Africa Top Stories

Zimbabwe unveils plan for $12 billion in mineral revenue by 2023

The southern African nation sees the mining sector as the…

Guinea’s Nimba iron ore project gets green light to export via Liberia

The logistics of transporting tonnes of raw materials to port…

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Leviev sells Angola diamond mine stake for reported $380m profit

Real estate magnate Lev Leviev has sold his 18% stake in Angola's Catoca diamond mine to China's Sonangol International for $400 million, Russia's "Kommersant" newspaper reports. Leviev acquired the stake in the Angola mine in the 1990s for $20m. Russia's state owned diamond producer Alrosa holds 32.8% of Catoca. Last week Alrosa provided a rare glimpse into its finances and operations ahead of a possible public offering. The state-owned company supplies about a quarter of the world’s diamonds and in 2010 produced more of the precious stones than De Beers, historically the dominant miner and marketer of the gems.

Botswana: Record Q1 Diamond Exports

Botswana exported $462.5 million worth of polished diamonds in March, a 50.7% year-over-year increase in exports, based on figures released by the Bank of Botswana. This brings the country’s first quarter diamond exports to $1.019 billion, the highest value ever in the first quarter. The exceptional level of exports, which include rough and polished diamonds, gained 34% over the first quarter of 2010 and is 0.2% above exports in the first quarter of 2008.

Bad day for platinum: Tsunami to trigger 8-fold jump in surplus, world no. 2 halts expansion

BusinessDay reports on Friday the global platinum surplus may jump eightfold to as much as five tons after Japan’s worst earthquake slashed car production, reducing the country’s demand for the metal used in cars’ emission systems to the lowest level in 28 years. Earlier Mining Weekly reported that world number two platinum producer Impala Platinum has shelved plans to increase production at its underperforming 73%-owned Marula mine leading to lay-offs at the company’s largest development project in South Africa.


Zambia approves Barrick, Equinox deal

Zambia has approved the proposed takeover of Equinox Minerals by Barrick Gold on condition the government keeps its 2.2 percent stake in Equinox, a regulatory body said on Friday. The Zambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission granted final conditional authorisation of the acquisition as the deal did not raise any competition concerns, it said in a statement.

Reuters: China interested in building nuclear plant in East Africa

Reuters reports: China wants to help build nuclear power generation in East Africa, uranium mining and investment company IBI Corp said in a statement after meeting Chinese officials in Beijing, revealing China's undimmed appetite for overseas nuclear expansion despite the Japanese nuclear crisis this year. IBI, which has uranium-prospective land in Uganda, said its director, A.J. Coffman, held an "encouraging meeting... with the relatively new umbrella organization overseeing China's research and development of Generation 3 and Generation 4 nuclear power plant designs."

BHP Billiton pulls out of Zambian mine partnership: The Post Online

BHP Billiton has dissolved a partnership with Blackthorn Resources to develop a mine in Zambia, according to a report in The Post Online: World's largest mining company BHP Billiton has finally withdrawn from the Mumbwa Iron Oxide Copper Gold project, aborting expectations that Zambia was to herald a new era of top tier miners. Its joint venture partner, Blackthorn Resources, announced that BHP Billiton had pulled out of a copper venture but would retain the right to a two per cent production royalty on any metal mined from the area.

South African gold and coal mines faced with 14% wage increase demand

South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Monday it would seek a 14 percent rise in salaries from the country's gold and coal miners in upcoming wage talks. "We are asking for a 14 percent (increase) across the board for companies in gold mining and coal mining," said spokesman Lesiba Seshoka, adding that more details would be provided later.

Exxaro seeks bids for zinc assets

Reuters Africa reports Exxaro (JNB:EXX) has invited bids for the company’s stake in a zinc and lead mine in Namibia. The market news is quoted as saying: The assets up for sale include Exxaro’s 50.04 percent stake in the Rosh Pinah mine and its wholly owned Zincor refinery.

Output disrupted at Lonmin SAfrican mine

Miner Lonmin LMIJ.J (LMI.L: Quote) said on Friday that there was unspecified industrial action taking place at its Marikana operations in South Africa by members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). "Lonmin announced today that it is currently experiencing unprotected industrial action by NUM members at the Karee operations of its Marikana operations. As a result, production at Karee has been disrupted since the night shift of Tuesday 17th May," it said in a statement.