Siemens, Anglo American Platinum Collaborate On Skills Development In Africa

Currently, one of the most debated topics influencing innovation is digitalization and its impact on the future of employment. It is met with equal parts excitement and trepidation. No matter how you look at it, digital transformation and a truly connected global economy is already upon us.

Siemens (www.Siemens.com) has provided automation equipment and industrial networks to assist Anglo's Engineering Skills Training Centre (ESTC). One of the pillars of Digitalization is industrial networks and security and it is crucial that these engineers understand the role of this technology in the future of mining.

As a leader in automation we are continuously expanding our leadership role in Industrial Digitalization. There is an opportunity, especially in Africa to embrace new and exponential technologies combined with human talent to accelerate industrialization and drive economic growth.

"We are proud to be supporting Anglo American Platinum to advance skills and opportunities in Africa," explains Sabine Dall'Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.

Gary Humphries, Anglo American Platinum's Executive Head for Processing was appreciative of Siemens completion of yet another skills project at the ESTC. In his address, Gary said Siemens and Anglo American Platinum have been in partnership since 2010 and have seen approximately 298 artisans successfully trained and qualified at this centre.

“This vital contribution by Siemens to ESTC will significantly contribute towards the development of the human resource capabilities of our artisans and will help broaden the thinking of the students to explore new career capabilities. We celebrate the handover of the Siemens Simatic Wall and look forward to the role it will play in training the current and next generation of skilled artisans."

We are ramping up our commitment to the region to meet our customer's needs, expanding our portfolio for digital enterprises, supporting our customers in the manufacturing and process industries with digitalization, customization and efficiency improvements and investing in equipping our future generation with the right skills," ends Sabine.

Opportunities As M2Cobalt Launches Exploration Activities In Kasese

Political and community leadership in Kasese and Bunyangabu districts, in western Uganda, are looking at economic opportunities being created after Canadian firm M2Cobalt started minerals exploration activities in the two districts.

M2Cobalt, on Thursday, 29th March, 2018, launched the helicopter airborne geophysical surveys at Kasese airstrip to commence the exploration activities expected to run until June. Exploration is eying discovery of copper, cobalt, nickel and association minerals.

The Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Bunyangabu district speaking during the launch of the surveys said both districts will be in a position to raise local revenue a position he shares with Bakar Sadiq, the Resident District Commissioner for Bunyangabu district.

Sadiq said exploration and eventual extraction of such minerals in the area will trigger economic development for the residents in the districts. “We need to explore these minerals to reach Vision 2040. We can get electricity, foreign investment and employment because of these minerals.”

In the same spirit and manner, Agnes Alaba, Commissioner Mines Department in the energy ministry emphasized that the mineral sector in Uganda can become the engine for development. She represented the ministry’s permanent secretary.

Zachary Baguma, a director at the energy ministry explained that the investors are not in the districts to survey people’s land. He then asked local leaders to convey the right message to the people so that they can support M2Cobalt in their pursuit of the minerals buried underground.

Andy Edelmeier, the CFO and director of M2Cobalt said a team of 20 Canadian and Ugandan geologists and support staff are camping in the two districts. They will be looking at rocks and soils to make new geologic maps. They will be taking samples for further analysis.

The directorate of geology survey and mines (DGSM) in ministry of energy and mineral development (MEMD) granted exploration licenses EL1673 and EL 1674 to the Canadian mining company through their Ugandan subsidiaries and partners.

Information acquired from the surveys boosts the ministry and investors understanding of what they will get and its composition, Fred Tugume, a director at DGSM, explained why it is important for such a survey to be undertaken. M2Cobalt is spending $5m to see this through.

Distinguished Extractives Lecture To Discuss Social Development, Investment

By Malise Otoo

The West African Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum (WAIMM) will on April 5 at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences present this year’s Distinguished Mining lecture.

This distinguished lecture presents participants with the understanding and information for the promotion of mineral development and redirection of government’s focus to achieve sustainable economic growth through minerals-led investments.

