Search Results for "Africa"

“Act of Vandalism” at Nevsun’s Bisha Mine Reported as Ethiopian Bombing by African Media

An article put out by the Financial Post on Monday stated that what Nevsun Resources (TSX:NSU) reported as an “act of vandalism” at its Bisha Mine was actually an attack by Ethiopian fighter jets, according to reports from African Media. Nevsun reported only minor damage of the mine, but media outlets from Ethiopia and Sudan both reported that the Ethiopian air force bombed the mine.

Haywood Securities analyst Stefan Ioannou told the Post that he believed Nevsun’s representation of events, stating that there would have been “a lot more collateral damage” in the case of an air strike.

As quoted in the publication:

In a statement released Sunday, Nevsun said vandals caused minor damage to the base of a tailings thickener at the mine during the night shift on Friday, releasing water into the plant area.

But the Ethiopian news site Tigrai Online said it had confirmed a report that the Ethiopian air force bombed the mine on Friday. Sudanese newspaper Al-Sahafa was the first to report that the attack was a military operation from Ethiopia.

Click here to read the full article from the Financial Post.

Copper in Africa: South Africa, DRC, Zambia

Copper in Africa: South Africa, DRC, ZambiaAfrica is one of the most important sources of copper in the world, with production coming primarily from Zambia, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Katanga Province. In 2008, South Africa produced 89,700 tonnes of copper while Zambia produced 131,400 tonnes, according to Mining Intelligence Database (MID).

Other copper mines in Africa can be found in Marrakech, Morocco, as well as in Cameroon and Botswana.

South Africa

South Africa is where commercial-scale copper mining in Africa started. In 1966, Palabora Mining Company (OTCMKTS:PBOAF) opened the region’s first open-pit copper mine in the Loolekop central zone in Northwestern South Africa. The mine has remained one of the largest and deepest open-pit mines in the world. Today, Palabora produces about 80,000 tonnes of copper a year.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Katanga Province is located on the Central African Copperbelt and is known for its vast mineral resources, including copper, cobalttinuranium and diamonds. Copper is the province’s most important commodity.

One of the largest-scale copper miners in the DRC is Katanga Mining (TSX:KAT), which is working on two joint ventures Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) and DRC Copper and Cobalt Project (DCP).

KCC produced its first copper cathode at the end of 2007 once Phase I of a four-phase refurbishment of the brownfield site was complete, the company’s website states. Katanga aquired DCP in 2008 through its merger with Nikanor. Both ventures operate on adjacent properties in the DRC. Katanga is looking to merge KCC and DCP in the future.

Australia-listed Tiger Resources (ASX:TGS) is also a copper-cobalt producer in the DRC. Tiger is looking forward to producing its first 25,000-tpa copper cathode from the SXEW plant at the Kipoi project in the coming months. It is also planning for the next phase in the project’s development.

Also in the DRC is Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN), which has been exploring in Africa since 1994. The company is working on developing two copper projects — the Kamoa copper project and Kipushi zinc-copper project — in the Central African Copperbelt.


Zambia is Africa’s biggest copper producer. The metal accounts for more than 70 percent of the country’s export revenues.

Zambia’s mines minister, Yamfwa Mukanga, said in April that the country expects copper output to reach 1.1 million tonnes annually by 2015, an increase of 34 percent from current levels, according to Bloomberg. As of 2009, Zambia was the eighth-largest copper producer in the world, as per MID.

A major copper mine in Zambia is the Chibuluma South mine, which reached full production in July 2006, producing 40,000 tonnes of copper ore a month, Mining Weekly reported. The mine’s owner, Metorex (OTCMKTS:MRXLY), began commercial operations at the location a year earlier. The company is focused mainly on copper and cobalt production in the Central African Copperbelt. It produced 76,409 tons of copper in 2010.

Here are some snippets on a few of the other copper mining companies operating in Zambia:

