ZIMEC 2014: Warnings and Cabbages for Conference Participants
A stark warning has been issued to mining companies operating in Zambia who are not mindful of the country’s mining regulations.
The warning made by the country’s Vice-President Dr Guy Scott has come in the wake of recent reports surrounding Vedanta Resources’ Konkola Copper Mines whose majority owner, Mumbai-based Anil Agarwal allegedly boasted about the money it is making in Zambia.
Dr Scott made his remarks at the Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition (ZIMEC 2014) in Lusaka this week.
He was reported in the Zambia Daily Mail as saying that the country’s mining industry had showed encouraging growth since privatisation and annual copper production is predicted to reach about 1.5 million tonnes in the next two years.
He said: “Government is developing reliable systems that will be used to monitor Zambia’s mineral value chain from production to export.
“We will put in place mechanisms to ensure that right from exploration, mining, processing and export and we must have full data to depend on.”
On a lighter note, participants at the conference and exhibition were met with an unusual display at Kagem Mining’s stand.
Kagem, which operates the world’s largest emerald mine, showcased a selection of cabbages grown by farmers in the Chantete area of Lufwanyama District with support from the company, which buys their produce for its catering department.
Operations Director CV Suresh said: “Kagem works closely with people in the communities surrounding the mine, providing jobs and supporting health and education initiatives.
“As part of that support we believe in working with local suppliers, and have developed a strong relationship with local farmers who supply vegetables for the mine canteen, catering for some 600 workers.”
Kagem, which is 74 percent owned by London-listed Gemfields plc in partnership with the Zambian government, has consistently produced some of the finest Zambian emeralds since 1984.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
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.