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Issue 38 of 38 Next Issue | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
M.A.Y. Septemeber Issue
This is the September issue.
 
 

NEWS FROM THE MINES


Goedehoop

July 2006

Goedehoop Wins Gold for Safety

Anglo American plc chief executive, Tony Trahar, announced the winners in the group's annual safety competition held in Johannesburg recently.

Each division had nominated one large and one small business unit (employing less than 300 people) for the competition, which they regarded as their best safety performers, as well as their most improved units, both large and small, in the field of safety.

Anglo Coal South Africa's Goedehoop Colliery near Witbank took top honours, winning the gold award and receiving the crystal trophy for best performance in the field of safety during 2005 for large business units.

Trahar paid tribute to Goedehoop's clear signs of visible, felt leadership by regional general manager John Standish-White and his team. "This is a remarkable operation and it has recently received special recognition for its workplace HIV programmes from the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS", said Trahar. "That commitment to excellence translates also into a highly effective approach to safety. With roughly 1 800 people, a single lost-time injury in 2005 speaks for itself." He noted that the audit committee, in the judgin process, had commented enthusiastically on the communication, the risk and change management processes, and above all on the prominent leadership at the operaiton.

Runner-up in the large business unit category was, for the second successive year, Mondi Packaging Paper Steti in the Czech Republic.

Source:  Mining News July 2006


July 2006

Sustainability Essential - a Visit to Umjindi Jewellery, Barberton

World acclaimed jeweller, Jenna Clifford visited Umjindi Jewellery Project in Barberton - a community development project that is leading the way in sustainability.

Spearheading this community-based initiative and partnering with Vukani-Ubantu Community Develoment Projects, this partnership lays the foundation for the launch of a wholly African, high-end jewellery range: "Ubuntu by Jenna Clifford".

The vision of the brand is to create development opportunities for emerging black jewellers in South Africa through the design, production, marketing and sale of commercially viable jewellery ranges - with powerful African stories.

The project will entail developing the vision and practice of design and improving current quality standards.

Vukani is South Africa's largest non-governmental organisation in the jewellery training sector. It established the Umjindi Jewellery Project (JP) in Barberton in 2002, moving into a derelict old building and transforming it into a state-of-the-art jewellery training centre and production facility. UJP is one of six jewellery design and manufacturing projects established by Vukani since 1999.

Jenna Clifford held a motivational workshop with the project's learners and qualified goldsmiths on 16 March, at which learners received individual attention, as CLifford evaluated their craftsmanship and motivated them to "live their dreams".

This unique partnership will enable Clifford to plough her diverse experience into a meaningful and creative project - where emerging black jewellers can at last find expression in jewellery as art and also enter the mainstream jewellery industry.

The rare combination of Clifford's world class brand and vast experience in the jewellery industry (specifically with fine design), coupled wit passionate young jewellers and Vukani's enabling environment, translates to a winning formula.

This groundbreaking project can provide an income for all beneficiaries - and ultimately lead to a sustainable global model, combining social issues with commercial goals.

Vukani ensures broad-based black economic emplowerment. Its Umjindi Jewellery Project has won numerous awards, including Best Prctice Project (Mpumalanga) and Amabele Avuthiwe Award from Provincial Govt.

All successful Vukani learners are employed.

Source:  Mining News July 2006


July 2006

Well Done Kloof!

Golf Fields' Kloof gold mine on the West Rand achieved yet another milestone in the 38-year history when it recorded a million fatality-free shifts on 4 April 2006.

It is the fourth time the mine has achieved millionaire safety status in the past five years.  Kloof last recorded a million fatality free shifts on 20 October 2004.

Peter Turner, vice president and head of operations at Kloof said: "It is a fantastic achievement, and it is wonderful to see that employees are really motivated towards safe working.  Safety is everybody's responsibility."

Much of the success at Kloof is because of its Eyethu Meerkat campaign, which is aimed at improving productivity and safety.

Added Turner: "It is clear that we have learned from the meerkats about team work, raising and protecting our families.  A milestone like this can only be achieved through team work and focus on the safety principles.  Kloof and its employees are a family and like the meerkats we have united and demonstrated teamwork in achieving this milestone".

Source:  Mining News July 2006


Isibonela

July 2006

Isibonela Colliery Creating Growth

Anglo Coal's Isibonelo Colliery, a R769-million opencast operation was officially opened recently.  The operation was established following contractural agreements between Anglo Coal and Sasol Mining in October 2003 to jointly develop the Kriel South reserve area.

