Archive | Africa Mining

Guinea’s mining minister says there will be Simandou deal, talks go on (Reuters U.K. – July 17, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) – Guinea is in constant talks with Rio Tinto and Chinalco to finalise a deal on the Simandou iron ore project, its mining minister said on Tuesday, adding he was confident an agreement would be reached.

Rio Tinto said in October 2016 said it had signed an outline agreement to sell its major stake in Simandou to Chinalco, a move many hoped would revive the long-stalled scheme.

Mines Minister Abdoulaye Magassouba said he was confident a deal would be achieved. He gave no indication of how much more time was needed, but said that as soon as the parties had agreed, the project would be relaunched. Continue Reading →

Nevsun stock climbs 14% on Lundin’s $1.4B offer, but CEO eyes ‘strategic’ alternatives – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 18, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Ltd. on Tuesday urged shareholders to ignore a potential $4.75 cash per share hostile takeover offer from Toronto-based Lundin Mining Corp., and the chief executive has already signalled how his company may respond when an actual offer materializes.

In a press release, Nevsun chief executive Peter Kukielski said “several strategic parties” have expressed interest in participating as it seeks to build its copper-gold mine in Serbia, known as Timok, raising the prospect that his company could sell a stake in the asset, or strike a joint partnership with another company, which would complicate Lundin’s takeover offer.

The proposed deal came back into the news after Lundin Mining on Monday announced it intends to bid approximately $1.4 billion for Nevsun, at $4.75 per share, and plans to release a formal offer by the end of the month. In May, Lundin sought to purchase only Timok, and enlisted Euro Sun Mining Inc. to purchase Nevsun’s other main asset, a zinc-copper mine in Eritrea known as Bisha. Continue Reading →

[Diamonds] Africa’s Blue Economy: An overlooked opportunity? – by David Thomas (African Business – July 16, 2018)

African Business

Honing in on a promising area using geophysical mapping, a crawler cuts and dredges the seabed, sucking some 60 tonnes of sediment per hour through a giant pipe and onto the vessel. Without any human contact, the sediment is washed and sorted for the glittering stones, which are sealed into small, barcoded containers for the first stage of their journey to the boutiques of Europe and Asia.

To many, subsea diamond mining may sound like a far-off vision of the future, a fanciful innovation on a par with asteroid mining. But with 1m carats recovered from the seabed in 2015 alone by global mining giant De Beers, the technology is already well into its infancy.

For the firm, which has made a vast fortune sifting the soils of Southern Africa for 130 years, heading to the oceans is not just a technological luxury but also an economic necessity. Continue Reading →

China’s cobalt dominance meets blockchain-backed resistance – by Rurika Imahashi and Nikki Sun (Nikkei Asian Review – July 17, 2018)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

TOKYO/HONG KONG — The equation could not be simpler. Electric cars are widely considered the future of the auto industry. Each electric car battery requires about 10 kg of cobalt. Control the cobalt supply, win the future. China, clearly, has done the math.

Most of the cobalt produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo — the world’s top source of the metal by far — is purchased by Chinese companies like Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and refined back in China. The strategy appears to be to control the supply chain so that electric car production is virtually impossible without Chinese involvement.

“If cobalt falls into the hands of the Chinese, yeah you won’t see EVs being produced in Europe, etc.,” Ivan Glasenberg, the chief executive of Swiss miner Glencore, warned in March at the FT Commodities Global Summit. Continue Reading →

Lundin makes another move to buy Nevsun – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – July 17, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

Keen to bring the Timok copper project, in Serbia, into its fold, Canadian firm Lundin Mining has announced that it will take a C$1.4-billion offer directly to Nevsun Resources shareholders, after unsuccessful attempts to engage with the company over the past five months.

Lundin, which earlier this year tried to buy Nevsun in a deal with Canadian junior Euro Sun, is now going at it alone, with a C$4.75 a share cash consideration, which it points out is a 82% premium to the target company’s closing price of C$2.61 a share when it first expressed interest in acquiring Timok.

