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PwC Report Points To Impressive Mining 2017

According to PwC’s Mine 2017 report, the world’s Top 40 miners recovered from a race to the bottom, with bolstered balance sheets and a return to profitability in 2016, giving them much-needed space to pause and draw breath.

As it looks to the future, the 14th edition of PwC’s industry series analysing financial performance and global trends, also outlines the new opportunities and hazards on the horizon – and the impact of intransigent or innovative activity.

Mine 2017 was released by PwC Africa today at the Junior Indaba conference held in Johannesburg.

Michal Kotzé, Energy, Utilities and Mining Industry Leader for PwC Africa, commented: “The narrative of the Top 40 in 2016 tends to read like a mine site safety mantra: Stop. Think … Act. The industry has moved out of danger but 2016 was not a year of significant action, and we now wait to see who will be bold and step out beyond the fluctuating market confidence.”

The report analysed 40 of the largest listed mining companies by market capitalisation. The financial information for 2016 covers the reporting periods 1 April 2015 to 31 December 2016, with each company’s results included for the 12-month financial reporting period that falls into this time frame.

The number of emerging companies included in the Top 40 has decreased by two and now totals 17. There were seven new entrants from the previous year, five of which had made appearances on previous rankings in either 2014 or 2015. First Quantum and Teck Resources re-emerged on the 2016 list after strengthening their financial positions.

The report recognises a return to profitability in 2016, with an aggregate Top-40 net profit of $20 billion; after an aggregate loss of $28 billion in 2015. The improved fortunes of the industry were then directed to strengthening balance sheets.

Overall the market capitalisation of the Top 40 increased in 2016 by 45 percent to $714 billion, approaching the 2014 level. This was mainly due to rising commodity prices.

Revenue from the Top 40 remained relatively flat – up just one percent from the previous year’s sum of $491 billion – despite a rebound in commodity prices, particularly coal and iron ore in the second half of the year.

Capex fell dramatically again, by a further 41 per cent, to a new record low of just $50 billion. After hitting a near-record in 2015, impairment charges tumbled last year to a less-alarming $19 billion.

Debt repayments totaled $93 billion, up from $73 billion a year earlier, with most of the debt issued to refinance, rather than fund acquisitions or mine development.

Kotzé added: “We see an improved gearing ratio of 41 per cent, down from the 2015 record of 49 per cent. But this is still well above the 10 year average of 29 per cent. Interestingly, we also found that around half the capex figure was invested in sustaining activities, so the growth capital portion was strikingly small compared with previous years.”

Rapidly rising commodity prices sparked renewed market optimism and improved credit ratings across the Top 40 firms. Valuations also climbed, especially for the traditional miners, with the trend continuing through the first quarter of 2017 even as commodity prices remained flat. But, valuations aside, there is little to suggest that the group made any substantial advances throughout the year.

For the fourth consecutive year, the industry reduced spending on exploration. $7.2 billion was invested in 2016, barely one-third of the record $21.5 billion allocated in 2012, with the funds cautiously targeted at less risky, later stage assets, typically located in politically stable countries.

Museveni Orders Copper Miners At Kilembe

President Yoweri Museveni’s preference for exporting refined minerals was on Tuesday reechoed in his State of the Nation Address when he said that Kilembe mines must produce 99.9% pure cathode copper rather than the 94% pure blister copper because the former can directly be used in the country’s cables industry.

The President also expressed his detest for importing copper ingots and export of raw minerals in general. “That was the case in the 1960s when we were producing and smelting copper but not to the final degree.”

“The Gold Refinery recently commissioned at Entebbe is a good example because the gold produced there is pure enough to be used in coins, jewellery, etc., directly.  The steel from Sukulu (Tororo) will straight away go into the dams, the high-rise buildings, the railway, etc.”