  • First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM): This mineral exploration and development company focuses on producing copper, gold, nickel and acid. One of its main projects is the Sentinel copper mine in Zambia, which is located in the northwest part of the country, approximately 93 miles west of Solwezi. The project spans nearly 600 miles. First Quantum received approval for the project in May 2012 and construction began shortly after. The mine is expected to have a lifespan of 15 years. It’s expected that Sentinel will have a production rate as high as 300,000 tonnes of copper annually during its first six years of activity.
  • Vedanta Resources (LSE:VED): In addition to copper mining, Vedanta is engaged in iron ore, zinc, aluminum and oil and gas exploration and development. Its projects include an integrated copper operation in Zambia that spans three mines: Konkola, Nchanga and Nampundwe. The company’s copper business is owned by Konkola Copper Mines. The Konkola underground copper mine has a minimum of a 24-year lifespan and produces a grade of 3.55 percent. During the 2013 fiscal year, Vedanta’s Zambian copper operations produced 216,000 tonnes of copper.
  • Equinox Minerals (private): Equinox’s primary asset is its 100-percent-owned Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, which produces 2 tonnes of ore annually. The project has proven and probable reserves of approximately 24.4 tonnes of copper. The mine is also estimated to contain 30 tonnes of uranium.
  • Glencore Xstrata (LSE:GLEN): Glencore has more than 150 mining and metallurgical sites worldwide, including a number of copper mining sites in Africa. These projects include the Mopani copper-cobalt mine in Zambia. The project consists of four underground mines. The company also operates the newly developed Mutanda copper project, which contains high-grade copper and cobalt. This project is located in Katanga Province. Glencore Xstrata’s Kansuki copper and cobalt pre-development project borders the Mutanda development.

Mwana Africa Signs JV for 28 DRC Copper Licenses

Mining Weekly reported that Mwana Africa has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with China’s Zhejiang Hailiang for copper licesnses in the DRC.

As quoted in the market report:

This JV allows our copper exploration and development programme in the DRC to be significantly accelerated. We are also excited at the prospect of advancing Kibolwe in the near term. We look forward to working closely with Hailiang in what we expect will be a very productive relationship,” Mwana CEO Kalaa Mpinga said in a statement.

To view the whole Mining Weekly report, click here.

African Copper’s Q3 Output Jumps 47 Percent

Mining Weekly reported that African Copper’s output for the third quarter 2012 rose by 47 percent, mostly due to a push in production at their Botswana-based Mowana and Thakadu mines.

As quoted in the market report:

African Copper acting CE Jordan Soko said the company was on track to achieve record copper production this year as mine plans continued their successful implementation, resulting in increased throughput, efficiency and plant use.

To view the full Mining Weekly report, click here.

African Copper Received USD6.0 Million Loan From ZCI Limited

African Copper (LSE:ACU) has received further loan of USD6.0 million from ZCI Limited.

As quoted in the press release:

The purpose of the new loan is to provide the Company with further working capital for its Mowana Mine facilities, partially to cover the funding gap caused by the failure of the Ball Mill pinion shaft in May 2012.

Click here to read the African Copper (LSE:ACU) press release.

African Copper Plc: Production Activities on Mowana and Thakadu Mines

African Copper Plc (LSE:ACU) has updated on its production activities on Mowana and Thakadu Mines.

As quoted in the press release:

The majority of ore processed at the Mowana processing facility during March 2012 was sourced from the higher grade Thakadu mine where mining operations are moving closer to sulphide ore. Trucking operations from Thakadu to Mowana also improved with a total of 80,521 tonnes being moved.

Click here to read the African Copper Plc (LSE:ACU) press release.

Copper Mining in Africa

By Shihoko Goto — Exclusive to Copper Investing News

Copper Hotspot: Africa

The race for natural resources in Africa includes copper, and South Africa, Zambia, and the Congo are particularly rich in the red metal. The continued rise in the price of copper, coupled with tighter supply worldwide, has intensified the desire of both large and small miners to increase their investment across Africa. At the same time, governments across the continent are demanding greater shares in profits from the country’s natural wealth, and the rights of mine workers are coming under closer scrutiny.

With interest in copper mines across Africa expected to continue increasing, legislators and corporate executives alike will be closely monitoring how local governments balance their economic needs with social and environmental concerns. Investors should be increasingly wary of changes in mining tax policies, as the possibility of labor unrest affecting output may increase.

Shift from South Africa to the Congo

South Africa is one of the continent’s biggest copper producers, with the Palabora mine producing about 75 percent of the country’s total red metal output. The financial future of the mine, however, is hazy as its two largest multinational shareholders announced last September that they plan to sell their respective stakes amid increasing political risks in the country. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) currently holds a 57.7 percent stake in Palabora Mining Company Ltd. (OTC Pink:PBOAF), while Anglo American (LSE:AAL) holds a 16.8 percent interest. Both companies stated that they are looking to invest in larger, longer-life assets, even as Palabora accounted for eight percent of Rio Tinto’s mined copper production in the first half of 2011. Mining giants in other commodities have also been retreating from South Africa in recent months as the ruling national party mulls the possibility of nationalizing mineral assets.

