Archive | Africa Mining

As Canada’s Lucara Diamond seeks new mines, tech fuels growth – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters Canada – May 1, 2019)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Lucara Diamond Corp, which has recovered two of the largest diamonds in recent history, is turning to technology to ensure growth in an industry where new mine acquisitions remain elusive.

For the Vancouver-based junior miner, that means using advanced technology like sorting based on atomic density to boost value from its Karowe mine in Botswana, and also diversifying away from mining into an online diamond sales platform.

“Diamond mines are extremely rare… we haven’t been able find the perfect asset, but we continue to look,” Lucara Chief Executive Eira Thomas said in an interview. “In the meantime, we thought it was important to establish a growth agenda.” Continue Reading →

Ivanhoe Mines names former Kinross CFO Tony Giardini as president; CEO to retire – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 1, 2019)

Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. is considering eliminating the chief-executive role and leaving founder Robert Friedland to lead the company as executive co-chair for the foreseeable future, according to a mining-industry source.

On Wednesday, Ivanhoe announced that its long-time CEO Lars-Eric Johansson will retire at the end of June, and is giving up the role of president immediately. Former Kinross Gold Corp. chief financial officer Tony Giardini was named as president but Ivanhoe didn’t name a successor CEO.

With the impending exit of Mr. Johansson, Ivanhoe’s upper-management tier could soon closely resemble Barrick Gold Corp.’s old structure. Toronto-based Barrick operated for a few years with a president but no CEO. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner with knack for finding monster diamonds takes on industry giants with online trading – by Hanna Hoikkala and Niclas Rolander (Bloomberg News – April 30, 2019)

The opaque diamond trade may be ripe for disruption. Lucara Diamond, which recently found the second-largest diamond in history in Botswana, is taking on industry giants such as De Beers and Alrosa PJSC with an online platform to replace the current physical auctions.

The service allows Lucara to match buyers’ requirements, not only saving jewellers the trouble of traveling to Botswana but also ending the practice of buying stones by the bucket. They typically can only use some, and then have to sell the rest on the secondary market.

“For the first time ever, manufacturers buy only what they want, they don’t have to carry all this extra inventory,” Eira Thomas, Lucara’s chief executive officer, said in an interview in Stockholm. Continue Reading →

South Africa’s Firebrand Mine Unionist Is Headed for a Showdown – by Paul Burkhardt and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – April 29, 2019)

One of the most polarizing figures in South African mining, union leader Joseph Mathunjwa, has never hesitated to go head-to-head with powerful CEOs. Now he may have to face down the government.

Mathunjwa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union has upended labor relations in the local mining sector, leading long and crippling strikes as it seized members from a politically connected rival. A relative upstart, the militant union became a household name after a 2012 dispute at Lonmin Plc that culminated in police massacring 34 people at a protest.

AMCU may now face its biggest test yet, after a government official threatened to deregister the union for failing to hold a regular congress and leadership polls. Mathunjwa has promised to fight the move, which could sharply curb the group’s finances and influence, and insisted it is compliant with regulations. Continue Reading →

CITIC Metal’s Total Investment In Friedland’s Ivanhoe Tops $1B – by Michael McCrae (Kitco News – April 25, 2019)

To advance the Kakula copper mine in Africa, Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun, co-chairmen of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN), announced today that CITIC Metal Co. will invest an additional US$454 million in Ivanhoe Mines.

The deal is priced at US$2.95 per share, a premium of 29% over the last closing price. It is CITIC Metal’s second major investment in less than a year in Ivanhoe Mines. Total investment tallies US$1 billion. Friedland touted the deal.

“CITIC Metal has been a shareholder in Ivanhoe Mines for eight months now, and in that time, CITIC has seen what we already know – that the Kamoa-Kakula Project is unquestionably the best copper development project in the world,” said Friedland in a news release. Continue Reading →

[South Africa] Challenges persist, but mining sector has made huge strides since 1994 – by Nadine James ( – April 26, 2019)

The local mining landscape has changed significantly in the quarter century following Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa.

While the industry has waned in terms of global production and research, it has made significant strides with regard to safety, diversity and transformation – mirroring the intent of the Constitution, which prioritises the principles of human dignity, equality and freedom.

This shift is evident in the transformation and rebranding of the Chamber of Mines – now Minerals Council South Africa – which has, throughout its 128-year history, represented a significant majority of the mining companies operating in the country. Continue Reading →

South African mines drag down De Beers’ first-quarter output – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – April 25, 2019)

iamond miner De Beers’ rough diamond production for the quarter ended March 31 decreased by 8% year-on-year to 7.9-million carats, driven by lower output at its South African operations.

De Beers Consolidated Mines, in South Africa, attributed its 65% year-on-year decrease in output to 400 000 ct to lower mined volumes at the Venetia mine, as it approached a transition from openpit to underground operations.

Additionally, the Voorspoed mine had been placed onto care and maintenance in the last quarter of 2018, in preparation for closure, driving production figures down further. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner finds the second-biggest diamond in history — but it’s actually not that great – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Financial Post/Bloomberg News – April 25, 2019)

A giant 1,758-carat diamond, the second-biggest ever discovered, has been found in Botswana. But unlike its rivals, it won’t fetch a record-breaking price.

