In this year’s Top Mining Projects feature, we have selected projects distinguished by their size, the high quality of the assets and innovation by the teams on the ground. This year we have selected three that have set the bar high from three different African countries, covering tin, gold and diamonds.
The first project is AfriTin Mining Limited’s Uis Tin Mine is Namibia. Despite the COVID-19 influenced operational challenges, nameplate tin concentrate production and completion of production ramp-up for Stage I of Phase 1 were successfully achieved during November 2020. The company achieved 63,9 tonnes of tin concentrate (containing 41,6 tonnes of tin metal) during the month of November, a 32% improvement on the previous month. The production level achieved in November 2020 represents approximately 107% of the Stage I target in terms of tin concentrate tonnes produced and 116% of the Stage I target in terms of tin contained in concentrate.
The second ‘Top Project’ is Newfield Resources Limited’s Tongo Diamond Mine in eastern Sierra Leone where first kimberlite was intersected in December 2020, yielding the first production diamonds. The occasion is the culmination of the investment in the Tongo project by Newfield since its acquisition of Stellar Diamonds in early 2018.
Our third and final Top Project is Perseus Mining’s US$265-million Yaouré Gold Mine in Côte d’Ivoire, which successfully poured its first gold in December, five weeks ahead of schedule. The company attributes this achievement to a combination of good planning, efficient execution and strong commitment to delivering on promises.
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Uis Tin Mine – a jewel in the African tin mining landscape
In the face of challenging operational conditions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Namibian-based Uis Tin Mine, in line with its projections, defied the odds to achieve nameplate tin concentrate production of 63,9 tonnes before the end of 2020. The milestone, CEO Anthony Viljoen tells Modern Mining, speaks volumes of the capabilities of the AfriTin Mining Limited team and the high quality nature of the asset.
First production carats from Newfield’s Tongo mine
As development continues apace at Newfield Resources Limited’s Tongo mine in eastern Sierra Leone, executive director Karl Smithson tells Modern Mining that first kimberlite was intersected in December 2020, yielding the first production diamonds. The high grades and diamond values are a key factor in the success of the project.
Yaouré Gold Mine pours first gold five weeks ahead of schedule
Perseus Mining Limited has successfully completed the first pour of gold at its Yaouré Gold Mine in Côte d’Ivoire. The company achieved this nearly five weeks ahead of schedule, consistent with its stretch target of first gold at Yaouré in December 2020. Modern Mining touched base with the company for an update.
Gold – safe-haven for investors during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on gold demand in 2020, influencing different sectors of the market in different ways. However, Louise Street, senior market analyst at the World Gold Council, tells Modern Mining that investor demand for gold strengthened considerably throughout the pandemic, offsetting weaknesses elsewhere.
Mali’s golden rewards for adventurous investors
Despite Mali’s documented political and terrorist activity struggles, the country has against all odds achieved continuous gold production for more than 30 years, becoming one of the top gold producing nations in Africa. Thanks to the country’s rich mining history, companies and investors the world over are keen to increase their exposure to Mali’s gold sector, including three London-based junior miners – Kodal Minerals, Contango Holdings and Cora Gold Limited.
Digital technology trends for 21st century mining
The Sibanye-Stillwater Digital Mining Laboratory (DigiMine) and the Wits Mining Institute (WMI) at the University of Witwatersrand hosted the annual DigiMine seminar in December 2020 with the theme, Digital technology trends for 21st century mining’.