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Master Drilling boasts strong order book 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 The launch of new projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, paired with increased investment in human resources, has resulted in a 12.1% drop in JSE-listed Master Drilling’s gross profit to $23.5-million for the 2016 financial year. However, the company noted that... 

Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius speaks on the company's prospects. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd. 22/03/2017

Endeavour, Acacia end merger talks

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd March 2017 Canadian gold miner Endeavour Mining has halted discussions with London-listed Acacia Mining regarding a potential merger. Endeavour, which operates a portfolio of gold mines in West Africa, has held talks with Acacia – which is majority owned by Canada's Barrick Gold – since mid-January. 

Endeavour, Acacia end merger talks
Photo by Bloomberg
Acacia CEO Brad Gordon

Harmony plans to grow output to 1.5Moz, outlines acquisition criteria

By: Ilan Solomons     22nd March 2017 Dual-listed Harmony Gold is aiming to increase its yearly gold production from the current 1.1-million to 1.5-million ounces over the next three years. This would be achieved by undertaking expansions at its operations in South Africa, the rest of Africa and Papua New Guinea, while also... 

Harmony plans to grow output to 1.5Moz, outlines acquisition criteria
Golpu gold project, in Papua New Guinea

ICMM guide to ensure greater consistency in water use disclosure

By: Anine Kilian     22nd March 2017 The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has published a water reporting guide to help mining companies disclose their water use data in a consistent manner to allow for easier comparison. ‘A practical guide to consistent water reporting’, which was released on World Water Day,... 

ICMM guide to ensure greater consistency in water use disclosure
ICMM president and CEO Tom Butler

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 S&P Global Ratings has sustained a negative outlook on Eskom after affirming its 'BB-' sub-investment-grade rating this week, pointing to the State-owned electricity utility’s weakening liquidity position as a result of a “lower-than-expected” tariff increase for 2017/18. On February 23, the... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 The Energy Intensive User Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) believes there is policy, legislative and regulatory space to introduce new electricity pricing arrangements to help restart of idle mining and process-industry activities, as well as encourage new investments to absorb Eskom’s surplus,... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms

Anglo says South Africa reorganisation adds sale flexibility

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2017 Anglo American said its decision to split some South African assets into a different subsidiary gives it the “flexibility” to dispose of its iron ore and export thermal coal assets should it decide to do so. The split, which was partly announced in February without reasons being given, means that... 

Anglo American readies bond market return

By: Reuters     21st March 2017 Anglo American is poised to sell its first public bond since it was stripped of its investment-grade status last year following the shock capitulation of global commodity prices. The mining company, rated Ba1/BB+, is expected to sell a US dollar and/or euro-denominated bond on Wednesday, after... 

BHP buys back $2.5bn in bonds

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 Mining major BHP Billiton has repurchased $2.5-billion worth of bonds, allowing the miner to extend its average debt maturity profile and enhancing its capital structure. BHP this week announced the expiration of its tender offers for its $1.25-billion, 3.25% senior notes due in 2021, its... 

BHP buys back $2.5bn in bonds

Kenmare swings to FY profit on the back of record production

By: Anine Kilian     22nd March 2017 London-listed Kenmare Resources recorded earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $5.2-million for the year ended December 31, a turnaround from the loss of $11.5-million recorded in the prior financial year. Heavy minerals concentrate production increased 28%... 

Rainbow progresses Burundi rare earths project

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd March 2017 Rare earth elements mining company Rainbow Rare Earths has started work on the now fully permitted Gakara rare earths project, in Burundi, ahead of trial mining. Following its $8-million fundraising and successful initial public offering (IPO) on the LSE in January, preparation for mining at... 

Alecto prepares for first blast at Mowana project

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd March 2017 Alecto Minerals is “moving at speed” towards delivering continuous production and first sales from the Mowana copper project, in Botswana, with the first blast expected to take place within days. With appointed drill and blast contractor Capital Drilling mobilising its equipment to site, an... 

Africa’s biggest copper find keeps giving as Ivanhoe hits mineralisation 3.8 km west of Kakula

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd March 2017 The TSX-listed stock of Africa-focused explorer Ivanhoe Mining on Tuesday rose 12% after it announced that it had encountered more shallow, high-grade mineralisation at Africa’s largest copper deposit ever – the Kamoa-Kakula copper discovery, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A new hole... 

