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Published by Paydirt Media, 2018-10-08 23:53:37


OCTOBER 2018 VOLUME 1. ISSUE 265 $11.95

Next gen nickel: ISSN 1445-3436
Finding new mines and new markets
9 771445 343007
• Africa Down Under review
• Australian Nickel Conference



0428 936 962


PAYDIRT (ISSN 1445-3436)
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Paydirt Media Pty Ltd.
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Editor: Dominic Piper
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Paydirt Media CONTENTS
Executive chairman: Bill Repard
Finance manager: Giovanny Jefferson 18 COVER
Heather Melling Australia’s nickel companies are turning to exploration and processing innovation to
create the next generation of nickel mines. Dominic Piper spoke with Independence
Conferences: Melita Fogarty, Group and Western Areas about the future of the sector
Namukale Nakazwe-Msiska,
Christine Oelschlaeger
Africa Down Under recorded its highest attendance in five years. We take a look at all the
OCTOBER 2018 VOLUME 1. ISSUE 265 $11.95 highlights, with more than 60 pages dedicated to all the action from ADU 2018

Next gen nickel:ISSN 1445-3436 92 AUSTRALIAN NICKEL CONFERENCE
Finding new mines and new markets Nickel has been one of the best performing commodities this year. Ahead of Paydirt’s
9 771445 343007 Australian Nickel Conference we provide a snapshot of some of the companies at the
• Africa Down Under review forefront of production and exploration in the sector
• Australian Nickel Conference



Cover image: IGO field technician
Prasad Desai at the Nova core shed
with geologist Matilda O’Connor

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Registered by Australia Post PP 643938/0071.
No pages or articles in this publication may be re-
produced in any form without the consent of the
publisher. This includes photographs either taken
by Paydirt Media staff or provided by other parties.

Gateway WA
welcomes Africa

As you will see, much of this edition is than a decade, allowing the regulator to pursue improvements
dedicated to a review of Africa Down to its approvals process.

Under. The event, now in its 16th year, Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston has thrown his

has grown into not only the premier Government’s weight behind the African relationship, re-signing

Australian-African business forum the MoU the previous Coalition Government drafted with the

but one of the most important events Common Market for South and East Africa.

on the Australian mining calendar. The MoU has given African countries access to the WA regu-

The continued success also con- latory framework, allowing them to learn and share ideas with

firmed Perth and Western Australia as the undoubted home perhaps the largest mining regulatory body in the world.

of Australian mining and in particularly the Australian-African A robust, effective regulator is vital if African countries are to

nexus. build sustainable, stable and transparent mining sectors and it

This year saw 1,400 delegates from around the world join Pay- was clear during Africa Down Under that visiting delegations

dirt in Perth for the event. Among those delegates were senior were keen to use WA as a mentor in building such frameworks.

delegations from 16 African countries and all eight of Australia’s WA is also home to the innovation and entrepreneurialism

ambassadors on the continent. which are vital for sustainable mining development.

“The presence of international delegates increased for the The State is undoubtedly the leader in METS exports with WA

third year running and the introduction companies involved in almost all the

of the Mandjar business matchmaking major projects on the continent.

lounge has resulted in an increased In WA, mining policy From a financing perspective, it is
number of international investors join- has largely remained true that every company still relies
ing the ADU party. on the large Sydney and Melbourne

Why does this isolated city which is bipartisan for more than a institutional investors for funding, but
neither the biggest nor the financial decade, allowing the regulator WA is the home of junior and mid-tier
hub of Australia mean so much to the miners. The “village” of West Perth

Australian-African relationship? to pursue improvements to its has the greatest concentration of
It’s location on the Indian Ocean approvals process. miners and explorers in the world. Of

Rim means geographically it is more the 100-plus African-focused com-

Afrocentric then the major east coast panies listed on the ASX, less than a

centres. For the rest of Australia, Af- Minister for Mines and dozen are based outside this village.
rica is a very long way away yet from Petroleum Bill Johnston has This fuels the entrepreneurialism
Perth, investors can be in Johannes-
burg within 10 hours. thrown his Government’s and deal-making so vital in driving
weight behind the African new investment opportunities. If a
However, it is WA’s willingness to company is in the market for a new
offer resource sector support which African project or is keen to divest
provides the strongest link between ground itself, they’ll find the country

continents. relationship, re-signing the knowledge and appetite for busi-
Gold rushes may have started in MoU the previous Coalition ness in WA. In the rest of the coun-
try, they are likely to be greeted with
Victoria and NSW may still be the fi-

nancial epicentre of Australia but nei- Government drafted with the something between ignorance and
ther can compete with WA’s vast natu- Common Market for South bemusement.
ral resources, mining sector IP and
Africa Down Under provides the

regulatory capabilities. and East Africa. perfect embodiment of WA’s role in
If African – and any other jurisdic- Australian-African relations. It was

tion – countries are looking to learn integral in demystifying the continent

and share knowledge with the world’s best jurisdictions, WA is in its early years and has continued to provide unique insights

the only choice. into establishing, developing and growing natural resources

NSW and Victoria are wracked with internal divisions over businesses on the continent. And, along with the annual Min-

their attitudes to mining. Neither boast particularly prolific pro- ing Indaba, Africa Down Under is the only genuine, dedicated

duction numbers or vibrant, thriving industries and both are forum for the interaction between government, industry and the

finding it increasingly difficult to offer a stable environment for media.

exploration and development. As a result, African governments now look at Australian min-

Queensland appears to be heading down a similar track, ers as partners of choice, further cementing the importance of

while states such as Tasmania, South Australia and the North- the forum to the Australian-African relationship.

ern Territory simply don’t have the depth of industry knowledge

to provide support.

In WA, mining policy has largely remained bipartisan for more [email protected] @DominicPiper


NEWS Randgold’s Mark Bristow was highly critical of the gold
industry’s profligacy during an interview at Mining Indaba

Barrick, Randgold create
new gold order

Denver Gold Forum week opened with a Thornton said the combination of Bar- Reaction to the deal was mainly positive
bang following news Barrick Gold Corp rick and Randgold would be a “new cham- with both companies closing up around

and Randgold Resources Ltd would merge pion for value creation in the gold mining 6% following the announcement.

to create the world’s largest gold miner. industry”. The combined production of 6.64 moz

Under terms of the agreement – which “Our overriding measure of success will gold will send it above Newmont Mining

were apparently fleshed out over three be the returns we generate and not the Corp (5.27 moz) on the gold producer ta-

years of negotiation – Barrick will ac- number of ounces we produce, balancing ble. The question is whether the company

quire Randgold in an all-scrip deal worth boldness and prudence to deliver consist- can retain Randgold’s agility to maintain

$US6.5 billion. ent and growing returns to our fellow own- both growth and margins.

The merged New Barrick Group will be ers, a truly simple but radical and achiev- “It brings to Barrick a good operator

the world’s largest gold miner, boasting a able concept,” he said. and free thinker in Bristow,” Maison Place-

market cap of $US19.4 billion, annual pro- Bristow has long been a critic of the ments Canada president John Ing told

duction of 6.64 moz gold and a portfolio gold sector’s profligacy during the last gold Reuters. “It is very much a bet on the in-

which includes half of the world’s 10 low- boom, questioning the discipline of M&A dividual, the man – and what he has been

est cost gold mines. moves and investment strategies. He said able to do at Randgold.”

As part of the deal, Barrick chairman the merged company would “be very dif- The lack of a premium for Randgold

John Thornton will remain executive chair- ferent”. shareholders prompted scepticism from

man but will be joined by Randgold man- “Its goal will be to deliver sector-leading some analysts who were also concerned

agement, with managing director Mark returns, and in order to achieve this, we that Randgold’s agility could be bogged

Bristow taking on the role of president and will need to take a very critical view of our down by the mammoth Barrick.

chief executive and chief financial officer asset base and how we run our business, “UK shareholders are arguably being

Graeme Shuttleworth becoming senior and be prepared to make tough deci- dealt a poor hand with the merger,” AJ

executive vice president and chief finan- sions,” he said. Bell investment director Russ Mould said.

cial officer of New Barrick Group. With the outspoken Bristow at the helm, “What Bristow has got to prove now is that

The deal is the richest in gold history New Barrick Group is expected to retain bigger is better and the Randgold culture

and the most significant since Barrick ac- the fleet-footedness of the smaller group. is the one that will perhaps prevail.”

quired Canadian miner Placer Dome in “By employing a strategy similar to the Less than 24 hours later, Barrick an-

2006. one that proved very successful at Rand- nounced a further corporate deal via a

The intervening period has seen the gold, but on a larger scale, the New Barrick mutual investment agreement with Shan-

world’s largest gold miners lose market Group will leverage some of the world’s dong Gold Group.

support due to low returns and poor in- best mines and talent to create real value Barrick and Shandong are JV partners

vestment decisions, driven by the desire for all stakeholders,” Bristow said. at the Veladero gold mine in Argentina.

for more production ounces. A subsequent “We don’t see a reason to change “This mutual investment is another re-

industry-wide cost-cutting campaign im- Randgold’s approach ... if we can’t deliver flection of the deepening partnership be-

proved margins but a lack of exploration something that is bigger and better, then tween our two companies,” Thornton said.

left most of the world’s top 10 miners lack- we wouldn’t do it,” Bristow later said on a “Barrick and Shandong both believe that

“ing growth options. call with analysts. by working in partnership, we can lever-

age our collective strengths to unlock

long-term value for our respective

Its goal will be to deliver sector-leading returns, shareholders, just as we are at Ve-
and in order to achieve this, we will need to take a ladero today, with the potential to ex-
pand to Lama and other El Indio Belt

very critical view of our asset base and how we run our projects in the future.”
business, and be prepared to make tough decisions.



In light of being recognised as the
Gender Diversity Champion at the
Rio Tinto 2018 Women in Resources

National Awards,
Rachel Durdin shared her thoughts on the

industry’s diversity with Paydirt

What is industry doing right to engage career options for women in both tradi- a huge advocate for girls participating
more women in mining? tional and non-traditional roles. We need in sport. Being present as a role model
to promote the holistic view that women and encouraging non-gendered roles at
There is change happening right across can contribute at every level of the sector home will also go a long way to showing
our industry to ensure it is attractive to including operating trucks, community en- them that the world can be equal.
women. At Rio Tinto this includes flex- gagement, engineering, geology and pro-
ible working arrangements, paid parental fessional services. Hypothetically, in 10 years time, what
leave for men and women and targets to will an Australian mining workforce
ensure we have female representation What would you encourage me to be look like?
on our senior leadership teams. We have doing at home to ensure my two young
also produced a package of initiatives to daughters have the confidence to pur- The mining industry will be very close
protect and support families affected by sue a career in mining if they choose to equal representation based on public
family and domestic violence. Earlier this to do so? awareness that we provide safe, gender
year we achieved a White Ribbon work- equal and respectful workplaces. Across
place accreditation recognising that we I would encourage you to provide our sector, workplaces will be well-
are taking active steps to stop violence every opportunity for your girls to grow equipped to support our employees and
against women. into independent strong women. Playing communities. Finally, all senior industry
hockey gave me a wonderful foundation leaders will have gender targets that are
What can be done better to encourage for teamwork, competition and leader- aligned to performance remuneration to
more women in mining? ship. Most importantly I gained lifelong, encourage continued progress.
like-minded friends and this makes me
Mining is a great industry with diverse

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upskill you in: It is an analogy that well-known mining figure Erica Smyth
used in a speech at The Rio Tinto Women in Resources Nation-
• Basic to advanced tenement al Awards (WIRNA) last month, which resonated with Minerals
management Council of Australia chair Vanessa Guthrie.