The President had in the previous year’s banned the export of raw minerals because the country lost a lot of value. Stakeholders in the mining sector lobbied and the ban was lifted in 2016. The mining sector is yet to fulfill its potential as much attention is given to newly discovered oil and gas. Further exploration is yet to be done in many of the country.

Geodata Gap Hindering Natural Resources Boom

Experts in Africa’s natural resource extraction business have decried the lack of geodata as one setback curtailing policy formulation and investment deployment despite availability of evidence that the continent is home to numerous wealth minerals. 

Therefore stakeholders from across Africa in order to examine innovative ways within which geodata (geoscientific data) can be generated, managed and used to contribute to social and economic structural transformation, wealth creation, and poverty reduction recently met on Friday, March 24, 2017 at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

The two-day workshop was organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) under the theme: “A New Beginning: A collaborative partnering approach towards African Geodata”.

“While Africa has always been endowed with rich natural resources, the continent has not fully benefited from them due to an assortment of factors. One of the major holdbacks is the limited availability of geodata to guide policy and investment,” noted Hon Richard Kaijuka, the Vice President of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

Frank Mugyenyi, Senior Industry Advisor for the Department of Trade and Industry at the AUC, explained that making geodata readily available and accessible to government, industry and other stakeholders not only enables effective decision-making but helps create more value and generate more revenues, along the minerals’ value chain.

“According to the Africa Mining Vision, the Africa Union Commission recognizes that geodata provides a foundation to facilitate inclusive and sustainable economic growth by stimulating industrial and inward investment”, he emphasized.

He however, pointed out that exploration is a complex, risky and highly costly venture that requires a multi-stakeholder collaboration and coordination, hence the need to build confidence and enhance trust between the public and private sector in order to attract investment.

The workshop theme was guided by the aspirations of the Agenda 2063, the principles of the Africa Mining Vision and within the framework of Africa Minerals Governance Framework.

The workshop attracted key stakeholders from across Africa in order to examine innovative ways within which geodata (geoscientific data) can be generated, managed and used to contribute to social and economic structural transformation, wealth creation, and poverty reduction.

The geodata gap has influenced African Union Commission to initiate this geodata compiling effort. The Africa Mining Vision (AMV) which is a flagship of the Agenda 2063 recognizes resources’ geodata as an imperative for countries to strengthen their positions when negotiating complex agreements in extractives, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, infrastructure and tourism sector.

Studies have shown that, with geodata, returns on investments in exploration in Africa could result in a multiplier effect of 1:20. This means that for every investment of $1 in exploration, the country will generate $20 in returns across the broader economy.

The workshop tried to find concrete solutions to Africa’s geodata shortfalls and drew expert participants from member states and institutions across Africa, Britain and Canada.

Discussions were centered on: Data requirements, Data Management and Technology Innovation, a business case for a public-spirited partnership (PPP) Model and Capacity Building.

The key outcome of the workshop was an agreement on a regional pilot project for the Eastern African region with the portal to be hosted by Uganda. The pilot project which will be under the auspices of AUC will be conducted in a collaborative partnership between the British Geological Survey (BGS), Geosoft of Canada with the Uganda Geological Survey and the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

This will be based on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Business Model for generating, management and ownership of geodata by participating countries and it's expected to be piloted in other African countries.

Experts in Africa’s natural resource extraction business have decried the lack of geodata as one setback curtailing policy formulation and investment deployment despite availability of evidence that the continent is home to numerous wealth minerals. 

Therefore stakeholders from across Africa in order to examine innovative ways within which geodata (geoscientific data) can be generated, managed and used to contribute to social and economic structural transformation, wealth creation, and poverty reduction recently met on Friday, March 24, 2017 at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

The two-day workshop was organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) under the theme: “A New Beginning: A collaborative partnering approach towards African Geodata”.

