Africa Mining News

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.

The difference 18 months has made

[] -- THE latest Metorex annual review – which covers the 18 months to end-December 2010 following a change to its financial year-end – is already out of date due to the pace of developments this year. But one comment from chairperson Rob

POSCO not in talks with Sundance on $4.6 bln iron ore project

POSCO, the world's third-biggest steelmaker, is not in talks with Sundance Resources over the latter's $4.6 billion iron ore project in West Africa, a POSCO source said. "We previously met Sundance Resources (on the project) but are not currently in talks with the company on it," the source told Reuters, declining to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Abzu Gold options 10 Red Back Ghana concessions from Kinross Gold Corp.

Abzu Gold announced Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement with Red Back Mining Ghana Limited , a wholly owned subsidiary of Kinross Gold Corporation, pursuant to which Abzu has acquired an option on 10 concessions in Ghana.

Gold Fields in $60m loan deal with Stanbic Ghana

Stanbic Bank, a unit of South Africa's Standard Bank Group, Ghana said on Wednesday it had closed 3-year a $60 million senior revolving loan with Gold Fields' unit in the country.

South Africa’s platinum producers fail to capitalize on boom times

Miningmx reports on the fortunes of the South African platinum sector, the dominant global supplier where production peaked at about 5.3 million ounces in 2006, up from just over 4 million ounces in 2001, but has fallen ever since. Regulatory and legislative uncertainty, the threat of nationalisation and the strength of the rand are preventing the mining industry from participating fully in the latest chapter of the super cycle, and if the basket price of platinum group metals does not improve, further capital expansion plans could be halted.

Crucial meeting on Zimbabwe’s diamond exports and $5bn stockpile ends in disarray

SW Radio Africa reports the seemingly unilateral decision by the chairman of the international diamond trade watchdog to allow Zimbabwe to resume diamond exports has been rejected by among others the United States, Canada and Israel. Some members of the industry body want to keep a ban on exports of Zimbabwe's diamonds which could potentially be worth $2bn/year and include a vast stockpile built up during international sanctions, because of ongoing smuggling out of the rich Chiadzwa fields and reports of sustained human rights abuses there.

Government urges Tanzanite mine to double wages to $215/month

The Dar es Salaam Citizen reports Tanzanite One Mining, the dominant miner of the rare gemstone only found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, has been ordered to increase the minimum wage for its employees from Sh180,000 to Sh350,000 per month (roughly US$215) as directed by the government. London-listed Tanzanite One has returned to profitability as prices for the gems which usually follow that of rough diamonds improve post-recession and is embarking on an expansion strategy, acquiring an Australian sapphire project earlier in June and reshuffling its board.

FLSmidth to supply equipment for copper mine in Zambia

FLSmidth has received a contract worth approximately USD 50m (approximately DKK 260m) from Kalumbila Minerals Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. for the supply of equipment to their extensive copper development, Sentinel Project, situated in northern Zambia.

South Africa mines nationalization talk may cut output

Bloomberg reports South Africa risks cutting the mine output that contributes 8.8% of the economy as calls from within the governing political party for a state takeover of the industry deter investors, Impala Platinum Holdings said. Mine operators in South Africa are compelled by law to sell 26% of their assets to black investors by 2014 and boost numbers of black managers to help make up for discrimination during apartheid. Some companies had missed targets for 2009, the mines minister said at the time, adding that the industry had “not lived up to the spirit and intent” of the law.

FL Smidth gets mill order for FQM’s major Sentinel copper project in Zambia

An announced order for milling equipment for First Quantum's big Sentinel copper project in Zambia suggests a decision to go ahead with the project has already been taken. FLSmidth has received a contract worth approximately USD 50m from Kalumbila

Sundance shortlists partners for $4.6B iron ore project

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sundance Resources has shortlisted potential partners for its $4.6 billion iron ore project in West Africa, it said on Wednesday, sending its shares up as much as 6 percent.

Cassidy acquires exploitation permit for Kouroussa Gold Project, Guinea, West Africa

Cassidy Gold Corp. recently received an exploitation permit covering all gold resources identified to-date at the company's 100% owned Kouroussa Gold Project located in Guinea, West Africa. This permit runs through to October 14, 2019. The permit covers an area of 16 square kilometres within the company's 949 square-kilometre exploration permits.

Sandvik commissions Africa’s biggest surface top-hammer drill rig at East London quarry

South African sand and aggregate producer Inde-pendent Quarries has com-missioned the first of mining equipment provider Sandvik’s DPi series surface top-hammer drill rigs at its quarry in East London. Read more

La Mancha's Hassaï gold mine's Q2 production impacted by fire

La Mancha Resources reports that a fire partially damaged two electrowinning cells at its Hassaï mine, in Northeast Sudan, over the weekend. Although the site is continuing its normal mining and crushing activities, gold production will be partially impacted over the next few weeks until the two electrowinning cells have been replaced.

Motley Fool says gold mining stocks now in bargain basement

Investment site Motley Fool says gold stocks such as Newmont, Goldcorp and Freeport-McMoRan are trading as though gold has lost its luster entirely and slipped back below $1,250 per ounce and that this latest bout of weakness in the gold mining shares – occurring when quality producers are awash in record cash flow and cozy profit margins – has yielded valuations remarkably depressed.

Lucara Diamond Corp.: development of AK6 diamond mine passes half way point and remains on time and within budget

Lucara Diamond provided an update on the development of its 100% owned AK6 diamond project in Botswana. The AK6 mine, to be commissioned by year end, will ramp up to full production in early 2012 to deliver over 400,000 carats of high quality diamonds in its first year of operation. As at the end of May there were over 400 construction crew members on site and a total of 326,000 hours worked. With the overall project execution at 64% the project remains on target for process plant commissioning to commence in the Q4 of this year. Engineering is now 91% complete; procurement is at 81%; fabrication and delivery at 55%; and construction at 39% complete.

WDC regrets inconclusive KP meeting, urges consensus

The World Diamond Council has expressed its regret about the inconclusive end to the Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting in Kinshasa last week. The main goal of the meeting was to finally resolve the issue of diamond exports from Zimbabwe. This did not happen.