Russian mercenaries exploit a war-torn African nation as they lead Putin’s fight in Ukraine – by Gabe Joselow (NBC News – June 1, 2023)

“I asked everyone for help. … Was I supposed to refuse the help from those who wanted to help us?” Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra tells NBC News.

BANGUI, Central African Republic — President Faustin-Archange Touadéra says he called in the Russians because he was stuck. It was 2016, soon after his election, and rebels had overrun swaths of the resource-rich country, which is among the world’s poorest nations. Former colonial power France announced it would withdraw its soldiers, the backbone of a United Nations force aimed at quelling the country’s civil war.

And Touadéra’s army and militia didn’t have enough weapons to defeat fighters threatening the capital, Bangui, because the Central African Republic was under a U.N. arms embargo put in place after a previous rebel takeover. So the former mathematics professor turned to Moscow.

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Protesters clash with soldiers at Ghana gold mining town (Al Jazeera – May 31, 2023)

The clashes come as hundreds remain trapped in mining pits, unable or unwilling to resurface out of fear of arrest.

Heavily armed soldiers have fired shots to disperse protesters in the gold mining town of Obuasi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana, amid an army crackdown on miners whom the government sees as illegal. Authorities arrested seven illegal miners on Monday for exiting a shaft belonging to one of the world’s largest gold miners, AngloGold, according to the company.

Reports then trickled in on Tuesday that hundreds of other miners were trapped underground. It was unclear whether those still underground were unable or reluctant to get out.

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Nova Scotia’s modern ‘gold rush’ poses huge risk to climate, expert warns – by Alexandra Mae Jones (CTV News – May 30, 2023)

Nova Scotia is embarking on what many are calling its fourth gold rush — but instead of panning for chunks of gold, mining operations in the province today consist of massive tailings ponds, enormous open pits extracting small traces of gold and a climate toll that one expert says we’re not properly tracking.

Alana Westwood, assistant professor at the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, says Nova Scotia’s regulations are woefully behind the times and nowhere near able to keep up with the explosion of new mining claims.

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[Alaska Mining] Ambler road decision now expected by mid-2024 – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 24, 2023)

The Department of Interior (DOI) of the US has once again delayed the release of the record of decision (RoD) for the Ambler road project, which will give access to untouched deposits of copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold in north-western Alaska.

The resolution on Trilogy Metals’ (TSX, NYSE: TMQ) and South32’s (ASX, LON, JSE: S32) proposed 340-km (211-mile) road from the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects (UKMP) to the Dalton Highway is now expected on the second quarter of 2024. As of last week’s status report, the DOI was promising a decision by the end of the year.

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As Sudan’s latest conflict intensifies, artisanal gold miners are caught in the crosshairs – by Philip Obaji Jr. (Equal – May 24, 2023)

On 17 April 2023, just before sunset in al-Ibaidiya, a Sudanese mining town on the banks of the River Nile about 400 kilometres north of Khartoum, four soldiers stormed the home of Omar Sheriff and dragged him out of his house. For hours, according to Sheriff, two of the soldiers searched his home, while the others held him hostage outside of his compound.

“They [the soldiers] falsely accused me of working with Russian merchants to smuggle gold out of Sudan,” Sheriff tells Equal Times. “They were hoping to find documents relating to gold smuggling operations at my home, but they couldn’t find anything incriminating.”

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Gold Rush California: How & Where To Pan For Gold In The Golden State – by Maria Bou Ink (The Travel – May 23, 2023)

There are not many profitable vacations, but if tourists go prospecting for gold, they never know.

The Golden State has everything, from Redwoods to Hollywood, from mountains to deserts, from wild natural experiences to coastal road vacations. Without some unexpected hidden wonder, tourists’ journeys would not be complete. They may have visited well-known tourist destinations and sites like Yosemite National Park, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the eerie Winchester Mystery House, but California has a lot more to offer.

California is full of unexpected surprises, from its odd attractions to its unique and distinctive landmarks. One of its unusual things to do is gold panning. When James W. Marshall discovered gold flakes in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, the California Gold Rush officially got underway.

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Gold price could ‘easily’ regain $2k next week as more debt ceiling troubles ahead – analysts – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – May 19, 2023)

(Kitco News) Even though gold is wrapping up the week down $30 — its worst performance since February — the Friday afternoon rebound keeps the bullish gold trend alive. The gold market recovered after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said rates might not have to rise as much due to tighter credit conditions after the banking sector turmoil.

“The financial stability tools helped to calm conditions in the banking sector. Developments there, on the other hand, are contributing to tighter credit conditions and are likely to weigh on economic growth, hiring and inflation,” Powell said at the Thomas Laubach Research Conference Friday. “So, as a result, our policy rate may not need to rise as much as it would have otherwise to achieve our goals. Of course, the extent of that is highly uncertain.”

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Newmont set to become a major player in Canadian mining with $19.5 billion deal for Newcrest – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – May 15, 2023)

B.C.’s Golden Triangle will be key for world’s largest gold producer

British Columbia is set to become a key mining destination for Newmont Corp., as the world’s largest gold producer inked an agreement on May 15 to take over Australia’s largest gold company, Newcrest Mining Ltd., for about US$19.5 billion.

