Archive | Africa Mining

Platinum giant to enter battery space in ‘due course’ – by Michael McCrae ( – May 27, 2020)

(Kitco News) – Despite the rise of electric vehicles, platinum group metals still have a good 10 years in front of them, and an entry by the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater, into the battery space is planned in “due course,” said CEO Neal Froneman. Froneman spoke to Kitco last week.

Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) timed its entry into the platinum group metals space perfectly by picking up discounted platinum assets in the mid-2010s.

Sibanye-Stillwater, which was spun out of South Africa’s Gold Fields in 2013, picked up Anglo American’s Rustenburg for $95 million in 2015. It also purchased South African platinum miner Aquarius for $294 million 2016. Continue Reading →

AngloGold Ashanti shuts South African mine after 164 workers test positive for COVID-19 – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – May 25, 2020)

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. has reported 164 cases of the novel coronavirus among its workers at a gold mine in South Africa, raising new questions about how to prevent the virus from spreading in deep underground mines.

The cases were discovered at Mponeng, the world’s deepest mine, where operations extend as far as four kilometres beneath the Earth’s surface.

In response, the company has temporarily closed the mine and begun tracing the contacts of those who tested positive, using an electronic tracking system. It says the “vast majority” of those who tested positive are showing no symptoms of illness. Continue Reading →

Anglo American explores sale of South Africa’s coal alongside spin-off -sources – by Clara Denina and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – May 22, 2020)

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Anglo American is still exploring a sale of its thermal coal assets in South Africa as an alternative to spinning off and listing the business, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Mining companies are under pressure to stop mining coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, from investors and governments keen to switch to cleaner fuels.

London-listed Anglo said earlier this month that it would spin off its last remaining coal assets in South Africa and list them in Johannesburg. Sources say an outright sale of Anglo American’s coal mines was still on the cards. Continue Reading →

Vale after NYC real estate moguls for Simandou compensation – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 19, 2020)

Brazil’s Vale (NYSE: VALE), the world’s no. 1 iron ore miner, has launched a legal action in New York to determine whether funds paid to BSG Resources within the framework of their former Simandou partnership in Guinea were used for property investments in the United States.

The Rio de Janeiro-based mining giant alleges that BSGR, diamond tycoon Beny Steinmetz’s mining arm, fraudulently funneled $500 million into Manhattan real estate’s magnates Aby Rosen and René Benko, Africa Intelligence reported.

The case is the latest in a series of efforts Vale has made to have BSGR pay a $1.2 billion arbitration award. The amount was granted to the Brazilian miner on the grounds of “fraud and breaches of warranty” when included in the Simandou iron ore joint venture. Continue Reading →

China Is Virtually Alone in Backing Africa’s Coal Projects – by Antony Sguazzin, Godfrey Marawanyika and Jing Li (Bloomberg News – May 7, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — For more than two decades, Zimbabwe has been trying to break ground on a giant coal-power complex by the world’s biggest man-made reservoir. China just agreed to get the $4.2 billion project underway.

The development near the southern shore of Lake Kariba is good news for Zimbabwe, where a collapsing economy and erratic policies have deterred foreign investment for the past 20 years.

But it flies in the face of a growing global consensus that has seen financial institutions from Japan to the US and Europe shun investments in coal projects. That retreat leaves the way open for Chinese companies—many with state backing—even at the risk of undermining the spirit of China’s international commitments to fight climate change. Continue Reading →

Anglo American to spin off South African coal mines – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 7, 2020)

Anglo American (LON: AAL) is speeding up its exit from thermal coal as it announced on Thursday it planned to spin off its South African unit within the next three years.

Mounting pressure from investors, regulators and environmental organizations has pushed miners to either sell coal assets or to limit their exposure to the fossil fuel in recent years.

The diversified miner, which has consistently been offloading coal operations since 2014, said the possible demerger of the South African coal operations was its preferred option. Anglo American did not rule out other options, such as a trade sale. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Fears rise for illegal South African miners hiding underground in virus lockdown – by Kim Harrisberg (Reuters U.S. – April 29, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – At least 100 illegal gold miners in South Africa are hiding underground, too scared to surface with police on patrol to enforce the coronavirus lockdown, according to industry sources.

Many illegal miners, known as zama-zamas – a Zulu expression for “taking a chance” – were underground in abandoned or disused mines in Gauteng province when the lockdown began on March 27.

Lawyers, activists and illegal miners told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that zama-zamas had little choice but to continue working, worried about being arrested if they surfaced and knowing there was no other work. Continue Reading →

Independent review confirms magmatic nickel/copper/PGM deposit for Kavango – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – April 29, 2020)

London-listed Kavango Resources has published a new independent technical review on the exploration potential of the company’s Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ) project, in Botswana.

Kavango is searching for “Norilsk-style” deposits in the KSZ, which the technical review has confirmed the presence of.

