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Modern Mining January 2019Much of our January issue is devoted to our annual ‘Africa’s Top Mining Projects’ feature. This year we’ve selected five projects, four in South Africa and one outside our borders. They are the new processing plant at the Cullinan diamond mine, the Venetia Underground Project (VUP), the Gamsberg zinc project and the Nokeng fluorspar mine, all in South Africa, and Project 5 Million (P5M) at the Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana.

In our busy news section we cover the Bagassi South gold project in Burkina Faso and the Syama underground gold mine in Ghana. We also report on the results of a scoping study on the Prieska zinc/copper project in South Africa and the achievement of commercial production at the Balama graphite mine in Mozambique.

Comment: Botswana’s troubled mining industry takes another hit

The mining sector in Botswana has taken yet another knock with the news that the Mowana copper mine has suspended operations. Combined with the demise of BCL, this means that all copper production in Botswana has ceased. A revival of the country’s copper-mining industry, however, is on the horizon with two new mines in the Kalahari Copperbelt on the way. Read more …

Sublevel cave ore production starts at Syama

Sublevel cave ore production starts at SyamaAustralia’s Resolute Mining has reported the successful commencement of sublevel cave ore production from the new Syama Underground Mine in Mali, West Africa. According to Resolute’s MD and CEO, John Welborn, this “represents a pivotal moment in the long history” of the company. Read more …

WorleyParsons puts the power of data to work

Project delivery company WorleyParsons RSA has positioned itself at the forefront of mining technology by developing various data management tools and digital design techniques that can reduce risk and improve productivity on projects. Read more …

Mining Indaba turns 25

This year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba (4-7 Feb) will be the 25th in the series and the first to be held under the aegis of the event’s new owners, the LSE-listed ITE Group. The event will once again feature the very popular Investment Battlefield competition, with the organisers looking to identify Sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising resource companies with a market capitalisation of US$50 million or below. Read more …

New Cullinan plant starts to deliver major savings

Cullinan 2Now in operation for over a year, the new R1,65 billion processing plant at the iconic Cullinan Diamond Mine of Petra Diamonds near Pretoria is performing to expectation (and on some metrics ahead of expectation). The facility replaces an ageing and sprawling plant that was constructed in the 1940s and which had become increasingly costly to operate and maintain. Read more …

VUP on course to start delivering ore in 2021

South Africa’s biggest mining project in execution, the US$2 billion Venetia Underground Project (VUP) of De Beers, is continuing to make steady progress with first ore expected in 2021 from the K2 orebody. The VUP will create an underground mine beneath the current open pits at Venetia and extend Venetia’s life to 2045, while maintaining diamond production at the current level of approximately 4 million carats a year. Read more …

Gamsberg in production and poised for expansion

The new Gamsberg zinc mine of Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) near the town of Aggeneys in the Northern Cape has been commissioned and is now ramping up to its steady-state production level of 250 000 t/a of zinc in concentrate with this objective expected to be achieved within six to nine months. VZI is now looking to double the scale of the operation via a second stage of development, which it anticipates it will approve this year. Read more …

Green for go at Nokeng fluorspar

Nokeng 1SepFluor’s new US$130 million Nokeng fluorspar mine at Rust de Winter, north-east of Pretoria, is nearing completion. From the mine’s state-of-the art concentrator, around 180 000 tonnes a year of acid grade fluorspar and 30 000 tonnes a year of metallurgical grade fluorspar will be produced. Production costs are expected to be in the bottom quartile of producers internationally. Read more …

Asanko’s Project 5 Million meets its target and more

One of the great achievements of the Asanko Gold Mine (AGM) in Ghana since its poured its first gold in January 2016 has been the successful implementation of Project 5 Million (P5M), which has taken the mine’s nominal throughput capacity from 3 Mt/a to 5 Mt/a for a fairly modest capex of US$29 million. The project earned Asanko Gold the ‘Best Performer in Innovation‘ award in the recent 2018 Ghana Mining Industry Awards. Read more …

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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.