Archive | Africa Mining

South Korea seeks to exit Africa mining JV despite rising nickel demand – by Man-su Choe (Korean Investors – August 26, 2020)

State-run Korea Resources Corp. has embarked on a plan to sell its stake in a loss-making nickel mining joint venture in Madagascar, Africa, after the ruling Democratic Party put forward a motion to ban the cash-strapped institution’s direct investment in overseas projects.

The planned sale, announced early this month, would mean South Korea’s exit from one of the world’s three-largest nickel mines, at a time when demand for nickel, a core raw material for rechargeable batteries, is on the rise from the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry.

Korea Resources has pumped 2.2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) in the joint venture (JV), Ambatovy, since acquiring a 33% stake in the venture in 2006. Continue Reading →

Why Rio Tinto and China are at loggerheads (The Economist – October 10, 2020)

China does not like to feel jealous of Japan. But in the case of iron ore it has plenty to envy. Back in the 1960s, when Japan was building up its steel industry, the world’s supply of the stuff was so fragmented that Japan could play off producers in Australia and Brazil against each other.

China, now the world’s biggest steelmaker, does not have that luxury. Though it imports 70% of the world’s iron ore, most of this comes from three companies that in the intervening six decades have become titans.

They are Rio Tinto and BHP, two Anglo-Australian firms, and Vale, a Brazilian one. They have brought about consolidation in the industry. They benefit from high barriers to entry. None is keen to undercut the other two. That puts them in a far stronger position vis à vis Chinese customers than their predecessors were with the Japanese. Continue Reading →

Barrick CEO says gold mining industry still needs to consolidate – by Felix Njini and Steven Frank (Bloomberg News – October 7, 2020)

Barrick Gold Corp.’s top executive says the gold industry needs more consolidation so it can increase exploration to boost depleting reserves, lure more generalist investors and improve efficiencies.

The flurry of deals that characterized the sector in the past two years will likely continue, with miners in Australia already “stamping their mark” on the industry, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in a virtual South African mining conference.

Mergers and acquisitions are likely to dominate the sector in Africa, and are needed in Canada, where the world’s second-largest gold miner is based. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Cell phones are killing gorillas (Iowa State Daily – October 6, 2020)

The United States throws away about 152 million phones every year. Worldwide, 400 million people have an old, spare cell phone that they keep.

Besides the fact that throwing away cell phones is e-waste, properly disposing of and recycling your old phones can help an endangered species: the Western lowland gorillas.

A mineral called coltan is found in cell phones, which is mined in the rainforests the gorillas call home, thus destroying their habitats. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner mulls buying mothballed gold assets in Zimbabwe – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – October 5, 2020)

Caledonia Mining Corp. said it’s in talks to acquire assets that would expand its gold-mining operations in Zimbabwe.

The Toronto-based gold producer is targeting both privately held assets and mothballed mines owned by the state, according to spokesman Maurice Mason. He declined to name the companies Caledonia was talking to, but said the miner hopes to make an announcement on at least one of the assets by the end of this year.

Acquisitions could help Caledonia boost its annual output more than eightfold to half a million ounces as the company considers investing US$400 million in Zimbabwe over the next decade. Continue Reading →

Zambian Royalty Spat Halts $2 Billion of Copper Mine Investment – by Felix Njini, Taonga Clifford Mitimingi and Matthew Hill (Bloomberg News – September 30, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Copper miners in Zambia have halted $2 billion of planned investments because a royalty tax introduced last year makes the projects unviable, according to an industry lobby group.

A plan by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. to invest $1 billion extending the life of its Kansanshi operation won’t proceed until the royalty is scrapped, said Sokwani Chilembo, chief executive officer of the Zambia Chamber of Mines. The same goes for EMR Capital-backed Lubambe Copper Mine’s project to invest a similar amount in a new mining operation, he said.

“We need this royalty payment regime removed for progress to begin,” Chilembo said in an interview. “If the government thinking is otherwise, good luck.” Continue Reading →

Russian Plan to Dig Biggest Zimbabwe Platinum Mine Advances – by Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – September 23, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — A project that aims to develop Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum mine has cleared a significant hurdle, with the African Export-Import Bank completing a due diligence study allowing it to proceed with a $500 million syndicated funding program.

While some work has started on the mine, with $100 million spent to date including exploration costs, a significant amount of investment will now be needed if Great Dyke Investments, owned by Russia’s Vi Holding and Zimbabwean investors, is to complete the $2 billion project. Continue Reading →

Africa’s Diamond Capital Invests in a Futuristic Innovation Hub – by Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – September 18, 2020)

The Icon Building, a $60-million anchor for a Silicon Valley-style technology incubator in Botswana, reflects the nation’s mineral wealth — and its need to think beyond it.

Africa has seen the ruin that resource riches can bring. In cities like Luanda in Angola and the South African metropolis of Johannesburg, glimmering corporate headquarters are often surrounded by shantytowns; sometimes the office towers themselves are abandoned once the commodities run out.

