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Unpacking this week's mining headlines 

     18th April 2018 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks this week's mining headlines: Glencore’s sustainability report, South Africa’s potential role in the Congo potash project and the debut of a game-changing fuel cell dozer. 

Glencore is losing billionaire allies to Trump's sanctions

By: Bloomberg     12th April 2018 The reach and power of US sanctions are hemming in the world’s largest commodity trader. In just four months, Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg has lost two of his closest business allies as President Donald Trump’s aggressive foreign policy hits home, forcing him to cut ties with billionaires Oleg... 

ABM to extend DRC augering programme

By: Anine Kilian     12th April 2018 Aim-listed African Battery Metals (ABM) has extended the auger programme on its Kisinka property, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The extension will allow the miner to investigate additional soil anomalies. 

Mining in sub-Saharan Africa region to remain riskiest globally – BMI

By: Simone Liedtke     11th April 2018 Sub-Saharan Africa’s mining sector will remain the riskiest in the world over the coming quarters as regulatory uncertainty rises in various markets across the region, says BMI Research. In addition to increasing regulatory uncertainty, the region will also witness challenges stemming from... 

Miners insist on rewrite of Congo mining code to protect exemptions

By: Reuters     6th April 2018 International mining companies have insisted that Democratic Republic of Congo amend portions of a new mining code to respect exemptions they were granted by its predecessor. The companies announced last week that they had submitted a formal proposal to the government but the document itself,... 

Masisi to lead Botswana as Khama steps down after decade

By: Bloomberg     2nd April 2018 Ian Khama, a former army general who’s led Botswana for the past decade, will step down on Sunday, leaving his deputy Mokgweetsi Masisi in charge of the world’s second-biggest diamond producer until next year’s elections. While Masisi, 55, will inherit one of Africa’s wealthiest and... 

Cobalt upstarts add capacity in Congo as prices triple

By: Bloomberg     27th March 2018 A little-known cobalt miner in the Democratic Republic of Congo plans to ramp up output so fast it will soon be out-produced only by industry leader Glencore. Chemaf, a closely held Lubumbashi-based company, and several other firms are capitalizing on a boom in demand that’s transforming small... 

Glencore faces off against labour group on Congo mine conditions

By: Bloomberg     26th March 2018 Commodity giant Glencore defended working conditions at its mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo after an international labour federation said its employees are poorly treated and underpaid. The spat with Geneva-based IndustriALL, a global union federation that says it represents more than... 

As commodities roar, Africa wants bigger slice of mining pie

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2018 One by one, the biggest names in African mining are getting squeezed. The tactics might be blunt, but the message is clear: the countries where they operate want a bigger share of the proceeds. The collapse in commodities through 2015 hobbled some of Africa’s biggest resource economies, stunting... 

EV adoption rate reaching critical mass as search for ethical cobalt heats up

By: Henry Lazenby     20th March 2018 Cobalt company Cobalt 27 is seeing an ideal storm brewing for its key commodity as the adoption rate of electric vehicles (EVs) accelerates faster than even optimistic forecasts had speculated. “Cobalt 27 is a proxy for the adoption of the EV,” executive chairperson Anthony Milewski told Mining... 

DRC curbs expectations of miners about concessions on code

By: Bloomberg     19th March 2018 Mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) won’t secure substantial concessions in talks with the state about changes to the industry code, a senior mining official said. The operators, including Glencore Plc and Randgold Resources, are pressing the government to row back on some... 

Glencore, Randgold mines quit Congolese industry body ahead of govt talks

By: Reuters     16th March 2018 Mines run by Glencore, Randgold Resources and three other international companies have quit the Democratic Republic of Congo's chamber of commerce, saying the industry body does not adequately represent their interests after the introduction of a new mining law. The miners said in a joint... 

Cobalt to be declared a strategic mineral in the DRC

By: Reuters     15th March 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo will declare cobalt and coltan, used in electric vehicle and renewable energy technology, as "strategic" minerals which will earn the country higher royalties, an adviser to the Prime Minister said on Wednesday. A new mining code was signed into law on Friday by... 

Congo's Kabila signs into law new mining code

By: Reuters     12th March 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila signed into law on Friday a new mining code that raises royalties and taxes on operators, the presidency said in a statement. International mining companies that operate in Congo, Africa's top copper producer, have vigorously opposed the new... 

Congo's Kabila to sign new mining code soon after meeting with miners

By: Reuters     8th March 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila will soon sign into law a new mining code, the government and the country's mining companies said on Wednesday. The code has been vigorously opposed by the miners. The announcement followed a nearly six-hour meeting between Kabila and mining... 

Kabila meeting with mining companies postponed until Wed

By: Reuters     6th March 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila's plan to discuss proposed changes to mining royalties with mining company representatives on Tuesday was postponed by a day, a government minister said. No reason was given for the decision to delay the meeting. 

Congo's Kabila to meet companies over mining code revision

By: Reuters     5th March 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila will meet mining company representatives on Tuesday to discuss a mining code revision awaiting his signature that would raise taxes and royalties, the mines minister said. The bill was adopted by parliament late in January but the industry has... 

DP World may develop $1.2bn port at Banana on Congo coast

By: Bloomberg     2nd March 2018 DP World may develop a $1.2-billion deep-water port in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to documents published by a Senegalese whistle-blowing organization. DP World signed an agreement with the Transport Ministry in February 2017 giving the Nasdaq Dubai-listed company exclusive rights... 

Congo says will campaign to prevent child labour in cobalt mines

By: Reuters     2nd March 2018 The Democratic Republic of Congo will launch this month new monitoring and tracing mechanisms to tackle child labour in cobalt and copper production, a mines ministry official said on Thursday. Sourcing of the metals has come into focus as manufacturers scramble to secure supplies of cobalt, a... 

