Engineering & Mining Journal

SEP 2018

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REGIONAL NEWS - AFRICA 20 E&MJ • SEPTEMBER 2018 DRC: New Mining Industry Body Forms to Focus on Mining Code Improvement Mining companies accounting for 80% of copper and cobalt production and 90% of gold production in the Democratic Re- public of Congo (DRC) have established a new body, the Mining Promotion Initiative (MPI), to engage with the government on industry concerns about the country's new mining code and any other material issue concerning the mining industry in the DRC. MPI General Secretary Richard Robin- son said the industry's main issue remains the application of the 2018 Mining Code. This code compromises those investors who have invested in the country indi- vidually and alongside state companies, on terms guaranteed by the government through legislation, specific guarantees and bilateral trade agreements. Further- more, should some of the key issues in the new code not be addressed, it would discourage further investment in large and small sustainable projects, which is crucial for the DRC economy as well as the mining sector, he said. "That is why we are committed to continue working with the government to seek a mutually agreeable solution and improve the legal framework for current and new investments," he said. He said MPI's members sought a sustainable outcome for all DRC stake- holders, which respected the laws of the country and the preservation of acquired rights. At the same time, individual mem- ber companies were also engaging with the authorities with regard to the effect and implementation of the 2018 code. South Deep Will Restructure, Initiate Potential Layoffs After facing numerous operational challeng- es at its South Deep operation, Gold Fields announced a restructuring plan to reduce activity and lower costs. The company said this may lead to a layoff of 1,100 perma- nent employees and 460 contractors. The South African mine, which is the second-largest gold mine in the world, has consistently failed to meet mining and production targets and has lost 4 bil- lion rand ($272 million) over the last five years, Gold Fields said. Gold Fields purchased the mine in 2006 and has invested 32 billion rand in the operation. The biggest challenge, it said, has been transitioning the mine from "one run with a conventional mining mind- set and practices to mining with a modern, bulk, mechanized mining approach." The company already tried restructur- ing and shift changes, but said it did not see much improvement. "The proposed restructuring at South Deep aims to consolidate mining activity to increase focus and to match the cost structure to the current level of perfor- mance," the company said. Part of the restructuring includes ser- vicing the eastern part of the mine from the Twin Shafts and re-staff the South Shaft operations to a single shift per day; reduce growth capital expenditure for the next 18 months to reduce the cash burn; and temporarily suspend mining activities at 87 Level and redeploy these mining crews into the 4W corridor. The company said it was unable to pro- vide guidance for 2019 and beyond until the proposed restructuring is completed. Kinross Halts Phase 2 Expansion of Mauritania Mine Gold miner Kinross has decided to pause Phase Two activities at its Tasiast mine following a decision in early May by the government of Mauritania to reject a per- mit and a desire to enter into discussions about the miner's activities in the country. Kinross said it is analyzing alternative throughput expansion options at Tasiast as it continues to engage with the government. "The completion of our evaluation of alternative approaches, and a Phase Two restart decision, are subject to our ongo- ing engagement with the government," said J. Paul Rollinson, president and CEO. "We remain committed to disci- plined capital allocation as we seek addi- tional clarity on the matter." Phase One construction is complete, first ore has gone through the SAG mill, commissioning is in the final stages, and the project has been transferred to operations. The Tasiast mine is an open-pit oper- ation located in northwestern Mauritania, approximately 300 kilometers (km) north of the capital Nouakchott. Tasiast pro- cesses ore via an 8,000-metric-ton-per- day mill and heap leach. Gold Fields Completes Joint Venture Transaction With Asanko Gold Gold Fields Ltd. has completed the joint venture transaction with Asanko Gold With Phase One construction at Tasiast complete, fi rst ore has passed through the SAG mill, commissioning is in the fi nal stages, and the project has been transferred to operations.

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