• Excel for the mining industry “If you think of a company as reds and whites, men and women,
• Detailed environmental compliance then to have the best performing company you want to have a
great diverse mix of talent,” Guthrie told Paydirt.
Small groups and limited spaces
More informa�on and bookings call the team on “The reason why I refer to Erica is because Erica was 10 years
earlier into her career in mining than me and I was really lucky to
1300 659 454 or have Erica ahead of me. She was only one of a handful of women
at the time and she actually pushed through and forced through
Improve your productivity with our expert tools, barriers that I was able to walk through. There are now more Eri-
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more women to come through.”
LandTrack Systems
Guthrie spoke to Paydirt in light of the 2018 WIRNA; a national
awards ceremony celebrating its fifth year.

This year, Brisbane-based Rachel Durdin was named Gender
Diversity Champion for her sterling efforts as general manager,
Project Shaping Rio Tinto.

Since joining Rio Tinto six years ago, Durdin has made a pro-
found contribution to improved outcomes for women in the re-
sources sector and has taken the lead in the company’s White


Ribbon accreditation programme. violence and who

Such has been Durdin’s impact in Rio want to stay and

Tinto’s response to family and domestic f i n a n c i a l l y - w i s e

violence, the company was recognised need to stay in

with the Excellence in Diversity Pro- the workforce and

grammes and Performance award at the need to escape

WIRNA ceremony at Parliament House, that environment.

Canberra. Yes, we have

“I will continue to advocate for women done a lot and the

within our business and the broader sec- numbers have in-

tor by challenging our leadership until creased, but it is

we have significant movement towards snail paced.” Indiana Resources non-executive chair Bronwyn Barnes is
equal representation, equal pay, career Introducing spe- strongly in favour of quota systems to ensure women
progression and above all a workplace are fairly represented within companies
that is committed to having an impact cific quotas to en-
sure women are

in eradicating family and domestic vio- fairly represented trades all the way up to senior executive
lence,” Durdin said. within companies has drawn divided level.
opinion from within the business com-
Rio Tinto and Durdin’s attention to fam- munity and it was an idea Guthrie was It has been well documented that better
ily and domestic violence issues in the initially firmly against. gender balances in workplaces breeds
community is indicative of the deepening more innovation, better safety practices
levels of engagement mining companies However, she pointed to the success and profitability for companies, some-
are committing to with their workforces. of businesses and governments in other thing Guthrie believes can be achieved
parts of the world where the strategy has through target setting, rather than quota
Guthrie said the focus had shifted from worked. systems.
systems, processes and policies, in re-
lation to enhancing female participation Speaking during the Women in Mining “On balance, I’d still rather not have
in the mining industry and while there is panel discussion at Africa Down Under quotas. It is evident that when you at
progress being made it is being done at (see pages 46-47), Indiana Resources least set targets for companies, in par-
a “snail’s pace”. Ltd non-executive chair Bronwyn Barnes ticular, you do see momentum and that
backed the idea of a quota system. is evidenced by the ASX setting a 30%
“There have been a lot of initiatives target for women on boards by the end
undertaken to address the flexible work “I am a huge fan of quotas, we are bril- of this year. I don’t know the statis-
time and the like in attracting women into liant in the mining industry at measur- tics today, but at least most of the top
roles in that they would otherwise not ing everything. We can measure tonnes ASX100 have at least one female rep-
consider. Now we are starting to move mined, tonnes moved, ore processed, resented at board level,” Guthrie said.
into the next level of things around the recoveries, financial metrics, but as soon
culture of a workplace and is it a place as we try and talk about a measurement “A quota is a hard and fast thing,
women want to work and choose to to encourage the number of females in whereas a target is something you push
work,” Guthrie said. the workforce, suddenly people get gun towards. When you have a target, things
shy about numbers,” Barnes said. usually get done, when you see the tar-
“Different companies are at different get you go for it.”
stages of this and some are still really “I think it needs to start from the top and
working on getting the right policies in make sure that the quota system doesn’t

place to try and attract women. Others just sit at board level, but it filters through – Mark Andrews

have moved into areas like the domestic at every level of the business. What quo-

violence space and creating a support tas and hard numbers do is they drive

network in the policy space, but also in performance. What we are really good

the culture space, particularly for wom- at in the mining industry is giving KPIs

en who might be victims of domestic and then resourcing the team and giv-

ing them a focus

and mandate

to deliver the

KPI. I am a little

unsure why we

don’t see that in

female participa-

tion in the work-


Guthrie agreed

that it was es-

sential women

were duly rep-

resented in all

parts of the

workforce and

encouraged to

take on roles

dominated by

Rachel Durdin with QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane at Parliament males from the MCA chair Vanessa Guthrie

House in Canberra



Nickel caught in base A nickel price above $US16,500/t is needed
metals price rout to incentivise new supply, according to
Morgan Stanley
Nickel is still the best year-to-date per- spread CMNI0-3 was valued at a super-
former among the six core metals trad- relaxed contango of $US82/t in mid-Sep- beholden to the bigger picture of global
ed on the London Metal Exchange (LME). tember. trade tensions.

But at a current $US12,400/t, LME What Woodmac describes as a “greater This tension between nickel as stainless
three-month metal is, like the rest of the understanding of this stock movement” input and nickel as battery input has been
pack, now trading below year-start levels. was weakening nickel’s bull narrative even simmering for some time.
prior to the latest escalation of the US-Chi-
The excitement around the potential na trade war. It is likely to become ever starker, the
boost to nickel demand from its use in further the price falls.
electric vehicle batteries hasn’t been com- The current reality of nickel’s usage pro-
pletely dispelled. file is that the amount of metal heading to Electric dreams have caused something
the battery sector is still dwarfed by the of a global nickel rush as existing produc-
But the “electric premium” in the price tonnage used in making stainless steel. ers dust down expansion plans and new
has been crushed by the broader mar- entrants try to grab a slice of the expected
ket concerns about the escalating trade And the stainless steel sector, which future action.
stand-off between the US and China. has been booming, looks potentially vul-
nerable to any tariff-induced slowdown in In Indonesia, Sumitomo Metal Min-
The tensions between nickel’s electric manufacturing activity, particularly in Chi- ing and Vale are co-operating on a new
future and the metal’s current stainless na, the world’s largest producer. 40,000 tpa facility to generate an interme-
steel reality are all too evident and if any- diate product that could be used to make
thing are going to become more acute the It doesn’t help that the stainless sector battery-grade nickel sulphate. Tsingshan
further the price falls. is itself being disrupted right now by the is looking to branch out from stainless into
ramp-up of Tsingshan’s 3 mtpa facility in the battery sector.
Nickel was on a roll in the first half of this Indonesia.
year, up 25% in early June, when it was In Australia, US-based private equity
trading above $US15,000/t. The Chinese producer’s offshoring of firm Black Mountain Metals is set to buy
new capacity has already led to China the Lanfranchi mine, which last produced
Funds were enthused by the narrative of opening an anti-dumping investigation into in November 2015.
a step-change in usage thanks to nickel’s its exports back into the mainland market.
input into the lithium-ion battery technol- Its previous owner Panoramic Resourc-
ogy that is driving the EV revolution. “The export of this low-cost stainless to es Ltd placed Lanfranchi on to care and
China has weighed on price and driven maintenance at a time when the nickel
It helped that future expectations were cuts, particularly of high-nickel 300 Se- price was sliding below $US10,000/t.
complemented by the bullish reality of fast- ries,” analysts at Morgan Stanley noted in
falling exchange stocks of nickel. September. The price has recovered since then but
it’s now also a long way off the June highs
Inventory is still falling by the day but Both Morgan Stanley and Wood Mac above $US15,000/t with the potential for
there is a growing awareness that a good note Tsingshan has started redirecting further contagion from the risk-off mood
part of what is leaving is simply being re- shipments to other Asian countries and pervading the industrial metals complex.
located as the battery supply chain, which Europe.
needs the sort of Class I nickel traded on Morgan Stanley argues that prices are
both London and Shanghai markets, pre- This will alleviate some of the pressure unlikely to revisit the 2015-2016 lows pre-
emptively builds its own stocks. on Chinese stainless mills but will increase cisely because of curtailments such as
pricing pressure on everyone else. Lanfranchi.
Combined exchange stocks have fallen
by 162,000t so far this year but the Inter- The Indonesian disruption to the stain- But the bank continues “to see the need
national Nickel Study Group estimates the less supply chain is set to continue with for a nickel price above $US16,500/t in the
global market registered a smaller supply another Chinese operator, Delong Hold- longer term, to incentivise new mine sup-
deficit of 81,000t in the first six months. ings, preparing to launch another 2mt of ply to feed both the stainless and electric
capacity in the country, according to Mor- vehicle sides of the market”.
The disconnect becomes more evident gan Stanley.
over a longer time frame. The problem is that one price may not fit
This backdrop of oversupply in the stain- both stainless and electric requirements.
Analysts at Wood Mackenzie note that less sector left it, and by extension nickel,
exchange stocks have fallen by 420,000t particularly vulnerable to fears of a hit on What the nickel market really needs is
since their end-2017 (LME) and mid-2016 demand resulting from trade tariffs. two prices, one specifically for battery-
(Shanghai Futures Exchange) peaks. useable nickel sulphate.
None of which negates the bull argu-
“Over this period there was a cumulative ment that nickel is going to get an incre- The LME is actively considering such a
market deficit of only 145,000t, suggesting mental boost over time from its use in EVs. product but until it exists, nickel’s battery-
275,000t has likely transferred into private stainless pricing tensions will persist.
depots”, according to a Metals & Mining Not least because battery manufactur-
Snapshot in September. ers are actively seeking to increase the – Andy Home, Reuters
amount of nickel relative to more expen-
Certainly, there is no evidence of tight- sive cobalt. A full preview to Paydirt’s Australian
ness in time-spreads on the London mar- Nickel Conference starts on page 92
ket. But right now nickel is still beholden to of this edition
the fortunes of stainless, which in turn is
The benchmark cash-to-three-months




1668 - 1670 Forest Road Suite 1, Level 10 Level 2 23 Broadwood Street
PO Box 2154 56 Pitt Street 14 Ventnor Avenue Kalgoorlie WA 6430
Orange NSW 2800 Sydney NSW 2000 West Perth WA 6005

PYBAR.COM.AU P 02 6361 4499 E [email protected]


Century bubbles again

The critics said it was doomed to fail, the lights back on at the famed Century have various degrees of opinion on it, but
but the team behind New Century mine, about 250km north-west of Mt Isa, the reality is this team has delivered and
Resources Ltd was determined to prove Queensland. that’s a great result for us.”
them wrong.
“It’s tremendously rewarding to see a Century was officially re-opened last
When MMG Ltd shuttered the Century vision turned into a reality,” Walta told month by Federal Minister for Resourc-
zinc mine in early 2016, it was widely Paydirt. es and Northern Australia Senator Matt
thought all of the base metal resources Canavan and Member for Kennedy Bob
had been exhausted and the only thing “There’s still plenty of work to do, we’ve Katter, as well as representatives from
left to do was rehabilitate the area. got a long way to go, but it’s great to see the Waanyi indigenous community.
the developments to date, particularly the
But Patrick Walta had other ideas: speed at which they’ve been achieved For Walta, who became New Century’s
What if the tailings from 16 years of op- as well. I think every project will always managing director last year following the
erations at the world’s largest open-cut acquisition of the mine and the backdoor
zinc mine could be reprocessed? And New Century managing director Patrick Walta listing of his private vehicle Century Bull
could such an exercise also meet the le- Pty Ltd into the Attila Resources shell,
gal rehabilitation requirement? the re-opening event was a milestone of
great significance considering some of
Walta had few supporters in the early the criticism he and fellow directors Tolga
days of pitching the concept to the mar- Kumova and Evan Cranston had copped
ket, with some critics going as far to sug- for taking on and aggressively promoting
gest the tailings would not float, amid a such a bold strategy.
myriad of other concerns.
“The reopening event was obviously
Fast-forward to August this year and a significant milestone for us, albeit cer-
New Century was the hottest ticket in emonial, but it really was a culmination
town at the annual Diggers & Dealers of a lot of hard work, whether it be the
Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie as the com- five years of work that we did to get to-
pany was just days away from turning


wards the transaction occurring or the how simple that mining process is; you stakeholders associated with the Cen-

12 months since we listed the company can actually see the orebody on surface tury mine and the Traditional Owners are

and a lot of the development in that time when you stand on top of it,” Walta said. no different to all the other stakeholders,”

all focused towards restarting the opera- “I think in the fullness of time that will Walta said.

tions,” Walta said. grow, particularly as we start to deliver “For New Century, we wanted to main-

New Century is targeting an initial run on our economic rehabilitation solution tain our ethos as a ‘lean and mean’ op-

rate of 8 mtpa at Century before progres- and show genuine rehabilitation benefits erator and so by leveraging relationships

sively ramping up to 15 mtpa over the for the mine site, as well through contin- and bringing other groups into the actual

next 15 months, potentially positioning ued operations. That will just continue mining operations and being part of the

the company as a top 10 global zinc pro- to evolve and I expect investors’ under- economic rehabilitation solution was a

ducer by the end of 2019. standing will continue to do the same.” beneficial process for New Century, but

According to feasibility estimates, New Century is also committed to also to those stakeholders.

