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Shore Gold consolidates Star-Orion South diamond project, inks earn-in with Rio Tinto

By: Henry Lazenby     24th June 2017 TSX-listed project developer Shore Gold has consolidated its ownership in the Star-Orion South diamond project, in Saskatchewan, after buying Newmont Canada FN Holdings’ 31% interest in the Fort à la Corne joint venture (FalC JV), the company announced on Friday. With a resulting 100% ownership... 

Shore Gold consolidates Star-Orion South diamond project, inks earn-in with Rio Tinto
Photo by Shore Gold
Rio Tinto has signed an option agreement to earn up to 60% of Shore Gold's Star-Orion South diamond project, in Saskatchewan

Sisson tungsten/moly play gets federal nod

By: Henry Lazenby     24th June 2017 TSX-listed Northcliff Resources’ majority owned Sisson Mines has received Canadian federal approval for the Sisson tungsten/molybdenum mine, in New Brunswick, following an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the... 

Zinc rally to slow in H2 as headwinds mount – BofAML

By: Henry Lazenby     24th June 2017 Headwinds to the current zinc price rally are expected to mount during the second half of the year as consumption slows, undermining the base metal’s strong fundamentals, new analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has found. The banking group’s Global Commodities Research team said in... 

Guatemala police clears protesters, access to Tahoe’s blocked Escobal mine

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd June 2017 Police have used teargas to clear a public road near the town of Casillas, in south-east Guatemala, of protesters blocking access to Canadian miner Tahoe resources’ controversial Escobal mine, the third-largest silver mine in the world. The TSX- and NYSE-listed miner said in a statement on Friday... 

Glencore increases offer for Rio Tinto’s C&A assets

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd June 2017 In light of reports on Tuesday that diversified miner Rio Tinto urged its shareholders to vote in favour of the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal & Allied Industries (C&A) to Yancoal Australia, as opposed to electing the counter offer from Glencore, the latter has raised its offer to... 

Glencore paid $4bn in taxes, royalties in 2016

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd June 2017 Triple-listed Glencore on Friday reported it had paid some $4-billion in taxes and royalties to governments in 2016. Some $1.78-billion related to payments in respect of the extractive activities under the reporting requirements of the European Union (EU) directive, the mining giant’s yearly... 

Randgold keen on DRC mining code review, partnerships to develop young industry

By: Creamer Media Reporter      23rd June 2017 LSE-listed Randgold Resources on Friday said the mining industry would welcome a review of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC’s) existing mining code in a “young” industry still open to development. However, this review needs to be subject to an inclusive debate, with government and the... 

West African Resources secures C$15m for exploration drilling at Sanbrado

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd June 2017 Dual-listed West African Resources has entered into an agreement with Sprott Capital Partners to act as lead underwriter for the purchase of 46.8-million ordinary shares at C$0.32 apiece, to raise C$15-million. The underwriters will also have the option to acquire up to an additional... 

Santacruz to consolidate ownership of Veta Grande, Minillas properties

By: Henry Lazenby     24th June 2017 Canadian junior Santacruz Silver Mining has signed an option agreement with certain private Mexican companies known as Contracuña under which Santacruz aquired an option to buy a 100% interest in the Veta Grande and Minillas properties, for $15.5-million, the company announced on Wednesday. The... 

Orocobre ops affected by severe weather

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 Dual-listed miner Orocobre is expecting to produce between 2 400 t and 2 500 t of lithium carbonate in the three months to June, on the back of severe weather conditions in Argentina and Chile. This production expectation compares with the 2 784 t of lithium carbonate produced in the three months... 

Cobalt 27 aims to tap electric car revolution with $150m IPO

By: Reuters     23rd June 2017 Minerals company Cobalt 27 Capital made its debut on Canada's Venture Exchange on Friday, raising C$200-million in a listing that offers investors exposure to cobalt, a key metal for batteries in electric cars. Cobalt 27's initial public offering highlights the burgeoning market for cobalt as the... 

Eskom refuses to provide information on Tegeta claim settlement – AfriBusiness

By: Anine Kilian     23rd June 2017 Business rights watchdog AfriBusiness will consult with its legal team to determine the way forward after State-owned Eskom reportedly refused to provide it with information on the R2-billion fine imposed on Tegeta Resources’ Optimum coal mine. Following a period of arbitration, Eskom and Tegeta... 

