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PRICE INCREASE NOTICE!!!

Dear Valued Customers,

Please click on the following link for the latest price increase notice :

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Kind regards,

Ropa Mhlanga

Operations Director – Southern African Region

PRICE INCREASE NOTICE!!!

Dear Valued Customers,

Please click on the following link for the latest price increase notice:

Price Increase Notice

Kind Regards,

Ropa Mhlanga

Operations Director – Southern African Region

Anglo takes down SA for sale sign, may even buy

London – Anglo American has raised the possibility that it could start buying assets in South Africa, the latest sign of how much has changed in two years, when the miner was focused on selling.

“We no longer have any for sale sign,” Norman Mbazima, deputy chair of Anglo American’s South African unit, said in an interview on Monday. “It is possible to invest in South Africa. We have got hope right now.”

After a collapse in commodity prices in 2015, the mining blue-chip talked about selling assets in South Africa, the home of its biggest diamond, iron ore and platinum mines. While the company sold some coal and platinum mines, that policy is now dead. Some of the mines are now cash cows for Anglo as commodity prices reach multi-year highs.

“We like everything that we are in right now,” he said. “If there are opportunities to expand in those, we would.”

The company said any purchases in South Africa would have to be competitive, and deliver the right return on investment. Still, the mood in South African mining is starting to change after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected to head the ruling African National Congress.

In Davos, Ramaphosa said urgent action is needed to resolve the impasse between government and business over South Africa’s mining charter.

Anglo’s commitment to South Africa will win support from its biggest shareholders. Billionaire mining executive Anil Agarwal called the country an integral part of Anglo. South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, the second-biggest shareholder, has also long argued for the creation of a domestic mining champion.

“We have no intentions of spinning off Anglo Platinum to a localised company,” Mbazima said of the company’s platinum unit.

 

Source – Fin24

 

Kenya reviews mining laws as industry struggles to grow

NAIROBI – Kenya is reviewing its mining code, a year after enacting new legislation, as it seeks to attract investment into an industry that’s barely grown over the past five years.

The government is working with the UK Department for International Development-funded Extractives Hub to come up with a revised law that balances investor returns with government-revenue needs and international best practice, Mines SecretarDan Kazungu said. The review is expected to be submitted to the ministry in the next few weeks, he said.

“We want to be attractive, but we also want to get the most out of our resources, based on the spirit of win-win,” Kazungu said in an interview June 30 in the capital, Nairobi. “The investor must get a good return on their investment, but win for government, and win for the community as well.”

Mining companies are facing similar legislative disruption in other African countries. In South Africa, the main industry lobby group is going to court to challenge new rules that seek to give the black majority a bigger stake in the country’s mineral wealth. Tanzania’s parliament is debating new laws that will allow it to renegotiate contracts, while the Democratic Republic of Congo plans to overhaul its mining code to increase the state’s share of revenue from the industry.

Mining contributed 1.1% to Kenya’s total gross domestic product in 2016, compared with 1% in 2012, according to data published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. The country has lagged behind neighbours like Tanzania, where the industry contributed about 4.8% to GDP in 2016, according to the country’s statistics agency.

MINERAL ROYALTIES
Kenya’s existing code imposes royalty rates ranging from 1% of the gross sales value of industrial minerals such as gypsum and limestone, to 5% for gold, 8% for coal, 10% for titanium ores, niobium and rare-earth elements, and 12% for diamonds.

Kenya last reviewed its mining royalties in 2013, when then-Mines Minister Najib Balala cancelled all mining licences and raised royalties.

The Treasury is working on a new income tax act, as part of its long-running review of tax legislation, that is receiving “considerable” input from the Mines Ministry, Kazungu said. Issues being addressed include cross-border mineral trading, he said.

Corporate income tax rates for mining firms operating in Kenya vary from 30% for companies domiciled in the East African country to 37.5% for non-residents.

“We obviously are starting from the position that we want to be competitive,” Kazungu said. “Investors have options. If you frustrate them here, they will probably go somewhere else.”

