Archive | Africa Mining

UPDATE 1-AngloGold to revive historic Ghana asset after illegal miners ousted – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – February 20, 2018

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 20 (Reuters) – AngloGold Ashanti will spend up to $500 million to mechanise its Obuasi mine in Ghana, capping a dramatic saga for an asset rendered worthless when it was invaded by thousands of illegal miners.

The company announced last year that Ghana’s military had cleared out the illegal miners, who had numbered up to 12,000 at one point, from Obuasi in the Ashanti region.

This paved the way for the company to carry out a feasibility study to see if fresh life could be breathed into the century-old mine. Continue Reading →

Mines Linked to Child Labor Are Thriving in Rush for Car Batteries – by Thomas Wilson and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – February 19, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labor.

Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the estimates of officials at three of the biggest international suppliers of the metal, who asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak on the matter.

State-owned miner Gecamines estimates artisanal output accounted for as much as a quarter of the country’s total production in 2017. That’s a concern for carmakers from Volkswagen AG to Tesla Inc., who are seeking to secure long-term supplies of the battery ingredient but don’t want to be enmeshed in a scandal about unethical mining practices. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Acacia, China miners in talks over Tanzania gold deal – sources – by Nicole Mordant and John Tilak (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) – China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd and Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd are in separate talks with Acacia Mining Plc to form a joint venture for the London-listed company’s gold mines in Tanzania, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Acacia’s majority shareholder, Barrick Gold Corp, is involved in the discussions, the people said. Acacia, caught in a near year-long tax dispute with the government of Tanzania, has also has held talks with state-owned China National Gold Group about such a partnership, two of the people said, although it was not clear if those talks are ongoing.

Shares in London-listed Acacia, which were down around 3 percent, rebounded after the Reuters report to trade up as much as 3.4 percent. They closed down 0.9 percent, at 162.95 pence. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Nickel flies on supply hits; Indonesia could ground it – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Nickel has enjoyed a blistering start to 2018. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel has this week punched up through the $14,000 level for the first time since May 2015 to hit a Thursday high of $14,420 per tonne.

It has gained 10 percent since the start of the year and has bounced 34 percent from its December low of $10,740 per tonne. Speculative money has poured into this hot market, fund managers tripling their net long exposure LME-NI-MNET to the London contract over the course of December and January.

Shanghai investors have been equally enthusiastic, albeit with a Chinese twist of treating nickel as a bullish steel rebar derivative. Nickel is basking in the electric vehicle glow but the full demand impact is still in the future. Continue Reading →

Burkina Faso expects record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018 – minister – by Tim Cocks and Ange Aboa (Reuters Africa – February 16, 2018)

https://af.reuters.com/

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Burkina Faso expects to produce a record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018, a two-thirds increase on five years ago, as new projects in the landlocked West African country come on tap, the mines minister told Reuters in an interview.

Speaking in his office in the capital Ouagadougou late on Thursday, Oumarou Idani said gold production had hit 45.5 tonnes last year. That puts it ahead of Tanzania as Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer — after South Africa and Burkina Faso’s neighbours Ghana and Mali.

The forecast for this year represents a 20 percent increase on 2017, and at current levels would put its industrial production on a par with No.3 producer Mali. Continue Reading →

Barrick mulls selling copper business as it faces lower production, higher costs – by Niall McGhee (Globe and Mail – February 16, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. is contemplating getting out of the copper business. President Kelvin Dushnisky said a sale of the copper assets is a possibility, although the company is not running a sales process at this time.

“Would we consider divestment in some point in time? Yes,” Mr. Dushnisky said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

Barrick acquired its copper assets primarily through its US$7.3-billion purchase of Equinox Minerals Ltd. in 2011. The high-priced acquisition, timed shortly before a global slump in metals prices, proved to be a financial disaster, as Barrick wrote down the value of these assets by US$3.8-billion less than two years later. Continue Reading →

Sound policy, low risk key to attracting mining investment – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – February 16, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Gobal equity markets have been extremely volatile in recent weeks, extending a frantic sell-off of US stocks, which culminated in the steepest plunge for the Dow Jones Industrial Average in six-and-a-half years.

While commodities were not spared from the rout, American multinational investment banking and financial services firm Citigroup says now is the time for investors to add positions in metals.

According to Citigroup, demand-led inflationary pressures are a boon for real assets like commodities, as they raise the cost of production and support higher prices, while they are bearish for assets such as bonds. Continue Reading →

Africa’s broken heart: Congo is sliding back to bloodshed (The Economist – February 2018)

https://www.economist.com/

NO CONFLICT since the 1940s has been bloodier, yet few have been more completely ignored. Estimates of the death toll in Congo between 1998 and 2003 range from roughly 1m to more than 5m—no one counted the corpses. Taking the midpoint, the cost in lives was higher than that in Syria, Iraq, Vietnam or Korea.

Yet scarcely any outsider has a clue what the fighting was about or who was killing whom. Which is a tragedy, because the great war at the heart of Africa might be about to start again.

To understand the original war, consider this outrageously oversimplified analogy. Imagine a giant house whose timbers are rotten. That was the Congolese state under Mobutu Sese Seko, the kleptocratic tyrant who ruled from 1965 to 1997. Next, imagine a cannonball that brings the house crashing down. That cannonball was fired from Rwanda, Congo’s tiny, turbulent neighbour. Continue Reading →

A look behind Sherritt’s double financing victory – by Barry Critchley (Financial Post – February 15, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

The Canadian resource company bought back $121.223M of three classes of debt at an aggregate cost of $110.331M plus accrued interest

It looks like a classic win-win, now that the second part of a financing package unveiled one month back by Sherritt International has closed: the issuer raised more equity than originally intended and bought back more debt than anticipated — and at a slightly lower price.

