Archive | Africa Mining

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

https://www.dw.com/en/

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 →

Russia’s Norilsk and S.African coal town Kriel top SO2 emissions hot spots -NASA data (CNBC.com – August 19, 2019)

https://www.cnbc.com/

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk smelter complex and a town in South Africa’s eastern coal mining province have the highest sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions in the world, according to satellite data from U.S. space agency NASA.

The NASA-compiled data published on Monday was commissioned by environmental group Greenpeace India and used the space authority’s satellites to track anthropogenic sulphur dioxide emission hot spots around the world.

Scientists say that excessive exposure to SO2 particles causes long-term respiratory difficulties and stunted growth in infants among other problems. Continue Reading →

Platinum giant wants to create new battery to replace cobalt, nickel demand – by Rupert Rowling and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – August 14, 2019)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG — The world’s top platinum and palladium supplier has an answer to the electric-car boom that may pose a long-term threat to its biggest market: invent a new battery.

Anglo American Platinum wants to develop a lithium battery that uses platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel. The aim is to create a new multi-billion dollar source of demand for the metals as electric vehicles reduce the need for traditional fuel autocatalysts.

Platinum miners have good reason to be worried. Electric-car sales are forecast to reach 56 million by 2040, making up about 57 percent of the overall car market versus 2 percent now, according to Bloomberg. Continue Reading →

Geneva prosecutors indict billionaire Steinmetz in Guinea corruption case (Reuters U.S. – August 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

GENEVA (Reuters) – A Swiss prosecutor said on Monday he was seeking prison terms for Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and two associates over the alleged payment of bribes linked to the allocation of mining licences in Guinea between 2005 and 2010.

Geneva prosecutor Claudio Mascotto said in a statement the three were accused of “having promised in 2005 and then paid or had bribes paid to one of the wives of former Guinean President Lansana Conte” so as to have mining rights in Guinea’s Simandou region allocated to Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR).

BSGR walked away from Guinea’s massive Simandou iron ore project as part of a settlement announced in February which ended a long-running dispute with the West African nation, the company and Guinea’s government said at the time. Continue Reading →

‘A lot of boxes ticked’: Barrick roars through summer as rival Newmont struggles with former Goldcorp mines – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – August 14, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

On Monday morning, Barrick Gold Corp.’s chief executive Mark Bristow visited the mining giant’s Toronto headquarters to announce second quarter earnings, and to take a victory lap on what’s shaping up to be a good summer.

“It’s a been a fun six months,” Bristow told the assembled analysts, bankers, journalists and others. “Today, I’m glad to share with you the enormous progress our teams have made.”

Barrick recently negotiated to purchase its troubled subsidiary in Tanzania, trimmed overhead and helped make other cost saving moves that helped propel its stock up 50 per cent since June. Continue Reading →

Barrick posts profit jump, flags significant work ahead on Acacia – by Nichola Saminather and Shanti S Nair (Reuters U.S. – August 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) (GOLD.N) reported quarterly adjusted profit that nearly doubled on higher production on Monday, and said it has a “great deal of work” ahead resolving problems around its African unit, whose buyout the company expects to complete next month.

Barrick also said it plans to begin the sale process for its 50% stake in the Kalgoorlie operation in Western Australia in the third quarter. Newmont Goldcorp (NEM.N) owns the remainder.

The world’s second-largest gold producer reported adjusted profit of $154 million, or 9 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, up from $81 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. Continue Reading →

Column: Glencore and the perils of riding the electric vehicle tiger – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – August 8, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore has “a key role to play in enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy,” according to Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg, writing in the company’s 2018 annual report.

Glencore’s “well-positioned portfolio” includes metals at the heart of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution such as copper, cobalt and nickel. But the global metals and marketing powerhouse has just found out that riding the EV tiger can be perilous as well.

The company reported a 32% drop in first-half core profit on Wednesday thanks in large part to problems at its African copper-cobalt business. Continue Reading →

Cobalt, Africa setbacks shrink Glencore’s first-half profit – by Yadarisa Shabong and Barbara Lewis (Reuters Canada – August 7, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore (GLEN.L) reported a 32% drop in first-half core profit on Wednesday, sending its shares to their lowest since late 2016, while a fall in cobalt prices prompted it to halt output for two years at the world’s biggest mine of the battery material.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $5.58 billion for the six months ended June 30 against $8.18 billion a year earlier.

The company’s shares were trading nearly 2% lower by 1139 GMT, recovering slightly from losses that took them to their weakest since October 2016. Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg blamed “a challenging economic backdrop for our commodity mix” and setbacks during the ramp-up of operations in Africa. Continue Reading →

Glencore Plans to Shut Giant Cobalt and Copper Mine in Congo – by Thomas Biesheuvel and William Clowes (Bloomberg News – August 6, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Glencore Plc is planning to halt production at one of the world’s biggest cobalt mines after prices for the battery metal collapsed and costs at the project increased, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The announcement that Glencore will close its Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to come as the company lays out an overhaul of its key African copper and cobalt business when it releases first-half results on Wednesday.

