November Newsletter – 05.12.2022
A worker at Ashanti goldfields’ big mine in Obuasi, Ghana, supervises the pouring of gold heated to around 1,600 centigrade. Ashanti, one of Africa’s biggest gold mining companies, is the subject of rival merger bids
Company is working on Hawiah and Jibal Qutman projects in Saudi Arabia
KEFI Gold and Copper is targeting to start gold production in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia in the next three years, the London’s Alternative Investment Market-listed company said in a new investor presentation.
The development of the Hawiah Copper-Gold project, located within the Wadi Bidah mineral district in Saudi Arabia, is expected to lift aggregate production to a gold-equivalent 400,000 ounces per annum.
The definitive feasibility study on the Jibal Qutman gold project, covering an area of 99.9 square kilometres in the Kingdom, is well advanced and completion is likely in early 2023. The project will likely start construction within six months of the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia.
KEFI anticipates an update on the mineral resource estimate for Hawiah project in December 2022. The preliminary feasibility study is well advanced for completion in early 2023 and will reflect expanded resources.
Meanwhile, the presentation stated that progress remains on track for definitive documentation to be signed by year-end for Tulu Kapi’s financing and launch.
Minerals indispensable for transition to renewable energy, says Saudi’s Al-Mudaife
LONDON — Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs Eng. Khalid Saleh Al-Mudaifer stressed that minerals are indispensable to the energy change to renewables. Decarbonization – the net-zero transition – cannot happen without minerals and metals, he pointed out.
He noted that this requires us to scale up discoveries and we need to scale up production. Noting that the World Bank says that by 2050 the production of minerals such as graphite, lithium, cobalt and copper needs to increase by nearly 500% to meet the future demand for clean energy technologies.
Al-Mudaifer made the remarks during the Mines and Money conference in London. International delegates and global mining investors who attended the conference heard Saudi Arabia’s argument that the energy transition from hydrocarbons to renewables is opening the path for it to become a global leader in sustainable and innovative production of minerals and metals, especially since a vast, new and largely untapped minerals super-region is emerging, stretching from Africa to central Asia.
He stressed that as the transition accelerates, mineral and metal supply chains need to become more resilient. “The pandemic and geopolitical tensions have shown their weaknesses. And we have seen a rise in ‘resource nationalism.’ As a consequence, we see cost spikes for some minerals up to 350%.”
To achieve a ‘below 2°C increase’ future, the World Bank estimated that more than 3 billion tons of minerals and metals are required for the necessary wind, solar and geothermal power, and energy storage.
The Vice Minister highlighted the advances that Saudi Arabia has already made in its mining industry. As he noted, the significant potential for KSA largely lies in precious and base metals—including gold, zinc, copper, and silver in addition to a few specialty metals such as niobium and tantalum.
Winsome Resources to acquire Power Metals from China’s Sinomine
Australian firm Winsome Resources (WR1) has signed an agreement to acquire China-based Sinomine Rare Metals Resources’ stake in Power Metals , for C$2m in cash.
The deal follows the Canadian Government’s recent order to three Chinese companies, including Sinomine, to offload their investments in Canadian critical minerals.
Under the agreement, Winsome will also acquire Sinomine’s offtake rights for the lithium, caesium and tantalum from the Power Metals-owned Case Lake Project in Ontario, Canada.
Winsome will also obtain Sinomine’s rights and obligations signed between Sinomine and Power Metals in March 2022.
According to the offtake terms, Winsome will pay for all lithium, caesium and tantalum equating 95% of their market value to Power.
In the event of Sinomine not going for the purchase, Power Metals could offload those materials to a third party.
The latest deal was signed on 17 March 2022 and will be effective for three years.
Winsome said it has initiated strategic talks with Power on the development of the Case Lake project, which hosts high-grade lithium, caesium and tantalum deposits.
The project is located across the provincial border and in proximity to Winsome’s assets in Quebec.
HSBC resigns as LME member after exiting industrial metals
HSBC has resigned its membership in the London Metal Exchange, the LME said on Friday, after the bank decided to close its industrial metals business two years ago.
The exchange, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said in a notice that HSBC Bank plc had resigned from both the exchange and its clearing house effective on Friday.
The bank was a small player in industrial metals, but told Reuters in July 2020 that returns were too low to justify continuing the business.
