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Covid death toll on mines rises to 21, positive cases at 3 119 

By: Martin Creamer     7th July 2020 The Covid-19 death toll in the mining industry has risen to 21, Minerals Council South Africa recorded on its website on Tuesday, with the number of Covid-positive cases totalling 3 119. Platinum mining, which employs the most people, continues to have the largest number of Covid deaths so far at... 

Covid death toll on mines rises to 21, positive cases at 3 119
Photo by MINERALS COUNCIL SOUTH AFRICA
Mining industry's Covid statistics.

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

2nd July 2020 For the duration of South Africa’s Covid-19 lockdown period, Creamer Media is providing free digital access to our flagship Engineering News & Mining Weekly news magazine. Click now to read our latest edition. 

Engineering News & Mining Weekly e-magazine now available

South African govt initiates process of developing societal hydrogen roadmap  

By: Martin Creamer     7th July 2020 South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has initiated a process, with other government and industry stakeholders, to develop a roadmap that will lead South Africa towards a hydrogen society, Mining Weekly can today report. The aim is to create a policy document that will inform... 

South African govt initiates process of developing societal hydrogen roadmap
South African government initiates development of societal hydrogen roadmap

Gold-backed ETFs record seventh consecutive month of positive flows, says WGC 

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 Gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) recorded their seventh consecutive month of positive flows, adding 104 t in June (equivalent to $5.6-billion or 2.7% of assets under management (AUM)) and taking global holdings to new all-time highs of over 3 621 t. This brings the total global net... 

Kibali's $500m will be cleared to leave Congo 'very soon' - Barrick CEO

By: Reuters     7th July 2020 Barrick Gold's Kibali gold mining joint venture in Democratic Republic of Congo will be able to get $500-million out of the country very soon, CEO Mark Bristow told Reuters on Monday. The gold miner has been in discussions with Congo's government over how to get the money out of the country for... 

Kibali's $500m will be cleared to leave Congo 'very soon' - Barrick CEO
Photo by Bloomberg
Barrick CEO Mark Bristow

Coal production to top 8bn tonnes in 2020, says GlobalData

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 Despite disruptions during the first quarter, global coal production is expected to reach more than 8.1-billion tonnes this year, says data and analytics company GlobalData. A 7.8% fall in production in the US will be a major factor in the overall limited output, the company says, noting that... 

Coal production to top 8bn tonnes in 2020, says GlobalData

Mantashe lauds court ruling for broader community to be included in charter review

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has welcomed the June 30 ruling by the Gauteng High Court that the Minerals Council South Africa include parties representing communities, trade unions and black economic empowerment (BEE) entrepreneurs in its judicial review of the 2018 Mining... 

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 State-owned electricity producer Eskom aims, within the coming months, to seek authorisation from its board and government to initiate a formal bidding process for the repurposing and repowering of the Camden, Komati, Grootvlei and Hendrina coal-fired power stations using lower-carbon generation... 

Eskom to seek authorisation to proceed with repurposing of four coal stations

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 A member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission has called for the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to be established, arguing that such a multi-stakeholder institutional platform is required to implement the just transition vision outlined in the country’s National... 

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’

Omnia more than halves debt as stabilisation plan is concluded

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 JSE-listed diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings reports that it achieved solid results for the financial year ended March 31, noting that this reflected the finalisation of the group’s stabilisation plan which included the successful recapitalisation of the business. Omnia’s balance sheet... 

Aura Energy agree to sale of Tasiast South tenements

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 Australia-based minerals company Aura Energy (AEE) has signed a C$4.5-million (A$4.8-million) funding term sheet for the creation of a joint venture (JV) vehicle with TSX-listed Chilean Metals for Aura’s gold, base- and battery-metal tenements in Mauritania. The deal, which is subject to due... 

Gold anomalies identified at GoviEx’s Mali uranium project

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 A recent gold geochemical sampling programme at TSX-V-listed GoviEx Uranium’s Falea uranium/copper/silver project, in Mali, has highlighted significant gold in soil anomalies that show the potential extensions of the Sirabaya West and the Siribaya-Bambadinka gold trends through, and potentially... 

EVs are starting to buoy the global metals market

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 The market gloom over the metals that will power the cars of the future is starting to lift. Supply overhangs and then the coronavirus pandemic had crushed short-term prospects for the minerals used to make rechargeable batteries. But new government commitments to green transport in China and... 

