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Mongolia OKs Centerra’s Gatsuurt project, takes 34% stake

By: Henry Lazenby The Mongolian Parliament has passed a resolution giving the green light for TSX-listed Centerra Gold’s Gatsuurt project to be developed, ending a five-year impasse on the project’s permitting and authorising the government to complete negotiations with Centerra on the terms of project ownership.... 

Kyrgyzstan may sue Centerra Gold over stake dilution

By: Reuters Kyrgyzstan may sue Canada's Centerra Gold over its plans to issue additional shares, which will dilute the Central Asian nation's stake slightly, a Kyrgyz representative on Centerra's board said on Thursday. "Our goal is to protect Kyrgyzstan's stake," said board member Kylychbek Shakirov. 

Chamber of Mines joins opposition to Eskom’s proposed tariff increase

By: Anine Kilian The Chamber of Mines (CoM) has joined the ranks of industry stakeholders concerned about State-owned power utility Eskom’s R22-billion Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) application to the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in respect of 2013/14. “This application is over and... 

Chamber of Mines joins opposition to Eskom’s proposed tariff increase
Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter

India’s new mineral policy likely to offer incentives for explorers

By: Ajoy K Das India’s proposed New Mineral Policy (NMP) is expected to offer a slew of monetary incentives to private domestic and foreign companies to undertake mineral exploration activities across at least 100 mineral blocks across the country. The NMP, the details of which were not yet in the public... 

PDAC lobbies feds during prebudget consultations on exploration and development sector priorities

By: Henry Lazenby The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) has lobbied the federal government during its nationwide prebudget consultations to take action and improve the flow of capital to the junior exploration sector, as well as to address the infrastructure deficit in northern and remote... 

Extractive CSR counsellor treads murky waters

By: Henry Lazenby Functioning under new Minister of Trade Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) counsellor Jeffrey Davidson has not yet heard from his new boss, nor has he had any communication with the new Liberal government on its vision for the... 

Child labour rife at DRC cobalt mines, say NGOs

By: David Oliveira Major electronics brands, including Apple, Samsung and Sony, are failing to do basic checks to ensure that cobalt mined by children has not been used in their products, according to Amnesty International and Africa Resources Watch (Afrewatch) in a report published in January. The report, ‘This is... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels

By: Nadine James An urgent court judgment needs to be made to determine the empowerment levels in South Africa’s mining industry, as this will most likely impact on the future alignment between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) codes and the Mining Charter, stresses Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr director of... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels
ALLAN REID Aligning the Mining Charter with the Department of Trade and Industry codes will be challenging, regardless of the Department of Mineral Resources' 12-month extension

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

By: Nadine James It is more than a year since the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill was referred back to Parliament by President Jacob Zuma for reconsideration. According to the latest available public record, more parliamentary committee meetings to reconsider the Amendment... 

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

Legal, illegal Mozambique rubies and legal Angola diamonds in the spotlight

By: Keith Campbell Mozambican mining company Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada has made public its concerns about unfair competition by illegal miners. The company operates a ruby and corundum mine at Namanhumbir in the Montepuez district, which lies in the southern region of Cabo Delgado Province. It is 75%-owned by... 

Mine health, safety amendment still not effective

By: Nadine James Two of the additional regulations pertaining to the operation of  diesel-powered trackless mobile machinery (TMM) on mines – which were published in February 2015 – remain inoperable, as the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has yet to stipulate a date when the specific obligations come into... 

Mine health, safety amendment still not effective
Photo by Bloomberg
AVERTING COLLISIONS Several of the new regulations regarding Trackless Mobile Machinery are meant to prevent or reduce collisions

Mining needs critical legal regulatory matters resolved

There will be many critical legal and regulatory issues facing the mining industry in 2016, says Chamber of Mines (CoM) legal head Lerato Legong. He claims that “one of the most important is going to be the review of the Mining Charter, which will likely lead to the development of the third... 

Mining needs critical legal regulatory matters resolved
Photo by Bloomberg
MOSEBEZI ZWANE The Chamber of Mines expects that the Mineral Resources Minister and his department will deal with a number of regulatory issues in the coming year

Proposed MPRDA amendments lack clarity

By: Nadine James While the proposed amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) contain positive aspects, in a broader sense, they are flawed, particularly in terms of the applications and appeals processes regarding mining rights, says Hogan Lovells partner and head of mining Warren... 

