May 17, 2020

Ghana to Halt Gold Exploration Permits

gold exploration
Newmont Mining Corporation
2 min
Ghana to Halt Gold Exploration Permits
Ghana has officially announced it will stop issuing new prospecting permits for a 90-day period. The countrys minerals commission said the 90-day stoppa...

Ghana has officially announced it will stop issuing new prospecting permits for a 90-day period. The country’s minerals commission said the 90-day stoppage will be used to work on making an inventory of unused concessions as well as auditing the government to free up permits that can be reallocated.

The West African nation, which has been experiencing a major drop in gold production of late, could be at risk of losing its gold exploration permits for good. Tony Aubynn, the commission’s head, informed Reuters the three-month moratorium on new warrants could be extended if necessary.

"There is need to clean up the system because we have realised that many companies are holding on to vast concessions granted them several years ago without undertaking any prospecting work on them," Aubynn said.

The country’s laws allow gold miners to hold their licences for up to three years, after which they are expected to apply for a mining lease. According to Aubynn, several companies had been holding land for more than a decade.

"So we are saying that when you get your licence and we see you don't do any prospecting on the land, we would have to apply the law and take it from you," he said

As the second biggest producer after South Africa, Ghana was hit hard in 2013 by a slump in global gold prices. The country produced 4.29 million ounces of gold in 2013. To make matters worse, an estimated 50,000 foreign workers were operating unlawfully in the country, prompting the government to take action and create a taskforce in May last year to control the issue.

While new exploration permits are on hold, Australia-based Azumah Resources and Canada’s AsankoGold have begun operation and expected to pour its first gold by early 2016.  Newmont Mining poured its first gold last October.

"We believe that production from these three mines will not only help us to recover fully but they will also provide the needed revenues to support the country's medium-term growth potentials," Aubynn added. 

According to Aubynn, Ghana should recover from the global gold downturn by 2016 when production from two new mines boosts output.

The largest gold miners operating in Ghana include Newmont Mining, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields

Share article

Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

Share article