RIYADH: The Red Sea Development Co. has revealed rich diversity of habitats, flora, and fauna in one of the world’s largest environmental surveys of wildlife ecosystems, carried along the Saudi Arabian coast.

The 11-month long study has included a number of endangered species such as the Halavi Guitarfish, Hawksbill Sea Turtle and Sooty Falcon, according to a statement. 

Released at the UN World Ocean Conference in Lisbon, the research has also included an eight-meter-high single coral colony estimated to be around 600 years old. 

Conducted from January through November 2021, it has revealed that many threatened and endangered species inhabit the area, which shows the environmental protection and regeneration efforts in the region. 

“We want to prove to the world, and our peers in the tourism industry, that creating world-class destinations can go hand-in-hand with protecting and enhancing the environment,” CEO John Pagano  said. 

“We’re challenging ourselves and others to do better and be better as global pioneers in responsible development and are issuing a call to action for tourism as an industry to step up when it comes to the impact on wildlife and biodiversity,” Pagano added. 

A lion fish observed by TRSDC scientists (Supplied)

The tourism industry places significant stress on local land and marine areas if action is not taken. 

UN Environment research shows that the growth of tourism and its impact on the environment is growing at an unsustainable rate, with a 154 percent increase in energy consumption, 131 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and 152 percent increase in water consumption expected by 2050 if action is not taken.


Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 
Updated 21 min 58 sec ago

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

RIYADH: Some 93 environment, water and agriculture projects in Riyadh have been inaugurated by Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

The launch of the projects, worth over SR8.5 billion ($2.2 billion), comes to support water and environmental sustainability in line with the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The projects include the Kingdom’s largest water transmission system, the Jubail-Riyadh transmission system, with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters per day.

In addition to a dual transmission system, with a total length of 821 kilometers, with a total cost of over SR6.3 billion.

Implemented by the Saline Water Conversion Corp., National Water Co. and  the Undersecretary for Water, and the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, the projects will contribute to the rising demand for water. 

They will also contribute to raising  operational efficiency in water transportation and distribution, enhancing environmental sustainability and increasing vegetation cover in the region. 

 


MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 
Updated 41 min 54 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

RIYADH: The Royal Commission of AlUla, also known as RCU, has announced the launch of an Arts Valley as Saudi Arabia moves steadily to become a top global tourist destination, a goal outlined in Vision 2030. 

The Arts Valley, which spreads over 65 sq. km, is touted as a cultural asset of the “The Journey Through Time” masterplan launched in April, Trade Arabia reported. 

Noorah Al-Double, the CEO of the General Directorate for Arts and Innovative Industries said that these projects will transform AlUla into a pioneering international destination for arts, heritage, culture and nature by 2030. 

Honeywell and Anchorage to work on Egypt’s $2 billion Suez Canal project

US-based multinational conglomerate Honeywell and Anchorage Investments have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct the $2 billion Anchor Benitoite Petrochemicals Complex in Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone, according to a MEED report.

The agreement entails that Honeywell Process Solutions will be hired as the Integrated Main Automation Contractor. 

HPS also will supply sufficient technologies to ensure operational safety and security to Anchorage Investments. 

Dana Gas halts Iraq oil field project following rocket attack

UAE’s Dana Gas has just pressed pause on its KM 250 oilfield expansion project following 3 rocket attacks near its Khor Mor Block in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, MEED reported. 

Citing a company statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Meed reported that two rockets landed very close to the Khor Mor Block on June 24 and 25. 

The report further added that there were no injuries following the attack. 

The Khor Mor 250A project is an asset to Iraqi oil production, as it has shown immense yearly growth of 552 million cubic feet of gas a day in production in comparison to its average of 450 million cubic feet of gas a day. 

Upon talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Government, more forces have been deployed to protect the facilities. 

Damac awards $168m contract to Pivot

UAE-based property development company Damac has awarded the $168.2 million construction contract for the Costa Brava cluster within its Damac Lagoons development to Pivot Engineering and General Contracting Co., MEED reported.

According to the report, the scope of work under this contract includes the construction of 976 townhouses for the project.

The project includes villas, townhouses, artificial beaches, and community facilities. 


Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends

Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends
Updated 29 June 2022

Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends

Sipchem’s shareholders to receive $388m in semi-annual dividends

RIYADH: Sahara International Petrochemical Co, or Sipchem, will distribute SR1.27 billion ($388 million) in dividends for the first half of 2022.

The payout per share stands at SR1.75, with nearly 726 million shares eligible for dividends, the petrochemicals maker said in a bourse filing.

The company had earlier reported a 162 percent increase in first-quarter profit to SR1.08 billion due to a higher share of profit from joint ventures.

Last year, Sipchem distributed a full-year dividend of SR1.64 billion, equivalent to SR2.25 per share, which is considered the highest in the company's history.