Resounding welcome for Gwede, who declines opportunity to comment

By: Martin Creamer     27th February 2018 New South African Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has received a resounding welcome from the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and mining luminaries. The Chamber of Mines of South Africa has welcomed the appointment of Mantashe, 62, describing him... 

Miner Freeport says no plans to sell Congo cobalt asset as buyers circle

By: Reuters     27th February 2018 Several parties are interested in buying Freeport-McMoRan's cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo but not at a price that would interest the miner and so it is not planning a sale, Freeport's chief executive officer said. As a result, Freeport is looking at other options for the... 

He got rich on Congo mines until bribe probe put future on hold

By: Bloomberg     23rd February 2018 A 20-year friendship that helped turn Dan Gertler into a billionaire has left the Israeli businessman with a lot fewer places to go. The US government accused Gertler of corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and said he acted as a middle-man to enrich his longtime... 

Apple is said to negotiate buying cobalt direct from miners

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2018 Apple is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter, seeking to ensure it will have enough of the key battery ingredient amid industry fears of a shortage driven by the electric vehicle boom. The iPhone maker... 

Kabila yet to sign new mining code as deadline nears

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila has not yet signed into law a new mining code, a senior aide said on Tuesday, as international mining companies wage a last-ditch lobbying effort against the measure. The comments by Jean-Pierre Kambila, Kabila's deputy chief of staff, come... 

Congo seeks relief talks with oil traders over $2bn debt

By: Reuters     20th February 2018 Congo Republic is set to become the latest African country to start debt relief talks with trading houses after borrowing $2-billion from merchants such as Trafigura and Glencore but now finding its debt levels unsustainable, sources familiar with the matter said. Trading houses regularly lend... 

Deadly mines linked to child labour thrive in rush for batteries

By: Bloomberg     20th February 2018 The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labour. Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the... 

Glencore, Randgold form group to challenge Congo law changes

By: Bloomberg     19th February 2018 Glencore and Randgold Resources are among major mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo clubbing together in a bid to stop sweeping legal reforms, claiming their interests were poorly served by the existing industry body. In a letter sent to Congolese President Joseph Kabila on... 

Mugabe's fall has veteran miners jockeying for Zimbabwe comeback

By: Bloomberg     13th February 2018 Robert Mugabe’s fall as Zimbabwe president is setting the scene for the return of a London mining listing for Andrew Groves and his long-term business partner – and former England cricketer – Phil Edmonds. Groves is preparing to relist the pair’s Zimbabwe coal, chrome and gold assets in London... 

Samsung SDI turns to used phones for cobalt as prices surge

By: Bloomberg     12th February 2018 Samsung SDI, a battery supplier to carmakers including BMW, plans to recycle cobalt from used mobile phones as companies around the world scramble to secure supplies of the metal amid surging prices. The plan fuels a trend among battery makers to reduce dependence on the Democratic Republic of... 

On-The-Air (09/02/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     9th February 2018 Every Friday morning, SAfm's AMLive's radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly.  Reported here is this Friday's At the Coalface transcript: Kamwendo: China's colossal Clean Air Revolution is poised to give massive support to... 

Randgold could lose $10m a year under proposed Congo mining code

By: Reuters     8th February 2018 Randgold Resources could lose $10-million per year if a proposed change in the Democratic Republic of Congo is signed into law, Chief Executive Mark Bristow said. "At the top end it would be $10-million a year," Bristow told Reuters, referring to the financial impact of the new law. 

Congo seeks more cobalt control as batteries drive boom

By: Bloomberg     6th February 2018 The Democratic Republic of Congo will seek greater control of the global cobalt market by engaging directly with car and battery manufacturers, according to its largest State-owned mining company. "I find it scandalous that when cobalt is discussed, and the explosion of electric vehicles, only... 

De Beers eyes Zimbabwe, Congo after gaining South African permits

By: Bloomberg     6th February 2018 De Beers may follow its resumption of exploration for diamonds in South Africa’s Northern Cape by looking in the longer term at opportunities in countries like Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "I’m excited about what I’m seeing in Zimbabwe," said Phillip Barton, chief executive... 

Congo's Gecamines wants to revise contracts with mining partners

By: Reuters     5th February 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo's state mining company Gecamines said on Monday it wanted to renegotiate contracts with its international partners this year to give the state a bigger share of the revenues. Congo is Africa's biggest copper and cobalt producer and also mines gold and diamonds, but it... 

Electric cars and niche metals lure cash back to African mines

By: Bloomberg     2nd February 2018 Rising commodity prices may have revived enthusiasm for African resources, but it’s unlikely to be the old mainstays of coal and iron ore pulling crowds next week as the mining industry meets in Cape Town. The electric-vehicle boom and shifting industrial demand have transformed formerly niche... 

Alphamin’s Kamstra happy with Bisie development progress

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st January 2018 Alphamin Resources continues work to unlock its developing tin resource in the remote North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Alphamin CEO Boris Kamstra on Wednesday said he was happy with the progress made, with the Alphamin Bisie Mine (ABM) aligned to the mapped out schedule... 

Congo mining code passes Senate without opposition

By: Reuters     25th January 2018 Democratic Republic of Congo's new proposed mining code, which the industry has warned will stifle investment in the copper and cobalt-rich nation, sailed through the Senate without opposition late on Wednesday. A version passed by the National Assembly - Congo's lower house of parliament - last... 

Kibali prepares for full production

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd January 2018 Following the successful commissioning of the integrated automated ore handling and hoisting system of the underground operation at Kibali, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Randgold Resources is preparing to bring the mine into full production this year. In an update to shareholders on... 

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