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Africa News

Central Rand formally appoints former Implats boss

By: Mariaan Webb     30th April 2008 Gold explorer Central Rand (CRG) on Wednesday announced the formal appointment of Michael McMahon, former Impala Platinum CEO and chairperson, as a nonexecutive director. The company also appointed him to the technical, health, safety and environmental committee, the audit and risk management... 

Metorex lifts CRC stake to 50,27%

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th April 2008 South Africa-based diversified-miner Metorex has increased its stake in Copper Resources Corporation (CRC) to 50,27%, from 45,3%, the company said on Wednesday. Metorex bought a further 4 304 600 CRC shares in exchange for 5 268 830 new Metorex shares. 

BRC DiamondCore ready to defend itself against potential legal challenge

By: Liezel Hill     29th April 2008 TSX- and JSE-listed BRC DiamondCore continues to maintain that claims by its former black economic-empowerment partner, Sefalana Minerals and Resources, are “without merit”, the firm said on Tuesday. 

‘Cyclone Cynthia' wins new-order mining rights holus-bolus for Anglo American 

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2008 With unprecedented success, whirlwind Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll has succeeded in securing new-order mining rights holus-bolus for the diversified miner's South African operations. The only remaining loose ends relate to Anglo Platinum's (Angloplat's) 50:50 joint venture... 

TWP Finance concludes greenfields coal deal

29th April 2008 TWP Finance, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE-listed TWP Holdings, said on Tuesday that it concluded a joint-venture (JV) agreement with Increase Coal to conduct conceptualisation and prefeasibility studies on a greenfields project in Mpumalanga. TWP Finance CEO Dean Cunningham said that the... 

Anglo American granted new-order mining rights in SA

By: Mariaan Webb     29th April 2008 Diversified-miner Anglo American announced on Tuesday that the State had granted the company new-order mining rights for all its South African operations. The rights related to the conversion of all the mineral rights in Anglo American's South African coal, ferrous metals, base metals and... 

Miners incentivised like taxi drivers - paid to take risks and die, NUM president decries at safety summit 

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2008 Mine workers were being incentivised in the same way as taxi drivers to take risks and to get killed in the process, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana denounced at the Anglo tripartite safety summit in Johannesburg, on Tuesday. 

Robust safety summit demands instant injury-free South African mining 

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2008 Injury must be eliminated in South African mining, and it must be eliminated now, a tripartite summit on mining safety heard in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The "summit unusual", organised by Anglo American, the Department of Minerals and Energy and the National Union of Mineworkers,... 

Anglo Platinum March quarter output tumbles, miner sticks to full-year forecast

By: Mariaan Webb     29th April 2008 World number-one platinum producer Anglo Platinum's refined platinum output fell by 24% in the first quarter of 2008, after electricity constraints in South Africa forced the mining industry to reduce consumption in January and February. Output for the three months ended March 31, fell to... 

Anglo's Q1 platinum, coal output fall on power constraints, weather

By: Mariaan Webb     29th April 2008 The world's second-largest diversified miner, Anglo American, said on Tuesday that its first-quarter output, particularly platinum group metals and coal output, had been curbed by South Africa's electricity constraints and adverse weather conditions. The company's platinum... 

Cluff Gold expects first gold pour next quarter at Burkina Faso mine

By: Liezel Hill     28th April 2008 Aim-listed Cluff Gold, which began producing its first gold last month, in Cote d’Ivoire, expects to pour the first metal at its second mine, the Kalsaka operation, in Burkina Faso, during the third quarter of this year.  

Randgold Resources lifts holding in Côte d'Ivoire project

By: Liezel Hill     28th April 2008 Africa-focused gold-miner Randgold Resources has increased its stake in the Tongon project, in Côte d'Ivoire, from 76% to 81%. The group had bought the additional 5% from its joint-venture (JV) partner New Mining CI (NMCI) for $2-million in cash plus a 'funding option',... 