“While Africa has always been endowed with rich natural resources, the continent has not fully benefited from them due to an assortment of factors. One of the major holdbacks is the limited availability of geodata to guide policy and investment,” noted Hon Richard Kaijuka, the Vice President of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

Frank Mugyenyi, Senior Industry Advisor for the Department of Trade and Industry at the AUC, explained that making geodata readily available and accessible to government, industry and other stakeholders not only enables effective decision-making but helps create more value and generate more revenues, along the minerals’ value chain.

“According to the Africa Mining Vision, the Africa Union Commission recognizes that geodata provides a foundation to facilitate inclusive and sustainable economic growth by stimulating industrial and inward investment”, he emphasized.

He however, pointed out that exploration is a complex, risky and highly costly venture that requires a multi-stakeholder collaboration and coordination, hence the need to build confidence and enhance trust between the public and private sector in order to attract investment.

The workshop theme was guided by the aspirations of the Agenda 2063, the principles of the Africa Mining Vision and within the framework of Africa Minerals Governance Framework.

The workshop attracted key stakeholders from across Africa in order to examine innovative ways within which geodata (geoscientific data) can be generated, managed and used to contribute to social and economic structural transformation, wealth creation, and poverty reduction.

The geodata gap has influenced African Union Commission to initiate this geodata compiling effort. The Africa Mining Vision (AMV) which is a flagship of the Agenda 2063 recognizes resources’ geodata as an imperative for countries to strengthen their positions when negotiating complex agreements in extractives, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, infrastructure and tourism sector.

Studies have shown that, with geodata, returns on investments in exploration in Africa could result in a multiplier effect of 1:20. This means that for every investment of $1 in exploration, the country will generate $20 in returns across the broader economy.

The workshop tried to find concrete solutions to Africa’s geodata shortfalls and drew expert participants from member states and institutions across Africa, Britain and Canada.

Discussions were centered on: Data requirements, Data Management and Technology Innovation, a business case for a public-spirited partnership (PPP) Model and Capacity Building.

The key outcome of the workshop was an agreement on a regional pilot project for the Eastern African region with the portal to be hosted by Uganda. The pilot project which will be under the auspices of AUC will be conducted in a collaborative partnership between the British Geological Survey (BGS), Geosoft of Canada with the Uganda Geological Survey and the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

This will be based on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Business Model for generating, management and ownership of geodata by participating countries and it's expected to be piloted in other African countries.

Kilembe Mines In Fresh Row With Toro Kingdom

Individuals claiming to be from Toro Kingdom in a fresh commercial court lawsuit are demanding an investigation into the process that saw Kilembe Copper Mines in Kasese, western Uganda, land into the hands of Chinese investors.

According to documents filed in court, the acquisition of Kilembe Copper Mines now going by the name of Tibet Hima Mining Company was done illegally. These individuals now want court to pronounce the transaction null and void.

Gilbert Mugokya Atwooki and Franklin Jocelyn Kato claim to be descendants of the late Sir George David Michael Kamurasi Rukidi 111, a former King of Toro kingdom who died in 1965. They say Rukidi 111 owned 380 shares in Kilembe Mines at the time of his death.

The two claim to be the legally appointed administrators of the estate of the departed king which authority was passed on to them in 2006. Kasese were Kilembe Copper Mines is located used to be part of Toro kingdom before Charles Wesley Mumbere broke away to form Rwenzururu kingdom.

 Mugokya and Kato claim that government gave away 370 of the deceased’s shares leaving his estate with only 10 shares. This, they say, was done without their knowledge. They are asking court to direct government and Kilembe Mines to give them dividends right from 1965.

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Uganda Gets Gold Refinery; The First In Sub Sahara Africa

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda has welcomed the establishment of a $15m gold refinery, African Gold Refinery, in Entebbe saying it will save the country millions of dollars it has been losing by exporting unprocessed gold. He added that Uganda will not only earn and save more money but will also create jobs for the youth.

