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Legislative Environment News

MQA launches initiative to improve 
maths and science education

By: Jonathan Faurie     21st August 2009 In response to the growing need to resolve the country’s increasing skills crisis, the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) has recently launched its tutoring programme to promote the development of maths and science at high school level. 

Merafe Resources CEO decries raw chrome exports 

By: Jonathan Faurie     14th August 2009 The exporting of raw chrome ore to China is still a problem that is a thorn in the side of the South African ferrochrome industry, however, moves to block such exports are being made at the highest level, reports ferrochrome major Merafe Resources. 

Zambia won't refund controversial mine tax payments

By: Reuters     12th August 2009 Zambia will not refund foreign mining companies millions of dollars they paid in taxes when a new controversial law was in force, but could revise existing taxes, the attorney-general said on Wednesday. Mumba Malila said the development agreements, which gave the mine owners the right to... 

West Coast communities becoming restless over negative impacts of diamond-mining

By: Jonathan Faurie     7th August 2009 Diamond mining on the west coast of South Africa, a mining hot-spot for the precious stone, has permanently altered the social landscape of the nearby communities, water supplies to the communities, and marine and plant life. 

Role of politicians-turned-mine-bosses a cause for concern

By: Jonathan Faurie     7th August 2009 The role of past politicians, who have moved on to become significant role players in the mining industry, is negatively affecting the mining industry reports an independent research company, the Bench Marks Foundation. 

Are Mining Charter and Codes of Good Practice bedfellows?

By: Jonathan Faurie     7th August 2009 Cast in stone is that South Africa’s Mining Charter must be reviewed every five years to see how well it is doing and that deadline is coming up in October. 

Nationalisation unlikely, as buying out mining investors would cost R1,3-trillion

By: Jade Davenport     7th August 2009 Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon said last week that the South African government cannot afford the cost of nationalising the country’s mining sector. 

China buying to benefit SA iron-ore, coal producers

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th August 2009 China’s demand for raw materials would benefit South Africa’s iron-ore and coal producers during the economic downturn, and that country’s fiscal stimulus package pumped liquidity into the market, said financial services provider Nedbanks’ chief economist Nicky Weimar. Speaking at a financial... 

Investors loath to pour money into juniors as liquidity dries up 

By: Loni Prinsloo     31st July 2009 “The longer the time horizon of an investment, the more sensitive projects are to macroeconomic risks. Remember, with green fields projects the investor could, in principal, be more than 15 years away from the first cash-flow. That is a crucial aspect, increasing the risk for investors.” 

Crystallex still awaits response on permit appeal

By: Liezel Hill     30th July 2009 Toronto-based Crystallex International said on Wednesday it has not received a response from Venezuela's Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, to the company's appeal in June 2008 against a decision to deny a permit for its Las Cristinas gold project, in the country. Crystallex, which... 

NGOs helping world tribunal to uphold human rights in SA mining legislation

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2009 Four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had joined together in seeking to assist the international arbitration tribunal in interpreting the relevant South African mining legislation in light of the country’s constitutional and international human rights obligations, Wits University’s Centre... 

Calls for the nationalisation of South African mines 

By: Loni Prinsloo     17th July 2009 The African National Congress (ANC) Youth Leagues' call for the nationalisation of South African mines has ignited diversified debate locally and internationally. 

SA's nationalisation talk creating investor shivers – Canada-SA Chamber

By: Martin Creamer     15th July 2009 Talk of the nationalisation of South Africa’s mining industry was creating shivers in the international investment community despite the rebuttal of the South African government, Canada-South Africa Chamber of Business president Bruce Shapiro said on Wednesday. Shapiro told the Terrapinn African... 

Most African mining jurisdictions moving towards market economy – Leon 

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2009 The move in most African mining jurisdictions was “very much” towards a market economy and away from nationalisation, International Bar Association mining law chairperson Peter Leon said on Tuesday. Leon, who is also a partner at corporate law firm Webber Wentzel, was commenting on recent calls... 