Similarly, these series of lectures are aimed at encouraging professionals to combine knowledge in related areas and blend with Ghana’s prospectively, strength of leadership, political stability and attractive social and cultural environment to attract investments to develop Ghana’s mining sector while giving an overview of the enabling factors for resource based industrialization to drive the economic growth of Ghana.

Again, it is to highlight strategies and provide industry inputs to attract investment to the minerals sector to re-examine the adequacy of Ghana’s institutional capability to carry out promotional activities in the wake of intense competition for investment capital.

In recent times, Government has intensified its fight against illegal Mining or Galamsey in what it describes as "Operation Vanguard".

Four Hundred security men since last year were drawn from the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces and deployed to counter the activities of illegal miners in the Ashanti, Western and Eastern Regions of the country.

However, Government is determined to establish an alumina refinery and expand the VALCO smelter, the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has assured and which WAIMM is in full support of.

He made this known during the 61st Independence Day anniversary, that work on the law establishing an Integrated Bauxite and Aluminium Development Authority is far advanced, and will be submitted to Parliament shortly.

Henry Antwi, Commercial and Technical Advisor - Minerals Development, Oman will be the speaker for this year's lecture and will lecture on the theme, "Developing Resource–based Industrialization to Drive Economic Growth in Ghana’.

UK Eying Africa’s Mining Infrastructure Development

The UK government and companies are to offer a holistic approach to infrastructure development in Africa after the introduction of the Africa Infrastructure Board.

The UK Department for International Trade (DIT), UK government and private sector presented the Africa Infrastructure Board on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Africa Infrastructure Board is an initiative that brings together and puts the case forward for choosing the UK as an ideal partner not only to develop projects in the mining sector but to create a holistic solution that will benefit the wider community by developing the associated infrastructure around the project.

The High Commissioner of UK to South Africa, Nigel Casey, mentioned that the UK would be increasing their efforts to work closer with African governments and private sector.

Mining projects are much more than just mining, he said, and they don't work without the associated infrastructure. Without naming names, he mentioned that the UK was conscious that there is plenty of competition out there when it comes to offering comprehensive solutions to African partners.

"We felt the need to up our collective game," he said, "and create a new government industry partnership called the Africa Infrastructure Board, which brings together all the players in the UK whether that is government through DFID, or UK Export Finance, one of our best kept secrets, or the deep pockets of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), and private sector operators, all operating in one single place to offer an end to end solution."

Oliver Andrews, Chief Investment Officer at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) who was one of the panellists during the roundtable, noted how DFID, the UK's government development arm, was instrumental in developing the model currently being used in infrastructure project financing.

He also reiterated the importance of the City of London, especially as most contracts are generally governed by UK law. The support network in structuring these deals, that is the legal, capital raising and technical side in London plays a vital role.

Craig Sillars from the Department for Trade showcased a number of projects where opportunities in the mining sector are being structured in a way that truly develops the infrastructure and act as a catalyst to develop other sectors.

The UK DIT, for example, is working with a UK investor in Angola on resurrecting an iron ore mine. But as well as the mine they are developing a smelter, which will ensure in-country beneficiation of natural resources, and that will involve the extension of an existing railways, and the expansion of a port.

"There will be 600MW of power attached to that," he went on to add, "and 25,000 of agriculture land provided grow biomass to help provide charcoal for the smelter."

Interestingly, he said that the UK was looking at partnering with China on the Simandou Mine in Guinea once they take over the mine to help them develop a holistic solution to develop the local infrastructure and sharing with them the designs they have put together to ensure a sustainable project that benefits the local community as well as getting the high quality iron ore to market.

"The approach we are taking," he told the participants, "is to produce masterplans that will benefit the communities not only for the next four to five years but the next 60, which is what we are doing in Angola, and that when the mining project is finished the infrastructure will continue to benefit the whole region."

Francis Gatare, CEO of the Rwanda Mining Petroleum and Gas Board, had said that most of the Rwandan involvement with the UK had been through government, but that private sector interest was growing.

It was agreed that London would continue to be an important hub for investors in mining and in infrastructure, not only as a financial centre, but also for the legal and technical expertise it offered, and that the resurging interest from the UK to Africa can only be a positive development for both the UK and the African continent.