Zambia copper miners face $276m bill in power dispute

By: Bloomberg     21st March 2017 Zambian copper miners including the local unit of Glencore Plc could face a power bill of more than $276-million if they lose a dispute with the government over electricity tariff rises, according to Copperbelt Energy Corp., their biggest supplier. A resolution to the three-year battle could... 

Vast takes full ownership of Romania mine

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Aim-listed miner Vast Resources now owns 100% of the Manaila polymetallic mine, in Romania, following the completion of the acquisition of the remaining 49.9% of Sinarom Mining Group from vendor Ni Jin Ming. This follows the settlement of $1.14-million in debts associated with the company's... 

Big banks talking to Rio Tinto's specialist new Ventures arm

By: Reuters     21st March 2017 London bankers are vying for contracts after Rio Tinto said it had set up a new unit, Rio Tinto Ventures, to develop more specialised mining prospects as it seeks to reduce its reliance on bulk commodities, three banking sources said. The big miners have traditionally relied on producing... 

Tertiary finalises sale of Finnish gold assets

By: Anine Kilian     22nd March 2017 Aim-listed Tertiary Minerals has completed the sale of its noncore gold assets in Finland to Canadian precious metals miner Aurion Resources for £100 000 in cash and shares. The assets include Kaaresselkä and Kiekerömaa and Tertiary will retain a royalty interest in these two projects. 

EU watchdog approves Berkeley uranium sale

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st March 2017 The governing body for all nuclear fuel transactions in the European Union has given consent for ASX-listed Berkeley Energia to sell uranium from its Salamanca mine, in Spain. Berkeley Energia in November of last year inked a sales agreement with Curzon Resources for a total of two-million... 

Vital raises A$5m to advance Burkina Faso exploration

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st March 2017 Metals developer Vital Metals will raise A$5-million through a share placement to accelerate gold exploration in Burkina Faso. The junior told shareholders on Tuesday that some 400-million new shares would be issued, at a price of 1.25c each, to professional and sophisticated investors. 

Minerals railway in Peru to take 2-3 wks to resume – govt

By: Reuters     Updated 3 hours ago A railway used by copper, zinc and silver mines to transport their concentrates from Peru's central Andes to port will not likely be operative for at least two to three weeks following "important" damages from floods and mudslides, the transportation minister said on Wednesday. Martin Vizcarra... 

Canadian royalties, streaming firm Franco-Nevada reports rising revenues as it looks to diversify

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 3 hours ago Canadian gold royalties and streamlining firm Franco-Nevada Corp has recorded a 37.6% growth in revenue for 2016, boosted by record ounces delivered and soaring sales during the period. The company that derives income from 107 producing royalties and streams, reported gold-equivalent ounces... 

Canadian royalties, streaming firm Franco-Nevada reports rising revenues as it looks to diversify

Colombia to produce 95mt of coal in 2017 – vice-minister

By: Reuters     Updated 3 hours ago Colombia could produce at least 95-million tonnes of coal in 2017, below an initial target of 102-million tonnes, the mining vice-minister said on Wednesday. The Andean country is the world's fifth-largest producer of the fuel and recorded an output of 90.9 -million tonnes last year, the highest... 

Cote d'Ivoire gvt agrees selling 25% Ity stake to owner-operator Endeavour

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 3 hours ago The Cote d'Ivoire State-owned mining company SODEMI has agreed to sell its 25% stake in Canadian gold miner Endeavour Mining’s Ity gold mine, back to the company. The TSX-listed firm on Wednesday confirmed receiving an undertaking by government to conclude a sale that will push Endeavour’s... 

No talks planned to end 5-1/2-week Quebec zinc plant strike – union

By: Reuters     Updated 7 hours ago No meetings are planned between management and striking workers at Noranda Income Fund's zinc refinery in Quebec, the second biggest in North America, a union official said on Wednesday, as the work stoppage dragged through a sixth week. The two sides last met, along with a mediator, on March 3... 

