Africa Mining News

April SA gold output up 1.55; non gold minerals up 13.9%

South Africa's gold output rose 1.5 percent in volume terms in April while total mineral production rose 12.4 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, data showed on Thursday. Production of non-gold minerals was up 13.9 percent in the same period, Statistics South Africa said.

Bloomberg: De Beers considers expansion of its Voorspoed Mine as diamond prices climb

Bloomberg reports: De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, is considering an expansion of its South African Voorspoed mine to extend the life of the operation by as much as eight years as prices for the gems climb. De Beers will complete a study this year on a proposed expansion that would prolong the mine’s life to “2026 or 2028,” rather than 2020 as currently planned, Mine Manager Mpumi Zikalala said today in an interview at the site near Kroonstad. It’s too early to estimate the cost of the project, which may include an underground section, she said.

Gold leads way, but potash in focus as Ethiopian mineral exports to surge

Ethiopia is set to hit its target of more than doubling mining exports to an annual $1 billion ahead of time, the country's mining minister told Reuters, as it promotes gold extraction, but also fertilizer ingredient potash. Ethiopia, though still reliant on commodities like coffee for revenue, is expected to earn around $500 million from mining exports in the financial year to next July, the minister said. It had targeted doubling that over five years from 2010/11.

African mining, De Beers, BEE – Oppenheimer speaks out

De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer told a Washington audience Thursday that Africa has a bright future if its leaders embrace globalization and allow the private sector to flourish.

Avion doubles up exploration at Burkina Faso gold target

Africa-focused gold producer Avion Gold (TSX: AVR) will intensify its drilling campaign at its Vindaloo zone in Burkina Faso following a slew of drilling results that extended strike length of gold mineralization by over a kilometre. Calling the latest intercepts an "apparent clear path" to a resource increase, John Begeman, Avion president and CEO, said in a statement that Avion would double its exploration budget to $6 million at the Hounde property, which covers the Vindaloo target. There Avion has so far outlined 63,000- and 547,000-ounces gold in the indicated and inferred categories, respectively.

South Africa mining output rebounds strongly, possible industrial action looms

South African mining output rebounded strongly in April, rising by 12.4% year-on-year, after contracting 1.4% in the previous month, a report by Statistics South Africa showed on Thursday. Year-to-date production increased by 5.2%, on the back of surging output of nickel, manganese, platinum group metals and copper but gold production continued to lag, only managing a 1.5% increase. Analysts warned that the outlook for the rest of year was clouded by scheduled wage negotiations across the industry that could lead to strikes and a strong currency which hampers competitiveness.

Eagle Eye Metals commences drilling

Eagle Eye Metals Limited (ASX:EYE) is pleased to announce that it has commenced its inaugural drilling program at the Kourouba Prospect, located within the Company's Dankassa Gold Project, in southern Mali.

South Africa's largest union backs mine nationalization

South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers' central committee on Wednesday backed the country's Freedom Charter clause on nationalization and the ruling ANC party's resolution of 2010 to look at a greater role for the state in the economy. NUM is the largest union and represents the majority of workers in South Africa's mining industry. Through its affiliation with the Congress of South African Trade Unions it is also part of the country's ruling alliance, which next year will make a formal decision on the nationalization of the resource sector, long the bedrock of the African nation's economy.

Conditions at Chinese mines in Zimbabwe 'inhuman and unsafe' – union

Zimbabwe's Newsday reports the National Mine Workers’ Union has complained about the working conditions at Chinese-owned chrome and gold mines dotted around the Midlands region, saying they were inhuman and unsafe. At a meeting to commemorate the death of 427 Hwange miners at the Kamandama underground mine in 1972, national organising secretary Cotten Ndlovu said miners at Chinese-run companies were being forced to work long hours without incentives and protective clothing and accused Chinese mining firms of flouting the country’s labour laws.

Trouble in the next oil sands frontier — Africa

Oil sands mining are not typically associated with Africa and the continent's two mega-projects, one in the Congo Basin and another on the island of Madagascar, are running into trouble. The $3bn deal between the Republic of Congo and Eni, Italy's state-owned oil major, runs out this year amid criticism about its lack of transparency and environmental impact. In Madagascar, the partner of France's Total, Madagascar Oil declared a force majeur after the Malagasy government apparently threatened to seize one of the London-listed company's oil fields.

Botswana Diamonds plc: Cameroon reconnaissance program yields early successes

The board of Botswana Diamonds (AIM: BOD) is pleased to announce that its geologists have identified sequences of sedimentary rock layers in several localities in the east of its Cameroon diamond licence. These layers include a distinct conglomerate horizon, which is geologically correlated with the paleo-conglomerate that C&K Mining has identified as being diamondiferous.

African Barrick Gold unaware of any Tanzanian plans to impose mining windfall tax

African Barrick Gold said it was not aware of plans by the Tanzanian government to impose a "super tax" on mining profits, responding to reports that the country could introduce a windfall levy. Worries over the tax helped drag the miner's shares down 7.8 percent by 1125 GMT, underperforming a sector battered by fresh concerns over the economic recovery.