 

BUA Group Alleged To Be Using Militia To Mine In Dangote Site

The management of BUA Group has been using armed militia, soldiers and policemen to mine marble and limestone in mining sites allocated to the Dangote Group, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has alleged.

In a statement signed by the ministry's Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Abass, and made available, the ministry said the company had been using a combination of armed militia, soldiers and policemen to obstruct the ministry's team from executing the stop work order issued to the company in October.

The ministry's statement was in response to an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by the company alleging that a minister was involved in sabotaging its operations.

Abass said that in the records of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, the BUA Group did not have a mining lease over the contentious site (No. 2541ML) and was therefore engaged in illegal mining.

He stated, "The ministry stands by the stop work order issued to the BUA Group and signed by the Permanent Secretary dated 17th of October 2017."

"The letter was issued after thorough investigation confirmed that the BUA Group was indeed engaging in illegal mining of marble/limestone at a mine pit located on geographical coordinates N070 21' 47.4' E0060 26' 51.8', while the run-of-mine is stockpiled at an area with geographical coordinates N070 21' 48.4'; E0060 26'37.2'."

"Clarification provided by the Mining Cadastre Office shows that the coordinates of the mine pit and RoM stockpile area fall wholly within the area of mining Lease No 2541ML belonging to Messrs Dangote Industries Limited."

Abass added, "The ministry had earlier in 2015 issued a stop work order on this same disputed site but the BUA Group disregarded the order and went ahead with its illegal mining activities, under heavy cover of armed soldiers, policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps."

"The management of BUA also resisted the enforcement of the latest stop work order issued on October 17, 2017 using a combination of armed militia, soldiers and policemen to obstruct the team from the ministry in effecting the stop work order."

He added that the ministry would not compromise due process in its commitment to promote local and global investments in the Nigerian mining sector.

 

Dangote Partners With Jumia To Sell Cement Online

In a new move designed to reduce price and ease logistics inherent in the purchase of its products, the management of Dangote Cement Plc has signed a pact with the foremost e-commerce platform Jumia Nigeria to offer for sale its cement to customers online.

At the unveiling of the deal in Lagos, Dangote Cement, Key Account Director, Chux Mogbolu said Dangote Cement was happy to partner with online shopping giant, in a bid to make Dangote cement available with ease to customers.

According to the deal, Nigerians and corporate bodies wishing to purchase a minimum of 300 bags of 50kg of Dangote Cement and above can now order on Jumia from the comfort of their rooms at a reasonable price of N2,500 per bag as opposed to how much is sold in the open market and see them delivered to any place of their choice without any extra cost for transportation.

Mogbolu, however disclosed that the purchase would only be within Lagos, Port- Harcourt and Abuja for now.

He said: "Dangote Cement decided to work with Jumia Nigeria based on its credibility and excellent performance over the years in online shopping management", adding that the new initiative would help arrest the scams perpetrated by online fraudsters who deceived the people by asking them to come and purchase Dangote Cement for N1000 per bag.

"For now, the pilot scheme is live in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, but we can extend to other cities depending on the level of demand and performance of the new deal".

"With the deal, Nigerians in need of seamless supply of cement from Dangote can now place order and pay online and wait for the delivery in record time from any of Dangote's nearest cement plant to Lagos, Port Harcourt or Abuja.

"We are starting with Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) of 300, 600 and 900. We may increase depending on demand surge as time goes on," Mogbolu explained.

Speaking on the deal too, Chief Executive Officer of Jumia Nigeria, Juliet Anammah said the deal with Dangote Cement is part of efforts to deepen service delivery on Jumia Nigeria online platform.

She said she was of the belief that the deal will be beneficial to all parties involved and deepen further online shopping in Nigeria as obtained all over the world.

The Jumia Nigeria boss reflected on the 2017 Black Friday Festival ran by her organization and said the Festival has attracted more than 14 million visits since the commencement of the campaign on November 13th.

