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Africa News

BHP Billiton March quarter iron-ore output hits record

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd April 2008 Diversified mining giant, BHP Billiton, which has launched a hostile takeover bid for smaller rival Rio Tinto, on Wednesday reported a 22% rise in its third quarter iron-ore production to a record 28-million tons. The higher iron-ore output, which was likely to strengthen its $147-billion bid... 

Orezone may sell part or all of Niger moly/copper discovery

By: Liezel Hill     22nd April 2008 Ottawa-based Orezone Resources, which is preparing to build the Essakane gold mine, in Burkina Faso, may look for a joint-venture partner to fund further exploration on its Kourki molybdenum/copper deposit in neighbouring Niger, said investor relations manager Janet Eastman. The company was... 

Colin Bird joins Samroc board

By: Liezel Hill     22nd April 2008 JSE-listed SA Mineral Resources Corporation (Samroc) has appointed Colin Bird as a nonexecutive director, the company said on Tuesday. 

Randgold's Yalea mine in Mali to reach full output in 2009

By: Liezel Hill     22nd April 2008 Gold-miner Randgold Resources will start establishing the first mining faces at its new Yalea underground mine, in Mali, during the second quarter of this year, and expects to reach full production by 2009, the company said on Tuesday. The mine is being developed at the group's Loulo... 

Costs prevent super profits in midst of surging prices

By: Matthew Hill     22nd April 2008 While global commodity prices hovered near record highs, the resources sector was not operating in a super-profit environment, owning to surging costs, banking group Investec said on Tuesday. However, companies that managed to keep their costs in check would sustain strong earnings, an official... 

‘Enormously tight’ market could see platinum peak above $2 400/oz - Investec

By: Matthew Hill     22nd April 2008 A portfolio manager at financial institution Investec said on Tuesday that the platinum price was expected to close this year at levels above $2 400/oz, in an "enormously tight" market. Investec's forecasts were that there would be a supply deficit of 400 000 oz of the white metal... 

Open cast mining starts at Bisichi's Mpumalanga colliery

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd April 2008 London-listed Bisichi Mining has started opencast operations at its Black Wattle colliery near Middelburg, in Mpumalanga, it said on Tuesday. MD Andrew Heller said open cast mining would lower the average cost of production, increase washing plant yields and would allow Black Wattle to mine its... 

Australia’s Newcrest to partner Harmony in PNG projects 

By: Matthew Hill     22nd April 2008 Australia’s biggest gold producer, Newcrest Mining, will earn a 50% stake in number-three African gold producer Harmony Gold’s Papua New Guinea (PNG) gold and copper assets by spending up to $525-million, the two companies said on Tuesday. The two would jointly operate the assets,... 

First diamonds recovered from Lesotho project

By: Liezel Hill     21st April 2008 Canadian juniors Lucara Diamond Corp and Motapa Diamonds have recovered the first diamonds from their Mothae project, in Lesotho, the firms said on Monday. 

Equinox starts commissioning Lumwana copper project

By: Liezel Hill     21st April 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Equinox Minerals has started commissioning its Lumawna copper project, in Zambia, with the electrification of the main 33 kV substation, the firm said on Monday. 

Namibian court says uranium mine permits invalid

By: Reuters     21st April 2008 Namibia's High Court has ruled as invalid permits allowing Forsys Metals Corp. to extract groundwater in the Namib Desert, disrupting the Canadian company's plans to construct a uranium mine. Forsys announced on February 12 that Namibia's agriculture, water and forestry ministry... 

Albidon, Iamgold announce Botswana joint venture

By: Matthew Hill     21st April 2008 Africa-focused nickel company Albidon has signed a joint-venture (JV) agreement with midtier gold producer Iamgold, whereby the ASX-listed firm could earn up to 80% of the Maitengwe prospect in Botswana, it said on Monday.  

First Quantum sets its sights on Finnish nickel project

By: Liezel Hill     21st April 2008 Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals has agreed to buy Scandinavian Minerals for C$281-million in cash and shares, the firm said on Monday. 

