Archive | Africa Mining

Tanzania orders wall built around tanzanite mines to end illegal trade – by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters U.S. – September 20, 2017)

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s president ordered the military on Wednesday to build walls around its tanzanite mines and directed the central bank to buy the precious stone to boost reserves – the latest twist in a spat with mining firms over alleged tax evasion.

President John Magufuli’s government accuses mining firms of cheating Tanzania out of its fair share of mineral wealth through tax dodging and smuggling, allegations they deny.

“All tanzanite gemstones will be controlled and will pass through one gate and he (Magufuli) ordered the (central) Bank of Tanzania to take part in the tanzanite buying trade,” a statement from the presidency said. Continue Reading →

We Must Think Deeply And Profoundly About How We Posit Business As A National Asset – by Bonang Mohale (Huffington Post South Africa – September 20, 2017)

We need to demonstrate to 55 million South Africans that 23 years of democracy have benefited everybody.

Banking and financial services, in general, are quite a critical and pivotal part of our economy. In fact, since our mining days, this is probably the fastest-growing sector in terms of a percentage of the GDP, but also in terms of a percentage of the number of people that it employs.

So, mining used to be probably our biggest sector at about 18 percent of GDP. South Africa was the number-one goods producer in the world. Manufacturing was 24 percent and now it is sitting at 40 percent. Manufacturing in gold has dropped, but services, in general, have increased, driven mostly by financial services.

This is important because if you want to be internationally competitive, then you want to make sure that your people have absolute access to the 21st-century technology. And banking has done that for us, South Africa’s banking system is among the top five in the world. Continue Reading →

Goldplat miner seeks to tame Africa risk – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – September 19, 2017)

LONDON (Reuters) – Upheaval in Tanzania, where the government has made huge tax demands and seized minerals, has triggered changes in neighboring Kenya, which should reassure the industry, said the CEO of Goldplat (GLDP.L), which operates a gold mine there.

Chief Executive Gerard Kisbey-Green said he was nevertheless seeking to diversify his portfolio to cover more African nations and to expand into platinum group metals as he strives to offset African risk.

This year, the mining industry has reeled from South Africa’s proposed new mining charter and changes in Tanzania, where the government is locked in a tax dispute with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) subsidiary Acacia (ACAA.L). Continue Reading →

Implats May Cut 2,500 Jobs to End Losses at Biggest Mine – by Liezel Hill (Bloomberg News – September 19, 2017)

(Bloomberg) — Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. may cut at least 2,500 jobs at its Rustenburg mining complex in South Africa as the world’s second-largest producer of the metal seeks to stem losses and adjust to lower prices.

Impala has notified unions and the government to begin a mandated consultation process ahead of proposed cuts and restructuring at its largest operation, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Monday. Additional action may be needed in the future, the miner said.

The Rustenburg operations, which employ about 31,000 people, are experiencing “severe financial pressure” after costs rose and as rand-denominated platinum prices remain low, Impala said. Labor productivity and platinum output have also declined in the past few years, it said. Continue Reading →

Africa is rich in diamonds but still poor (Deutsche Welle – September 18, 2017)

For months now, Africa’s rough diamonds have been increasing in value but the sale proceeds do not reach the people. Instead, they benefit metropolitan elites and the mine companies, which are usually foreign-owned.

Last week Tanzanian police struck a blow against international diamond smuggling. A consignment of diamonds worth around 28 million euros ($33.4 million) was seized at the country’s main airport. Petra Diamonds, the biggest listed diamond company in the world, based in the tax haven of Jersey, had registered a consignment of 14 kilos (30 pounds.) However, according to the Tanzanian authorities, it actually weighed 30 kilos. The rough diamonds from the Williamson mine were intended for export to Belgium for processing.

The Williamson mine in the north of Tanzania is a joint venture. 75 percent belongs to Petra Diamonds, 25 percent to the Tanzanian government. Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, has declared that combating corruption in the mining sector is a priority for his government. His anti-corruption platform played a large part in helping him to power in 2015. Continue Reading →

Tanzanian Leader’s War for Taxes Puts Economy in Firing Line – by Omar Mohammed and Michael Cohen (Bloomberg News – September 18, 2017)

Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s deepening dispute with companies he accuses of being tax cheats is rattling investors and dimming the allure of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

Since taking office in late 2015, Magufuli has been on a drive to increase revenue from natural resources to help fund his industrialization plans. His administration has passed laws enabling it to renegotiate contracts and ordered foreign mining firms to sell stakes on the local stock exchange to increase transparency.

The authorities have hit Acacia Mining Plc with a $190 billion tax bill, curbed its exports and detained a senior employee, and seized gems and questioned staff from Petra Diamonds Ltd., alleging it hadn’t paid its dues. Continue Reading →

Palladium price consensus forecasts point to end of the rally – by Frik Els ( – September 18, 2017)

Monday was a bleak day on precious metals markets with the glaring exception of palladium which added more than 1% to $930 an ounce, closing the gap with sister metal platinum to only $30.

At the beginning of the month, palladium futures trading in New York jumped to just shy of $1,000, the highest since 2001. The metal, mainly used to scrub vehicle emissions, is trading up 37% so far this year on a combination of strong global sales for gasoline vehicles and persistent undersupply.

2016 was the fifth year in a row of substantial deficits (1.2m ounces or 37 tonnes) as production in South Africa continues a painful decline and Russia, which together with the African nation is responsible for more than 70% of global PGM output, navigate sanctions imposed by the West. Continue Reading →

Out of Africa for First Cobalt: Cobalt hunter ditches Congo J-V for northeastern Ontario – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 18, 2017)

Only months after announcing it was buying into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), First Cobalt is pulling out to concentrate on its exploration work in northeastern Ontario.

