Africa Mining News

Iron ore mine safety assured with 3D laser mapping

A state of the art laser scanning system supplied by 3D Laser Mapping has been used to improve safety of iron ore extraction in South Africa. The Riegl laser scanner forms an integral part of a Waste Spreader Positioning System (WSPS) developed by Stone Three Venture Technology in partnership with Reutech Mining. Read more

Whittle Consulting completes Enterprise Optimisation Study for Assmang Manganese Division

Steve Burks, Managing Director of Whittle Consulting (Africa) has reported the completion of an Enterprise Optimisation study of Assmang’s Managanese Division. Assmang is a company incorporated in South Africa for the purpose of supplying raw material to the world’s steel mills and alloy plants. Read more

AMEC awarded two definitive feasibility studies to further develop uranium projects in Namibia

Under the first contract, AMEC Minproc has commenced work for Paladin Energy on the definitive feasibility study for the major Stage 4 expansion of the flagship uranium operation, Langer Heinrich. The study is targeting an overall expanded annual production of 10 Mlb and AMEC is designing and costing the main processing plant out of its Perth office, Australia. Read more

Thawing Arctic now home to one-fifth of recoverable oil deposits

A new report by Global Data on the top 2011 oil and gas investment destinations claims as much as 22% of the world's undiscovered and technically recoverable oil and gas could lie within Arctic territories. Oil and mineral wealth coupled with the opening of new shipping routes are transforming cities and towns in the region. Apart from the Arctic and Canada's oil sands where new projects could up current production of 1.7m bpd by another 2.7m bpd, new discoveries in Ghana, Uganda and other parts of Africa which remain largely unexplored are also attracting billions in investment from foreign oil and gas companies.

Tanzania to mine in game reserve

The Sowetan reports Tanzania will begin uranium mining in its southern Selous Game Reserve, Africa’s second-largest wildlife sanctuary and a Unesco heritage site (pictured), the energy minister said Tuesday. Australia’s Mantra Resources will start mining in late 2012 in the southern part of the 54,600-square kilometre park estimated to have 53.9 million pounds of uranium oxide deposits which is worth some $2.9bn at current market prices. The minister claimed that mining would only involve about 1% of the park's overall area and that income accrued from mining would help fund upkeep of the park, but environmentalists have slammed the plan.

913,000 ounce gold reserve gives Avion's Tabakoto mine 5-year life

Canadian gold junior reckons its gold reserve at flagship Tabakoto mine in Mali gives it at least 5-year life. Canadian mining company Avion Gold Corp gave an initial gold reserve estimate of 913,100 ounces at its flagship Tabakoto mine in Mali, West Africa.

‘Exceptional’ sales results for Firestone Diamonds in Botswana

Firestone Diamonds (FDI) reported exceptional diamonds sales results from its second sale of the year in Gaborone, Botswana. The AIM-quoted diamond miner sold a total of 14,248 carats for $2 million (£1.2 million) - an increase of 42% in value from its April tender.

170,000 South African metalworkers go on strike

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) officially embarked on strike action on Monday, following a breakdown in negotiations at the end of June, saying it would not budge on its demands for a 13% across-the-board hike, better working conditions and a ban on labour brokers. Numsa, which represents about 120 000 workers, is being joined by five other trade unions, jointly representing at least another 50 000 workers. The strike action comes hard on the heels of growing alarm among South African mines about the impact of increasing talk of nationalization from factions within the ruling party.

Vale increases coal production at Mozambique mine

Vale has increased its initial coal production target at the Moatize mine in Mozambique by 76% and is planning to quadruple that result in 2012. Vale sales manager Marcelo Matos said Moatize mine is expected to produce 1.5Mt of coal in 2011.

Platmin mining operations still shut after labour disruptions, several arrests made

South Africa's Pilanesberg Platinum mining operations remain halted more than a week after employees of a contractor disrupted operations through intimidation of supervisors, industrial action and damage to property and equipment. The company said in a statement released on Monday its concentrator has operated at full capacity throughout and produced a record amount of metal in June. Platmin has lost a tenth of its value on the Toronto bourse since halting operations and is down more than 40% over the last twelve months. The mid-tier producer has a market capitalization of some $510m.

High River Gold gets mining license for Burkina Faso project

Canadian miner High River Gold Mines Ltd said it received a 20-year mining license in Burkina Faso to explore and construct a gold mine at its Bissa gold project in West Africa. The company, which has properties located mainly in Russia and Burkina Faso in Africa, said the license could be renewed.