"Today marks the culmination of years of effort and teamwork by many people, across a large number of organisations, activities and disciplines," said Isibonelo general manager, Clive Ritchie.

Construction work began in November 2003 and the official sale and transfer of the business at Sasol's Syferfontein opencast Colliery to Anglo Coal was concluded on 1 April 2005.  The first coal was supplied to Sasol's Synthetic Fuels (SSF) on 1 July 2005.

Anglo Coal committed to establishing the opencast operation, which would supply in excess of five million t6ons of thermal coal a year to the SSF Plant in Secunda over a 20 year period, with a total estimated production of 200 million tons (Mt).  Sasol's investment amounts to R320 million.

To date the colliery has supplied over two million sales  tons to Sasol and has set a target of 4.5 My for the end of 2006.  The mine will reach full production of 5 Mt by 2007.

For 2005, Anglo Coal's global production was 93.0 Mt with 56.9 Mt in /South Africa, 26.1 Mt in Australia and 10.0 Mt Attributable to South America.

This is the first operation of its kind where a complete transfer of the labour force, equipment and assets was successfully achieved," said Tony Redman, Chairman of Anglo Coal.  "Isobonelo Colliery is a long-term operation which bodes well for future cooperative projects between Anglo Coal and Sasol."

Sasol is pleased to partner Anglo Coal in this venture, which will secure guaranteed additional coal supply to our Secunda Synfuels operation.  We look forward to growing future co-operation with Anglo Coal and are impressed by the speed and professionalism at which the supply agreement and establishment of Isibonelo Colliery came into being." said Sasol chief executive officer, Pat Davies.

Isibonelo has ensured the continued employment of over 230 permanent employees and hads provided opportunities for local business during the construction phase.

"As Anglo Coal's newest operation, our purpose is to supply coal to our customer, Sasol, over the next 20 years in a manner that accords with Anglo American sustainable development principles, and in the spirit of Yebo Siyaphambili - the Anglo Coal Way," added Ritchie.

The colliery is located approximately 129 km due east of Johannesburg, 60 km south of Witbank and 13 km east of Secunda.

Source:  Mining News July 2006


Anglo Zimele

July 2006

Anglo Zimele Showcasing at Electra Mining

Anglo Zimele, Anglo American's business development and empowerment initiative, will be participating in this year's Electra Mining Africa show.  "With mounting Scorecard pressures facing the mining sector4, one of the biggest challenges in the limited opportunity to interact with credible BEE and SME suppliers," says Anglo Zimele's managing director, Nick van Rensburg.

Anglo Zimele will be showcasing a diverse range of 50 of its small and medium black economic empowerment (BEE) enterprises, including transport and logistics, waste management, chemical manufacturing, personal protective equipment, engineering services and manufacturers of mining related products.

"Our showcase will afford visitors an opportunity to view the offerings and services of Anglo Zimele's small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while providing a platform for interested BEE partners to interact with the Anglo Zimele business development team," Van Rensburg says.

A special meeting room will be available for companies wishing to meet with Anglo Zimele or any of its SMEs.

This is the 17th Electra Mining Africa exhibition hosted in South Africa.  It is a high profile show that has developed into a world-renowned event and the second largest exhibition of its kind in the world.

In keeping with its international stature, the exhibition has consistently attracted a high number of international visitors and hosts exhibitors from many of the major countries and companies in the world.

"The exhibition is testimony not only to South Africa's vast mineral wealth, but also the sophistication and complexity of the industry that has resulted from mining these resources," says Mzolise Diliza, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines. "Electra Mining is a proud showcase of South Africa's internationally acclaimed mining sector and related industries," he says.

The challenge of the ever-increasing depths of South Africa's mines has led the South Africa's mining industry to be one of the most technologically advanced in the world and Electra Mining Africa is the forum for highlighting the technological sophistication of the sector, and South Africa's globally strategic position in this area.

With Mining Week coinciding with the show and the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) and other parastatal service providers to the industry exhibiting at Electra Mining Africa, and a DME locating conference, Electra Mining Africa is on track to set new records with over 98% of available exhibition space already sold across more than 630 exhibitors and 29 500m2 of contracted space.

Electra Mining Africa 2006 takes place at the Expo Centre NASREC, Johannesburg, from 11 - 15 September 2006.

For further information contact Gary Corin at +27 11 835 1565 or email gcorin@specialized.com.

