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Legislative Environment News

Pacific Rim freezes study on El Salvador gold mine until markets stabilise

By: Liezel Hill     12th February 2009 Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining will defer the completion of a feasibility study for its El Dorado project, because of volatility in the capital cost estimates, as well as permitting uncertainty, the firm announced on Thursday. Pacific Rim will conserve its cash until the input costs for the... 

SA union says Gold Fields plans to cut jobs

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th February 2009 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday urged South African mining firms to hold back on retrenchments, unless a company could prove ‘beyond reasonable doubts’ that it had run out of options. “Many companies are just bitter with Section 54 notices, and see job shedding as... 

SA delays imposing mining royalties to save jobs - Minister

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th February 2009 In an effort to mitigate job losses in the mining industry, South Africa’s finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Wednesday proposed that government delay the implementation of new mineral and mining royalties until March 2010. “This provides a boost to the industry of about R1,8-billion, which will... 

Gold Reserve gets injunction to block Rusoro bid

By: Liezel Hill     10th February 2009 The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has granted an interlocutory injunction restraining Rusoro Mining from proceeding with a hostile takeover bid for Gold Reserve, until a trial into the matter is concluded. Gold Reserve applied for an injunction against the bid because it said that Rusoro had... 

Absa-Barclays warn of 'subprime-like' BEE meltdown  

By: Martin Creamer     10th February 2009 Steps that South African banks might have to take to protect themselves against defaulting black economic empowerment (BEE) mining transactions would be "unpleasant, but necessary" if South Africa was to avoid a "subprime-like string of bank write-downs, or worse", Absa Capital-Barclays... 

Africa ready to help kick-start melting global economy - Anglo American

By: Martin Creamer     10th February 2009 Africa had an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the kickstarting of the downturned global economy as it prepared for a revival of the commodities boom, Anglo American South Africa head Kuseni Dlamini said on Tuesday. Dlamini told the Mining Indaba in Cape Town that the next source of... 

SA Minister offers helping hand to stricken mining industry

By: Martin Creamer     10th February 2009 South Africa's Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica on Tuesday offered a helping hand to stricken mining companies. Sonjica told the Mining Indaba in Cape Town: "If the department is called to supply an enabling environment, we are happy to come aboard." She urged that the impact of the... 

Agreement reached on closure plan for Yukon lead/zinc mine

By: Liezel Hill     9th February 2009 After more than five years of studies and consultations, a consensus has finally been reached on a closure plan for the 25 km2 Faro mine complex, in Canada's Yukon territory. A committee of senior officials from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the government of Yukon, the... 

OSC will hear Rusoro application this week

By: Liezel Hill     9th February 2009 The Ontario Securities Commission will hold a hearing on February 12 to consider Rusoro Mining's application that it terminate Gold Reserve Inc's shareholder rights plan. Rusoro is in the midst of a hostile takeover bid for Gold Reserve and wants the so-called 'poison pill' to be set aside in... 

Centerra expects revenue-based tax in new Kyrgyz pact

By: Liezel Hill     6th February 2009 Toronto-based gold producer Centerra Gold continues to hold talks with the government of Kyrgyzstan on a long-delayed investment agreement for the firm's Kumtor mine in the country and hopes to see a resolution this year, president and CEO Stephen Lang said on Friday. The company, in which... 

Fresnillo slams MAG's 'inappropriate delaying tactic'

By: Liezel Hill     6th February 2009 Silver-miner Fresnillo has asked the Ontario Securities Commission to review a decision by Vancouver-based MAG Silver, which said earlier this week it would suspend work on an independent valuation of itself. The valuation was required after Fresnillo announced it planned to make an offer for... 

Africo leaps on DRC contract deal

By: Liezel Hill     4th February 2009 TSX-listed Africo Resources, which is building a copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has reached an agreement with the country's government on amendments to the mining contract for the firm's Kalakundi project, it announced on Wednesday. Africo shares were up 39,13%, at C$0,64 a... 

