Archive | Africa Mining

Glencore auditing 140 slimes dams – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – February 20, 2019)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is auditing 140 slimes dams, 65 of them active and 75 of them closed.

The company has been undertaking detailed assessments and audits of all material tailings storage facilities (TSFs) over the past three years, after accumulating a TSF significant asset footprint through mergers and acquisitions and organic growth.

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg made these revelations at a media briefing on Wednesday against the background of last month’s tragic loss of 170 people at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron-ore mine in Brazil, which has prompted renewed industry action to ensure that TSFs are not vulnerable to collapse. Continue Reading →

Palladium Smashes $1,500 as Shortages Ignite Record-Breaking Rally – by Ranjeetha Pakiam (Bloomberg News – February 20, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Palladium surged above $1,500 an ounce to a record, extending a powerful rally that’s been driven by an acute shortage of supply as car manufacturers scramble to get hold of the material to meet stringent emissions controls.

Spot palladium surged as much as 1.7 percent to $1,505.46 an ounce, and traded at $1,488.20 at 10:08 a.m. in New York. Prices are set for a seventh straight monthly gain. The advance will benefit top suppliers in Russia and South Africa. In other precious metals, gold rallied to a 10-month high, while silver and platinum both climbed.

Palladium, a silvery-white metal used to curb emissions from gasoline-fueled vehicles, has tripled since January 2016. Citigroup Inc. said this month that further gains may be in store, warning the market will only balance with a shock to demand. Prices may hit $1,600, the bank forecasts. Continue Reading →

Barrick details proposal to settle Acacia dispute with Tanzania – by John Benny (Reuters Canada – February 20, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – Canadian miner Barrick Gold outlined on Wednesday details of a deal it reached with the government of Tanzania to settle its disputes with Acacia Mining, including a $300 million payment to resolve tax claims in the country.

The news sent London-listed shares in Acacia, which is 63.9 percent owned by Barrick, up 6 percent to their highest since October 2017, when an initial framework agreement was announced.

Barrick’s announcement confirms the 2017 deal which called for the creation of a local firm in Tanzania to manage Acacia’s assets, a 50-50 split of economic benefits and a $300 million payment to resolve all outstanding tax claims in the East African country. Continue Reading →

The Fight Between Miners and African Governments Is Just Getting Started – by Thomas Biesheuvel, William Clowes and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – February 14, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

States are seeking a bigger share of benefits from their mineral riches.

Standing before hundreds of mining investors and executives last week, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo issued a firm warning: stop expecting supercharged profits from Africa’s mineral riches.

It’s a theme that has simmered for years, as governments across the continent seek a bigger share of benefits from their natural resources. The debate ratcheted up in 2018, with countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia—the continent’s No. 1 and 2 copper producers—becoming increasingly insistent that producers must pay up.

There’s also been a backlash against the terms under which foreign companies agreed to invest in the first place—many mining codes, investment pacts and joint ventures were drawn up based on lower commodity prices and by previous regimes. Continue Reading →

Famed Cullinan mine banks on big diamonds to drive down debt – by Emma Rumney and Barbara Lewis (Reuters Canada – February 14, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

CULLINAN, South Africa (Reuters) – The owner of one of the world’s most famous diamond mines could be about a decade away from clearing its multi-million-dollar debts, in a sign of the struggles facing an industry assailed by synthetic rivals and uncertain demand.

Petra Diamonds bought Cullinan in 2008, aiming to breathe new life into the South African mine renowned for yielding the largest rough gem diamond ever found – 3,106 carats – and being the world’s main source of rare blue diamonds.

The London-listed miner, which acquired Cullinan from industry leader De Beers, borrowed heavily to revamp the facility and began mining a new section of ore last July. Petra told Reuters its debts from the mine stood at around 65 percent of its overall $650 million in borrowing, which would represent about $420 million. Continue Reading →

Pentagon warns of rising Chinese and Russian influence in Africa – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – February 9, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A senior U.S. military commander, describing Africa as a potential “failed continent,” has warned that Russia and China are aggressively expanding their influence across Africa in a new era of “great-power competition.”

The testimony this week by General Thomas Waldhauser, head of the U.S. military command for Africa, was a glimpse into the emerging world view of President Donald Trump’s administration, where Africa is seen largely as a battleground for superpower rivalry.

Gen. Waldhauser, testifying before a U.S. Senate committee, spelled out what he sees as evidence of the “harmful influence of non-African players” on the African continent – while excluding his own country from that description. Continue Reading →

Barrick CEO Says Cuts to Take Miner Beyond Where Thornton Could – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 13, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

(Bloomberg) — Mark Bristow, known throughout the gold industry for his relentless focus on costs, is counting on his belt-tightening skills to take Barrick Gold Corp. to the next level.

“John really drove this business on multiple fronts, but his primary focus was the debt,” Barrick CEO Bristow said Wednesday in an interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office, referring to the miner’s executive chairman, John Thornton. “He really pushed the envelope on cash flow.”

The “easiest’’ way to manage cash flow is to increase the grade of the gold being mined, Bristow said. “You go to the high-grade zones, and you mine them, and you get your cash flow.” However, that approach has its limits; the next step is to cut costs sufficiently that lower-grade gold becomes profitable — which also boosts reserves, he said. Continue Reading →

African Leaders Put Rich Nations On Notice That Days Of Cheap Resources Are Ending – by Lisa Vives (InDepthNews.net – February 12, 2019)

https://www.indepthnews.net/

Global Information Network – NEW YORK | CAPE TOWN (IDN) – African leaders had a new message for foreign companies seeking the diamonds, gold, rubies and emeralds so plentiful in desperate dirt-poor countries and so pricey when polished and sold in New York, Paris and Switzerland.

