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Platinum price upturn needed to sustain industry – Lonmin 

By: Martin Creamer     20th January 2017 An upturn in the platinum price is needed for the sustainability of the platinum industry as a whole, Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said on Friday. The head of the large London- and Johannesburg-listed platinum mining company said that although there had been a slight price recovery since November and... 

Lonmin CEO Ben Magara points out the unsustainability of the current low platinum price at a media conference covered Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

South Africa’s mining sector at a crossroads, collaborative effort required

By: Ilan Solomons     20th January 2017 The global mining industry has been struggling since the 2008 international financial crisis set off a chain of events resulting in contracted growth in important markets, such as China, and recession in others, such as Europe, leading to severe declines in commodity prices. In South Africa, the... 

South Africa’s mining sector at a crossroads, collaborative effort required

NUM expresses disappointment over looming job cuts at AngloGold Ashanti

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2017 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Friday confirmed that it had received a Section 189 notice from gold producer AngloGold Ashanti that it was retrenching 849 workers at its operations in South Africa. In a statement released to Mining Weekly Online on Thursday, AngloGold Ashanti... 

NUM expresses disappointment over looming job cuts at AngloGold Ashanti

Shift to coal under way in Botswana, but diamonds still dominate

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th January 2017 Botswana’s ambitions to develop its coal mining sector and reduce its dependency on diamonds will face an uphill battle in the face of subdued coal prices and the overshadowing value of the diamond sector. The government-driven shift to coal production ramp-up in the next few years was expected... 

Harmony sponsors 32 students in new academic year

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2017 Gold mining company Harmony Gold has awarded 32 bursaries to university and technikon students for the current academic year. The bursaries cover various areas of study including noncore and core disciplines. Sixty-one per cent of those who received bursaries fall into the core category, which... 

Guinea President says Rio payment saga tied to internal feud

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2017 The President of Guinea is disputing public statements made by Rio Tinto Group regarding the firing of a senior executive for a $10.5-million payment made to the President’s friend Francois de Combret. President Alpha Conde said the firing of Alan Davies, who headed Rio’s $20-billion Simandou... 

Mustang ships first rubies from Mozambique

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 ASX-listed gem producer Mustang Resources has completed the commissioning of the processing plant at its Montepuez ruby project, in Mozambique, and has sent its first commercial parcel of rubies to customers in the US. The company told shareholders on Friday that production at Montepuez was... 

BMR can recover vanadium from tailings with no modifications to plant

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2017 Metallurgical testwork currently being carried out at BMR Group’s Kabwe project, in Zambia, is providing encouraging results with regard to the metal’s potential recovery and production from its tailings. This, the company said on Friday, further bolstered BMR’s asset base. 

Golden Saint encouraged by Baja, Tongo ‘inventory’ check

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th January 2017 Aim-listed Golden Saint Resources is now considering the work that is necessary to establish an inferred resource within its Baja and Tongo exploration licence areas, in Sierra Leone, following an encouraging inventory report back from its consultants. Alluvial specialist Rock Forage undertook a... 

Sovereign Mines completes Mandiana farm-out

By: Anine Kilian     20th January 2017 Aim-listed Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA) has completed the farm-out of its 75% interest in the Mandiana gold project, in Guinea, to TSX-V-listed Volcanic Gold Mines. In turn, it received 2.5-million common shares in Volcanic, representing 9.9% of Volcanic’s shares. 

Mining Weekly iPhone and Android Apps available for free download 

     20th January 2017 Creamer Media’s readers continue to be part of the mobile revolution.  Over 20% of Creamer Media’s online readers view the websites on their mobile devices. To cater for this growing mobile readership Creamer Media offers a MiningWeekly.com app for iPhone and Android users.  These apps offer... 

Mining Weekly iPhone and Android Apps available for free download

Trump aides said to prepare list of early energy changes

By: Bloomberg     21st January 2017 Donald Trump’s advisers have prepared a short list of energy and environmental policy changes he can take now that he has been sworn in as president, including steps to limit the role that climate change plays in government decisions and speed the review of cross-border pipelines. The list of... 

Trump aides said to prepare list of early energy changes
Photo by Reuters
US President Donald Trump being sworn in

PEA places Mariana’s Hot Maden in world-class league

By: Henry Lazenby     21st January 2017 AIM and TSX quoted exploration and development company Mariana Resources this week announced the positive results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its flagship Hot Maden project in Turkey, touting a net present value, at a 10% discount, of about $1.4-billion. "The potential value is... 