Proposed MPRDA amendments lack clarity
WARREN BEECH The amendments pertaining to appeals will adversely impact mining right applicants in terms of starting the process of securing operations funding and their contractual obligations

Iron-ore export lower as Kumba production falls 12%

By: Martin Creamer The export of iron-ore by JSE-listed Kumba fell 10% in the three months to December 31 on the back of 12% lower production in the same period. The Anglo American group company said on Thursday that export sales volumes fell to 10.5-million tonnes and production to 10.9-million tonnes - 10% lower... 

Iron-ore export lower as Kumba production falls 12%
Photo by Duane Daws
Kumba's Kolamela iron-ore mine

Sishen iron-ore mine begins workforce reduction process

By: Martin Creamer The Sishen Iron Ore Company on Thursday started its retrenchment consultation process, which affects 3 933 employees and contractors. The Labour Relations Act Section 189 and 189A consultation on workforce reductions – which has already begun for 1 300 contractors – will now be extended to 2 633... 

Sishen iron-ore mine begins workforce reduction process
Kumba's Sishen iron-ore mine.

Feds to delay pipeline project decisions in wake of interim environmental assessment measures

By: Henry Lazenby The Liberal Canadian government on Wednesday said it would delay decisions on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project in order to implement five new temporary measures as the first step of a broader strategy to “review and restore... 

Feds to delay pipeline project decisions in wake of interim environmental assessment measures

Environmental tax could make appearance in budget speech

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is likely to raise the issue of imposing an environmental tax on the mining sector in his 2016/17 budget speech on February 24, predicts Deloitte business tax director Alex Gwala. The introduction of these taxes was mentioned in last year’s budget speech, though... 

Environmental tax could make appearance in budget speech
Deloitte business tax director Alex Gwala

Indonesia, Freeport confident export permit issue will be resolved

By: Reuters Indonesia's mining minister and Freeport McMoRan expressed confidence on Wednesday that the two sides will find common ground to enable the US mining giant to continue shipping copper concentrate for at least another six months. Freeport's current six-month export permit is due to expire on... 

Greenland rare earth mining to remain contentious due to uranium – minister

By: Reuters Greenland's push to extract rare earth metals will remain a contentious political issue for years to come because the mining also produces uranium as a by-product, the nation's finance minister told Reuters. Greenland has been opening up to foreign companies with hopes that its vast resources in... 

‘We’re on the cusp of a resolution,’ says Hunter Dickinson president of Pebble spat 

By: Henry Lazenby Director and president of diversified mining group Hunter Dickinson Ron Thiessen believes that project developer Northern Dynasty Minerals’ 100%-owned subsidiary, the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) is close to resolving its dispute with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Speaking at... 

BC premier reveals relief plan for struggling miners

By: Henry Lazenby In the wake of crushing declines in commodity prices, the British Columbia government on Monday announced planned support for struggling mining companies to at least keep their doors open. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia's Exploration... 

BC premier reveals relief plan for struggling miners

Employee dies in mill accident at Centerra’s Kumtor flagship

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian Gold miner Centerra Gold has reported that a mill employee has been killed in an accident at the Kumtor mine, located in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. The employee was killed on Sunday while working at the mill ore conveyor. 

Chile pushes lithium development, puts state reserves up for tender

By: Reuters Chile is pushing forward with new policies to develop its vast lithium reserves, the government said on Monday, at a time when prices for the battery ingredient have been rising rapidly. One of the government's first moves in the mostly private sector industry would be a call to tender the... 

Eldorado remains committed to Greek assets, despite $1.2bn preliminary impairment

By: Samantha Herbst TSX- and NYSE-listed low-cost gold producer Eldorado Gold Corporation, which earlier this month suspended mine construction and development at Skouries mine in northern Greece, expects to write down the value of its Greek assets by $1.2-billion to $1.6-billion (after tax), according to a... 

Eldorado remains committed to Greek assets, despite $1.2bn preliminary impairment
Skouries mine, Greece

DMR sets year-end target for realignment of mineworker compensation legislation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt The reformation of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act (ODMWA) and its alignment to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act needs to be settled before year-end, Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant said on Monday. During an ‘Integration of... 

Final Lisheen zinc shipment leaves gap Southern Africa can fill – Vedanta 

By: Martin Creamer The final shipment of zinc from Vedanta Resources' Lisheen mine has brought zinc supply from the Irish mine to an end, opening up an opportunity for the Gamsberg project, which is inching forward at a carefully measured pace in South Africa’s Northern Cape. Lisheen’s closure means that some 120... 

