Latest Mining sector features from across Africa.

Latest Mining Corporate Stories

Paradigm Project Management

Paradigm shift Is South Africa losing its status as the gateway to Africa? Not if Gauteng-based multidisciplinary mining consultancy Paradigm Project Management is anything to go by. Africa Outlook talks to Jeremy Clarke.. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager James Mitchell Contrary to concerns that, when it comes to mining, South Africa is losing its status as the gateway to Africa, recent research has found that South African companies that support the mining sector beyond the country's borders have in fact expanded. In One Thing Leads to Another: Promoting Industrialisation by Making the Most of the Commodity Boom in sub-Saharan Africa, Mike Morris and David Kaplan of the University of Cape Town, along with Open University's Raphael Kaplinsky, provide the most up to date information on companies that service or supply the mining sector, and on the developers of patents. According to the book, these companies have benefited from the increased demand and the expansion of projects by South African-based mining companies, particularly with regard to expansion into sub-Saharan Africa. One such company is Gauteng based multidisciplinary mining consultancy Paradigm Project Management (PPM). The company was founded in 2006 and in a short space of time has built up a substantial client base and has delivered on an impressive array of projects. "PPM operates in the sub-Saharan mining industry and this has seen major changes in the last nine months," says Director Jeremy Clarke. "The current state of the industry varies from country to country. South Africa, for instance, is seeing a contraction of the industry due

Cardno BEC

Into Africa: Cardno seeks expansion Africa is undergoing a period of unprecedented economic growth and this represents huge opportunity says Bruce Johnson, Area Manager/ Manager New Projects, Cardno BEC. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager James Mitchell Africa is undergoing a period of unprecedented economic growth and is increasingly catching the attention of foreign investors, who have contributed to a rapid increase in capital expenditure. In fact, it's nothing new - foreign direct investment in Africa has been on the rise since the early 2000s, increasing fivefold in 2000-2010. It is the real deal and the continent's economic outlook for 2013 and 2014 is promising, confirming its healthy resilience to internal and external shocks and its role as a growth pole in an ailing global economy. Africa's economy is projected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2013 and accelerate further to 5.3 percent in 2014. "Now is the time for Africa," says Bruce Johnson, Area Manager/ Manager New Projects, Cardno BEC, the head of project development, service and business development within the Cardno BEC engineering team. "We agree that Africa's potential is huge; there are fantastic opportunities in Africa. Its large reserves of undeveloped mineral resources are in demand and in that there is opportunity." Cardno BEC is part of Brisbane based environmental and engineering consulting services company Cardno Limited. Cardno, with its large project history in Africa, strong infrastructure capabilities, and prior experience working with government policy makers around the world, is uniquely positioned to provide the services to help Africa fulfil its potential, says Johnson.

DTC Botswana

A cut above the rest In 2011 De Beers and the Botswana government signed a ten-year agreement to move the London DTC to Botswana. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Debbie Clark Botswana has experienced a serious resurgence of mining activity, with more discoveries seemingly every month. Speaking with me in 2012, Charles Siwawa, CEO of the Botswana Chamber of Mines, said the minerals sector of the country was flourishing and that "exploration for a wide variety of minerals is active and several new minerals projects were launched during last year." Botswana, he said, is a country "getting back to its feet" following the disastrous effects of the 2008 global economic meltdown. "The downturn in the global economy commencing 2008 has had serious repercussions on the mining sector in Botswana," Siwawa explained. "The industry went into a lull with some companies closing down whilst others retrenched staff all in an effort to reduce costs and weather the storm. I think since 2010 however the economic landscape has been changing, picking up, to the extent that in July 2011 we had the highest world record sales of diamonds from Botswana. That has tailed off slightly in terms of production and we are not yet back to the pre-2008 crisis levels but we are certainly producing diamonds and the economy is picking up." Diamonds are of course a girl's best friend; they're Botswana's too. And in August last year, De Beers began rough stone sorting in the country, a first step in its transfer from London to Gaborone. Rough

African Minerals

Ore inspiring Africa Outlook looks at iron ore miner African Minerals Ltd's flagship Tonkolili mine in Sierra Leone. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Ben Weaver Ore owners have described West Africa as the new frontier and the quest for its iron-ore resources has driven a railway and mining boom worth an estimated $25 billion. So many discoveries have been made in the region that it has been described as the new Pilbara, after the massive iron ore fields in Western Australia. Aim-listed African Minerals Ltd's (AML) Tonkolili mine in the Sula Mountain range in Sierra Leone sits on top of one of West Africa's largest iron ore deposits. The firm, founded by entrepreneur Frank Timis as Sierra Leone Diamond Company, spent seven years exploring the deposit before confirming the presence of a world-class magnetite iron ore deposit in 2009. The London based company signed a 99-year lease with the government of Sierra Leone to rehabilitate the 74km 1067mmgauge railway from the port of Pepel to the old mine at Marampa and build a 126km extension to a new iron-ore mine at Tonkolili. It began production just 14 months after the mining permit was issued and the first ore trains ran in November 2011. The second phase "will entail the development of a new purpose built port at Tagrin Point. The new port will have the ability to load Cape Size vessels alongside the quay and avoid the costs of using transhipment vessels. At the mine a new major concentrator will be built, producing 30Mtpa of high

Base Titanium

Kenya's extractive industries attract attention The sheer size and potential of Base Resources' Kwale Mineral Sands Project in Kenya is impressive and it is tipped to be a "globally significant" producer, with a front-ended production profile over a 13-year mine life. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Debbie Clark In January construction of Base Resources' Kwale Mineral Sand Project passed the half way mark and it is now more than 70 percent complete, with production on track for the second half of this year. The first bulk shipments of product are expected in December and key offtake arrangements are in place. "It is safe to say that development is well advanced and on schedule," says Joe Schwarz, general manager for external affairs and development, who explained that Kwale is poised to become a "globally significant" producer, with a front-ended production profile over a 13-year mine life. "It is estimated it will go on to contribute some $300 million to the government of Kenya in direct tax and royalty payments," he says. The project offers Kenya "immediate growth potential" with its development expected to contribute significantly to driving economic growth in various industries including energy, construction, transportation and finance. "Kwale was first initiated by Canadian explorer Tiomin Resources in the mid-90s," says Schwarz. "They carried out the initial exploration, environmental, re-settlement and feasibility work but after several years of advancing the project they suffered a series of setbacks until, in July 2010, they sold the project assets to Base Resources." From there, says Schwarz - and with the