From Mining Weekly in Johannesburg, I am Hilary Klopper.
In our lead story this week:
South African miner Harmony Gold’s newly appointed CEO Graham Briggs says the company’s focus will remain on getting, and keeping, costs under control, and refining a strategic direction for the firm and its asset portfolio.
Briggs, who has served as acting CEO of the miner since its long-time chief, Bernard Swanepoel, jolted the market in August with his surprise exit, has been named CEO in early January.
The company says Briggs, who was formerly head of its Australasian operations, was named CEO after it held discussions with 36 potential candidates.
The first mines audited under the newly instituted presidential safety audit, Aquarius Platinum's Everest and Marikana mines, have passed the inspection.
The audits, which President Thabo Mbeki ordered in October after a spate of mine accidents, comprise a legal and a technical audit of certain installations and practices at all South Africa’s mines.
The single largest coal export terminal in the world, South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal, now has the capacity to export 76-million tons a year of coal, up from 72-million.
The increase, which came into effect on January 1, is part of a larger capacity-expansion project, which will grow the terminal’s annual export capacity to 91-million tons a year by mid-2009, at a cost of R1,2-billion.
The price of gold has surpassed its highest level ever and an analyst says the metal may sooner-than-expected head towards a four-digit level.
A Toronto-based analyst predicts that the thousand-dollar-an-ounce mark will likely be reached this year.
Also in this week’s Mining Weekly Online:
Two prominent South African mining executives, former Impala Platinum CEO Keith Rumble, and Barrick Gold managing director for the country, Warrick Morley-Jepson, have joined Indian-owned resources company Sun Mining.
The world's number one steel company, Acelor Mittal, has agreed to establish a joint venture to develop a 25-million ton a year iron-ore project in Mauritania.
A analyst says it is most likely that resources colossus BHP Billiton will present an offer that is unchanged from its previous all-scrip informal bid. The company has to present either a firm offer to bid for Rio Tinto on February 6, or walk away.
Diversified miner Xstrata has accused coal miner Resource Pacific of “repeatedly failing” to meet targets and of publishing “overly optimistic” production forecasts, after the company rejected its takeover offer last week.
Orezone Resources has appointed UniCredit Group and Standard Bank of South Africa as mandated lead arrangers to arrange and underwrite up to $250-million of project debt for the company's Essakane gold project, in Burkina Faso, which it bought from Gold Fields in November.
That’s a round up of this week’s stories on Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly. For more on these and other stories, visit miningweekly.com