Zimbabwe: Uber-Wealthy Oppenheimers Win Case to Block Mineral Exploration at Zimbabwe Cattle Ranch – by Jerry Chifamba (All Africa – July 4, 2022)


Harare — A Zimbabwean court has barred a miner from exploring for gold on a huge Matabeleland South ranch owned by the Oppenheimer family, the super-rich former proprietors of De Beers Diamond Corporation and Anglo American.

The Oppenheimers, through their company Shangani Holistic, turned to the courts after a South African firm Pearline Mineral Exploration conducted an aerial geophysical survey of their Shangani Ranch on June 2.

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Lawless South Africa has bulk commodity chrome pirates stripping its wealth – by Schalk Burger (MiningWeekly.com – June 22, 2022)


South Africa is the world’s biggest producer of chrome ore and it is estimated that about 10% of South Africa’s yearly production of chrome is lost to illegal mining. There has been an emergence of a bulk commodity illegal industry in South African chrome mining, said global law enforcement network organisation the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) in its latest Risk Bulletin report.

According to the report, soldiers, police and security guards in April descended on a mine in North West to disrupt a large illegal mining operation. The miners had been excavating chrome ore, which is an essential mineral for manufacturing stainless steel.

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Gold Fields CEO says investors misunderstand rationale for Yamana takeover as shares swoon – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 6, 2022)


Drop in Gold Fields stock leading analysts to question the deal

Gold Fields Ltd. chief executive Chris Griffith called his purchase of Yamana Gold Inc. the “optimum solution” to support his new business strategy. Investors aren’t so sure. Gold Fields shares dropped 23 per cent after Griffith announced his proposed $6.7 billion acquisition of Toronto-based Yamana last week, putting management on the defensive.

Griffith, who was appointed CEO of Gold Fields a year ago and has been leading mining companies since 2008, insisted that investors and analysts have failed to grasp that none of the typical reasons given for industry mergers apply to this deal.

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Congo Sees Surge in Mining of Metals for Green-Energy Transition – by Michael J. Kavanagh (Financial Post/Bloomberg – June 3, 2022)


(Bloomberg) — Democratic Republic of Congo could see about 10 new mines for metals key to powering the green-energy transition within four years, according to the director of the country’s mining registry.

About 500 of the nation’s mining permits are in advanced development and will soon lead to new projects for lithium and cobalt — battery metals driving the electric vehicle revolution — while mines for copper, tin, tantalum and tungsten will also be built, Jean Felix Mupande told a conference in the southeast city of Lubumbashi. Congo is already the world’s No. 1 cobalt producer and Africa’s biggest copper miner.

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Russia Stake in Biggest Zimbabwe Platinum Project Deters Backers – by Felix Njini, Loni Prinsloo and Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg News – June 3, 2022)


(Bloomberg) — Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum project, struggling to get off the ground for the past two years has a new challenge. A major stake held by a Russian tycoon is scaring off potential financiers for the $3 billion mine, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Initial development work on the Darwendale deposit began in early 2020, but operations at the project were soon halted because of a lack of capital and the site has been abandoned since early last year, according to a report by Zimbabwe’s Centre for Natural Resource Governance.

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Investors Are Rushing Back Into Africa’s Copper Country – by Thomas Biesheuvel, Felix Njini and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi (Bloomberg News – May 12, 2022)


(Bloomberg) — Mining investors are stampeding back into a region many had seemed determined to leave. Straddling the border of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a vast forested area roughly the size of Portugal contains one of the world’s richest caches of minerals: copper for wires and cables, and cobalt for rechargeable batteries.

At the intersection of the two African nations, trucks queue for about 53 kilometers (33 miles) along a cratered road snaking past giant mounds of mining residue and villagers selling stacks of watermelons — most of them carrying metals vital to the global energy transition.

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Gold Fields CEO disappointed as share price falls after Yamana takeover announcement but vows to plow on – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 1, 2022)


Chris Griffith, the chief executive officer of Gold Fields Ltd., is fielding questions from shareholders concerned that the South African gold major is overpaying for Yamana Inc., but he is nonetheless determined to push ahead on the deal, insisting the price on the table is fair.

Earlier this week, Johannesburg-based Gold Fields announced it intends to acquire Toronto-based Yamana for US$6.7-billion in an all-stock transaction. Yamana shareholders are set to receive 0.6 of a Gold Fields share for each of their Yamana shares, a premium of 42 per cent over the Friday close on the New York Stock Exchange.