We’re no longer a cheap date. That message – in so many words – was heard again and again at this year’s posh African Mining Indaba (February 3-6) – a glittering conference in Cape Town, South Africa, that unites investors, mining companies, governments and stakeholders from around the world with the single goal of advancing mining on the African continent.

Not every African leader was threatening to pull “unusual tax incentives” from contracts with western companies. But at least one president drew a line in the sand, declaring it was simply unjust that Africa, rich in minerals sought after by the world, should remain inhabited by the poorest people in the world. Continue Reading →

Cobalt’s price crash bottoming out, stocks to hinder quick rally – by Pratima Desai (Reuters U.S. – February 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Cobalt’s near year-long price slide is finally coming to an end, but high inventories of the battery metal will stop prices quickly re-claiming 2018’s 10-year highs.

London Metal Exchange prices have crashed to two-year lows of $32,000 a tonne compared with levels near $100,000 in the first half of 2018.

The drop was sparked by rising supplies from the artisanal and industrial sectors in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a surplus of cobalt chemicals, used to make rechargeable batteries to power electric vehicles, in top consumer China. Continue Reading →

Electric Minerals: Tesla, Chrysler Feel the Heat as African Nations Demand Bigger Cut – by Greg Thomson (Hacked.com – February 10, 2019)

Hacked.com

Officials from mineral-rich African nations met with representatives from the ‘big mining’ industry at the Mining Indaba investment conference in Cape Town this week, with each hoping to make headway amid newly-simmering economic tensions.

Those tensions have been fuelled by a realization on the part of certain African nations that they now hold all the cards when it comes to producing minerals essential for the manufacture of electric vehicles.

As such, countries like Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia have demanded a bigger piece of the pie from mining companies, so much so that the CEO of multi-billion dollar mining company, Barrick Gold, has already labelled the situation ‘untenable’. Continue Reading →

Mining Indaba participants are moving from inaction to action – by Helmo Preuss (The BRICS Post – February 11, 2019)

http://thebricspost.com/

An example of this move from inaction to action is the decision by diamond mining giant De Beers to restart exploration after a two year hiatus, caused by the unilateral imposition by the South African government of the third iteration of the Mining Charter in 2017, which wiped out more than R50 billion off the market capitalisation of South African mining companies.

The new Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, has by contrast consulted widely and promulgated the new Mining Charter in December 2018 and has promised an open door policy to addressing the challenges facing the mining industry.

“Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits – a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities,” the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote. Continue Reading →

African nations sense upper hand in minerals stand-off – by Barbara Lewis and Joe Bavier (Reuters U.S. – February 8, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – African nations with rich reserves of copper and cobalt needed for the shift to electric vehicles sense they have the upper hand in negotiations with mining companies that are struggling to secure better terms.

Days of talks at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town – Africa’s premier mining investment conference – yielded no tangible breakthrough between the miners and governments increasingly keen to reassert control over their natural resources.

Copper and cobalt reserves are giving nations such as Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo confidence because of the difficulty in finding supplies elsewhere to meet the expected surge in demand. This has emboldened them to seek higher tax revenues from foreign mining companies. Continue Reading →

Fourteen NGOs oppose LME plans to ban tainted cobalt – by Zandi Shabalala and Pratima Desai (Reuters Africa – February 7, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Fourteen non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including Amnesty and Global Witness have opposed plans by the London Metal Exchange to ban cobalt tainted by human rights abuses, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

Cobalt is a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, a fast-growing sector of the auto industry, and in metal alloys used to make jet engines. It was singled out in LME proposals to embed responsible sourcing principles into metal brands deliverable against its contracts, which include copper and zinc.

Most of the world’s supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, often from artisanal mines where several organisations have cited human rights abuses. Continue Reading →

Good Diamonds Are Hard to Find at World’s Richest Gem Mine – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – February 7, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The Letseng diamond mine in Lesotho is renowned for unearthing some of the world’s most valuable gems, but it didn’t find many last quarter.

The average price of diamonds found was just $1,259 per carat in the fourth quarter, almost half the value for the full year, according to Gem Diamonds Ltd., which runs the mine. While that’s still the highest in the industry, it shows that the mine had a significant drop in finding the most precious stones.

Producing diamonds that are profitable to mine is a problem throughout the industry. Prices for the smallest and cheapest gems are falling because of too much supply and that’s shrinking profits for mining companies. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Robert Friedland Plans World’s No. 2 Copper Mine – by William Clowes and Dylan Griffiths (Bloomberg News – February 6, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Billionaire investor Robert Friedland said the copper deposit Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. is developing in the Democratic Republic of Congo has the potential to become the world’s No. 2 mine for the metal.

“Kamoa-Kakula will become the world’s second-largest copper mine with peak annual production of more than 700,000 tons of copper metal,” Ivanhoe founder Friedland said Wednesday at a mining conference in Cape Town.

Friedland announced the findings of an independent pre-feasibility study after Ivanhoe invested $800 million in exploration and development. The capacity of the project’s first phase, producing 6 million tons of ore a year, could later be tripled, the company said. Initial mine grades will average 6.8 percent copper, with production expected to start in 2021. Continue Reading →