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An image of an excavator loading coal onto a dump Asia coal prices hit record on hot global competition for fuel
Published: 27 Jun 22
A worsening global fuel shortage catapulted Asia’s coal benchmark to a record, threatening to boost power bills and add to inflation woes. Spot physical coal at Australia’s Newcastle port jumped 3.4% to a record $402.50 a ton on Friday, according to a biweekly index compiled by IHS Markit seen by Bloomberg. That’s the first time the highly watched spot index rallied above $400.
US Secretary of State Jose Fernandez New US programme targets rare minerals needs for EVs and solar panels
Published: 27 Jun 22
When a top Biden administration official was in Cape Town for a mining conference last month, he heard from a number of African nations desperate for foreign investment to help dig up critical minerals like lithium, manganese and cobalt. At the same time, Under Secretary of State Jose Fernandez said, mining companies told him that they were reluctant to invest in some key resource-rich countries because of poor governance standards and a lack of transparency.
Ban on new gold imports from Russia seen as 'largely symbolic’ Ban on new gold imports from Russia seen as 'largely symbolic’
Published: 27 Jun 22
The plan by some Group of Seven nations to ban new gold imports from Russia is “largely symbolic” as flows have already been restricted by sanctions, according to analysts. The US, UK, Japan and Canada plan to announce the ban during the G-7 summit that started Sunday in Germany. While the UK government said in a statement over the weekend that “this measure will have global reach, shutting the commodity out of formal international markets,” analysts played down the potential impacts as the London Bullion Market Association, which sets standards for that market, removed Russian gold refiners from its accredited list in March.
Gold rises as G7 nations plan to ban bullion imports from Russia
Published: 27 Jun 22
Gold prices gained on Monday, as news of some Western nations planning to officially ban imports of the metal from Russia for its invasion of Ukraine sparked some interest in bullion. Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1 835.75/oz by 05:20 GMT. US gold futures were up 0.4% at $1 837.30. "The G7 import ban on Russian gold seems to be providing some short-term support in early Asia (trading)," OANDA senior analyst Jeffrey Halley said.
Biden urges G7 to stay together as leaders target Russian gold, oil price
Published: 27 Jun 22
US President Joe Biden told allies "we have to stay together" against Russia on Sunday as G7 leaders gathered for a summit dominated by war in Ukraine and its impact on food and energy supplies and the global economy. At the start of the meeting in the Bavarian Alps, four of the Group of Seven rich nations moved to ban imports of Russian gold to tighten the sanctions squeeze on Moscow and cut off its means of financing the invasion of Ukraine. But it was not clear whether there was G7 consensus on the plan, with European Council President Charles Michel saying the issue would need to be handled carefully and discussed further. 
Artist impression of the Ambri storage system Earth & Wire targets Eastern Cape for first long-duration storage roll-out
Published: 27 Jun 22
Independent renewable energy company Earth & Wire expects to begin installing its first long-duration energy storage system in South Africa in 2024 after announcing a 300 MW/1 200 MWh order for a battery system from Ambri, of the US. First deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter of 2024, and implementation, which could be across multiple sites, is expected to involve a capital investment of between R3.5-billion and R4-billion depending on exchange-rate, interest-rate and supply-chain fluctuations.
Kansai Plascon lowers operating costs following turnaround, sustainability project
Published: 24 Jun 22
Paint and coatings manufacturer Kansai Plascon has achieved a 100% improvement in operating costs over 36 months owing to its turnaround plan and sustainability agenda. “We lacked differentiation, had negative cash flow and strategic partnerships were becoming strained. We had high inventory levels and operating expenses, which were negatives, all exacerbated by ever-elevating interest payments. Our brand had the potential to erode among these strategic challenges,” said Kansai Plascon CEO Prejay Lalla.
Firms agree to competition penalty for unintentionally contravening the Competition Act
Published: 24 Jun 22
The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement wherein four firms admit that they unintentionally contravened the Competition Act, specifically that parties to a large merger may not implement that merger until it has been approved, with or without conditions, by the Competition Commission. The parties were said to have implemented a transaction prior to the approval of the transaction by the commission and agreed to jointly pay an administrative penalty of R1.49-million.
GBCSA piloting industrial property rating tool development, calls for data from industry
Published: 24 Jun 22
Sustainable building industry organisation the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has developed a customised pilot version of its Existing Building Performance (EBP) Tool to enable industrial properties to rate their buildings' performance according its Green Star Certification and ratings. Sustainable built environment consultancies Sow & Reap Consulting and Imbue Sustainability customised the commercial EBP tool for an industrial context, and the pilot tool represents significant collaboration across the broader property industry, said GBCSA head of technical Georgina Smit in a briefing on June 24.
Attacq social executive Janine Palmer Attacq Foundation hosts bursary session for students
Published: 24 Jun 22
Corporate social investment initiative the Attacq Foundation held its bursary session for students studying property-related and engineering courses at partner institutions on June 24. The students’ studies are facilitated and managed collectively by the South African Property Owners Association bursary fund, the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners, the Atterbury trust, the Women’s Property Network Bursary Fund and the University of Pretoria.
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