Kenya is the world’s third-biggest producer of soda ash, used to make glass, and ranks seventh in output of fluorspar, used in steel, according to the US Geological Survey. It also has deposits of rubies and sapphires.

 

Source: Mining Weekly

Sibanye says production resumes at strike-hit Cooke mine

JOHANNESBURG – Production has resumed at the Cooke mine of South African precious metals producer Sibanye Gold following the conclusion of a wildcat strike at the operation which erupted almost a month ago, a company spokesperson said on Monday.

The strike, which saw incidents of violence aimed at miners who did not support it, was sparked by worker resentment at Sibanye’s drive to root out illegal miners, which included the sacking of employees for collusion and a ban on taking food into the shafts.

Last week the company said that 461 illegal miners had been arrested at Cooke since the strike began after they were forced to come to the surface because the stoppage deprived them of sources of food and water provided by employees.

 

Source: Mining Weekly

New Mining Charter a catalyst for more inclusive economy, says Zwane

JOHANNESBURG – Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has said the controversial 2017 Mining Charter gazetted last week was meant to be a catalyst that provides practical expression to the country’s goal of a more inclusive economy.

“We encourage the young people who are the future of this country to embrace the Mining Charter by exploiting the opportunities to be unleashed by this instrument of change,” Zwane said.

“We will be embarking on provincial roadshows in the next two weeks to raise awareness and to take the Charter to the people.”

Zwane said this when he was tabling the R1.779 billion Budget Vote of the Mineral Resources Department in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday.

The reviewed Mining Charter has caused a lot of uncertainty for stakeholders and the markets by setting new black ownership targets for the industry.

The Chamber of Mines vehemently rejected it, saying that the department had not held meaningful consultations before the introduction of some of the items, and thus it would approach the courts to interdict its implementation.

The targets include new mining rights, holders having 30% black ownership to be shared among employees, communities and black entrepreneurs. Mining rights holders who have complied with the previous target of 26% have to “top up” to 30% within 12 months.

Those applying for prospecting rights would be required to have a “minimum of 50% plus one black person shareholding”. These shareholders must have voting rights.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), on the other hand, welcomed the reviewed Mining Charter, saying that it appreciated the increase from the initial 26% to the 30% minimum BEE shareholding in the industry.

Zwane said the majority of the people of South Africa who make up 90% of the population remained excluded from the economy. He said the economy remained lopsided, unequal and non-inclusive because of the legislative framework.

Zwane said this was a huge detriment to South Africa’s socio-economic growth efforts, adding that the need for radical economic
transformation was more imperative than ever before because it sought to redress the institutionalised monopoly of the economy.

“Economic reforms are needed to ensure broader and inclusive participation to enable the attainment of a far more inclusive and competitive economy,” Zwane said.

“Our primary legislation, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), is designed to facilitate easier access to the minerals beneath the soil by the people of South Africa.

“This piece of legislation is being strengthened in order to ensure that the majority of South Africans benefit from the country’s mineral resources sector.”

Over R900 million of the allocated R1.779 billion will be transferred to the department’s entities, who are responsible for work in research and development, skills development and beneficiation.

Zwane also said the rehabilitation of derelict and ownerless mines was ongoing, with a total of 45 sites rehabilitated in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal in the previous financial year.

Source : Mining Weekly

South32 awards R158m coal contract to 100% black-owned mining firm

JOHANNESBURG – Diversified mining company South32 has awarded a three-year, R158-million contract at the Wolvekrans Middelburg Complex to 100% black-owned Modi Mining, which aims to source up to 90% of its labour from the nearby communities.

The award marks an advance on the ASX- and JSE-listed company’s plans for a more inclusive supplier landscape.

“Transformation is central to our efforts to make a meaningful contribution to the social and economic development of South Africa,” said South32 president and COO Africa Mike Fraser in a release to Mining Weekly Online.

In an Investing in African Mining Indaba address in February, Fraser emphasised the need for a supportive legislative, regulatory and administrative environment for inclusive growth solutions to realise their full potential.

