Archive | Africa Mining

Barrick Gold sweetens offer, Acacia agrees to takeover deal in Tanzania – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 20, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. and Acacia Mining PLC have reached agreement on terms of a takeover deal that could put an end to a geopolitical quagmire that has engulfed both companies for more than two years.

On Friday, Barrick announced plans to acquire the 36.1 per cent of Acacia it doesn’t already own for US$428-million by paying 0.168 of its own stock for each Acacia share.

In 2017, the Tanzanian government accused London-based Acacia of US$200-billion in tax fraud and banned it from exporting gold and copper concentrate. The development crippled production at two of its three mines in the East African country. Tanzania has refused, for the most part, to even engage with Acacia in talks to end the dispute. Continue Reading →

South African Court Blocks Zambia’s Plans to Sell Vedanta Mines – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – July 23, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A South African court ordered Zambia to halt plans to liquidate and sell copper mines controlled by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal pending arbitration in a dispute that’s rattled investors. The Zambian government said it would appeal the ruling.

The Zambian government must immediately cease efforts aimed at winding up Vedanta Resources Ltd.’s Konkola Copper Mines unit, Johannesburg High Court Judge Leicester Adams said.

The court also ruled the state breached its shareholder obligations, and continues to do so. The South African court has no jurisdiction in Zambia and the ruling isn’t enforceable in the nation, Zambian Mines Minister Richard Musukwa said in comments broadcast on Facebook. Continue Reading →

Barrick set to take full control of Acacia after raising bid – by Nichola Saminather, Barbara Lewis and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters Canada – July 19, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

TORONTO/LONDON (Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp has struck a deal to buy out its fellow shareholders in Acacia Mining with a higher bid than originally proposed, raising expectations Acacia’s long-running tax dispute with the Tanzanian government will finally be resolved.

The original buyout proposal from Barrick, which owns 63.9% of Acacia, drew accusations from minority shareholders that Barrick was taking advantage of the Tanzania-focused company’s woes to buy it on the cheap. But Acacia acknowledged that a takeover would be the best solution to its problems.

The improved bid was welcomed by the company and investors, with Acacia shares jumping as much as 20% on Friday. They were trading at 222 pence, their highest since April, at 1453 GMT (10:53 a.m. EDT). Continue Reading →

Send in the troops: Congo raises the stakes on illegal mining – by Aaron Ross (Reuters U.S. – July 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

DAKAR (Reuters) – A Congolese army officer arrived in the village of Kafwaya in June and warned residents not to trespass on a major Chinese copper and cobalt mine next door. As night fell about a week later, the soldiers moved in.

“They didn’t say anything to anyone,” said Fabien Ilunga, an official in Kafwaya, which is home to thousands of miners eking out a living by illegally exploiting the nearby mineral resources. “The army started to burn down the tarpaulin houses.”

Deploying soldiers to clear tens of thousands of illegal informal miners from mining concessions is a new approach by the authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo, who have wrestled with the problem for decades. Continue Reading →

Acacia faces Tanzanian roadblock as Barrick bid set to expire – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 18, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Acacia Mining PLC is facing a new threat to its African gold-mining operations, as it pushes for a higher takeover offer from parent company Barrick Gold Corp.

In a statement on Wednesday, Acacia said that Tanzania’s environment regulator has ordered it to close the tailings management facility at its North Mara mine by Saturday morning, citing a “failure to contain and prevent seepage.”

The directive threatens to cripple production at the mine, which accounted for about two-thirds of Acacia’s gold output last year. The development isn’t coming entirely out of the blue. In May, Acacia was fined for environmental breaches at North Mara, and in January, Tanzania told Acacia it must completely rebuild and redesign the facility. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Why the cobalt market needs Congo’s “illegal” miners – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – July 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) – Cobalt is back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The death last month of 43 artisan miners at the Kamoto Copper Company KOV concession in the Democratic Republic of Congo has refocused attention on the human cost of producing what is a key input into electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The KOV concession is majority-owned by a subsidiary of trading and mining group Glencore. The official response to the incident – sending the army to clear around 20,000 “illegal” miners from the area around the mine – merely underlines the problematic nature of the world’s dependence on Congo for its supply of cobalt.

The country accounted for around 64% of global mined production last year, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The latest incidents will do nothing to reassure automotive companies about the future stability of sustainable supply and will incentivise them further to try and reduce the amount of cobalt in EV batteries. Continue Reading →

Dushnisky sets sights on shaping AngloGold Ashanti for a new gold industry order – by David McKay (MiningMX.com – July 10, 2019)

MiningMX.com

Outside, Johannesburg is thronging with activity. One of Dushnisky’s predecessors, Mark Cutifani, once confided that in his early days at AngloGold he was trepidatious about the drive over Nelson Mandela bridge that leads into Ntemi Piliso Street where AngloGold’s Turbine Hall office is located in downtown Johannesburg, with pedestrians giving new expression to jay-walking.

The view of Dushnisky, however, is that the chance to run AngloGold was too good an opportunity to let pass. “I don’t regret a day I was at Barrick (where he was president), but I also knew that I was at a point in my career where there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunities to shape the future of a company that was of Barrick scale.”

One of the facts of AngloGold’s corporate life is that it’s the world’s third largest gold producer, but ranks 14th in terms of market capitalisation. Continue Reading →

Acacia Mining, independent consultant push Barrick Gold to increase takeover offer – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 10, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. has been given more time to table a formal takeover bid for Acacia Mining PLC, as its London-based subsidiary pushes for a materially higher offer.

On Tuesday, just hours before a deadline set by a British takeover panel was set to expire, Barrick was granted a 10-day extension to consider a report by an independent mining consultant that argues Acacia is worth about 38 per cent more than Barrick is willing to pay.

