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Gemstones News

Minerals Council regrets delay of 2018 Mining Charter review 

By: Martin Creamer     Updated 1 hour 23 minutes ago Minerals Council South Africa on Monday expressed regret that the finalisation of the review of the contested elements of the 2018 Mining Charter had been delayed following a judgement of the full bench of the High Court in Pretoria ordering that a number of other parties be joined to the action.... 

Covid kills 13 mineworkers, no foreigners back at work  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd July 2020 Thirteen mineworkers have now succumbed to the coronavirus, Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello Chabana said on Thursday. Of the 13 who have died, seven were employed in platinum mining in North West province, which has the most cases at 1 413... 

Covid kills 13 mineworkers, no foreigners back at work
Minerals Council South Africa Covid update covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Gemfields completes delisting from Bermuda Stock Exchange

By: Donna Slater     1st July 2020 Gemstone miner Gemfields has completed its delisting from the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX). It announced the delisting in April, stating that none of the company’s issued shares have traded on the BSX and that the BSX listing was no longer required now that Gemfields' shares were admitted to... 

Tanzanian hand-miner becomes millionaire with tanzanite find

By: Bloomberg     25th June 2020 A Tanzanian hand-miner became an instant millionaire after selling the two of the largest tanzanite gems ever discovered to the government. The East African nation’s central bank paid Saniniu Laizer 7.7-billion shillings ($3.3-million) for the stones, which weighed 9.2 kg and 5.8 kg. Laizer,... 

Ethiopia looking to bolster investment in resources, mining 

By: Simone Liedtke     17th June 2020 With an abundance of natural resources that have not been significantly exploited, Ethiopia has “enormous potential” for the export of these resources and at a relatively low production cost, Ethiopia Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas planning, monitoring and evaluation director... 

Ethiopia looking to bolster investment in resources, mining
Beryihun Temesgan, who spoke on behalf of Ethiopian Mines and Petroleum Minister Dr Samuel Urkato, and Ethiopia Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas planning, monitoring and evaluation director Geremew Negassa discuss the investment case for Ethiopia in a webinar hosted by the Australia-Africa Minerals and Energy Group. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Gemfields to host virtual AGM

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th June 2020 JSE-, Aim- and Bermuda Stock Exchange-listed Gemfields will host its annual general meeting (AGM) virtually through a live interactive webcast on June 24. The company has urged shareholders to submit their votes by proxy – in the way they normally would – prior to the meeting, while an online... 

Platinum retailers working towards recovery amid Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th June 2020 Manufacturers and retailers of platinum jewellery have begun working towards ensuring the recovery of the sector, as Covid-19 continues to heavily impact on the global economy, the Platinum Guild International’s (PGI’s) latest 'Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR)' states. Published on June... 

Platinum retailers working towards recovery amid Covid-19

240 000 miners back at work – Minerals Council South Africa 

By: Martin Creamer     11th June 2020 An estimated 240 000 miners are back at work on 385 large and small mines across South Africa, Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello Chabana said on Thursday. Each and every one of these miners was screened on their return to work after lockdown... 

240 000 miners back at work – Minerals Council South Africa
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer reports on Covid update by Minerals Council South Africa. Video: Darlene Creamer 11.06.2020

ICMM members record 287 fatalities in 2019

By: Martin Creamer     11th June 2020 The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) on Thursday released the 2019 safety data of its company members, who reported 287 occupational fatalities, a marked increase from the 50 fatalities recorded in 2018 and 51 fatalities recorded in 2017. ICMM said in a media release to Mining... 

ICMM members record 287 fatalities in 2019
ICMM CEO Tom Butler

Global mining forum IGF puts forward sweeping employment reforms 

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2020 The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining Minerals Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) on Wednesday put forward sweeping mining employment reforms in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has, it states, exposed weak points in the global labour market. IGF emerged from the 2002 World Summit... 

Global mining forum IGF puts forward sweeping employment reforms
Photo by Bloomberg
Sweeping mining reforms advocated in response to Covid-19.

Gemfields releases third film to promote responsibly sourced gemstones

By: Donna Slater     10th June 2020 In its quest to promote Zambia’s emeralds to buyers across the world, gemstone miner Gemfields has introduced the third instalment in its short film series dedicated to coloured gemstones. The buyer’s guide film is aimed at educating consumers on every aspect of buying coloured gemstones, with a... 

Cibjo postpones yearly congress, will be rescheduled in 2021

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2020 World Jewellery Confederation's (Cibjo's) yearly congress, which had been for October 5 to 7, in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, has been postponed to 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic. The decision to postpone the congress was taken during a video conference of the Cibjo board... 

