Archive | Africa Mining

Lucara Unearths Another Massive Diamond From Botswana Mine – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – April 12, 2018)

Lucara Diamond Corp. has recovered yet another massive diamond in Botswana, at a site previously owned by giant De Beers.

The 472-carat light brown stone is the third largest found by Vancouver-based Lucara at the Karowe mine. The site has proven a windfall for the Canadian miner which now produces some of the biggest and best diamonds in the world.

“The early sampling work that was done on Karowe was done with equipment that really was not optimal and they ended up breaking a lot of diamonds,” Chief Executive Officer Eira Thomas said in a telephone interview Thursday. “When we went into commercial production we expected to do better but we had no idea that the diamonds that were being broken were so much larger. ” Continue Reading →

Poor left out of mining profits as ‘resource curse’ hits Kenya – by Nita Bhalla (Reuters U.S. – April 12, 2018)

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Kenya’s oil, gas and mineral deposits are being increasingly exploited, but a failure to implement laws and ensure local communities know their rights has meant the most marginalized are not benefiting, lawyers and academics said on Thursday.

The East African nation has proven deposits of titanium, gold and coal and also holds significant copper, niobium and manganese deposits, as well as oil and gas reserves.

But despite these commodities often being located in remote regions where the country’s poorest live, few have reaped the rewards from mining, said experts at an event hosted by the legal think-tank the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). Continue Reading →

Where Did Zimbabwe’s Diamond Money Go? – by Sebastian Mhofu (Voice of America (April 11, 2018)

HARARE — Lawmakers in Zimbabwe are preparing to summon ex-president Robert Mugabe to answer for his management of the diamond sector, which he nationalized in 2016.

Mugabe announced the state seizure two years ago on Zimbabwe state TV, saying, “There has been a lot of secrecy … and we have been blinded. We have not received much from the diamond industry at all.”

Foreign mining companies operating in the country were quick to challenge the stop-work orders in court, and some cases are still pending. Continue Reading →

Botswana’s Tati Nickel Mine out of liquidation after court ruling (Reuters U.S. – April 11, 2018)

GABORONE, April 11 (Reuters) – Botswana’s High Court has taken Tati Nickel Mine out of provisional liquidation, dismissing a request for more time to negotiate with potential buyers, the liquidator said on Wednesday.

Tati — a subsidiary of the liquidated BCL mine group — has since October 2016 been under provisional liquidation, which was twice extended after liquidator Nigel Dixon-Warren asked for more time to pursue a deal with investors.

The High Court took the company out of liquidation on Tuesday following the lapse of the last extension. Continue Reading →

Mining in sub-Saharan Africa region to remain riskiest globally – BMI – by Simone Liedtke ( – April 11, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Sub-Saharan Africa’s mining sector will remain the riskiest in the world over the coming quarters as regulatory uncertainty rises in various markets across the region, says BMI Research.

In addition to increasing regulatory uncertainty, the region will also witness challenges stemming from underdeveloped infrastructure and small mining sectors.

However, BMI on Wednesday pointed out that the region will also receive greater investor attention owing to low labour costs, strong mining sector value growth and a solid competitive landscape. Continue Reading →

South Africa’s east platinum belt hit by over 400 social unrest incidents since 2016 – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – April 10, 2018)

BURGERSFORT, South Africa (Reuters) – The eastern limb of South Africa’s platinum belt has been hit by over 400 incidents of social unrest impacting mining operations since the start of 2016, according to data compiled by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and provided to Reuters.

The restive region in the country’s northeast has been a flashpoint of violence rooted in community grievances over jobs, revenue flows and conflict between rival unions that threatens production in the world’s top producer of the precious metal.

Last week six workers were burnt to death in the area when the bus they were on was set alight by a petrol bomb. The bus was transporting them to their shifts at the Modikwa platinum mine operated by African Rainbow Minerals and Amplats. Continue Reading →

Tanzania president inaugurates wall around gem mines (Straits Times – April 7, 2018)

NAIROBI (AFP) – Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday (April 6) inaugurated a 24-kilometre around the country’s tanzanite mines to prevent smuggling of the precious violet-blue stones, which are unique to the East African country.

Magufuli in September ordered the army to build the wall around the mines, located in the Mererani hills near Mount Kilimanjaro.

Several metres high, the mustard-yellow wall has only one entrance, which is secured by the army. It cost 1.8 million euros (S$2.9 million), according to official figures. Continue Reading →

World’s Most Valuable Diamond Mine Set to Get Even Bigger – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – April 5, 2018)

The world’s most valuable diamond mine is set to get even bigger. Debswana, the joint venture between Anglo American Plc’s De Beers unit and Botswana’s government, is seeking permission to deepen the Jwaneng mine to 830 meters (2,700 feet), according to a notice published in local newspapers Thursday.