“We remain focused on growing our leading position in precious metals,” a HSBC spokesperson said on Friday.
HSBC was a Category 2 LME member, which allows trading for their own account and on behalf of clients using the LME electronic system, but not in the open-outcry ring.
Saudi Arabia clears 725 industrial projects worth $265bn in 9 months to build domestic capacity
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has issued permits for 725 industrial projects worth an accumulated SR1.37 trillion ($265 billion) in the first nine months of 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.
This comes as the Kingdom is pushing to develop domestic industrial and manufacturing sectors as part of its strategy to diversify away from the oil-based economy.
In September alone, the ministry issued permits for 79 industrial projects estimated to be SR3.1 billion with up to 1,882 licensed workers, the data revealed.
While national investors accounted for 84 percent of the projects in September, 16 percent were foreign-owned or joint ventures with foreign nations.
Moreover, as many as 68 factories started production in September with a volume of investment of SR3.5 billion. The data revealed that the commencement of those factories also generated up to 4,219 jobs during September.
Egypt implements 1st certified gold refinery in Marsa Alam: Minister
The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek al-Mulla announced that work is underway to implement the first accredited gold refinery in Egypt in the Marsa Alam area in the Eastern Desert, in order to maximize the added value of gold resources.
This will thereby help finalize the value chain for gold production by maximizing the local content.
This came in a Wednesday statement during his participation in the eighth consultative meeting of Arab ministers of mining and mineral resources in Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Mulla explained that the vision for developing the mining sector aims to increase its contribution to the gross domestic product from about half a percent now to five percent within the next two decades.
It will also provide a large number of job opportunities and maximize mining activities by issuing more than two hundred exploration licenses annually.
The minister assured that the mining sector in Egypt is reaping the fruits of the reforms that have been implemented.
Colombian president calls for mining code reform
President Gustavo Petro proposed over the weekend a reform to Colombia’s mining code, which was initially issued in 2001.
Colombian president Gustavo Petro
During a town hall held in the town of Dabeiba, in the northwestern Antioquia department, Petro said that an update is urgent because the current code allows for mining exploration to take place in areas that host important freshwater resources and agricultural land.
“It must be reformed, it is of no use to us (…) The State should no longer prioritize big mining multinational companies. The State must prioritize the small, traditional miner, small-scale traditional mining and, above all, support the mining effort that is undoubtedly needed, because this is not a war against mining but against the ways in which mining is currently carried out in Colombia,” he said.
To go ahead with the reform, Petro suggested organizing a large national mining convention where small-scale miners can present their ideas regarding the contents of the updated mining code.
The president also called on Indigenous peoples living in areas affected by industrial activity to reach out to the government for resources and take the lead in revitalizing Colombia’s jungles and conserving freshwater sources.
BMW invests in low carbon copper firm Jetti
German carmaker BMW has invested in Jetti Resources, which has technology to extract more copper from low-grade resources and produce metal with a low carbon footprint, BMW said on Thursday.
Mike Outwin, founder and CEO, Jetti Resources.
BMW and other automakers are forging deals to ensure supply of copper and other critical raw materials that may see shortages in coming years as demand soars for a planned surge in electric vehicle production.
BMW, which is aiming for at least half of its vehicles to be all-electric by 2030, did not disclose the size of the investment in privately held Jetti taken by its venture capital fund BMW i Ventures.
Electric vehicles require about 2.5 times more copper than internal combustion cars, according to S&P Global, which also forecasts shortfalls because demand for the metal used in the power sector is due to double to 50 million tonnes by 2035.
Since Jetti’s technology involves leaching instead of smelting, it requires less power and cuts CO2 emissions by about 40%, according to US-based Jetti.
“This new process has the potential to improve the environmental footprint and integrity of our supply chain, even with growing demand for resources like copper,” said Wolfgang Obermaier, head of indirect goods and services for BMW.
The investment does not include an offtake agreement, but there is potential for supplying BMW in future, a BMW spokesperson said.
Jetti’s technology has been rolled out in several pilot projects and at one commercial site for Capstone Mining Corp, which said it doubled copper production at an Arizona mine.
Jetti also has investments from miners Freeport-McMoRan Inc and BHP Group plus asset manager BlackRock Inc.
Since Jetti’s technology can extract metal from low grade material it can extend the lives of mines and be used on material stored in dumps and considered waste.