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Five years on, Quebec’s Plan Nord 2.0 aims for coherence in low-price environment

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 7 hours ago When the Quebec government’s Plan Nord to develop the parts of the province located north of the 49th parallel was launched under Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberal Party in May 2011, it was heralded as a timely and necessary act in the mining industry’s favourable economic context at the time. But a... 

Year-to date diamond prices soften for Trans Hex

By: Natalie Greve Year-to-date production at diamond producer Trans Hex’s South African operations reached 52 667 ct by the end of January, with 32 450 ct produced in the six months ended September 31 and 20 217 ct produced in the four-month period between October and the end of January. The group’s Somiluana... 

Canadian fed and Ontario govts unveil supports for mining industry

By: Henry Lazenby Several federal departments of the Canadian government, as well as the Ontario provincial government, unveiled new measures and investments on Sunday to increase support and drive growth in the country's besieged mining industry. In a speech to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada,... 

Canadian fed and Ontario govts unveil supports for mining industry
Photo by Reuters
Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver

Diamcor earnings drop 36% y/y

By: Megan van Wyngaardt TSX-listed Diamcor Mining sold 3 579 ct of rough diamonds in the third quarter ended December 31, generating gross revenue of C$886 843, averaging $221.96/ct. This was a 36% decrease on the 2013 comparative period in 2013, when the company reported selling 3 955 ct and gross revenue of... 

Mountain Province Diamonds starts C$95m rights offering to fund cost overrun facility

By: Henry Lazenby Junior project developer Mountain Province Diamonds (MPD) will undertake a C$95-million rights offering to fund a cost overrun facility, the arrangement for which is a condition precedent to drawing down its $370-million term loan facility. The TSX-V-listed firm, which is developing the Gahcho... 

Lucara Diamond Corp declares special dividend on strong 2014 performance

By: Henry Lazenby Southern Africa-focused precious gem producer Lucara Diamond Corp has rewarded shareholders with a special dividend after it reported strong 2014 earnings. The Vancouver-based miner, which operates its flagship Karowe mine, in Botswana, reported headline earnings a share of $0.24 for the year... 

Botswana still auspicious mining jurisdiction

By: Mia Breytenbach Having ranked consistently as one of the top mining jurisdictions in Africa, Botswana remains a favourable mining destination for investment – despite current infrastructure challenges and the global economic downturn, mining consultancy Core Consultants MD Lara Smith tells Mining Weekly. She... 

Botswana still auspicious mining jurisdiction
Photo by Reuters
AGAINST THE ODDS Botswana remains an auspicious mining destination, despite current infrastructure and macroeconomic challenges

Construction on Letlhakane tailings expansion to start soon

By: Mia Breytenbach Construction on Botswana-based diamond mining company Debswana’s Letlhakane tailings treatment plant expansion project is expected to start next month, with the facility scheduled to be handed over in the first quarter of 2017, Debswana head of corporate affairs Esther Kanaimba-Senai tells Mining... 

Construction on Letlhakane tailings  expansion to start soon
PILOT CONCEPT The Jwaneng modular tailings treatment plant is a first for Debswana in introducing and testing the modular concept in the group, with a possibility of implementing it at other operations

Diamond explorer shifts target focus areas, prioritises Orapa region

By: Mia Breytenbach Aim-listed diamond explorer Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has shifted its 2015 focus to three licence areas covering more than 1 000 km2 in the diamond province of Orapa, in Botswana. The three blocks currently receiving precedence comprise the PL206, PL207 and PL210 licence areas, BOD chairperson John... 

Diamond explorer shifts target focus areas,  prioritises Orapa region
FOCUS SHIFT Botswana Diamonds and Alrosa defined a new 2015 exploration programme for the PL206, PL207 and PL210 licence areas in the Orapa region in Botswana

Interest returns to known deposits, way paved for exploration

By: Mia Breytenbach The latest exploration boom in Botswana, although seemingly waning, has shifted the spotlight to several known deposits again, notes South African mining consultancy The MSA Group, stating that copper and nickel deposits were receiving particular attention. Recent high copper prices have resulted... 