Toxic water level rises 
as government, miners 
bicker about the cost of cleaning up

By: Loni Prinsloo     10th July 2009 Disputes between the government and mining companies over the cost of cleaning up the toxic water caused by mining, have led to the rapid rise in the water level following the partial closure of a water treatment plant outside Randfontein. 

First mine possible by end 2010, says SA's new State-owned mining company

By: Martin Creamer     7th July 2009 South Africa’s State-owned mining company, which was set in motion late last year, might create its first opencast coal-mine by the end of 2010. Sizwe Madondo, the CEO of the State-owned African Exploration Mining & Finance Corporation (AEMFC), told Mining Weekly Online on Tuesday that AEMFC was... 

Nationalisation hot potato may resurface as Chamber addresses Parliament 

By: Martin Creamer     6th July 2009 As the South African mine-nationalisation hot potato continued to be tossed about with seeming defiance by ANC Youth League on Monday, Chamber of Mines CE Mzolisi Diliza flew out of Johannesburg on his way to Cape Town in preparation for the Chamber’s maiden presentation to the new Parliamentary... 

Juniors unhappy with newly released codes of good practice for the mining sector

By: Loni Prinsloo     3rd July 2009 The South African Mining Development Association (Samda) states that it finds the recently-released Codes of Good Practice for the South African Minerals Industry alarming with respect to the negative impact that it is likely to have on the development of the junior mining and black... 

Zim to introduce hefty levies 
on unused mining claims

By: Oscar Nkala     26th June 2009 The Zimbabwe government says it is in the final stages of imposing a new regime of levies aimed at ridding the gold-mining sector of companies and individuals who are holding onto unused mining claims. 

Mining house CEOs not yet criminally liable for 
health and safety breaches – lawyer

By: Jonathan Faurie     19th June 2009 The tragic recent spate of miner deaths has given rise to inaccurate reports and misinformation that that CEOs, among others, of these mines would face criminal liability under the amended Mine Health and Safety Act (MHS). 

Uranium One gains as Kazatomprom assures no change to deals

By: Liezel Hill     12th June 2009 Shares in Vancouver-based Uranium One rose 6,3% on Friday, to C$2,85 apiece by 10:50 in Toronto, after Kazakh State-owned uranium miner Kazatomprom said that it would honour existing agreements with foreign partners, including Uranium One. Last month, the company's shares plunged when a Kazakh... 

Centerra's Boroo mine licence suspended for 3 months

By: Liezel Hill     12th June 2009 Toronto-based Centerra Gold has been informed that the Minerals Resources Authority of Mongolia has suspended the main operating licences for the firm's Boroo mine in the country, it announced on Friday. The notice was based on a report from the State Specialized Inspection Agency which recently... 

'Draconian' mine safety regulations defended 

By: Jonathan Faurie     12th June 2009 The amendments to the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996, described by some as unnecessarily draconian, are set to make a significant impact on the South African mining industry. 

May output up 10% at New Dawn's Zimbabwe mine

By: Liezel Hill     11th June 2009 TSX-listed New Dawn Mining produced 916 oz of gold during May at its Turk mine, in Zimbabwe, an increase of 10,1% compared with output figures for April. It had originally estimated production for May at between 750 oz and 805 oz, New Dawn said on Thursday.  

Zambia moves to boost stake in foreign-owned mining firms

By: Jade Davenport     11th June 2009 The Zambian government on Wednesday confirmed its intention to increase its shareholding in foreign-owned copper mining companies by 25%. Zambian Mines and Minerals Development Minister Maxwell Mwale told delegates attending the 19th annual World Economic Forum on Africa that this move would... 