The Congo, meanwhile, is attracting more investors after years of civil unrest, including mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland. The Executive Chairman of privately-held Ivanplats, and CEO of Ivanhoe Mines (NYSE:IVN), said in early February that Ivanplats will be developing the Kamoa mine, Africa’s largest copper project in the country. Friedland commented that the mine will have a lifespan that can be “measured in generations as opposed to decades.”

China’s growing dominance

The Congo is also attracting the attention of Chinese investors, including Minmetals Resources (HKG:1208), which completed its $1.3 billion bid for Toronto’s Anvil Mining (TSX:AVM) in February. Anvil is heavily invested in the Congo, most notably in the Kinsevere copper mine in the Katanga province. Minmetals is a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Minmetals Group, and is the latest among publicly-owned Chinese companies to secure mining deals in Africa as the country looks to secure access to natural resources.

Last November, China’s Jinchuan Group successfully bid for copper and cobalt producer Metorex with the blessing of the governments of South Africa and Zambia, having beaten out Brazil’s Vale (NYSE:VALE).

China’s thirst for mineral resources is viewed by some industry analysts as an opportunity for junior miners to expand in order to meet growing international demand for copper mines.

Impact of resource nationalism

Heightened interest in Africa from mining companies has enticed governments to nationalize their mineral assets, or at least to impose hefty taxes on foreign investors. South Africa’s African National Congress is looking into the possibility of slapping a 50 percent mining tax on international producers, and a 50 percent capital gains tax on the sale of prospecting rights, which has led many multinational corporations to reassess their operations in the country.

Zambia has doubled its royalties on copper to six percent, while the government of Guinea has taken a 15 percent stake in all mining projects with an option to buy an additional 20 percent interest. As for Namibia, all new mining and exploration efforts have been transferred to a state-owned company.

Such moves by African governments have led resource nationalism to become one of the biggest international concerns for the world’s top 30 miners, according to a survey by Ernst & Young. The consultancy group said that the latest political shifts in South Africa have increased miners’ interests in Botswana, Mozambique, and Namibia instead.

Labor and environmental concerns

Labor unrest has continuously been a source of worry for mining groups regardless of location, and the surge in interest in African mines has increased awareness of how workers are treated. A Human Rights Watch report last November highlighted the abuse faced by Zambian copper miners at Chinese projects in particular. The New York-based advocacy group stated that “miners in Chinese-run companies have been subject to abusive health, safety, and labor conditions and longtime government indifference.”

Similarly, there is growing concern among citizens across the continent about the environmental impact of mining activities. At the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference held in Cape Town in February, Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) Chairperson Mamphela Ramphela stated that “the mining industry was urged to take the lead in promoting sustainable development policies that add social and economic value.”


Securities Disclosure: I, Shihoko Goto, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Brazil’s Vale to Buy S. African Copper Producer

ABC News reports that Vale (NYSE:VALE) plans to acquire Metorex for more than $1.1 billion in cash.

The market news is quoted as saying:

Rio de Janeiro-based Vale SA says Metorex Ltd.’s board has agreed to its offer of 7.35 South African rand per share. The deal, which requires approval from holders of 75 percent of Metorex’s shares, is worth nearly $1.13 billion (7.52 billion rand).

Click here to access the entire news

Minmetals Aims to Add Copper Assets in Africa, South America

Bloomberg reports that Minmetals Resources Ltd. (HKG:1208) plans to add copper assets in Africa and South America in the next three to five years.

The market news is quoted as saying:

Mining companies are competing to secure assets after a dearth of new global projects and demand from China drove copper prices to a record this year. Minmetals yesterday announced a C$6.3 billion ($6.5 billion) unsolicited cash offer for Equinox Minerals Ltd. The deal, China’s biggest minerals takeover, would give Hong Kong-based Minmetals control of the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia and Saudi Arabia’s biggest copper deposit.

Click here to access the entire news

African Eagle to Invest $50 Million in Zambian Copper

Bloomber reports that African Eagle Resources Plc plans to invest between $40 million and $50 million this year developing “small” copper mining operations in Zambia.

The market news is quoted as saying:

The London-listed miner will begin operations in Zambia’s Mkushi district this year before moving into large-scale copper mining next year, the Lusaka-based newspaper said.

Click here to access the entire market news.