Platinum price upside limited despite stronger structural demand in coming years

By: Henry Lazenby     20th January 2017 Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) Global Research forecasts little upside for platinum despite strengthening structural demand, saying South African producers are putting more ounces on the market at a time when discipline is required. In a ‘Global Metals Weekly’ report published... 

Platinum price upside limited despite stronger structural demand in coming years

Potash Ridge contemplates smaller-scale ops at Blawn Mountain

By: Henry Lazenby     20th January 2017 TSX-listed project developer Potash Ridge this weak published the results updating a 2013 technical report on the Blawn Mountain project, in Utah, to a capital cost that is more attractive given today's market conditions, and to an initial production rate that can be absorbed into the North... 

Antofagasta swaps 40% Alto Maipo stake for cheaper electricity

By: Henry Lazenby     20th January 2017 London-based Antofagasta announced Friday that its subsidiary Minera Los Pelambres has agreed to transfer its 40% stake in the Alto Maipo hydroelectric project to controlling shareholder Gener in return for cheaper electricity. Los Pelambres has been in partnership with Gener in the Alto Maipo... 

Santos hits new production and sales records

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 Oil and gas major Santos reported record production and sales volumes for 2016, which MD and CEO Kevin Gallagher on Friday described as a “year of significant change” for the Australia-based company. The ASX-listed company produced a record 61.6-million barrels of oil equivalent in the year... 

New Hope’s A$900m Acland expansion gains federal approval

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 The federal government has approved coal miner New Hope’s A$900-million New Acland Stage 3 continuation project. The New Acland Stage 3 project will expand the mine’s yearly output from 4.8-million tonnes to 7.5-million tonnes and will extend the operation’s life beyond the current end-date of... 

TNG's demerger on track

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 The proposed demerger of strategic metals company TNG’s base metals assets in the Northern Territory into a new subsidiary, is progressing to schedule. TNG on Friday reported that the launch of Todd River Resources’ initial public offering (IPO) was imminent, ahead of a planned listing on the... 

Chatree has solid final quarter

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 The now defunct Chatree gold mine, in Thailand, produced 19 377 oz of gold and poured 17 778 oz of gold during the December quarter, before mining ceased at the end of the year. ASX-listed Kingsgate said on Friday that it had sold 19 040 oz of gold during the three months.  

Fitzroy extends offer period for Royalco

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 ASX-listed Fitzroy River Corporation has extended its offer for fellow-listed Royalco Resources from the end of January until February 13. The directors of Royalco have unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer in the absence of a superior proposal. 

OceanaGold pours gold at Haile

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 Dual listed gold miner OceanaGold has poured its first gold at the Haile gold mine, in South Carolina. “The first gold pour at Haile is another significant achievement for the company, the value communities of Kershaw and Lancaster, and the state of South Carolina,” OceanaGold president and CEO... 

Former coal baron Blankenship’s conviction upheld on appeal

By: Bloomberg     20th January 2017 Former coal baron Donald Blankenship will stay in jail for now after an appeals court upheld his conviction for flouting mine-safety laws. The self-described “political prisoner” didn’t identify any reversible errors in his 2016 trial on charges he ignored safety rules at Massey Energy’s Upper... 

Freeport seeks guarantees from Indonesia amid mining shake-up

By: Reuters     20th January 2017 The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoran is seeking fiscal and legal guarantees from the government over mining rules issued last week, a spokesman for the copper mining giant said late on Thursday. The Southeast Asian nation has been pushing miners to build smelters to process ore locally, with... 

Portland smelter rescued as Alcoa strikes deal with AGL, govt

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th January 2017 Aluminium major Alcoa will restart full operations at its Portland smelter, in Victoria, after striking a deal with state and federal governments, and finalising a new four-year power supply agreement with ASX-listed AGL Energy. It is understood that the Victorian government will invest some... 

Portland smelter rescued as Alcoa strikes deal with AGL, govt

Lithium Americas reports $174m strategic investment by Ganfeng Lithium

By: Henry Lazenby     20th January 2017 Niche minerals company Lithium Americas has signed an investment agreement with China's Ganfeng Lithium for funding to advance the construction of the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project, in Jujuy, Argentina. Ganfeng this week agreed to finance $174-million and the right to buy a fixed portion of... 