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South Africa’s Gold Fields to buy Canadian miner Yamana Gold in ‘surprise’ US$6.7-billion deal – by Niall McGee and David Milstead (Globe and Mail – May 31, 2022)


South Africa’s Gold Fields Limited is paying a rich premium to buy Yamana Gold Inc. in a USS6.7-billion all-share transaction that will see another of Canada’s mid-tier mining companies swallowed up by bigger prey.

In a deal announced on Tuesday, Yamana shareholders are set to receive 0.6 of a Gold Fields share, which equates to a premium of 31 per cent over its closing market value on Monday. Yamana’s board has backed the deal, and a shareholder vote will be held later in the year, with at least two thirds of votes cast needed for it to close.

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What coltan mining in the DRC costs people and the environment – by Oluwole Ojewale (The Conversation – May 29, 2022)


Oluwole Ojewale, Institute for Security Studies

For the full report: https://enact-africa.s3.amazonaws.com/site/uploads/2022-05-03-research-paper-29-rev.pdf

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is rich in natural resources – its untapped deposits of minerals are estimated to be worth US$24 trillion. Gold, diamonds, cobalt and zinc are among them.

Another strategic mineral mined in the DRC is coltan – a name derived from “columbite-tantalite”. In 2021, the DRC’s coltan production amounted to an estimated 700 tonnes, making the Central African country the world’s largest coltan producer by far.

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Interview: On responsible cobalt from DRC, industry needs to ‘put its money where its mouth is’ (S&P Global – May 30, 2022)


The Fair Cobalt Alliance is aiming to raise $20 million by 2025 to help develop a responsible and fair supply of artisanally-mined cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo to harness the potential of this sector, with industry needing to back up its words with financial commitment, David Sturmes, the alliance’s Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partnerships Lead, told S&P Global Commodity Insights.

The FCA was set up in August 2020 to help bring about change in the DRC’s artisan mining sector and currently has 24 members, including Glencore, Google and Tesla. In April it launched an advisory board, which will provide and publish independent feedback on its approaches and strategy, as part of the FCA’s commitment to transparency.

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Around 100 dead in clashes between gold miners in Chad (Africa News/AFP – May 30, 2022)


A hundred people were killed a week ago in clashes between gold miners in a remote desert region of northern Chad. According to the Minister of Defence, General Daoud Yaya Brahim the clashes started on May 23 with clashes “from a banal dispute” between two gold miners.

Clandestine mines

The region, in the vast mountainous and desert massif of Tibesti, is full of mines, often operated clandestinely by a multitude of gold miners from all over the country and neighbouring states, Libya, Niger and Sudan.

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Gold Fields buying Yamana Gold in US$6.7B deal – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – May 31, 2022)


Gold Fields Ltd. agreed to buy Canada’s Yamana Gold Inc. for about US$7 billion in an all-share deal that will make the South African miner the world’s No. 4 gold producer.

Yamana has mines in Canada, Argentina, Chile and Brazil, and Gold Fields said the acquisition fits with its strategy of expanding in “mining friendly” jurisdictions across the Americas.

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Canadian foreign aid was discussed during Barrick tax dispute in Tanzania, internal e-mails show – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – May 42022)


A newly obtained cache of e-mails has shed light on the anger and anxiety at Barrick Gold Corp. and the federal trade department after a Barrick subsidiary was hit with a disastrous export ban and massive tax claim in Tanzania.

The ban on gold concentrate exports triggered one of the worst crises in the history of Barrick’s operations in Africa, with its subsidiary losing two-thirds of its share value as the tax dispute deteriorated.

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Mining Indaba: Robert Friedland: ‘World economy can’t change unless we develop a lot more mines’ – by Henry Lazenby (Mining.com – May 11, 2022)


Global mining personality and financier Robert Friedland has singled out Africa and the Arabian Shield as the venues where the world’s future-facing minerals and metals will be responsibly produced. “This is where humanity is going to make it or break it,” he told the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa.

He points out that the large copper mines in Latin America are aging and declining in grade, requiring increasing amounts of fossil-fuel-derived energy to process ever-increasing tonnages to keep up with historical production.

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Authorities hope to reach survivors trapped in Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso – by Georgie Smyth (CBC News World – May 10, 2022)


The race to reach eight workers trapped in a flooded, Canadian-owned zinc mine in West Africa is making progress. Trevali Mining Corp. says access to its Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso is improving after more than 32 million litres of water were pumped out of the shaft.

Workers became trapped more than 500 metres below the surface on April 16, after heavy rain caused flash flooding which breached two embankments outside the mine, said Trevali in a statement to CBC News on Tuesday. Sixteen other workers underground at the time were able to escape.

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