Latest articles on Justin Brown

NUM members on strike at Kumba

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has been on strike since 6pm on Sunday at Kumba Resources and the union will be consulting its members at 6pm on Monday regarding Kumba's latest offer, NUM Kumba representative Jackie Tshimanegape said.

Trying times at De Beers

The world's largest diamond miner, De Beers, on Friday said it expects the outlook for the global rough diamond market for the second half of 2006 to be difficult. "It has been a testing time over the past six months," De Beers chairperson Nicky Oppenheimer said during a results teleconference.

Lafarge signs R1,1-billion BEE deal

Lafarge South Africa on Friday signed a R1,1-billion empowerment deal with consortium Sinako that may result in 26% of its quarries and 10% of its manufacturing businesses in South Africa being sold. Lafarge Mining incorporates aggregates and limestone, and Lafarge Industries incorporates cement, gypsum-plasterboard and ready mix concrete manufacturing.

Windfall tax team issues discussion document

The five-person panel appointed by the Treasury to study the possibility of imposing a windfall tax on petrochemicals group Sasol and state-owned PetroSA on Thursday issued a 102-page discussion document. Finance Minister Trevor Manuel first mooted the possibility of a windfall tax during his Budget speech in February.

Solidarity strike to enter second day

The strike by trade union Solidarity's members at petrochemicals group Sasol is set to enter a second day after a meeting held with the company did not lead to any resolution of the wage dispute and other issues, Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said on Tuesday.

Sasol concludes R1,45bn BEE deal

South African petrochemicals group Sasol on Thursday announced that the R1,45-billion Tshwarisano black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction has been successfully concluded. In terms of the agreement, Tshwarisano acquired a 25% shareholding in Sasol's South African liquid-fuels business housed in Sasol Oil.

Cosatu outraged at Mittal Steel job cuts

Africa's largest steel producer Mittal Steel SA will cut 800 jobs through voluntary severance packages by the end of 2006, CEO Davinder Chugh said on Thursday. Of these 800 jobs, about 350 will be at the company's largest plant at Vanderbijlpark. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Thursday it was outraged at Mittal's plan.

Kumba, union lock horns over wages

Trade union Solidarity and resources company Kumba Resources started the first day of their annual wage negotiations with Kumba tabling an offer of 4%, while Solidarity demanded an increase of 12%, the union said on Tuesday. "Kumba's offer to workers at the bottom levels puts them under the breadline in South Africa," Solidarity said.

Optimistic Harmony Gold assesses options

World number-five gold miner Harmony Gold is taking a fresh look at its business model in the light of the prevailing bull market in gold, which is creating a new generation of investors who are keen to invest in bullion, Harmony Gold CEO Bernard Swanepoel said on Friday.

Harmony reports 11th quarterly headline loss

As expected, South Africa's third largest gold producer Harmony Gold reported its eleventh consecutive quarterly headline loss due to the Christmas break, a reduction in grades and an increase in costs. For the March quarter, Harmony reported a headline loss of 50 cents per share from a loss of 75 cents in the December quarter.

Gold Fields reports ‘solid set of results’

World number-four gold miner Gold Fields on Tuesday reported March quarter net earnings per share after exceptional items of 76 cents compared with 56 cents in the December 2005 quarter. March quarter net earnings were R483-million compared with R262-million in the December 2005 quarter.

JSE declines from all-time high

After starting very close to a record high, the JSE was lower at midday on Friday due to the increase in Chinese interest rates, which has sparked fears about the effect that this could have on demand for commodities, equity traders said. By 12.10pm, the all-share index was 1,34% weaker at 21 068,010.

Wits Gold targets bulls

Mining exploration company Wits Gold, which is planning to list on the JSE at the end of April, will provide investors seeking leverage a long-term option on the gold price through its access to an ore resource of 1420-million troy ounces of gold in the Wits Basin,

Platinum, gold price surge to new highs

The price of platinum on Thursday surged to an all-time high of $1 086 an ounce, eclipsing its previous all- time best of $1 085/oz established on February 3, on the back of gains in gold and silver, analysts said. At about noon on Thursday, gold climbed above $580/oz for the first time since January 1980.

Steel group disappointed at removal of import tariff

Africa's largest steel group, Mittal Steel South Africa, on Wednesday expressed disappointment at the decision by Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa to scrap the 5% import tariff on steel. Mpahlwa announced the removal of the 5% import tariff on certain primary carbon and stainless steel products with immediate effect.

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