Burkina Faso’s $1bn Manganese Project Seeks New Partners

 Burkina Faso is looking for a new partner to mine the world’s largest manganese deposit after rights disputes thwarted two earlier attempts to develop the $1-billion project. Pan African Minerals, a unit of Timis Mining, was told to stop production at the Tambao mine in 2015 following a change in leadership in the West African nation. The company then petitioned the International…

Rwanda Targets $2bn Investments for 50 Mining Licenses in 2018

 Rwanda will issue 50 new licences to mine metals including gold, tin and tantalum this year that may help boost investment in the East African nation by a fifth, the Rwanda Development Board said. The state-run board expects to attract $2-billion of investment in 2018, compared with $1.67-billion last year, CEO Clare Akamanzi said in an interview in the capital, Kigali. It’s…

Debt & Political Risks: Glencore Is Mortgaging the Future of Africa’s ‘Oil-Cursed’ Countries

Congo Republic is set to become the latest African country to start debt relief talks with trading houses after borrowing $2-billion from merchants such as Trafigura and Glencore but now finding its debt levels unsustainable, sources familiar with the matter said. Trading houses regularly lend money to resource-rich clients in financial distress – be it countries such as Congo, Chad, Morocco or Iraq‘s Kurdistan region…

World’s Biggest Miners Out of the Hole, Splash $200bn Comeback to Investors

Rio Tinto, BHP and Glencore dig up boom-era profits again, rewarding investors and looking for deals The world’s biggest mining companies are again poised to shower investors with billions of dollars and make deals, a turnaround fueled by the global economy’s renewed appetite for raw materials and by the burgeoning electric-vehicle market. Four of the…

Ramaphosa’s Priorities: Big Government Confronts Capacity and Vested Interests

The much-anticipated State of the Nation Address (SONA) by South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa has come and gone. While the deserved euphoria lasts, one critical discernible theme in the SONA is the yawning gap in “capacity” to manage public institutions. Unsurprisingly, President Ramaphosa assured that he’d be embarking on a complete overhaul of state-owned enterprises…

SA Mining Industry Will Smile Under Ramaphosa’s Presidency

 There’s excitement in the mining industry in South Africa. Perhaps, they should be excited because one of their own has just been inaugurated President of the Republic. But, Herbert Smith Freehills partner and Africa co-chairperson, Peter Leon is cautiously optimistic that the changes signaled by newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa will benefit South Africa’s economic recovery. In a speech to the British Chamber…

Electric Cars and Niche Metals Reviving Enthusiasm and Luring Cash Back to African Mines

Rising commodity prices may have revived enthusiasm for African resources, but it’s unlikely to be the old mainstays of coal and iron-ore pulling crowds next week as the mining industry meets in Cape Town. The electric-vehicle boom and shifting industrial demand have transformed formerly niche metals – from lithium and cobalt to praseodymium and neodymium – into the hot new drawcards of African mining.…

Understanding the Threats Facing the World’s Oil Kings

 Middle East producers who for decades reigned as the undisputed leaders of oil sales to Asia are sensing a threat to their dominance, which is goading them to review age-old habits. Before the U.S. shale boom and the biggest price crash in a generation, buyers eager to feed their galloping economies had little choice but…

Lesotho Digs Up Biggest Diamond in History, Weighs More Than a Baseball

The small southern African, Lesotho, often called the High Mountain Kingdom, hit the headlines today with the announcement that miners in the country have unearthed one of the largest diamonds ever found, a glittering giant weighing 910 carats, or 6.4 ounces, and probably worth tens of millions of dollars. Reuters reports that the stone, found…