Dlamini resigns as Kumba director

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 Nonkululeko Dlamini, who has taken up the position of Transnet CFO, has resigned as nonexecutive director of iron-ore miner Kumba Iron Ore. Kumba chairperson Dr Mandla Gantsho thanks her for her “invaluable contribution” to the board.  

Second iteration of Aameg Africa Awards to be hosted in November

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 The Australia-Africa Minerals and Energy Group’s (Aameg’s) premier event for recognising best practice in mineral exploration across the African continent will be having its second iteration on November 4 as part of the Africa Down Under (ADU) conference in Perth, Australia. The event was founded... 

Oriole Resources commences drilling at Faré target

By: Donna Slater     29th June 2020 Aim-listed West Africa-focused exploration company Oriole Resources has started a 10 000 m air-core (AC) drilling campaign at the Faré target within the north of its Senala project, in Senegal. The project, which is operated under a joint venture (JV) with partner Iamgold Corporation, presents... 

Baselode Energy acquires second uranium property in Athabasca region

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 Uranium exploration company Baselode Energy has acquired the Hook uranium property, in the Athabasca basin area of northern Saskatchewan, Canada, in line with its Athabasca 2.0 exploration thesis, which is set to target basement hosted uranium near surface deposits. Hook, which covers around 30... 

Committee concerned about electrification backlogs caused by new budget

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2020 While still in the process of reviewing the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s revised budget for the 2020/21 financial year, the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has noted its revision to R7.8-billion, from R9.3-billion previously. The revised budget follows after... 

Novagold sues short-seller JCAP

By: Mariaan Webb     7th July 2020 NYSE American- and TSX-listed Novagold Resources on Tuesday announced that it had served short-seller J Capital Research USA (JCAP) with a civil action lawsuit for defamation in the US. Novagold charges that JCAP’s May 28 report on the company contained false and misleading statements as part of... 

Bill Gates-backed company to hunt for cobalt near Glencore mine

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 A startup backed by a group of tycoons including Bill Gates plans to use data-crunching algorithms to search for cobalt near a Canadian nickel mine owned by Glencore. Kobold Metals has acquired rights to an area of about 1 000 km2 -- roughly the size of New York City -- in northern Quebec,... 

Bill Gates-backed company to hunt for cobalt near Glencore mine

Australian rare earth miner Lynas chairman Harding to retire

By: Reuters     7th July 2020 Australian rare earth miner Lynas Corp said on Tuesday chairman Mike Harding intends to retire by September 30 after more than five years in the role. Kathleen Conlon, a non-executive director at the firm since 2011, has been elected to succeed Harding. 

Kazatomprom delays production for another month

By: Mariaan Webb     7th July 2020 Uranium major Kazatomprom is delaying the resumption of higher production volumes by another month, saying that pandemic-related risks remain too high for a full return of production employees to its sites. The company in April reduced its uranium production volumes as it implemented physical... 

Kazatomprom delays production for another month

Mahalo petroleum leases awarded - Comet Ridge

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 The Queensland government has granted ASX-listed Comet Ridge two petroleum leases at its Mahalo gas project. Comet Ridge on Tuesday said that the petroleum lease awards were the final regulatory approval required for the project to move towards production, following the Commonwealth Environment... 

HGM shifts focus to CSG

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 ASX-listed gold and cobalt explorer High Grade Metals (HGM) has announced a move into the coal seam gas (CSG) sector. HGM on Tuesday announced that it had inked a binding agreement to acquire unlisted Jade Gas, which holds a 60% interest in a joint venture (JV) vehicle with Mongolian state-owned... 

Arctic diesel spill caused $2bn damage, Russia says

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 Russia’s ecological watchdog said the diesel spill from a tank owned by MMC Norilsk Nickel in May caused 148-billion rubles ($2-billion) of damage in the Arctic. The vast majority of the damage was to waterways that are linked to the Kara Sea, according to the report from the Federal Service for... 

Arctic diesel spill caused $2bn damage, Russia says
A July 2 photo showing the area where Norilsk Nickel has cleaned up a major diesel spill.