SA mining task team warns against short notice retrenchments

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd February 2009 South Africa’s Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), under the auspices of the government-initiated task team, has urged mining companies to refrain from dismissing contract workers with only a 24-hour notice period. "We are gravely concerned about the 24-hour notices that are currently being... 

Rusoro asks regulator to terminate Gold Reserve poison pill

By: Liezel Hill     2nd February 2009 Rusoro Mining, which mines gold in Venezuela and is in the midst of a hostile bid for Spokane, Washington-based Gold Reserve Inc, has applied for an order from the Ontario Securities Commission to cease trade Gold Reserve's shareholder rights plan, the firm said on Monday. The rights plan, or... 

Harmony reports fatality at Free State mine

By: Liezel Hill     30th January 2009 A mineworker died in a locomotive accident at South African gold-miner Harmony Gold's Masimong mine, in the Free State province, the company said on Friday evening. Management and the Department of Minerals and Energy will begin investigations into the incident on Monday, the firm said.  

Zimbabwe proposes sweeping mining industry reforms

By: Oscar Nkala     30th January 2009 Zimbabwe’s central bank has proposed sweeping reforms to the country’s mining sector which will leave the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation as the sole ‘explorer and discoverer’ of minerals, a strict monitoring of the production and refining and valuing of precious metals on site and a... 

Mineral code custodians striving to keep industry on the straight and narrow

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     30th January 2009 The custodians of the worlds’ minerals reporting standards are striving to keep the industry on the straight and narrow. There is a growing convergence of standards globally and an effort is being made to prevent companies from making exaggerated claims about their mineral assets. Developing and... 

Mineral code custodians striving to keep industry on the straight and narrow

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     30th January 2009 The custodian’s of the worlds’ mineral reporting standard are striving to keep the industry on the straight and narrow. There is a growing convergence of standards globally and effort is being made to prevent companies from making exaggerated claims about their mineral assets.  

Canadian miners on budget: 'Overall, pretty good'

By: Liezel Hill     28th January 2009 The Canadian mining industry on Wednesday welcomed measures proposed by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in his Federal budget as “appropriate for the times”. “Overall, it's a pretty good budget,” Mining Association of Canada (MAC) vice president of economic affairs Paul Stothart told Mining Weekly... 

Prioritise safety wear, local company urges mining houses

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd January 2009 While South Africa embraces a stringent safety and health legislation in the mining industry, uniform specialist company, the Kit Group’s mining division operating officer Richard Christophers says that safety wear needs to play a stronger role in the industry, especially in smaller, independent... 

Harmony aims to halve lost-time injury rate

By: Jonathan Faurie     23rd January 2009 Gold-mining major Harmony Gold is targeting a 50% improvement in the company's lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) by the end of the year. 

Rusoro extends bid for defiant Gold Reserve

By: Liezel Hill     20th January 2009 Vancouver-based Rusoro Mining has given shareholders in Gold Reserve Inc until February 18 to accept its takeover offer, after the original offer period was to have closed this week. However, Gold Reserve, which has rejected the bid as too low, lost no time in shooting out a press release to... 

SA’s Peter Leon selected to chair IBA mining law committee

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th January 2009 Law firm Webber Wentzel on Monday announced that the head of its mining and regulatory practice group, Peter Leon, had been elected as the chairperson of the mining law committee of the International Bar Association (IBA). The appointment would be valid for two years, and was effective from... 

Civil society bodies unhappy with Zim's further participation in diamond certification scheme

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     16th January 2009 As the economic and humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe spirals further into misery and ruin, the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) is pushing for the suspension of Zimbabwe from the rough diamond certification scheme.  

Crystallex in the dark over Chavez comments

By: Liezel Hill     14th January 2009 Toronto-based Crystallex International has not been informed by the Venezuelan government about any changes in the status of its Las Cristinas gold project, the firm said on Wednesday. The company was responding to comments reportedly made by President Hugo Chavez, that the project would be... 

Canada's Raitt will prioritise hard-hit towns, continued investment 

By: Liezel Hill     9th January 2009 Improving access to funds for companies so that they continue to invest in new projects, and ensuring support for hard-hit resources-based towns and communities will be at the top of the list this year for Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt, said in Toronto on Friday. “Canadians... 

