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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Namibian lead and zinc mine gets another chance

London exploration company North River Resources has secured a US12-million dollar equity funding commitment from private equity firm Greenstone Resources. It will be used to re-open its flagship Namib lead and zinc mine near Swakopmund in Namibia.

The company has released a mine development plan and site preparation and work to complete a feasibility study has begun. Consultants Snowden estimate a mine and plant capital expenditure of US25-million dollars, based on a 56-month production period, with 660 000 tonnes (t) of milled current inferred resources averaging 8,5% combined lead-zinc and 46 grams per tonne of silver.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Balancing act: resettling communities and mining

Laws regulating the resettlement of communities for mining projects are often not clear enough to avoid problems that could delay or even threaten the mine’s sustainability.

This is according to Robert Gyamfi, community relations and social responsibility manager at Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea), a subsidiary of Golden Star Resources in Ghana, a mining company operating in Ghana. “Where minerals are discovered on or near a place where people are already living, governments face the difficult task of resettling communities to make way for mining. As custodians of a country’s mineral rights, governments have the right and duty to make these arrangements so that the mineral wealth can be turned into economic development,” Gyamfi says.

He stressed that the host communities granted mining companies a ‘social licence’ to operate, which went beyond simply meeting all the legal needs set by the host country.


Gyamfi was interviewed in Johannesburg recently when he attended the Community Relations Practice course offered by Synergy Global and Wits University’s Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Africa Focused Diamond Company, Paragon Diamonds to start operations soon

Paragon Diamonds, the London-listed diamond company with a number of assets in Africa, aims to transform itself into a cash-generating diamond exploration and production company in Africa.

This is according to Simon Retter, Paragon’s chief financial officer, who spoke at the company’s AGM held in Guernsey recently.“We have a solid portfolio of multi-stage projects in world-class diamondiferous regions of Africa where we believe we can deliver significant value for shareholders,” Retter said.

The company’s flagship Lemphane kimberlite project in Lesotho is to start production soon, while Paragon is looking to advance its projects in Botswana and Zambia.“We continue to evaluate strategic and corporate opportunities to diversify our offering and will expose our shareholders to as much of the value chain as possible,” he said.


Lemphane is believed to be the last world-class kimberlite to be developed in Lesotho and is close to Gem Diamonds’ Letseng pipe, which is renowned for the recovery of exceptionally large and valuable diamonds.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

High recoveries in Burkina Faso

Preliminary metallurgical test work at Australian-listed West African Resources’ Mankarga 5 deposit on the Tanlouka Permit (part of the Boulsa Project) in Burkina Faso has returned positive results. The results from the 100μm bottle-roll tests conducted across all ore types and show high recoveries and low cyanide consumption, while representing potential recoveries from conventional milling and carbon in leach processing.

According to managing director Richard Hyde, the test work programme is continuing and results will be reported as they are received.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Generators to back up Kansanshi mine in Zambia

Zest WEG Group is supplying containerized generator sets to First Quantum Mineral’s Kansanshi mine in Zambia. The order includes three 1 500 kilovolt ampere (kVA) and two 1 250 kVA generator sets. 

Bruce McCracken, sales manager for Zest WEG Group’s generator set division says each package comprises a Cummins QSK50G3 diesel engine coupled to a single bearing alternator rated for 550 volt and mounted on a purpose made simplex type base frame. Each combination set is enabled for singular or synchronous operation.

“The units can operate singularly or together, which facilitates and satisfies a larger electrical output from the generator backup system. In addition, the units act as back-up for each other in the event of failure of one unit. This ensures that back-up generator power will always be available to the mine.”