In a release, Acacia said that SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd. has calculated the “preferred” value for Acacia to be 271 pence ($4.45) a share. In May, Toronto-based Barrick said it was willing to pay 0.153 of its own shares for each Acacia share it doesn’t already own, or roughly 197 pence a share. Continue Reading →

Platinum Giants Bolster Positions Before Wage Talks Begin – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg/Yahoo – July 8, 2019)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — When the world’s biggest platinum miners sit down to hammer out a wage deal with one of South Africa’s most militant labor unions this week, they’ll hold two potentially winning cards in reserve: the cash and metal stockpiles to endure a strike.

Those buffers may prove crucial as Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Sibanye Gold Ltd. meet with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union on successive days from July 9.

While the producers will be conscious that AMCU led the country’s longest ever platinum mining strike in 2014, none can meet its demand for a pay increase of as much as 48% without undermining their businesses. Continue Reading →

Diamond Producers Association battles diamond mining misconceptions – by D’Arcy Jenish (Northern Miner – July 4, 2019)

Northern Miner

Jean-Marc Lieberherr readily concedes that the industry he represents and speaks for – global diamond mining – has an image problem. “There are so many misconceptions about diamond mining,” says Lieberherr, chief executive officer of the Belgium-based Diamond Producers Association.

“Issues from the 1990s, like conflict diamonds that funded several African civil wars, are real scars in the history of the industry.” Much has changed within the industry over the past 20 years.

In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution establishing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which aimed at preventing conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream rough diamond market. And by July 2013, some 54 participants from 81 countries had endorsed the Kimberley Process. Continue Reading →

Armed Forces Called to Defend Glencore Mine in Congo – by William Clowes and Tiago Ramos Alfaro (Bloomberg News – July 4, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Glencore Plc said armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo are in the area around the operations of its Kamoto Copper Co., after dozens of illegal miners were killed in a landslide last week.

“We prioritize the safety and security of our workforce and host communities,” Glencore said in a statement on Thursday. “KCC will continue to engage with all the relevant stakeholders to collaborate on identifying and implementing a long-term, sustainable solution to illegal mining in the DRC.”

Illegal miners will be removed from the site of the Glencore project where at least 43 died last week, Interior Minister Basile Olongo said on Saturday. Glencore estimates that 2,000 unauthorized people enter its open-pit mine on average every day. Continue Reading →

‘Poverty-driven’ artisanal mining in spotlight after tragedy hits Canadian miner’s Congo property – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 29, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

‘You need to find alternative ways for these guys to work’

The death of dozens of artisanal miners in Congo on the property of a Toronto-Stock Exchange-listed Canadian company highlights the fraught relationship between overseas mining companies and local communities.

At least 43 artisanal miners have reportedly died while digging for cobalt — a vital metal for the batteries found in smartphones, tablets and electric cars — on a spot of ground that overlooks Katanga Mining Ltd.’s vast Kamoto Copper Complex.

Throughout much of Africa and other parts of the world, artisanal miners are often found near mines, taking grave risks to scour tailings or waste rock in search of valuable metals. Their numbers appear to be growing, along with tragic accidents, which has provoked questions and challenges for mining companies. Continue Reading →

OUR VIEWS: GLENCORE TRAGEDY SHOWS WHY MINING SHOULD BE DONE HERE (Mesabi Daily News – June 29, 2019)

https://www.virginiamn.com/

As news filtered out Thursday that Glencore had established itself as the majority shareholder of PolyMet, which is looking to build Minnesota’s first-ever copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes, devastating headlines about the Swiss-based company were also breaking.

At least 43 “illegal miners” died at a Kamoto Copper Company mine, operated by Glencore’s subsidiary Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Glencore later said the incidents were not linked to the official “operations and activities” of the mine.

While clandestine miners, who access sites without approval or permits, are a common occurrence in Congo and across Africa according to Reuters, the incident raises several questions in light of Glencore’s new role on the Iron Range. Continue Reading →

CORRECTED-Glencore’s Congo tragedy highlights security conundrum for miners – by Edward McAllister and Mitra Taj (Reuters Africa – June 30, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

DAKAR/LIMA, June 30 (Reuters) – The deaths of 43 illegal miners at a Glencore facility in Congo last week highlighted a growing challenge for mining companies struggling to secure sites from small-scale prospectors digging for cobalt, copper and other minerals.

Many mines span hundreds of square kilometers across rural terrains, a tantalizing prospect for illegal miners, also known as artisanal miners, who break into sites in search of metals, some of which end up in electric cars and other products.

But even as last Thursday’s tragedy ratcheted up pressure on companies to make changes to security and community outreach, industry consultants and analysts say the task will be difficult given the geographic constraints and economic challenges faced by the world’s estimated 40 million artisanal miners. Continue Reading →

Is the Northern Cape the new mining boom province? – by Lisa Steyn (Business Live – June 27, 2019)

https://www.businesslive.co.za/

Historic mines in the mineral-rich Northern Cape have a new lease of life thanks to the rise of smarter technology

The dusty, sparsely populated Northern Cape may seem far removed from the notion of the fourth industrial revolution and the rapid technological advances that characterise it.

But the province, possibly more than any other in SA, has the potential for a mining boom in new-tech minerals: zinc, nickel, lead, copper and cobalt. These are key elements in the manufacture of smartphones, electric vehicles and renewable power systems.

And with healthy prices and a good outlook for base metals, and other minerals key to new technologies, a few companies are looking to revive and even expand the Northern Cape’s proven resources. These include smaller players like Orion Minerals (listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and the JSE) and Daphne Mashile-Nkosi’s Kalahari Resources, as well as big names like Kumba Iron Ore. Continue Reading →