The agreement, which is subject to shareholder approval, will increase Newmont’s presence in B.C.’s “Golden Triangle,” the loosely defined region in northwestern B.C. that has been a favourite of prospectors seeking gold and copper since the 19th century. Nearly 150 mines have operated in the region over that time.

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How Russia’s Wagner Group funds its role in Putin’s Ukraine war by plundering Africa’s resources – by Debora Patta and Sarah Carter (CBS News – May 16, 2023)

Garoua-Boulaï, Cameroon — Much of the bloodiest fighting since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been around the eastern city of Bakhmut, where thousands of ill-equipped Russian forces have died on the front lines since the end of last year. Many of those fighters have not been enlisted Russian soldiers, but mercenaries recruited and paid by the Wagner Group, a private army run by President Vladimir Putin’s long-time associate Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Prigozhin’s seemingly endless supply of hired guns in Ukraine requires deep pockets, and a CBS News investigation has found that he’s funding his operations in large part by putting his private army to work in Africa.

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Gogama open-pit project on track for early 2024 gold pour – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 12, 2023)

New IAMGOLD boss pleased with the pace of progress at Côté project

Construction at IAMGOLD Côté open-pit mine has reached the 80 per cent completion mark. The project is on schedule for a first gold pour and the start of production in early 2024. “All eyes are on Côté,” said IAMGOLD company-CEO Renaud Adams in a May 12 webcall with analysts on the Toronto gold company’s first-quarter 2023 results.

Construction activity is now at the peak period with more than 1,500 workers on site. Adams said the Toronto gold company is “turning the corner” toward becoming a leading mid-tier producer. The Côté deposit, he said, will provide a “substantial” impact as a “cornerstone asset” for IAMGOLD as a potential district-scale operation in northeastern Ontario.

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Mysterious Killing of Chinese Gold Miners Puts New Pressure on Beijing – by Nicole Hong and Elian Peltier (New York Times – May 15, 2023)

The massacre of nine workers in the Central African Republic and other recent attacks raise questions about China’s ability to protect its citizens overseas.

The Chinese embassy in the Central African Republic had a stark warning for its compatriots in the landlocked nation: Do not leave the capital city of Bangui. Kidnappings of foreigners were on the rise, and any Chinese person outside of Bangui was to leave those areas immediately. Less than a week later, on March 19, a group of gunmen stormed a remote gold mine far away from Bangui and killed nine Chinese workers.

The Central African government has said that it investigated the massacre and concluded that a leading rebel group had orchestrated it. The rebels have denied the allegation and blamed a third party that operates in the country — Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, which has in turn accused the rebels. None of the sides has presented evidence for its claims.

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Newmont Seals $19 Billion Newcrest Takeover in Top Gold Deal – by Harry Brumpton and Dinesh Nair (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – May 15, 2023)

Newcrest Mining Ltd. has agreed to a takeover deal with Newmont Corp. worth about A$28.8 billion ($19.2 billion) to create the world’s biggest gold producer.

Newcrest shareholders will get 0.4 shares in Newmont for every Newcrest share they own, giving them 31% ownership of the combined group, the Melbourne-based company said Monday, confirming a Bloomberg News report Sunday. The deal gives Newcrest an implied enterprise value of A$28.8 billion, which includes net debt.

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Why There Is More to Gold Than Meets the Eye – by Haleema Shah (Smithsonian Magazine – April 10, 2019)

The Smithsonian’s Gus Casely-Hayford says the precious metal was both a foundation for massive West African empires and a cultural touchstone

Gus Casely-Hayford grew up hearing stories about gold—the lustrous metal was part of family lore and legacy. Like a number of middle-class Sierra Leoneans, his maternal grandfather found success trading gold and traveled for days, sometimes weeks for work. After a trip, his grandfather would come home, hug his family and pull something out of his pocket for his daughter.

“He would bring from his pocket a little satchel full of gold nuggets and gold dust in tiny bags. And he would give my mother a small nugget that she could have made into a piece of jewelry as a remembrance of that particular journey,” he says.

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Mining the Northwest: Evolution Mining endures growing pains at Red Lake – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 5, 2023)

Australian miner seeks to fix operational and cultural issues at Red Lake complex before investing in mill expansion

Evolution Mining executives want to see a better performance out of its Red Lake gold operation before it’s willing to invest on a processing mill expansion. In a recent webcall, Evolution’s CEO Lawrie Conway said when Red Lake consistently mines at a 1.1-million-tonne per year run rate, the Australian company will consider further spending to boost capacity at its milling facilities.

“Red Lake’s gotta earn the right to get the upgrade,” said Conway in an April 20 webcall with analysts to discuss Evolution’s March 2023 quarterly results.

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Gold Fields deal gives Osisko option to fast-track high-grade gold at Windfall – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – May 8, 2023)

The Windfall gold project in Quebec, boosted last week by a $600-million investment by Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI; JSE: GFI), may tweak plans to increase first-year production by a third, founding partner Osisko Mining (TSX: OSK) says.

The equal partnership would extend the undergound project’s ramp currently planned to run 630 metres deep to 800 metres instead, accessing ore grading about 9.1 grams gold per tonne rather than 8.1 grams, which could lift annual output to 400,000 oz. in contrast to 306,000 oz. in last year’s feasibility study, chairman and CEO John Burzynski said in a phone interview.

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