Century will produce 264,000 tpa of zinc working with the local indigenous com- “Our team has done a fantastic job in

and 3 mozpa silver in 500,000 tpa of con- munities, including the Waanyi people. growing the relationship we have with

centrate for lowest-quar- the Traditional Owners by

tile C1 costs of $US0.38/ executing mining servic-

lb, generating a NPV of es agreements. We also

$1.3 billion, IRR of 270% spend around $2 million a

and free cash flow of $1.8 year on specific training for

billion, assuming a zinc local indigenous groups to

price of $US1.25/lb. upskill them not just in min-

A feature of the re- ing, but in a number of skill-

vamped Century opera- sets including to be able

tion is hydraulic mining, to work on cattle stations

the largest and first tech- within the region.”

nology of its scale ever Based on the current tail-

implemented in Australia. ings reserves of 2.3mt zinc

High-pressure hoses and 29.7 moz silver (77.3mt

break up the dried tailings @ 3.1% zinc equivalent),

surface to expose the zinc operations of Century will

which then flows continue for at least

to the process- 6.3 years after which

ing plant before the company is set

being piped as a cHoyndcreaunltircamteintiong techInnoMloagyy, itshebecinogmupsaendytoexeexctruatcetdthaeczuinltcurfarol m thetotailinigmsmdeadmi- ately progress to
Karumba port. heritage management plan and a mining mining of in- situ resources, cur-

“This is certainly rently totalling 9.3mt

the largest [hy- @ 10.8% zinc-lead,

draulic mining] op- around the district.

eration ever put forward in Known phosphate miner-

Australia and I think we’ll alisation on New Century’s

be about the fifth largest tenements offers another

hydraulic mining operation value proposition for the

in the world,” Walta said. company, with the process-

“The way we were able ing plant also equipped to

to bring that technology take on such material.

into Australia and at scale An expansion feasibility

was really around lever- study is due for release in

aging relationships with the coming months, giving

existing contractors that Walta and his team confi-

have the experience, and dence Century will contin-

our partners at Paragon ue ticking over for several

are tailings reprocessing decades.

experts that have a num- “Fundamentally, we’re in

ber of [reprocessing] op- elephant country. This is

erations over in Africa.” services agreement with the Waanyi- one of the largest zinc deposits ever dis-

Economic rehabilitation was a key Downer JV to undertake works around covered and the work that our geological

mandate of New Century’s bid to acquire the in-situ resource at South Block. team has been doing reviewing historical

the rights to Century, which was origi- The mining services agreement is data and looking at the prospectivity of

nally developed by Pasminco in 2000. incorporated within the compensation the tenements we have, we’re very excit-

Under the proposal, waste material from arrangements for the cultural heritage ed to start doing some more formal struc-

the tailings reprocessing is pumped into management plan – believed to be a tured exploration on the site,” Walta said.

the original open pit and the tailings dam first for an Australian mining company – “The focus of the team has very much

is progressively revegetated. something Walta said the team at New been on getting into production, gener-

“This is not a traditional mining pro- Century is very proud to be associated ating cash flow, but now that we’re here

ject, I think everyone has started to re- with. and established, the focus will expand

alise that now, particularly when you see “Our process has always been around into new discoveries on those tenements

the hydro miners in action and you see improving the value proposition for all and potentially push the life out further.”



New Century has committed 80% of its further production away for may- Federal member for Kennedy, Bob Katter
first three years of production to offtake be the next six months or so, but
contracts with Mercuria Energy Trading then after that we may look to MRI Trading Resources Australia general
SA, Transamine Trading SA, Nyrstar do another offtake agreement or manager Andrew Briscoe. MRI is one of
Sales & Marketing AG, MRI Trading AG simply put it on the spot market.” five offtakers which have partnered with
and Concord Resources Ltd. New Century
While prices for base metals
Walta said it would be at least another have tailed off in recent months in
six months before the company revisited the wake of ongoing trade wars between
his offtake arrangements for the remain- the US and China, Walta remains bullish
ing 20% and beyond the initial three-year the fundamentals for zinc will rebound in the
terms it has agreed with its broad cus- near-term, something which he said had
tomer base. been “solidified” by the restart of Century.

“We could easily contracted well over “From a supply side, the market is
100% of our offtake if we wanted to, but incredibly tight, even with projects like
that was the demand that we had when Century coming back online, there is
we tendered the project out and the re- still very limited supply available into the
ality is we limited it at 80% because we marketplace itself,” he said.
were only just getting the project up and
running and making sure we hit all of our “There is continuing global growth of
targets,” he said. around 2% per annum and a fundamen-
tal lack of supply, a lack of major dis-
“Once we’ve got full confidence in our coveries, a lack of major developments,
production levels, we’ll then allocate the and simply the time taken to bring these
rest. There is strong demand for our new projects online is extensive. And we
product, that’s quite evident now, so we know because it was hard yakka getting
don’t see any need to actually lock any Century back online.”

– Michael Washbourne

Walta with Federal Minister
for Resources and Northern

Australia, Matt Canavan

Waste material from the tailings reprocessing will be deposited in the original open pit at Century



14-15 March 2019 – Perth, Western Australia

graphite tin cobalt

manganese vanadium
rare earths

To present, exhibit or attend as a delegate please contact
Namukale Nakazwe-Msiska on (+61) 8 9321 0355 or emaAiUlSTkRaALlIAe’[email protected] o201m8 P.AaGuE 13


Altura: All in the family

There is very little James Brown and the

close-knit team at Altura Mining Ltd would do

Altura officially opened its differently if given a second chance to build billion, NPV to $835 million and
namesake lithium mine, at lithium mine at Pilgangoora. IRR to 63%, based on an esti-
about 120km south of Port Hed- mated reserve of 34.2mt.
land, last month, becoming the In fact, so successful was the development
third spodumene-based project of the 220,000 tpa operation in the Pilbara, While a final investment de-
in Western Australia to come the company is set to repeat the effort to cision on Stage 2 is yet to be
online this year alongside its double production over the next 18 months. made, Brown holds no fears
about pushing more tonnes

Pilgangoora neighbour Pilbara see the product come out. through the newly commis-
Minerals Ltd and Tawana Re- “I think you have to be resilient in this sioned plant.
sources NL at Bald Hill, near Kalgoorlie. Securing offtake beyond the current
business and I think it proves that every- deals Altura has in place with Shaanxi
Commercial mine production began one, the partners we have and the board J&R Optimum Energy Co Ltd and Lion-
in July and the first batch of concentrate itself, are all very invested in the compa- ergy Ltd for 200,000 tpa of Stage 1 pro-
was hauled to Port Hedland the following ny and I think that’s testament to getting duction looms as the critical factor in the
month. At the time of print, the first ship- it to where it is today. company’s plans to move forward with
ment was due to leave the Qube Hold- Stage 2.
ings Ltd storage facility for distribution to “We’re by no sense of the word beat- “We’re a company that likes to crawl
Altura’s offtake partners in China. ing our chest, but certainly when you see before we walk and while everyone has
the product coming out and hauled to the got a Stage 2 plan, in reality I think we
For Brown, who has been Altura’s port, it is testament the plan works.” need to partner with someone who is go-
managing director for a decade, the of- ing to be around for the long haul,” Brown
ficial opening of the mine marked an Altura is set to produce 220,000 tpa said.
emotional sense of accomplishment for of the industry-standard 6% lithium spo- “The initial contracts we have are your
a company which treats employees like dumene concentrate from Stage 1 pro- less than five-year duration, but the larger
family. duction at Pilgangoora, with Brown confi- groups that probably don’t have capacity
dent operations will hit nameplate before outside of China now are looking to 5-10
“We have a philosophy more like a fam- year’s end. [years] to life-of-mine contracts, so that’s
ily company than anything else,” Brown where we’re engaging at the moment.
said. “Most of, if not all of, our employ- For a $119 million capital investment,
ees are shareholders, so they’re getting Altura can double production to 440,000
to see their investment, they’re getting to tpa and lift life-of-mine revenue to $4.38


Altura managing direc-
tor James Brown and WA
Minister of Mines Hon Bill
Johnston MLA officially
open the Altura lithium
mine at Pilgangoora

“We do have limitations under our cur- different funding avenues because the Several employees, shareholders and
rent offtake until the end of 2022, so it’s a market is fairly opaque; it’s a juvenile- special guests attended the official
bit of a balancing act to increase produc- type market, it’s very China-centric fo-
tion and allocate it to new sources.” cused because it is in the only place in opening of the Altura mine in September
the world the material can be processed.
Shaanxi, Altura’s largest shareholder Altura will employ about 130 people on
with a 16.8% stake in the business, ear- “We’ve learnt that you need to be dy- site to maintain operations
lier this year flagged a potential control namic with the ups and downs of par-
transaction of the company. ticularly Chinese developments of EVs
and applications. That’s something we’re
Following an exhaustive review pro- seeing a bump we’re going through at the
cess led by Citigroup, Altura decided moment, but longer term we don’t see
to suspend activity relating to any con- that being an issue.”
trol transaction after determining such
a move was not in the best interests of Altura employed about 1,000 person-
shareholders, for the time being. nel during the construction phase of the
mine, with 130-odd staff now required on
“In the end it remains open, but from site to maintain operations.
our opinion we couldn’t remain open from
a board perspective, so we said ‘look, if As the company prepares to embark
it continues, come back to us’, but we’re on Stage 2, Brown reiterated there was
not willing to wait and have uncertainty very little, if any, he would change about
with our shareholders,” Brown said Altura’s journey to date.

“That’s always been the case. We “We would know a little bit more as to
would only entertain it if it was what we what the pitfalls may or may not have
considered in the benefits of our share- been…but other than that we’d do exactly
holders and that’s what Citi was appoint- the same again and we intend to do so
ed to do. We don’t control timing and with Stage 2,” he said.
there’s certainly no walking away from
the market which has changed a little – Michael Washbourne
bit since the first quarter of 2018. It will
rebound…but the fundamentals of this Stage 2 will see production at Altura doubled to 440,000 tpa
business haven’t changed.”