Lucara Diamond Corp. said it unearthed the stone — roughly the size of a tennis ball — at its Karowe project in Botswana, a mine renowned for its huge gems including the previous holder of the No. 2 position. Still, the company said the diamond is a near gem of variable quality, meaning it won’t yield incredibly valuable polished diamonds on par with earlier finds.

Lucara’s Karowe mine is becoming famous for giant stones. In 2015, Lucara found the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which at the time was the second-largest ever and eventually sold for US$53 million. Continue Reading →

BMW to Source Cobalt Directly From Australia, Morocco Mines – by William Clowes (Bloomberg News – April 24, 2019)

BMW AG will buy cobalt directly from mines in Australia and Morocco to ensure the metal purchased for its electric vehicles is sourced responsibly, according to the head of procurement at the German automaker.

The measure comes as the London Metal Exchange carries out a supply-chain review to address concerns that cobalt stored in its warehouses may be linked to child labor. The supply of the commodity, mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, faced scrutiny in recent years as humanitarian groups said it’s being produced in unethical conditions.

The newly sourced metal will be used in BMW’s next generation of electric vehicles that will be built from 2020, Andreas Wendt said at a briefing in Paris on Tuesday. The company won’t buy directly from small-scale Congolese mines in the short-term, he said. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Gold worth billions smuggled out of Africa – by David Lewis, Ryan McNeill and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters Canada – April 24, 2019)

NAIROBI, (Reuters) – Billions of dollars’ worth of gold is being smuggled out of Africa every year through the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East – a gateway to markets in Europe, the United States and beyond – a Reuters analysis has found.

Customs data shows that the UAE imported $15.1 billion worth of gold from Africa in 2016, more than any other country and up from $1.3 billion in 2006. The total weight was 446 tonnes, in varying degrees of purity – up from 67 tonnes in 2006.

Much of the gold was not recorded in the exports of African states. Five trade economists interviewed by Reuters said this indicates large amounts of gold are leaving Africa with no taxes being paid to the states that produce them. Continue Reading →

Dig for gold in Ghana at your own risk, Chinese miners warned after arrests (Ghana – April 23, 2019)

Chinese citizens who work at gold mines in Ghana will not be protected by their home country if they get snared in a crackdown on illegal mining, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned after some Chinese nationals were detained for working in the African nation.

Although Ghana allows licensed companies to do small-scale gold mining, “it’s still illegal for foreigners” to work in the sector, “and they will not be protected by Ghanaian laws”, the ministry said on Monday on the Chinese social media app WeChat.

Some Chinese citizens had been detained “in recent days” for working at Ghanaian gold mines illegally, it said, without providing details. Continue Reading →

LME to ban metal tainted by child labor or corruption – by Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – April 23, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange (LME) could ban or delist brands that are not responsibly sourced by 2022 under an initiative launched on Tuesday to help root out metal tainted by child labor or corruption.

But the LME, seeking to avoid overly punishing small mining brands to the benefit of larger miners such as Glencore, said it would not single out cobalt and tin for accelerated auditing.

Cobalt, a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, is mined by small, artisinal operations mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where supply chains are not strictly monitored. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe attracts two new investors to develop platinum mining projects (Reuters U.S. – April 17, 2019)

MHONDORO-NGEZI, Zimbabwe (Reuters) – Zimbabwe will in coming weeks name two new investors who will develop separate platinum mining projects west of the capital as the country ramps up mining output in an attempt to ease a severe dollar shortage, the mines minister said on Wednesday

The southern African nation has the second largest platinum deposits after South Africa and hopes to transform its economy by boosting investment in the mining sector.

Winston Chitando said the two investors would be confirmed in the next few weeks, joining a sector where Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum already operate. Continue Reading →

Mick Davis Moves Closer to Iron Ore Mining With Liberian Deal – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – April 18, 2019)

Mining dealmaker Mick Davis has won permission to export iron ore from a planned mine in West Africa, adding momentum to the industry veteran’s comeback.

Davis, through his new Niron Metals vehicle, has signed an agreement with Liberia that will allow him to use a rail and port to export iron ore from the mine that he’s seeking to build in neighboring Guinea, according to a statement.

The Zogota project, where mining giant Vale SA has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars, could be brought on quickly and relatively cheaply. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Liberia, Guinean iron venture sign outline export deal – by Barbara Lewis and Saliou Samb (Reuters Africa – April 18, 2019)

LONDON/CONAKRY, April 18 (Reuters) – Liberia has signed an outline deal with a new venture set up to mine iron ore in Guinea to be shipped via Liberia, an export route the Guinean government has vetoed for the much larger Simandou project.

The Zogota iron ore project in Guinea is being developed by former Xstrata boss Mick Davis through his Niron Metals venture and marks a relaunch of his mining career.

Following a pledge on economic cooperation by the presidents of Guinea and Liberia at the start of the month in Dakar, an announcement on Thursday in London said the Liberian government and Niron Metals had signed a memorandum of understanding on the passage through Liberia of iron ore from the Zogota deposit. Continue Reading →