Source:  Mining News July 2006


April 2006

Cleaner Coal Top Priority

The 28th CoalSafe safety, health and environment (SHE) campaign was once again held recently at the Emalahleni Civic Centre in Witbank.

The theme adopted this year was "Clean Coal" and the chairman of CoalSafe, Vusi Maseko, said: "Our theme for 2006 is based on the principle that excellence in coal production can be achieved without compromising high standards".

He added that coal mining had to be done without "Spilling blood or causing health and environmental harm".

Around 650 delegates, representing the country's collieries, took part in the day-long conference. The annual event is an exercise in assessing industry's progress and is used to encourage best practices among the various mines. It is also a commitment to the guidelines set out in the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996 and involves government, employers and employees.

Addressing the delegates, Maseko said that coal's significance as an export commodity for South Africa is rising. The demand for coal locally is also increasing and the industry itself is showing growth with many smaller mines also entering the industry.

Maseko said that mining could not take place by ignoring some of the obvious negative side effects of coal production. "Safety, health and the environment are not a one-day affair. We need to be mining sustainably and we need to show that we can do what we do in a good, clean manner," he said.

Various regional CoalSafe SHE campaigns will be held throughout the country from April to June to ensure that the message is taken back to the miners and other employees. Eight of the major mining houses will be involved and Maseko said smaller mines and contractors will also be brought on board.

 

Thumbs Up to Coal Mining Industry

Outgoing chief inspector of mines, May Hermanus, gave a cautious thumbs-up to the coal mining industry at this year's CoalSafe function.

Hermanus said that all indications are that industry is moving in the right direction. She did, however, war that more still needs to be done and for collieries to mine with greater responsibility to their employees and to the environment.

"Coal powers the country and we need more power to grow the economy and to make lives better. But this has come with a price to the environment and the price of people's lives. We do not want to pay that price any longer," said Hermanus.

She highlighted the continued challenges to the industry of the high rates of death and injury, silicosis and hearing loss.

In terms of deaths, the mining sector suffered a loss of 202 people in the last year. Though this is a 19% decrease, Hermanus said it still falls short of the 20% decrease target that the industry had set itself. In the coal mining sector, 16 deaths were recorded in 2005. There were also a high number of injuries, despite an encouraging year-on-year decrease. In 2005, the number of injured workers in the industry totalled 3 960. In 2004 that number was 4 268.

Hermanus said that the sad reality is that miners in South Africa are still exposed to too much risk and that South Africa's standard are not yet up to the best in the world.

"A South African miner is five times as likely to die in a South African mine, than his Australian counterpart," she said.

Addressing the issue of air quality Hermanus said that good air quality is not just about the important objective of alleviating environmental pollutants, but that good air quality is about combating lung disease and respiratory illnesses. Dust exposure has also not been adequately curbed and is up by 7%, she reported.

"We need to admit that in this regard we have failed," she said. The challenge to reduce hearing loss through noise reduction in the workplace has also not yet been entirely met. Hermanus said that though there are significant strides forward there are still too many people who remain in high risk categories.

"Without additional protection, these people will lose their hearing and that needs to be prevented now. We need to be innovative and we need to do better," she said.

Hermanus also touched on the issue of the continued high amounts paid out for compensation - an indication that people are still losing their lives or becoming ill as a result of the work they do. In 2005 the coal industry made up R1.5 million of a total R51,6 million industry-wide payout.

Source:  Mining News April 2006


AngloGold Ashanti

April 2006

Kopanang Mine Clinches Global Safety Award

Kopanang Mine has won the Dick Fisher Global Safety Award - the first time that a mine inSouth Africa has won this prestigious award. What is more, it is also the first time that an underground mine has managed to clinch the award.

Serra Grande Mine in South America was the first to scoop the award after it had been implemented in 2002. Sunrise Dam in Australia took it the following year and Mineracao Serra Grande in Brazil won in 2004.

All 21 mines in the AngloGold Ashanti stable participate in the annual safety excellence competition.

The principle of continuous improvement is an important feature and, in pursuit of excellence, all mines are measured on an individual basis against their own previous results taking into account the standing of that mine in relation to the best performers within the company. Improvement is measured in the implementation of the specific mine's risk management programme and the reduction of injuries to employees over a two-year period.

Kopanang's journey to success started four years ago, when a strategic decision was taken that the mine must improve its health and safety statistics and that a risk management system must be implemented that would be equal to the best in SOuth Africa.