Refined copper will move to surplus this year – study group

By: Liezel Hill     28th April 2008 The market for refined copper is expected to move into a small surplus, of around 85 000 t, in 2008, with a larger surplus of about 430 000 t, or some 2,2% of global usage, expected in 2009, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said on Monday. The group had expected to see a surplus in... 

Aquarius completes share buyback from Implats

By: Liezel Hill     28th April 2008 Platinum-miner Aquarius Platinum has repurchased shares held by larger rival Impala Platinum (Implats) in itself and subsidiary Aquarius Platinum South Africa, the firm said on Monday.  

Petra shares gain after Saudi investor lifts stake

25th April 2008 Shares in gem-miner Petra Diamonds rose more than 9% on Friday, after the company said that Saudi Arabian investment firm Al Rajhi Holdings had increased its share in the company to 8,02%. 

Camec ‘greatly encouraged' by Moz exploration results

25th April 2008 Aim-listed Camec said at the weekend that it had delineated some 195-million tons of coal across three of its Mozambican licences, and that the shallow dips of the outcropping coal horizons made them amenable to large scale open cast mining. The firm said that it hoped to announce a compliant... 

Assmang resumes ferromanganese production at Cato Ridge

By: Mariaan Webb     25th April 2008 Ferromanganese producer Assmang has resumed production of its Cato Ridge smelter that was closed earlier in the week, following an incident when molten metal burned through the wall of the furnace. The company said on Friday that the repairs were completed on Thursday and that the Department of... 

Ex-LionOre CEO Steyn joins uranium explorer

25th April 2008 Former LionOre CEO Colin Steyn has joined uranium explorer Mantra Resources as a nonexecutive director and strategic investor through Highland Park SA, the company announced on Friday. Mantra, which has a portfolio of assets in southern Africa, said the strategic alliance and $24-million... 

Smelter warned about manganese dust for 11 years

By: Sapa     25th April 2008 ferromanganese smelter near Durban was warned for 11 years by an occupational hygienist that workers' exposure to manganese dust was too high, a labour department inquiry heard on Friday. The inquiry, being held in Cato Ridge near Durban, is investigating 40 alleged cases of manganism that... 

Small platinum surplus possible in 2008, says GFMS' Walker

By: Martin Creamer     25th April 2008 A small platinum surplus was possible in 2008, GFMS CEO Paul Walker has told Mining Weekly Online in an interview in Johannesburg. This was despite current Zurich platinum stocks being down to two months demand and South African supply forecast to drop 375 000 oz to 5,07-million ounces -... 

Up to 400 ERPM workers may be retrenched - DRDGold

By: Christy van der Merwe     25th April 2008 JSE-listed gold producer DRDGold on Friday confirmed that its wholly-owned subsidiary East Rand Proprietary Mines (ERPM) may have to retrench as many as 400 workers. The company said it would initiate the necessary 60-day consultation process with unions. 

Gold theft: It's a huge problem and it's getting worse

By: Irma Venter     25th April 2008 "We estimate that around 10 kg to 15 kg of gold is stolen monthly - it could be more," says Barberton Mines manager Casper Strydom. This equates to about R3,78-million, at $900/oz, and R8 to the dollar. Barberton Mines belongs to Pan African Resources, of which diversified miner... 

Wits Gold completes study on R8,09bn Free State mine

By: Liezel Hill     24th April 2008 TSX- and JSE-listed Wits Gold has completed a scoping study on a mine at its Bloemhoek property, in South Africa's Free State province. The study, undertaken by an independent consultant, estimates that a mine at Bloemhoek, which is located next to Gold Fields' Beatrix mine, would... 

Rio Tinto budgets $18bn capex for next two years

By: Matthew Hill     24th April 2008 Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto, which larger competitor BHP Billiton has bid for, said on Thursday that it planned to spend capital of some $18-billion over 2008 and 2009, including projects for its aluminium division. Chairperson Paul Skinner stated that the miner also planned to lift its... 

Sasol coal route could reopen Friday

By: Reuters     24th April 2008 The main train route for fuels and petrochemicals group Sasol's coal exports could reopen on Friday after a fire damaged part of the line, Transnet Freightrail spokesman Mike Asefovitz said on Thursday. 