Interest returns to known deposits, way paved for exploration
Photo by Bloomberg
RENEWED INTEREST Recent high copper prices have resulted in the potential economic feasibility of lower-grade copper deposits in Botswana

New block on iron play targeted

By: Mia Breytenbach Junior miner, and Toronto-listed, Tsodilo Resources has moved into the next phase of its flagship Xaudum Iron Formation (XIF) project’s exploration programme, targeting Block 2 of the resource. The block is located to the south of Block 1 and is a larger area than Block 1, for which the company... 

New block on iron  play targeted
EXPLORATION EVALUATION Tsodilo Resources has used the ground magnetic-intensity signature and inversion model, and drilling to locate areas of likely high-grade material at its Botswana iron play

Petra reports rise in H1 revenue, profit

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Southern Africa-focused diamond miner Petra Diamonds on Thursday reported a 16% increase in revenue to $214.8-million for the six months ended December 31, while its profit rose 21% to $92.9-million, owing to higher run-of-mine (RoM) output at its Finsch, Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground and... 

DiamondCorp, AMCU sign four-year wage deal

Dual-listed DiamondCorp’s 74%-owned subsidiary Lace Diamond Mines, in the Free State, has signed a four-year wage agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). The agreement set out yearly increases of 8% in employees’ basic salary for most categories, along with a... 

Mines are development engines for host countries – ICMM

By: Martin Creamer Mines are proven engines of economic development for host countries, which benefit significantly from the foreign direct investment (FDI) that mines attract as well as the export earnings that they generate, the International Council for Mining & Metals (ICMM) has found in a unique 214-country... 

Mines are development engines for host countries – ICMM
Photo by Creamer Media
Martin Creamer and Tony Hodge

Good governments assume lower commodity prices  

By: Martin Creamer The governments of resource-rich countries should base their financial planning on commodity prices that are lower than the year prior. Should actual commodity prices eventuate that are higher than those assumed, the additional revenue from the higher prices should be treated as a bonus and spent... 

Good governments assume lower commodity prices
Photo by Bloomberg
Jim O'Neill

De Beers lifts 2014 earnings, production

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Anglo American subsidiary De Beers sold 34.4-million carats of diamonds in 2014, with the company reporting earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) of $1.4-billion, a 36% increase from the $1-billion Ebit in 2013. The higher sales volumes were attributed to solid demand across key markets,... 

De Beers lifts 2014 earnings, production

Coloured gemstones coming into their own after being outshone by diamonds for decades

By: Ilan Solomons Until the 1940s, coloured gemstones and diamonds shared about a 50:50 stake in the global jewellery market, at which time diamond miner De Beers undertook an aggressive marketing campaign, which resulted in the value and popularity of diamonds significantly outstripping that of other gems and has... 

Coloured gemstones coming into their own after being outshone by diamonds for decades

Diamond sales continue to benefit Botswana

By: Mia Breytenbach Diamond major De Beers Group’s Global Sightholder Sales (GSS) division, or international rough diamond sales operations, will continue to deliver direct and indirect benefits to the Botswana economy, De Beers spokesperson Lynette Gould states. Direct benefits are derived from the value of... 

Diamond sales continue to benefit Botswana
Photo by Duane Daws
DERIVED BENEFIT Around $6-billion a year are traded in Botswana at the ten Global Sightholder Sights, which will create a platform for greater economic activity in Botswana

On-time commissioning of mining complex demonstrates company’s abilities

By: Bruce Montiea The completion of the commissioning of Russia’s Vladimir Grib diamond deposit’s mining and concentration complex as per schedule, showcases engineering, procurement, and construction management services provider Tenova Bateman’s ability to execute projects on time and within budget, the company... 

On-time commissioning  of mining complex  demonstrates  company’s abilities
VLADIMIR GRIB COMPLEX The project implemented modular design aspects, with the plant designed for operation in the subarctic environment of Russia's far north

Mining output dips in December

By: Natasha Odendaal South Africa’s mining output declined 2% year-on-year in December, as poor performance from the diamonds, iron-ore and platinum-group metals (PGMs) sectors weighed on overall production. The latest data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) showed negative growth rates of -27.9% and -15.6% for... 

