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Mining Roundup, 2014

Mining Roundup, 2014

Mining Roundup, 2014

January

  • In South Africa, some 70,000 workers at Lonmin (right), Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum go on strike demanding a doubling in wages, halting about 40% of global production.
  • Richards Bay Coal Terminal announced plans to expand capacity by 19m tonnes to 110m tonnes per year.

 

February

  • Paladian Energy suspends its uranium mining operation in Malawi, due to low prices.
  • Coal miner Keaton Energy agrees $41.5m of financing with Investec.

 

March

  • Côte d’Ivoire passes a new Mining Code.
  • On the 14th, gold prices reach their 2014 peak of $1,379/oz.

 

April

  • Guinea renounces BSG Resources title to the country’s vast Simandou iron ore deposit.

 

May

  • Rio Tinto, Chinalco and the International Finance Corporation sign a $20bn deal to develop Guinea’s Simandou iron ore deposit.
  • The investment includes provision for a 650km railway and deepwater port.
  • Iron ore prices fall 25% from the start of the year to $100/tonne.
  • Copper prices fall below $6,500/tonne.
  • Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti open the Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

June

  • The platinum and gold strike comes to an end after a record five months, costing the loss of about 1.2m oz ($2.2bn).

 

July

  • AngloGold Ashanti sells its Navachab Gold Mine in Namibia to QKR Corporation Limited for $110m.

 

August

  • Kumba Iron Ore’s return to BEE entities reaches $2.1bn.
  • Aluminium prices reach $2,100/tonne.

 

September

  • BSG Resources files an arbitration claim against Guinea in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC.
  • De Beers announces record global record sales of $79bn.
  • Bellzone Mining, miner of iron ore in Forécariah, Guinea, suspends its shares.

 

October

  • Rio Tinto rejects a takeover bid from Glencore, saying it was “not in the best interests of shareholders”.
  • London Mining, miner of iron ore at Marampa, Sierra Leone, calls in the administrators.

 

November

  • After two years, the Marikana Commission of Inquiry led by Judge Ian Gordon Farlam finally concluded. The report was convened to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of 44 people during a strike at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in August 2012. Its report is expected to be submitted to President Zuma in March 2015.
  • China Sonangol announces a $30m financing line for Bellzone Mining.
  • Hummingbird Resources agrees a $75m refinancing package to fund construction of the Yanfolila gold project in Mali.
  • Vedanta Resources announces a $782m investment in its Gamsberg zinc mine in the Northern Cape.
  • Exxaro Resources is a partner in the Vedanta’s Northern Cape assets, including the Skorpion refinery.

 

December

  • Gold prices approach the end of the year where they started it, at around $1,200/oz.
  • Iron ore prices approach year end at $71/tonne, down 48% on the year.

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Written by Alexa Dalby

Alexa Dalby is a freelance arts and business journalist, with over 20 years varied experience of writing and broadcasting about Africa, and is currently assistant editor of African Business and African Banker magazines. She is a film critic and a specialist in African and Middle Eastern cinema.

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