Commenting on what it took to be recognised as the best among the best, Frik Fourie, general manager of kopanang Mine, said that they could not have won the award without total dedication by every Kopanang employee. He also noted that the mine's sucess can be attributed to the mindset change that has taken place over the past four years; and good relations between management, employees, contractors and organised labour.

"I am proud of my team, all the contractors, suppliers and the community who contributed to this prestigious milestone - I thank you," Fourie said.

Fourie has put a new challenge to his team, urging them to strive for the attainment of two million fatality-free shifts, which will make Kopanang the first AngloGold Ashanti mine ever to succeed in attaining this exceptional milestone twice.

Source:  Mining News April 2006


April 2006

Anglo Platinum Supporting Beneficiation

South Africa's first kingdom, Mapungubwe in Limpopo province, dates back 800 years. It is here that the golden rhino was discovered. Following in the footsteps of the people of Mapungbwe, a small group of South African goldsmiths recently displayed their work. Inspired by their passion for South Africa, all the places were manufactured in platinum.

"The Many Moods of Africa" was displayed at Veronica Anderson Jewellery in Rosebank. For the collection each jeweller was to create five pieces of fine jewellery reflecting their passion for South Africa. Anglo Platinum financed the platinum for the jewellers. In total the collection is an example of the synergies of mining and manufacturing. It is also an example of how Anglo Platinum is supporting beneficiation in this country.

One of the goldsmiths, Gary Acres, designed his piece, "Hippopotamus", a platinum, gold, diamond, silver and pink tourmaline clasp, through the inspiration of the creatures of another of the country's most precious commodities - water.

Acres said, "I looked at the essential things of Africa, if there is not water, there is no inspiration from the origins of adornment life."

He trained in Durban and then overseas in London. Since his return to South Africa he has seen a high progression in jewellery manufacturing. However, he says we still have a long way to go if we are going to compete with Europe. "However, events like these definitely help."

Beverley Price, a jewellery expert, says South Africa has been dominated by two minerals for too long. "While we are known for our wide variety of minerals, our jewellery has been dominated by diamonds and gold."

And it has also been dominated by a certain type of design. "It is time we looked back to our roots, to Mapungubwe, and started to design South African jewellery. The time has cmoe to address ourselves. It is very exciting that today we are seeing a crossover between crafts and conventional jewellery design.

"We need to take from the past and make it contemporary. In our country we have the capacity to make the most amazing things through the meeting of the world of the goldsmith and the origins of adornment."

Source:  Mining News April 2006


April 2006

Anglo Zimele Make Another Stride for BEE

Anglo American's enterprise development and empowerment arm, Anglo Zimele, made another great stride towards facilitating the empowerment of South Africa's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) when it invested in Durban-based Springbok Trucking COmpany, a service provider in the transport industry operating within Mondi Business Paper South Africa's supply chain.

Springbok Trucking is a family business that has been in operation for four decades. It is currently managed and owned by Bruce Gray who, over the past 30 years, has led it to achieve a healthy annual turnover of R18 million. The company operates 22 vehicles with a complement of 32 trailers and employs 54 people, including drivers, mechanics and administrative staff.

Realising the need for transformation, Springbok Trucking embarked on a strategy to empower current and future employees by giving them the opportunity to participate in the management of the business.

A new company has been created for the purpose of this investment between Anglo Zimele (49%) and black empowerment partners Dhiavarium Andrew, Sunjeeth Baldev and Muzikayise Goge (a collective 51%). This company has acquired 26% in Springbok Trucking Company while Gray owns 64% and Sean Mitchell the reamining 10%.

"By empowering three existing members of the company, we have achieved a true level of black empowerment and this is just reward for their years of dedicated service to Springbok Trucking," says Gray.

"I now have a better idea of how a business operates and I am confident that with my operational skills, I will make a significant contribution to the expanded business," says Goge.

The company operates from a site in the Prospecton industrial area of Durban to better focus on serving the needs of its largest client, Mondi Business Paper South Africa.

Using integrated IT and communication systems to allow it to co-ordinate vehicle availability with the client's need for transport - in addition to an outstanding service record - the company has a distinct competitive advantage.

Anglo American South Africa recently announced a BEE procurement spnd of R8,9 billion on goods and services from black-owned and managed SMEs and enterprise development initiatives during 2005.

This includes the group's procurement spend of R8,2 billion and the collective turnover of Anglo Zimele and Anglo Khula Mining Fund investments of R777 million, and reflects an impressive 55% increase on the 2004 figure of R5.8 billion.