“We have been losing a lot of money by exporting unprocessed gold. When you export unrefined gold, you will be losing about $800, 000 per tonne of gold. We are not only losing money but jobs too. We are exporting jobs,” President Museveni said shortly after officially opening African Gold Refinery. He welcomed the Belgium investors saying their investment is in line with the country’s economic transformation agenda. 

President Museveni officially opened African Gold Refinery in Entebbe

The Chief Executive Officer of African Gold Refinery Allain Goaetz said that they were convinced to come and set up the refinery in Uganda because of its peace and secure environment which is good for investment. African Gold Refinery which sits on 5.5 acres of land in Entebbe, a few meters away from the country’s only international airport, is bankrolled by investors from Belgium. It is the only refinery in Sub Sahara Africa.

Goetz said the biggest challenge in the gold business is smuggling which breeds bad competition and criminal elements like terrorism. He said gold will be gathered from across the East African region and neighboring regions. The refinery, which was established in 2014, has capacity to output 300kg of pure gold a week, and a tonne a month.

The first high-capacity gold refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa according to chairman African Gold Refinery, retired politician Richard Kaijuka, is expected to play a major role in Uganda’s growing mining industry.  Kaijuka said refining gold and other minerals in Uganda will guarantee more foreign exchange for the country. African Gold Refinery has the capacity to process raw gold to pure gold of 99.99%. 

President Museveni welcomed more investors into the mining sector

The energy minister Irene Muloni said government is focused on servicing the mining industry and aspires for value addition to all minerals in the country. “Refining minerals will expand the economy by expanding exports,” she said, adding that gold exports will surpass coffee as the nation’s leading exported commodity.

Last year, Kaijuka said Uganda recorded $300m worth of gold exports that was value added, which he says was not by accidents but planned and strategic investment. Kaijuka demanded for more mining incentives.

Apart from the refinery, the $15m investment also houses a Geochemical Laboratory for assaying any mineral samples from the Ugandan and regional mining industry with certified analysis. 

 

 

 

Karamoja Mines Full Of Empty Promises For Children Miners

The question of the increase of child labor in mining in Karamoja region has for long been kept in the background despite Uganda having in place the child Labor policy 2006 and the National Action Plan  for the elimination of Child Labor whichfocuses on operationalizing the policy. Ugandan government has gone a step ahead to ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UN conventions pertaining to child labor and streamlined these in national legislation such as the Employment Act, the National Constitution and the Children’s Act. Despite this child laborin mining is currently on the rise across all regions in Uganda.

According to the recent report “No Golden Future” published by Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations in April 2016, the number of children gold miners was estimated between 10,000 to 15,000 across gold mines in Uganda in some of the rich mineral districts like Moroto,MubendeNamayingo,Buhwejuetc.

The International Labor Organization categorizes mining as hazardous work to children and defines it as worst form of child labor.In Karamoja one visit at a gold or marble mining site you will be amazed by the number of children at any one mining site involved in mining activities from digging tunnels,shoveling the soil,panning to alittle boy of as young as 5 years fetching water.The question now remains what kind of sustainable future do we expect to create for these exploited children who have dropped out of school for just a little day pay?Its clear that child labor will have devastating effects on Karamoja’s development if quick measures are not put forward to restrain it.

 

Philloh  Aryatwijukawho wrote this article

Food insecurity has been singled out as one of the leading causes of child labor and high school drop outs in Karamojadespite universal primary education (UPE).This food insecurity is further reflected in the recent August 2016 analysis report issued by Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) which indicates that 16 percent will be stressed [5, 958, 155] while 1 percent [390, 165] most of whom are from Karamoja sub-region will be faced with food crisis.

The food insecurity question again clearly stood out during the recent mapping on child labor in mining conducted by Ecological Christian Organization(ECO) in gold and marble rich Rupa and Katikekile Sub County in Moroto district. Children clearlyemphasized that they go to the mines to get money to buy food, pay school fees, scholastic materials and other needs since UPE comes with other additional costs.In the same regard the plight of the girl child is highly at risk because of the dangers eminent at the mining sites most of which are characterized by alcoholism thus increasing chances of early pregnancies,HIV/AIDs and rape and defilement.