Global rough diamond output expected to hit 135m carats in 2015

By: Henry Lazenby Global diamond output is expected to hit 135.5-million carats this year, analysis of the world's 54 largest diamond mines has shown. Independent industry analyst and consultant Paul Zimnisky, who undertook the research, said three new diamond mines expected to start production this year, with... 

Global rough diamond output expected to hit 135m carats in 2015

Diamcor starts expanding Krone-Endora at Venetia project

By: Henry Lazenby After successfully closing a C$3.13-million private placement in December, project developer Diamcor Mining has started expanding the mining facilitates at its Krone-Endora at Venetia project, in South Africa’s Limpopo province, located directly next to De Beers’ Venetia diamond mine – the... 

Diamcor starts expanding Krone-Endora at Venetia project

Rockwell geared for productive 2015 following acquisitions

Dual-listed Rockwell Diamonds has been granted additional mining licences, spanning 50 000 ha, in the Middle Orange River (MOR) region, which would extend its footprint in the region, the company said on Thursday. The three alluvial properties, which it acquired through a conditional agreement... 

Rockwell geared for productive 2015 following acquisitions

First output from Lace mine due in H2 despite AMCU strike

By: Natalie Greve DiamondCorp’s developing Lace diamond mine, in the Free State, is likely to come into production in the second half of this year, despite a six-week strike by members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in October and November. Following the implementation of a revised... 

Anglo may record noncash impairment charges in price plunge parry

By: Martin Creamer Given the sharply lower commodity price environment, particularly for bulk commodities, Anglo American said on Wednesday that it expected to record noncash impairment charges in its 2014 results. The London- and Johannesburg-listed diversified major, headed by CEO Mark Cutifani, added in a media... 

Anglo may record noncash impairment charges in price plunge parry
Mark Cutifani

$12m MoU to boost Paragon’s Lemphane project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt To fund Stage 1 of its Lemphane Kimberlite pipe project, Aim-listed Paragon Diamonds has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a $12-million equity and debt financing package with investment group International Triangle General Trading (ITGT). The project, which is located in Lesotho... 

$12m MoU to boost Paragon’s Lemphane project

Mining companies suffer $70bn in impairment losses – report

A recent survey revealed that major global mining companies had suffered impairment losses of $70-billion in 2013/14, reflecting the impact of the current low commodity price cycle. The ‘Mining Financial Reporting Survey 2014’, compiled by financial services firm KPMG, further revealed that... 

Mining companies suffer $70bn in impairment losses – report

Gem Diamonds warns of possible price softening in early 2015

By: Natalie Greve Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick has cautioned that a weakening of diamond prices in the fourth quarter of last year, following a year of price growth, could continue into the first quarter of 2015. The group said on Tuesday that the announcement of the closure of the Antwerp Diamond Bank (ADB)... 

Diamonds stolen from Prieska mine

By: Sapa Sixteen men stole an undisclosed number of diamonds from a mine near Prieska on Monday morning, Northern Cape police said. "This morning at about 03:40, about 16 men stormed into a local mine near Prieska," said Lt Olebogeng Tawana. 

Petra declares dividend, ups diamond production guidance

By: Martin Creamer London-listed South Africa-focused diamond-mining company Petra Diamonds, which on Monday declared its first dividend, has pushed up production guidance to 3.3-million carats for the year to June 30. Petra, which operates the Finsch, Cullinan, Koffiefontein and Kimberley Underground diamond mines... 

Petra declares dividend, ups diamond production guidance
Photo by Duane Daws
Johan Dippenaar

Scanners to combat diamond theft at Debswana mines

By: Ilan Solomons Botswana-based diamond mining company Debswana plans to soon start the R42.7-million installation of ten upright, full-body Scannex X-ray scanners at four of its diamond mines, in Botswana. Four scanners will be installed at security checkpoints at Jwaneng, four at Orapa and one each at the... 

Scanners to combat diamond theft at Debswana mines
DIAMOND DIGESTION Scannex is a full-body scanner with a low X-ray radiation dose that allows for quick scan time
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