Final Lisheen zinc shipment leaves gap Southern Africa can fill – Vedanta
Photo by Duane Daws
Tom Albanese, Godfrey Oliphant, Deshnee Naidoo at first Gamsberg blast

MCA to oppose tax changes on interest deductibility

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australia’s capacity to capture the next wave of mining investment would depend on ensuring policy frameworks that were internationally competitive, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said in a submission to the Standing Committee on Economics. The committee was tasked to undertake an... 

NGO lobbies Liberals to quash extractive sector CSR councellor

By: Creamer Media Reporter Nongovernmental organisation (NGO) MiningWatch Canada on Friday lobbied the new Liberal government to use the upcoming budget to do away with what it termed the “ineffective” and “embarrassing” Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor. The office was... 

Scornful report on high-tech cobalt supply chains could prove a boon to Western producers

By: Henry Lazenby A report released this week by advocacy group Amnesty International has revealed human rights abuses by one of the world’s largest cobalt producers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which raises the possibility of accelerating a looming supply gap. The report, 'This is what we die for:... 

Scornful report on high-tech cobalt supply chains could prove a boon to Western producers
Photo by Reuters
Artisanal cobalt miners in the DRC

A list of top priorities for new Mining Minister

Newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane faces several challenging tasks in the coming year, including improving the declining image of the South African mining industry; seeking closure with regard to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill;... 

Corporate strategy workshop to focus on value creation

By: Mia Breytenbach While mining companies are trying to cut costs in-house and drive efficiency to survive the depressed market, advisory firm Eunomix states that these companies continue to be affected by a “tidal wave” of stakeholder pressures and volatile commodity prices. “Without a strategy to navigate through... 

Corporate strategy workshop to focus  on value creation
Photo by Bloomberg
UNDER PRESSURE While mines have to cut unit costs and improve productivity, they are confronted with demands for increased transparency, accountability and social investment

Encouraging trend to release information emerging, but DMR disclosure rate ‘disappointing’

By: Ilan Solomons The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) continues to be a poor implementer of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), says Cape Town-based nonprofit organisation and law clinic the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) attorney Christine Reddell. She explains that over the past... 

Encouraging trend to release information emerging,  but DMR disclosure rate ‘disappointing’
CHRISTINE REDDELL The Department of Mineral Resources rate of actual release of requested documents was a “disappointing” 12.5%

Flexible, leaner service approach vital for African mining projects

By: Mia Breytenbach Companies need to focus on becoming leaner and challenging the status quo when providing mining- and mineral-related services in Africa in the current global economic climate during which there has been a slump in commodity prices, engineering company WorleyParsons cautions. “The provision of... 

Pedestrian detection drive on 2016 to-do list

By: Mia Breytenbach Electronic mine safety equipment company Booyco Electronics aims to drive an education and awareness campaign on the advantages and fit-for-purpose application of its International Standards Organisation- and legislation-compliant pedestrian detection system (PDS) technology this year. This drive... 

Pedestrian detection drive on 2016 to-do list
ZERO HARM PHILOSOPHY Booyco Electronics commits to continuous improvements through driving research and development to ensure suitable detection, warning and intervention solutions

Union angst fails to stop De Beers completing Kimberley Mines sale

By: Martin Creamer The sale of all the assets of Kimberley Mines to Ekapa Minerals is through, despite union opposition to the transaction. De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) said in a media release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online on Thursday that its disposal of Kimberley Mines tailings and the mineral... 

Union angst fails to stop De Beers completing Kimberley Mines sale
Diamond recovery from tailings at Kimberley Mines

Competition Tribunal lifts conditions on Zimco, Atlantis merger

By: Samantha Herbst The Competition Tribunal has approved a request by South African industrial and base metals producer Zimco Group to lift certain conditions imposed by the Competition Commission in 2014, when it approved the merger of Zimco and lead anodes producer Atlantis Metals. At the time of the merger,... 

Competition Tribunal lifts conditions on Zimco, Atlantis merger

Eldorado Gold wins appeal over Greek mining ban

By: Reuters Greece's top administrative court has annulled the government's 2015 decision to revoke Eldorado Gold's mining licence, according to court documents published on Wednesday. The Canadian mining company had appealed to Greece's top court to overturn the ban on its plans to develop gold mines in a... 

Silver Wheaton possibly on the hook for another $310m as CRA reassesses 2011–2013 tax years

By: Henry Lazenby In another potential financial blow to precious metals streaming firm Silver Wheaton, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has notified it that it would be reassessing the company’s international transactions covering the 2011 to 2013 taxation years, potentially placing the company on the hook to... 

Silver Wheaton possibly on the hook for another $310m as CRA reassesses 2011–2013 tax years
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