South Africa's Q1 gold output falls 9.3 pct

The African Chamber of Mines said that South Africa's gold output during the first quarter of this year fell 9.3 percent to 44,682.7 kg compared with a revised 49,245.4 kg produced in the fourth quarter last year. Africa is known for its large gold mines

Continental Coal snares improved bank funding terms for Penumbra Mine development

Continental Coal has received a further offer of financing that could potentially allow the development of the Penumbra Mine to be completed in a more capital efficient manner. The new offer of finance offering more attractive terms for the company has

Civil society opposed sale of Nigeria Iron Ore Mining Company

It is reported that a Kogi State based group, Coalition of Civil Society Groups will oppose the sale of Nigeria Iron Ore Mining Company in Itakpe, Kogi State to any buyer that is not interested in buying the Ajaokuta Steel Company also in the state. The

Botswana Diamonds stays upbeat on exploration programme

Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) issued a mixed update on its exploration activities in Botswana but believes there are enough positives for it to press ahead with work aimed at furthering the assessment of its key prospects, most notably the AK9 structure, which is believes to hold considerable upside potential. The company is currently intent on refining the grade per ton and value per carat of diamonds discovered by prior work in kimberlites AK9, AK8 and BK5 in Botswana.

Zambia coal power plant construction to start in 2011

Singapore's Nava Bharat Pte plans to start construction of a 300 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Zambia by the end of 2011 and complete it by 2014, company director Ashwin Devineni said on Saturday. "We have finalised the detailed layout of the power plant initially for 300 MW and later for an additional 300 MW," Devineni said in a statement.

Coal India braces for fresh bids in Mozambique

MAPUTO: Coal India, one of the world's largest coal miner, has plans to call for fresh bids for exploratory drilling at two coal blocks in Mozambique's Tet province, local media reports said here on Saturday. The Indian state-run company secured

Top officials raid ‘problem mine’

Operations came to a grinding halt when environmental and water affairs officers pounced on the Shanduka Waterlands coal mine in Middleburg on Friday. The raid, carried out by Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thabang Makwetla, Deputy

Madagascar Oil and Total drop Africa's biggest oil sands project

Madagascar Oil's annual report released on Thursday shows the company is scuttling its project with French giant Total to develop a 1.2bn barrel oil sand deposit on the island after three years of extensive work. The Bemolanga bitumen deposit adjacent the Tsingy de Bemaraha nature reserve (pictured) was first drilled in the late 1800s and would have cost upwards of $8bn to bring into operation. Madagascar Oil has been through a torrid six months – after raising $80m in its debut on the London AIM market in December the stock was suspended in March after the company declared a force majeure over threats of expropriation by the Malagasy governments of its other oil field Tsimororo. When it resumed trading this week the stock promptly lost 50% and has not recovered since.

Sierra Leone diamond miner secures funding for $150m expansion

Sierra Leone’s largest diamond-mining company, Koidu Holdings, says it has secured funding for the $150-million expansion at the Koidu kimberlite project and implementation is gaining momentum. CEO Jan Joubert reports that the expansion project incorporates all the currently evaluated kimberlite resources on the property. The richer K1 pipe, which was mined by vertical pit methods between 2005 and 2007, is currently being redeveloped to be brought back into production by the end of this year.

Botswana Diamonds update exploration activities

During a review of earlier work on AK9, prior to beginning the bulk sampling, it was discovered from an analysis of micro diamonds that a potential high grade kimberlite could exist under the overburden and basalt layer. The historic overall grade of 2.5 to 3.5 cpht could be low due to basalt dilution.

Rwandan mines expected to boost tin exports amid record prices

Rutongo expects to double shipments to 200 metric tons a month by the end of 2012 from 100 tons currently, Michael Biryabarema, general director of the Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority said in a phone interview on June 28. The company, a joint venture between Rwanda’s government and Switzerland-based Ruddington Services AG, has increased exports from 3 tons a month three years ago, he said.

South Africa gold output in first quarter slumps 9.3%

In the first quarter of 2011 South Africa's gold production increased by 3.4% to 44,682.7 kilograms, when compared to the same quarter of 2010, the Chamber of Mines said Friday. However, on a quarter-on-quarter basis when comparing the first quarter 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2010 production was down by 9.3%.

Goliath Gold drills on as losses mount

Goliath Gold, a thinly traded African exploration company this week reported a deepening loss for the year to end-March as it pushes ahead with drilling programmes at its Johannesburg East Rand assets. Gold One spun out its deeper assets into Goliath, which was formerly White Water Resources, in a R262m ($35m) deal that will give Gold One 71% of the new company.

Classic takeover battle as Brazil and China giants vie for African miner

The stock of cobalt and copper miner Metorex is up by a third this year following Brazilian giant Vale's $1.1bn bid for the mid-tier producer. With reports surfacing that Jinchuan, China's biggest nickel miner, is readying a competing offer shareholders of the Johannesburg-based company look set to extract further value ahead of a vote on July 22. Metorex has aggressive expansion plans for its central and Southern African projects and aims to more than double its current annual copper output of around 50,000 tonnes. It's a far cry from the situation in 2009 when the company was fighting for survival amid serious cost overruns in the Congo.