In announcing the sales, Gold Fields chief executive officer Ian Cockerill emphasises that although this development reduces the company’s international footprint, it remains fully committed to its often-stated strategy of international growth. “We have definitely not changed course, and our aspirations to grow our international portfolio with appropriately sized, valueadding assets remain as strong as ever,” he insists.
Latest development is the completion of the mine’s new carbonin- pulp (CIP) plant. Built at a cost of R58 million, the new plant was scheduled for completion in October 2007, and commissioning of the new circuit is now underway.
It is anticipated that this replacement of the old filter plant and zinc precipitation circuit, and upgrading and expansion of the metallurgical plant, will achieve three main objectives:It will reduce plant treatment costs per tonne by 25% from R52 p/t to R39 p/t; it will increase plant throughput capacity by 21 % to 170 000 tonnes per month; and it will increase gold recoveries by 3% from 93 to 96%.
“The first phase saw the emergence of our newly-formed company in August 2007 with Royal Bafokeng Capital as the 65% controlling shareholder,” he explains, “although this stake will be reduced to 60% in due course.”
Also incorporated in this first phase was the acquisition of two productive coal mines (the Umlabu and Ilanga mines) for a combined total of R210 million. Completion of Phase One was marked by the official change in the name of the company to SACMH on 20 August 2007, following the listing of the company on the Main Board of the JSE on 31 July 2007.
“Although our production will be marginally less next year,” he explains, “we have five new growth projects, costing a combined total of close to R6 billion, starting production of higher-quality ounces between 2008 and 2012. These projects represent the life-blood of Harmony going forward, and bringing them on stream on time and at the right cost remains our top priority,” Briggs emphasises. “They will be adding a combined total of more than 1.4Moz to our total output over the next four years,” he adds.
Revealing this in an exclusive interview with Mining Review Africa, executive officer - Africa underground region - Robbie Lazare, confirms that current uranium production of 1.3 million pounds per annum will increase incrementally each year, but will jump to over 2Mtpa in three years’ time.
With 12 major mines in four countries, the De Beers Group is responsible for more than 40% of global diamond production. DBCM produces nine per cent of global production in terms of both value and weight, and almost one-third of the 51 million carats mined by De Beers in the last year.
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.
The Canadian-based Pan African Mining Corporation – which focuses on exploration and development of mineral properties in Africa – has made such significant progress with its Manica gold project in Mozambique that its pre-feasibility study has been delayed until Q1 of 2008 to accommodate new developments.
In its latest resource upgrade of the Manica project, the company reports that its ongoing exploration drilling programme has resulted in encouraging increases in grades. The total Manica resource was upgraded by 18% from 1 311Moz at 2.89g/t to 1.550Moz. The resource at the Fair Bride prospect has been increased by 20% to 1.245Moz.