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Barrick to keep operating Zambia copper mine, pending royalty change

By: Reuters Barrick Gold, the world's biggest gold producer by output, will continue operating its Lumwana copper mine, in Zambia, while awaiting changes to the country's mineral royalty tax, the company said on Friday. Barrick had said it would suspend operations after Zambia hiked mineral royalties for... 

Golden Star Resources reports strong ROI for underground Ghanaian gold project

By: Henry Lazenby Ghana-focused gold miner Golden Star Resources has reported a strong return on investment (ROI) for its brownfields Wassa underground gold project at its currently operating Wassa openpit mine in the country, and expected the development to transform the company into a lower-cost gold producer.... 

Miners' gold forward sales surged 103t last year, most since 1999 – report

By: Reuters The volume of gold sold forward by mining companies rose by 103 t last year, the biggest annual increase since 1999, an industry report showed on Friday. That far outstrips an estimate given late last year of 42 t to 52 t, after Mexican gold and silver miner Fresnillo said it was hedging 47... 

Israel Chemicals to acquire Allana Potash in C$137m deal

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Dual-listed agriculture, processed food and engineered materials manufacturer Israel Chemicals (ICL) will acquire all shares it does not already own in TSX-listed Allana Potash, which owns a potash mine in Ethiopia, for C$137-million. ICL already held a 16.36% stake in the potash company and... 

Bauba makes first chrome shipment in platinum exploration funding move

By: Martin Creamer The JSE-listed Bauba Platinum, which is mining and selling chrome ore to fund its platinum exploration, this week shipped the first run-of-mine output from its maiden chrome horizon blast at the Moeijelik operation. Bauba last year entered into a two-year chrome-ore supply agreement with ASA... 

Bauba makes first chrome shipment in platinum exploration funding move
Photo by Duane Daws
Syd Caddy

Baoulé project a ‘company-maker’ for Stellar Diamonds

By: Natalie Greve The dense media separation (DMS) plant at Aim-listed Stellar Diamonds’ Baoulé kimberlite pipe project, in Guinea, has reached its target processing capacity of 50 t/h, the company said in an interim results statement for the six months ended December 31, on Friday. This comes after the diamond... 

Eskom CEO's suspension challenge struck from roll

By: Sapa Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona's challenge to his suspension was struck from the roll at the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Friday. "The application is struck from the roll," Judge Benita Whitcher said. 

Eskom CEO's suspension challenge struck from roll
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona

Orapa diamond field to plug ‘clear’ supply gap, asserts explorer

By: Natalie Greve Diamond explorer Botswana Diamonds continued to advance second-phase exploration on three of its joint venture (JV) blocks in the Orapa area of Botswana, telling shareholders on Friday that the diamond industry continues to “glisten” in a resource sector depressed by weak demand. Chairperson John... 

Basil Read records R820m loss in challenging market

By: Megan van Wyngaardt A challenging construction sector, difficult contractual environment and poor operational performance have contributed to JSE-listed construction company Basil Read reporting an R820.9-million aftertax loss for the year ended December 31, 2014. “Lossmaking contracts across all construction... 

Basil Read records R820m loss in challenging market

Kibaran shares surge as financier circles

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The share price of graphite developer Kibaran Resources soared by 33% on Friday after the company announced significant interest in debt funding of its Epanko project, in Tanzania. Kibaran announced at the end of the week that it had received an expression of interest from a development finance... 

Platfields remains in financial doldrums, to announce management change

By: Natalie Greve Precious metals explorer Platfields will soon announce changes to its executive management, telling shareholders on Friday that amendments to the company’s leadership had been driven by a depressed platinum environment, funding shortfalls and mining right validity concerns. “The company has been... 

Kinross settles shareholder lawsuit tied to Mauritania debacle

By: Reuters Kinross Gold Corp has agreed pay $33-million to settle a shareholder lawsuit that had accused the Canadian gold miner of defrauding investors through an ill-advised mine acquisition in Mauritania that has resulted in over $6-billion in writedowns. According to documents filed with the U.S.... 

Vested interests, lack of understanding hamper establishment of S African PGMs exchange

By: Ilan Solomons As more than 80% of the world’s known platinum-group metals (PGMs) reserves are in South Africa, it is ideal that a PGMs exchange be established locally to ensure that the country receives maximum benefit from its mineral wealth, avers investment company Pan-African Investments & Research... 

Vested interests, lack of understanding hamper establishment of S African PGMs exchange

LME looking to restore bullion forward curve, eyes broad market restructuring

By: Reuters The London Metal Exchange (LME) has started talking to the main bullion trading banks about reinstating end-of-day gold and silver forward curves, which could be part of a bigger structural change in the precious metals market. A forward curve, which consists of a series of prices reflecting... 

Several miners appoint new senior executives

By: Henry Lazenby Thursday saw a slew of new senior executive appointments by several Canadian mining companies. West Africa-focused True Gold said it had appointed Christian Milau its new president and CEO, effective from April 27. The company, which was currently focused on developing the temporarily suspended... 

Communication gap biggest hurdle when paying ex-miners compensation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Efficient communication with migrant mineworkers in Southern Africa, regarding social security benefits, poses a significant challenge to the Southern Africa Trust (SAT) and the Southern Africa Miners’ Association (Sama), as former mineworkers had insufficient access to information on... 