SA power, safety problems reverse six years of platinum growth - GFMS

By: Christy van der Merwe     24th April 2008 Platinum slipped back into a deficit of over 200 000 oz, after global mine output declined, and with little chance of a material recovery in 2008, global precious metals consultancy GFMS said on Thursday that there was a great risk that this year's output might fail to match even last... 

Copper buoyed by supply problems, tin hits record

By: Reuters     24th April 2008 Copper prices held firm on Thursday, supported by a surge in Chinese equities and supply disruptions in Chile, while tin hit a record high. The London Metal Exchange's three-month tin contract hit a lifetime high of $24,600 a tonne in electronic trade on worries about supplies from China... 

Assmang in talks with govt to reopen Cato Ridge furnace

24th April 2008 Ferromanganese producer Assmang on Thursday said it was in discussions with the Department of Labour to reopen its Cato Ridge furnace that was closed after molten metal leaked through the furnace shell.  

Newmont shines as gold prices, cost control translate into margin growth

By: Liezel Hill     24th April 2008 Denver-based gold giant Newmont Mining increased first-quarter net income by 444% year-on-year, to $370-million, as the company benefited from high gold prices. Revenue increased 59% from the year ago quarter, to $1,9-billion, with an average realised gold price of $933/oz, Newmont, the... 

BRC DiamondCore completes second tender, recovers 45 ct dark orange/brown stone

24th April 2008 Toronto- and Johannesburg-listed BRC DiamondCore on Thursday reported that it had realised $750 077 from its second diamond tender, comprising a total of 1 651,01 ct. The diamonds were recovered from bulk sampling at its Silverstreams alluvial and Paardeberg East kimberlite projects, in South... 

Aquarius third-quarter profit up, output drops 19%

By: Mariaan Webb     24th April 2008 Mid-tier platinum-miner Aquarius Platinum's third-quarter output fell by 19% to 111 524 attributable platinum group-metal (PGM) ounces, after South Africa's power crisis and labour issues at local mines curbed production. Aquarius, however, reported a record third-quarter profit of... 

Albidon appoints advisor to assess 'opportunites'

By: Liezel Hill     23rd April 2008 Aim- and ASX-listed Albidon has appointed the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to help the company “assess potential corporate opportunities and progress its ongoing growth strategy”, the nickel and uranium junior said on Wednesday. 

Assmang ordered to shut down one furnace

By: Reuters     23rd April 2008 South African inspectors ordered Assmang on Tuesday to shut down a furnace at its ferromanganese plant in Cato Ridge after molten metal leaked from a hole in the furnace wall, the labour department said on Wednesday. "A prohibition notice served on the company has effectively halted all... 

Rockwell sold diamonds worth $4,5m

By: Matthew Hill     23rd April 2008 Emerging diamond producer Rockwell Diamonds sold stones worth $4,5-million at an average of price of $1 668/ct this month, it said on Wednesday. The JSE-listed miner also said that it had cut its production costs by 5% during in March, from $4/t to $3,80/t. 

Over 200 mining-related land claims still outstanding – SA govt  

By: Matthew Hill     23rd April 2008 While government has settled the bulk of land claims to address dispossession during apartheid, there are still 207 outstanding claims for ground where mining takes place, and these could take as long as another five years to settle, when taking into account studies in other countries, an... 

Freeport almost doubles Tenke Fungurume cost estimate 

By: Liezel Hill     23rd April 2008 The Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may cost around $1,9-billion to build, nearly double an October estimate of $1-billion, US miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said on Wednesday. Freeport operates the project and owns an effective 57,75%... 

State funds 'ambitiously' changing mining, says Anglo CEO Carroll 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2008 Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) with "massive state capital behind them" were "ambitiously striking out" into mining investment from their domestic bases and "substantially" changing the rules of the mining consolidation game, Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll said on... 

Weakening US economy not all doom and gloom for diamond market

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd April 2008 The demand for large diamonds continued to remain strong, despite the weakening US economy, diamond-miner Gem Diamonds said on Wednesday, when it released its maiden annual results.  

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