The offer is also a premium to Nevsun’s closing price of C$4.21 a share on Monday. The prize for Lundin will be the Timok project, which has a probable reserve of 27-million tonnes at an average grade of 3.3% copper and 2.1 g/t gold, containing 0.89-million tonnes of copper and 1.8-million ounces of gold. Continue Reading →

How Mining Tycoons Are Trying to Foil a Big U.K. Bribery Probe – by By Franz Wild (Bloomberg News – July 16, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A trio of Kazakh oligarchs accuse their London lawyer of conspiring with Britain’s top cop

It’s a faint echo of the defense being floated by targets of the Mueller probe in the U.S.—an unaccountable circle of bureaucrats manipulating the system to their own ends. But in London, it’s the last ditch effort by a trio of Kazakh oligarchs to derail the U.K.’s biggest bribery investigation.

The mining tycoons behind Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., the former FTSE 100 company suspected of paying bribes to buy mines in Kazakhstan and Africa, say their own lawyer conspired with Britain’s top cop to incriminate them so he could fleece them for millions of pounds.

Even if they can’t convince a court of this hypothesis, the case will undoubtedly frustrate attempts to bring criminal charges against them and drag out proceedings for months, if not years. Continue Reading →

Glencore shares under cloud after U.S demands Congo documents in probe – by Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – July 12, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – A U.S. demand for documents related to Glencore’s (GLEN.L) assets in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a corruption probe has rattled investors and is likely to weigh on the miner’s performance until there is more clarity on the case.

Glencore said it had received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice dated July 2 requesting documents for its Congo business over compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and rules against money laundering.

The Switzerland-based company, which said documents for Venezuela and Nigeria were also requested, provided few details, although it said it would cooperate with the authorities. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe mining: Platinum has promise and lithium looms large – by Tonderayi Mukeredzi (The Africa Report – July 11, 2018)

http://www.theafricareport.com/

Harare: President Emmerson Mnangagwa desperately wants to show that he can turn the economy around and is looking for quick wins from the mining sector, which had been spooked by his predecessor’s indigenisation plans. Mnangagwa does not want to completely liberalise the sector, and the government still insists on majority local ownership for platinum and diamond mining projects.

A new mining bill now making its way through parliament proposes to force mining companies to list on the local stock exchange, though foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo told an audience at Chatham House in London on 25 April that the clause would be taken out.

Platinum is the main focus for miners, and in March, Cyprus-based Karo Resources signed a deal with a promise of $4.2bn in investment in the Mhondoro-Ngezi region. A lot of platinum goes into catalytic converters and other devices to reduce emissions on petrol-powered cars. Continue Reading →

2,500 Job Cuts Weren’t Enough for World’s No. 2 Platinum Miner – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – July 9, 2018)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg) — Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. is facing some tough choices as the South African miner works to stem losses at aging shafts amid slumping prices for the metal.

The world’s second-largest producer has already cut 2,500 jobs in the year through June and says there may be more to come. Only three of the 10 shafts at its sprawling Rustenburg mining complex were making money as of March. Things have only gotten worse since then, with platinum prices dropping another 9 percent and hitting a nine-year low last week.

Implats, as the company is known, will announce the results of a strategic review of Rustenburg in September, said spokesman Johan Theron. The challenges facing the industry mean the miner can’t discount the possibility of more job losses, he said. The company employs about 31,000 people at its Rustenburg operations. Continue Reading →

Acacia net cash restored after posting solid first half production – by David McKay (MiningMX – July 6, 2018)

https://www.miningmx.com/

ACACIA Resources all but restored its net cash balance to safer levels following second quarter gold production which totalled 133,778 ounces which means the group is on-track to meet its full year half production guidance of between 435,000 oz to 475,000 oz.

The group’s cash balance increased to $120m from $13m in the first quarter taking its net cash to $63m at quarter-end. It was about $50m at the close of the first quarter. “We are pleased to report another strong operating performance in the second quarter,” said Peter Geleta, interim CEO of Acacia Resources, in a statement.

