South African platinum producers are already enduring significant production drops caused by strike activities. Now that the situation is somewhat back to normal, the government is upsetting companies and markets with plans to introduce legal changes.
It is clear that the time to dedicate resources to explore for new platinum mines and deposits outside South Africa has come. With a coming deficit market, new platinum projects in Canada patiently await inevitable courting by international platinum investors and producers.
A new report from the world's largest gold producer Barrick Gold provides yet another illustration of the problems facing gold mining companies. According to Barrick, total production costs for all mining companies exceeded the $8 billion mark last year.
Despite its natural endowment of resources such as gold, platinum, palladium and many other precious, rare metals, the Southern African state of Zimbabwe has not been able to profit from the decade-long boom in the metals markets.
Who knew that the yuan would be one of the big winners from Ben Bernanke’s QE3? Since the surprise announcement in mid-September, the Chinese currency has appreciated by 1.1%, and higher climes beckon.
After three decades of tremendous expansion, the new generation of Chinese leaders will have to carefully maneuver the country into the next decade, towing the line between maintaining stability and continuing the political and economic reform.
Interpreting China’s economic future as having only two possible paths is an oversimplification. China’s economy is complex and, with an uncertain global backdrop, several in-between scenarios are possible.
China owns less than 1% of the world’s chrome reserves. However, thanks to strong growth in stainless steel demand and relatively cheap production costs, China has overtaken South Africa in the first half of 2012 to become the world’s largest ferrochrome producer.
This region is flush with resources – as much as 213 billion barrels of oil (10 times the proven US reserves) and 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (equal to all the reserves held by Qatar). There's also a rich fishing ground that employs thousands and feeds millions.