Mondi South Africa concluded procurement transactions with BEE suppliers to the amount of R1.2billion during 2005. Mondi Business Paper South Africa spent R1.1billion while Mondi Packaging South Africa recorded a BEE spend R136 million.

Source:  Mining News April 2006


Harmony

March 2006

Harmony Reopens Orkney Shafts

As the gold price continues to hold above R1000 000/kg, Harmony Gold Mining has announced that his board has given the go-ahead to reopen the Orkney no 6 and 7 shafts to access about 500 000 oz of reserve in the Klerksdorp Goldfields - at a cost of R89-million.

This announcement follows Harmony's report that it more than trebled its cash operating profits in the December quarter compared with September. owing to the strong gold price and improvements in output.

A Harmony spokesman said the Orkney No 6 and 7 shafts will be mined at about 4 000 tons a month.

The shafts were acquired during Harmony's merger with African Rainbow Minerals, but were closed in 2003 following the drop in the gold price.

"Although we will employ contractors to open up the shafts and get the infrastructure and working areas ready for mining, we will probably redeploy some of the No 4 shaft labour to this area as that shaft starts winding down," the spokesperson said.

Harmony expects to see growth in output over the next three years, even without acquisitions, as a result of better performance and a diversity of projects.  The company has indicated it would also make acquisitions if they offered value.

Today Harmony is the fifth largest producer in the world, with increasing growth potential in South Africa and Australia.  Last year, Harmony produced three million ounces of gold, predominantly from South African resources.

Source:  Mining News March 2006


BHP Billiton

March 2006

Billiton to spend R2.4b on Coal Project

BHP Billiton has announced that it plans to spend R2.4-billion on its Douglas-Middelburg energy coal operation, a brownfields thermal coal project near Witbank.  Brownfields are generally defined as abandoned or underused industrial or commercial properties where redevelopment is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination.

With the underground reserves at Douglas Colliery nearing completion and limited export life at the stand-alone Middelburg mine - both of which are joint ventures with Xstrata - the project aims to maximise export potential from combined Douglas/Middelburg reserves including pillar reserves at Douglas Colliery.  This will satisfy the 10 million tons a year contract that Ingwe has with Eskom until 2034.

BHP Billiton is one of the world's largest producers and marketers of export thermal coal, which is used in the electric power generation industry as well as general industrial uses such as cement production.

The project is still in the feasibility phase, but if given the green light, it would use the lower-strip ratio areas available at Douglas to replace mined-out areas and high-strip ratio areas at Middelburg Mine.

It would result in the closure of the current underground operation at Douglas Colliery and the adjacent life-expired coal processing facilities.  A new coal processing facility would replace the current facility and existing opencast equipment would be used to replace the underground mine.

Source:  Mining News March 2006


Anglo American

March 2006

Major boost for SME

Anglo American South Africa Ltd, its business units and independently managed subsidiaries spent R8.9-billion on direct procurement transactions and business development initiatives with black-owned and managed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during 2005 - a 55% increase on the precious year's spend and a major boost to the small to medium enterprise economy.

This figure represents R8.2-billion spent by Anglo American's division and R777-million for enterprise development, made up of turnover from investments within Anglo Zimele, the group's business development and empowerment arm, and Anglo Khula Mining Fund portfolios.  Anglo Khula Mining Fund focuses on facilitating the entry of junior, but commercially viable mining ventures into the mainstream mining sector.

Products and services purchased by Anglo American's division from these enterprises include computer equipment, specialised maintenance and engineering services transport security, catering and railway maintenance services, pallet manufacturing, fleet management, postal services and logistics.

"Anglo Zimele is not a financing institution," says Lia Vangelatos, Anglo Zimele fund manager.  "Rather it is an initiative that strategically strives to empower people on levels beyond the bank balance, equipping them and their ventures to operate independently and competitively in the mainstream economy."

Anglo Zimele evaluates investment by looking at two critical areas - commerical viability and sustainability -and once an SME investment is approved, Anglo Zimele provides a range of offerings and services, such as financial assistance, mentoring, business plans and training programmes to the business partners.

"We ensure that the  highest standard of integrity regarding the principles of black economic empowerment (BEE), ethics and corporate governance are met, while also seeking to foster long-term and sustainable relationships with the entrepreneurs and their business partners," she says.

