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Africa News

Impact explores for uranium at Lekobolo prospect in Botswana

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th December 2009 ASX-listed explorer Impact Minerals has started its first drilling programme at the Lekobolo uranium prospect, in Botswana, in order to test several uranium targets. A programme of about 60 holes for 3 000 m of reverse circulation (RC) drilling was under way to test areas of anomalous... 

SA power tariff hikes will hurt mining industry

By: Sapa     9th December 2009 Eskom's proposed tariff increases will harm South Africa's mining industry, auditing firm BDO said on Wednesday. "While Eskom stutters in its crisis of leadership, businesses in South Africa are coming to terms with proposed tariff hikes which could sound the death knell for their operations,"... 

Gemfields nets $5,6m in second auction

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th December 2009 Aim-listed gemstone-miner Gemfields has generated revenues of $5,6-million during its second gem auction, in November. It sold 1,12-million carats of rough emeralds during an invitation-only auction held between November 23 and November 27, which was attended by more than 20 Indian companies.  

Mine nationalisation okay if good for South Africa – Patrice Motsepe 

By: Martin Creamer     9th December 2009 If the nationalisation of South Africa's mines was good for South Africa, then he was in favour of it, African Rainbow Minerals chairperson Patrice Motsepe said. When Mining Weekly Online called African Rainbow Minerals, Motsepe was unavailable for comment, but in a voice clip on the morning... 

Gold Fields continues search for missing Driefontein miner

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th December 2009 Operations at gold producer Gold Fields’ Driefontein mine, near Carletonville, remained suspended for the third day, as rescue teams continued to search for a missing miner. Two miners were trapped underground on Sunday evening, as a seismic event registering 3,4 on the Richter Scale, caused a... 

Metorex says Chevalier retires as director

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th December 2009 Pierre Chevalier has retired as nonexecutive director of JSE-listed diversified miner Metorex, effective December 7. He retired by rotation at the company’s annual general meeting. 

Mine project firm TWP to open in Peru, Abu Dhabi, eyeing Libya

By: Martin Creamer     8th December 2009 Mining project firm TWP, now part of the Basil Read construction and mining company, is to open in Peru and Abu Dhabi, TWP CEO Nigel Townshend said on Tuesday. "We're opening up in Lima in January as TWP, and in Abu Dhabi in conjunction Basil Read," Townshend said. A presence in Libya was being... 

Rockwell hires new financial and operations managers

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2009 TSX- and JSE-listed diamond producer Rockwell has appointed Hans Gastrow as operations manager for its processing and recovery plant and Johan Oosthuizen as financial manager, responsible for the financial oversight and planning at its operations in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Both... 

Boabab’s technical director to succeed Townsend as MD

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th December 2009 Aim-listed Baobab Resources has appointed Ben James as MD to succeed Brett Townsend, who has resigned with immediate effect. James had been the exploration manager at Baobab between July 2006 and April 2008, after which he had been employed as the technical director of the company. 

Namakwa Diamonds expands in DRC with $5m acquisition

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th December 2009 London-listed Namakwa Diamonds has bought private mining operation Kasai Resource Mining (KRM), in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for $5-million, it announced on Tuesday. The acquisition would allow Namakwa to potentially raise its output in the DRC to beyond 160 000 ct in 2010. 

Mine project firm TWP to delist on Dec 11, absorbed into Basil Read

By: Martin Creamer     8th December 2009 The shares of the JSE-listed mine project management company TWP would cease trading on December 11, when the company would be delisted and absorbed into JSE construction and mining contracting company Basil Read, TWP CEO Nigel Townshend said on Tuesday. TWP shareholders would receive cash and... 

Goedgevonden mine to supply Eskom’s Majuba coal-fired plant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     8th December 2009 The Goedgevonden colliery, the flagship operation of the joint-venture (JV) partnership between African Rainbow Minerals (Arm) Coal and Xstrata Coal, has signed a 17-year coal supply agreement with South African power utility Eskom. In terms of the agreement, the 6,7-million ton a year colliery,... 

