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Sep 19, 2011

AngloGold aims 5 km down to unlock 70 mln oz

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 19 (Reuters) – AngloGold Ashanti
, the world’s third-largest gold miner, aims to use new
technology to go 5 kilometres (3 miles) below the surface to
unlock 70 million ounces, a conference heard on Monday.

The drive to a $125 billion resource will see blasting
eliminated and remove humans from the stopes where gold is
extracted, Mike MacFarlane, AngloGold’s senior vice president
for technology, told a mining automation conference.

Sep 18, 2011

S.Africa union gives Eskom 7-day strike ultimatum

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 18 (Reuters) – South Africa’s powerful
National Union of Mineworkers said on Sunday it had given
state-run power utility Eskom seven working days to
respond to its wage demands or face possible strike action.

Eskom, which provides virtually all the power for Africa’s
largest economy and the world’s top platinum producer, has said
a stoppage would be illegal as it provides an essential service
and any strike will almost certainly be challenged in court.

Sep 18, 2011

Hearing for South Africa’s Malema postponed to October

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A disciplinary hearing that could decide the political fate of South African firebrand Julius Malema has been postponed until October, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said.

Malema, leader of the ANC’s youth wing and named this week by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful men in Africa, faces suspension or expulsion from the ruling party if found guilty on charges which include bringing the ANC into disrepute.

Sep 8, 2011

Zimplats says Zimbabwe moves on licence

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The Zimbabwean unit of
Impala Platinum , the world’s second-largest producer of
the precious metal, said the government had taken steps to
revoke its operating licence and it remained in talks with

The government has been trying to get miners to transfer 51
percent stakes in their local operations to black Zimbabweans.

Sep 8, 2011

S.Africa’s NUM threatens strike at utility Eskom

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Workers at South African
state-run utility Eskom are preparing to strike after
wage talks failed, one union said on Thursday, prompting the
power provider to rule any stoppage illegal because it provides
an essential service.

The strike and possible subsequent electricity cuts could
have a crippling impact on the world’s largest platinum producer
and hobble a fragile economic recovery.

Sep 7, 2011

Q+A-What next in Zimbabwe mine ownership showdown?

HARARE/JOHANNESBURG, Sept 7 (Reuters) – A showdown looms
between foreign mining companies in Zimbabwe and the government
over its drive to force them to surrender 51 percent of their
local equity stakes to black investors.

Zimbabwe said on Tuesday it could prosecute or cancel the
mining licence of Zimplats , the local unit of Impala
Platinum , the world’s second largest platinum producer,
for failing to agree to comply with the policy.

Sep 6, 2011

Glencore nearly doubles Optimum stake to 24 pct

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Glencore ,
the world’s largest commodity trader, has almost doubled its
stake in takeover target Optimum Coal Holdings to 23.9
percent, and sources said shareholders had promised to sell much

Glencore said on Tuesday it had bought 24.6 million shares
in the South African coal miner at an average price of 37.98
rand on Monday.

Sep 1, 2011

Glencore moves to buy S.Africa’s Optimum Coal

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Commodity trading
giant Glencore confirmed on Thursday that it aims to
take a controlling stake in South African coal miner Optimum
Coal Holdings with its local partner, prominent local
politician-turned tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa.

The deal would be worth around $1 billion at OCH’s current
share price.

This would be Glencore’s most significant purchase since its
record share listing, when it sacrificed its fiercely protected
privacy to gain the balance sheet firepower for making

Aug 31, 2011

S.Africa union, Amplats seal two-year wage deal

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 31 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers said it had agreed on a two-year wage deal
with Anglo American Platinum , the world’s top platinum
producer which accounts for about 40 percent of global supply.

Amplats shares closed over 2.5 percent higher on the day as
investors were relieved that strikes would not threaten a 2011
platinum output target of 2.6 million ounces, while the agreed
wage hikes came as no surprise.

Aug 26, 2011

S.Africa mines minister to soon give view on charter

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 26 (Reuters) – South Africa’s mines
minister Susan Shabangu will soon give her assessment of
industry progress in reaching the targets of a charter aimed at
giving previously excluded blacks a higher share of ownership,
her spokesperson said on Friday.

“We expect the minister to pronounce on this issue within a
matter of weeks once she has looked at all these latest
reports,” Bheki Khumalo told Reuters, referring to reports that
mining companies had to submit to the government by the end of

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
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