Some of the most recent investments made by Anglo Zimele involves Specialised Rubber and Industrial, a manufacturer of rubber products and flexible metallic hoses, PH Projects, a supplier of products and services to the construction and bulk materials handling sectors, ScanMin Africa specialising in the supply and support of online analysers for real-time analysis of ores in various mining and mineral beneficiation processes, Sekunjalo Piping Zululand involved in sourcing, fabrication, installation and maintenance of various plastic piping systems, primarily to mining, industrial, civil engineering ans agricultural companies and Itireleng, involved in iron ore reclamation.

To find out more about Anglo Zimele's investment initiatives, the company's telephone number is (011) 638 4172 and its fax number is (011) 638 8543.  Anglo Zimele also has a website at www.anglozimele.co.za with a special section called "Working with you" for SMEs interested in being part of their initiatives.  Would-be entrepreneurs should make sure these businesses or ideas are viable and sustainable and then provide Anglo Zimele with a basic business proposal or plan.

Source:  Mining News March 2006

__________________________________________________________________

Mining Sector Hardest Hit By HIV/AIDS

A survey has revealed that the mining industry is the sector hardest hit in the bottom line of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with 55% of the mines surveyed reporting that their profitability has been adversely affected by HIV/AIDS.

The outcome of the survey, funded by the South African Business Coalition on HIV & AIDS (SABCOHA) and conducted by the Bureau for Economic Research between July and September 2005, suggests that lower labour productivity and increased absenteeism, followed by higher employee benefits costs as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, are still the factors having the greatest impact on company production.

The survey covered 1 032 firms in eight industries and found that companies employing semi-skilled and unskilled workers were the worst affected and that small to medium companies have been slow to respond to the pandemic.

Mining, followed by manufacturing, transport and financial services are the worst that are affected among the sectors surveyed.  Two thirds of the mines surveyed indicate that the pandemic has also led to higher labour turnover rates, lost experience and skills and higher recruitment and training costs.

SABCOHA commented however that most of the companies surveyed indicted that the effect on profit was less that 2.5 percent - findings similar to its 2004 survey.

A BHP Billiton spokesperson said the company's current experience of the impact of HIV/AIDS was somewhat different from tht of other resources companies.

"This may be because our risk profile is somewhat different," she said.  "We phased our reliance on migrant labour some time ago and today the overwhelming majority of our staff resides in formal housing close to our operations.

"We remain committed to the sustainable development of the communities around those operations, including fighting HIV/AIDS in those communities.

"Our scenario planning in 1997 indicated that, if unchecked, the impact could be a 5% increase in labour cost.  Fortunately our experience turned out differently as a result of education initiatives, comprehensive healthcare, addressing the migrant labour issue, housing support, antiretroviral therapy, etc.

Our rate of increase did no grow in projected back in 1997 and our current rate of infection is estimated to be 15%.  Those who receive treatment continue to be productive.

"However the relatively low impact will only be maintained if we continue to be successful in implementing the various aspects of our strategy.  Our key risks relating to HIV/AIDS are now very much external to BHPB - relating to our contractors and surrounding  communities. We are working with the SA Business Coalition to develop an appropriate response to assist our contractors."

Commenting on the impact of HIV/AIDS on Anglo American, a spokesperson said: "The impact of AIDS is entirely dependent on how well we respond to HIV/AIDS in terms of prevention on the one side, and care support and treatment on the other.  An affective response to AIDS by Anglo American has reduced the impact of the disease to a manageable level".

The survey results concluded that while the provision of antiretroviral therapy would ameliorate the impact of HIV/AIDS pandemic, the social and economic consequences of these figures remain far reaching and would affect almost every facet of life in South Africa.

South Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world, with between 15 and 20% of South African adults are estimated to be infected with HIV.

Source:  Mining News January 2006


Gold Loan Scheme for Jewellers

It is hoped that the recent launch of a USS16 million (about R106 million) gold advance scheme will make real strides forward for beneficiation initiatives in the country.  Although South Africa is the number one producer of gold in the world and accounted for 14% of global new mine supply in 2004, less than 4% is beneficiated locally.  The newly launched loan scheme, with its partners defense companies Saab and BAE Systems, gold mining companies AngloGold Ashanti Limited and Gold Fields Limited and Standard Bank, has taken over two years to be consolidated.  Under the Scheme jewellers will be able to borrow working capital in the form of a consignment of gold.  They will only be required to provide one third of the required amount against which Standard Bank will arrange an advance of working gold.  The gold loan scheme makes 1 000kg of gold available and is designed to cut the current high costs incurred by jewellers.

