Botswana approves license renewal for Lucara’s Karowe Mine
Botswana’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology, and Energy Security has approved the application for renewal of Mining License No 2008/6L for the Canadian-owned Lucara Diamond Corp, and its subsidiary, Lucara Botswana, for the AK06 (Karowe) Mine.
In a statement, Lucara Diamond Crop says that the renewal is effective January 4 for a period of 25 years and marks a critical step in the formal sanction of the Karowe underground expansion project.
"The receipt of our mining licence renewal and extension to 2046 is an important milestone for the Karowe underground expansion project, paving the way for the completion of a supplemental debt financing and full project sanction later this year,” said Eira Thomas, President and CEO.
“Lucara is grateful for the confidence and support demonstrated by the Government of Botswana as we work to expand our operations at Karowe underground, for the benefit of the Government and the people of Botswana together with Lucara's shareholders. We look forward to continued cooperation and a mutually rewarding partnership with the Government of Botswana."
The Karowe underground expansion project, which continued to advance in 2020 under a revised US$22 million budget in response to COVID-19, is focused on detailed engineering and design, and limited earth works and geotechnical studies.
The company continues to explore debt financing options for the underground expansion for those amounts which are expected to exceed the Company's cash flow from operations during the construction period.
In its statement, Lucara anticipates that financing will be in place by the second half of this year. The underground expansion program has an estimated capital cost of $514 million and a five-year period of development, with first ore anticipated from underground in 2026.
The hard rock, open pit mine has a depth of 324 metres has a probable reserve from surface to bottom of 19.84mt containing 2.6 million carats, total mineral reserves (including stockpiles) of 25.40mt containing 2.96 million carats, based on 1.25mm bottom cut off size and 70 percent of the insitu carats at 1.00 BCOS)
A total Indicated resource from surface to a depth of 600 m below surface of 57mt containing 7.9 million carats including stockpiles (effective date of May 25, 2018, based on 1.25mm bottom cut off size and 70% of the insitu carats at 1.00 BCOS). It has an inferred resource from 600 metres to 750 metres below surface of 1.93 mt containing 1.17 million carats.
AngloGold Ashanti establishes BG Umoja JV in Tanzania
AngloGold Ashanti, in line with it s strategy to ensure a sustainable contribution to the economies of host countries, has established the BG Umoja joint venture (JV), in Tanzania.
Awarded a $186m two-year mining contract for the Nyankanga and Geita Hill underground mining projects, the 80/20 joint venture is a partnership between Africa Underground Mining Services (AUMS) Tanzania, a subsidiary of Australia’s Perenti Group, and local drilling services and mining- supply company, Geofields Tanzania Limited.
The partnership is modelled on a similar underground mining joint venture at the Company’s Obuasi Redevelopment Project in Ghana between AUMS Ghana and Accra-based, wholly Ghanaian-owned Rocksure and will help build local specialised mining capacity.
“We’re working with our experienced mining contractors to assist in establishing local joint ventures for long-term transfer of sustainable skills, and to continue building on our sustainable local procurement programmes,” commented Sicelo Ntuli, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer: Africa.
“AngloGold Ashanti is building sustainable local procurement programmes that will allow it to stimulate economic and social development at all of its operations, evidenced by the significant contribution Geita has made to the fiscus and people of Tanzania.”
AngloGold Ashanti’s annual expenditure with indigenous Tanzanian suppliers has almost tripled to $162mn since 2016. The company’s local team in Tanzania has set itself an ambitious target of 60% to 70% of all expenditures with indigenous Tanzanian companies, by 2025.
Scope 3 Emissions
In addition, AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita Gold Mine has awarded a two-year fuel transportation contract, worth approximately $10.8m a year, to two local contractors - one of which is originally from Geita. This is in line with the mine’s commitment to contribute to the economies of host communities. The Geita-based company was part of Geita Mine’s supply chain capacity building initiative for host community suppliers, a partnership between the Mine and the National Economic Empowerment Council.
To influence Scope 3 emissions, trucks are to be compliant with EURO IV emissions standards, tankers are to be made of an aluminium alloy material to reduce weight and the age of the fleet will be maintained at less than six years.
Diversity & Inclusion
The contractors already employ women fuel tanker drivers, fulfilling the Mine’s requirements for diversity and inclusion. The two contractors both own workshop facilities in Geita town and participate in social initiatives aimed at uplifting the lives of host community residents.
AngloGold Ashanti has been operating at Geita Gold Mine for more than 20 years, with the project initially a single pit mine, evolving now to a predominantly underground operation, employing 5,700 employees and contractors.
Earlier this year, the Government of Tanzania recognized AngloGold Ashanti’s contribution to the economy of the country, awarding it for its outstanding performance in a number of areas, including environmental and safety performance, corporate social investment, the best taxpayer in the mining sector, the runners up in local business content and overall best performer in the mining sector in Tanzania in 2019/2020.
Geita Gold Mine
Geita, one of AngloGold Ashanti’s flagship mines, is located in north-western Tanzania in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Mwanza region, about 120km from Mwanza and 4km west of the town of Geita. It has been in operation as a large-scale mine since 2000.