Wednesday, Sherritt announced it had bought back $121.223 million of three classes of debt at an aggregate cost of $110.331 million plus accrued interest. Under normal circumstances, that debt was set to mature over the period of 2021-2025. Because of the buy-back the company now has about $600 million of debt outstanding — down from $720 million previously.

Sherritt bought the debt back through a modified Dutch auction: prior to the auction, it posted maximum prices; asked holders to submit their proposals, indicated those proposals “must be less or equal to the maximum price,” and then picked the so-called market-clearing price. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe: Account for the Missing $15 Billion – Mnangagwa Told (All Africa.com – February 14, 2018)

http://allafrica.com/

Presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections, Dr Noah Manyika, who leads the Build Zimbabwe Alliance party, says President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Vice Presidents must be held accountable for the $15 billion worth of diamonds revenue, as they were in critical positions when the loot reportedly happened.

Former President Robert Mugabe broke the news of the missing $15 billion diamond revenue in an interview to mark his 92nd birthday in March in 2016, saying Treasury had received $2 billion since diamond mining operations started in 2008.

There has not been any arrests made since, although a “witch hunt ” was launched in November of 2016. Dr Manyika, who is one of the several presidential aspirants, said Mnangagwa should be held accountable for the loot together with Vice Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga. Continue Reading →

Crucial to find cobalt sources outside of Africa – by Rahul Verma and Brent A. Elliott (My San Antonio.com – February 14, 2018)

https://www.mysanantonio.com/

Rahul Verma is a research scientist associate in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. Brent A. Elliott is an economic geologist in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.

As we move toward integration of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, we need to pay greater attention to the cobalt supply chain and diversification of supply for cobalt sources.

Cobalt plays an integral part in the common lithium-ion battery, and as battery-powered applications such as electric vehicles become ubiquitous, cobalt mining will need to grow proportionally to avoid supply bottlenecks.

Industry projections show that if we reach 24.7 million cars by 2025, we will need the cobalt supply for a compound annual growth rate of about 8 percent from 2020 to 2025. If demand is higher, such as upward of 63.2 million cars by 2025, it will require a growth of about 14 percent from 2020 to 2025. Such growth rates hinge on a precarious supply chain. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-Gold Fields to evaluate efficiency at loss-making South African asset – by Tanisha Heiberg (Reuters U.S. – February 14, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Gold Fields Ltd will continue to evaluate and focus on efficiency at its loss-making South African asset, South Deep, after production fell below guidance in 2017, the bullion miner said on Wednesday.

South Deep, which has faced operational challenges in an unforgiving geology 3 km (2 miles) beneath the surface, made a loss of 337.6 million rand in 2017 compared with a profit of 191.1 million rand the previous year.

If the mine’s production targets continue not to be met, the firm will look at alternatives, Chief Executive Nick Holland said during the company’s full-year results presentation. Continue Reading →

Ramaphosa offers South African miners light at end of tunnel – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – February 13, 2018)

https://www.ft.com/

Ending deadlock over mining laws key to reviving industry and a more business-friendly environment

The change at the top of the ruling African National Congress party has given fresh hope to South Africa’s embattled mining industry.

Executives who descended on Cape Town last week for the annual Investing in African Mining Indaba expressed hope that Cyril Ramaphosa, the party’s new leader, will be able to break the deadlock over controversial new mining laws and create a more business-friendly environment.

“The new leader of the ANC is making a mark and it is a very positive mark,” said Neal Froneman, chief executive of Sibanye-Stillwater, one of the world’s biggest platinum producers. “Some of the key issues are now being addressed.” Continue Reading →

Going for Gold – Australia and Egypt working together to develop the Egyptian mining sector (Mareeg.com – February 13, 2018)

Mareeg.com

CAIRO, Egypt, February 13, 2018-Australian Ambassador Neil Hawkins is delighted that Australian mining companies are showing increased interest in Egypt’s mining sector. ‘Egypt has huge potential in mining, as the dozens of Australians working at the Sukari mine near Marsa Alam can attest’, he said. ‘We look forward to increasing cooperation between Australian and Egyptian mining officials and companies in 2018.’

To kick-start that cooperation, the Australian Embassy in Cairo, in collaboration with the Western Australian Department of Mines and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority, will be coordinating a two-day capacity building workshop on best practices for sustainable mining governance in Cairo from 14- 15 February 2018.

Egypt has strong potential to develop further its mining sector and attract significant international investment. Australia is an international leader in mining with years of experience and many strong, successful mining companies active around the world. Continue Reading →

Sherritt narrows headline loss as cost savings, higher metal prices boost bottom line – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – February 14, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Canadian diversified miner Sherritt International has narrowed its headline loss for the 12 months ended December 31, as lower costs and higher commodity prices boosted the bottom line.

The Toronto-based miner, which produces nickel, cobalt and oil in Cuba, and nickel and cobalt at the Ambatovy mine, in Madagascar, reported an adjusted net loss of C$317.1-million, or C$1.07 a share outstanding, compared with an adjusted net loss of C$427.9-million, or C$1.46 a share outstanding, for 2016.

Net earnings for the period, including a C$629-million gain related to the Ambatovy Joint Venture (JV) restructuring, were C$293.8-million, or C$0.99 a share outstanding, up from a net loss of C$378.9-million, or C$1.29 a share outstanding, in 2016. Revenue for the period fell 22% to C$54.8-million. Continue Reading →