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Editorial Insight
Froneman re-enters fray as Gold One, Randgold expects clean-out of juniors, unsolicited bids pour in for Zim mines
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28th November 2008
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Modder East gold mine on South Africa’s East Rand is set to be “unbelievably profitable”, the proposed Ventersburg mine in the Free State is “really promising”, the Tulo prospect in Mozambique could be a “company maker”, Bothaville could eventuate as the first Bothaville Gap mine and Etendeka, in Nambia, has uranium and high-grade thorium.

These are the utterances of a resurgent Neal Froneman, who is converting Aflease Gold into Gold One and wants to be producing 500 000 oz/y of gold within the next five years as Gold One president and CEO.

Read on pages 12 and 55 of this edition of Mining Weekly of Froneman’s reversal of the JSE-listed Aflease Gold into BMA Gold of Australia, and of the “simple, easy-to-mine, low-risk Modder East” pouring its first gold before Christmas of 2009 at the low cost of below $300/oz and a profit margin above 100%.

Froneman, whose Dominion uranium creation when he was Uranium One CEO, is on care and maintenance, is still a believer in uranium, but sees thorium, another nuclear fuel, surpassing it in the future.

Africa-focused gold-miner Randgold Resources has its eye on several potential targets, and expects to see even more opportunities over the coming months, as junior miners and explorers are battered by tough market conditions. CEO Mark Bristow predicts on page 6 of this edition of Mining Weekly that “you are going to see a major clean-out” of the junior gold-mining space.

Randgold has $264-million in cash and hopes to use the difficulties that juniors are facing to widen its exploration efforts, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Tanzania and Cameroon.

Corporate vultures are circling Metallon Gold Zimbabwe, which has suspended operations at its five mines, owing to mounting liquidity problems.

Read on page 6 of this edition of Mining Weekly that several potential investors are understood to have made unsolicited offers for the company, which is majority-owned by South African Mzi Khumalo, following recent reports that Metallon had closed the Red Wing, Shamva, Arcturus, How and Mazowe mines in Zimbabwe.

Khumalo bought the five mines controversially from Lonrho in 2002. The mines account for 15% of Zimbabwe’s gold output and employ about 5 000 people, or about 14% of the mining industry’s workforce.

To see a video on Johnson Matthey’s comments on platinum, go to and click on ‘Multimedia’ and then on ‘Real Economy Report’.

To see a video on Neal Froneman discussing Gold One, go to and click on ‘Multimedia’ and then on ‘Video Clips’.

To listen to Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow’s comments on merger and acquisition opportunities, go to and click on ‘Multimedia’ and then on ‘Audio Clips’.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter


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