Altura was one of the first movers on
lithium back in 2009, but a lack of interest
in the mineral saw the company shelve
plans to develop Pilgangoora just three
years later in favour of coal opportunities
in Indonesia and the Philippines.

As the commodities downturn hit five
years ago, Altura punted on a return to
the lithium scene, backing its instincts
the battery revolution would take off in
the ensuing years and spodumene con-
centrate would be in high demand.

Brown described the global search for
project finance for an undeveloped hard
rock lithium asset as one of the toughest
exercises of his career.

“Given the lithium market in 2013 when
we hit the streets to try and fund the pro-
ject, it was very different to the outlook
now in 2018,” Brown said.

“These projects aren’t easy to fund.
We’ve all been on record that these sit
outside the normal project funding av-
enues. Certainly you do need to look at



Tanga takes two
in Namibia

Having swooped on the Joumbira zinc Bowles said Canadian companies and 1.98%, 244 ppm and 0.6 g/t gold.
project earlier this year, Tanga Re- had taken favourably to the base met- A record of drilling from 1972 at Phelps
sources Ltd has quickly expanded its als space in Namibia, while Rio Tinto
presence in Namibia. Ltd, Teck Resources Ltd, B2Gold Corp, Dodge included results of 18m @ 0.9%
Qatari private investor QKR Group and copper from 93m, including 12m @
By formalising the 100% acquisition Glencore were some of the big hitters 1.08% copper from 96m, including 3m
of the Hagenhof copper-cobalt project in making a splash in country. @ 2.37% copper from 96m and 24m @
August, Tanga now has exposure in base 0.88% copper from 74m.
metals relevant to the fast-growing bat- “We like Africa; along with Botswana
tery sector. it is probably one of the safest places to Historical reports also revealed peak
invest in. It is an easy place to operate cobalt mineralisation of 1,200 ppm asso-
While the company shifts its atten- in, there is established infrastructure and ciated with copper mineralisation, how-
tion in commodity and jurisdiction, chief the people want investment in country. ever, there has been no evidence of any
executive Matt Bowles told Paydirt the Joumbira was our first acquisition and to assaying for gold potential.
Hanang gold project in Tanzania was still have a partner like Epangelo [Namibian
an essential part of the portfolio. Government-owned entity] for us coming Bowles said while there was a hint
into a new jurisdiction was a great value- of gold potential worth following up on,
“It is an outstanding gold project, 16m add. They [Epangelo] are also looking to Tanga’s focus was on the copper-cobalt
@ 55 g/t gold says that, and we will pro- boost their technical capacity, which we at Hagenhof.
tect that project and maintain it in good can bring,” Bowles said.
standing. When things are more recep- “Celsius [Resources Ltd] has done a
tive in the gold space and investor sen- Joumbira has been subject to a lot of great job in educating the market on Na-
timent is there for it...we’d love nothing previous work with Tanga currently re- mibia and the cobalt potential there and
more than to have 10 drill rigs in opera- viewing historical results and assays as we will look to build on that,” Bowles said.
tion at Hanang,” Bowles said. it plots to update the resource sometime
in the future. “We’ve had interest from North Amer-
As the Tanzanian Government moves ica, they like Namibia because it is safe
to resolve differences with industry after Meanwhile, Bowles said despite only and the Europeans also like it because of
last year’s abrupt and significant chang- recently finalising the Hagenhof acqui- the German connection. We think there
es to mining policies, Tanga has forged sition, which it did by acquiring all the is potential to make meaningful discov-
ahead in a country many in mining are at shares in previous owner Aloe Invest- eries and we have our technical director
peace with. ments One Hundred and Ninety Two Pty John Stockley spending a lot of time in
Ltd, interest in the copper-cobalt play country building the story. The last 12
However, despite the relaxed environ- was strong. months for Tanga has been about build-
ment of Namibia, Australian companies ing strong foundations for the future.”
have largely avoided the uranium-rich Tanga believes there is good poten-
southern African nation in recent times. tial for Hagenhof to host large-scale Tanga will continue to interpret data
sediment hosted copper-cobalt min- from soil and rock chip sampling col-
When uranium was in-vogue, Austral- eralisation, with assays from a recent lected in August, plus review historical
ian companies were well spread in Na- programme of surface sampling includ- data before considering a potential RC
mibia, however, interest has petered, ing 3.24% copper and 303 ppm cobalt, drilling programme to test for high-grade
with Bannerman Resources Ltd and 2.97% and 221 ppm, 2.4% and 230 ppm copper-cobalt mineralisation.
Deep Yellow Ltd among those still flying
the flag for Australia. – Mark Andrews



9 - 10 April 2019

Hilton Adelaide

South Australia’s premier mining forum


Innovation Games

After two decades of relative stability, the
Australian nickel sector stands on the verge of
major change with the future of Nickel West up
in the air, Kambalda’s mature assets subject to
private equity acquisition and many long forgotten
laterite projects being reassessed for their cobalt
potential. Meanwhile, the two mainstays of the
sector, Independence Group Ltd and Western

Areas Ltd are using innovation across their
businesses to remain on track.


The bulk of IGO’s $51 million FY2018/19 exploration budget is dedicated to its ground in the Fraser Range


credence to the idea it was a fluke. “In the last 12 months we could’ve
been drilling without fully understanding
Then, earlier this year, Mark what the geology looks like but we use all
the science in the toolkit to understand
Creasy’s private exploration vehi- what the Nova-Bollinger orebody looks
like and build our knowledge.
cle, the Creasy Group announced
“We have got all the data from 3D seis-
a new discovery on its own Fraser mic and the Squid EM, identified targets
and will now progressively drill them,
Range ground. IGO managing di- starting with the Phoenix and Chameleon
targets where there is existing evidence
rector Bradford reads the discov- of the Nova-style mineralisation. There
has been very little drilling outside the
ery as confirmation IGO is on the resource envelope and you could easily
park a Nova-sized orebody between the
right track. drill holes on the mining licence.”

“The discovery success the The application of new technology has
led IGO to review the already massive
Creasy Group has had validates Fraser Range database.

our exploration thesis on the “We are constantly looking at past
work. We recently had a big campaign to
Fraser Range,” Peter Bradford review and relook at historical data and
are generating new targets as a result of
tells Paydirt. “Up until then, there that.”

were quite a few naysayers in Despite Nova proving the main vector
for further discovery, IGO is not restrict-
the public domain who said there ing itself to one style of mineralisation.

wouldn’t be another orebody “Historically, companies have had
blinkers on,” Bradford says. “Our guys
found. They’re now being proved are looking for value, if we find something
we do the work ourselves to understand
wrong.” it. Whether we then develop it or trade
it out or let someone else develop it be-
However, the case remains that comes a matter of the opportunity.”

IGO hasn’t made its own discov- Sandl believes the systematic ap-
proach will inevitably lead to other dis-
ery despite four years of trying coveries.

and now it has apportioned the “We assay for every element and
would test conductors for copper,” he
bulk of its $51 million FY2018/19 says. “We have already made the An-
dromeda copper discovery. It is probably
exploration budget to its ground in not economic but is very interesting. I

the Fraser Range. IGO remains undeterred by the lack of
exploration success in the Fraser
IGO head of exploration Ian Range thus far

Sandl is far from disappointed

with the lack of repeat success.

Indeed, he sees the mad scram-

IGO geologist Matilda O’Connor (left) and field ble for Nova follow-ups as the rea-

technician Erin Tapscott will have their hands full son no further discoveries have

with the amount of exploration IGO has planned been made.

“We realised as we acquired

It is already a vastly changed land- ground and consolidated that pre-
scape from just two years ago when BHP vious explorers hadn’t done a thorough
Nickel West was for sale at a discount job,”Sandl says. “Our belief is that if you
and the state’s junior nickel miners were are going to have so much investment
closing the doors all round Kambalda. on such a big area, you need to be do-
ing systematic exploration and be using
Two mainstays of the sector did not the best tools available because you are
blink. Instead, Independence Group Ltd making an investment for the long term.
and Western Areas Ltd doubled down on
their nickel strategy, each investing heav- “We want to use the best technology
ily to ensure future prosperity but instead available for what we are doing. We only
of simple M&A, each has built growth want to do it once so we want to do it with
platforms designed around innovation. the best tools available.”

IGO actually made the biggest M&A The company has placed innovation
splash of the last decade when it paid at the top of its exploration agenda. It ran
more than $1 billion in cash and scrip for a widespread 3D seismic survey across
Nova in 2015. Nova had been a surprise the belt and recently deployed the high
discovery when it emerged and many in- powered Spectrum EM survey out of
dustry experts doubted it would ever be South Africa.
Bradford has preached patience from
Exploration efforts on the Fraser the start of IGO’s involvement in the
Range over the intervening period ap- Fraser Range, believing that if done cor-
pear to have confirmed those doubts. A rectly, the district will deliver IGO a pipe-
rash of junior explorers picked up ground line of projects for decades to come.
in the region but summarily failed to
make a dent on the discovery rate. “It looks like it is taking a while but that
is just because we have got a huge vol-
IGO spent more than two years con- ume of data,” he says. “We are probably
solidating its holding on the belt, picking more than 50% through our early stage
up ground from the juniors and applying work and starting to generate targets
for its own extensions but six years on which we will begin testing in FY2019.
from Nova’s discovery, there had still You need to understand where the right
been no follow up success, giving further lithology is to narrow down the search


It has been four years since the Nova discovery
and a look-a-like has yet to be found

“We want to be a company Peter Bradford
which is good at operations
and exploration and the future is
really based on internal discovery to

drive value for the business; much
like the old WMC model.

wouldn’t be surprised, there is always a Orion, and having Lake McKay and Rap to position themselves to increase their
chance of coming across a VMS.” -tor in the Northern Territory we can have
a portfolio with assets at various stages chances of that happening. People see
The multi-commodity approach to ex- of maturity. There have been a number of those chances increased by working at
ploration is also justification for IGO’s projects we have looked at and taken an IGO.
insistence on taking a belt-scale ap- option but we’ve been in and out within
proach to acquisition. It acquired Sirius the quarter. You have to have a strategy “We want to be a company which is
not only for Nova but it’s wider Fraser of failing fast if you are to hit something.” good at operations and exploration and
Range ground position, just as it had the future is really based on internal dis-
picked up huge swathes of ground The belt-scale opportunity and the use covery to drive value for the business;
around the Tropicana gold mine. of cutting-edge technology has also al- much like the old WMC model.”
lowed IGO to build its IP.
It has since picked up or acquired – Dominic Piper
options in belt-scale plays on Lake Mc- “We are looking for the best in-field
Kay (WA), Raptor (Northern Territory) and are very proud that we have been The application of new technology
and in South Africa through a 11% in- able to attract the best talent because we has led IGO to review the already
terest in Orion Minerals Ltd. are committed to exploration; there are massive Fraser Range database
not many companies with that convic-
“It gives us opportunity, if successful, tion,” Sandl says.
not just of one discovery but of a whole
belt of discoveries,” Bradford says. Bradford agrees.
“People are excited by what IGO is do-
“We see a future where people are ing in exploration. It is rare for a geolo-
screaming for the next best nickel sul- gist to make a discovery and they want
phide ground and by having the option on

IGO paid $1 billion in cash and scrip for Nova in 2015


COVER “People expected nickel
to run like lithium, cobalt
and graphite but it is a much
broader market with stainless
still accounting for 70% of
demand. But, ultimately, nickel
producers will be benefactors
of the EV growth.