Nickel market expected to stabilise in '08 - Norilsk

By: Matthew Hill     21st April 2008 The nickel market will begin to stabilise in 2008 as speculators move away, after a highly volatile environment last year, the biggest producer of the metal, used to make stainless steel, said on Monday. Russian giant Norilsk Nickel general director Denis Morozov said that the firm had exported... 

Camec acquires stake in Metorex-linked copper company

By: Matthew Hill     21st April 2008 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-focused copper producer Camec on Monday announced that it had agreed to buy a 21% interest in Copper Resources Corporation (CRC) for £13,1-million in cash, and 35,8-million shares. CRC, in which diversified miner Metorex bought a 46% stake, owns three... 

First Uranium plans $124m acid plant to lower costs

By: Matthew Hill     21st April 2008 Uranium development company First Uranium said on Monday that it would invest an estimated $124-million in a sulphuric acid plant on the West Rand, to shield itself from a global shortage and surging prices. It would build the plant over the next 19 months at its Mine Waste Solutions (MWS)... 

Steel giant to buy 16% stake in Coal of Africa

By: Matthew Hill     21st April 2008 Coal development company Coal of Africa Limited's (CoAL's) stock slid by over 5% in Johannesburg on Monday, after it announced that world number-one steel producer ArcelorMittal would buy 16% of its new enlarged share capital for £66,7-million, and would also buy coking coal from... 

Gold-miners’ dehedging reached record in '07, says new report

By: Matthew Hill     21st April 2008 Global gold-producer hedging stood at the lowest level since 1992, at 835 t, at the end of 2007, a report said at the weekend. This was after producers reduced the global hedge by a record 446 t during the year, the GFMS-Société Générale Gold Hedge Book Analysis... 

Paramount sells Free State diamond for R1,3m

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st April 2008 Australian diamond-miner Paramount, which plans to list its South African assets on the Johannesburg bourse this year, has sold a 15,47 ct diamond from its Peakstar project, located in the Free State province, for R1,34-million (around $170 000), it said on Monday. 

Assmang inquiry resumes on Monday

By: SANews, SA government news service     21st April 2008 The inquiry into the exposure of workers to poisonous fumes at Durban's Assmang plant resumes on Monday at the Cato Ridge Country Club. The week-long inquiry aims at establishing the possible causes of manganism at the Cato Ridge plant and to consider remedial action. 

Harmony faces US class action suit over reporting of costs, output

By: Liezel Hill     18th April 2008 South African gold-miner Harmony Gold has been named in a US class action lawsuit, which alleges the miner failed to report and misrepresented facts regarding its costs, production and earnings last year. 

Harmony is or may be named as defendant in US lawsuit

By: Liezel Hill     18th April 2008 South African gold-miner Harmony Gold has been or may be named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in the US district court in the southern district of New York, the firm said on Friday.  

African Eagle targets first copper before 2010 in rapid move from explorer to miner 

By: Martin Creamer     18th April 2008 AltX-listed African Eagle had taken a strategic decision to move from explorer to miner as quickly as possible and was looking to producing its first copper before South Africa's 2010 World Cup was looking to move from being an exploration company to becoming a mining company as quickly as... 

High copper price to boost mining investment in Zambia - expert 

By: Matthew Hill     18th April 2008 From 2000, when Zambia had largely completed the process of privatising its mining sector, up until 2006, the country's resource industry had caught the fancy of some $2-billion in investment, an expert said on Friday. And given the current healthy price of copper, which was the cornerstone... 

South Korea's Posco to invest $200m in SA mine

By: Reuters     18th April 2008 South Korean steel maker Posco said on Friday it would invest $200-million to take 13% of a South African manganese mine, its latest move to add mining assets and cut pressure from soaring raw material prices. Posco said the purchase will be made by joining international consortium Pallinghurst,... 

Demand for rough 200% greater than supply - South Africa's SDT

By: Keith Campbell     18th April 2008 South Africa is the world's third-largest diamond producer, with an annual production of about 14,5-million carats. Yet, only some 5% of the country's diamond production was last year cut and polished in the country; the rest was exported rough. And, despite being the world's... 