African Metals Assay Results Highlight Zones of Copper and Cobalt Mineralization, Democratic Republic of Congo

African Metals Corporation (TSXV:AFR) reports that the Company has received final assay results from the 42 Reverse Circulation (RC) drill holes completed on the stockpile at its Luisha South Project in the Katanga Provence of Democratic Republic of Congo.

The press release is quoted as saying:

A 42 hole, reverse circulation (RC) drilling program conducted on top of the historic Luisha South open pit stockpile produced 416 samples from 383 metres of drilling.

Analytical results of the RC samples indicate that the stockpile hosts zones of elevated grades of copper (>1%) and cobalt (>1%) mineralization.

Click here to access the entire press release.

Ivanhoe makes major DRC, S.Africa copper discoveries

Reuters reports that Ivanhoe Mines has made major “Tier 1″ copper discoveries in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.

The market news is quoted as saying:

The Congo discovery was the first such copper find in the central African country since 1906, Friedland told a mining conference in Cape Town. “Tier 1″ indicates a very large deposit of high-grade copper ore.

Click here to access the entire market news.

African Copper Plc: Receipt of Mining Licence for the Thakadu Copper-Silver Deposit

African Copper Plc (LON:ACU) announces receipt of a Mining Licence from the Botswana Government for its Thakadu copper-silver deposit some 80 km from the Company’s Mowana Mine in the north east of the country.

The press release is quoted as saying:

The Mining Licence has been granted on condition that the area declared as an archaeological site is restricted to underground mining processes so as to avoid disturbing the archaeological site contained within the approved mine lease area. All other areas not declared as archaeological sites or national monuments can be mined using open pit mining. It is anticipated that the current interim open pit cut design would allow for extraction of approximately 1.4 million tonnes of ore.

Click here to access the entire press release

African Copper Plc: Half-Year Results

African Copper Plc (LON:ACU) announces interim results for the sixth month period ended 30 September 2010.

The press release is quoted as saying:

Drilling of separate gold-in-soil anomalies in the Latte area resulted in the identification of two new gold trends known as the “Latte North Zone” and the Post period end agreement of loan of US$7.5 million from majority shareholder ZCI to fund exploratory drilling on Matsitama Exploration Project and Mowana North deposit and other Mowana plant improvements.

Click here to access the entire press release

African Copper Plc: Notice of Annual General Meeting

African Copper Plc (LON:ACU) announced that the Annual General Meeting of the Company will be held at 10.30 am on Friday 24 September 2010 at the offices of Tavistock Communications, 131 Finsbury Pavement, London EC2A 1NT.

The press release is quoted as saying:

African Copper Plc is an AIM-listed copper producer and exploration company, currently focused on Botswana. The Company’s flagship project is the copper producing open pit Mowana mine.

Click here to access the entire press release

Click here to access African Copper plc Corporate Site

Robert Friedland on Why The Chinese Stock Market Fall Isn’t as Bad as You Think

The Sprott-Stansberry Natural Resource Symposium kicked off yesterday with introductions from Sprott’s Rick Rule and a keynote presentation from Robert Friedland of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN).

Speaking to a packed audience, Friedland answered questions from Rule about the current state of the market and where things are headed.

Not surprisingly, Friedland was bullish on copper, platinum group metals (PGMs) and zinc – Ivanhoe holds the Kamoa copper project and Kipushi zinc project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as the massive Platreef PGM project in South Africa, and Friedland took some time to talk about those projects during the hour-long Q&A session.

The mining financier also spoke about what he saw as another significant issue – the amount of attention being paid to the falling Chinese stock market. The Shanghai Composite Index fell roughly 32 percent in just a few weeks after peaking in June, putting extra pressure on other stock markets and already falling commodities prices. Stocks in Shanghai rose late in the day on Tuesday to break another 11 percent fall over the past three days, Bloomberg reported.

However, Friedland suggested that worries about the market are overdone, stating that the index is still up over 100 percent since the start of the year. While that point might not ease concerns about volatility in the Chinese stock market, it does put the extent of the fall into perspective.

Furthermore, despite reports that some Chinese are taking out high-interest loans to invest in the market, Friedland stated that the average Chinese household only has about 10 to 12 percent of its assets in stocks. A July 12 post from the Peterson Institute for International Economics made a similar point.

“At the end of 2014, Chinese households held on average 10 percent of their assets in stocks, and out of 350 million households, a maximum of 30 million to 35 million have exposure to the stock market,” stated authors Sean Miner and Jan Zilinsky. “Given that household final consumption is around 37 percent of China’s GDP, and the fact that the exposure of Chinese households to equities is (on average) still limited, even a 30 percent drop from recent highs in the stock market will not affect the average household very much, as the majority of their assets are in cash or property.”