Rambler reports positive test results as it transforms Ming mine

By: Henry Lazenby     20th January 2017 LSE- and TSX-V-listed maritime-focused copper and gold producer Rambler Metals and Mining has reported successful results of metallurgical testing to establish the use of dense media separation (DMS) technology as a preconcentration step before milling at its Ming mine, in Newfoundland and... 

Fortune appoints PwC to help secure Nico construction funding

By: Henry Lazenby     19th January 2017 TSX-listed multi-element project developer Fortune Minerals has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance (PwCCF) to help secure the C$589-million-plus working capital required to build its flagship Nico cobalt/gold/bismuth/copper project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. “As a new... 

Peabody reaches agreement with unsecured lenders on plan of reorganisation

By: Henry Lazenby     19th January 2017 US coal miner Peabody Energy has reached agreement by which the unsecured creditors' committee (UCC) will support its proposed plan of reorganisation, the company said Thursday. The agreement builds on momentum regarding Peabody's proposed plan, which has received substantial support in recent... 

NYSE drops initial fees for switching companies in listings war

By: Reuters     19th January 2017 The New York Stock Exchange has waived the first partial year of annual listing fees for companies that transfer their stock to the Big Board from another exchange, a move that could help it poach more companies from rival Nasdaq. Companies that currently list on the NYSE have to pay a pro-rated... 

New Vale pact seeks dispersed share ownership in six years – sources

By: Reuters     19th January 2017 Leading shareholders of Vale close to endorsing a plan to turn the world's No 1 iron-ore producer into a company with dispersed share ownership within six years, two people familiar with the talks said. Bradespar SA, Mitsui & Co and several Brazilian pension funds are negotiating a new... 

Encanto hits jackpot with direct-selling offtake agreement with Indian farmers' co-op

By: Henry Lazenby     19th January 2017 The potash market on Thursday reverberated with the news that junior project developer Encanto Potash has struck a definitive 20-year offtake agreement with an India-based farmers’ co-op for a minimum of five-million tonnes a year, cutting out the middle man and selling directly to farmers. The... 

Encanto hits jackpot with direct-selling offtake agreement with Indian farmers' co-op

Canadian mining darling finds gold in projects no one wants

By: Bloomberg     19th January 2017 When Paul Andre Huet became chief executive officer of Klondex Mines in 2012, he says the Canadian gold miner had just $400 000 in cash, one asset and $7-million in invoices. “We never declared bankruptcy but on our financials we were literally done,” says Huet, who made the leap to the... 

Mine safety a casualty of too many distractions, say unions as 2016 statistics show marginal improvement

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th January 2017 South Africa’s mining stakeholders need to “go back to the drawing board” and refocus efforts on bringing down the number of fatalities in the sector, trade union Solidarity's deputy general secretary for occupational health and safety and sustainable development Advocate Paul Mardon said, as a... 

Mine safety a casualty of too many distractions, say unions as 2016 statistics show marginal improvement
Photo by Duane Daws
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebezi Zwane

Finland's Terrafame nickel mine makes quarterly profit

By: Reuters     19th January 2017 Finland's State-owned nickel and zinc mine Terrafame, which is looking for buyers, reported on Thursday it had returned to profit in the fourth quarter on the back of growing production volumes and rising metal prices. The government took over the northern mine last year and founded Terrafame to... 

Hummingbird on track for Yanfolila’s first gold pour by year-end

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 Aim-listed Hummingbird Resources has awarded the structural, mechanical, plate work and piping (SMPP) contract for its Yanfolila gold project, in Mali, where mine construction is currently under way, to construction company Imagri-SARL. The company on Thursday noted that plant construction was on... 

Shanta Gold achieves record production, costs at New Luika

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 East Africa-focused gold producer Shanta Gold on Thursday reported that it had beaten full year guidance on both cost and volume at its New Luika gold mine (NLGM), in southwest Tanzania. This follows record gold production of 87 713 oz for the year ended December 31, at an all-in sustaining cost... 

Acacia celebrates another productive year at its Tanzania operations

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 Marking its fourth consecutive year of production growth, Aim-listed gold miner Acacia reported strong fourth-quarter production of 212 954 oz for the three months ended December 31. Production for the quarter was 6% higher than that of the fourth quarter of 2015 and 4% higher than third-quarter... 

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