It would be another setback for Glencore, which has been dogged by operational problems, legal challenges and a rift with Congo’s government over a new mining code. Continue Reading →

Sierra Leone community’s suit against diamond miner shows activist trend – by Cooper Inveen (Reuters U.S. – August 6, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

FREETOWN, August 6 (Reuters) – At the foot of a slag heap some 40 meters high, Adi Kalie Bangura showed the black welts that dot his arms and legs that he says are the result of drinking and bathing in water contaminated by Sierra Leone’s largest diamond mine.

The water “makes us get headaches and feel sick in our stomachs,” said Bangura, a traditional healer and community elder in Koidu, the largest city in the West African country’s diamond-rich Kono district. The aluminium roof of the mud brick house he shares with a dozen family members is pockmarked by holes he says are the result of rocks loosened by years of blasting by the mine.

Bangura’s claims are part of those made by a group of Koidu residents in a lawsuit against diamond mining firm Octea Limited and related companies, highlighting how communities in developing countries are becoming increasingly emboldened to use courts to pursue grievances against mining firms. Continue Reading →

Glencore feels pain of Africa risk, cobalt price fall – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 31, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore said on Wednesday it faced a $350 million hit after cobalt prices halved and has begun an overhaul of its under-performing Africa business, which it will explain next week with output revisions in Democratic Republic of Congo.

First-half copper production was 5% lower than last year, while cobalt output rose 28%. Zinc and coal output rose 8% and 10% respectively and nickel dropped 11% versus the same time last year because of maintenance.

London-listed Glencore’s exposure to risk in Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia has weighed on the company’s share price, which has fallen while those of its diversified mining peers have risen. Continue Reading →

Danakali to start developing vast potash project in Eritrea – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – July 26, 2019)

https://www.mining.com/

Australia’s Danakali (ASX, LON:DNK) is closer than ever to beginning the development of its world-class Colluli potash project in Eritrea, which is expected to become one of the world’s most significant and lowest cost sources of sulphate of potash (SOP), a premium grade fertilizer.

A key step toward that goal was taken late last year, when Danakali signed a $200 million funding mandate with a syndicate of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

Once those credit approvals are confirmed, something the Perth-based company estimates will happen “any day” now, Danakali will kick off development of the 1.1 billion-tonne potash project. Continue Reading →

Anglo Plans $1 Billion Buyback After Bumper Iron Ore Profit – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – July 25, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Anglo American Plc plans to buy back up to $1 billion of shares after the diversified miner reaped bumper profits from its iron ore business, more than offsetting declines in diamond and copper.

Anglo is the first to report earnings among the handful of giant miners that produce iron ore and investors have been preparing for big windfalls. The steelmaking ingredient surged to the highest in more than five years after a deadly Brazilian dam collapse and operational setbacks in Australian caused a supply shock.

The buyback represents a shift for Anglo, which has been focused on repairing its bruised balance sheet and investing in growth while the world’s biggest producers handed massive amounts of money back to shareholders in recent years. The company’s net debt stands at $3.4 billion. Continue Reading →

Chinese firms to build gold smelter, refineries in Tanzania – by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters US. – July 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

DAR ES SALAAM, July 24 (Reuters) – Tanzania said on Wednesday it had awarded licences for the construction of a mineral smelter and two gold refineries to Chinese firms, as part of government efforts to generate more revenues from the nation’s mining industry.

Minerals Minister Doto Biteko said the Chinese companies would also soon be awarded licences for mines, each of which would require investment worth more than $100 million.

He did not name the firms or give details about the mining or other projects in the East African nation, Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali. Continue Reading →

The wildcat goldminers doomed by their toxic trade – by Tim Cocks and David Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

High gold prices and cheap equipment are luring millions in Africa to informal mines that feed, and slowly poison, them

BAWDIE, Ghana – A few years after coming as a teenager to this Ghanaian town to prospect for gold, Yaw Ngoha had made enough cash to marry his sweetheart and build a house with a porch, to which he would later add a flat-screen TV and satellite dish.

So when a town elder invited a doctor to talk to miners about the hazards of wildcat mining, “nobody listened,” said the 36-year-old, sitting on a wooden bench on his porch in a lush banana grove. “We needed money.”

Since Ngoha started prospecting in the early 2000s, more and more people like him have helped Ghana grow into Africa’s biggest gold producer. Across the continent and beyond, millions have turned to the trade. Few are deterred by the risks. Continue Reading →