According to her, "the annual sales event, which was initiated in Nigeria in 2013 by Jumia remains the busiest and largest shopping day of the year on both online and offline stores. This year's explosive Black Friday numbers demonstrates the increasing capacity and flexibility of the online retail space in Nigeria."

"We deliver to the 36 states across Nigeria, and are able to reach neighborhoods and shoppers who traditionally have not had access to a wide variety of products and deals. This year we also see the increasing interest in groceries and other FMCG products which reflect the increasing relevance of Black Friday to the average Nigerian."

Some key highlights of the 2017 figures presented by Jumia Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday showed among other things more than 1.9 million visits on Black Friday Big Bang. 14.4 million visits since the start of the sales event; Overall, 85% of all visits were made on a mobile device, compared to 72% in 2016; and 86,000 smartphones and counting have been sold in the past two weeks.

Quantum Global Quits Kenya’s Savannah Cement

QGIAM, the private equity arm of Africa focused investment firm Quantum Global last week announced that on behalf of their investors, the sale of its interest in Savannah Cement, a leading Kenyan cement producer, has been completed following the receipt of regulatory approvals.

Quantum Global's investment was designed to support the cement producer on a number of value creation initiatives, including the development and launch of new products and the optimization of existing facilities.

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, Quantum Global's Founder and Group CEO expressed delight to have partnered with Savannah Cement in one of the critical industry sectors in East Africa.

He said they advanced together and aimed to close the existing infrastructure gap in Africa. “The exit from this investment is testament to the success of our approach of deploying capital in transformative sectors of key importance in Africa at the right time."

Martin Bachmann, Group Head of Active Management of Quantum Global, stated that the partnership with Savannah Cement and its management team created significant value and the two were involved in such a critical growth phase for the company. “Through its development of state-of-the-art products and technologies and its focus on the best use of green technology and on revolutionising environmental management in the cement industry, the company is well positioned to compete in an expanding marketplace, and we wish them continued success."

Quantum Global Group held the asset since 2015 through its USD 1.1 billion Infrastructure Fund, which is one of the most significant private equity funds in Africa solely focused on infrastructure developments.

Having started operations in 2012, Savannah Cement operates in a buoyant market driven by rising demand for cement products in a growing region. Savannah Cement is a state of the art, eco-friendly cement grinding plant with a capacity of 1.5 million tons a year, located in Athi-River, ca. 30 km from Nairobi. Successful in capturing several regional infrastructure deals to grow its market share, Savannah Cement quickly became a major regional player.

As part of the Infrastructure Fund, the Group so far has committed a significant portion of the capital for the construction of a deep-sea port in the Angolan province of Cabinda and for the development of an agri-processing plant for juice, water and wine processing and packaging geared towards the SADC region.

 

Government To Spend Shs25bn On Minerals Lab

The Ministry Of Energy And Mineral Development is expediting a directive from President Yoweri Museveni requiring that they equip the mineral subsector with a modern laboratory to test, qualify mineral presence and determine its quality.

Speaking at the Ministry Of Energy And Mineral Development Joint Sector Review meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday, the minister Irene Muloni said they are progressing well. She revealed that they have repaired some of the old equipment and they are functional.

“We need the state of the art laboratory to be able to test the sample mineral that we pick from those areas. We need to assess the quality of those minerals, the percentage of this mineral contained in the ore so that further development can be carried out.

The laboratory that we currently have in Entebbe has some equipment which we have repaired. The ministry of finance allocated us Shs1bn to have the equipment repaired but in a period of three years, we should be able to have an ultra-modern laboratory."

The permanent secretary Robert Kasande said that for the midterm, they have budgeted Shs25bn to have the laboratory at its best. The lack of the lab has been a hitch for the mining sector as mining investors had to take mineral samples out of the country to do necessary testing.

No with own laboratory, Muloni said this will give them some sort of independence. Uganda has over 50 different minerals including rare earth minerals that the government and private sector have shown interest to explore and produce.

The other two president’s directives concerning the miing subsector are to register artisanal miners and build capacity of small scale miners and to ensure that commercially exploited minerals are declared for export through formal channels.

