Archive | Africa Mining

Kinross to spend $150-million at Tasiast in expansion plan for key African mine – by Nial McGee (Globe and Mail – August 16, 2019)

Kinross Gold Corp. is moving to expand its Tasiast mine in West Africa in a bid to reduce its costs of production and boost output in the region.

On Sunday, Toronto-based Kinross announced it will invest US$150-million into the mine in Mauritania, predicting that production will rise to an average of 445,000 ounces of gold a year starting in 2020. Last year, the mine produced about 250,000 ounces.

The announcement comes after a previous, more expensive expansion plan for Tasiast was put on hold in 2018. Acquired by Kinross in 2010, the mine’s expansion plan has been in limbo for more than a year amid protracted negotiations with the Mauritanian government over taxes and procurement agreements. Continue Reading →

Petra Diamonds shares hit all-time low as loss widens – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 16, 2019)

Shares in African diamond miner Petra Diamonds (LON: PDL) hit an all-time low on Monday after reporting a net loss of $258.1 million for the year ending in June, compared to a $203.1 million-loss in 2018, amid challenging market conditions.

The company, which has mines in South Africa and Tanzania, said the loss reflected an impairment charge of $246.6 million triggered by lower diamond price assumptions.

Richard Duffy, who has been at Petra’s helm since April, said the diamond market was in its worst state since the financial crisis in 2008, but expects it to stabilize in the next 12 to 18 months. Continue Reading →

De Beers Namibia diamond venture sells mine to local consortium (Reuters U.S. – September 12, 2019)

WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namdeb Holdings Limited, a joint venture between the Namibian Government and Anglo American’s diamond unit De Beers Group, said on Thursday that it has sold Elizabeth Bay Mine and its associated marine assets as a going concern to Lewcor, a 100% Namibian-owned consortium.

Namdeb, which unsuccessfully explored a variety of options to extend the life of its Elizabeth Bay Mine beyond 2019, ceased operations in September 2018 because it could no longer run the operation economically.

The company said it first put the mine up for sale in February last year, seeking to find an operator suited to operate the mine in a sustainable way, ensuring continuation of employment and economic activities in Namibia. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Friedland Wins Rights to Iron Ore Project in Guinea – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Ougna Camara (Bloomberg News – September 6, 2019)

Billionaire mining investor Robert Friedland has won the rights to develop an iron ore deposit in Guinea that owners including BHP Group have left undeveloped for years.

Friedland has been in talks with BHP, Newmont Goldcorp Corp. and Orano for months to secure the right to develop the Nimba deposit on Guinea’s border with Liberia. Guinean president Alpha Conde attended a signing ceremony in the capital, Conakry, on Thursday to agree to Friedland’s High Power Exploration group buying 95% of the project.

While Guinea has some of the world’s richest iron ore deposits, including the fabled Simandou mine that Rio Tinto Group, Vale SA and billionaire Beny Steinmetz have fought over for years, it has never exported a ton. Continue Reading →

Cameroon Villagers Say Chinese Miners Are Ruining Local Environment – by Moki Edwin Kindzeka (Voice of America – September 5, 2019)

MEIGANGA, CAMEROON – Villagers near Meiganga, a town in northern Cameroon, are protesting against Chinese gold miners for allegedly ruining their land. The villagers say they are poorer than before the Chinese arrived, with their farms and forests now destroyed.

Area cattle ranchers and farmers say that if nothing is done to save them from Chinese miners, famine may strike their locality soon.

Their spokesman, rancher Mamoudu Poro, 54, says the miners destroy farms and do not bother to cover holes and trenches they dig on roads and ranches before leaving. He says they want the Chinese to build the roads they destroyed and fill the trenches they dug, give them electricity and at least a school and a market before leaving. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe: The Tragedy of NGOs Singing for Their Supper – by Johnson Gonorenda (All Herald – September 5, 2019)

The world over – the question of balance between equitable and sustainable resource exploitation has become central. The emergence in our time of matters such as greenhouse carbon emissions and competing theories on global warming, its causes, effects and extent and, more importantly, methods put forward for arresting the said pace of global warming have become key topics of global policy and a need for global solutions.

In this regard we have seen global incoherence on the way forward. The United States, in particular, has at one point alongside other global powers such as Germany, Britain, France and Canada proposed stringent policy proposals to arrest global warming.

However, in the age of President Trump, the US has been putting a massive handbrake to so-called environmental initiatives and this has frustrated her allies. Continue Reading →

‘Most renewable energy companies’ linked with claims of abuses in mines – by Kate Hodal (The Guardian – September 5, 2019)

Corporate watchdog urges clean-up of supply chains as analysis finds weak regulation and enforcement has led to lack of scrutiny

Most of the world’s top companies extracting key minerals for electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines have been linked with human rights abuses in their mines, research has found.

Analysis published by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), an international corporate watchdog, revealed that 87% of the 23 largest companies mining cobalt, copper, lithium, manganese, nickel and zinc – the six minerals essential to the renewable energy industry – have faced allegations of abuse including land rights infringements, corruption, violence or death over the past 10 years.

As the global economy switches to low-carbon technologies to combat global heating, demand for minerals could rise by as much as 900% by 2050, according to World Bank estimates. In order to prevent further human rights abuses, renewable energy companies urgently need to clean up their supply chains, said BHRRC senior researcher Eniko Horvath. Continue Reading →

AMC fights to save South China tigers from extinction – by Laura Cornish (Mining Review Africa – August 29, 2019)

Mining Review Africa

According to the World Wildlife Fund, South China tigers area “critically endangered” species and considered “functionally extinct” having not been sighted in the wild for more than 25 years.