Production for the six months ended June 30 was 254,759 oz and has been achieved in difficult circumstances for the group considering it scaled back Bulyanhulu after the mine was prohibited by Tanzanian authorities last year from exporting gold-in-concentrate. Continue Reading →

How Glencore’s risky dealings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may backfire – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – July 6, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Glencore took a balanced approach on its way to becoming the world’s biggest commodities trader and one of the top mining houses. It dealt with the sinners as well as the saints.

Sinners are everywhere in the mining industry, of course, and are all but unavoidable if you want to get deals done in regulatory-lite zones, notably Africa, which is blessed with endless resources – cobalt, copper, diamonds, oil – waiting to be tapped.

Glencore took big risks in Africa, one of which appears to have been its association with Dan Gertler, 44, the Israeli billionaire and commodities tycoon who has worked the mining game in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for about 20 years, to great success. Continue Reading →

First Quantum Gets Time to Solve $7.9 Billion Zambia Tax Row – by Taonga Clifford Mitimingi and Gordon Bell (Bloomberg News – July 5, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Zambia agreed to give First Quantum Minerals Ltd. more time to complete its analysis of what the company might owe the southern African nation after it was slapped with a $7.9 billion tax bill, according to the finance minister.

The Vancouver-based company is challenging the assessment from Zambia’s revenue agency, which claims First Quantum incorrectly declared imports for one of its two mines in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer. The government has audited major mining companies operating in the country, which include Vedanta Resources Plc and Glencore Plc.

“They are doing their own analysis and they have asked for a bit more time,” Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe, 56, said in an interview in her office in Lusaka, the capital, on Thursday. “We have given them a month so that they can complete the analysis.” Continue Reading →

African Chrome Fields: Game changer along the Great Dyke (Mining Review Africa – July 2, 2018)

Mining Review Africa

Privately-owned mining company African Chrome Fields is proving its commitment to Zimbabwe by expanding its already impressive alluvial chrome mining operations along the Great Dyke of the Southern African country with the aim of establishing a long and prosperous future.

Zimbabwe has garnered a lot of attention recently, this time for the right reasons, as former president and long-time ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted and replaced by his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

As a result of decades of economic degradation Zimbabwe has been left with a skeleton of an economy and a cash crisis that impedes any major company from doing business in the country. Continue Reading →

Mining Investors Spooked as African Dispute Payments Multiply – by Thomas Wilson and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – June 28, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Miners across Africa are increasingly using one-time payments to settle disputes with governments, a trend that’s disturbing some investors.

A $150 million payment by Glencore Plc’s Katanga Mining Ltd. to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Gecamines earlier this month followed Freeport McMoRan Inc.’s separate $100 million settlement with the state-owned company in January 2017. Last October, Barrick Gold Corp. proposed paying Tanzania $300 million as part of efforts to negotiate a settlement for its majority-owned Acacia Mining Plc.

The shift, identified by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative — which promotes good governance in the mining industry — comes as African nations seek redress from old contracts often perceived to favor international miners. Continue Reading →

Supreme Court decision on Vancouver mining company could have international human rights impact, expert says – by Perrin Grauer  (StarMetro Vancouver – June 25, 2018)

https://www.thestar.com/

VANCOUVER — An upcoming decision from Canada’s top court on whether allegations of human rights abuses filed against a Vancouver mining company will go to trial in Canada could set a groundbreaking precedent, according to a human rights watchdog.

Four plaintiffs, all Eritrean refugees, allege the mining company — called Nevsun Resources Ltd. — is complicit in violations of international law norms against forced labour, slavery and torture stemming from the construction of an Eritrean mine. Sixty per cent of the venture is owned by Nevsun through subsidiaries, while the remainder is owned by Eritrean state companies.

Nevsun has wholly denied all allegations of human rights abuses at the Bisha gold mine, and argued Eritrean courts would be the appropriate place — known in legal terms as a “forum conveniens” — for the case to be heard. Continue Reading →