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Photo of Week

NEW MINERALS MINISTER SWORN IN

By: Martin Creamer     6th June 2014 South Africa’s new Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi is seen being sworn in at a ceremony conducted last month by South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. No sooner had the oath of office been taken than Ramatlhodi found himself in the deep end of the 19-week-old strike in the... 

NEW MINERALS MINISTER SWORN IN

TURKISH TRAGEDY

By: Martin Creamer     30th May 2014 Demonstrators light candles at a sit-in protest in Istanbul, Turkey, for 301 coalminers who died this month at the Soma Coal Mining Company, mainly from carbon monoxide gas, which spread quickly through the mine after an explosion. Five company officials have been arrested on negligence charges... 

TURKISH TRAGEDY

HEAVY HAULAGE

By: Martin Creamer     23rd May 2014 A donkey carrying sacks of coal walks through a narrow tunnel of a coal mine in Choa Saidan Shah in Pakistan’s Punjab province, where miners use the strong, patient animals to transport the coal they mine from underground to surface. The sacks weigh some 20 kg and the donkeys do many trips a day... 

HEAVY HAULAGE

GOLD DIGGERS

By: Martin Creamer     16th May 2014 Artisanal gold diggers doing spade work at the Djoubissi openpit gold mine 50 km north of Bambari, a dusty town in the heart of the troubled Central African Republic (CAR). The World Trade Organisation estimates that CAR’s mining sector accounts for 7% of the gross domestic product. Rough... 

GOLD DIGGERS

COAL BARGES IN

By: Martin Creamer     9th May 2014 Coal features prominently as cargo barged on America’s Ohio river, where more than 41 dams control the water levels so that barges can move up and down carrying 150-million tons a year of mainly bulk energy commodities. Seen pushing coal barges upstream in Louisville, Kentucky, is the Janis R... 

COAL BARGES IN

COPPER CROPPER

By: Martin Creamer     2nd May 2014 Among the copper mining executives who visited Chile this month to discuss oversupply concerns was Rio Tinto copper CEO Jean Sebastien Jacques, who is seen gesturing as he emphasises that weaker prices and tighter financing have resulted in mining companies cutting their exploration expenditures... 

COPPER CROPPER

GILDING THE LILY

By: Martin Creamer     25th April 2014 A vehicle emerges from the entrance to the Lily gold mine in Barberton, owned by the Australian Stock Exchange-listed Vantage Goldfields, which is taking steps to ramp up the mine’s production to 32 000 oz of gold a year in 2015. A shallow, underground operation using mechanised mining methods... 

GILDING THE LILY

THE LONG WALK TO NOWHERE

By: Martin Creamer     18th April 2014 On January 23, 70 000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) followed their leader Joseph Mathunjwa into strike action at the Rustenburg mines of Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum, and Impala Platinum, many of them loss-making so giving into basic entry-level pay... 

THE LONG WALK TO NOWHERE

NEUTRALISING POLLUTED MINE WATER

By: Martin Creamer     11th April 2014 Gold-hued mine sand, light blue water and dark green vegetation are what can be seen from a facility being built to neutralise acid mine drainage (AMD) in the former gold-mining town of Germiston. A pump station, neutralisation facility and sludge pipeline form part of a R319-million Department... 

NEUTRALISING POLLUTED MINE WATER

CRUCIAL COAL CASH

By: Martin Creamer     4th April 2014 Coal earns more foreign exchange for South Africa than any other commodity. Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), shown here, operates R7-billion worth of assets at its 2.2-km-long, six-berth, four-shiploader quay. RBCT’s tipplers are able offload 100-wagon trains in fewer than two hours. The yard... 

CRUCIAL COAL CASH

PUT ANOTHER NICKEL IN

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2014 Jinchuan Group chairperson Yang Zhiqiang speaks during an interview in Hong Kong this month. Yang said in an interview that the price of nickel would rise as a result of China’s focus on environmental protection, which would force more than half of the nation’s nickel pig-iron makers to stop... 

PUT ANOTHER NICKEL IN

LAB IN A STAIRWELL

By: Martin Creamer     21st March 2014 Witwatersrand University Mining Engineering School head Fred Cawood (left) is seen in discussion with Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer on the school’s "stairwell laboratory", which is monitoring signals sent from roof to floor through the built-to-scale steel shaft structures shown. This is all... 

