All Renova’s US dollar bank accounts blocked

All US dollar bank accounts of companies controlled by Renova have been blocked due to the US sanctions, according to the Swiss paper Finanz und Wirtschaft. Already, Viktor Vekselberg, the owner of Renova and its subsidiary Transalloys, had $1.5- to $2-billion in his assets frozen.

Meanwhile, Tass reported that  Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov met with US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin on last Friday to discuss anti-Russian sanctions, according to the Russian Finance Ministry’s press service.

“On April 20, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov met with US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of this year’s Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. During the meeting, the issue of sanctions was discussed,” the ministry said in a statement.

US Treasury said the meeting was held at Russia’s request.

Lower Mn ore prices = less demand

The falling manganese ore prices in China is having an increasing negative effect on the market. Chinese buyers are now embolden by the precipitous drop and are even more reluctant to purchase material believing future prices will be lower, e.g. under $7. In addition, fears that buyers would want to start renegotiating earlier deals is proving accurate.

Overseas supplies are continuing the flood the Chinese market so the bloodbath may have just started.

Eskom given green light to buy coal without competitive tenders; who will pay in the end?

In an effort to avert rolling blackouts, South Africa’s Treasury will allow Eskom to buy coal without competitive tenders. The Treasury knows that the coal will get a “premium” price” but there is no other solution. The cost could be prohibitively high. If and when Eskom can or will recoup the money is open to speculation.

“Eskom is losing massive amounts of money now before the contracts, so the losses will be staggering,” one insider said. “The South African Treasury can’t absorb the losses either so Eskom will have to ask for increased tariffs which will make the industry even more uncompetitive.”

Comment on Jupiter taking control of Tshipi

An interesting comment from a reader on Jupiter Mines taking complete control of Tshipi. This assumes that OMH would retain its share in Tshipi.

Ntsimbintle want to exit no doubt. They, the BEE shareholders, have done well, and congrats to them. They now have two listed entities to choose from. OMH or JMS. There will also now be a market valuation on Tshipi in order to do corporate transactions – makes some things easier. Trick would OMH let JMS manage their stake? Would OMH preempt the sale by Ntsimbintle shareholders?

ZCE FeSi contract moves into a contango

The ZCE’s ferrosilicon contract moved into a contango today with the May contract falling rmb 40 to rmb 6,144 per mt on 104,780 contracts. However, the September contract dropped only rmb 2 to rmb 6,174 per mt on 182,276 contracts.

Breakdown of Elkem’s foundry and silicon materials divisions in 2017

Elkem’s foundry products division had revenues of NOK4,247-million in 2017 vs. NOK3,642-million in 2016. The division’s share of Elkem’s total revenue in 2017 was 25%.

The company’s silicon materials division had revenue of NOK5,534-million in 2017 vs. NOK4,540-milion in 2016. The unit accounted for 33% of Elkem’s total revenue.

Waiting for Afarak’s next price to minorities

With Afarak’s original bid of E1.015 for minority shareholders foundering, the minorities are now wondering what the next price will be. However, the Finnish authorities price of E2.50 is still out of reach since Afarak can’t find the money to pay even the E1.015 price.

Cr ore prices sinking

Chrome ore prices are sinking along with demand for foreign 4% C. UG2 is actively being quoted at $180 per mt, though buyers are holding on in anticipation of lower prices. 40% concentrate prices are around $190, and 44% concentrate prices are hovering over $205.

Meanwhile, Chinese chrome metal prices are continuing to weaken to $10,500-11,000 per mt, which is putting increased pressure on European tags.

MSNBC finds link between Trump and ENRC

It never ends. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, one of the most progressive TV analysts and noted Trump critic, has now linked Donald Trump to ENRC. I am attaching the clip, but the ENRC is only in the first 10 minutes of the story.


Bluestar reduces its shareholding in Elkem to 58.2%

Bluestar Elkem International sold 21,161,464 shares in Elkem at a price of NOK 29 per share under the over-allotment option granted to Morgan Stanley & Co. on behalf of the managers in the Company’s initial public offering. By this transaction, Bluestar’s shareholding in Elkem is reduced from 61.8% to 58.2%. Following the transaction, Bluestar owns 338,338,536 shares in Elkem.