Western Areas has enjoyed seven years of consistent high-grade
nickel sulphide production from its Forrestania operations

Western Areas
innovates to create

While IGO needs to push exploration ing to blend with its existing concentrate. more economic through the MREP than
technology boundaries to identify However, Western Areas’ ambitions for flotation.
new prospects on what is still an imma- MREP are much more extensive than
ture belt, Western Areas Ltd is pursuing tailings reprocessing and has already “Some nickel species are better treat-
processing innovation to unlock new op- begun investigations to prove its ability to ed through heap leach than flotation and
portunities in a mature district. unlock lower grade deposits in its port- using our designer bacteria we can en-
folio. sure that, in the right price environment,
Part of Western Areas’ challenge is these orebodies can become economic.”
its previous success. The company “MREP will facilitate a new genera-
has enjoyed seven years of consist- tion,” managing director Dan Lougher The next production target will see
ent high-grade nickel sulphide produc- declares. “We always talk about 4-4.5% the MREP produce 4,500 tpa of nickel-
tion from its Forrestania operations nickel as high-grade but globally high in-concentrate and while product is cur-
but as development gets deeper and grade is 1%. So, when we begin to talk rently being blended with existing con-
reserve life shorter, it is forced to con- about lower grade feedstock for the centrate production, Western Areas is
sider how it can retain margins and MREP, for example New Morning, peo- exploring other avenues to sell the high-
replace mill feed. ple think it is lower grade but actually, at grade, high-quality material.
3.7% nickel it is well above the global av-
The solution it has settled on is its own erage.” “We have constructed a bagging facil-
patented BioHeap heap leach technolo- ity which allows us to now sell the MREP
gy. Developed over more than a decade, Lougher says the MREP and BioHeap product into a separate contract,” Lough-
the BioHeap uses a specially developed process are not unlocking “difficult” ore- er says.
bacteria to leach nickel. bodies, rather providing better econom-
ics for orebodies which grade couldn’t The arrival of MREP product comes at
Western Areas has incorporated Bio- overcome. a time of shifting sentiment in the nickel
Heap into its new mill enhancement re- space. The nickel price has experienced
covery programme (MREP) at Forrestan- “Its going to be a key part of the or- wild inconsistencies in the last 18 months
ia. The MREP is currently processing ganic growth profile,” he says. “We will as suppliers, traders and end-users bat-
tailings, producing 1,800 tpa of a high- be exploring projects at Forrestania and tle to make sense of the demand electric
grade nickel product the company is us- elsewhere in the portfolio which are vehicles are likely to make on nickel.

After years of record levels, LME and


lb but Lougher says interest in Western complex.

Areas’ product remains strong. “At LME Week, we will have a sample

“We are preaching patience,” he says. of the MREP material and that is a good

“People expected nickel to run like lithium, segue into broader contract talks, includ-

cobalt and graphite but it is a much broad- ing Odysseus,” Lougher says.

er market with stainless still accounting Acquired as part of the $25 million

for 70% of demand. But, ultimately, nickel purchase of the Cosmos nickel camp

producers will be benefactors of the EV from Glencore, Odysseus has grown into

growth.” Western Areas’ most important develop-

The change could result in companies ment asset.

Dan Lougher such as Western Areas and IGO produc- The company expects to release a
ing nickel sulphate and receiving greater DFS on the 12,000 tpa, 10-year project
SHFE warehouse stocks are shrinking, payability for their product.
suggesting structural change is immi- this month. A $32 million early works pro-

“Everyone should be manoeuvring to gramme had already been committed to
nent. The changes could be particularly get increased paya-
acute for WA’s nickel sulphide producers. bility,” Lougher says.
The last nickel price spike led to the
Both WA nickel
rise of the Asian nickel pig iron sector sulphide miners
which ultimately placed a ceiling on the see their offtake
prices nickel sulphide concentrate pro- contracts mature in
ducers could gain. However, nickel pig 2019, making this
iron is seemingly unsuited to conversion year’s LME Week
into nickel sulphate, potentially setting the the truest test yet of
scene for a bifurcation in the nickel sec- whether growing EV
tor between higher quality Class 1 refined production is likely
nickel supplying the nickel sulphate sec- to fuel further price
tor and low quality nickel pig iron making rises.
up the bulk of stainless steel demand.
“There is a bit of
As Western Areas prepares to mar- conversation hap-
ket the MREP product for the first time,
Lougher is becoming confident there is pening now and that Western Areas believes its processing innovations will allow
genuine change coming to supply/de- is good 15 months it to meet new nickel demand. Pictured is senior
mand dynamics. out [from contract
maturity],” Lougher environmental advisor Colm Harkin with senior mining
“LME Week is coming up this month and says. “It is lining up engineer Kevin Klim

we have been in conversation with many with the EV trajec-
parties,” he says. “Stockpiles are down tory. New parties are showing interest and and Lougher expects the DFS to show
and fundamentals starting to kick in.”
MREP puts us in the spotlight a bit as well.” further compelling economics based on
Nickel did go above $US7/lb in Novem-
While there would appear little incen- recent metallurgical success and the de-
ber 2017 on the back of the EV story as tive to change the major offtake contracts cision to install a shaft haulage system.
investors rushed to replicate the success unless something dramatic occurs, West-
“The shaft haulage obviously increases
of lithium, graphite and cobalt. However, ern Areas is keen to use the MREP con- the upfront capital but works well over the
it has since come off to below $US5.60/ tract discussions as a test of the depth higher nickel tonnes,” he says. “And, that

of the EV market, is not inclusive of 66,000t of nickel from

particularly as the AM5 and AM6 deposits on the flank

the high-quality of the main orebody.”

concentrate is At a time of flux for the global nickel sec-

ideally suited to tor, Western Areas is taking comfort from

producing nickel the stability Odysseus and MREP provide.

sulphate. “Discipline of project delivery is key in

“Our preference this environment, you must avoid being

is for a precursor sideswiped by the market,” Lougher says.

[battery material] “Odysseus and Cosmos will become an

customer but we increasingly dominant part of the portfo-

are not closing the lio and the MREP gives us optionality at

door to others,” Forrestania to bring on other orebodies

Lougher says. and move directly into the nickel sulphate

Marketing the market.”

MREP product will IGO and Western Areas have been

also allow West- forced to adapt, in their own unique ways,

ern Areas to bring to survive the intense peaks and troughs

attention to its of the nickel market. However, they now

next likely source stand on the cusp of a new generation

of supply, the Od- of demand which they believe they can

This year’s LME Week will be the truest test yet of whether growing ysseus project be- meet with a new era of innovation.

EV production is likely to fuel further price rises. Both Western Areas ing developed at – Dominic Piper
and IGO will see their offtake contracts mature in 2019 the Cosmos mine



Tremendous potential
to build economic ties:


“Africa Down Under is the forum for Australian and African Governments to strengthen their ties
The mining sector has at times been
demonised by societies, sometimes
fairly but often as an easy target. This is
why it is essential that there are robust
regulatory frameworks surrounding the
extraction of the mineral wealth of our
jurisdictions, governments are the guardians
of the mineral wealth for our citizens.


The largest Australian-Africa mining and countries, particularly member nations of demonised by societies, sometimes fairly
business forum – Africa Down Under – COMESA. In February, Johnston signed but often as an easy target,” he said. “This
attracted a bumper crowd of 1,400 people an extension to a MoU with COMESA is why it is essential that there are robust
in late August. (Common Market for Eastern and South- regulatory frameworks surrounding the ex-
ern Africa) originally struck by the former traction of the mineral wealth of our juris-
The three-day event showcased some Barnett Government. dictions; governments are the guardians of
of the best mining and exploration sto- the mineral wealth for our citizens.”
ries across the continent, with the many “This agreement provides a framework
African governments present providing of co-operation for capacity building in The stable regulatory environment has
the investment community reasons for mineral and petroleum resources, and ag- given WA a base from which it has expand-
coming to their particular country. While riculture and agribusiness, as well as the ed its resources sector from purely extrac-
challenges continue across Africa, with transfer of mining and petroleum and agri- tion to leading technology provider.
some countries’ relationship with their culture and education and training-related
mining sectors fraught with conflict, there services and technologies,” Johnston said. Johnston said it an area the State Gov-
are positive movements being made in ernment would continue to support.
other jurisdictions. “We are all hoping to create greater
economic and social opportunities for our “WA is not a quarry story, it is a technol-
Twelve months ago, Africa Down Un- countries, and the people living in them.” ogy story,” Johnston said. “Technology has
der was the rink for South Africa’s Miner- allowed mining to become safer, more en-
als Council chief executive Roger Baxter Johnston is leading WA’s push to be- vironmentally sustainable and access ore-
to face-off with the country’s then Minister come an international hub for battery min- bodies previously unattainable.
of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane erals technology and supply. He said Afri-
over changes to mining legislation. can countries could become beneficiaries “Mining is at the forefront of innovation
and active participants in this strategy. and WA is a hub for mining services, tech-
A return bout was not on the cards in nology and science.”
2018, as incoming SA Minister of Mineral “These [economic and social] opportuni-
Resources Hon Gwede Mantashe and his ties can be made easier and more acces- Johnston believes African countries
colleagues in government have started to sible through the increased access to tech- could both benefit from and emulate WA’s
mend bridges with its industry, which was nology that the world is creating,” Johnston technological advantages.
reflected in the complementary exchange said. “[But] for all the discussion around the
of words between the two parties. need for renewable technologies, battery “On behalf of the WA Government, I’d
storage and ever accessible communica- like to say that we see tremendous poten-
While not perfect, there are encouraging tions technology, we need the raw materi- tial to build on the economic ties between
signs that the SA Government and indus- als that make these technologies.” this State and Africa, particularly in mining,
try participants have a platform from which the METS sector, and education and train-
to move forward, a situation many hope Africa has proven world-class reserves ing,” he said.
will unfold in Tanzania of key battery minerals such as cobalt,
graphite and lithium, however, controversy “Many African countries have made
The Tanzania Government stunned remains over how these reserves are ex- bold strides towards a better future with a
the world last year with radical overnight ploited on the continent. High profile end- young, vibrant and increasingly educated
changes to its mining legislation, leaving users such as Apple, Tesla and Google are rising generation. Through a meeting of
many Australian players with seemingly increasing pressure on suppliers to prove minds in events such as this one, we are
stranded assets. minerals have been extracted ethically. working together to accelerate the pro-
gress being made in Africa, turning chal-
Fast forward to Africa Down Under 2018 Johnston said criticism of the mining sec- lenges into opportunities that will improve
and Tanzania deputy minister of minerals tor could only be reduced by governments the lives of African people.”
Hon Stanslaus Haroon Nyongo came to providing a strong regulatory environment.
Perth bearing good news for the compa- – Dominic Piper
nies invested in his country. “The mining sector has at times been

Nyonogo said it was “high-time” for Tan- WA Minister of Mines Hon Bill Johnston welcomed all African counterparts down under,
zania’s mining industry, with his comments including South African Minister of Mineral Resources Hon Gwede Mantashe
backed by the granting of mining licences,
the first of which was to graphite-hopeful
Walkabout Resources Ltd.

Many still need to be convinced sweep-
ing changes are on the horizon, but nev-
ertheless steps in the right direction are
being taken in Tanzania.

It is hoped that the dropping of invest-
ment barriers continues and the positive
contribution mining can make will be felt by
all Africans across the continent; an area
the West Australian Government sees an
opportunity to assist.

The WA Government believes greater
economic interaction with Africa will allow
it to play a role in lifting living standards
across the continent.

