Latest indications are that — once restarted — the Kinsenda copper mine in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the potential to become an exceedingly competitive copper mine.
This is the optimistic forecast in the latest update released by Australian-based Copper Resources Corporation (CRC), the majority 75% shareholder in Minière de Musoshi et Kinsenda (MMK), which holds Kinsenda and two other high-grade deposits in the Katanga province. The remaining 25% of MMK is held 20% by the state company, SODIMICO, and 5% by the Forrest Group, the largest private business in Katanga.
Initial mining has started at the Lupoto resource of the Kalumines coppercobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Kalumines is owned 60% by Teal Exploration & Mining Incorporated – a growth-oriented mineral development and exploration company listed on the Toronto and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges – and 40% by the DRC government operation, La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gecamines).
London-based and AIM-listed Brinkley Mining Plc – a uraniumfocused exploration and development company – has signed a framework agreement which gives it a 75% interest in the uranium projects of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The agreement is a joint venture with the DRC government, which holds the other 25%.
At a conservative estimate, the DRC uranium resources are reported to be worth at least US100 million (more than R700 million) to Brinkley, although this is regarded as merely the tip of the iceberg in such an under-explored and uranium-rich region.
This was the decision by an independent committee established in July to review the company’s strategic options, following an unsolicited take-over bid which has since been withdrawn.
Katanga has signed the one-year loan facility with Glencore International AG (Glencore). Additionally, Katanga and Glencore have agreed to a 10-year off-take contract under which Glencore will buy 100% of annual copper and cobalt production at market terms.
BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified mining and resources company, with some 38 000 employees across 100 operations in approximately 25 countries. Its operations encompass a broad range of commodities including aluminium, energy coal, metallurgical coal, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, diamonds, silver and titanium minerals, oil, gas, and liquefied natural gas.
Releasing the company’s results for the six months ended 30 June 2007, CEO Rob Still reports excellent results in the Central African Republic (CAR), improved production levels and sales values in Angola, satisfying momentum in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and encouraging early results in South Africa.
“This period has been one of significant progress for PDF,” he reveals, “and in the period ahead to Q1 of 2008 we intend progressing the evaluation of these projects with the objective of being in a position to make commercial mining go-ahead decisions in H1 of 2008.”
Zambezi Resources Limited – the AIM-listed exploration company exploring for and developing gold, uranium and base metal resource projects in Africa – has announced the discovery of three new mineralised prospects from its exploration pipeline in southern Zambia. The new prospects have all returned excellent rock chip sampling results.
Rock chip sampling and mapping at the Mwapula prospect has outlined an area of highly anomalous copper-lead mineralisation, including 11.93% copper, 31.50% lead and 212.4 g/t silver. The mineralised zone occurs within a 600m wide quartz-veined sheared corridor which trends north-west, and has been defined by mapping over a strike length of 2.4km to date.
Ongoing drilling at two exploration projects – one in Ghana and the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – have revealed potential for large-scale deposits which could support substantial gold production operations.
This is the latest news from Mwana Africa plc – a pan- African resources company and the first African-owned, African-managed business in this sector to be listed on the AIM. With operations and exploration activities in Zimbabwe, and a broad range of exploration and development projects in the DRC and Ghana, its asset base includes gold, nickel, copper, zinc, cobalt and, more recently, diamonds and oil and gas.