Pullback in Mining Hitting Africa Hardest

The rout in commodity prices to the lowest in 12 years will spur deeper spending cuts by the world’s biggest mining companies in Africa, hurting a region more reliant on mineral exports than any other on the planet.

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Miners will scale back spending by $20 billion this year, according to Macquarie Group Ltd., as they cut growth plans amid waning demand for raw materials. With projects planned during the decade-long commodities boom now being shelved, Africa is likely to bear the brunt of the cuts, investors told Bloomberg News.

Unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as uncertainty over mining taxes in Zambia — the two largest copper producers on the continent — has added to investor unease in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, February 11, the day’s biggest mover was the price of Indian silver, which saw a 3.3% increase to INR 38,999 ($625.52) per kilogram. This increase comes after the price fell for the two previous days. At $16.91 per ounce, US silver fell 0.4% on Wednesday. The price of Chinese silver fell 0.1% to CNY 3,570 ($572.27) per kilogram. The price of Japanese silver showed little movement yesterday at JPY 643.00 ($5.39) per 10 grams.

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Indian gold bullion finished the day down 0.6% to INR 27,136 ($435.24) per 10 grams. The price of Chinese gold bullion fell 0.5% to CNY 249.00 ($39.91) per gram. US gold bullion finished the day down 0.4% to $1,234 per ounce. At JPY 4,743 ($39.73) per gram, the price of Japanese gold bullion was essentially unchanged.

US platinum bar closed 0.7% lower at $1,206 per ounce. The price of Chinese platinum bar remained steady at CNY 262.00 ($42.00) per gram. The price of Japanese platinum bar steadied at JPY 4,647 ($38.93) per gram following two-days of dropping prices.

US palladium bar ended the day at $768.00 per ounce, after the 1.2% drop on Wednesday. At CNY 175.00 ($28.05) per gram, Chinese palladium bar fell 0.6% yesterday. The price of Japanese palladium bar held steady at JPY 2,979 ($24.96) per gram.

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