Delivering the opening address to Africa
Down Under, WA Minister for Mines and
Petroleum Bill Johnston said his Govern-
ment was eager to further opportunities
to learn and exchange views with African



Africa embraces

Former Nigeria President Olusegun technology being suc-
Obasanjo has endorsed blockchain
technology as a “potent” method of wiping cessfully implemented
out corruption and bringing greater trans-
parency and accountability to Africa’s ex- in Africa.
tractives sector.
“Early adoption and
While the concept of blockchain tech-
nology – a record of encrypted contracts experimentation will
or transactions that can be accessed us-
ing digital keys – is still being grasped by at the very least better
the general public, the business world has
jumped on what is proving to be a reliable prepare organisations
anti-corruption and anti-fraud system.
for what is set to be a Former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo (front right)
Blockchain data is typically distributed,
replicated and synchronised across peo- fundamental part of with Murdoch University vice chancellor Eeva Leinonen,
ple and locations, and can be verified by
anyone but only changed when there is a business technology,” deputy vice chancellor David Morrison and Africa
consensus among the group participating
in the network. Therefore, any attempt to he said. Progress Group special advisor Maximillian Jarrett
tamper with historical entries will lead to
alteration of the cryptographic integrity. “I am happy to note

This effectively means more than the successful use of block- the foundations for trust and effective
majority of users in the network must
agree on any change and be willing to chain technologies in some African coun- management of resources, as corruption
spend resources to update all subsequent tries, including Kenya and South Africa. tends to thrive where access to informa-
blocks of the chain. Blockchain technology is already used in tion is limited and there is a lack transpar-
the diamond industry. Gems are being giv- ency in revenue flow.”
During his keynote address to the 8th en a digital fingerprint that is then tracked
Africa Australia Research Forum on the Obasanjo implored all African countries
eve of Africa Down Under, Obasanjo said by blockchain as gems are sold, giving a to introduce accountability initiatives, such
blockchain technology had provided a forgery-proof record of where the gems as the Extractive Industries Transparency
compelling case for improved transparen- have come from. In the DRC, blockchain International (EITI) which he fostered into
cy and accountability into Africa’s extrac- has been used to track cobalt’s journey Nigeria during his presidential reign, which
tives sector. from artisanal mines.”
requires financial and other information to
“Implementing smart contracts on a Now chair of the Africa Progress Group, be published in the media or on govern-
blockchain improve transparency between Obasanjo cited corruption and lack of ment websites in a bid to stamp out poten-
buyers and sellers, as goods are tracked transparency and accuracy as the key rea- tial corrupt management practices.
in real time from their origin, reducing the sons why the continent has not been able
chance of fraud, ensuring traceability and “When EITI was conceived, African
transparency, and improving logistics vis- to convert its economic growth from natu- countries formed about half of the pioneer-
ibility and supply chain quality,” Obasanjo ral resource into human development.
said. ing members. Today, African countries
Obasanjo bemoaned the various forms make up almost 50% of EITI implementing
“Blockchain can end payment gaps by of corruption he has witnessed in Africa’s countries,” he said.
incorporating delivery and payment in digi- extractives sector, adding that commodity
tal contracts and integrating it with logistics “Using the EITI standard as a tool, about
partners and banks. Once proof of delivery booms only seemed to bring to the fore 25 African countries now report to its citi-
is received from the logistics team, auto- “abiding levels of mistrust” between indus- zens how much money extractive compa-
matic invoicing and payment can be initi- try, government and local communities.
ated. nies pay to governments and how much
“We have seen political elites and cro- revenue governments receive from extrac-
“Also, blockchain offers more visibility nies plunder huge resources for self- tive companies. EITI’s reports have also
into the supply chain, making procurement enrichment, demanding large kick-backs sensitised communities about payments
and delivery simpler, more accurate and when brokering deals,” Obasanjo said.
more reliable.” made from companies directly to commu-
“Many extracted or mined commodi- nities.”
Obasanjo, who served as Nigeria’s ties involve signature bonuses or royalty
President from 1999 to 2007 and is a for- However, Obasanjo acknowledged that
mer chair of the African Union, said he payment and a huge proportion of these despite the promise these initiatives and
had already seen examples of blockchain payments have found their way into private emerging technology sets could potentially
accounts of many individuals. The diver- deliver, none of it is possible if strong lead-
sion of revenues and other losses asso- ership is lacking.
ciated with commercial malpractices are
“Without honest and God-fearing lead-
endemic across resource-rich countries in ers, the use of blockchains with double
the continent.
potency will be an exercise in futility in pro-
“Lack of transparency and accountabili- moting transparency and accountability in
ty in companies in the extractive sector is a the extractives sector,” he said.
cause of concern in Africa. In the absence
“Africa needs trustworthy, purposeful,
of transparency and accountability, these corruption-hating and God-fearing leaders
actors use resource profits to enrich them- who will take full advantage of blockchain
selves and consolidate power through cor- and other technologies to maximise the
ruption and patronage.
benefit of such technologies.”
“Transparency and accountability are
– Michael Washbourne


Africa dusts off welcome mat

Australia’s heads of mission to South “I think it’s genuine and certainly Presi- in office, it’s full of promise for Australian
Africa and Zimbabwe have wel- dent Mnangagwa in his inauguration investors and companies with big experi-
comed the investor-friendly approach the speech spoke about a big emphasis on ence and expertise,” she said.
new leaders of their host countries have reform and development and on the eco-
brought to the table. nomic development which is so needed “Kenya wants to create 1.3 billion jobs
for the country’s international re-engage- in the manufacturing sector by 2022.
South African President Cyril ment,” she said. That offers huge opportunities across an
Ramaphosa and his Zimbabwean coun- array of areas – textiles, apparel, mining,
terpart Emmerson Mnangagwa have “The challenges against that are enor- oil and gas, leather – the opportunities
both publicly expressed a desire to at- mous. Of course, macro-economic re- are really huge when you break down
tract more foreign investment into their form is essential, addressing the coun- what the Government of Kenya wants to
countries after prolonged periods of civil try’s debt and the ongoing issues with do in terms of taking the country forward
unrest that has turned many outsiders corruption, all of which the Government to middle-income status.
away. has made firm stated commitment to ad-
dress. “The Government is certainly on a pro
Ramaphosa succeeded the divisive mining/oil and gas agenda…and Aus-
Jacob Zuma in February and quickly “The appetite for change is palpable. tralian companies are benefiting from
won widespread praise for his immedi- This is a historic opportunity people new contracts in those areas, as well as
ate cabinet reshuffle and other key ad- want to seize, they don’t want to let it slip renewable energy, water and agribusi-
ministrative appointments, one of which away. They want the reform to succeed, ness.”
was to install Gwede Mantashe as Min- so I think that genuine desire for change
ister of Mineral Resources. I think will help propel things.” Australian High Commissioner to Ni-
geria, Paul Lehmann, said the West Af-
Australian High Commissioner to McCarthy and Moules were part of a rican nation was looking to tap Austral-
South Africa, Adam McCarthy, said there wide-ranging panel discussion amongst ian expertise to boost its fledgling mining
was a growing sense of optimism in the Australia’s ambassadors to various Af- sector.
country that 65-year-old Ramaphosa rican jurisdictions, including Ghana,
was the right person for the job. Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco and Ethiopia. “I’ve always had the view that for Aus-
tralian mining engagement in Nigeria, it’s
“The President himself has made it Kenya is another country which is about being steady as she goes, quiet
very clear that attracting foreign direct seeking to attract more foreign invest- achievement and putting runs on the
investment is a priority,” he said. “He’s ment, particularly from Australia, accord- board, even if it’s not the biggest project
appointed four very distinguished in- ing to Alison Chartres, Australia’s High on the continent,” he said.
vestment convoys and has set a target Commissioner to Kenya.
of $US1 billion [of FDI]. And while words “What would be more important is a
are words, I think the recognition that “President Kenyatta and his Govern- successful, small-scale project that real-
they need FDI is one big economic real- ment have a huge development agenda; ly builds the reputation and then attracts
ity check. many of you will know of the Big Four further investment and scale in those op-
development agenda that he announced erations.”
“Is the international community taking when he came into start his second term
this seriously in responding? Well, I just – Michael Washbourne
point to exhibit A: British Prime Minister
Theresa May is in South Africa today, Australia’s heads of mission to Africa convened for a special panel session on the
so that would be an indication that peo- opening day of Africa Down Under. Panellists included Andrew Barnes (Ghana),
ple are recognising that it’s a new era in
South Africa. Berenice Owen-Jones (Morocco), Paul Lehmann (Ghana), Siddhartha Chakrabarti
(Ethiopia), Alison Chartres (Kenya) and Adam McCarthy (South Africa)
“There is still a huge fiscal imbalance
and ongoing corruption problems, but at
least that’s being addressed now. South
Africa hasn’t had a lot of reasons to be
optimistic for a long time now, or at least
during the Zuma years, and so for the
first there is a sense of optimisation that
they may be headed to a better place.”

Mnangagwa, 76, was officially elected
President of Zimbabwe just three days
prior to Africa Down Under, having filled
the role in an interim capacity since
November following the resignation of
controversial long-serving predecessor
Robert Mugabe.

Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe,
Bronte Moules, said while it was too ear-
ly to make predictions on Mnangagwa’s
leadership, she acknowledged the coun-
try was ready to embrace change.



From an amble to a sprint
for Walkabout

Walkabout Resources Ltd could much higher.”
be about to launch into a full- The increased capital intensity

blown sprint after becoming the should prove beneficial when it

first Australian developer to receive comes to funding development.

a Tanzanian mining licence under Mulligan said the company would

new legislation. be pursuing a variety of financing

Walkabout has had its develop- options as it sought to avoid dilut-

ment plans for the Lindi Jumbo ing existing shareholders.

graphite project parked for more “Funding will now be divided

than a year while the East African into three avenues; a soft loan

country’s Government finalised de- out of China, possible investment

tails of its new mining policy. at either project or equity level

That process seemingly came to out of China and an approach to

an end in August when Walkabout market, if we are in a position to

became the first recipient of a mining do so,” Mulligan said. “The aim is

licence under the new regulations. for diversity of sources and no di-

“The legal uncertainty is over,” lution of shareholders. There are

Walkabout exploration director An- lessons to be learned from recent
drew Cunningham told Paydirt. Allan Mulligan funding efforts.”

“Everything was hinging on the Walkabout’s decision to build

issuing of the mining licence and now we concentrate] with expansion potential built the processing plant in China through its

have a handle on the timeline we can pro- in and front-end engineering design can be largest shareholder, Jinpeng Mining and

gress with the financial discussions, includ- carried out in parallel with fundraising.” Material, has led to CNBM offering an in-

ing offtake.” The smaller start-up also allows Walka- vestment proposal for a deferred loan of all

Speaking at Africa Down Under, Walka- bout to keep pre-production capex at less in-China costs.

bout director Allan Mulligan said the com- than $US30 million, delivering greater capi- For the equity component, Walkabout may

pany could now deploy contractors to the tal intensity than rival projects in East Africa. look beyond its domestic shareholder base.