The non-profit Laohu Valley Reserve near Philippolis in the Free State, South Africa, has dedicated its resources to growing the South China tiger population, with the ultimate intention of re-wilding them in their origin home in China.

LAURA CORNISH visited the reserve to learn about the project which one of South Africa’s major crushing contractors, African Mining & Crushing (AMC) is supporting. Continue Reading →

South Africa Will Rely on Coal for Decades, Key Miner Says – by Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – August 28, 2019)

Seriti Resources Holdings Ltd., poised to become Africa’s second biggest coal producer, is betting that South Africa will rely on coal for decades even as Africa’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases implements carbon taxes and is under pressure to improve air quality.

The most-industrialized economy on the continent will soon release an energy blueprint to outline the sources it will get its power from in the future. The carbon tax, designed to incentivize a move away from the coal that accounts for almost all power generation, could eventually cost state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. about 11.5 billion rand ($751 million) a year.

“When you operate in the coal-mining space the impression created is like you’re an environmental denialist. We are not,” Mike Teke, Seriti’s chief executive officer, said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday. “We operate in a developing economy” where alternatives will need to be phased in gradually, he said. Continue Reading →

Talks on Guinea’s iron ore advance, BHP nears deal on Nimba-sources – by Saliou Samb and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – August 29, 2019)

CONAKRY/LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Leading miner BHP is near a deal to divest its stake in Guinea’s Nimba iron ore deposit, while three big miners are vying to develop half of the country’s Simandou, the largest known untapped iron ore reserve, sources close to the talks said.

Guinea has struggled for decades to extract money from its iron ore, which has been left undeveloped because of protracted legal disputes and the cost of infrastructure.

BHP has also tried for years to sell its stake in the Nimba prospect, which does not fit the company’s preference for operating in stable, developed economies. Banking sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the price would be insignificant as BHP is keen to seal a deal. Continue Reading →

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power – Reports (Moscow Times – August 29, 2019)

Russia is working to win influence in at least 10 African states with high-cost nuclear technology that for the most part does not suit their needs, researchers and NGOs have told The Guardian newspaper.

With booming exports, nuclear energy is one example of Russia’s increasing presence in Africa in recent years. Elsewhere, a businessman known as “Putin’s chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, is widely reported to be spearheading Russia’s push to exchange security and electioneering services for mining rights in Africa.

Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom has approached the leaders of “dozens” of African countries with various nuclear energy projects in the past two years, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Rosatom has existing deals with Egypt and Nigeria and other various agreements with other countries on the continent. Continue Reading →

No pot of gold for locals as China mines Sierra Leone – by Nellie Peyton and Richmond Tholley (Reuters U.S. – August 22, 2019)

MASUMBIRI, Sierra Leone (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When the Chinese gold miners came to Masumbiri town in northern Sierra Leone, everyone lined up for jobs.

Teenagers lied about their age. Women and girls went to cook and clean at the miners’ camp, a gated compound on a nearby mountainside overlooking rice fields.

Dayu, a private company that started working in Sierra Leone last year, was just the latest in a line of Chinese firms drawn to the mineral-rich ground of the West African state’s Tonkolili district in search of gold. Continue Reading →

Into Africa: the US’s drive for African rare earth minerals – by JP Casey (Mining Technology – August 22, 2019)

The international mineral trade is becoming increasingly fractured. An escalating trade war between the US and China is threatening to deprive the former of a number of key commodities, including scandium, graphite and gallium, all of which are not produced domestically in the US and all of which are imported, predominantly from China.

Rare earth minerals are among the commodities most threatened by these increasingly hostile foreign policies. According to 2018 data from the US Geological Survey, the US is entirely reliant on imports for its supply of rare earth minerals, with 78% of all such imports coming from China, orders of magnitude ahead of the second-largest importer to the US, Estonia, which is responsible for 6% of imports.

Demand for these minerals is also increasing dramatically due to their use in the construction of devices such as mobile phones and rechargeable batteries, and in military hardware. The global production of rare earth minerals increasing from less than 20,000 metric tons in 1970 to close to 140,000 metric tons in 2017. Continue Reading →

The complexities of military involvement in mining – by Patrick Kingsland (Mining Technology – August 22, 2019)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to one of the world’s poorest populations, many of whom survive on less than a pound a day. It is also home to 64% of the world’s cobalt supplies – a vital mineral that powers smartphones and electric cars, and offers hope of a more renewable future.

While the majority of Congo’s cobalt is produced by some of the world’s largest mining firms, roughly a third is dug out by hundreds of thousands of informal, artisanal miners who work in dangerous conditions with few safety measures and little recompense.

The big firms use heavy duty trucks and other expensive equipment to dig out the metal. The local Congolese usually use their bare hands, with children making up a significant part of the labour force. Their efforts often end up in global battery supply chains – usually via China – and then into western smartphones and vehicles. Continue Reading →

Glencore’s closure of Congolese cobalt mine ‘could backfire’ – by Nik Martin (Deutsche Welle – August 20, 2019)

The plummeting price of cobalt has been blamed for the closure of the giant Mutanda mine, but other factors are at play. Owner Glencore is struggling to get the DRC’s new president to overturn a 50% super-profits tax.

Cobalt — a byproduct of copper and nickel in mining activities — is an essential component in electric car and mobile phone batteries. The metal was supposed to help Glencore, the world’s largest miner, to ride the electro-mobility and smartphone boom.

But a sudden 40% collapse in the price of cobalt prompted the British-Swiss multinational to announce earlier this month the temporary closure of its massive Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continue Reading →