Indeed the ministry has moved to act on artisanal miners. Recently the ministry evicted miners from the Mubende Gold Mines leaving over 60000 gold miners stranded. The Minister speaking at Joint Sector Review said they are going to other mining camps to sensitize them and help them formalize their operations.

More Artisanal Miners Across The Country To Be Evicted

There is a big chance that hundreds of artisanal miners across the country will be evicted from their respective mining camps by government if they don’t formalize their operations by creating associations or working groups.

The minster for energy and mineral development, Irene Muloni, said at the ministry’s Joint Sector Review meeting being at Speke Resort Munyonyo that they won’t work with miners who are illegal and disorganized.

On 4th August, 2017, government deployed Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) and Police officers who evicted gold miners in Mubende. This time the ministry is engaging miners in Namayingo, Buhweju, Karamoja and other places.

Going by examples of places named, it looks like gold miners are targeted.

“You recognize that minerals are a wealth in this country. It belongs to all of us. We want to tap into these minerals and generate revenue for the country and improve our lives,” the minister said.

“We want to mine these minerals and add value. Gold occurs widely in this country. We want our ordinary Ugandans to participate in mining in a way that is legal so that we can track gold produced and how much revenue we can get,”

“These miners are not licensed and are using crude methods including using mercury and cyanide. They dig pits without caring about their lives. We are going to sensitize them about safety methods of mining that are not harmful to them and environment,”

The minister who spoke at this year’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development Joint Sector Review welcomed artisanal miners and small-scale miners to organize themselves so that they are given location license.

The minister revealed that the investor manning the Mubende gold mines offered 10sqkms to artisanal miners. The land is going to be demarcated and allocated to three miners associations out of the five who were formed during the time they were being told to vacate and relocate.

Muloni said evicting Mubende miners was necessary because of the dangers these miners had exposed themselves to. “We also had foreigners mining Ugandan resources,” she said. At least 172 foreigners, according to the minister, were operating in Mubende.

One of the issues that come up during engagements between government and artisanal miners is miners lack money to invest in technology required. However the minister said they will try to build their capacities once they form association.

Uganda is home to over 50 minerals however only eight percent of the country has been surveyed. The other twenty percent, which is largely the Karamoja region, was not surveyed because of security reasons.

The private sector during the recently held Mineral Wealth Conference organized by Uganda Chamber of Miners and Petroleum asked the finance minister Matia Kasaija to avail USD20m so that Karamoja is surveyed.

Kasaija asked them to put their request in writing so that it can be considered in the subsequent budgets.

Every year, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and industry stakeholders meet to review and assess the ministry’s overall performance and progress of planned undertakings in the previous financial year.

We Need To Make Uganda A Mining Country – Chamber Of Mines

The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) chairperson Elly Karuhanga has emphasized the need to make Uganda a mining hub so that it can transform into a middle income country, a target the current regime of President Yoweri Museveni is aiming at. 

Karuhanga was exclusively speaking to journalists ahead of this year’s annual Mineral Wealth Conference (MWC), to be held on October 4th and 5th, 2017, at Kampala Serena Hotel under the theme “Minerals – “Knocking on the door to cause economic transformation in Uganda.” 

“We need to make Uganda a mining country so that when you mention Uganda anywhere in the globe, they say oh that mineral rich country that is exporting a lot of minerals,” Karuhanga said enthusiastically.

“Yes, we are known as an agricultural country, fantastic, I love it, even hearing it feels good, but suppose we become an agricultural country and mining country and oil and gas country and a tourism destination country, this generation will be so happy,”

He said the Chamber was formed ‘to propagate and sensitize the people of Uganda and international community to take interest in Uganda’s minerals and exploit them together with foreigners and amongst ourselves.’

He also emphasized the need to enable investors to carry out exploration works in the country to establish the amount of mineral resources in the country. He explained that the country is putting in place the necessary laws, policies and regulations to manage the mining sector.

This year’s mineral wealth conference is looking at opening up Uganda for business. About 1000 guests are expected to attend. Sponsors of the conference have lined international speakers from governments and the private sectors

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