Government is, however concerned that the scheme is mainly designed for larger manufacturers.  Minister of  mineral and energy affairs, Lindiwe Hendriks, says the scheme's benefits need to reach small-scale players if it is to have any real impact in absorbing job losses on mines and in encouraging aspirant jewellers to compete on an international level. Speaking at the launch of the scheme at Rand Refinery in Germiston.  Hendricks said that efforts had to be made to ensure it is "accessible to the main target market of small and medium scale jewellers".  The minister added: "There is always room for improvement in project design, and we hope that through this and similar schemes we remove the obstacles to the growth of this sector".

The four participating companies have collectively extended guarantees of US$10.5 million (about R70 million) to Standard Bank to underwrite the scheme, which it will also manage on behalf of he underwriters.  Rand Refinery will be the primary delivery agent for gold advanced to jewellers through the scheme.

The companies involved have been quick to state that the scheme is a development initiative and is not an aid scheme.  They also point out that because the scheme is being treated as a pilot project, adjustments can be accommodated in the future.

"By providing collateral support to Standard Bank, our companies will be taking on the risks associated with gold losses in jewellery manufacturing in order to promote the establishment of a market for gold loans in South Africa which will support both existing and new manufacturers," said AngloGold Ashanti executive director of marketing Kelvin Williams.

"This project bridges the gap between gold producers and jeweller and provides a vehicle for supporting the South African jewellery manufacturing sector and government's beneficiation and export growth policies," he added.

Nick Holland, financial director of Gold Fields, said: "The spirit and intent of the Mining Charter as it relates to beneficiation was always to reward mining companies to facilitate beneficiation beyond current levels".

We urge jewellery manufacturers to use the gold advance scheme to grow their business and compete internationally in the gold jewellery sector," he added.

Source:  Mining News January 2006


North and South Embrace in Diamond Beneficiation Partnership

Rand Precision Diamonds (RDP), a South African diamond curing and publishing firm, has announced its landmark partnership agreement with Tiffany & Co, a premier American jewellery retailer - in a deal that will further enhance black economic empowerment and beneficiation locally.

At the launch ceremony, which was attended by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Deput Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lulu Xingwana, the Director General Sandile Nogxina and other senior officials from the South African Development Community (SADCO) region, the guests - viewing the new facilities - were treated to graphic evidence of sustainable beneficiation.

The partnership will ensure that there is sufficient investment in black expertise and women in particular the main consumers of jewellery, the parties said.

"In this part of the diamond value chain, where bout 2 500 people are employed locally, we need to make sure that more of our people are trained adequately and gainfully employed.  We need this because we have ambitions to become a significant international diamond cutting and jewellery manufacturing centre and mineral beneficiation hub.  This partnership is testimony to our commitment to transform the market, while at the same time ensuring that we remain a responsible global player," said Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Paseka Ncholo, RPD shareholder and director, said: "With this partnership we are saying to  foreign investors that by investing in this country not only are they investing in people, but they are also investing in the future,  It is in all our interest to make sure that not only is the industry stabilised, but as well prosperous and sustainable."

Source:  Mining News January 2006


Communities Score as Major Greenfields Project Takes Shape

It has become a practice in the South African gold and coal industry for mine bosses to consult at length with community structures before a major mine is established.  Consultation is necessary so that nearby residents can be informed about the impact new mining activities are expected to have on their daily lives.

The story is very much the same in the platinum industry.  Consultation with adjacent communities, for example, is on-going at Impala Platinum's giant expansion project involving three decline shafts that are under construction across a 27 573 hectare lease area.  A further three new shafts are planned for full production in 2006. namely No. 12  North Shaft, 20 Shaft in 2009 and 16 Shaft by 2012.  These shafts will have their associated mineral Processing (concentrating and smelting plants).

Discussion around the construction of the new shafts, especially numbers 16 and 20, is important because of the negative repercussions mining may have on the people living in adjacent communities.

Active communities such as Luka, Freedom Park, Kanana, Phokeng and Tlhabane surround Impala's operations near Rustenburg.  Consultation between Impala and  these centres is therefore, deemed to be of such importance that the company appointed a liaison officer for its Rustenburg mines.

The officer was given the job of starting community forums so that the concerns and fears of residents about the influence of mining operations on their neighbourhood could be addressed to the satisfaction of all parties.

Particular success was achieved at 20 Shaft where construction started early in 2005. Four communities in the vicinity of the new shaft - Mafenya Robega.  Chaneng and Rasimore - have established a collective community forum that formulates residents' views about the new project and what advantages they expect to gain from such a major development,

Apart from its regular meetings, the forum has compiled a database of unemployed people living in adjacent communities.  Because of this initiative, Impala Platinum is now able to study the list of the unemployed and procure unskilled and semi-skilled labour for diverse construction activities such as brick laying and plastering..