Russia's Alrosa expects 6% fall in first-quarter diamond sales

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 Russian diamond miner Alrosa expects its first-quarter sales to be down 6% at $1.25-billion compared with a year ago, the state-controlled company said in a presentation for its investor day on Wednesday. Alrosa, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds, plans to increase diamond output to... 

RNC, private equity firm Waterton Global form nickel-focused partnership

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd March 2017 Canadian miner Royal Nickel Corp (RNC) has joined forces with private equity form Waterton Global Resource Management (WGRM) to buy, develop and operate nickel assets, the companies announced Wednesday. The companies have inked a joint-venture (JV) accord under which Waterton has agreed to buy a... 

RNC, private equity firm Waterton Global form nickel-focused partnership

BHP mine struggling to stave off title of longest Chile strike

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2017 The biggest copper mine in the world owned by the largest mining company is about to gain another, less desirable superlative – that of Chile’s longest mining strike in a generation. Management and union representatives at BHP Billiton’s Escondida are entering into another round of talks on... 

Adani coal mine in Australia faces fresh wave of protests

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2017 A new environmental campaign to stop the development of Adani Group’s $16.5-billion coal mine in Queensland will be launched Wednesday with the high-profile backing of former Australian Greens party leader Bob Brown. “Adani and the federal government have no idea of the scale of opposition and... 

Australia's Pilbara Ports closes Dampier due to weather

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 Pilbara Ports Authority, which operates Australia's largest iron ore export terminal, on Wednesday said it had closed its Dampier port due to bad weather, but the main port of Hedland remained open. The authority said it had activated a cyclone response procedure due to a weak tropical low... 

Mitsubishi says it may sell stakes in Australia thermal coal mines

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corp may sell stakes in Australia thermal coal mines as it presses on with a switch to core assets such as coking coal after slumping to its first-ever annual loss last year, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The Nikkei business daily reported earlier on... 

Metro hits fundraising targets

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 Bauxite developer Metro Mining has raised its targeted A$36.5-million through an entitlement offer, priced at 12.5c a share. The entitlement offer formed part of a larger A$52-million capital raise to fund the development of the Bauxite Hills mine, in Queensland. 

Cassini hopes to cash in on cobalt highs

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 Junior Cassini Resources has told shareholders that an updated scoping study on its West Musgrave joint venture (JV), in Western Australia, will take the rising cobalt prices into consideration. Responding to shareholder queries, Cassini on Wednesday said the company had initiated a review of the... 

Pharmanet's transformation starts

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 ASX-listed Pharmanet Group has started its evolution into Calidus Resources with the acquisition of unlisted Keras Gold Australia, in exchange for 225-million shares and 525-million performance shares. Keras Australia holds the Warrawoona gold project, in the Pilbara goldfields, which has a 410... 

Gascoyne completes capital raise

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 Gold developer Gascoyne Resources has successfully raised A$55-million to fund the development of its Western Australian gold project. The capital raise was launched in February and was completed over two tranches. 

Davyhurst crushing circuit commissioning to start shortly

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 Commissioning of the newly refurbished crushing circuit at the Davyhurst mill, in Western Australia, is poised to start next week, with the balance of the circuits expected to be commissioned in April, owner Eastern Goldfields said. The refurbishment of the 1.2-million-tonne-a-year mill is some... 

Intermin increases Teal resource

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 Gold developer Intermin Resources has reported a 120% increase in its mineral resource estimate at the Teal project, in Western Australia. The gold project’s mineral resource now stands at 2.27-million tonnes, at 2.18 g/t gold for 159 389 oz of gold, with the total mineral resource growing to... 

Pioneer reports caesium resource at Dome

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 The Sinclair caesium zone, within the Dome lithium-caesium-tantalum project, in Western Australia, has been estimated to host some 10 500 t of caesium ore with a grade of 17.1% caesium oxide. Owner Pioneer Resources has told shareholders that the mineral resource was defined following 22 reverse... 

India, Iran gas deal not expected before third quarter

By: Ajoy K Das     22nd March 2017 Any definitive agreement between India and Iran on the development of the Farzad B offshore gasfields, in the Persian Gulf, seems unlikely before the third quarter of this year. Despite India’s ONGC Videsh having submitted a curtailed $3-billion development plan to the Iranian national oil... 

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