Africa Top Stories

African lender eyes unloved neighborhoods in mining drive

African Finance Corp. will invest in countries disregarded by other…

Tharisa has right to all of $4.2 billion Zimbabwe platinum mine

The government estimates will produce 1.36 million ounces of platinum…

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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.

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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.

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.