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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Taipei Times: Vale opens new coal mine in Mozambique

Taipei Times reports: Brazilian mining giant Vale opened a new US$1.7 billion coal mine in Mozambique yesterday, tapping the southern African country’s thermal and coking coal reserves of about 23 billion tonnes. Vale plans to start production in July and export 1 million tonnes of coal from the US$1.7 billion project this year, ramping up production to 11 million tonnes in a few years — and, local officials hope, boosting Mozambique’s current economic growth of 6.5 percent.

De Beers to sell Namaqualand to Trans Hex for $33.5M

De Beers announced that it will sell the Namaqualand diamond mine in South Africa to Trans Hex for 225 million Rand ($33.5 million). The sale joins a number of low producing diamond mines the company has sold in South Africa in the past few years. No details about the transaction were made available, and it’s not clear if this is a cash-only agreement. The timeline of the agreement is not known either, though in the past the approval of the South African government was needed, which may determine the ownership transfer.

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First blast signals start of shaft sinking phase at Wesizwe’s Frischgewaagd-Ledig complex

Following the approval by Wesizwe shareholders in March 2011 of the total mine development financing solution offered by the Chinese consortium of Jinchuan, CAD Fund and Micawber, TWP Projects, a Basil Read Group company, has submitted a full EPCM proposal to the company for the new twin vertical shafts (the Main and Ventilation Shafts), a new plant and all surface infrastructure at its Frischgewaagd-Ledig Complex near Rustenburg, South Africa.

De Beers announces sale of NM Mines

De Beers Consolidated Mines ("DBCM") today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell Namaqualand Mines to Trans Hex in a transaction valued at R225 million. The agreement to sell the mine to Trans Hex follows an open and rigorous selection process that evaluated prospective bidders on a number of criteria determined by DBCM as critical to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Namaqualand Mines community.

Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration Ltd. and First Bauxite Corporation terminate their option and joint venture agreement over the Essequibo-Demerara bauxite project in Guyana

FIRST BAUXITE CORP. (TSX VENTURE:FBX)(FRANKFURT:FBI)(BERLIN:FBI) ("First Bauxite" or the "Company") First Bauxite Corporation is announcing that the Letter of Understanding between the Company and Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration Ltd. ("Rio Tinto") was terminated on February 17, 2011 with immediate effect. On May 23, 2008, Rio Tinto Exploration signed a Letter of Understanding with First Bauxite Corporation, in order to form a four-year joint venture with the purpose of exploring the northern portion of the coastal bauxite belt of Guyana for economic metallurgical bauxite resources.

Platinum to trade above $1,900 despite another gross surplus in 2011 – GFMS

GFMS, in its recently-published "Platinum & Palladium Survey 2011", is forecasting that platinum will sustain a gross surplus in 2011 of a similar magnitude to that of 2010. Mine production is expected to increase modestly this year, and while GFMS describes the situation in South Africa as "challenging", including risks surrounding this year's wage negotiations, the prospect of a repetition of the major disruptions of 2007 and 2008 is relatively low. The prospect of relatively buoyant prices also underpins increased supply from recycling and GFMS doubts that fabrication demand this year and keep pace with supply, let alone exceed it.

Vaaldiam Investment Flemish Gold Corp. raises $10 million for gold exploration in Africa

Vaaldiam Mining Inc. (TSX:VAA) is pleased to report that Flemish Gold Corp. has closed a private placement of $10 million through BMO Capital Markets on May 3, 2011. Vaaldiam owns 10,625,000 common shares of Flemish. The private placement consisted of 10 million units priced at C$1.00. Each unit included one common share and one warrant to buy one share at $1.20 for 24 months. Flemish expects to go public in 2011 and now has 57.3 million common shares issued. Image by Valldiam Resources Ltd.

Northam Platinum sells Booysendal South mineral rights to Aquarius

South Africa's Northam Platinum (NHMJ.J: Quote) said on Wednesday it would sell part of the mineral rights for its Booysendal property to Aquarius Platinum (AQP.L: Quote) for 1.2 billion rand ($180.6 million). Northam said Aquarius would buy the mineral rights attached to the southern part of Booysendal, which is adjacent to Aquarius' own Everest mine.