Approval for ruby licence acquisition granted

5th June 2020 Coloured gemstone mining and marketing company Fura Gems received formal approval from the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy of Mozambique (MIREM) for the acquisition of a ruby licence, the company said in a release last month. It noted that it had completed the previously announced... 

Approval for ruby licence acquisition granted
Photo by Bloomberg
MORE AND MORE Fura is in the process of completing the purchase and sale of interests in three additional ruby prospecting licences in Mozambique

Hard-hit diamond jewellery sector mulls postpandemic recovery strategies

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 The unforeseen global health crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic has had dire economic repercussions, to which South Africa is not immune. 

Hard-hit diamond jewellery sector mulls postpandemic recovery strategies

Well positioned to weather storm – Standard Bank

By: Martin Creamer     4th June 2020 The Standard Bank is well positioned to weather the Covid-19 storm and remains determined to emerge from this crisis as a stronger Africa-focused financial services group, Standard Bank Group FD Dr Arno Daehnke said on Thursday. The capital and liquidity levels of Africa’s biggest lender by... 

Well positioned to weather storm – Standard Bank
Standard Bank building.

Mozambique streaks ahead with new e-government cadastre advance 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd June 2020 While South Africa is still trundling along laboriously with a minerals cadastre system fraught with shortcomings, Mozambique has rocketed to the highest firmament of e-government licence processing, Mining Weekly can report. Mozambique first led the pack 17 years ago when, ironically, it latched... 

Mozambique streaks ahead with new e-government cadastre advance
Mozambique mining cadastre portal.

New solution for monitoring tailings dams 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd June 2020 The tragic tailings dam breach in Brazil that killed more than 270 people has focused the world of mining on making tailings dams safe. Earlier this year, and environmental organisation Grid-Arendal launched the world’s first publicly accessible global database of mine tailings storage facilities... 

New solution for monitoring tailings dams
Photo by Creamer Media
Tailings dam.

Swiss institute advances technology to trace pearl origins

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd June 2020 The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) has introduced a new service to support the documentation of the origin and provenance of pearls, assisting the pearl trade in documenting origins and improving the traceability of pearls. The service is supported by the SSEF’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)... 

New natural diamond council launched  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd June 2020 A natural diamond is made from carbon and is the hardest natural known substance on earth. Natural diamonds are created over a period of one to three billion years, many kilometres below the earth's mantle under natural conditions of very high pressure and high temperature. But unlike champagne,... 

New natural diamond council launched
Natural Diamond Council supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday urged mines to test for Covid-19 to the full extent without fearing mine closure. The Minister was responding to a media question on the steps the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) was taking to end the backlog of... 

Minister urges mines to test without fear of mine closure
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Gwede Mantashe

Conversation on getting economy back on track post-Covid has begun   

By: Martin Creamer     28th May 2020 The conversation has begun on getting the South African economy back on track with the necessary structural reforms post-Covid, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said on Wednesday. Speaking at question time during a virtual media conference following the council’s annual general... 

Conversation on getting economy back on track post-Covid has begun
Minerals Council’s virtual media conference covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Gemfields accepted as corporate member of voluntary human rights initiative

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th May 2020 London-headquartered Gemfields, which owns the Kagem emerald mine, in Zambia, and the Montepuez ruby mine, in Mozambique, has become the first gemstone company in the world to be recognised as a corporate member by the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). The principles are... 

Full reopening of mining from June 1 – President Ramaphosa

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2020 Subject to strict Covid-19 protocols, mining will be allowed to reopen fully from June 1, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday. In his address on South Africa’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the President announced that South Africa would advance to level 3 from June 1, with an... 

Full reopening of mining from June 1 – President Ramaphosa
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Leon lists measures to attract mining investment in these challenging times  

By: Martin Creamer     22nd May 2020 South Africa should consider appointing an independent minerals regulator to speed up minerals licensing, Herbert Smith Freehills Africa co-chair Peter Leon said during a webinar this week. Responding to Patrick Leyden, who moderated the webinar entitled re-imagining the sub-Saharan mining... 

Leon lists measures to attract mining investment in these challenging times
Herbert Smith Freehills Africa Co-Chair Peter Leon spoke at a webinar covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Mining becoming significant corporate buyer of renewable energy ­– ICMM 

By: Martin Creamer     21st May 2020 The mining industry has started to become a significant corporate buyer of renewable energy in regions where these technologies have become reliable and cost-competitive compared with fossil fuel-based electricity, says the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). These regions include... 

Mining becoming significant corporate buyer of renewable energy ­– ICMM
Wind turbines at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Western Australia.

