Modern Mining

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Modern Mining March 2018 Front coverWe lead off our in-depth project coverage in this issue with a report on Shanta Gold’s New Luika Gold Mine (NLGM) near Mbeya in south-west Tanzania. The mine has now transitioned into being predominantly an underground operation, with two underground orebodies – Bauhinia Creek and Luika – currently being exploited and a third, Ilunga, to follow.


Also covered in this issue are AfriTin’s plans to re-open the Uis tin mine in Namibia. Uis has a very low grade but this is offset by the fact that it can be mined using opencast methods. Uis is one of a crop of new African tin projects currently in development, including Bisie in the DRC’s North Kivu Province and Achmmach in Morocco.

In a feature on diamond mining we include articles on Venetia’s open-pit operation, now in its final years, and the BK16 kimberlite in Botswana, which is currently being evaluated by Tsodilo Resources.

Obuasi redevelopmentOur news section includes updates from mines and projects across Africa including the Obuasi gold mine in Ghana, which AngloGold Ashanti is planning to redevelop; the Kakula copper project in the DRC, where the huge resource thus far discovered keep on growing; Battery Minerals’ Balama Central and Montepuez graphite projects in northern Mozambique; and Magnum Mining’s Gravelotte emerald project in South Africa, now in the trial mining phase.

Comment – Exploration turns a corner

A special report entitled ‘World Exploration Trends’ prepared by S&P Global Market Intelligence reveals that global exploration spending (for non-ferrous metals) is on the rise after falling for four consecutive years. It hit a figure of US$8,4 billion in 2017 – although this is less than half the record US$21,5 billion recorded in 2012. Read more …

Cat 789D trucks under the spotlight at Foskor

A fleet of four Cat 789D 190-tonne off-highways trucks was delivered to Foskor’s opencast mine in Phalaborwa last year. They are the first Cat off-highways trucks to haul ore at the site in 30 years. The Cat 789 has been a highly successful machine for Caterpillar. It was first launched in 1986 with the D series being introduced in 2011. Read more …

New Luika underground operation hits its stride

According to Shanta Gold’s CEO, Eric Zurrin, the new underground operation at the company’s New Luika Gold Mine in Tanzania’s historic Lupa goldfield is performing well with production now running at steady-state levels. The mine – commissioned in 2012 – is expected to produce between 82 000 and 88 000 ounces of gold in 2018 at an AISC of US$680 to US$730 an ounce. Read more …

AfriTin works to revive historic tin mine

The Uis tin mine in Namibia, previously operated by a subsidiary of Iscor before closing in 1990, is to be revived. The new owner of the mine, AIM-listed AfriTin, is planning to have a Phase 1 operation able to produce up to 780 t/a of tin concentrate up and running later this year. This will provide the platform for a second – and much bigger – Phase 2 plant, which could enter construction next year. Read more …

Efficiencies up as Venetia’s open pit winds down

Media coverage of De Beers’ Venetia mine over the past several years has tended to concentrate on the huge US$2 billion Venetia Underground Project (VUP) to the exclusion of the highly efficient open-pit operation. Open-pit production last year totalled 36 Mt, an increase of 25 per cent on the 2016 figure, and allowed the mine to produce 4,6 million carats in 2017 compared to 3,6 million carats in 2016. Read more …

Bellsbank produces its first diamonds

ASX-listed Frontier Diamonds has reported the recovery of the first diamonds from its Bellsbank kimberlite pipe exploration project in the Northern Cape. The sample material from which the diamonds were recovered was processed through Frontier’s new bulk sampling plant at its Sedibeng mine, located 10 km from Bellsbank. The plant was established at a very low capital cost of just US$1,2 million. Read more …

Tsodilo progresses BK16 project

Tsodilo Resources is making good progress with the evaluation of the BK16 kimberlite pipe in Botswana. A Large Diameter Drilling (LDD) programme was completed in October last year and the kimberlite material produced by the programme is now being treated in the company’s newly refurbished DMS plant near Letlhakane. Read more …

Milestone for Tongo-Tonguma

Stellar Diamonds, listed on AIM, has announced the completion of a Tribute Mining and Revenue Share Agreement with Octea, which it describes as a milestone for the development of its Tonga-Tonguma diamond project in eastern Sierra Leone. The project, which could produce over 200 000 carats a year from underground mining, has the potential to be the second largest kimberlite mine in West Africa. Read more …

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Name: Arthur Tassell
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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Name: Bennie Venter
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