Africa Top Stories

SL to halt operations at Marampa iron ore mine in Sierra Leone

The move follows a shipment ban imposed by the government…

Sasol said to plan sale of its South Africa coal mining unit

The mining business had turnover of 20 billion rand ($1.4…

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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.

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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.

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.

African Queen starts core drilling program at King Solomon in Mozambique

Vancouver-based African Queen Mines announced on Friday that it has now commenced its 2011 core drilling program covering approximately 3000m at its King Solomon Project, located north of Lake Cahorra Basa in western Tete Province, Mozambique. The project is the subject of the earn-in and joint venture with Switzerland's Opti Metal Trading, covering exploration, development and exploitation. African Queen has so far earned an interest of 51% in the project and may earn up to 85% by funding additional prescribed stages through feasibility. The company is exploring properties in Mozambique, Kenya and Ghana for gold and other metals and it is undertaking exploration in Botswana and Namibia for diamonds, gold and other metals – the licenses in Botswana comprise approximately 2890 sq km of diamond prospects.

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.

Ethiopian Potash share price soars, but on what?

Although there was no apparent news driving it, Ethiopian Potash's (TSX-V: FED) shareprice leapt by as much as 20 percent Monday, up from 75 to 90 cents on strong volume. The push upwards may come from investors in anticipation of drilling results from Ethiopian Potash's Danakil property, where it reports an inferred resource of 128 million tonne @ 21 percent potash.