Tuesday, 17th July 2018


Articles related to mining

South Africa’s mines minister Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday he will extend by a month a period for public comment on a mining industry charter which lays out requirements for black ownership levels and other targets. 

Uncertainty around the charter has deterred investment into a sector that accounts for 8 percent of gross domestic product in the world’s top platinum producer.

Mantashe said he will extend the period for public comment until the end of August. 

“It gives people a chance to engage more and comment more,” Mantashe said during his closing speech at an industry summit to discuss the charter.

A draft of the charter published last month extends to five years from one year the time that existing mining permit holders will have to raise black ownership levels to 30 percent from 26 percent.

It also proposes a requirement that 10 percent (a third of the 30 percent black ownership target) for new mining right applicants be granted free to communities and qualifying employees, dubbed “free carry”, which industry body The Minerals Council South Africa has opposed.

The charter, published for public comment before entering into law, is part of South African affirmative action rules aimed at reversing decades of exclusion under apartheid.

The government and miners had been at loggerheads over a previous version of the charter, which the Chamber of Mines industry body, now the Minerals Council, criticised as confusing and a threat to South Africa’s image with investors.


South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has sold its one-third stake in the Rasimone mine to its joint venture partner for $135 million, it said on Thursday, the company’s latest disposal as part of a strategic overhaul.

Amplats has been selling off labour intensive mines and joint ventures since 2015 as part of a drive to focus on its mechanised mines.

The 33 percent stake in Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM) would be sold to partner Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), a mid-tier producer of platinum group metals. 

“The disposal of interest in the BRPM JV will allow Anglo American Platinum to focus its capital allocation into its own-managed mines and projects,” Amplats said in a statement.

For RBPlat, the deal hands it full ownership of the mine with roughly 180,000 ounces of platinum output a year.

RBPlat is a unit of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, which manages commercial assets for the Bafokeng tribe, a community of black South Africans that owns 1,200 square km in one of the world’s biggest platinum deposits.

The company would fund a portion of the deal with the issue of 9.8 million shares, it said, adding it intended to pay the rest with three annual cash instalments.


Zambia's mining minister Richard Musukwa announced an investigation on Thursday after 10 people died during the collapse of a mine dump in the country's copper-producing region.

The subsistence miners were killed on Wednesday when the dump known locally as Black Mountain collapsed in Zambia's second-largest city and mining hub Kitwe.

Musukwa told parliament "the investigations are still underway and we have suspended operations at the Black Mountain to allow for a forensic investigation".

Musukwa blamed the incident, which also left seven people injured, on "people who should not have been in the mine", describing them as "illegal miners or scavengers".

Local media reported that ministers were forced to step in last month after small-scale miners at the site began using explosives to extract copper from the mine dump, damaging nearby properties and possibly dislodging the mound.

Zambia has some of the world's largest copper reserves and the metal accounts for as much as 80% of the country's export earnings.

Growing demand for copper has seen prices spike above $3.14 for a pound, according to the InfoMine service.

This has contributed to a surge in illegal mining activity in Zambia which is beset by high levels of unemployment.

Communications and power cables have become a valuable target, both for major gangs and small-time thieves both in Zambia and worldwide.


Petra Diamonds said it has received valid acceptances for about 95 percent of the rights issue shares offered in a five to eight rights issue announced last May.
The company, which has operations in South Africa and Tanzania, had issued 332.8 million shares at 40 pence per share.
It wanted to raise $178 million to settle part of its debt, which was $622 million end of March.
Petra also said subscribers had been obtained for 16.7 million rights issue shares, which represented 5 percent of the rights issue shares at a price of 56.25p per rights issue share.
The subscribers were procured through Petra’s joint bookrunners and underwriters, which comprised RBC Capital Markets, Barclays Bank and BMO Capital Markets.
The net proceeds, it said, from the placing of such rights issue shares would be paid without interest to those persons whose rights had lapsed in accordance with the terms of the rights issue, pro rata to their lapsed provisional allotment.
It said individual amounts of less than £5 would not be paid to such persons but would be paid to the company.

Europe should stop exploiting Africa and invest in ways that benefit the continent more, including by sharing mineral wealth more equitably, Pope Francis said.

“We must invest in Africa, but invest in an orderly way and create employment, not go there to exploit it,” he told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview, while discussing the migration of Africans to Europe.

“When a country grants independence to an African country it is from the ground up - but the subsoil is not independent. And then people (outside Africa) complain about hungry Africans coming here. There are injustices there!”

Touching on the reasons for hunger in Africa, the pope said that “in our collective unconscious there is something inside us that says Africa must be exploited.”

His comments follow moves in some African countries to win more generous terms from international mining companies. 

In Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, the government has enacted a new mining code that is designed to earn extra money for the state from copper, cobalt and gold produced there.

Mining companies say the government should reconsider the law in order to respect exemptions that were granted by its predecessor.

The pope said Europe needed to focus on education and investment in Africa if it wanted to stem the flow of migrants, which is also an increasingly divisive issue in Italy, where the new governing coalition is taking a hard line. 

“And there’s a problem,” he added. “We send people back to those who have sent them here. They end up in the jails of traffickers.”

The pope then showed Reuters graphic photographs that he said showed victims of human trafficking who had been tortured and killed in an unspecified location in Africa.


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