May 17, 2020

Randgold Resources & AngloGold Ashanti Open Kibali Mine

Randgold Resources
AngloGold Ashanti
Kibali gold mine
2 min
Randgold Resources, AngloGold Ashanti, Open Kibali, One of Africas Biggest Gold Mines
Will the $2.5 billion gold mine mean a renewed value for the resource-rich region?The Kibali gold mine has officially opened its doors in the Democratic...

Will the $2.5 billion gold mine mean a renewed value for the resource-rich region?

The Kibali gold mine has officially opened its doors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), representing a $2.5-billion investment by gold miners, Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti.

The mine will rank as one of the largest gold mines in Africa when it is in full production and is expected to produce an average of 600,000 ounces of gold per year over the first 12 years of its life.

According to Kibali Goldmines, the mine should have reserves until 2031, with 550,000 ounces of gold expected to be produced this year.  Kibaili is expected to produce an average of 600,000 ounces of gold per year over the first 12 years of its life.

The $2.5-billion project will also create 7,000 jobs, 80 percent of them held by Congolese.

“The government now has an important opportunity to show the world that it is welcoming of gold mining by helping to create what can in a short time become one of the largest gold producers in the world and an engine of growth for this region and this country,” said AngloGold Ashanti chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan.

The mine is owned by Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti, with Randgold developing and operating the mine. Each company has a 45 percent stake in the investment with the remaining 10 percent interest held by the Congolese government.

At the opening ceremony, chairman Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow said the successful development of Kibali could herald the birth of a new DRC economic region to rival Katanga Province.  

“To achieve that, we cannot rest here. We need to ensure that we deliver the returns expected by the investors who entrusted us with their money. We have to run a profitable mine, focused on long term viability, that pays taxes, and employs and develops citizens from this region and this country. Kibali must become the catalyst that triggers the additional investment required to grow a strong regional economy,” he said.

Although the mine is still underway as both an operating mine a development project, Kibali produced 88,200 ounces of gold and a made a profit of $68.3 million between September to December 2013.

The Kibali mine has the potential to be exactly what the region has been looking for in terms of economical and workforce success. 

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Jul 20, 2021

British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars

3 min
The ever-increasing need for electric vehicles is mounting pressure on British Lithium as the 2035 deadline inches closer

The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change. 

It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.

British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad. 

Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe 

After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company. 

“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”

Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector. 

Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial. 

Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production

“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”

The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction. 

Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably. 

“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.

“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”

Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK. 

“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”

Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.

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