Eskom seeks review of Medupi coal agreement, signs Majuba deal

8th December 2009 Diversified miner Exxaro reported on Tuesday that South Africa's State-owned power utility Eskom had requested a review of a coal supply and offtake agreement for the new Medupi power station in Limpopo. The JSE-listed miner explained that Eskom wanted a review of the coal price escalation... 

Gold Fields finds body of trapped Driefontein worker

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2009 South African gold producer Gold Fields on Tuesday reported that the body of one of the trapped miners at its Driefontein mine near Carletonville, had been recovered. The second miner remains unaccounted for. 

Nationalise gold, platinum first — ANCYL 

By: Sapa     8th December 2009 Gold and platinum miners should be nationalised first as they were the most profitable, African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema said in Durban on Monday. "We must look at profitable minerals as the ones that should be targeted first. Platinum, which is easily found... 

Equinox hires COO

8th December 2009 Copper-miner Equinox Minerals has appointed Colin 'Cobb' Johnstone as COO, starting in January 2010, the firm announced on Monday. He replaces Harry Michael, who announced his resignation in July.  

Solidarity and Palamin to resume wage talks in January

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th December 2009 Wage negotiations between labour union Solidarity and base-metals-miner Palabora Mining (Palamin) would continue in January, after the last round of talks ended “on a difficult note”, the union said on Monday. Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said that very little progress had been made in... 

Washington Resources explores for iron-ore in Limpopo

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th December 2009 ASX-listed explorer Washington Resources has started the second round of drilling at the Moonlight iron-ore deposit, in Limpopo, with the first assay results expected by mid-January. The directors believed that drilling would provide further assurance of the quality of the deposit at the... 

Kopane reports resource grade increase at Lesotho mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th December 2009 Aim-listed diamond producer Kopane Diamond Developments on Monday reported an increased resource grade of 34,3 ct/100 t at its Main Pipe, at the Liqhobong operations, in Lesotho. The company said in a statement that the increase in the resource grade represented a 4,1% increase over the 33 c/100... 

Metorex chair slams South Africa's shares-for-cash curbs

By: Martin Creamer     7th December 2009 South African companies were being placed at a distinct disadvantage to their peers in other English-speaking countries by being prevented from readily placing shares for cash, Metorex chairperson Rob Still said on Monday. Still told the annual general meeting (AGM) of the shareholders of the... 

Jubilee, Sylvania report positive results from smelting trials

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th December 2009 Platinum junior Jubilee Platinum and Sylvania Resources on Monday reported that trials at Jubilee’s ConRoast direct current (DC) arc furnace, in South Africa, had resulted in the smelting of low-grade platinum group-metals (PGMs) concentrate. The concentrate had low platinum group elements and... 

Gold Fields searches for two missing miners

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th December 2009 South African gold producer Gold Fields on Monday reported that operations at its Driefontein mine, near Carletonville, had been halted, as rescue workers continued to search for two missing miners. Gold Fields spokesperson Julian Gwillim confirmed that an earthquake measuring 3,4 on the Richter... 

Silver Standard declares commercial production at Pirquitas

By: Liezel Hill     5th December 2009 Vancouver-based Silver Standard Resources achieved commercial production on December 1 at its Pirquitas mine in Jujuy, Argentina, the firm announced on Friday. Oxide and transitional ore being processed through the mill is actually beating the company's expectations so far, it said in a statement. 

IFC wants to get in early on exploration projects 

By: Liezel Hill     4th December 2009 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is looking to take more equity positions in the early stages of mining companies and projects, officials said at a mining investment seminar this week in Toronto. “We like to come in after project discovery. And then we can come in and start working on... 

South African commodity lines at heart of Transnet's enlarged investment plan 

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2009 Transnet's commodity corridors were likely to be the main beneficiaries of the State-owned transport utility's expanded five-year capital investment programme, acting CEO Chris Wells reported on Friday. He confirmed that the new plan, which would be unveiled in February, would probably involve a... 

