Active in West Africa, where it owns three mining sites, the Australian junior company Perseus Mining published on Monday 30 March an updated mining plan for its Ghanaian Edikan gold project. According to the new estimates communicated by the mining company, the site should produce from July onwards more than 1.3 million ounces over the remaining life of the mine (6 years), i.e. almost double the previous estimates. The upward revision is due to Perseus’ expansion of the open pit and the re-evaluation of the resources of the Esuajah South underground deposit. In addition, company management has indicated a 5% decrease in the overall cost of production to between $870 and $890 per ounce.
Owning all of its mining assets in South Africa, Canadian company Eastern Platinum (Eastplats) published on Friday, March 27, significantly improved financial results for 2019. Specializing in the exploitation of platinum and chromium, the company significantly reduced its losses during the past fiscal year, from $21.8 million in 2018 to $0.1 million in 2019. A significant improvement that Eastplats’ management has attributed to the first full year of operation of the Crocodile River mine tailings reprocessing project, where the company produced a record 598 tonnes of 38.6% chromium concentrate in 2019. Eastern Platinum stated that its current cash flow is sufficient to cover all of its projected operating expenses for 2020.
In a press release issued on Monday, March 30, mining conglomerate Anglo American announced that its diamond subsidiary De Beers Group will not be holding its third sales cycle of the year due to containment measures in Botswana, South Africa and India to contain the coronavirus pandemic. This new sales cycle was scheduled to take place from 30 March to 3 April. However, Anglo American said that De Beers will allow « sightholders » – hand-picked buyers (polishers, gem dealers, etc.) who can inspect the diamonds – to defer 100% of their allocations to later in the year.
Like similar measures already taken elsewhere on the continent, Namibia – in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic – on Saturday ordered mining companies to cease operations for three weeks as the country began its first day of partial containment, which will last until April 16. This is a heavy blow to the players in the sector, which generates about 50% of the export earnings of this southern African nation. According to the latest figures provided by the Namibian authorities, eight people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the country.
Hit like the rest of the world by the Covid-19 pandemic with 97 confirmed cases, Nigeria over the weekend ordered oil and gas companies to reduce their offshore workforce and move to 28-day rotations (down from 14 days previously) as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The government circular, addressed to the companies concerned, further specified that « non-essential personnel currently at offshore sites should be removed with immediate effect ». All these measures reflect the desire of the populous African country to protect its oil production as best it can, since black gold provides 90% of the country’s foreign exchange.
Announced on Wednesday 25 March, the Vietnamese authorities’ decision to stop signing new rice export contracts until further notice has been a bombshell. And for good reason, as the world’s third largest exporter of rice (6.37 million tonnes in 2019) behind Thailand and India, the Southeast Asian country is a
Hydrocarbons: in Gabon, Vaalco announces positive and encouraging results despite the Covid-19 pandemic
On 25 March, the US multinational oil company announced that it had achieved a net income of 21.5 billion CFA francs for the year 2019, with production of 3,476 barrels/day. In view of the strong increase recorded since the last quarter of 2019, the outlook for 2020 looks even better, with estimates of around 4,400 to 5,000 barrels/day. Cary Bounds, Vaalco’s CEO, said the company is in « a healthy financial position with strong cash flow, increased production from our successful drilling program, and approximately one-third of our production hedged to June 2020 at an average price of $66.70 per barrel. » To achieve this result, « we successfully completed a drilling and reclamation program for 2019-20, which began in September 2019 and was financed with free cash flow and operating cash flow, » he said. In addition, Vaalco Energy said it « successfully drilled two development wells that exceeded production expectations and two appraisal wells. A third development well is also expected to add production when it is completed and commissioned by this month. To date, operations have not been significantly disrupted by the current global VIDOC-19 crisis and Vaalco has been able to overcome the logistical challenges induced since the outbreak.
Liberian company Conex Oil and Gas Holdings announced on Wednesday March 25 that it has signed an agreement with Total to acquire the Liberian and Sierra Leonean operations of the French oil and gas giant. However, Conex did not specify the terms of the agreement or the amount of the transaction. As for Total, its management has not commented on this announcement for the time being. The European group started operations in Liberia in 2005 and operates about 30 service stations in this West African country.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, many raw materials have seen their prices plummet. A devastating situation that mechanically affected African commodity stocks. Ressources looks back at the five listed companies1 that have lost the most value on the stock market since the beginning of the year. A list exclusively… South African,
Already very active in West Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali), the gold group Endeavour Mining will further strengthen its presence in the region with the takeover of the Canadian company Semafo. Announced on Tuesday, March 24, the merger-acquisition transaction, supported by the management of the two mining companies,
On Monday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three-week population containment to limit the spread of Covid-19. This will take effect from midnight on Thursday. That same day, South Africa recorded 400 confirmed cases, the highest rate to date on the continent. As a result, all non-essential services essential to the country’s survival will be closed as of this Thursday, including all active mines in the territory, which will be serviced and maintained only by mining companies. While the Rainbow Nation provides 75% of the world’s platinum supply and 38% of the world’s palladium supply, this decision is expected to worsen the deficit, while maintaining the soaring prices of these platinoids. This measure is also expected to impact the operating and financial results of the companies, thereby reducing government revenues. The intensity of the impact will depend primarily on the duration of the pandemic, but, in the words of the President, « The action we are taking now will have lasting economic costs, but to do nothing would have much higher costs. »
For advocates of cannabis legalization in Africa, this is another symbolic victory. In Ghana, Parliament legalized the use of agricultural hemp for therapeutic purposes on Friday 20 March by passing the Narcotics Control Commission Bill. Concretely, the legislation will authorize the Ministry of Home Affairs to grant licenses to grow cannabis on the national territory with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content not exceeding 0.3%. The new law also specifies that the existing Narcotics Control Board (Nacob) will be transformed into a commission with enhanced powers to supervise the actual use of cannabis. Ghana thus becomes the fifth African country, and the first in West Africa, to legalize the use of hemp.