Supreme Court orders Massey Energy appeal ruling revisited

By: Liezel Hill     8th June 2009 The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the West Virginia Supreme Court must revisit a 2008 ruling that reversed an earlier $50-million jury verdict against coal giant Massey Energy. In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court justices said that West Virginia Supreme Court justice Brent Benjamin should... 

Govt adopts punitive approach to violations of mine health and safety regulations 

By: Jonathan Faurie     29th May 2009 The newly-formed Department of Mining has taken the first steps towards adopting a punitive approach to mine health and safety regulation.


Companies falling foul of anticorruption laws owing to lack of awareness – KPMG

By: Loni Prinsloo     29th May 2009 Multidisciplinary advisory firm KPMG forensic MD Herman de Beer says there is no doubt that companies today appear to be exposing themselves to increased risk of prosecution through a lack of awareness of antibribery rules. 

Mining majors taking steps to achieve 2013 health and safety milestones

By: Jonathan Faurie     22nd May 2009 Steps towards improving south Africa’s dismal mine health and safety record have been taken by mining majors looking towards best practice principles to improve safety records. 

Santa Cruz strike over, mines see no impact on production

By: Francisca Pouiller     21st May 2009 An eight hour strike last week by mine workers in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz did not have any material impact on production levels, a senior industry official told Mining Weekly Online. “The work and production were not affected, at all, as the problem was rapidly resolved, and the... 

Sallies requests review of $1,2m Honeywell ruling

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2009 Fluorspar miner Sallies has requested the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland to review the International Chamber of Commerce Arbitral Tribunal’s $1 243 824 finding against it in the case brought by Honeywell International. Sallies has also requested the Swiss federal court to instruct the... 

Timminco will 'vigorously' defend against misrepresentation suit

By: Liezel Hill     19th May 2009 Canadian silicon producer Timminco confirmed on Tuesday that it has accepted service of a proposed class action, launched in the Ontario Superior Court last week. The plaintiff will need to get the permission of the court to bring the class action, which alleges that Timminco and others made... 

Canadian miners propose doubling flow-through credit for 2 years 

By: Liezel Hill     15th May 2009 The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) has asked the federal government to consider doubling the investment tax credit incentive for mineral exploration, to help exploration companies survive the financial crisis. Canada's flow-through share programme is aimed at attracting... 

Govt eyes 20% safety noncompliance reduction by year-end

By: Jonathan Faurie     15th May 2009 The Department of Minerals and energy (DME) is eyeing a 20% decrease by the end of the year in the number of companies that do not comply with health and safety regulations specified by the Mine Health and Safety Act. 

Zambia’s Lumwana Mining inks five-year concentrate offtake deal

By: Jonathan Faurie     15th May 2009 Zambian copper mining company Lumwana Mining Company (LMC), part of the Equinox group, has signed a five year concentrate offtake beneficiation agreement with Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). The deal is for between 70 000 t/y and 80 000 t/y of concentrates from the Lumwana mine with an option by... 

Aboriginal relations under the spotlight at Canadian industry gathering

By: Liezel Hill     11th May 2009 The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum's annual conference got under way in earnest on Monday morning, with a plenary session on 'Canada's global impact', featuring industry bigwigs like De Beers Canada CEO Jim Gowans and Xstrata Nickel chief Ian Pearce. But it was the... 

Chamber heaps praise on Zuma’s new Cabinet, singles out five by name

By: Martin Creamer     11th May 2009 South Africa’s Chamber of Mines on Monday heaped praise on President Jacob Zuma’s new Cabinet, singling out no fewer than five new Cabinet Ministers by name and pledging to develop constructive relationships at high level. In an uncharacteristic highlighting of the widespread interface of the... 

Argentina celebrates mining day, Pascua Lama go-ahead

By: Francisca Pouiller     8th May 2009 The construction of Barrick Gold's Pascua Lama project, on the border of Argentina and Chile, is expected to contribute significantly to local economic development, government officials and company representatives said this week. Barrick announced plans to build the $3-billion project on... 

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