Moto contract review talks end, govt to take 30% stake

By: Liezel Hill     7th January 2009 TSX- and Aim-listed Moto Goldmines said on Wednesday that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has finished a review and renegotiation of its mining contract, and that the company will retain its 70% stake in the Moto gold project. A government-owned company, L'Office des Mines d'or de... 

Vatukoula secures deal on concessions, exemptions from Fiji

By: Liezel Hill     7th January 2009 Aim-listed Vatukoula Gold Mines (formerly River Diamonds) has reached an agreement with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning of Fiji, which will grant “key concessions and exemptions” for the company's Vatukoula mine in the country. The Ministry has agreed to remove a 25% levy on gross... 

Delta sues Liberia govt over iron-ore concession

By: Liezel Hill     22nd December 2008 Diversified resources firm Delta Mining Consolidated is taking legal action against the government of Liberia, challenging the State's decision not to award a $1,6-billion iron-ore concession to the company, despite having earlier declared it the provisional winner. Delta has launched an... 

Ecuador gold plant may be commissioned by end-March - Dynasty

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 TSX-listed Dynasty Metals & Mining is nearing the end of construction of its Zaruma gold plant, in Ecuador, and plans to start commissioning during the third quarter of 2009. “President Correa and other senior Mining Ministry representatives continue to express publicly and privately their... 

Gold Reserve seeks injunction against Rusoro offer

By: Liezel Hill     16th December 2008 TSX- and Amex-listed Gold Reserve has filed an action in the Ontario Superior Court against Rusoro Mining and its financial adviser Endeavour Financial, seeking an injunction restraining both firms from going ahead with an unsolicited offer for Gold Reserve announced on Monday by Rusoro. Gold... 

Entrée, approached by 'stressed' rivals, may make acquisitions

By: Liezel Hill     16th December 2008 TSX-listed Entrée Gold, which is exploring properties in Mongolia, China and the US, will consider buying assets, as difficult market conditions make acquisition valuations too good to resist. The company has about C$58-million in cash and no debt, and, having been approached by a number of... 

Norilsk appoints Grand Duke Romanov as advisor

By: Liezel Hill     12th December 2008 Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest producer of nickel and palladium, has appointed Russia's Grand Duke Georgy Romanov as advisor to the group's general director. Romanov, who claims to be a descendant of Russia's Imperial family, will represent the company's interests in the European Union,... 

New safety legislation will drive away SA mining investment – lawyer

By: Guy Copans     12th December 2008 The recently passed Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill, which charges mining companies for criminal liability while simultaneously imposing administrative fines, is unconstitutional, and will drive away investment in South African mining, argues Brink Cohen Le Roux partner Willem le Roux at... 

If Bill becomes Act, it will drive away investment in South African mining, argues lawyer

By: Guy Copans     12th December 2008 The recently passed Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill, which charges mining companies for criminal liability while simultaneously imposing administrative fines, is unconstitutional, and will drive away investment in South African mining, argues Brink Cohen Le Roux partner Willem Le Roux at... 

Rio Tinto says Guinea to take northern half of Simandou property

By: Liezel Hill     11th December 2008 The government of Guinea is planning to take away half of Rio Tinto's large Simandou iron-ore concession, the resources giant said on Thursday. The company received a letter from the Minister of Mines, “which appears to indicate that the Council of Ministers has instructed the Ministry of Mines... 

Court decision won't affect mine schedule – Gabriel

By: Liezel Hill     10th December 2008 TSX-listed Gabriel Resources has moved to allay concerns that the decision of the Supreme Court of Romania to annul an archaeological discharge certificate for the company's delayed Rosia Montana project will affect other permitting processes for the mine. “The cancellation of [the certificate]... 

Crystallex hit with lawsuit

By: Liezel Hill     10th December 2008 Toronto-based Crystallex International, which has been waiting for years for permission to build a gold mine in Venezuela, is now facing a securities fraud class action lawsuit. The action has been filed by New York-based law firm Sarraf Gentile, on behalf of investors who bought Crystallex... 

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