He expressed the view at the Indaba that while mining still represented a significant vehicle for driving inclusive growth, it remained legislatively challenged, with above-inflation costs rendering high-quality resources less accessible.

“If we don’t get on the same playing field and face the same goal, then regardless of the country’s natural endowments, South Africa’s mining industry is at risk of not realising its potential,” Fraser warned in his pre-Mining Charter Three address.

The triple-listed South32, with operations in Australia, Southern Africa and South America, produces coal, manganese ore, manganese alloy and aluminium locally.

Source : Mining Weekly

 

Zambia’s 2017 copper output expected to top 850 000 t

LUSAKA – Copper production in Zambia, Africa’s No.2 producer of the metal, is expected to rise to 850 000 t in 2017 from 770 597 t last year, the nation’s vice president said on Thursday.

“Copper production is poised to continue increasing owing to the expansion projects at existing mines and greenfield projects that are ongoing,” Vice-President Inonge Winasaid at a mining and energy conference.

Source : Mining Weekly

Mining Charter exposing South African economy to GATT angst

JOHANNESBURG – The procurement rules of the new Mining Charter may violate South Africa’s obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), exposing the country to challenges by other member states of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers Peter Leon and Patrick Leyden warned on Wednesday.

The lawyers point out that, under GATT, South Africa is obliged to afford imported products “treatment no less favourable than that accorded to like products of national origin”, and thus not to apply any regulatory measures that afford preference to domestic products over imported products.

But under Mining Charter Three, which Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane gazetted controversially on June 15, mineral right holders are not allowed to procure more than 30% of their mining goods from foreign suppliers, which clearly gives domestic producers a significant advantage over foreign competitors.

Similarly, under the General Agreement on Trade in Services(GATS) agreement, South Africa is obliged to accord foreign service providers “treatment no less favourable than domestic suppliers”, which Mining Charter Three again obfuscates by not allowing mineral right holders to procure more than 20% of their services from foreign suppliers and imposing race-based quotas.

In addition, these foreign suppliers are forced to pay 1% of turnover to the yet-to-be-established Mining Transformation and Development Agency.

Importantly, however, Leon and Leyden hold the view that the Minister does not even have the power to amend the Mining Charter, let alone make it legally binding.

This is because the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill, 2013, from which the charter is meant to get its legislative status, has not yet been passed.

The Bill, which was referred back to Parliament in January 2015, has been in the correction phase for the last two-and-a-half years, with little chance of it being passed this year.

“The legal position thus remains, in our view, that the Minister can neither amend the charter nor make it binding on the industry,” the lawyers stated in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.

Section 100(2)(a) of the MPRDA, according to Leon and Leyden, empowers the Minister to develop a policy, rather than a set of binding rules, and to do so only once – within six months of the MPRDA’s promulgation date of May 1, 2004, which, in fact, occurred on August 13, 2004.

While the MPRDA Amendment Bill of 2013 aimed to address this by elevating the charter to the status of legislation, this had still not been done, and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) had meanwhile missed an opportunity to create more regulatory certainty, and instead heaped new ownership, procurement, employment equity and quasi tax burdens on an already battered industry.

After months of speculation regarding the nature and content of the new charter, the DMR sparked instant retaliation when they brought it into immediate effect through a gazette notice.

The Chamber of Mines is applying for an interim court interdict to suspend the implementation of the charter, owing to its devastating set of new legal requirements on which there was no consultation.

South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa this week called for a recrafting of the charter to correct the “clear misalignment” between the chamber and the Minister; the Bench Marks Foundation denounced it as a measure that will worsen the lot of mining communities; and the ruling African National Congress drew attention to its negative impact on jobs.

GATT IMPACT FAR-REACHING

While a breach of either the GATT or GATS would not directly impact on mineral right holders, it could make South Africa vulnerable to challenges by other member States of the WTO, the lawyers warned.

If the implementation of Mining Charter Three causes South Africa to act in breach of its GATT and GATS obligations, it would have to negotiate a modification or face referral to the WTO’s dispute settlement body.

