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Firestone signs debt facility with RCF

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Aim-listed Firestone Diamonds has signed a $15-million standby debt facility with mining-focused private equity firm Resource Capital Fund (RCF) to satisfy one of the remaining conditions to the drawdown of its Absa debt facility, it told shareholders on Thursday. The purpose of the standby debt... 

Peabody's weak forecast eclipses cost-cutting plan

By: Reuters Coal miner Peabody Energy's forecast of a bigger-than-expected loss for the current quarter overshadowed the company's latest plan to cut costs, sending its shares to a near 13-year low. The company, which also reported a bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss, said on Thursday it plans to sell... 

PEA reports healthy operating margins at Rathdowney Resources’ Polish project

By: Henry Lazenby TSX-V-listed Rathdowney Resources has completed a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its 100%-owned Olza zinc/lead project, located in south-western Poland, which indicated healthy operating margins, a high internal rate of return (IRR) and a short payback period. The PEA calculated the... 

CoAL to gain momentum in 2015

By: Megan van Wyngaardt With dual-listed Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) expecting the mining right for its Makhado project to be granted during the first half of this year, the company’s year ahead has been bolstered, with the amended and updated environmental authorisation being approved for its Vele colliery, in... 

Vale reports record Q1 iron-ore output despite price rout

By: Henry Lazenby Brazil-based global miner Vale has reported record first-quarter iron-ore output despite a global supply glut that wis being compounded by waning demand from China, the world’s top importer of the steelmaking ingredient. For the three months ended March 31, total iron-ore output, excluding... 

Vale reports record Q1 iron-ore output despite price rout

Skills dearth retarding mechanised mining success – Gold Fields 

By: Martin Creamer Plans being fleshed out by South Africa’s Chamber of Mines (CoM) in liaison with government for a centre of excellence were poised to take mechanised mining to the next level, Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland said on Tuesday. But in the meantime, the going continued to be tough in the mechanised... 

Skills dearth retarding mechanised mining success – Gold Fields
Photo by Duane Daws
Nick Holland

Nordgold lifts Q1 gold output 26% y/y

Diversified low-cost gold producer Nordgold, which operates in Africa and Europe, on Tuesday reported that its gold output for the quarter ended March 31, at 266 000 oz, was 26% higher year-on-year. The company added that seven of its nine mines had achieved a year-on-year increase in production,... 

Black-owned Merafe reports upped ferrochrome output from venture with Glencore

By: Martin Creamer The black-owned and black-managed ferrochrome company Merafe said on Wednesday that its chrome venture with Glencore had lifted production by 15% in the three months to March 31. The company, headed by CEO Zanele Matlala, saw its share price rise by 1.32% to 77c a share in early morning trades. 

Black-owned Merafe reports upped ferrochrome output from venture with Glencore
Photo by Duane Daws
Zanele Matlala

Kibo Mining raises £1.5m

Dual-listed Kibo Mining has raised £1.5-million through the placing of 25-million new ordinary shares at 6p apiece. "We are very pleased to undertake this placing primarily because of the strategic advantage of bolstering our cash position at this key time in the company's development. 

RBPlat senior management receive R47m in shares

By: Martin Creamer The board of the black-owned and black-controlled platinum company Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) on Tuesday approved the distribution of shares worth more than R47-million to the group’s senior management. A total of 833 085 ordinary shares were awarded at R56.70 a share as part of bonus and... 

RBPlat senior management receive R47m in shares
Photo by Duane Daws
Steve Phiri

New dust buster initiative sounds potential death knell for silicosis scourge

By: Martin Creamer A spectacular new dust control system announced at a Chamber of Mines (CoM) of South Africa conference on Monday is described as the closest the industry has come to a silver bullet to put an end to the curse of silicosis and other lung diseases that have plagued the South African mining industry... 

New dust buster initiative sounds potential death knell for silicosis scourge
Photo by Duane Daws
Terence Goodlace

Guinea trial mining delivers high yields for Stellar

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Trial mining at the 5 ha Baoulé kimberlite pipe, in Guinea, has yielded a total of 5 087 ct to date, at an average grade of 13.5 ct per hundred tons (cpht), Aim-listed Stellar Diamonds said on Monday. The West Africa-focused company noted that the first sale of 733 gem-quality carats from Baoulé,... 

Vedanta's Lisheen zinc mine to close this year

By: Reuters Vedanta Resources said its Lisheen mine in Ireland will close in October, taking out a large amount of zinc concentrate in a market that is expected to see a deficit this year. The second-largest zinc mine in Europe, it produces about 165 000 t of zinc metal in concentrate per year. 

Creamer Media publishes African Mining Projects in Progress 2015 report

Creamer Media’s African Mining Projects in Progress 2015 report tracks developments taking place in Africa’s mining sector and across various mining sectors on the continent, including coal, copper, gold, iron-ore, platinum and uranium. 

Creamer Media publishes African Mining Projects in Progress 2015 report

Hummingbird’s Mali project on track for construction start

By: Megan van Wyngaardt A recent optimisation study has not only expanded the Yanfolila mine plan, but also highlighted robust economics for the development of the one-million-ton-a-year low-cost high-grade gold project, in Mali, says Hummingbird Resources. The study had defined a path to production, the Aim-listed... 

African Potash raises £1.2m to fund projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Exploration company African Potash has secured £1.2-million in funding through the placing of new ordinary shares with Cornhill Capital. Placing proceeds would enable the company to redeem the outstanding convertible securities held by financier Bergen Opportunity Fund and to fund ongoing working... 

