Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2018

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REGIONAL NEWS - AFRICA 22 E&MJ • NOVEMBER 2018 www.e-mj.com Katanga Temporarily Suspends Cobalt Sales Katanga Mining announced that its 75%- owned operating subsidiary, Kamoto Cop- per Co. SA, will temporarily suspend the sale of cobalt from its Kamoto Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) until further notice. The presence of uranium was recently detected in the co- balt hydroxide product in levels that exceed the acceptable limits. To date, the total co- balt production impacted by the sale sus- pension amounts to 1,472 metric tons (mt) of finished cobalt. The company reported sales of 2,176 mt for the first half of 2018. Production of cobalt at the Kamoto Project is expected to continue. The com- pany is currently conducting additional surveys to identify the source of the urani- um and exploring various options to miti- gate the impact of the sales suspension. Katanga said it intends to construct a $25 million Ion Exchange system to remove the uranium from the cobalt pro- duced at the project. It's expected to be commissioned by the end of the second quarter 2019 subject to obtaining the necessary approvals. Once commissioned, the processing of the cobalt stored on site is expected to be completed before the end of 2019 (See Markets p. 80). Mali Approves Agribusiness at Morila The government of Mali has approved Randgold Resources' ambitious plans to develop an agribusiness at the Morila gold mine in southern Mali to replace mining with a sustainable economic activity after the mine closes in two years' time. In a ceremony at Morila on October 8, Rand- gold Resources Chief Executive Mark Bri- stow stated that the project would support the government's drive to reduce poverty by promoting the agricultural sector. The Morila mine is located 280 kilo- meters (km) southeast of the Mali capital of Bamako and has produced more than 6 million ounces (oz) of gold since the start of production in 2000. "Converting Morila's infrastructure into a base for an agri-industrial zone will not only develop an alternative economy in this region but will also create a center of excellence for agriculture in Mali," Bristow said. "Through its project partner, Song- hai of Benin, Morila will work with these parties to attract businesses to Morila. It has been agreed to establish a non- governmental organization (NGO) to be the main vehicle for this enterprise and work together with the local community, the regional council, and the former work- ers' association." Senior Manager of Acacia Mining Faces Tax Evasion, Money Laundering Charges A senior manager of Acacia Mining's Tanzanian businesses has been arrested and charged by the Tanzanian Preven- tion and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). The senior manager has plead- ed not guilty to all charges, according to Acacia Mining. The company said it believes the charges are related to some of the 39 crim- inal charges brought forth by the PCCB on October 17 against a current employee and a former employee of Acacia group compa- nies, as well as Pangea Minerals Limited (PML), Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Ltd. (BGML) and North Mara Gold Mine Ltd. (NMGML). "We understand that he has been charged with various counts of tax eva- sion, forgery and money laundering, but have not yet seen a copy of the charge sheet," the company said in a statement. The senior manager, a Tanzania na- tional, remains in custody, and is not al- lowed to be released out on bail since he is charged with offenses under the Tanza- nian Anti-Money Laundering Act. "The company believes that these recent actions represent a significant escalation of governmental pressure, as the company's 19-month dispute with the government of Tanzania remains un- resolved and as the discussions between Barrick Gold Corp. and the government have not yet been concluded," Acacia said in a statement. Acacia noted that all the criminal proceedings relate to matters now being considered in contractual arbitrations, with the majority relating to the historical structuring and financing of PML, BGML and NMGML dating back as far as 2008, prior to the IPO of the Acacia Group. These contractual arbitrations have con- tinued through 2018. The government has accused Acacia of tax evasion, but Acacia has denied any wrongdoing. A technician takes a sample from a flotation cell at Kamoto Copper. (Photo: Katanga Mining)

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