In the case of negotiation of a modification, South Africa would have to tender necessary “compensatory adjustments”, which could result in other sectors of the economy being deprived of protections afforded by the GATT and GATS.

Reference to the dispute settlement body could result in South Africa’s rights under the GATT and GATS being suspended until the dispute is resolved.

Predictably, such a suspension would have a detrimental impact on the entire economy and not simply the mining industry, the lawyers cautioned.

NEW PROSPECTING RIGHTS

Under the new charter, applicants for new prospecting rights must have a minimum of 50% plus one black person shareholding, in a move that places a capital-intensive and high-risk exploration burden on South Africa’s black population as controlling shareholders in prospecting ventures.

NEW MINING RIGHTS

Applicants for new mining rights must have a 30% black shareholding, which must be held in a separate entity from the holder of the right and must be made up of a minimum of 8% of issued shares owned by employee share ownership plans (Esops), 8% of issued shares owned by mine communities; and 14% of issued shares owned by black entrepreneurs.

Community shares must be held in a trust managed by the Mining Transformation and Development Agency and black shareholders in general may only sell their shares to other black persons, which may well result in communities and Esops struggling to find other communities and other Esopsto buy their shares.

New right holders must pay a minimum of 1% of yearly turnover to black shareholders over and above any distributions to shareholders; whether this is intended to be a “distribution” under the Companies Act, 2008, or a form of tax or royalty is not yet clear.

If under the Companies Act, it appears contrary to the provisions of the Act, which require the equal treatment of holders of the same class of shares.

If it is a tax or royalty, the lawyers point out that the Minister has no power to impose such a tax.

If, after ten years, vendor loans to black shareholders are not being repaid through dividends the outstanding balance must be written off by the mineral right holder, which arguably violates the prohibition on the arbitrary deprivation of property.

EXISTING RIGHTS

Transactions concluded prior to the charter date with a 26% black shareholding are subject to a 4% top-up to 30% black shareholding, which must happen by June 15 next year.

In addition, black shareholders must directly and actively control their equity interest in the empowering entity, including the transportation, trading and marketing of their proportionate share of mine production.

The obligations imposed by this provision are seen as being vague and contrary to the general principles of company law, which decrees that the mining company is the owner of the mine production, and not its shareholders.

In the view of Leon and Leyden, shareholders cannot ‘actively control’ a pro rata portion of the assets or decisions of the mining company.

The recognition of historical empowerment transactions will not apply to applications for new rights, renewals of rights or applications under Section 11 of the MPRDA, which suggests that existing holders will need to comply with the requirements for new mining rights in these circumstances. This would mean that mining companies that may already be “compliant” with the 30% ownership requirement would need to restructure their existing black shareholding completely, for any renewal of existing rights or to acquire existing rights from other companies.

BENEFICIATION OFFSET

A holder may offset up to 11% of its black person ownership requirement provided that the beneficiation activities are ongoing and that the DMR has approved the proposed activities. There is still no method or manner of calculating the offset fifteen years after this principle was first introduced in the original Mining Charter.

SALE OF MINING ASSETS

A holder who sells its mining assets must give black-owned companies a preferential option to purchase them.

PROCUREMENT RULES

The rule that a minimum of 70% of expenditure on the procurement of mining goods must be for South African manufactured goods, has an additional rider of at least 21% being sourced from black-owned companies.

Moreover, 5% must be sourced from black-owned companies with a minimum of 50% plus one black female or black youth control; and 44% must be sourced from black economically empowered manufacturing companies.

A minimum of 80% of expenditure on mining company services must be from South Africa-based companies, with at least 65% of these services coming from black-owned companies; 10% of services from black-owned companies with a minimum of 50% plus one black female control; and 5% of services from black-owned companies with a minimum of 50% plus one black youth control.

Foreign suppliers must pay 1% of their yearly turnover from local mining companies to the Mining Transformation and Development Agency.

EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

Boards of mining companies must be made up of a minimum of 50% black persons, 25% of whom must be female. Executive management must have a minimum of 50% black persons, 25% of whom must be female.

