Search This Blog

Monday, 18 February 2019

What do Mines Really Mean for SA Communities?

Mines in South Africa, which has the world’s biggest reserves of platinum and chrome, are seen as a benefit by only 13% of people who live in their proximity, a report on the industry’s social impact said.
File: A neglected community - Marikana is South Africa's platinum bolt. Hopefully, the Mining Charter can help mining companies include host communities in their development plans. This is one of the issues mine bosses should be addressed. 

Four out of five people see no positive impact at all and 8% said mines brought “sickness, dispossessions and damages,” ActionAid said in a report released Tuesday.

South Africa’s economy during apartheid was built on mining and the exploitation of cheap black labor, and the sector, the world’s fifth-biggest, still accounts for about half the nation’s exports. Mining communities often complain about people being pushed off their land, pollution and the violence and sexually transmitted diseases associated with the influx of migrant workers.

People who live close to mines “have remained largely excluded from participating in the development of policies and legislation that directly affects them,” ActionAid said. The advocacy group based the report on surveys of communities near mines owned by Anglo American, Exxaro Resources and Harmony Gold, among others, in seven of South Africa’s nine provinces.

The government took R205 billion in tax and royalties from mining companies in the 10 years to 2018, ActionAid said, citing a PwC report. That represents 24% of “value” generated by the companies, while employees took 47% and shareholders 29%. Communities received only R7.5 billion, or 0.9% of the value.

Gender-Based Violence

While deriving few benefits in the form of employment or infrastructure improvements, communities said they have to instead contend with increased violence.

“Strong links were drawn between the influx of men into the community looking for employment and the rapid rise in gender-based violence,” ActionAid said in the report. “This is prevalent in the form of rape, murder and abuse.”

Other negative impacts reported by communities include damage to housing from blasting at the mines, dust, noise and water pollution and the resultant death of livestock. The prevalence of diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, silicosis and cancer were also seen to have risen in some cases.

While mines are by law required to have a Social and Labour Plan and communities are supposed to be aware of it, 91% of 690 respondents in the report said they were unaware of the contents of the plans of the mines in their areas.

“The approach to mining in South Africa has been a violent, masculine and exploitative project to concentrate benefits for a few at the expense of a majority,” ActionAid said.

“The potential wealth in mining has had a significant influence over the political arrangements of South Africa, and has historically been the main driver underpinning the apartheid economic model of wealth accumulation.”

Read the original article published on fin24

By Matimu Mahundla, visit AfricanMiningBriefOnline 

Monday, 11 February 2019

Total Makes Significant Discovery Offshore South Africa

:Deepsea Stavanger; Source: PSA
Total has made a significant gas condensate discovery on the Brulpadda prospects, located on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin, 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa. The Brulpadda well encountered 57 meters of net gas condensate pay in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. Following the success of the main objective, the well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 meters and has also been successful in the Brulpadda-deep prospect.

“We are very pleased to announce the Brulpadda discovery which was drilled in a challenging Deepwater environment”, said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration at Total. “With this discovery, Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block.”

Total drilled this exploration well with the latest generation drilling ship and was able to leverage its experience in similar environments, such as the West of Shetland, UK. Following the success of Brulpadda and confirmation of the play potential, Total and its partners plan to acquire 3D seismic this year, followed by up to four exploration wells on this license.

The Block 11B/12B covers an area of 19,000 square kilometers, with water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800 meters, and is operated by Total with a 45% working interest, alongside Qatar Petroleum (25%), CNR international (20%) and Main Street, a South African consortium (10%).

By Jimmy Swira, visit AfricanMiningBriefOnline

5 Trends To Shape The Direction Of African Energy Sector

:Khathu Solar Park Station at the Northern Cape, South Africa
Africa’s power and energy sector are catalysts for its growth and development. To achieve its full potential, the continent needs to accommodate the energy needs of its citizens and to achieve that, necessitates businesses and producers to stay abreast of the precipitous advances of the energy landscape. To this end, there are several developments influencing the economic and socioeconomic realms of Africa.

1. Greater investments in low-carbon technologies and sustainable energy render coal power plants increasingly difficult to finance.

The world is accelerating towards cleaner, more renewable energy with environmental awareness on the rise. This has subsequently led to more nations investing in low-carbon technologies, a shift that became more prominent following the 2015 COP 21 United Nations Climate Change Conference. In light of this, the attractiveness of coal projects has declined worldwide. As renewable energy and low-carbon technologies become the norm, financing for coal projects will become progressively more challenging.

2. The growing inclination towards renewable energy in developing markets

Countries such as Morocco and Senegal are increasingly supporting a move away from coal to more sustainable energy sources to drive power plants. Declining costs of renewable energy technologies in solar and wind have significantly made them competitive, thereby increasing the use thereof. Similarly, the shale gas revolution in the USA spurred the declining costs of gas, making gas power plants markedly more competitive compared to clean coal solutions.