The Toronto-headquartered cobalt hunter announced Sept. 18 that it will not complete its “strategic alliance” on seven cobalt exploration properties in the DRC. Instead, the company said it will focus on its flagship property in the historic Cobalt mining camp.

It’s Greater Cobalt Project, includes an option for the former producing Keeley-Frontier mine, a high-grade mine that produced over 3.3 million pounds of cobalt and 19.1 million ounces of silver from 301,000 tonnes of ore, as well as a joint venture on a fully permitted cobalt refinery in the town of Cobalt. Continue Reading →

Kinross to Invest $820 Million to Tread Water on Production – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – September 18, 2017)

Kinross Gold Corp. is spending more than $800 million to essentially tread water as — like many miners — it faces a future in which new gold assets are increasingly difficult to find and costly to develop.

The Canadian miner said Monday it will move ahead with expansions at mines in Mauritania and Nevada as part of efforts to maintain its production and lower costs.

“I don’t look at it as standing still,” Chief Executive Officer Paul Rollinson said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Top line production will be similar but the cash flow that’s coming out of this asset will be dramatically different.” Continue Reading →

Kinross Gold to spend $1 bln to expand Mauritania, Nevada mines – by Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.K. – September 18, 2017)

Sept 18 (Reuters) – Kinross Gold Corp, as expected, gave the go-ahead on Monday to spend more than $1 billion to expand two of its gold mines, including its Tasiast mine in West Africa, but its shares fell as investors took profits after a stellar run this year.

Kinross okayed a second-phase, $590 million expansion at its Tasiast operation in Mauritania, which will help the company, the world’s fifth-biggest gold miner by output, maintain production levels as some of its other shorter-life mines show declines.

The Toronto-based miner also said it will spend $445 million to add five years of production to its Round Mountain mine in Nevada, currently scheduled to end in 2022. Continue Reading →

Diamonds Are The Latest Industry To Benefit From Blockchain Technology – by Pamela Ambler (Forbes Magazine – September 10, 2017)

Blood diamonds from the commodity rich country of Central African Republic (CAR) have made their way to the online marketplace of Facebook. This is according to an investigative report by Global Witness, an NGO that works to fight natural resource exploitation.

Illegal digital activities were unveiled through a social media profile for a fictitious buyer. The organization found that messenger platforms such as WhatsApp have also been used as a tool to smuggle conflict stones into the international supply chain.

To stem the flow of conflict diamonds, the United Nations came to a landmark decision in early 2000 called the Kimberley Process. A three-step verification method was introduced wherein mining countries were required to provide a declaration of each stone. Continue Reading →

Ivanhoe confident of expanding Kamoa-Kakula into a top three global copper deposit – by Natasha Odenaal ( – September 11, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines is confident that the Kamoa-Kakula deposit, ranked the fifth-largest copper deposit in the world, will take one of the top three rankings on the back of the “unprecedented rate of growth” of the high-grade copper resource in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ivanhoe on Monday announced assay results from another 43 holes as part of the ongoing 2017 drilling campaign at the Kamoa-Kakula copper project.

“The remarkable consistency of the ultra-high-grade copper mineralisation at the Kakula discovery is unlike anything geologists have ever seen in the DRC’s copperbelt. The discovery remains open in virtually all directions, so the real question is, how much bigger and better is Kakula going to get?” Ivanhoe executive chairperson Robert Friedland said. Continue Reading →

The Australian companies mining $40 billion out of Africa – by Eryk Bagshaw (Sydney Morning Herald – September 10, 2017)

Francina Nkosi chose to live in Lephalale because of the farmland. There was enough space to raise her daughter and as many women as there were men, a rarity in parts of the Limpopo province of South Africa. A year later, in 2007, the Medupi power station set up shop. It brought with it men, lots of them, some carrying HIV, others with wallets full of their living away from home allowance.

Prostitution followed, the town closest to the power station became famous for having the most expensive sex workers in the country. Teenage pregnancy came next. Now there’s two men for every woman in Lephalale. Nkosi worries there is more to come.

In 2011, an Australian company, Resgen, followed the power station into town. Residents claim it promised a school, water and industry, in return for a mine that would eventually produce 6.4 billion tonnes of coal. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 4-Tanzania orders review of Petra Diamonds contract in mining crackdown – by Fumbuka Ng‘wanakilala (Reuters U.S. – September 7, 2017)

DAR ES SALAAM, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Tanzanian President John Magufuli has ordered a review of a Petra Diamonds Ltd contract and asked senior public officials to resign over the outcome of an investigation into the mining sector, he said on Thursday.

One minister quit his post as requested, state-run television reported. The moves are the latest attempt by Magufuli to tighten control over the mining industry to boost government revenues and stamp out alleged corruption. “I have endorsed all the recommendations of the parliamentary probe committees for the review of the Williamson diamond mine contract,” Magufuli said in a televised broadcast.

London-listed Petra has a 75 percent stake in the mine, while the government owns the rest. The company’s shares fell as much as 3.5 percent, but had trimmed losses to trade down 1 percent at 90 pence by 1516 GMT. Continue Reading →

South African mining must be made globally competitive – Motsepe – by Martin Creamer ( – September 7, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – All South Africans need to work together to ensure that the South African mining industry is a globally competitive investment destination, said African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) executive chairperson Patrice Motsepe on Thursday, when he declared the black-controlled company’s highest-ever dividend.

“We have a lot to be proud of and together we’ll make this industry the globally competitive industry that we want it to be,” Motsepe said at the company’s presentation of 204%-higher headline earnings to R3 196-million in the 12 months to June 30.

“As an industry, mining does not always get the respect and recognition that it deserves. A huge amount of truly world-class work is being done at huge sacrifice,” he said after declaring ARM’s 189%-higher dividend of 650c a share. Continue Reading →