Without question the government needs to holistically tackle child labor in Karamoja mining sector, actions on ensuring food security of families, provision of alternative livelihoods, enforcing legal provisions, raising awareness and providing comprehensive education support for children including meals without any additional costs is key. In addition there is need to ascertain the exact number and working conditions of children involved in mining in Uganda.

By Philloh  Aryatwijuka

Ecological Christian Organisation(ECO)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fifth Mineral Wealth Conference Targets Exploration Funding

The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) host the 5th annual Mineral Wealth Conference (MWC) at the Kampala Serena Hotel, come October 5 and 6, 2016.

Organized in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this year’s conference theme is “Attracting Exploration Investment to Uganda’s Mineral Sector to realize its Full Potential”.

The conference will attract expert speakers and delegates from across the globe including but not limited to Brazil, Australia, Belgium, West Africa, South Africa, the World Bank, African Mineral Development Centre, African Development Bank and the USA.

At the same event, the UNDP will coordinate and facilitate a mineral showcase on development minerals through their ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme. The three-year, €13.1 million capacity building program aims to build the profile, and improve the management, of Neglected Development Minerals (industrial minerals; construction materials; dimension stones; and semi-precious stones). It’s an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, financed by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The annual MWC is fast becoming East Africa’s flagship mining convention; playing a significant role in highlighting the huge untapped potential of Uganda’s and the region’s fledging mining industries.

“President Yoweri Museveni will attend this year’s MWC as he has done several times in the past. We intend to use this opportunity to share our concerns with him and we hope we will be listened to,” noted Elly Karuhanga, the UCMP, Chairman at a press conference, held at the Serena Hotel today.

Uganda enjoys a wealth of minerals ranging from gold, copper, iron ore, vermiculite, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum and phosphate, just to mention a few. However, fully exploiting these minerals remains a work in progress as extensive exploration has not been done. And due to a fall in metal prices and a global economic downturn, exploration expenditure has plummeted by at least 30% worldwide with an additional 15% to 20% decline in Africa.

"In order to attract responsible investments, it is important that a country is knowledgeable of its mineral wealth. This can be achieved through a comprehensive country exploration programme that involves both the private and public sector investments," said Richard Kaijuka, the Vice President of the UCMP.

As such, the UCMP will launch the Uganda Mineral Exploration Initiative (UMEXI), a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that will drive this minerals’ exploration campaign in Uganda. Kaijuka notes that UMEXI will be steered by the UCMP, with support from the African Union Commission. "It will be based on critical success experiences of countries such as Brazil and Australia," he added.

Vincent Kedi, a senior mining engineer, with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development hailed the UCMP for attracting the world’s attention to Uganda’s mining industry, and noted that the mining policy and later the laws were undergoing a review to match the private sector needs.

The conference sponsors include African Union Commission, African Gold Refinery, Barclays Bank, Hima Cement, Stanbic Bank, UNDP, AON Risk Solutions, Democratic Governance Facility, Tororo Cement, Lion Assurance, PWC, Ssaka Transporters, Deloitte, African Trade Insurance Agency, Ernst & Young, Enviroserv and Frontier Resource Group.

Kenya Mining Forum On Next Month

The Kenya Mining Forum in Nairobi this September will discuss the country’s recently updated mining act and how it is expected to ease the way for investment into and development of the country’s burgeoning mining sector.

The two day Forum that will take place at Crowne Plaza in Nairobi is a premium annual mining investment event that showcases Kenya’s mining potential. Kenya’s Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu told Mining Review Africa in an interview that government has recognized that the mining industry as a key pillar for growth and economic transformation.

“So we are preparing the country for the next big wave of mining activity. With just a handful of companies operating in the country, Kenya is an attractive mining destination which offers mining companies and investors vast opportunities to discover and tap into new Greenfield projects.”  The minister said.