Africa has vast access to natural resources such as solar and wind. In fact, Africa receives over two and a half times what Germany, being a world leader in solar renewables, does. This in itself, indicates the enormous potential of Africa having access to these renewable resources.

The accessibility of Africa’s renewable energy alternatives therefore renders renewable solutions cost efficient. This very dynamic will reform the energy landscape in Africa. While the continent has previously trailed behind developed nations in the adoption of renewable energy, this scenario will change as Africa’s interest in renewable energy increases.

3. Battery storage gains momentum

Investment in battery storage has received a lot of traction from global companies such as Tesla, Samsung, Total and BYD over the last 5 years and further investment is expected to be made in the research and development thereof, particularly when paired with solar photovoltaic plants for energy storage. Moreover, declining costs associated with battery storage will further boost investments in the battery storage realm.

4. Development of decentralised distributed generation solutions

Implementing decentralised distributed generation solutions will enable millions of people across the continent without energy, access thereof. Distributed generation entails establishing smaller power stations at particular load centres as opposed to larger power utilities that are required to transmit power over vast distances. According to Dr Christoph Frei, secretary general of the World Energy Council, “Decentralised supply will add a lot of value to the supply picture. This does not mean, however, that we get rid of the central supply utilities but rather have many complimentary supply stations coming in at local level.”

Distributed generation also keeps transmission losses at a minimum and will enable transmission of power to where it needed. Businesses and nations embracing and investing in the decentralisation of renewable energy open themselves up to massive opportunities.

5. The progressive move towards integrated grids

Integrated grids entail countries evacuating power from one country with a power surplus to one with a power deficit. “Regional integration is essential to ensure that resources get from locations where they are most affordable, to where they are needed,” explained Dr Frei. In Africa however, this proves more challenging in practice as the continent is divided into very distinct power pools being the northern, southern, eastern, western, and central power pools, with minimal integration between them. Transmission projects required to link grids is an expensive exercise and therefore Africa is currently slow on the uptake of this task. In addition, growth in this area may take a decade or longer to develop. However, as transmissions projects are the foundation of power generation, investment in this area is essential and initiatives in this regard are set to endure.

The political and economic climate in Africa has improved over the past 20 years, rendering the continent a viable investment decision for international stakeholders. Being abundant in natural resources for power generation (vast amounts of solar, hydro, wind, gas amongst others), the African energy realm is undergoing a positive transition.

These abovementioned trends will be unpacked in detail at theAfrica Energy Indaba in February 2019, where industry leaders will converge to discuss developments in the sector, capitalising on opportunities while mitigating associated threats. Key speakers at the Indaba will include: Sean Cleary: Strategic Concepts, Dr Christoph Frei: World Energy Council, H.E. Dr Matar Al Neyadi: Ministry of Energy of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Minister Jeff Radebe: Department of Energy, South Africa, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki: NEPAD Agency, Amandou Hott: African Development Bank Group along with many more energy luminaries.

By Jimmy Swira, visit AfricanMiningBriefOnline

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

40 Companies Registered in 1st Rough Diamond Auction

The new diamond marketing policy, approved by the Council of Ministers on July 27, 2018, put an end to the preferential customer monopoly.
:46 Carat Pink diamond recovered in Angola

Luanda — At least 40 companies are registered to participate in Angola’s first rough diamond auction, an initiative to strengthen commitment to innovation and transparency in the diamond industry, said Minister of Mineral Resources and Oil, Diamantino Azevedo.

Among the companies competing for the first auction of seven high-carat stones, six are Angolans and will join foreign companies in launching the implementation of the new diamond marketing policy, approved by the Council of Ministers on July 27, 2018, and which puts an end to the preferential customer monopoly.

Diamantino Azevedo, speaking on Monday at the launching ceremony of the aforementioned auction, considered that the challenge for economic diversification is to boost the mining sector by stimulating the implementation of macroeconomic policies, taking into account the considerable mining potential of the country.

According to the official, the impact of these policies, through the aggregation of values, exploitable and exported products, as well as their potential in the generation of jobs, translates into the platform to boost the national economy.

Angola ranks fifth in terms of value, so the minister believes that with the new investment incentives, the reinforcement of the current operations and the aggregation of the sales modalities, its contribution to the national economy will increase.

It is expected that the final outcome of the auction, to be organized by SODIAM in collaboration with Endiama and Lulo mining company, represents the inaugural point of implementation of the new measures and demonstrates to society and to the world the Government’s commitment to transparency and innovation in the diamond trade.

Of the seven stones to be auctioned, the highlight is a 114-carat Illa D-Color diamond and a 46-carat pink diamond from the Mineira do Lulo Society.

The auction follows a schedule established by the organization, and on January 28 and 29 will be registered in the Platform, on the 30th January will begin the bids that close on January 31, the same day that the disclosures begin extend until 1 February.

In 2018, the diamond industry produced 9.4 million carats of diamonds, which enabled us to bill $ 1.2 billion.

The outlook for this year (2019), in terms of production, is 9.5 million carats and a turnover of 1.3 billion dollars.