SA union won’t reopen wage talks despite surging inflation

By: Matthew Hill     18th April 2008 South Africa's biggest workers union, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), on Friday affirmed that it would not engage employers to renegotiate wage contracts signed late last year after surging inflation and increasing interest rates hit miners' pockets. General secretary Frans... 

Australian miner studies Mozambican power station

By: Matthew Hill     18th April 2008 Australia-listed Riversdale Mining, which has a coal resource of 1,9-billion tons in western Mozambique, has initiated a study into building a 500 MW power station in the country, and it said on Thursday that it could be commissioned by 2012. In a presentation posted on its website, the... 

Harmony to announce PNG partner by month-end  

By: Matthew Hill     17th April 2008 Africa's number-three gold producer Harmony Gold hopes to announce a partner for its Papua New Guinea (PNG) assets by the end of the month, CEO Graham Briggs said on Thursday. "The intention is to disclose our partner in PNG in the latter part of this month (April)," Briggs said... 

Rand Uranium may consider acquisitions, but own assets initial priority - Munro

By: Matthew Hill     17th April 2008 While the new uranium company that gold major Harmony Gold and US-backed Pamodzi Resource Fund (PRF) have started, Rand Uranium, would initially focus on developing its own surface and underground resources base, it would be considering acquisitions in the future, officials said on Thursday. The... 

Nortier quits Aflease Gold board to focus on Uranium One

By: Mariaan Webb     17th April 2008 Aflease Gold CFO and executive director Jean Nortier has resigned as a director from Aflease Gold's board with effect from April 15, the company said on Thursday. Nortier, who was appointed as Uranium One's interim CEO after Neal Froneman's abrupt exit in February, has resigned to... 

Rio expects output to rise 8% a year until 2015

By: Liezel Hill     17th April 2008 Diversified miner Rio Tinto, which is fending off a hostile takeover attempt by larger rival BHP Billiton, expects production volumes to grow at a compound rate of 8% a year from 2008 to 2015, CEO Tom Albanese said on Thursday. 

Harmony to announce PNG partner by month-end - Briggs

By: Matthew Hill     17th April 2008 Gold major Harmony hopes to announce a partner for its Papua New Guinea (PNG) assets by the end of the month, CEO Graham Briggs told Mining Weekly Online on Thursday. He said that the company had selected a shortlist of potential partners in December, but declined to say how many companies were... 

Ministers subpoenaed over controversial Xolobeni project - SAHRC 

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th April 2008 The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which was investigating complaints over the controversial Xolobeni mining project, in the Eastern Cape, has subpoenaed the Ministers of Minerals and Energy, Agriculture and Land Affairs and Environmental Affairs and Tourism, to appear before the... 

Simmers earmarks R217m for Strathmore exploration as it starts growth projects

By: Mariaan Webb     17th April 2008 JSE-listed Simmer & Jack Mines (Simmers) would spend R217-million over the next six years on its Strathmore exploration programme, at its Buffelsfontein mine, in the North West province, the company announced on Thursday.  

Pamodzi, Harmony unveil name of new uranium venture

By: Matthew Hill     17th April 2008 The Pamodzi Resources Fund (PRF) and Harmony Gold on Thursday announced the name of the new uranium venture the two companies were setting up. The new firm, created through the sale of certain of Harmony's uranium and gold assets, will be known as Rand Uranium, and be headed by former Gold... 

Rockwell completes acquisition of Trans Hex gem mines

By: Liezel Hill     16th April 2008 Junior gem company Rockwell Diamonds has bought two alluvial diamond mines and three exploration projects from JSE-listed Trans Hex, the firm said on Wednesday. The assets, collectively knows as the Middle Orange River operations, include the Saxendrift and Niewejaarskraal mines, which are... 

Teal granted Moz uranium exploration permits

By: Liezel Hill     16th April 2008 TSX- and JSE-listed Teal Exploration & Mining has been awarded several licences to explore for uranium and associated metals in Mozambique, and has established a new company, Teal Mining Mozambique, to operate its exploration activities in the country, the firm said on Wednesday. 

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