The Cut 9 project will extend the mine’s life by 11 years, to 2035, and allow the extraction of a further 50 million carats.

Jwaneng, which started full operations in 1982, is the world’s largest diamond producer by value and currently 650 meters deep. Cut 9 will involve stripping away waste at the bottom of the mine, both widening and deepening the pit. Continue Reading →

Banro debt-for-equity restructuring approved by court – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 29, 2018)

An Ontario court has approved a restructuring plan for beleaguered junior Canadian gold company Banro Corp., paving the way for it to emerge from creditor protection.

Under the terms approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, holders of US$207.5-million in debt instruments and US$20-million in gold-forward agreements will swap their securities for equity in a revamped Banro. Additional obligations under gold-forward agreements worth US$30.9-million will be deferred for a number of years. (A gold forward is an agreement to sell a portion of gold at a set price in the future.)

Banro’s existing common shareholders are set to be completely wiped out. In November, trading in the shares was suspended on the Toronto Stock Exchange; the stock was delisted in January. Continue Reading →

South African Miners Win Court Fight on Black Ownership Rule – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – April 5, 2018)

South African mining companies won court backing on a crucial black-ownership principle that’s likely to have implications for ongoing negotiations with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government.

Producers don’t need to top up black-shareholding levels in perpetuity if they previously met the minimum 26 percent requirement, the High Court in Pretoria said on Wednesday.

The judgment boosts certainty for investors in the world’s top platinum producer and gives mining companies extra muscle in talks with Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on changes to the Mining Charter, a set of rules aimed at distributing the wealth of the industry more widely. Continue Reading →

Six miners killed and 44 injured as bus petrol-bombed in Limpopo – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day – April 3, 2018)

Some of the mining companies have spoken of a criminal element creeping into protests in an area where unemployment and poverty are high

Six miners and 44 others were hurt in an arson attack on a bus carrying them to the Modikwa Platinum Mine on Monday evening.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), police and the companies that own the mine, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo American Platinum, said the employees were on their way from the Ga-Morga village in Limpopo to the mine on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Igneouss Complex.

The attackers were unknown, as was the motive. Continue Reading →

Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe Mining Rush Leaves Big Producers Behind – by Felix Njini and Brian Latham (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2018)

While Zimbabwe’s leadership change has sparked a race for the nation’s mineral riches among entrepreneurs and tiny explorers, big-name mining companies are taking a wait-and-see approach.

New President Emmerson Mnangagwa has a lot to prove as he seeks to revive the economy and attract mining investment that shriveled under his predecessor, Robert Mugabe. So far, Mnangagwa has pledged investor-friendly policy changes and partially rolled back a law requiring mining companies to be locally owned.

It seems to be working, at least in some quarters. The government says mining commitments reached as much as $6 billion since Mnangagwa’s appointment, including a record $4.2 billion pledge from a company linked to mining entrepreneur Loucas Pouroulis for a platinum mine and associated infrastructure. Continue Reading →

Investment in Africa’s mining sector to rise: BMI – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – April 2, 2018)

Despite the fact that, through the enactment of new laws and regulations, local governments in Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to claim a larger share of their countries’ mineral resource wealth, BMI Research believes that investments in the region will continue to rise in Q3-2018.

In an industry overview published today, BMI presents the recent changes to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s mining code as an example of a situation that challenges all the parties involved, but that is very unlikely to cloud miners’ interest in venturing in the country.

“On March 10 President Kabila signed into law a new mining code that will raise royalties on minerals across the board, as he tries to shore up the support and funding need to retain power. Continue Reading →

Canada’s First Quantum expected to pay $1-billion in Zambia tax dispute: Wall Street analyst – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 28, 2018)

Canadian copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd. will ultimately pay around US$1-billion to settle its tax spat with Zambia, according to a Wall Street analyst.

Last week, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) slapped First Quantum with a US$7.9-billion tax bill, claiming the miner had drastically underpaid certain import duties over a period of five years.

In a subsequent conference call with analysts, First Quantum’s chief executive officer Philip Pascall declined to speculate how much the company may end up paying, saying it wouldn’t be prudent to comment in a public forum. Continue Reading →

Never Mind the Mines. In Congo, There’s Cobalt Under the House – by William Clowes and Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – March 28, 2018)

The man was digging a toilet in his backyard when his shovel struck a shimmering blue vein of cobalt. At least that’s the legend in Kolwezi. Once a few locals discovered the metal underfoot five years ago, everyone grabbed hand shovels and pickaxes; they tunneled beneath homes, schools and churches.

And that’s how a working-class neighborhood, located on the edges of a densely populated city of half a million, became a hive of pits and tunnels.

“My neighbors started to dig in 2013 and I followed their lead,” said Edmond Kalenga, who went as deep as 20 meters (65 feet) under his home. “The minerals are like a snake moving through the village. You just followed the snake.” Continue Reading →