THE ECONOMIC MAGAZINE OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN AFRICA
The stakes: For Australian Sundance Resources, to finally start operating the Mbalam-Nabeba project. Historic operator of the Mbalam-Nabeba mining project, Australian Sundance is giving its Chinese partner AustSino one last chance to reach a final agreement. For Australian Sundance Resources, which has been piloting the Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore mining project
Stake : For Benin, to support the cotton sector, a key sector of the national economy, at all costs. In contrast to other producing nations in the sub-region, Benin has decided to keep the price per kilo of cotton unchanged for the 2020/2021 campaign. The country thus confirms its strong
Stake: to identify the impact of Covid-19 on the well-being of the farmers and particularly their children, as well as the solutions to be provided to prevent the worsening of an already precarious situation. Between 17 March and 15 May 2020, the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) Foundation analysed data from
Launched in Kigali in November 2018 as the first African hub of the Chinese e-merchant Alibaba, the eWTP platform (for « Electronic World Trade Platform ») has succeeded in significantly increasing exports from the country of the Thousand Hills, particularly to the Middle Kingdom. According to information made public by the Chinese e-commerce giant, sales of Rwandan products in China, via eWTP, increased by 124% in 2019. Rwandan coffee and chilli pepper are the most popular items among Asian consumers. Organised in May by Alibaba, a recent sale of roasted Rwandan coffee resulted in the sale of around 1.5 tonnes of goods in one minute!
Stake: For Egypt, to increase its gold production capacity in a favourable economic context. A modest gold producer, Egypt could soon see its industry strengthened. The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mining Resources, Tarek El-Molla, announced on Tuesday 30 June the discovery of a major deposit in the south-east of
Estimated at $25 billion, the mega-project for the construction of the Mozambique LNG liquefaction and gas export terminal, led by France’s Total, has received new financial support. According to the Reuters news agency, which reported the information on Monday 29 June, the British export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF) would thus be ready to participate in the financing of the project, a source close to the dossier indicated. As for the possible amount granted, the funds committed to the operation could be « around 800 million dollars », the source said. Contacted by Reuters to confirm (or deny) this intention, a spokeswoman for the British agency said that « UKEF cannot comment on speculation on potential transactions for reasons of commercial confidentiality ».
Determined to make the most of the national cocoa, which is still too often sold in its raw state, the Ivorian authorities have undertaken a series of projects to strengthen the country’s processing and storage capacities: the construction of two new cocoa grinding plants and around ten warehouses has been approved by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. As for the financing of these facilities, according to sources reported by the weekly Jeune Afrique, it should be made possible by means of a loan « of about 330 million euros » from Chinese operators, already active in the Ivorian cocoa industry. The best known of these is the Chinese state-owned company China Light Industry Design Co Ltd, which had already signed a similar agreement in December with the Coffee-Cocoa Council for the construction of cocoa processing plants and storage warehouses in Abidjan and San Pedro.
The Australian junior FAR announced on 24 June to the authorities of the Sydney Stock Exchange, where it is listed, that it was defaulting on its financial commitments on the Senegalese offshore oil project of Sangomar, in which it is a 15% shareholder, alongside its compatriot Woodside (35%), the Scottish company Cairn Energy (40%) and the Senegalese public agency Petrosen (10%). According to the press release, the default follows a call for funds issued in May 2020 by Woodside for the month of June 2020 and a delay in the payment of 100 million dollars of FAR, which had one month to settle this call for funds, in accordance with its obligations. The company has six months to pay its debts. Beyond that period, FAR will be forced to relinquish its participation in the project without compensation.
Stake: for Harmony Gold, the call to the market allows it to complete its financial round. Officially announced in February, Harmony Gold’s acquisition of AngloGold’s last South African gold assets for $300 million was to be partly financed by raising funds on the markets. This has now been done. In
Faced with the fall in gas prices during this period of crisis, and persistent rumours of a postponement of its investment plans in Senegal, Australian Woodside recalled on 23 June that its flagship Sangomar project will get off to a good start in 2023, as planned. The announcement sounds like a clarification, as some analysts recently indicated that the well is unlikely to come on stream before 2025, due to the impact of the coronavirus on the sector. « Together with our partners, we are working with the project contractors and the government of the Republic of Senegal to optimize expenditures in the short term while protecting the overall value of the investment and deliver the first oil in 2023, » the firm’s management said in its press release.
Weary of the problematic security situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Canadian gold group Banro announced on Tuesday 23 June the forthcoming sale of its Namoya mine to a consortium of investors including the Chinese operator Baiyin International Investment. Earlier, in February, Banro had in fact confirmed its intention to sell the Namoya mining complex – if necessary at a substantial discount – after repeated attacks by local Congolese militias forced the company to suspend operations at several of its sites, all located in the east of the country. Although the amount of the transaction was not disclosed, the Canadian group said it will receive a royalty for all future gold production from the Namoya site. However, the agreement is still subject to final approval by the Congolese government.
Stake : securing a reliable supply of cobalt to support the development of electric cars. The Congolese cobalt industry could soon be relaunched thanks to the increased needs of the American car manufacturer Tesla, whose operations at the Mutanda mine have been suspended at the end of 2019. The group,