News Archive


Tom Butler: leading by committee

When Tom Butler took on the role of International Council of Mining and Metals chief executive in mid-2015, the industry was on its knees and its reputation among investors was cyclically struggling. Today, prices are higher and investors are happier but mining’s role in the eyes of stakeholders has never been under more scrutiny.

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/leadership/news/1335099/tom-butler-leading-by-committee

Big Deutsche Bank investors seek clarity on CEO: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Large investors in Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) have urged its chairman to provide a clear signal on whether the board backs the lender’s embattled chief executive or not, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan addresses the bank’s annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

Separate sources had told Reuters on Tuesday that Germany’s flagship bank had begun looking for a new CEO to replace John Cryan to mollify investors frustrated by the slow turnaround of the loss-making lender.

Cryan said in a staff memo on Wednesday that he was “absolutely committed” to the lender. But Paul Achleitner, the board chairman who the sources said had initiated the search for a new CEO, has remained silent.

Two major investors contacted by Reuters said they had called Achleitner to ask him to provide clarity.

Cryan’s staff memo “looks like an affirmation that he at least wants to remain in his seat”, said one source with knowledge of the thinking of one of the large investors. “But where’s the confirmation from the board? Why doesn’t Achleitner say anything?”

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A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Cryan’s memo urged staff to “focus on executing” the bank’s strategy despite “widespread rumours”.

The bank’s strategy has come under criticism from some investors, who have grown impatient after three consecutive years of losses.

The CEO search, which the sources said was in its early stages, has come after a flurry of negative headlines for the bank. During the past two weeks, the bank said its loss in 2017 was larger than initially reported, and it has also warned about conditions in the first quarter.

A second major investor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was frustrated that Achleitner had not provided investors with an update following the reports this week of the CEO search.

Achleitner must find a strong candidate who can solve the bank’s problems in a sustainable way, the investor said. “No hasty solutions. That is important.”

“Cryan can remain from our point of view, though this will probably not be so simple anymore,” the person added.

Cryan and top managers at the bank have repeatedly called on patience, saying a turnaround would take years, not quarters.

The bank has raised capital and made progress with reforming its two retail banking divisions. Last week, it achieved a milestone in its turnaround by floating its asset management unit, DWS.

“We need to focus on executing on the strategy that was agreed and signed off by both the management and supervisory boards. There is no difference of opinion here,” Cryan wrote to staff on Wednesday.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Andreas Framke; Editing by Arno Schuetze, David Goodman and Mark Potter

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/aE7PyXSv8uk/big-deutsche-bank-investors-seek-clarity-on-ceo-sources-idUSKBN1H5258

"Paves the way to develop digital technologies that will reduce risk in… mining"

WMI said the launch advanced the application of digital technologies in support of safer and more efficient mining operations.

According to Sibanye-Stillwater, the initiative leverages a growing range of on-site facilities with multi-disciplinary research that draws on expertise from other departments at the university and from partners locally and abroad.

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It is a simulated mining environment in the Chamber of Mines building on the West Campus of the university, with facilities that include a vertical shaft in a stairwell, a tunnel and stope in the basement, and a range of communication and digital systems to enable research that will “help to create the mine of the future”.

Sibanye-Stillwater was already a WMI sponsor, but added a further R15 million (US$1.3 million) over three years to a R27.5 million total sponsorship between 2015 and 2020.

The miner and Wits are supporting students, strategic projects and growing the DigiMine programme.

WMI director Professor Fred Cawood said the partnership “paves the way to develop digital technologies that will reduce risk in the mining environment”.

“Safety and competitiveness are cornerstones of a sustainable mining sector, which can contribute to the National Development Plan by reducing poverty and inequality. Our interventions will explore any innovations that can apply real-time digital solutions for reducing mining risk and increasing mining efficiency,” he said.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said it was important for the mining industry to fully benefit from advances in digital technology through close ties with research institutions.

“The launch of the DigiMine establishes a unique programme that is instrumental for the application of digital technologies in support of safer and more efficient mining operations,” he said.

Wits acting vice-chancellor and principal Professor Tawana Kupe said the Digimine initiative was part of the university’s strategy of integrating technology, teaching, learning and research in academia.

“This partnership ensures that we can continue to develop the specialised skills and knowledge as we move into the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/leadership/news/1335098/-paves-the-way-to-develop-digital-technologies-that-will-reduce-risk-in%E2%80%A6-mining

DRDGold gets shareholder approval

The shareholders voted in favour of all resolutions relating to the deal at a general meeting on Wednesday.

DRD will now issue about 265 million shares to Sibanye-Stillwater in return for the assets, giving the latter a 38% holding in DRD.

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Sibanye-Stillwater also has a 24-month option to subscribe for enough shares to hold a 50.1% stake in DRD in exchange for cash.

The approval was the milestone DRD was waiting for, with approval from the South African Competition Authorities received on February 7. Although the acquisition is still subject to the fulfilment or waiver of other conditions.

DRD CEO Niël Pretorius said the deal doubled the company’s reserves, as well as secured infrastructure to access the reserves quickly.