LAB IN A STAIRWELL

NUCLEAR WASTE FEAR

By: Martin Creamer     14th March 2014 German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, right, and Radiation Protection Federal Office head Wolfram Koenig visit the Asse nuclear waste disposal centre in an unused mine near the village of Remlingen, in central Germany. The Asse pit is used as a deep geological repository for radioactive... 

NUCLEAR WASTE FEAR

COST OVERRUNS AND DELAYS

By: Martin Creamer     7th March 2014 Sino Iron, the large $8-billion magnetite project in Australia, is being built by Chinese company Citic Pacific, whose chairperson Chang Zhenming is seen in Hong Kong presenting 9%-higher yearly earnings, despite costs doubling within the company’s iron-ore unit. State-backed Citic is now... 

COST OVERRUNS AND DELAYS

FANTASTIC FABRICATION

By: Martin Creamer     28th February 2014 This steel headgear is among the largest fabricated steel headgear frames in the world. Its commanding height outdoes the elevation of the concrete ventilation shaft at Gold Fields’ South Deep gold mine near the town of Westonaria, west of Johannesburg. With the main shaft, it makes up the Twin... 

FANTASTIC FABRICATION

FROM METALS HUB TO WASTELAND

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2014 Refik Nuhanovic carries a bag of coal from the conveyor of a coal-mine in Zivinice, near Tuzla, in north-eastern Bosnia, which is a former metals industry hub turned wasteland – and the home to one in five of Bosnia's 27% registered unemployed. This month’s worker unrest blew the lid off years of... 

FROM METALS HUB TO WASTELAND

TRAGIC MINE INCIDENT

By: Martin Creamer     14th February 2014 Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu addresses miners at the Doornkop gold mine after the worst mining accident in South Africa in five years. Rescuers managed to recover the bodies of eight dead mineworkers and searched for another missing worker 1 733 m below surface. The tragedy... 

TRAGIC MINE INCIDENT

INDONESIAN INTERVENTION

By: Martin Creamer     7th February 2014 The Indonesian government has imposed a ban on the export of unprocessed nickel as part of an initiative to add value domestically. Failure to comply with the ban could result in producer companies losing their licenses to mine. Shown is the kind of local value addition that the Indonesian... 

INDONESIAN INTERVENTION

MORE PREPAREDNESS

By: Martin Creamer     31st January 2014 Armed security officers showed more preparedness in the latest platinum strike search cars outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg. The Association of Construction and Mineworkers Union's (AMCU's) strike within the platinum sectors is expected to test the extent to which... 

MORE PREPAREDNESS

IVORIAN MANGANESE

By: Martin Creamer     24th January 2014 The Ivory Coast aims to quadruple its manganese production to one million tons of ore a year, boosted by new investments from the China National Geological and Mining Corporation (CGM) in partnership with Ivory Coast State mining company Sodemi. CGM has invested $12.44-million in the reopened the... 

IVORIAN MANGANESE

RAIL COMING TO THE PARTY

By: Martin Creamer     17th January 2014 Coal exports from South Africa’s private-sector-owned Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), above, rose to a record 70.2-million tons in 2013, 1.9-million tons more than the 68.3-million tons of 2012, thanks largely to State-owned transport enterprise Transnet railing 70.42-million tons, 2.8% more.... 

RAIL COMING TO THE PARTY

MATCHING RAIL TO PORT

By: Martin Creamer     13th December 2013 The State-owned Transnet Freight Rail will from this month rail eight 200-wagon Shongololo trains a day from the coalfields of Mpumalanga – double the previous four – to the private-sector-owned Richards Bay Coal Terminal. The Shongololo service, launched in July, has reduced locomotive cycle... 

MATCHING RAIL TO PORT

GRINDING OUT A RESULT

By: Martin Creamer     6th December 2013 South African manufacturer Scaw last week broke ground on the site of its proposed new 50 000 t/y grinding media manufacturing plant in Tema, Ghana, where it already has a local sales presence. The $40-million facility, being built in partnership with Ghana’s Jospong and South Africa’s Guma... 

GRINDING OUT A RESULT

UGANDAN GOLD DUST

By: Martin Creamer     29th November 2013 Photographs like this one of gold-dust-covered Ugandan youth last week appeared in prestigious newspapers ranging from the Washington Post in the US and the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. The young artisanal diggers were depicted in the photo shoot extracting gold from shallow open pits in... 

UGANDAN GOLD DUST

SOUTH AFRICA IS NOT EVEN REPLACING PLATINUM CAPACITY

By: Martin Creamer     22nd November 2013 South Africa’s platinum investment has been so poor in the last few years that it has failed even to keep pace with the replacement of production capacity, let alone provide an increase in production capacity. As a result, the country will be unable to take full advantage of the excellent... 