The nation of Botswana is trying not to fall deeply into that trap. Its economy relies heavily on diamond mining — it’s the home of the Jwaneng open-pit mine, the world’s richest, which is run jointly with the U.K.-based De Beers Group.

But the government is acutely aware that diamond mining is not forever. Unemployment and income inequality are a growing concern in this country of about 2.3 million people. Continue Reading →

Canadian gold miner shrugs off coup to boost output in Mali – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – September 2020)

Canada’s B2Gold Corp. is expanding its gold-mining operations in Mali, undeterred by a military coup and a growing Islamist insurgency in the West African nation.

Mali’s military ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last month in the country’s second coup in less than 10 years. So far, the country’s gold mines — a key source of revenue — haven’t been affected by the political turmoil.

Vancouver-based B2Gold is not only boosting output at its flagship Fekola mine, but is examining other opportunities both in Mali and across the region. Continue Reading →

DRC illegal mining the dangerous first link in gold supply chain  – by Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya and Samir Tounsi (Yahoo Finance/AFP – September 14, 2020)

Illegal small-scale gold miners in DR Congo, such as those who were killed when their makeshift mine collapsed last week, are the often-exploited first link in a supply chain that extends to Dubai, according to experts.

The bodies of 22 artisanal miners have been recovered as of Monday, a resident at the scene told AFP, after torrential rain flooded their mine in the eastern town of Kamituga three days before.

The mining town’s mayor has said 20 local families have reported missing loved ones. Rescue efforts continued on Monday to find any survivors of the mining disaster, which are all to common in the vast central African country’s volatile east. Continue Reading →

There’s nothing perfect for the JSE’s miners in the future offered by the green economy – by David McKay ( – September 11, 2020)


In July, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, issued an unusual public challenge to the world’s mining industry. Commenting during an investor presentation, he dangled the prospect of a “giant contract for a long period of time” to the firm that could supply responsibly-mined nickel.

Nickel is not particularly in short supply. According to a June report by Australia’s Macquarie Bank, previously forecast deficits in nickel for this year until 2025 are now expected to turn into narrow surpluses. This is partly owing to the impact of Covid-19 disease which has dented consumption more than supply, the bank said.

Availability, however, was not behind Tesla’s request. In a world of improving environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) standards, it’s peace of mind that’s harder to source than minerals. Continue Reading →

Definitive feasibility study for Kakula confirms giant mine – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 8, 2020)

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) published on Tuesday the results of an independent definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which confirms the asset could become the world’s second largest copper mining complex.

Kakula, the first underground mine planned at the Kamoa-Kakula concession, is forecast to generate 6 million tonnes of ore a year at an average feed grade of 6.6% copper over the first five years of operation, the study shows.

Ivanhoe said the document is an independent verification by nine of the world’s top engineering firms of Kakula’s robust economics. Continue Reading →

Meet the struggling gold miners who are missing out on boom in the precious metal – by Sara Geenen and Boris Verbrugge (The Conversation – May 21, 2020)

Sara Geenen is an Assistant professor in Globalisation, International Development and Poverty, University of Antwerp and Boris Verbrugge is a Post-doctoral Researcher in Development Studies, University of Antwerp.

In Mukungwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands of young men and women live in makeshift huts. They have no access to sanitation or health facilities.

They work as manual drillers, carriers or timber specialists in narrow underground tunnels, which exposes them to everything from toxic metals to cave-ins and even suffocation.

They work in teams under different agreements with a local paymaster, sometimes sharing what they find, sometimes receiving a wage or payments in kind. Outside the pits, others work as rock crushers, water carriers, washers or cooks. Continue Reading →

‘Made in Morocco’: Mining Boom Demands Focus on Value Added Products – by Jasper Hamann (Morocco World News – September 7, 2020)


Rabat – A mining boom could benefit more than just exports if Morocco can advance the production of value-added products. Shedding the legacy of colonialist resource exploitation, Morocco could expand its position in supply chains and better profit from its natural assets.

The country has 75% of the world’s estimated reserves of phosphate and is growing its share of barite, cobalt, and other important minerals. The world relies on countries like Morocco to supply the global community with such minerals.

These raw materials are necessary to produce mobile phones, make fertilizer to grow crops, and produce steel for cars and buildings. Reserves for important materials for high-tech products like computers and cell phones are not available in Europe and the United States. Continue Reading →

Friedland’s Nimba iron ore project to get World Bank backing – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – August 31, 2020)

The World Bank is said to be mulling an $135 million investment in the proposed Nimba iron ore mine in southeastern Guinea, which is owned by Canada’s High Power Exploration (HPX), a privately-held company founded my mining mogul Robert Friedland.

The move by MIGA, the bank’s agency for foreign investment, would help HPX deal with potential political risks associated with the mine’s exploration phase, including the completion of key studies preceding Nimba’s construction and operations.

MGA’s involvement could prove crucial for both the Guinean economy and the local biodiversity, Africa Intelligence reports. Continue Reading →