Gazetted Covid guideline restates much of what mining has already adopted 

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2020 The newly gazetted guideline to prevent, mitigate and manage the Covid-19 pandemic on mines is largely a restatement of what has already been adopted by the mining industry. Most of the requirements of the code of practice (COP) mandated in the gazette already form part of the standard operating... 

Gazetted Covid guideline restates much of what mining has already adopted
ENSafrica executive consultant Willem le Roux

Covid prevention a must at mines – gazette 

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2020 Covid-19 prevention, mitigation and management programmes must be established at mines using the guideline gazetted by Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza on Tuesday. The gazette notice states that this guideline provides minimum requirements for the compilation of a code of practice to prevent... 

Covid prevention a must at mines – gazette
Photo by Creamer Media
Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza

Mandatory code of Covid mining practice gazetted 

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2020 South Africa's guidelines for a mandatory Code of Practice (COP) to mitigate and manage the Covid-19 pandemic in the mining industry have been gazetted. Failure by employers to prepare and implement a mine's COP in line with the guidelines would constitute a criminal offence and a breach of the... 

Mandatory code of Covid mining practice gazetted
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

World’s largest emerald mine not exempt from pandemic

By: Tracy Hancock     15th May 2020 The turmoil stemming from the global Covid-19 outbreak represents one of the most serious challenges that many companies face globally, and the world’s largest emerald mine, Kagem, is no exception, says emerald and ruby mining and marketing company Gemfields CE Sean Gilbertson. Kagem, in... 

World’s largest  emerald mine not exempt from pandemic
RESTRICTED REVENUE Auctions accounted for about 93% of Gemfields’ 2019 revenue, but dates for upcoming auctions are uncertain

Judgment reserved at Mining Charter review hearing 

By: Martin Creamer     7th May 2020 A full bench has heard the application for a judicial review of certain aspects of the Mining Charter gazetted in September 2018. Judge President Mlambo, judges Vally and  Van Der Schyff reserved judgment on the application lodged by the Minerals Council South Africa on March 27, 2019, when the... 

Judgment reserved at Mining Charter review hearing
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa building in central Johannesburg.

Gemfields launches second short film highlighting what makes emeralds special

By: Donna Slater     4th May 2020 Gemstone miner Gemfields has launched the second of four short films, the latest edition of which is dedicated to the emerald – the birthstone of the month of May. The aim of these short films is to give viewers an understanding of what coloured gemstones really are, where they come from and... 

De Beers makes Covid donation to help women in host communities

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2020 Diamond mining and marketing company on Wednesday announced a $200 000 donation across its four producer partner countries of Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa to assist women’s shelters and support organisations to respond to an increase in gender-based violence resulting from Covid-19.... 

De Beers makes Covid donation to help women in host communities
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver

Morale high as Covid-masked South African miners get back to work 

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2020 Morale is reportedly high as Covid-masked and physically distanced South African mineworkers get back to mining underground for companies that have gone the extra mile to ensure that they have been fully remunerated and host communities generously funded during the national lockdown. In a... 

Morale high as Covid-masked South African miners get back to work
Mineworkers with personal protective equipment.

Gemfields recognised as corporate member by Voluntary Principles

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th April 2020 Ruby and emerald miner Gemfields has become the first and only gemstone producer to be recognised as a corporate member by Voluntary Principles. A globally recognised initiative by governments, companies and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to confront human rights abuses and violations, the... 

Opencast mines may return to 100% of capacity from May 1 – Patel

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2020 Opencast mines are permitted to return in phases to 100% operation from May 1 but underground mines must continue at 50% of production capacity, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Saturday. Speaking during a media briefing covered by Mining Weekly on South Africa’s easing from the... 

Opencast mines may return to 100% of capacity from May 1 – Patel
Openast mines like this one may return to 100% production capacity.

Learning curve still too steep to define ‘best practice’ mining response

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2020 The rapidly evolving Covid-19 crisis learning curve is still too steep to conclusively define what a ‘best practice’ response looks like from the mining industry, says the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), which is facilitating a rapid exchange of information and knowledge to... 

Learning curve still too steep to define ‘best practice’ mining response
ICMM CEO Tom Butler

Firm directive to ensure safe mining resumption

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on Thursday issued a firm directive to all mining operations to ensure safe start-up procedures as the sector prepares to ramp up to 50% of capacity. Mining Weekly can report that the directive is issued to ensure compliance with Section 5(1)... 

Firm directive to ensure safe mining resumption
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.

Gemfields suspends Montepuez operations amid Covid-19, beefs up security

By: Donna Slater     22nd April 2020 Gemstone miner Gemfields has suspended all but critical operations at its Montepuez ruby mine (MRM), in Mozambique, as of April 22, as a result of the continued global spread of Covid-19. Only security, maintenance and other essential services are being rendered to ensure the mine can resume... 

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