The topics to be discussed include finding alternatives to finance mining projects, legal framework and regulation, impact of the international commodities prices on the regional dynamic and overview of key successful mining projects.

Other topics will include mapping Kenya’s geology, power and mining nexus: insuring the continuity of daily operations, training and local content development, competitive and world class infrastructure for the mining industry, representation of small and large scale mining           and showcase technological innovations and services for the sector.

The Kenya Mining Forum will give you the chance to meet the who is who in the mining bubble including investors, regulators, expert speakers and service providers. The Forum is being organized by Spintelligent, a specialist provider of face - to-face business platforms, integrated digital media and industry publications for the emerging markets of sub-Saharan Africa.

Museveni Calls For More Minerals Exploration

President Yoweri Museveni while addressing the cabinet at the closing ceremony of the ‎leadership retreat that has been taking place at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi called for more exploration of prospective minerals in order to develop the mining sector.

“Develop the mining sector through more exploration so as to provide more raw-materials for minerals’ based industries (cement, steel, copper products, fertilizers, alloys for steel such as manganese, carbon, chromium, nickel, tungsten, etc).” the President advised.

The President was presenting a paper on ‘Fast Tracking the Industrialization and socio-economic transformation of Uganda’ under which he emphasized the need to interlink sectors in order to reduce costs of production and enhance effectiveness.

The President pointed out that with lower transport costs, lower electricity costs, lower water costs and lower labour costs, Uganda remains with two bottlenecks that could sabotage industrialization efforts. These are the high costs of money ─ high interest rates and wrong tax policies – and the bottleneck of human resource skilling gap.

The mining sector in Uganda has not taken as per its potential partially because of lack of cheap capital to invest in exploration and production of minerals. The mining sector is also filled with artisanal miners who lack capital and skills to develop and add value to the abundant minerals.

Statistics from the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in 2014 indicated a steady increase in Uganda’s mineral reserves. Energy Minister Irene Muloni speaking before a Joint Sector Review meeting for the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development at Speke Resort Munyonyo in 2014 said iron ore deposits had hit 116 million tonnes with a net value of $16bn.

The minister reported a total of seven million ounces of gold that was discovered in Busia, Ibanda and Mubende with $11bn. Muloni also announced an increase in vermiculite reserves rising to 55 million tonnes, from five million tonnes. The minister also reported increase in other minerals.

Uganda is home to minerals like cobalt, gold, copper, iron ore, tungsten, steel, tin, diamonds, salt and vermiculite, limestone, marble, mica, graphite, beryl, chromite, lithium, columbite tantalite, kaolin, diatomite, nickel kyanite, feldspar, gypsum, phosphates, salt, sand and clay among others.

Stones Attract Italian Investors

A delegation of Italian entrepreneurs, through their company called Intercominvest, while meeting President Yoweri Museveni last week expressed interest to exploit granite and marble minerals in Uganda. The two natural resources are major materials in the sector of building and road construction.

President Museveni told the leaders of Intercominvest Company that spearheaded the delegation that granite and marble should be used in building and construction of municipal roads, walkways and small urban street roads in the country as well as floors of houses. 

The Ugandan leader advised the visiting Italians to visit areas of Kibaale district in the Bunyoro Sub-Region where they will be able to appreciate the abundant crop of rocks that could be of great use in their construction work.

Granite and marble are part of the different types of minerals spread across the country offering improved prospects of wealth creation, employment, and security.

The Intercominvest is a family construction company that was founded in 1987 by Franco Del Maestro and Remus Minchella. Del Maestro was part of the delegation that met President Museveni at State House in Entebbe.

The company took steps to work in Africa when it established itself in Equatorial Guinea after the year 2000 as a leader in the field of civil construction, industrial, institutional and in all public and private construction sectors from architectural, structural and plant engineering, among others.  

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