Sandvik commissions biggest surface top hammer drill rig in Africa

The first of Sandvik’s revolutionary new DPi Series surface top hammer drill rigs - the biggest top hammer of its kind in Africa - has been commissioned at Independent Quarries in East London, South Africa and two more are on order. The intelligent self-propelled, self-contained crawler has been introduced to meet the rigorous demands of production drilling, quarry and mine development, pre-splitting and dewatering. There are already 15 DPi rigs operating in other parts of the world.“The new DPi Series reflects 20 years of experience in quarrying and open pit mining in the hole range of 76 to 152 mm, drilling deeper holes more accurately than ever before,” Cornel Burger, Sandvik’s General Manager Operations & Construction, says. The machine’s 33 kW rock drill is now the biggest available on the market.

Unprecedented volumes on Africa’s biggest heap leach pad project

Construction activities have reached peak intensity on the 34-month Maxi Heap Leach Pad project for French nuclear company AREVA at its Trekkopje uranium mine in Namibia, which will feature in IM’s July issue. The Trekkopje JV, comprising Concor Roads & Earthworks as lead partner, together with Grinaker-LTA and Basil Read, reports that it has been consistently achieving its present productivity targets on what is a complicated project that requires precision planning and programme scheduling.

First Uranium announces financial results for the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2011

First Uranium announced total gold sales for its financial year ended March 31, 2011 ("FY 2011") of 142,630 ounces of gold, which is a significant increase over the 91,657 ounces sold at the end of March 31, 2010. The Company's consolidated revenue of $172 million for FY 2011, an increase of 86% from $93 million in revenue for FY 2010, resulted in the Company reflecting a $20 million gross profit margin from operations in FY 2011 compared to a loss of $18 million in FY 2010. Remembering that First Uranium remains in a capital development and growth phase, the consolidated pre-tax loss for the year was $76 million, which is a 19% improvement over the pre-tax loss of $94 million in FY 2010.

Eager to fend off China, India seeks diamonds from Zimbabwe

India, the world's largest diamond processing market, is in a bind. The country that imported close to $7.5 billion in rough diamonds last year has not been able to shake off the embargo on the import of diamonds from Zimbabwe. Traders maintain that this has left the door wide open for more imports into China. In a bid to crackdown on reports that conflict or blood diamonds are being smuggled into India and laundered there, the Indian government had earlier blocked the import of roughs from Zimbabwe.

The risks facing South African gold miners abroad

South Africa's big three gold miners are upping their global presence as grades at home dwindle and regulatory uncertainty, nationalisation talk and labour unrest raise domestic political risks. The country also has the world's deepest […]

Middle Island secures Nuon River gold project in Liberia

One of 2010's glamour floats in Australia, Middle Island Resources Ltd (ASX: MDI) has decided to join some global majors, including BHP Billiton and Arcelor-Mittal, in moving into the Liberian exploration scene. The strong support […]

Powerful ruling party politician calls South African mine owners thieves

A new local documentary to be screened in cinemas next week and engineered to make a case for the nationalisation of the mining industry called Mining for Change: A Story of South African Mining, presents studio footage of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, likening mining company owners to car thieves.

Hindustan Dorr-Oliver bags $85m Zambia copper refinery contract

Hindustan Dorr-Oliver Ltd. said it had bagged an order for $85m from Konkola Copper Mines Plc., Zambia, for residual basic engineering, detailed engineering, procurement, supply, fabrication, erection and commissioning for expansion of their copper refinery at Chingola, Zambia.

Riversdale to spend US$50m to import coal moving equipment to Mozambique reports: The Australian company Riversdale has announced the investment of 50 million US dollars in importing 11 locomotives and 200 wagons to move coal from the western Mozambican province of Tete to the port of Beira. Riversdale (which was recently taken over by Rio Tinto) operates an open cast mine at Benga, in Moatize district, which is due to start production later this year.

Africa’s riding the Red Dragon

The global mining industry is facing stiff new competition in getting deals done. The new competitors for the world’s resources have a mandate to secure long term resource deals for domestic use and have the financing capabilities any major mining company, or for that matter any government, would be envious of.

Ethiopian Potash appoints new director

Ethiopian Potash announced the appointment of Robert J. Metcalfe as a director of the Company and the simultaneous resignation of Wally Rudensky from the board of directors.

Globe Metals shares up on rare earth find

Shares in Africa-focused Globe Metals and Mining shot up on Monday after it released positive rare earth exploration results. Chinese state-owned firm East China Minerals Exploration and Development Bureau last month became the largest shareholder in Globe when it bought a 53.7 per cent stake.

Barrick receives Zambian clearance for Equinox acquisition: all regulatory approvals now received

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) ("Barrick" or "the Company") announced today that it has received the unconditional approval of the Zambian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for Barrick's proposed acquisition of all of the issued and […]