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ANC mulls legislation to supersede mining contracts – official


Mining Weekly

JOHANNESBRURG – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) wants to forge an economy in which its natural resources best serve the country, says the head of the party’s task team formed to study a proposal to nationalise mines.

National needs could take precedence over mining companies’ desire to export so that the country’s coal, iron-ore and other mineral reserves benefit the continent’s biggest economy, Enoch Godongwana said in an inter- view in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s policies should be guided by the extent to which we can use our resources to achieve a number of goals, among them growth and redistribution, Godongwana said.

Legislation that supersedes any contract you have to ensure the assets meet the country’s needs is an option,” he said. “In certain circumstances, national interest must prevail.”

Citigroup last year valued the country’s mineral resources at $2.5-trillion, the highest of any nation. Leaders of companies including AngloGold Ashanti, Africa’s biggest gold producer, and Standard Bank Group, the continent’s largest lender, have said nationalising mines will curb growth and hinder job creation in a country where one in four is unemployed.

South Africa has the world’s largest reserves of platinum, 30% of the world’s gold, and supplies coal to Indian and European power stations. Anglo American, Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton have assets in the country, which is also home to two of the world’s four biggest gold miners and the two largest platinum producers.

The ANC’s Youth League and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s largest labor grouping and a party ally, say that the ANC will adopt nationalisation as a policy at its national conference next year, and is only looking into the details of how best to do it. The study was agreed to after repeated demands by the youth wing, which is led by the 30-year-old Julius Malema.

If there are some people who say we’re going to nationalise and we’re just looking at the modalities, I’d suggest that person is insulting the intelligence of ANC delegates,” said Godongwana, who opposes State control of industry. “I don’t believe we should take on managing more than we can.” Read more.

Canadian mining firm picks up heavy contract in Mozambique


titanium(IV) oxide
Image via Wikipedia

Afrique Avenir April 20th, 2011 in BusinessNews

APA: Maputo (Mozambique) The Mozambican government has granted Rock Forage Titanium Ltd, a mining firm formed by Canadian and Mozambican investors, a tender to exploit heavy mineral sands in the southern district of Chibuto, local reports indicated in Thursday.

Initially, the rights to the Chibuto mineral sands were granted to the Australian company BHP-Billiton, but were withdrawn in 2009.

Reports suggested that the Chibuto concession area covers 10,840 hectares and studies to date indicate that the deposit contains 72 million tons of ilmenite (iron titanium oxide), and smaller amounts of rutile and zircon.

Ilmenite is used to produce titanium dioxide which is a key component of pigments in the paint, paper and plastics industries.

The tender was launched on 18 October 2010, and the deadline for bids was 18 March. Just two bids namely from Rock Forage Titanium, and MOD Chibuto Sands, a South African consortium were received and opened.

According to the reports, the Mineral Resources Ministry’s Assessment Commission found that the Rock Forage bid was much superior to the MOD submission, scoring 712.57 points against 400.36 points.

The government will now negotiate an agreement of principles with Rock Forage, followed by a mining contract.

One of the main problems in exploiting titanium ores in Chibuto is obtaining enough electricity for the mining and beneficiation.

A shortage of power in southern Africa has held up other major industrial projects, such as the third phase of the Mozal aluminium smelter on the outskirts of Maputo.

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