Skeena gains full ownership of past-producing Eskay Creek from Barrick

By: Mariaan Webb     7th July 2020 TSX-V-listed Skeena Resources will exercise its option to acquire the Eskay Creek gold/silver project, in the Golden Triangle of north-west British Columbia, from gold major Barrick Gold. Barrick has also agreed to waive its back-in right on Eskay Creek. As a result of the transaction, Barrick... 

Skeena gains full ownership of past-producing Eskay Creek from Barrick
Geologists at work at Eskay Creek

Hundreds of coal companies got $170m in US virus aid

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 Coal companies received at least $170-million in small business loans under the US government’s coronavirus relief programme, according to data released Monday. Ramaco Resources of Kentucky, JRL Coal of Georgia and Knight Hawk Coal of Illinois were among the 449 coal companies that received... 

Tomingley meets targets

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 The Tomingley gold project, in New South Wales, has met its production guidance for 2020, with owner Alkane Resources on Tuesday reporting that the project had produced 33 507 oz of gold during the full year ended June. This was in line with the target of between 30 000 oz and 35 000 oz. 

Ora Banda completes bookbuild for Davyhurst restart

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 ASX-listed Ora Banda Mining has completed the bookbuild for its share placement and institutional entitlement offer, to raise A$51.7-million, with a fully underwritten retail entitlement offer set to raise a further A$3.3-million, and to open on July 10. The company has received firm commitments... 

Sal de Vida still set for 2022 start

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 Lithium miner Galaxy Resources on Tuesday said that it was still on target for Stage 1 ore production at the Sal de Vida project, in Argentina, in 2022, despite the Covid-19 pandemic impacting the development schedule of the project. Galaxy in April this year suspended operations at Sal de Vida... 

Sal de Vida still set for 2022 start

Image sells 100 000 t of HMC

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 Junior Image Resources has inked an offtake agreement for 100 000 t of heavy mineral concentrate from its current inventory at the Boonanarring mineral sands project, in Western Australia. The ASX-listed company told shareholders that the agreement with offtake partner Shantou Natford Zirconium... 

Zenith sets sights on A$5m raise

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 ASX-listed Zenith Minerals will raise A$5-million in an oversubscribed share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors, to accelerate exploration at its core gold projects. The junior company on Tuesday noted that 51-million new shares would be issued at a price of 10c each,... 

Maiden indicated resource declared at Bellevue

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th July 2020 Junior Bellevue Gold has reported a maiden indicated resource of 860 000 oz, at 11.6 g/t gold at its namesake project in Western Australia. The indicated resource forms part of the global 2.3-million ounce resource, at 10 g/t gold, at the Bellevue project, of which some 1.4-million ounces was... 

Caldas announces Marmato expansion PFS

By: Simone Liedtke     6th July 2020 Canadian junior miner Caldas Gold has completed an updated mineral resource estimate for its Marmato project and also announced the preliminary results of a prefeasibility study (PFS) for the project, in Colombia. The PFS affirms the economic viability of the underground expansion of the Marmato... 

Group Eleven intersects its ‘best-ever mineralisation’

By: Donna Slater     6th July 2020 Vancouver-headquartered zinc explorer Group Eleven’s share price surged nearly 40% on Monday, as the company announced its best-ever mineralisation at the PG West project in Ireland. The company intersected 10.3 m of 14.6% zinc, 5% lead (19.6% combined) and 43 g/t silver during its drilling... 

Ivanhoe speeds ahead with Kakula underground, plant development

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th July 2020 TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines continues to progress ahead of schedule with underground development of the Kakula copper mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company, together with its joint venture (JV) partner Zijin Mining Group, has completed more than 17 km of underground... 

Hochschild halts operations in Peru after virus outbreak

By: Simone Liedtke     6th July 2020 A number of workers at silver and gold mining company Hochschild Mining’s Inmaculada operation, in southern Peru, have tested positive for Covid-19, despite preventative measures being in place, including a comprehensive testing programme and quarantine for all employees. The UK-based company has... 

Hochschild halts operations in Peru after virus outbreak
The Inmaculada mine, in Peru.

Osborn completes first equipment installation in CIS region

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th July 2020 Mining and quarrying equipment specialist Osborn has completed an export order to Kyrgyzstan, which extends its reach into the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. The equipment supplied by Osborn has been installed at the country’s second-largest gold mine, the Jerooy gold project.  

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