Codelco Appoints New CEO to Revitalize Chile Copper Mines
Chilean mining company Codelco has appointed Nelson Pizarro as its new CEO to spearhead its $25 billion pursuit of restoring the state-owned company. Pizarro will take over reigns as chief executive officer effective September 1.
After ousting previous CEO Thomas Keller in June, Codelco sought a candidate to oversee development of two of the world’s largest underground mines. Pizarro, who once ran Codelco’s Andina and Chuquicamata mines, will be asked to lead the company in resurrecting Codelco’s ageing mines and diminishing ore grades along with carrying out the biggest investment plan in Codelco’s history.
"The challenges of Codelco are so big and of such magnitude that probably for those conditions Nelson Pizarro is the right person at the moment," said Juan Carlos Guajardo, head of mining think tank CESCO.
Pizarro, who has over 50 years experience in the industry, recently developed the $4.2 billion Caserones copper mines in the Atacama Desert for Japan’s Pan Pacific Copper Co.
Codelco is looking to revitalize it operations while maintaining profits from its two open-pit copper mines. The company is looking to extend operations underground at its Chuquicamata mine as well as turning the world’s largest underground mine, El Teniente, into an open-pit operation.
In addition to transforming operations, Pizarro will be asked to deal with the idiosyncrasies of running a state-run company.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is set to announce a plan for Codelco that will allocate funds to carry out investments the company needs to avoid losing its 40 year long ranking as the world’s top-ranked copper producer.
Copper currently accounts for 60 percent of Chile’s exports and 15 percent of gross domestic product.
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.