Cobre proves lithium technology in Europe

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Perth-based lithium developer Cobre Montana has produced its first battery-grade lithium carbonate from the Cinovec project, in the Czech Republic. The company announced this week that the results, which included leaching and chemical extraction processes, were achieved on a 50 kg sample of ore... 

Mwana Africa lifts Q4 output despite challenges

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Despite numerous challenges, Aim-listed Mwana Africa increased gold production at its Freda Rebecca mine and nickel concentrate output at its Trojan mine, in Zimbabwe, during the three months ended March 31. The diversified miner noted in a statement to shareholders on Thursday that it had... 

Petra Diamonds share price tumbles on grade woes

By: Martin Creamer The share price of Petra fell sharply on Thursday on grade variability issues and 31% lower overall revenue in the three months to March 31. In the absence of the previous corresponding quarter’s $25.6-million “exceptional stone” as well as product-mix changes and lower grades, revenue fell to... 

Petra Diamonds share price tumbles on grade woes
Photo by Duane Daws
Johan Dippenaar

Goldman Sachs bullish on South Africa as favourable investment destination 

By: Martin Creamer Leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm Goldman Sachs is bullish on South Africa, which it regards as a favourable destination for fund managers because of the depth of its capital market and the scarcity of other emerging market options. Goldman Sachs... 

Goldman Sachs bullish on South Africa as favourable investment destination
Photo by Duane Daws
Colin Coleman

No swift recovery seen for copper market amid surplus, weak demand

By: Reuters The copper market will not get any respite from weak prices and excess supplies any time soon, even after recent hefty cost cutting and project delays have removed more than a million tonnes of new capacity, top executives said on Tuesday. Speaking at the CRU Copper conference, the executives... 

No swift recovery seen for copper market amid surplus, weak demand

'Blood-free' minerals scheme must be binding, EU lawmakers say

By: Reuters European importers of minerals from conflict zones should be forced to certify their goods "blood-free", an influential group of EU lawmakers said on Tuesday, seeking to toughen a proposal to prevent the financing of warlords in Africa. Much of the gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten used in... 

Platinum prices to average $1 500/oz in 2016 – Natixis

By: Martin Creamer Platinum prices will average $1 500/oz in 2016 and $1 285/oz this year, French bank Natixis forecasts in its metals review for the first half of 2015. Platinum is currently trading at a far lower $1 147/oz with recycled metal and above-ground stocks still playing a price-restraining role. 

Platinum prices to average $1 500/oz in 2016 – Natixis

Severstal needs partner to bring Liberia iron-ore mine online

By: Reuters Russian steelmaker Severstal said on Monday that it will not be able to bring its Liberian iron ore project on line without a partner to help with investment and share risk amid a slump in world ore prices. Russia's second-biggest steel producer owns 100% of the Putu project – a 13 km (8 mile)... 

S&P's warns of imminent downgrade for several miners

By: Reuters Standard & Poor's warned on Monday it may soon downgrade several miners as it lowered its iron ore price estimates for the next couple of years. S&P's said in a statement it was placing on watch negative the credit ratings of Vale SA, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, CAP SA, Exxaro... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP

By: Martin Creamer With the shareholder vote just over three weeks away, the planned spin-off of South32 from BHP Billiton has turned bearish and BHP Billiton has itself fallen victim to an unprecedented number of analyst sell recommendations owing to the plummeting iron-ore price, worsened by the reputational... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP
Photo by Duane Daws
The BHP Billiton building in central Johannesburg

Astur Gold files suit to challenge Spanish denial of Salave underground mine

By: Henry Lazenby Vancouver-based project developer Astur Gold on Friday announced that its subsidiary, Exploraciones Mineras del Cantabrico (EMC), had filed a lawsuit before the Asturias Superior Court of Justice, in Northern Spain, challenging the Ministry of Economy and Employment of the Principality of... 

Gold Fields goes it alone in clinching non-centralised three-year wage deal

By: Martin Creamer Gold Fields has opted to negotiate outside of the traditional centralised bargaining format in clinching a three-year, 10%-a-year wage agreement at its fully mechanised, 3 500-employee South Deep gold mine, leaving the other five Chamber of Mines (CoM) gold mining companies to continue to adhere... 

Gold Fields goes it alone in clinching non-centralised three-year wage deal
Tough gold talks on way

Indian iron-ore miners’ woes persist as govt disregards pleas to slash 30% export tax

By: Ajoy K Das An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there are limits beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” – John Marshall (1755-1835) Indian iron-ore miners could well be lamenting that the country’s fiscal managers are seemingly unfamiliar with... 

Indian iron-ore miners’ woes persist as govt disregards pleas to slash 30% export tax

Iron-ore in fresh crisis as forward prices crumble

By: Reuters Iron-ore is veering to a new crisis as prices for future delivery of the commodity slide 30% in the space of a month, and its outlook is now more bearish than oil and more dire than ever for miners struggling to just stay in business. Prices of the steel-making ingredient for immediate delivery... 

Centerra Gold, Kyrgyz govt Kumtor JV negotiations hit renewed uncertainty

By: Henry Lazenby Negotiations between Canadian miner Centerra Gold and the Kyrgyzstan government have reached renewed uncertainty after the country’s Prime Minister, Djoomart Otorbaev, suggested to the Kyrgyz Republic Parliament and local media that the restructuring of the Kumtor gold mine as a 50/50 joint... 

Centerra Gold, Kyrgyz govt Kumtor JV negotiations hit renewed uncertainty
Photo by Centerra Gold
Centerra Gold's Kumtor mine, in Kyrgyzstan.
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