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Mineral Sands News

Moon metals discovery aids development of lunar formation theories

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd July 2020 Scientists using data from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft have discovered evidence that the Moon might, underneath its surface, be richer in metals (such as iron and titanium) than had previously been believed. Nasa is... 

Coltan supply from SMB mine in Congo unaffected by clashes – mines minister

By: Reuters     2nd July 2020 Activity at Societe Miniere de Bisunzu's (SMB) coltan mine in Congo's North Kivu province is continuing as normal and supply chains were not disrupted despite violent clashes last week, the region's mines minister said on Thursday. SMB has some of Africa's biggest deposits of coltan, an ore rich... 

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.

More offtake secured at Coburn

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd July 2020 Mineral sands developer Strandline Resources has secured a binding offtake agreement for the zircon product from its Coburn project, in Western Australia. The company on Thursday said that the offtake agreement with Chilches Materials covers some 7 000 t/y of premium zircon product for the first... 

Fingerboards gets a A$144m push

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th June 2020 Investment adviser Appian Capital Advisory has announced a A$144-million investment into the Fingerboards mineral sands project, in Victoria. Unlisted Kalbar Operations is hoping to extract some 170-million tonnes of ore, containing 8-million tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate over a mine life... 

Synthetic rutile sales won't meet target - Iluka

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th June 2020 Mineral sands miner Iluka on Friday warned shareholders that synthetic rutile sales under its existing take-or-pay contracts for 2020 was unlikely to meet the targeted 175 000 t. The ASX-listed company noted that in the year to date, only 78 000 t of synthetic rutile has been sold under these... 

Congo's SMB says three dead in attack on its coltan mine

By: Reuters     24th June 2020 Société Minière de Bisunzu (SMB) on Wednesday said three people were killed and three others were injured in a grenade attack on its coltan mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday night. SMB's mine near Rubaya, North Kivu province, has seen an increase in violent clashes between... 

NAIF approves A$150m loan for Coburn

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd June 2020 The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has approved a loan of up to A$150-million towards the development of the Coburn heavy mineral sands project, in Western Australia. Project developer Strandline Resources on Monday said that the loan would be provided in two tranches, and... 

Fort Cady borate mine construction accelerated

By: Simone Liedtke     18th June 2020 ASX-listed American Pacific Borates has accelerated construction activities at its Fort Cady borate mine, in the US. This follows the June 1 announcement of A$77-million raised to fully finance Phase 1A of the mine. 

Bluejay expects Greenland consultation decision this week

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th June 2020 Aim-listed Bluejay Mining is waiting for the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources to finalise how stakeholder consultation will work going forward, considering challenges brought on by Covid-19. Bluejay has to undertake these alternative methods of handling and delivering the stakeholder... 

More studies planned at Mannar Island

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th June 2020 A scoping study into the Mannar Island heavy mineral sands project, in Sri Lanka, has indicated that the project was economically robust, with owner Titanium Sands now vowing to undertake further definitive feasibility work. The ASX-listed company noted that initial production from the Mannar... 

More border openings wanted for returning workers – Minerals Council 

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2020 More border openings are wanted for returning foreign mineworkers. As of Thursday last week, not a single foreign mineworker had re-entered South Africa from neighbouring foreign countries. “Only a limited number of border posts are open,” Minerals Council South Africa environment, health and... 

More border openings wanted for returning workers – Minerals Council
Minerals Council South Africa Covid-19 Update covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

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.

Thunderbird review progressing - Sheffield

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th June 2020 Mineral sands miner Sheffield Resources on Wednesday said that a project development review of the Thunderbird project, in Western Australia, had identified a small range of development strategies. Sheffield in February this year announced a re-think of the Thunderbird project, pausing the hunt... 

Northern Minerals hunting for new CEO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th June 2020 George Bauk has resigned from his role as CEO at heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals. Northern Minerals at the end of last week said that current non-executive chairperson Colin McCavana would temporarily assume the role of executive chairperson. 

Kazera acquires interest in diamond mine, mineral sands opportunity

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th June 2020 Aim-listed Kazera Global has announced the conditional acquisition of a controlling interest in a near-term producing diamond mine, as well as in a heavy mineral sands (HMS) opportunity in South Africa. Kazera will acquire a 90% stake in Deep Blue Minerals (DBM), for £600 000 in shares to be... 

