Randgold May Reduce DRC Investment, Looks to Kenyan Potential
Earlier this year, Africa’s mining secretary announced that Rangold Resources Ltd. will be conducting a study of Kenya’s potential for gold-mining activity, in order to estimate the region’s mining potential beginning the end of May 2014.
Randgold CEO Mark Bristow said at the Kibali mine: “There's some gold potential in Kenya, particularly down the south just across the border from where North Mara is in Tanzania.”
At the end of the month, federal agencies will evaluate the findings to determine whether or not it is a viable option to pursue the mining of gold in Kenya.
“We’ve allowed them to come to Kenya to look at the opportunities,” Najib Balala of the Mining Secretary’s Office said in an interview yesterday at the Kibali mine operated by the Jersey-based company in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We’ve not given them a license yet.”
Ranked seventh in its production of fluorspar, Kenya stands as the world’s third-largest producer of soda ash; with fluorspar used to make steel and soda ash used to make glass, the mining industry is anxious to get its hands on the fruitful potential of Kenya’s mines. The African Development Bank recently released a comment that although Kenya has rich deposits of gold, rubies and sapphires, precious stone mining only accounts for less than one percent of its gross national product.
“We’re coming to work with the minister of mines and look at the geology,” Randgold Chairman Mark Bristow said in an interview at the Kibali gold mine. “There’s some gold potential in Kenya, particularly down the south just across the border from where North Mara is in Tanzania.”
Bristow also added that Kenya has three of the world’s top 12 potential mining locations, specially high in its potential for world-class gold deposits. One region particularly in Africa is the Lake Victoria gold fields, which is referred to as “a very under-explored opportunity”, covering the South Sudan, north eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, parts of Kenya and Tanzania.
Other parties have weighed in on Africa’s potential in the mining industry, with Goldplat Plc commenting in March 2013 that its plant in Kenya hopes to grow from producing 25 tons to 125 tons by the end of this 2014 alone. Stakeholders have begun to pay-up in order to save their place within this booming African market, with Red Rock Resources Plc (a London-based gold exploration company) as the first example of a company increasing its stake in its Kenyan holdings. Its Kenyan-based company Mid Migori Mining shifted from 75 percent to 15 percent by financing a feasibility study for a gold mine, after Red Rock acquired the company in 2009.
BHP, Rio Tinto & Vale launch Charge On Innovation Challenge
Mining giants BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the 'Charge On' Innovation Challenge to solve one of the biggest challenges the industry faces today - decarbonising mining operations.
'Charge On' Innovation Challenge
In partnership with Austmine, Australia's leading mining equipment, technology and services industry association, founding patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the competition to encourage technology innovators to develop new concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems. The main goal is cutting emissions from surface mining operations.
“The mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling the climate challenge. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry and mobile equipment manufacturers to decarbonise mining fleets,” the trio said in a media statement.
“In addition to providing a zero-carbon energy source, the conversion of mobile mining equipment to battery-electric can potentially unlock value, as electric motors have fewer moving parts when compared to standard equipment.”
A number of non-traditional mining sector vendors are actively developing technologies that can assist in mine electrification. By submitting a Challenge to the market, the Patrons of Charge On expect to:
- Demonstrate there is an emerging market for charging solutions in mining
- Accelerate commercialization of solutions
- Indicate to suppliers, the mining industry seeks interoperable solutions
- Maintain multiple actors and competition in the supply chain
- Integrate innovations from other sectors into the mining sector
"We expect some solutions identified in the Challenge could provide propulsion to existing diesel-electric trucks. This may present a pathway to early implementation for dynamic charging solutions," the trio said.
Found patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto are pledging their commitment to fighting climate change:
"The mining industry has an important role to reduce emissions and do our part to achieve the Paris Agreement goals to limit the impacts of climate change."
The Charge On Innovation Challenge asks vendors to present interoperable solutions that can safely deliver electricity to large battery-electric off-road haul trucks in a way that maintains or improves current productivity levels. Specifically, mechanisms capable of delivering in the order of 400kWh of electricity to each truck within a haul cycle (ie load, travel, dump, return, queue). The delivered electricity is to charge a battery, and if applicable directly propel the truck.
Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart commented: “We expect the Challenge will attract companies from a broad range of sectors including mining, automotive, aerospace, agriculture, and defence to deliver selected charging concepts to create a standard product that can interface with all trucks."
More information about the challenge will be released on May 18.
The competition echoes growing efforts being made across the industry to tackle emmissions and promote electrification. In march this year, the Electric Mine Consortium was launched. It's founding members include Gold Fields, Dassualt Systemes and Sandvik who pledged their commitment to decarbonising mining operations.