SOUTH AFRICA IS NOT EVEN REPLACING PLATINUM CAPACITY

FEISTY FOCUS

By: Martin Creamer     15th November 2013 Cash inflow into AngloGold Ashanti from operations rose 128% in the three months to September 30 to $319-million as a result of a feisty management focus, which saw 12% more gold produced and costs fall by 10%. Two brand new mines in Australia and Africa delivered lower cost gold in the nick of... 

POW-WOW IN THE GOLDEN CITY

By: Martin Creamer     8th November 2013 The three-day Joburg 2013 Investing in Resources and Mining in Africa conference attracted the who’s who of South African mining and helped the local mining industry to take many more strides towards returning the sector to an engine of economic growth for the country. At the forefront of the... 

BOLIVIAN MINEWORKERS MARCH

By: Martin Creamer     1st November 2013 These Bolivian mineworkers are seen commemorating the anniversary of the violent revolt of El Alto ten years ago, which arose from grievances over natural gas exportation and coca eradication. The conflict toppled the then president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and brought to power Bolivia’s former... 

NO SILVER LINING

By: Martin Creamer     25th October 2013 The plan of TSX-listed Gabriel Resources to mine gold and silver from a proposed opencast operation in Roșia Montană in the Carpathian Mountains, has hit strong opposition from marchers, like these in Bucharest, who were among an estimated 4 000 who staged one of the longest-running... 

The Sky Car That Manganese Mining Built

By: Martin Creamer     18th October 2013 The town of Chiatura, 220 km north-west of Tbilisi, in Georgia, was built on a bedrock of manganese ore. Sky cars, like the one shown in this picture, were built to facilitate manganese mining activity at the time of the Soviet Union. The 15 sky cars, which still operate along 21 routes spanning... 

NO MINE, IT'S MINE

By: Martin Creamer     11th October 2013 Hundreds of indigenous Brazilians converged on the nation's capital to protest pending laws that allow mining, energy and agricultural investment in the areas where they live. Protesters who demonstrated against proposed new rules for indigenous lands demarcation blocked highways in cities across... 

GOLD UNDER NEW LEADERSHIP

By: Martin Creamer     4th October 2013 The World Gold Council, the market development organisation for the global gold industry, last week elected Randall Oliphant, above, as its new chairperson, and thus the person with the task of boosting the flagging fortunes of the ancient metal in the investment, jewellery and technology... 

ANOTHER FORM OF CARBON

By: Martin Creamer     27th September 2013 State-owned Alexkor, best known as a diamond miner, is to try its hand at another form of carbon – coal, which it will supply to State utility Eskom. Alexkor CEO Percy Khoza, seen above, will also transition Alexkor into a producer of limestone, also for Eskom. Simultaneously, is revamping a... 

COLOURED DIAMONDS

By: Martin Creamer     20th September 2013 Diamond miner Rio Tinto showed off coloured diamonds from Australia to 100 gem enthusiasts in Hong Kong this month. The company’s diamond CEO, Alan Davies, seen holding an Argyle pink, expects Rio Tinto’s share of global diamond production to rise to 18% in 2017, from 11% now. Of the 64 diamonds... 

Growth, transformation & competitiveness

By: Martin Creamer     13th September 2013 The government, business and labour stakeholders of the South African mining sector face the realities of the mining industry with brutal honesty, preferring to tell it as it is rather than beat around the bush. They are all aware that to get new improved outputs, there have to resort to... 

MINING MAGIC

By: Martin Creamer     6th September 2013 MINING MAGIC – Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe attended South Africa’s second annual Mining Lekgotla in the elevated position of Acting President, a position specially conferred on him by Cabinet decree in deference to the mining industry, which drives South Africa’s economy but which is at a... 

BROKEN HEARTED PEOPLE

By: Martin Creamer     30th August 2013 South Africa has all but fallen off the radar screen of BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, which last week reported an 8.7% slump in revenue to $65.9-billion for the year ended June. The words ‘South’ and ‘Africa’ did not cross the lips of new CEO Andrew Mackenzie and one got the... 

SEARCHING FOR GOLD

By: Martin Creamer     23rd August 2013 A tireless search got under way earlier this month for gold bullion thought to have been buried during the War of the Triple Alliance, between the years 1864 and 1870. Police looked on while crowds gathered on the edge of what became a deep excavation in Aldana Canada city, 29 km from Asuncion,... 

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