Lindi Jumbo site. Enabling Walkabout to build a smaller “If the ASX is not as supportive as we

“We have enough in treasury to start the operation than its peers is the high-grade, would have thought, we may seek a listing

project now,” he said, pointing to a $6.4 mil- large flake nature of the deposit. The pro- on another market. SP Angel is now repre-

lion cash balance at June 30. “We have ject boasts an average life-of-mine mill feed senting us in London and that carries some

had the three main contractors on site in grade of more than 16.2% TGC, resulting in clout – particularly given the interest there

the last week and they are all discussing unit operating costs of $US349/t FOB. With for the rest of the portfolio [Namibian lithium

start-up and the protocols and strategies more than 75% of the deposit reporting at and UK base and precious metals],” Mulli-

around that. As soon as the scope-of-work more than 180 microns, the company also gan said.

is signed off, the mining contractor will start believes it will attract the highest basket Walkabout’s dedication to being one of

earthworks, etc. and the camp and logistics price ($US1,508/t) among the East African the first of the East African graphite players

contractors can begin their work. graphite developments. to market saw it forego exploration once the

“We are actually more advanced than “By our measure, this is the best graphite economics had been confirmed. However,

the market can see. The company is set- project in Africa, controlled by the unique the company has now returned to the drill

up right. We have a few small things to do geological properties of the deposit,” Mul- bit in an effort to define a longer term story

on the localisation laws but we can start the ligan said. “The mining and milling costs at Lindi Jumbo.

build. The Tanzanian in-country company are significantly lower than other African “We have never chased the extensions

is all set up to operate legally.” “projects and the processing efficiency is before because we always had enough for
Walkabout has always considered a mining operation but the results of

a scaled approach as the most ef- the recently completed programme
fective way to de-risk the develop-
ment of Lindi Jumbo and avoid some Everything was hinging show that the high-grade and shal-
of the false starts witnessed in devel- on the issuing of the low mineralisation extends both north
opment and financing of new graph- and south for quite some distance,”
ite projects in recent years.
mining licence and now Mulligan said. “If we were capable of
“It is the design approach to risk we have a handle on the providing multiple areas of size and

grade, offtake parties would likely be

that has made this project a stand- timeline we can progress with even more interested. There is noth-
out,” Mulligan said. “We have a the financial discussions, ing stopping us growing it into a full
manageable and realistic start-up- including offtake. district.”
production rate [40,000 tpa graphite
– Dominic Piper


looks to
Hon Stanslaus Haroon Nyongo expand
from base
High fives all-round
for Tanzania The recent success of ASX-listed Base
Deputy Minister of Minerals for Tanzania you, these changes have been looked at Resources Ltd has the Kenyan Gov-
Hon. Stanslaus Haroon Nyongo has to see how the Government, investors and ernment thinking mining could be a genu-
called “high-time” for his country’s mining the people of Tanzania can benefit from the ine way forward in attracting foreign invest-
sector. mining sector. We have amended this law ment.
and we are sure that it will be stable for the
Twelve months on from the Govern- next 50 years,” Nyongo said. Base trod an unprecedented path when
ment’s controversial changes to its mining it built the Kwale mineral sands mine in
policies, Nyongo fronted Africa Down Un- “The Government is ready to have dia- 2015 and while the operation has gone
der this year hoping to woo investors back logue and talks with investors who need to through some tough times since first pro-
to the East African nation. know more about the contemporary status duction, the last 18 months have seen it on
of the extractives industry in Tanzania. a solid path of production, profit generation
Sweeping changes to the Mining Act and growth.
were instigated last year after it was claimed “We all know the mining industry is not
Barrick Gold Corp’s 63.9% owned Acacia sustainable by itself. Therefore, it cannot Such has been the success of the coun-
Mining plc had evaded paying appropriate bring sustainable development unless the try’s first commercial mining operation, the
taxes by providing misleading reports on its revenue derived from the minerals industry Kenya Government is now keen to spread
copper-gold concentrate exports. is reinvested or integrated into other tradi- the economic impact across the country.
tional economic sectors; that is the optimal
While discussions between the Govern- contribution the mining industry can have.” “Mining accounted for less than 1% of
ment and Barrick concerning proposed GDP last year,” John Mosonik, chief ad-
frameworks for Acacia’s operations in Tan- Changes to mining legislation last year ministration secretary, Ministry of Petrole-
zania continue, there appears to be positive were made to ensure the sector contrib- um and Mining, said at Africa Down Under.
progress being made between government uted more to Tanzania’s GDP, increased “But, Base Titanium is doing well and we
and other sectors of the industry. transparency across state borders and cre- have, in total, five companies active. We
ated mutual ownership of projects between want to expand that mineral wealth across
Following the granting of a mining licence companies and government, while beefing all our counties.”
for Walkabout Resources Ltd’s Lindi Jumbo up local content was also an emphasis.
graphite project, the Tanzanian Ministry of John Mosonik
Minerals Mining Commission also awarded Miners in Tanzania are now faced with
Strandline Resources Ltd a mining licence a 6% mineral tax royalty payment, up from To foster further foreign investment,
under the new legislation. 4%, while government is entitled to a 16% Kenya drew up a new Mining Act in 2016
free carried interest in projects. and expanded the three-year old Ministry
Like Walkabout at Lindi Jumbo, Stran- of Mining and Petroleum.
dline is development-ready at its Fungoni It is hoped an increase in royalty pay-
heavy mineral sands project, near Dar es ments will see mining’s contribution to GDP “When you have investors come in, the
Salaam, and while the Australian juniors double by 2025. key issue is to have the framework in place
are opting for small scale start-ups, the im- to add all the benefits for the host commu-
pact of their projects in a broader context “Last year, the mining industry only con- nity,” Mosonik said. “Clarity for CSR and
should not be discounted. tributed 4.8% to the GDP, so the Govern- environmental requirements are vital from
ment put in strategies to make sure that Day 1.”
The Government’s move to start approv- every investor should operate in a smooth
ing mining licences again and the decision way to ensure that the Government will in- Mosonik admitted capabilities were a
by the Tanzania Fair Competition Commis- crease revenue and the contribution of the problem for Kenya’s mining sector but said
sion (FCC) to allow OreCorp Tanzania Ltd mineral industry in our economy should be the Government was “very serious” about
to take its stake in Nyanzaga Mining Com- increased to 10% by 2025,” Nyongo said. capacity-building in the sector.
pany Limited (NMCL) to 51% and ultimately
100% ownership of the Nyanzaga gold pro- “The main industry in Tanzania – tour- “We are looking to learn from profes-
ject from partner Acacia, subject to condi- ism – contributes about 11%, so we are ex- sionals, companies and stakeholders,” he
tions, can be seen as a step in the right di- pecting the mineral industry to increase its said. “We have certain skills but are still
rection for the country’s quest to re-engage share to the GDP. trying to breach the deficit of technical staff
with the investment community. and have introduced new mining courses.”
“I think it is high-time in the industry of
“Last year, the Government of Tanzania minerals,” he said.
made some amendments and to comfort
– Mark Andrews

– Dominic Piper




Witwatersrand Basin Project

Multiple low cost open pit opportunities
Growing 3.7Moz JORC Resource (2012)
Historical 12.8Moz JORC Resource (1997)
Development through community initiatives and
mining license applications
The 21st Century Gold Rush
Two projects located in the highly prospective
Lower Fortescue Group
Three mining licenses & gold mineralisation



Mantashe sets new ground
for SA debate

The message was altogether said. “I have visited every major
clearer and more welcom-
ing but there is little doubt major mining area and talked to indus-
challenges remain in front of new
South African Minister for Mineral try workers and community and
Resources Gwede Mantashe.
it is beginning to pay off. You
“We will create a stable indus-
try and will do it with breakneck don’t run mines in the courts, so
speed,” Mantashe said during
the opening session of Africa we must talk to each other.”
Down Under. “You don’t run
mines in the courts, so we must Future levels of black econom-
talk to each other… we are com-
mitted to engaging with investors ic empowerment (BEE) are one
who have a long-term horizon.”
of the main areas of contention.
Mantashe’s appearance at Af-
rica Down Under came just 12 Mantashe gave a clear indica-
months after his predecessor
Mosebenzi Zwane’s confused – tion the Government wouldn’t al-
and confusing – address to the
same forum sparked a public low BEE to become a burden on
argument with Minerals Council
of South Africa chief executive investors.
Roger Baxter.
“You can’t just talk transforma-
The 2017 quarrel stemmed from
Zwane’s insistence that the Mining Char- tion. There must be a competi-
ter he had introduced was law and would
be implemented. Baxter vehemently ar- tive, sustainable industry.”
gued against the assertion, a position
which was ratified just a week later when The MPRDA Amendment Bill
the Government of then-President Jacob
Zuma withdrew implementation. has also been taken off the ta-

The contretemps was part of a long- ble, Mantashe saying it would be
running saga between Baxter and Zwane
as relations between industry and gov- Gwede Mantashe reworked to ensure South Africa
ernment fell to their lowest ebb since the attracted more oil and gas in-
introduction of democracy in 1994.
This time around, Baxter sat in the au-
dience nodding and showing his support The Minister has set his de-
for the new minister’s approach to indus-
try engagement. the industry,” Mantashe said. partment an ambitious end-of-

Mantashe is no stranger to the min- His brief may have been clear enough year target to clear the regulatory ambi-
ing industry or the conflict within it. He
started his working life underground at – to regenerate the fortunes of the South guity.
the Prieska mine in the Northern Cape,
eventually graduating through the ranks African mining industry – but the chal- “I want to remove all the uncertainty by
of the National Union of Mineworkers
before becoming secretary general and lenges facing Mantashe were so exten- November this year,” he said. “If you get
then national chairperson of the ANC.
sive it is difficult to understand where he it right, the mining industry will be on a
He was called into take charge of the
mineral resources portfolio in Febru- should start. growth path again.”
ary as newly installed President Cyril
Ramaphosa struggled to pull the industry At Africa Down Under, he made his He said as well as lowering the cost of
back into shape.
priorities clear – revise the Mining and doing business in South Africa, he would
“Six months ago, the President said he
wanted me to be the Minister for Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act focus on attracting new investors to the
Resources because of the problems in
“amendment (including creating a sepa- country, particularly in the junior space.
You can’t just talk “We are very much in need of foreign
There must be a investment and we want companies to
competitive, sustainable find it easy to come to South Africa,” he
said. “You can only grow mining through
industry. exploration and we are talking to junior
explorers now. We will have a strong
drive for increased exploration expendi-
ture with tax incentives for explorers on
the cards.

“I am also talking to the chief execu-

tive [Mosa Mabuza] of the Council for

Geoscience. [I believe there] should be

rate act for the oil and gas sector), restart a team welcoming investors into South

discussions over the Mining Charter and Africa which can say go to this area or

foster a more welcoming investment cli- that area. It will give a lot of advantages

mate in order to stimulate exploration in- for companies in South Africa.”

vestment. He said the Council would also turn

On the withdrawn Mining Charter, Man- exploration attention to prospects other

tashe said a breakdown in discussions than for the traditionally dominant gold

between community, labour and industry and PGMs.