The review, completed by Dr David Holwell using a mineral systems approach, confirms the presence of ten key geological features, which are also present in world-class magmatic sulphide copper, nickel and platinum group metal (PGM) deposits at Norilsk, in Siberia; Voisey’s Bay, Thomson Nickel Belt and Raglan, in Canada; and Jinchuan, in China. Continue Reading →

World’s mine workers resist quick restart amid coronavirus – by Tanisha Heiberg, Helen Reid and Marco Aquino (Reuters U.S. – April 28, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG/LIMA (Reuters) – As mining heavyweights South Africa and Peru move to lift coronavirus lockdowns, workers in deep mines are resisting going back to work without adequate protective gear and information about cases at sites, with one major union filing legal action against restart plans.

The workers fear being literal canaries in the coal mine in facilities where social distancing is nearly impossible and warn that companies are not divulging coronavirus cases, putting them at risk.

South Africa, the world’s largest producer of platinum, manganese and chrome ore, is letting its mines run at half-capacity after a national lockdown. Peru, which hopes to end its own lockdown on May 10, is the world’s No. 2 copper producer and No. 6 gold producer. Continue Reading →

Where is Covid-19 increasing the threat of illegal mining? – by Matthew Hall (Mining Technology – April 24, 2020)

As mine’s worldwide temporarily close to suppress the spread of Covid-19, and the ongoing pandemic wreaks havoc on metal prices, the risk of illegal mining to mine operations and communities is increasing. We look at some of the countries where Covid-19 is exacerbating illegal mine activity.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to temporary mine closures worldwide, as governments mandate non-essential businesses to close temporarily in order to suppress the spread of the virus. Aside from the production hit that these temporary mine closures lead to, there have been increasing concerns around illegal mining activity, which poses a risk to mineworkers as well as local communities.


On 22 April, Gemfields Group announced that they had suspended all but critical operations at their Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. This closure has coincided with the government of Mozambique temporarily allowing the release of prisoners to reduce the risk of outbreaks of Covid-19 in prisons. Continue Reading →

Congo artisanal cobalt programme expands with industry backing – by Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – April 21, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A programme to monitor and improve artisanal cobalt mines in Democratic Republic of Congo will double the number of mining sites it covers this year through a partnership between RCS Global and the Responsible Minerals Initiative.

RCS Global, a company in Berlin that audits supply chains, started the Better Mining programme in 2018, collecting data on cobalt mine sites in Congo and giving mine operators “corrective action” plans when mining practices were found to be unsafe.

Teaming up with the Washington, D.C.-based RMI, a part of the Responsible Business Alliance, will allow the programme to grow from three sites to six this year, and to 12 or more sites by 2023, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Glencore to reopen Zambia copper mines pending agreement with government – by Chris Mfula (Reuters U.S. – April 20, 2020)

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Glencore will reverse its earlier decision to shutter its Zambia subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) if it reaches an agreement with the Zambian government, the company said on Monday.

Glencore wanted to shutter the mine due to disruption of its operations by the coronavirus crisis and low copper prices, while the mines minister has said the company is “fishing” for ways to lay off workers, and 11,000 jobs could be at risk.

The miner’s statement came after Zambia’s mines ministry said Glencore had “rescinded” its decision to put MCM on care and maintenance following a video conference between Glencore executives and Zambian ministers. Continue Reading →

Congo mine closures would cause economic and social crisis, minister says – by Helen Reid and Hereward Holland (Reuters U.S. – April 17, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s mining minister warned mine shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic would trigger a “catastrophic” economic and social crisis in the country, as he reported a 15% slump in cobalt exports in the first quarter.

Congo, the world’s biggest producer of cobalt, is highly reliant on mining, with the industry contributing 32% of its GDP and 95% of export revenue in 2018, according to the central bank.

“The DRC would not be able to withstand an abrupt halt in the mining production of the flagship projects operating there if they invoked force majeure,” Mines Minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni wrote in a ministry analysis seen by Reuters. Continue Reading →

World’s deepest mines to take weeks to open after lockdown – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg/Moneyweb – April 10, 2020)

When South Africa shut down its mining industry to contain the coronavirus, more than 450 000 workers were sent home in 24 hours. Getting them back will take much longer for the nation’s gold and platinum miners.

Ramping up production at the world’s deepest mines could take three to four weeks as thousands of returning employees are screened for Covid-19, according to Johan Theron, a spokesman for Impala Platinum. Workers will need to be checked for high temperatures, while social distancing and other measures are introduced to prevent the spread of the virus, he said.

“Its going to take time to get going again,” Theron said. “The queue is going to be 40 kilometres long.” Continue Reading →

Copper belt miners turn to Tanzania as South Africa lockdown hobbles ports – by Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – April 7, 2020)

JOHANNESBURG, April 7 (Reuters) – South Africa’s strict coronavirus lockdown has caused miners to divert copper from the country’s ports to others in Africa, with Dar es Salaam the clear winner, sources told Reuters.

Authorities in South Africa initially said ports would only process essential goods during a three-week nationwide lockdown that began on March 27. On Friday, the Department of Transport said ports remain open to all types of cargo.

But miners in the copper belt – an area spanning northern Zambia and southern Democratic Republic of Congo – did not wait for that clarification before acting. Continue Reading →