“After many years of consolidation, this is a major advance towards growing our company,” he said.

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/m-amp-a/news/1335093/drdgold-gets-shareholder-approval

Tesla shareholder lawsuit against SolarCity deal set to proceed

(Reuters) – A class action lawsuit by Tesla Inc shareholders against the electric car maker’s chief executive, Elon Musk, and the company’s board over the SolarCity deal was set to proceed after a Delaware judge refused to dismiss it.

FILE PHOTO – Elon Musk, Chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at SolarCity’s Inside Energy Summit in Manhattan, New York October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi/File Photo

The lawsuit alleged the board of Tesla breached its duties to shareholders by approving the SolarCity deal.

Tesla bought solar panel installer SolarCity for $2.6 billion in an all-stock deal in 2016. Musk was then biggest shareholder in both Tesla and SolarCity, and his SolarCity shares were converted to $500 million of Tesla shares.

It is “conceivable that Musk, as a controlling stockholder, controlled the Tesla board” during the SolarCity deal, the judge said.

“We do not agree with the decision and will be taking appropriate next steps,” a Tesla spokesperson told Reuters.

“It’s important to emphasize that this was a motion to dismiss in which the court was required to assume as true all of the allegations that are made in the complaint.”

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/f-IpdtwiN0c/tesla-shareholder-lawsuit-against-solarcity-deal-set-to-proceed-idUSKBN1H43A3

Automakers keep wary eye on tariff impact, possible trade war

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Executives from major automakers raised concerns at the New York auto show this week about the possibility of a trade war after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this month, especially at a time when U.S. sales of new vehicles are in decline.

Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, speaks near a 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“Protectionism doesn’t have winners,” Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) North American chief executive, told Reuters. “When you start to raise bars, you are bringing an imbalance of trade that will not produce any winners.”

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel imports earlier this month that industry experts and manufacturers say could lower profits for companies making everything from pickup trucks to canned soup, or result in higher prices for consumers.

Trump has criticized Germany for levying tariffs on vehicles shipped from the United States, and threatened to impose higher tariffs on German-made vehicles. That has made executives nervous in an industry that is global. The Trump administration has also proposed tariffs on Chinese goods.

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“Everybody who does a lot of business with China would be concerned about a trade war,” said Johan de Nysschen, head of General Motors Co’s luxury Cadillac division. “A trade war would be harmful to that so we all hope that it does not happen.” China is critical to Cadillac’s future growth strategy, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra told investors on Wednesday.

U.S. auto industry sales fell 2 percent last year to 17.23 million vehicles after hitting a record high in 2016.

New vehicle sales are expected to drop further in 2018 despite a solid economy as interest rates rise.

Jack Hollis, Toyota Motor Corp’s North American head of sales and marketing, said tariffs would mean higher prices.

“We’ll all just have to raise prices … because there’s no way you can absorb” all that extra cost, he said.

John Bozzella, head of Global Automakers, which represents Toyota, Hyundai Motor Co, Honda Motor Co Ltd and others, said the trade group is pushing to convince policymakers the tariffs do not make sense as automakers export 2 million vehicles annually from the United States.

Scott Keogh, head of U.S. operations for Volkswagen’s Audi brand, said the U.S. car market is built on “stability and confidence and we need to continue that.”

“If you look at the number one correlation that drives luxury car sales, it’s consumer confidence,” he said.

Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/W8P5UhCmqTo/automakers-keep-wary-eye-on-tariff-impact-possible-trade-war-idUSKBN1H51YU

Serabi to raise another US$8 million

The funds will be used for, among other things, the second phase of drilling at the Palito (pictured) and Sao Chico projects in Brazil

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/project-finance/news/1335090/serabi-to-raise-another-ususd8-million

British lawmakers publish evidence from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower

LONDON (Reuters) – A committee of British lawmakers on Thursday published written evidence provided by a whistleblower who says information about 50 million Facebook users ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie at a news conference in central London. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Christopher Wylie, who worked for Cambridge Analytica, alleges that the data was used to help to build profiles on American voters and build support for Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.

He also claims that Canadian firm AggregateIQ (AIQ) was involved in the development of the software used to target voters.

Wylie appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the British parliament on Tuesday. The committee said Wylie provided it with documents including a services agreement between AIQ and SCL Elections, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, dated September 2014.

Window cleaners work outside the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the documents made public by the committee.

AIQ did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment after Tuesday’s committee hearing, but in an earlier statement said it had never entered into a contract with Cambridge Analytica and had never been part of the firm.

Cambridge Analytica has said it did not share the Facebook profile data with AggregateIQ, did not use it in the campaign to elect Donald Trump, and has deleted the data.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Andrew Roche

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/_Fpccu0Rew0/british-lawmakers-publish-evidence-from-cambridge-analytica-whistleblower-idUSKBN1H51VW

When quality projects start answering questions

It is only three months until Rick Rule takes to the podium at the Mining Journal 30 London event, but he is already dishing out advice to investors looking at the next crop of ‘quality’ undeveloped projects.

Article source: http://www.mining-journal.com/events-coverage/news/1335088/when-quality-projects-start-answering-questions