Impala is viewed as a caring employer in the sense that it puts money in the pockets of the local people.  The locals are of course its closest allies because they are given first option when it comes to sharing in the economic benefits that mining brings to isolated communities.

Education is also very much part of  Impala's social and sustainable development initiative.  That is why open days are being held at 20 Shaft to give residents valuable insights into the nature of the project while pointing out other potential opportunities for building a closer partnership between Impala and themselves.


Shaft production

The greenfields project involving the development of two new shafts (16 and 20) will cost in the region of R6.6 billion (in nominal terms) - the first of Rustenburg operations' new fourth generation shafts.  At full production, 20 and 16 shafts will jointly produce around 355 000 ounces of platinum annually.  Construction began in 2004.

With its seven operational levels, 16 Shaft will be 1 657 metres deep producing an estimated 226 000 tons of reef monthly.  The concrete headgear will be the highest in the world, towering over the Rustenburg veld at a height of 108 metres.

But this is not the end of the story.  The development of other fourth-generation shafts will be extended soon with investigations and a pre-feasibilty study on 17 shaft kicking of in the course of 2005/2006.

The capital injection of billions of rand into further mining development should bring several economic advantages to all stakeholders.  It means that neighbouring communities can look forward to the generation of additional job opportunities and other spin-offs that bode well for the future of the Rustenburg region in general and adjacent communities in particular.

Source:  Mining News January 2006


Viability of R5m Harmony Gold Project Uncertain

Uncertainty still surrounds the viability of a proposed R5 billion Harmony Gold development of a mine situated north of the company's highly mechanised Target operation outside Welkom in the Free State.

During a recent analyst and media visit to the Target mine, Harmony announced that it will take another 18 months to reach clarity on how to proceed in mining what it says "is one of the world's largest un-mined deposits".  Once its findings are complete, it will be able to work out real figures for the operation.  Currently estimates are based on figures from the Placer Dome Western Areas joint venture at South Deep, which cost in the region of R4 billion.

Source:  Mining News January 2006


BEE Coal Producer Mashala Upgrades Mpumalanga Rail Infrastructure

Mashala Resources a black economic empowerment (BEE) coal producer, has completed an upgrade to its Delta siding in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, increasing despatch capacity and improving transport efficiencies along Spoornet'c coal line to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT).

Mashala's CEO Dave Deetlefs says that "the decision to invest R6.5 million to upgrade the siding at our Delta Processing and Despatch Centre enables us to service both our own requirements and provide toll-despatch facilities for other BEE players in the Ermelo area who do not have a siding and as a consequence are restricted from accessing export markets via the RBCT line".

Marsha's Delta siding is one of the largest private sidings in the Ermelo area and is situated directly on the RBCT coal line.  This location allows Mashala to despatch up to 1.5 million tons a year operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Mashala is therefore, well placed to benefit from improved train turnaround efficiencies and lower coswts through reduced loading and haulage times.

Speaking at the opening Mpumalanga's MEC for Public Works, Kwati Candith Mashigo-Dlmini said: "As government, we are indeed committed and dedicated to make sure that Mashala Resources is provided with the necessary assistance for the economic growth of the province."

Spoornet's Chief Executive, Siyabonga Gama, in extending his congratulations to the group on the official opening of the Mashala Resources Delta Siding, said that "Spoornet is dedicated to ensuring economic growth through providing an efficient transport platform that facilitates trade growth in South Africa.  And indeed we see the RBCT expansion to 92 million tons per annum as an existing opportunity for both Spoornet and the South African coal mining industry, and more specifically the emerging export coal miners such as Mashala Resources.

During the next three to five years Mashala plans to bring on steam at least three new mines based on the significant mineral resources that it has in Ermelo and the surrounding areas.

Mashaka first received RBCT and Spoornet usage entitlement in 2004 and is currently emtitled to export 150 000 tons a year.  This is likely to increase to 300 000 tons in 2006.

Like other smaller BEE coal producers Mashala's ability to export coal has so far been limited because of the lack of sufficient port and rail capacity.  Enhanced access to the RBCT line through the Delta siding will provide Mashala with an opportunity to handle increased coal export volumes efficiently as it aims to participate in RBCT's recently announced 20 million ton expansion programme.

 

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