Regional News - Africa August 2017

Tanzania Slaps Huge Tax Bill on Acacia

The government of Tanzania has sent Acacia Mining a bill of $190 billion in unpaid taxes and fines for years 2000 to 2017. This comes after the government alleged Acacia underdeclared export revenues. Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Ltd. and Pangea Minerals Ltd., the owners and operators of the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines, respectively, received a series of Notices of Adjusted Assessment from the Tanzania Revenue Authority for historical corporate income tax, covering the periods 2000 to 2017 for Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and 2007 to 2017 for Pangea Minerals. The assessments follow on the findings of the First Presidential Committee, which were announced on May 24 and the Second Presidential Committee announced on June 12

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AngloGold Starts Process to Shut Down 2 Mines

AngloGold Ashanti announced on June 28 that it was beginning a consultation process with employees in terms of section 189 and 189A of South Africa’s Labour Relations Act that would lead to placing its Kopanang gold mine and the Savuka section of its TauTona gold mine on care and maintenance.

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Regional News - Africa July 2017

Acadia, Tanzania Discussing Export Dispute

Acacia Mining PLC and Tanzania agreed in June to hold talks aimed at resolving a dispute that has been brewing over an export ban, after Barrick Chairman John Thornton met with the country’s president, Dr. John Magufuli. Barrick holds a controlling interest in Acacia (63.9%).

“I feel very optimistic that we will reach a resolution, which is a win-win,” Thornton said. “We will be sitting down soon with a team designated by the president and our own team.”

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Platinum Group Metals Reports on Waterberg DFS

Platinum Group Metals Ltd. reported that engineering work is under way to support a definitive feasibility study (DFS) of its Waterberg project on the northern limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex. Included in the work are infill drilling, resource modeling, mine plan optimization and infrastructure engineering. Engineering and design work to reduce and improve underground development and to optimize project scale and return will also be part of the DFS.

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Regional News - Africa June 2017

Acacia Accused of Under-reporting Mineral Exports

A damning report published in Tanzania claims London-listed Acacia Mining has been under-declaring exports, making a quick end to a ban on mineral sales from the country unlikely. In late May, Tanzanian President John Magufuli fired his mining minister and the chief of the state-run mineral audit agency, on the basis of the report. In a televised speech, Magufuli said Acacia Mining declared gold, copper, and silver in its mineral sand exports, but did not declare other precious metals in the consignments.

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Norilsk Considers Legal Action Against Botswana

Norilsk Nickel has served notice that it intends to commence legal proceedings in Botswana against the government of Botswana in respect to its involvement in the trading of BCL Ltd. and BCL Investments Pty Ltd., with a view to recovering the roughly $271 million (plus damages and other costs) that they are owed in relation to the sale of a 50% interest in the Nkomati mine in South Africa and the $6.4 million they are owed in relation to the sale of the Tati mine in Botswana. The government of Botswana is the ultimate shareholder of BCL through its corporate vehicle MDCB.

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Regional News - Africa May 2017

Ivanhoe Starts Work on Shaft 2 at Platreef

Ivanhoe Mines is initiating early-works construction for Shaft 2 at the Platreef platinum-group-metals, nickel, copper, and gold project on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Igneous Complex. Ivanhoe owns 64% of the project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, and is directing all mine development work.
The early-works program includes excavation of a surface box cut to a depth of approximately 29 m below surface and construction of the concrete foundation for the 103-m-tall concrete headframe that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities.
Ivanhoe expects the early-works construction to take approximately 12 months to complete. Cost of the work is estimated at R70 million ($5.5 million).

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Bristow: Gold is Heading for a Supply Cliff

Gold production is heading for a ‘supply cliff’ because of a chronic lack of exploration, says Randgold CEO Mark Bristow. He told E&MJ that the search for fresh deposits had fallen to almost nothing. “There has been a complete lack of investment in exploration and we are headed for a supply cliff. If any new demand over what is currently experienced were to occur, it will drive the price,” he said.
Bristow is arguably one of the most successful gold bosses right now. He has turned London based but Africa-focused Randgold into a $7 billion company, and is the only gold producer in the Ftse 100 index. Randgold has built, financed and operates five gold mines in Africa — Loulo, Gounkoto and Morila in Mal; Tongon in Côte d’Ivoire and Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company also has a major project at Massawa in Senegal and a portfolio of exploration projects in the most prospective gold belts of West and Central Africa.

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Kimberley Court Issues Liquidation Order to Rockwell Diamonds

A judge in Kimberley, South Africa, during late March, issued an interim liquidation order against three subsidiaries of Rockwell Diamonds: Rockwell Resources RSA (Pty) Ltd., HC van Wyk Diamonds Ltd and the Saxendrift Mine. Interim liquidators have been appointed by the Master of the High Court, in accordance with requisitions by the major creditors. However, in view of further filings by Rockwell, they will not take control of the three companies, which remain in operation. Rockwell, an alluvial diamond miner, is known for producing large, high quality gemstones.

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