That said, the researchers admitted that “distribution of exposure also matters,” – 10 percent is just an average, and some Chinese households could stand to lose all of their wealth.

Copper worries overdone?

Certainly, investors outside of China have still been worried. For example, Friedland stated that with over 50 percent of equities halted in China, he saw a number of hedge funds shorting copper as a proxy to the Chinese market.

That doesn’t sound like great news for the red metal. However, Friedland stressed that the fundamentals still look good for copper, citing a lack of new projects coming online, falling grades, and higher production costs as factors contributing to a dwindling copper supply in the future.

Further to that point, when Rick Rule asked whether the current bear market would be ended by demand creation, or, more violently, by supply disruption, Friedland argued that the latter scenario would be more likely to take place.

A command economy

Friedland isn’t alone in believing that worries about the Chinese stock market and economy are overdone. In a note put out Wednesday by the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, Chris Berry noted that Chinese share prices are still “among the best performing equity markets globally.” He suggested that the market’s volatile performance could be “more driven by speculation and margin calls than economic fundamentals,” especially given the amount of control that Chinese regulators hold over domestic markets.

As the Globe and Mail reported, China has already stepped up efforts to allay another sharp selloff. Some market participants have questioned the state’s heavy-handed intervention, but at least in the short term, state measures seem to have been effective in helping the market bounce back 3 percent on Wednesday following another three-day fall. Certainly, Friedland’s point that “China is a command economy” appears to be relevant.

Of course, there are other points to consider – Berry suggested that worries should be focused more on China’s debt load than on equities. Still, it was interesting to hear Friedland’s views on the situation in China, and on what that might mean for copper and other metals.


Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

Avanco Resources Announces Appointments to Management Team

Avanco Resources Limited (ASX:AVB) announced the appointment of the following to the management team: Vern Tidy, Independent Non-Executive Director; João Gonçalves, Chief Financial Officer (Brazil); Jairo Bernal, Financial Controller (Australia), and Murray Miller, Construction Cost Controller (Brazil).

As quoted in the press release:

Mr Vern Tidy – Independent Non Executive Director

Mr Tidy is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As Partner of Ernst & Young’s Perth office headed the mining and metals industry group. Vern brings compelling skills encompassing corporate governance and critical review of financial compliance gained from servicing mining clients varying from the largest multinationals through to junior explorers. It includes experience with projects in Australia, South America, South East Asia and Africa providing exposure to the ASX, LSE, AIM and TSX stock exchanges.

João Gonçalves – Chief Financial Officer-Brazil

Mr Gonçalves is a Brazilian citizen with an MBA from the University of Castelo Branco and a Bachelor of Accounting from the Catholic University of Santos, São Paulo.

João has a wealth of experience including from the north of Brazil where he has worked for both large and small mining companies including mines situated within the state of Pará. His experience includes 15 years with the Rio Tinto Mining Group, key financial roles at Paracatu (Brazil’s biggest gold mine) and the Aurizona Gold Mine. For the past seven years he has led the mining finance teams as their Chief Financial Officer.

Mr Gonçalves has a full understanding in all facets of the financial and accounting functions a mining company has and is very familiar with administration and employment practices in northern Brazil. His responsibilities will include Human Resources and overseeing implementation of the proprietary business software system.

Mr Jairo Bernal – Financial Controller – Australia

Mr Bernal has more than 11 years’ experience in the mining and accounting profession. Jairo brings detailed knowledge of Australian Accounting Standards complemented with strong accounting skills developed from significant exposure to international mining projects.

Mr Bernal will be responsible for financial compliance and reporting within the
Perth office and benefits from speaking Portuguese.

Mr Murray Miller – Construction Cost Controller – Brazil

Mr Miller is a Canadian National with extensive Project Control, procurement and contracting experience. Mr Miller holds a MBA from the McGill University, Montreal and a BA in Geological Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

Murray has had spent considerable time working for several large and respected international engineering construction companies including SNC Lavalin and Fluor Daniel. His significant exposure to Brazilian mining construction projects provides familiarity with Brazilian contractor protocols and operating practices.

Mr Miller is engaged as an independent consultant for collation and reporting of Stage 1 construction: scheduling, budgeting, forecasting and planning. Murray lives in Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese.

Click here for the full Avanco Resources Limited (ASX:AVB) press release.

Click here for the Avanco Resources Limited (ASX:AVB) profile.