Zwane forced to beat a hasty retreat from community engagement imbizo

By: Ilan Solomons     23rd June 2017 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was, on Friday, forced to leave a community engagement imbizo in the Steve Tshwete local municipality, in Mpumalanga, without addressing the meeting. The Minister, who was meant to hear the views of affected communities following the release of the third... 

Zwane forced to beat a hasty retreat from community engagement imbizo
Practical Radical Economic Transformation members storm stage where Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was meant to discuss the new Mining Charter

If Koko returns, it won’t be as acting CEO, Brown avers, as she unveils interim board

By: Terence Creamer     23rd June 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has called on the new interim leadership of embattled power utility Eskom to give priority attention to addressing the management of contracts, conflicts of interest and the quality of coal being supplied to its power stations. Speaking following the Eskom... 

If Koko returns, it won’t be as acting CEO, Brown avers, as she unveils interim board
Photo by Duane Daws
Zethembe Khoza, Lynne Brown, Ben Martins and Johnny Dladla

Mining Charter violates shareholder rights – Hogan Lovells

By: Martin Creamer     23rd June 2017 Mining Charter Three’s arbitrary increase of empowerment shareholding to 30% violates the property rights of shareholders, and the new charter’s requirement to pay 1% of yearly turnover is not expected to survive challenges under the Companies Act and the Constitution. Property rights under the... 

Mining Charter violates shareholder rights – Hogan Lovells
Hogan Lovells partner Wessel Badenhorst

BMR Group raises funds to further fund Kabwe construction

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd June 2017 BMR Group has, through the placement of 9.3-million new ordinary shares at 3.75p apiece, raised £350 000 before expenses. The Aim-listed company will use the proceeds to further its Kabwe lead and zinc mine, in Zambia, where civil construction works are under way. 

Zwane 'chased away' from Mpumalanga mining indaba

By: News24Wire      23rd June 2017 Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane had to be whisked away from an angry crowd closing in on him at a community meeting in Mpumalanga on Friday. "You cannot come to another man's yard and do as you please," shouted one man at Zwane as the meeting degenerated into people shouting and booing... 

Zwane 'chased away' from Mpumalanga mining indaba
Photo by Duane Daws
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane

The Revolutionary Mining Charter is irrational and divisive 

     23rd June 2017 On June 15, 2017, the Mineral Resources Minister announced to South Africa and the whole world the birth of the Reviewed Broad-Based Economic Empowerment Charter for the Mining Industry – the Revolutionary Mining Charter. Unfortunately, the Minister failed to notice that due to complications... 

Jacinto Rocha discusses South Africa's new Mining Charter. (Camera & editing: Darlene Creamer)

Red Rock acquires 30% stake in Bosnia alloy producer

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd June 2017 Red Rock Resources has entered into agreements to acquire a 30% interest in strategic alloy producer Steelmin and to fund the completion of refurbishment and recommissioning of Steelmin’s ferrosilicon smelter in Jajce, Bosnia. Red Rock has agreed to provide Steelmin with a €3.8-million... 

Ncondezi secures funding while it seeks a new JV partner

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd June 2017 Aim-listed coal miner Ncondezi Energy has raised an additional $582 000 from existing lenders and senior management to fund the search for a new partner and to provide working capital for the group. The miner, which is developing the Ncondezi coal mine, in Mozambique’s Tete province, is seeking a... 

Poland thermal coal output to bounce back but EU emissions cap poses a risk

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd June 2017 Poland’s thermal coal sector is set for several years of growth, supported by a commitment to expand coal-fired power generation capacity. However, the outlook for coking coal is less rosy, owing to waning demand from the steel industry. BMI Research states in a research note that thermal coal,... 

Poland thermal coal output to bounce back but EU emissions cap poses a risk

WA miners facing higher port fees

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 Western Australia’s miners will be hit with additional shipping fees of between 3c/t and 4c/t as part of the state government’s efforts to plug revenue losses. Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said on Friday that port fees for the state’s biggest companies would increase as part of the state’s... 

WA to publish five-year schedule for petroleum exploration

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 The Western Australian government has announced plans to introduce a strategic five-year release of petroleum exploration areas across the Canning and Perth basins, in the hopes of minimising environmental, cultural and land use constraints. “The five-year approach provides greater transparency... 

Westgold buys Silver Lake’s Murchison assets

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 ASX-listed gold miner Silver Lake Resources has reached an agreement with fellow-listed Westgold Resources to divest of its Murchison assets, in Western Australia, for A$10-million. The sale includes the Tuckabianna gold processing facility and underlying mining tenure, as well as the company’s... 

