Archive | Africa Mining

Guinea risks ‘conflict and confusion’ with mining eviction policy – by Nellie Peyton (Reuters U.K. – March 21, 2019)

DAKAR, March 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Civil society groups rejected Guinea’s first policy seeking to protect people displaced by mines and dams on Thursday, saying it would worsen poverty and conflict in the mineral-rich nation.

Seven human rights and development organisations asked the government not to adopt the proposed national standards for relocating and compensating displaced communities, and to spend the next six months consulting with local people instead.

“If the document is adopted like this, it means the problem will never be resolved,” said Mamady Koivogui, executive director of the Association for Mines Without Poverty, one of the groups which hosted a Conakry news conference on Thursday. Continue Reading →

Resource nationalism risk to investment on the rise, led by Africa: study – by Robert Perkins and Diana Kinch (S&P Global Platts – March 21, 2019)

London — Indirect forms of resource nationalism, particularly in Africa, are on the rise, threatening the investment climate in some of the world’s biggest oil and mineral producing nations, according to global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.

A total of 30 countries have witnessed a significant increase in resource nationalism risks over the last year, including 21 major producers of oil, gas and minerals, Verisk Maplecroft’s latest Resource Nationalism Index shows. The country now most at risk is the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been downgraded by five places in the rankings from a year ago to the highest globally alongside Venezuela.

Regionally, Africa is also home to 10 countries experiencing a growth in resource risks, including Tanzania (third highest risk), Zambia (17th) Gabon (23rd) and Equatorial Guinea (40th), according to the study. Continue Reading →

Electric carmakers must make ‘ethical battery’: Amnesty – by Lewis Sanders IV(Deutsche Welle – March 21, 2019)

Customers face a false choice between people or the planet when buying electric cars, according to a rights watchdog. Amnesty International has called for the industry to make “radical changes” in five years.

The electric vehicle industry needs to “make the world’s first completely ethical battery with five years,” human rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Thursday. The London-based organization accused electric automakers of failing to curb human rights abuses, including child labor, linked to the mining of key minerals needed for batteries.

“Finding effective solutions to the climate crisis is an absolute imperative, and electric cars have an important role to play in this,” Amnesty International chief Kumi Naidoo said. “But without radical changes, the batteries which power green vehicles will continue to be tainted by human rights abuses.” Continue Reading →

Op-Ed: What can we expect from the future of Angola’s mining sector? – by Zandre Campos (CNBC Africa – March 20, 2019)

Zandre Campos is the Chairman and CEO of ABO Capital.

Angola is currently the world’s fifth-largest producer of diamonds with 60 percent of the country’s diamond resources not yet utilized. Representing nine percent of the diamond value throughout the world, the country is mining high quality diamonds. Meanwhile, diamond mines around world are getting too old to explore.

Angola is primed to elevate its status as a diamond producer in Africa with the guidance of Angolan president João Lourenço who believes the country should flourish with the untouched natural resources in its mines. The vision by President Lourenço for mining production in the country will increase revenue and attract more investment opportunities in the nation.

The country’s plan to double diamond mining initiatives raises its expectations for growth worldwide in the industry as it affiliates with global trading center, Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The nation identified the importance of diversifying its exports to no longer be heavily reliant on oil, its leading export. Continue Reading →

Chicago Zoos Want You to Recycle Old Cellphones to Save Gorillas – by Alex Ruppenthal ( – March 20, 2019)

Recycling your used cellphone could help save an endangered gorilla species. How, exactly? Cellphones, tablets, battery chargers and other small electronics are manufactured using a mineral compound called coltan, which is hand-mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Central African country also happens to be a prime habitat for Eastern gorillas, and deforestation associated with coltan mining continues to displace large numbers of the animals.

Starting in February and continuing through the end of April, Lincoln Park Zoo is encouraging Chicago-area residents to drop off their old cellphones and other small electronic devices in the collection box at the zoo’s Searle Visitor Center. Continue Reading →

Global Witness says more needs to be done to halt human rights abuses in diamond mining – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – March 20, 2019)

International nonprofit organisation Global Witness (GW) has welcomed the World Diamond Council’s (WDC’s) response to the government-led Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme, but says more needs to be done.

The organisation pointed out in a release that the WDC had, in recent weeks, issued statements that acknowledge serious human rights concerns in the diamond mining sector, while it indicated a shift towards greater transparency in what has been a “notoriously opaque” industry.

GW said the KP had failed to break the links between diamonds and human rights abuses and agreed with the WDC in its highlighting of the critical need for industry to take steps towards responsible diamond sourcing. Continue Reading →

Tanzania sets up mineral trading centers to curb illegal gold exports – by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters U.S. – March 18, 2019)

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has ordered all mineral-producing regions in the East African nation to set up government-controlled trading centers by the end of June, accelerating efforts to curb illegal exports of gold and other precious minerals.

The trading centers will give small-scale miners direct access to a formal, regulated market where they can go and directly trade their gold. They currently struggle to access formal gold dealers who mostly based in the capital Dar es Salam and major towns.

A statement from the prime minister’s office said the first mineral trading center was inaugurated in the northwestern town of Geita on Sunday, close to the country’s biggest gold mine owned by South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti. Continue Reading →

Sierra Leone Sees IMF Support as Crucial to Luring Investors – by Andre Janse Van Vuuren (Bloomberg News – March 13, 2019)

Sierra Leone is counting on its program with the International Monetary Fund to attract infrastructure investments and revive an economy that’s struggling to recover from the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola.

The government of President Julius Maada Bio resumed an agreement with the Washington-based lender for a $172 million extended credit facility in December after an earlier deal with the administration of his predecessor, Ernest Bai Koroma, stalled because it didn’t meet the program’s targets.