Lonmin strikes wage deal with Marikana workers

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th December 2009 Platinum-miner Lonmin has reached a two-year wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) with regard to workers at its Marikana operation in the North West province. Employees would receive a 10% wage increase for the first year of the agreement, which would be backdated to... 

Metorex recommends shareholders approve Vergenoeg deal

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th December 2009 Shareholders of JSE-listed Metorex would meet on December 21 to vote on the sale of a 55% stake in fluorspar producer Vergenoeg Mining to Spanish company Minerales Y Productos Derivados (Minersa), for $60-million. The proceeds from the proposed sale would be used to repay debt on its Ruashi... 

Diamond industry seeing slight glimmer of old sparkle in distance

By: Jonathan Faurie     4th December 2009 The diamond industry, an industry largely dependent on jewellery sales – which in itself carries the perception of being dominated by the rich and famous – suffered the nearest thing to a total eclipse during the global economic meltdown. Now, after a harrowing 12 months, a glimmer of its old... 

De Beers ramps up Snap Lake mine, will add 175 jobs

By: Liezel Hill     4th December 2009 De Beers Canada has started increasing production levels at its Snap Lake diamond mine, in Canada's Northwest Territories, and will add 175 jobs at the operation by the end of 2010. The mine will ramp up to full production by the end of 2012, De Beers said on Thursday. 

Diamond industry seeing slight glimmer of old sparkle in distance

By: Jonathan Faurie     4th December 2009 The diamond industry, an industry largely dependent on jewellery sales - which in itself carries the perception of being dominated by the rich and famous - suffered the nearest thing to a total eclipse during the global economic meltdown. 

Botswana diamond mine expansion gets the nod

By: Jonathan Faurie     4th December 2009 South African diamond mining giant De Beers has announced that the shareholders of Debswana, most prominent of which is the Government of the Republic of Botswana, have greenlighted a major extension project at the world’s richest diamond mine, Jwaneng.  

Wescoal to export from Durban, sell to Eskom

By: Martin Creamer     3rd December 2009 JSE AltX-listed coal junior Wescoal plans to export coal and also to sell coal to Eskom. CEO Andre Bojé told Mining Weekly Online on Thursday that the company had found a partner that had a monthly export allocation of 80 000 t from Durban, and would also be producing sufficient volume to begin... 

Petra Diamonds raises $120m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd December 2009 Aim-listed Petra Diamonds has raised $120-million in a share placing, which it will use to double its stake in the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The company would use $24,6-million for part settlement of the $80-million Al Rajhi Holdings loan, as part of the option to increase its holding in... 

South Africa's inland coal pricing 'severely depressed' – Wescoal 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd December 2009 South Africa's inland coal pricing was down 34% year-on-year in "severely depressed" coal-trading conditions, Wescoal CEO Andre Bojé said on Thursday. Bojé told Mining Weekly Online that, for the first time since 1994, it had become more lucrative for coal miners to sell their coal into South... 

Anooraq appoints interim finance chief

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd December 2009 Platinum producer Anooraq Resources has appointed De Wet Schutte as interim CFO, effective from December 1. Schutte’s appointment came after Iemrahn Hassen resigned to pursue other business interests. 

Palabora production to fall 15% on winder repairs

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd December 2009 JSE-listed copper producer Palabora Mining’s output would fall by 15% between November and December, because of repair works to a winder, the company said on Thursday. The Rio Tinto subsidiary explained that cracks were discovered in the drum of the North Winder during a routine inspection in... 

West Australian Metals changes name to Marenica Energy

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd December 2009 ASX-listed uranium company West Australian Metals has changed its name to Marenica Energy, to reflect the company’s focus on its 80%-owned Marenica project, in Namibia. The company’s ASX code, which was previously WME, has subsequently been changed to MEY with effect from December 3. 

Rockwell says will raise up to C$12,5m

2nd December 2009 Vancouver-based Rockwell Diamonds has plans in place to raise as much as C$12,5-million through a rights offering and by selling shares in a private placement, including to a new Chinese investor, the firm said on Wednesday. The company, which plans to use the money to settle short-term debt,... 

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