Pilbara board OKs A$214m Pilgangoora lithium mine

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 The board of lithium developer Pilbara Minerals has taken a final investment decision on the A$214-million Pilgangoora lithium/tantalum project, in Western Australia, with first spodumene and tantalite concentrate shipments scheduled for the second quarter of 2018. “This is huge milestone, which... 

Pilbara board OKs A$214m Pilgangoora lithium mine
Photo by Bloomberg
Pilbara MD Ken Brinsden

Edna Beryl set to start – Emmerson

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 Production from the Edna Beryl gold mine will start before the end of the year, after the Northern Territory government granted final approvals for the start of production. ASX-listed Emmerson Resources said on Friday that the Edna Beryl mine would be the first new gold mine in the Northern... 

BHP agrees to new assessment in Pilbara

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 Diversified major BHP has agreed to a new strategic assessment programme with the federal government that locks in environmental standards and protection measures in the Pilbara. Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said on Friday that the programme would protect the unique... 

Aluminium giants stop short of backing Trump import crackdown

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 As the calls for restrictions on cheap Chinese imports reach a fever pitch in Washington, some of the biggest North American aluminium producers are advocating a softer touch. Alcoa Corp. urged the US to directly engage with China to ensure overproduction no longer spills out to the rest of the... 

Volt garners more Chinese interest

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd June 2017 Graphite developer Volt Resources has signed an offtake agreement with China’s Guangxing Electrical Materials (GEM) for 5 000 t/y of flake graphite concentrate from the Stage 1 production of the Namangale project, in Tanzania. The company said on Friday that it was hoping to finalise a binding... 

Q3 ferrochrome price settles at 110c/lb – Merafe

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd June 2017 JSE-listed Merafe Resources on Friday announced a decrease in the third quarter ferrochrome price. The European benchmark ferrochrome price decreased 28.6% from 154c/lb for the second quarter to 110c/lb for the third quarter. 

Venezuela lawmaker asks SEC to probe Goldman's PDVSA bond deal

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 The head of Venezuela’s National Assembly asked US authorities to investigate a $2.9-billion bond deal involving Goldman Sachs Group and Nomura Securities, saying the transaction fleeced the country for the benefit of political elites. Julio Borges, an opponent of President Nicolas Maduro,... 

Electric car demand boosts companies engaged with lithium

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 Lithium demand is surging, boosting shares of the companies linked to mining and manufacturing the light metal used in electric-car batteries. Global X Lithium & Battery Tech, an exchange-traded fund of the 27 biggest companies linked to the light metal, has increased 65% in the past 18 months,... 

Africa's richest man may quit Ethiopia over mining dispute

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 Dangote Cement, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said it may shut its operations in Ethiopia if authorities in the central state of Oromia don’t reverse an order to cement makers to hand over control of some parts of their businesses to local young people. Oromia state’s East... 

America's only rare earth mine mired in distressed debt dispute

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2017 A long-running fight between distressed debt investors is threatening to scuttle the reopening of the only US mine producing rare metals used in hybrid electric cars and some military hardware. A court-appointed trustee for bankrupt Molycorp Minerals will ask a judge Friday to approve the sale of... 

Much progress in mineworker housing delivery but more needs to be done

By: Ilan Solomons     23rd June 2017 Many migrant employees do not want to permanently settle in mining towns, but prefer to maintain their homes in the rural areas and return to them, says the Chamber of Mines (CoM) of South Africa, citing its research and experience in the industry. “Providing permanent urban dwellings, as well as... 

Much progress in mineworker housing delivery but more needs to be done

Rio flags $180m hit to H1 underlying profit after bond buyback

By: Reuters     23rd June 2017 Rio Tinto said on Friday it has completed a planned bond buyback, reducing gross debt by $2.5-billion, with the early redemption costs likely to reduce first-half underlying profit by about $180-million. The global miner said that since the start of 2016 it has reduced the face value of... 

Interim Volta Grande injunction lifted; Belo Sun works to resolve federal ban

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd June 2017 Brazil-focused project developer Belo Sun Mining on Thursday reported that the Agrarian Court of Altamira has lifted the temporary injunction related to the construction licence (LI) for the Volta Grande gold project. The court in February issued a temporary 180-day injunction halting certain... 

Fortune shuffles management

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd June 2017 Multicommodity project developer Fortune Minerals this week announced the appointment and promotion of several staff members in preparation for construction of its C$589-million Nico cobalt/gold/bismuth/copper project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NT). The London, Ontario-based junior on... 

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