Updated DFS at Coburn improves economics

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th June 2020 An updated definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the Coburn mineral sands project, in Western Australia, has improved the project economics, owner Strandline Resources said. The updated DFS now incorporated binding offtake agreements, technical optimisation work, an updated mineral sands... 

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

Kenmare pays Mozambique nearly $8m in royalties, taxes

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th May 2020 London-listed Kenmare Resources has paid the Mozambican government $7.9-million for 2019. This includes $5.6-million in royalties and $2.3-million in taxes.  

Richards Bay titanium dioxide plant construction awaits Level 1 to restart

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th May 2020 KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has confirmed that the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone will forge ahead with construction of a titanium dioxide plant as soon as the lockdown reached Level 1. Dube-Ncube says that the directors... 

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

Dubbo demerger forges ahead

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th May 2020 The share price of ASX-listed Alkane Resources rose by nearly 11% on Wednesday as plans to progress the demerger of its subsidiary Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) progressed. Alkane on Wednesday said that the company’s board has resolved to progress the demerger of ASM, which holds the... 

Dubbo demerger forges ahead

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

Maiden resource at Tormin's Northern Beaches

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th May 2020 A maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee compliant resource of 2.5-million tonnes, at 23.5% total heavy minerals has been declared at the Northern Beaches of the Tormin mineral sands operation, in South Africa. “This represents yet another important milestone for our company. The delivery of a... 

RBM steps up Covid-19 health and safety measures for employees, nearby communities

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th May 2020 In its continued efforts to defeat Covid-19, mineral sands producer Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) is issuing its permanent employees, contract workers and their immediate families with cloth masks. Employees are also being issued with personal thermometers to monitor their body temperature. 

Eramet sells Norwegian ilmenite plant Tronox

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2020 Global miner Eramet has signed a binding agreement with Tronox Holdings to sell the company’s stake in TiZir Titanium & Iron (TTI). The transaction will transfer control to Tronox of TTI’s Norwegian ilmenite transformation plant, for a consideration of $300-milllion.  

World’s top mining companies committed to climate change solutions – ICMM 

By: Martin Creamer     13th May 2020 Twenty seven of the world's leading mining and metals companies and 36 associations are committed to climate change solutions through their membership of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Mining Weekly can today report. The ICMM is an international organisation dedicated to a... 

World’s top mining companies committed to climate change solutions – ICMM
International Council on Mining and Metals CEO Tom Butler

Mineral sands offering an opportunity for Australia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th May 2020 Australia is poised to take advantage of global mineral sands demand, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said on Wednesday, pointing out that Australia hosted the world’s largest mineral sands deposits and was home to a number of active mineral sands companies. The MCA noted in a new report... 

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.

Exxaro provides more Covid relief, releases ESG report plus financials 

By: Martin Creamer     4th May 2020 Diversified mining and renewable energy company Exxaro on Monday pledged a further R3.45-million aid in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, while also releasing its integrated sustainability report and making available its audited financial statements for 2019. The latest R3.45-million to assist... 

Exxaro provides more Covid relief, releases ESG report plus financials
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Proper wash-bays prove beneficial

By: Halima Frost     1st May 2020 Investing in a ‘proper’ wash-bay water cannon can save money and time on vehicle upkeep and maintenance for an opencast operation, says fire protection supplier DoseTech MD Mike Feldon. He notes that operations often uses standard fire protection ‘monitors’ or water cannons, which are not fit for... 

Proper wash-bays  prove beneficial
WORKING AT THE WASH BAY A well-equipped wash bay has multiple benefits for an opencast operation

Macmahon tipped as contractor at Coburn

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 ASX-listed Strandline Resources has tipped contractor Macmahon as the preferred contractor for its Coburn mineral sands project, in Western Australia. The two companies have inked an early contractor involvement agreement for early works associated with the contract mining services, and will now... 

Iluka trims zircon forecast

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources has announced plans to cut its zircon production by as much as 110 000 t for the 2020 financial year, on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. The miner told shareholders that the Chinese ceramic industry went into total lockdown during February and was shut... 

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