Plagued by chronic corruption, double-digit inflation and the legacy of a civil war, economic growth probably stalled at 3.7 percent last year and has persistently failed in recent years to match expansion of as much as 21 percent prior to the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in 2014. Growth may see a slight improvement to 5.4 percent this year, according to the IMF. Continue Reading →

Tanzania orders cleanup at Acacia gold mine, threatens closure – by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters U.K. – March 7, 2019)

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Acacia Mining Plc must halt waste water pollution at its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania by March 30 or the facility will be shut down, the country’s mining minister said on Friday.

Doto Biteko said Acacia needs to stop contaminated water seeping from a waste storage dam at the mine to nearby communities in the country’s north.

“The life of even one Tanzanian is worth more than their gold mining activities,” Biteko told Reuters. Acacia Mining said it had stopped a temporary overspill at the mine, blaming vandals for destroying sections of the pipe it uses to move waste water. Continue Reading →

After the Diamond Rush: Shoddy Housing, Few Jobs in Eastern Zimbabwe – by Gamuchirai Masiyiwa and Linda Mujuru (Global Press Journal – March 10, 2019)

Global Press Journal

CHIADZWA DIAMOND FIELDS, ZIMBABWE — Police and military officers man a boom gate, which marks the boundary of this diamond mining area. An officer stops each vehicle and asks for identity documents from each passenger. No vehicles get through the gate without a permit and the officer’s approval.

Behind the gate, residents of three dozen villages struggle to forge ordinary lives as authorities strictly monitor their movements. The permit to get into this diamond mining area is free and valid for one month, but it’s not issued nearby. Even those who live here must go to Mutare, a town about 40 miles away, to get it.

In shopping areas, locals gather to listen to the radio and socialize. They’re cautious: They never know when the military will show up and look for evidence that people are illegally mining diamonds. Continue Reading →

Bezos, Bloomberg And Gates Back Revolutionary Exploration Tech – Irina Slav (Oil – March 5, 2019)

A startup by the name of KoBold Metals is using big data analytics and modeling to create the equivalent of Google Maps of the earth’s crust with a very specific purpose: “to explore for new sources of ethical cobalt from reliable jurisdictions.”

Some 60 percent of the world’s cobalt, as a by-product of copper and nickel mining, is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which doesn’t exactly have an excellent track record in areas such as child labor, to mention just one. Calls for finding a more ethical way to source cobalt and other battery metals have been numerous, but until now, following them has been problematic because of the lack of alternatives.

However, the financial backers of KoBold Metals, among them Bill Gates, Ray Dalio, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg, seem to believe technology has advanced sufficiently to make it possible to tap hitherto undiscovered cobalt deposits outside the DRC. Continue Reading →

Mining Magnate Mick Davis Is Back – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – February 25, 2019)

Almost every major player in mining has tried to build an iron ore mine in Guinea. Now it’s the turn of Mick Davis.

Davis, nicknamed Mick the Miner, had been one of mining’s most successful operators and deal makers, but in recent years has struggled to reestablish himself in the industry.

Now, a remarkable make-up deal between billionaire mining tycoon Beny Steinmetz and the Guinean government has given him the chance to develop one of Africa’s richest iron ore deposits. Should Guinea and Steinmetz settle their disputes, Davis, through his new Niron Metals vehicle, will be able to develop the Zogota iron ore mine. Continue Reading →

Mining Billionaire Ends Bitter Guinea Dispute After Months of Secret Negotiations – by Franz Wild and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – February 25, 2019)

Israeli mining tycoon Beny Steinmetz is making a dramatic return to Guinea after the billionaire ended a bitter dispute with the West African country that brought his business empire to its knees.

The settlement, brokered by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, ends a seven-year-old dispute centered around one of the world’s richest mineral deposits that included a colorful list of characters from billionaire George Soros to former U.K. leader Tony Blair and mining heavyweights Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA.

After months of secret negotiations, Steinmetz’s BSG Resources Ltd. agreed with Guinean President Alpha Conde to withdraw allegations of corruption leveled against each other over years and to drop a two-year-old arbitration case over one of the world’s most-fabled mineral deposits — the Simandou iron-ore project. Continue Reading →

Barrick outlines agreement with Tanzania aimed at ending Acacia gold export ban – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 21, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp. has reached a new agreement with Tanzania that may finally end a punishing multiyear gold-export ban at its subsidiary Acacia Mining PLC that has weighed heavily on the share prices of both companies.

The development comes about six weeks after skilled African operator Mark Bristow took over as the new chief executive officer of Toronto-based Barrick.

The latest proposal would see Acacia split “economic benefits,” including taxes and royalties from its Tanzanian mines, 50/50 with the East African country. Acacia would also pay Tanzania US$300-million to resolve a long-running tax dispute. While the agreement is similar to one announced in late 2017, the tax penalty can be paid over time, instead up front. Barrick says it will present a proposal to Acacia in the “near future.” Continue Reading →

Demand for Congo’s cobalt is on the rise. So is the scrutiny of mining practices. – by Sarah Katz-Lavigne (Washington Post – February 21, 2019)

Congo’s contested elections in December resulted in the country’s first electoral transfer of power, 59 years after independence. The outcome — with Félix Tshisekedi defeating the candidate backed by departing president Joseph Kabila — has been much in the news.

Cobalt is making headlines, too, along with questions about how the new president will manage resource governance in the mineral-rich country. Congo accounts for at least 60 percent of worldwide cobalt production and has about 50 percent of known global cobalt reserves.

My research in southeastern Congo suggests cobalt mining will prove an increasingly complex policy hurdle for the new president. Many Congolese rely on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) for their incomes. Continue Reading →