Wesizwe meets next Bakubung project milestone

By: Anine Vermeulen Platinum development company Wesizwe Platinum this week intersected the secondary upper group two (UG2) reef at the main shaft of its Bakubung mine, on the western limb of the Bushveld Complex, and will send the samples to South Africa’s State-owned Council for Mineral Technology (Mintek) in... 

Electricity-slashing platinum game changer expected by December

By: Martin Creamer The target date is the end of this year for the decision to go ahead with the commercial implementation of a paradigm shift technology that will mine and refine platinum in an integrated on-site process and use only a tenth of the electricity normally consumed. Major detail design work has... 

Electricity-slashing platinum game changer expected by December
Photo by Duane Daws
Arne Frandsen

Gold mining companies make strides in housing employees

By: Natasha Odendaal South Africa’s major gold producers on Thursday said significant strides had been made to house their respective employees. Since the implementation of the Mining Charter more than a decade ago, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold and Sibanye Gold had collectively spent more than... 

DRC’s proposed new mining code a ‘grave risk’ - CoM

By: Natasha Odendaal The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) revamped mining code is likely to set the mining industry’s development back by at least ten years, DRC Chamber of Mines vice-chairperson and former Mines Minister Simon Tuma-Waku said on Thursday. The “new-look” proposed legislation, which was submitted... 

Eskom CEO challenges suspension in court 

By: Sapa Eskom questions why CEO Tshediso Matona's suspension should be lifted before the outcome of his case at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA), the Labour Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday. "... This is frustrating the work of the board to try and steady the... 

Eskom CEO challenges suspension in court
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona

Sierra Rutile revenue hit by price decline

By: Natasha Odendaal A significant fall in the price of rutile has offset the record rutile sales and the strong sales volumes of ilmenite and zircon and other concentrates by London-listed Sierra Rutile in the 2014 financial year. A 21.6% year-on-year fall in the average realised rutile price at $818/t reduced... 

Glencore to shut NSW underground coal mine

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining major Glencore on Thursday announced that underground mining at its West Wallsend coal mine, in New South Wales, would be completed next year. The decision to cease underground mining was consistent with the life-of-mine planning for the West Wallsend operation, the miner said. 

DRDGold to issue 45.5m new shares, fully acquire Ergo Mining

By: Natalie Greve Following the fulfilment of all suspensive conditions, DRDGold expects to issue 45.5-million new shares and acquire the remaining 26% of Ergo Mining Operations (EMO) it did not already own on April 10. This followed a 2014 announcement in which the group stated its intention to enter into a share... 

Mineral sands miner, enviro activist in standoff over West Coast mine

By: Ilan Solomons ASX-listed mineral sands miner Mineral Commodities (MRC) has defended itself against allegations by a South African environmental activist that its West Coast-based Tormin mine is negatively impacting the environment and community surrounding the operation. In a statement to the media, West Coast... 

Mineral sands miner, enviro activist in standoff over West Coast mine
Tormin mine site

Zambia's President signals aim to change mining royalties

By: Reuters Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday directed the finance and mining ministers to change royalties on mining firms by April 8, saying the copper-producer could consider temporarily reverting to the tax regime in 2014. The decision to increase royalties in January for open pit mines to 20%... 

Iamgold trims board

By: Henry Lazenby Iamgold on Wednesday announced that three directors would be retiring and not stand for re-election at the company's annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders scheduled for May 11. President and CEO Steve Letwin said in support of the company's focus on cost containment, the board had taken... 

Steadfast Wescoal reacts firmly to stave off negative reports

By: Martin Creamer A steadfast Wescoal on Wednesday reacted firmly to stave off negative news reports by restating that an offer made for the company had been taken off the table after conditions could not be met and simultaneously reconfirmed its oft-stated position of wanting to increase its black shareholding to... 

Steadfast Wescoal reacts firmly to stave off negative reports
Photo by Duane Daws
Wescoal chairperson Robinson Ramaite

Eskom chair not removed

By: Sapa Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi has not been removed, the power utility said on Wednesday. Eskom media desk was responding to questions on a report that the four executives, suspended earlier this month, were not suspended because they initiated an audit of the parastatal's tender processes. 

Eskom chair not removed
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi

Plant performance at heart of reworked KPIs for power station managers 

By: Terence Creamer The key performance indicators (KPIs) for Eskom power station managers are being reworked to ensure a recovery in plant energy availability factor (EAF), which has fallen from over 85% in 2010 to below 75%. Energy thought leader at Eskom Mike Rossouw said on Wednesday that a recovery in the EAF... 

Plant performance at heart of reworked KPIs for power station managers
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy thought leader at Eskom Mike Rossouw

Eskom targeting 975 MW in savings as it restarts DSM schemes

By: Terence Creamer State-owned power utility Eskom, which halted its demand-side management (DSM) interventions last year owing to funding uncertainties, reports that some of the programmes will be restarted this year and that a savings target of 975 MW has been set. Speaking at a Fossil Fuel Foundation conference... 

Eskom targeting 975 MW in savings as it restarts DSM schemes
Andrew Etzinger
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