Senior management must be made up of a minimum of 60% black persons, 30% of whom must be female and middle management must be made up of a minimum of 75% black persons, 38% of whom must be female.

Junior management must be made up of a minimum of 88% black persons, 44% of whom must be female.

Employees with disabilities must make up at least 3% of all employees.

MINING TRANSFORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

The Mining Transformation and Development Agency replaces both the social development fund and the ministerial skills development fund and is to be responsible for skills, enterprise and supplier development, and managing community trusts.

HUMAN RESOURCES

A holder must invest 5% of the leviable amount as defined in the Skills Development Levies Act, 1999, on essential skills development, with 2% on essential skills development activities; 1% to South African historically black academic institutions for research and development initiatives; and 2% to the Mining Transformation and Development Agency.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

A holder must contribute to mine community development by identifying priority projects in accordance with the municipality’s approved integrated development plans, under which the holder’s contribution must be proportionate to the size of its investment and in accordance with its social and labour plan (SLP), which must be published in English and other languages used by the community; and all project management and consultation fees incurred are capped at 8% of the total budget.

HOUSING CONDITIONS

A holder is required to submit a housing and living conditions plan that is approved by the DMR after consultation with organised labour and the Department of Human Settlements.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Holders must implement elements that improve environmental management; health and safety performance; and research and development spend.

All targets stipulated in Mining Charter Three are applicable throughout the duration of the mining right, including prospecting rights, unless a specific element specifies otherwise.

NONCOMPLIANCE CONSEQUENCES

If a holder fails to comply with the ownership, mine community development and human resource development elements and falls within level five to eight of the scorecard, the holder will be regarded as noncompliant and in breach of the MPRDA. This provision attempts to elevate the Mining Charter to the status of legislation, which it is not.

BDO Africa desk leader Owen Murphy says the charter contains measures that are extremely difficult to meet and is indicative of a government unwilling to negotiate any form of compromise with leading industry players.

“The Minister has the power to cancel a company’s mineral rights for noncompliance with the charter, so the implications of this could have the effect of threatening the industry’s economic viability,” Murphy commented in a release to Mining Weekly Online.

Source : Mining Weekly

Kodal discovers further lithium mineralisation at Mali prospect

JOHANNESBURG – West Africa-focused mineral exploration company Kodal Minerals on Tuesday announced further wide, high-grade lithium mineralised drill intersections at the Ngoualana prospect, at its Bougouni lithium project, in Southern Mali.

The assay results continue to confirm the high-grade and consistent mineralisation of the Ngoualana pegmatite that currently remains open along strike and at depth.

The intersections have been reviewed against the logged geology to confirm zones and the duplicate sampling reviewed to confirm reliability of information.

The 1% lithium oxide (Li2O) lower cutoff is regarded as a high limit for reporting and reflects the nature of the spodumene-rich pegmatite units and the consistency of the mineralised zones.

The pegmatite veins intersected by drilling at Bougouni are spodumene-rich low mica pegmatite bodies.

The high-grade lithium mineralisation returned in the assays compares favourably with other hard-rock spodumene mineralised pegmatite veins under development around the world where grades range from 1.1% Li2O to 1.4% Li2O.

The intersections have been estimated using a 1% Li2O lower cut off, and have consistently high mineralisation throughout the pegmatite bodies.

“In addition to this major drilling campaign, we have been undertaking metallurgical testing and a review of the logistics for mining in the Bougouni region. Our exploration is at an early stage; however, we are ensuring that we are maintaining a very fast pace to move rapidly through the mining development phases,” CEO Bernard Aylward said.

The Bougouni project comprises two concessions, the Kolassokoro and Madina concessions, which cover a contiguous area of 500 km2.

Kodal has been exploring the concessions since September 2016 and has completed geological reconnaissance, rock chip sampling, geophysical review and trench sampling.

The exploration activities continue to enhance the project, with numerous exploration targets developed and drill results confirming high-grade mineralisation.

Source : Mining Weekly