had led to a failure to reach agreement. - Dominic Piper
“The process is aimed at resolving the

impasse around the Mining Charter,” he



Lucapa begins to think big
in diamond space

Stephen Wetherall To cement its place in the new An- grade,” Wetherall said.
golan diamond structure, Lucapa will Lucapa acquired Mothae at the begin-
Lucapa Diamonds Ltd’s world is sud- also register as a diamond buyer, al-
denly flooded with options after major lowing it to gain access to high-value ning of 2017 with a strategy to increase
advances at all three of its major projects. stones from elsewhere in the country. the value of diamonds coming out of the
Mountain Kingdom project. The compa-
When managing director Stephen The move is part of a company-wide ny has been undertaking bulk sampling
Wetherall presented the Lucapa story strategy to establish greater down- of three areas previously left out of Moth-
to Africa Down Under in 2016, the dia- stream linkages, particularly for the ae’s NI43-101 resource.
mond junior was struggling to project a high-value diamonds expected from
long-term growth narrative. Ambitions at Lulo and Mothae. Wetherall said de- “It is about de-risking the project by im-
its one operating asset, the Lulo alluvial mand for high quality diamonds had proving our knowledge, the mine life and
operation in Angola, were constrained by remained stable during a decade of the value of the diamonds coming out
restrictive in-country marketing laws and inconsistency for the rest of the sector of the mine,” Wetherall said of the bulk
a short mine life, while its project pipe- and the value-add opportunity for such sampling project. “We have already re-
line lacked anything beyond grassroots diamonds was particularly lucrative. covered some large diamonds, including
opportunities in Western Australia. “Cutting and polishing these unique an 89ct stone which is the best ever from
diamonds ourselves becomes highly Mothae, and some yellows and pinks.”
Fast-forward two years and the com- value-accretive. The 404ct diamond
pany boasts genuine growth stories we recovered from Lulo was sold rough Lucapa intends to start commercial-
across three countries – Angola, Aus- for $US22.5 million. It was then into a scale production this month at an initial
tralia and Lesotho – and is also prepar- 163ct and put into a necklace and sold rate of 1.1 mpta. It will then begin studies
ing to expand its capabilities through the for $US40 million and with the other dia- on an expansion to 2.2 mtpa.
diamond value chain. monds cut from it, the total value was
more than $US50 million.” The company has already completed
At Lulo, the Angolan Government’s Prior to joining Lucapa, Wetherall built an expansion at Lulo as it continues to
decision to revise its diamond market- Gem Diamonds Ltd’s marketing division, refine its alluvial diamond mining activ-
ing policy could allow Lucapa to reshape giving him a rare insight into the often ity. The mine produces the highest value
its in-country business. Previously, dia- opaque world of diamond value-adding. alluvial diamonds in the world – some 15
mond marketing was a closed shop in “I have developed these structures times the world average – but the great-
Angola with state trader Sodiam con- before for other companies and I have er prize remains in finding the kimberlite
trolling all sales however new president been approached by a number of high- source of the alluvials.
Joao Lourenco’s liberalisation of the in- end diamantaires to look at the poten-
dustry will provide producers with alter- tial for structural supply into a JV which A permanent, year-round exploration
natives for selling production. would benefit both Lulo and Mothae,” programme has now been established at
Wetherall said. “We don’t want to put all Lulo as Lucapa closes in on the source.
“The Government’s push to generate our production through cutting and pol- More than 54 targets have been drilled
more foreign investment in its mining ishing – we can’t compete with the Indian this year, with 40 confirmed as kimber-
sector has resulted in the new diamond industry on the smaller stones – just the litic. Further targets have been identified
marketing policy which will open addition high-end product.” for follow-up work in the remainder of the
sales channels,” Wetherall said. “The re- He said the technological advances year.
sult will be that the Lulo JV will achieve in cutting and polishing made the move
higher value for its diamonds and, in even more palatable for miners. Wetherall is in no doubt the company
particular, it can take special sized dia- “Much of the smoke and mirrors of will discover its prize.
monds through the auction and tender the diamond industry have been cleared
process.” in recent years and the margins being “The diamonds we are finding are
made by each link in the value chain is large, irregular shape and show no signs
well-known. The advances in laser tech- of transportation,” he said. “A large num-
nology for cutting and polishing are lead- ber of big kimberlite targets have been
ing to greater value being achieved for identified underlying the alluvial fields.
individual stones, further reducing the There is no diamond exploration pro-
risk of moving into that business.” gramme in the world with these levels of
The move into cutting and polishing exploration for new pipes and sources.”
will coincide with Lucapa’s opening of its
Mothae mine, a second source of high- Outside Africa, Lucapa is positioning
value diamonds. itself at the vanguard of an Australian
“It is why we have this specific fo- diamond renaissance with recent results
cus on high-value projects that are low from the Brooking project in the Kimber-
ley, WA returning 1,100 micro and macro
diamonds from a 178kg sample.

– Dominic Piper


Charging Ahead

Copper Projects in Botswana

T3 Development

• Feasibility Study underway for +10 year open pit mine
• Resource upgrade announced July 2018
• Well-funded and significant global investor interest
• Bonanza vein hosted copper and silver within Mineral Resource
• 590Kt Copper and 27Moz Silver in current resource
• Target first production from T3 in 2nd half of 2020
• Extensive regional exploration campaign underway


• Tshukudu Metals founded as Botswana operating company
• Significant potential for new discoveries in Kalahari Copper Belt
• Copper Soil and EM Anomalies extend 140km along

Central Corridor
• Major drilling campaign underway at T3 Dome Complex
• T20 Dome (>2,000km2) next district scale target
• Strong management and technical team
• All operations based in Ghanzi, with in-country management
• Local employment and training key to success | ASX: MOD

MOD Resources Ltd Australian-listed copper company actively exploring in the Kalahari Copper Belt, Botswana.

First Floor, 1304 Hay Street, West Perth, Western Australia 6005 | (61 8) 9322 8233 | Follow us on AUSTRALIA’S PAYDIRT OCTOBER 2018 PAGE 35


Orion becomes SA’s
model junior
If South African Minister for Minerals Re-
sources Gwede Mantashe wanted an of 2020. To achieve that, the company
needs to be granted a mining right, which

example to show Africa Down Under del- Smart expects to receive sometime next

egates the possibilities on offer for juniors year. Errol Smart
in his country, he only had to look across “Hopefully, by ADU 2019 we can say

the stage. we have broken ground and are starting IGO now holds an 11% stake in Orion,
Several times during his address Man- to develop what is now a 29mt resource,” a collaborative working agreement and
he said. preferential rights should Orion decide to
tashe emphasised the need for South Af- JV or sell any of the nickel assets.
rica to create a thriving junior mining and Perhaps even more exciting for Orion
exploration sector; just 20 minutes later, – and what makes it such a shining light “To get Mark Creasy saying ‘you’re onto
Orion Minerals Ltd managing director Er- for Mantashe’s plans – is the exploration the right thing’ gives us a lot of encour-
rol Smart offered a prime case study. potential it is beginning to demonstrate on agement and now IGO is drilling almost
its 1,900sq km landholding. identical rocks on the Fraser Range,”
In August, Orion closed a series of fi- Smart said.
nancing initiatives totalling $23 million, “It is a regional-scale project that has
providing it with the funding needed to not been explored since the early 1980s; In September, Orion announced drill-
finalise the BFS for its redevelopment I can’t believe it’s been untouched,” Smart ing on the Rok Optel nickel-copper-co-
of the Prieska copper-zinc project in the said. balt-PGM target had returned high-tenor
Northern Cape. sulphides with maximum tenors of 15%
As well as VMS deposits similar to nickel and 4% copper.
Coincidentally, Mantashe started his Prieska, Orion has already unearthed
underground mining working life at Pries- nickel intrusive targets which share many The drilling programme was set to con-
ka, which produced 430,000t copper and similarities to the Nova-Bollinger nickel- tinue throughout the month.
more than 1mt zinc between 1971 and copper deposits on the Fraser Range,

1991. The mine lay largely dormant for Western Australia. – Dominic Piper
20 years before Smart’s global search “Anglo Ameri-

for suitable base metals opportunities can [plc] discov-

to vend into Orion delivered him back ered nickel de-

to his home country. Prieska was identi- posits in the 70s

fied as having restart potential but with and a lot of large

South African capital markets generally companies drilled

reluctant to fund such plans, Smart found them but had dif-

himself heading to Australia with the pro- ferent models and Mine gold.
ject in 2015. tools,” Smart said. Create value.
“I recognised the
“I came and found Australian money rocks as the same
to fund a South African project,” Smart as those on the
said. Fraser Range.”

Orion then applied modern exploration So too has Inde-
techniques and knowledge to reassess a

mine thought thoroughly exhausted. pendence Group

“Prieska was closed because it was Ltd (IGO), owner of

inefficient but we have used modern ex- the Nova-Bollinger

ploration technology to find more tonnes mine, and Mark

and will use modern mining techniques Creasy, the man

to bring safer operations,” Smart said. widely credited

Orion has plans to fast-track Prieska with opening up

“to a production start-up before the end the Fraser Range.
To get Mark Creasy saying
‘you’re onto the right thing’
gives us a lot of encouragement and
now IGO is drilling almost identical
rocks on the Fraser Range.


Creating a
unique mineral
sands company

The highly profitable established Kwale Mineral Sands Operation in
Kenya continues to perform, with mine life extension potential identified.

In Madagascar, the world-class Toliara Sands Project Together, these quality assets provide a solid platform
is a development asset that is progressing to plan, for the Base team to grow a contemporary mid-tier
with construction anticipated from late 2019 and first resources company.
production in late 2021.

Base – quality projects, a quality team, delivering on potential.

E [email protected]
P +618 9413 7400 • F +618 9322 8912

Level 1, 50 Kings Park Road, West Perth WA 6005
PO Box 928, West Perth BC 6872, Australia



Africa: It’s complicated

There is no question Africa is a compli- codes in Tanzania and the DRC were a obvious in my world in Ghana, mixing
cated place to operate. Very few for-
eign mining companies which have oper- result of those countries wanting a big- with the European ambassadors there,
ated a mining project on the continent will
dispute this. ger slice of the pie in a bid to grow their that Europe is getting quite petrified of

Constant changes to a mining code is respective economies through resource what the future is in West Africa and the
just one example of why an ASX-listed
company might be enticed away from development. amount of attention that Europe is giving
Africa in favour of an opportunity in their
own backyard where they are likely to “It is a worry there is a constant particularly sub-Saharan West Africa.
have a much better handle of the political
landscape. changing of codes…but we’ve got to There seems to be this expectation that

However, nothing is ever impossible understand that they’re not having a go if the economies don’t perform, they’re
and it all comes down to working within
your means and embrac- at us,” Witham said. “They want devel- going to have a crisis of monumental
ing the challenge of a
“complicated relation- opment, but they need a big share be- proportions on their doorstep.”
ship” with the continent,
as a panel of experts dis- cause they’re under pressure with debt While Australian companies have
cussed over breakfast at
Africa Down Under. and these sort of things. These next few been widely applauded for their efforts

Hosted by BDO WA years are very important to everyone in to educate and train Africans to work on
chairman Sherif An-
drawes, the panel ex- Africa.” mining projects, African Geopolitics sen-
plored ways to overcome
the complicated nature of ior adviser Eve Howell
operating or developing a
mining project in an Afri- questioned whether they
can jurisdiction.
could do more to upskill
Lycopodium Ltd man-
aging director Peter de government office work-
Leo said managing the
expectations of local ers where many of the
community groups was
an important first step in legal and administrative
ensuring potential con-
flicts do not arise as a issues often arise.
mining project is progressed.
“I think there is a role
“During the exploration phase, you
have a requirement for a relatively small – maybe not so much di-
number of people and then during the
build phase you have a requirement for rectly by the companies,
6-7, sometimes 10 times as many peo-
ple,” he said. “And then of course as maybe the companies
you go into operations you can drop that
down by a third compared to what you can lobby to do some-
have in construction.
thing positive – around
“It’s really important to have that profile
well understood upfront and make sure training for the adminis-
that the commitments you make to the
local communities around work, jobs and trators, the legal people,
opportunities are realistically pitched.
The downside is definitely managing all of those sorts of dis-
when things tail off. In some contexts, it’s
been done really well…and sometimes ciplines that are advis-
not so well and I can think of a few re-
cent projects where that hasn’t been the ing the ministers and are
advising the presidents,”
Australia Africa Minerals & Energy
Group (AAMEG) chief executive William she said.
Witham said recent changes to mining
“Certainly it’s some-
thing I’d like to see Aus-

BDO WA chairman Sherif Andrawes moderated a breakfast tralia do more of in Af-
panel session on the second day of Africa Down Under. rica, to get involved with
the training in those sorts
He was joined by Australian High Commissioner to Ghana of areas because I think
Andrew Barnes, Lycopodium managing director Peter that will help with a lot of
the problems.”
de Leo, AAMEG chief executive William Witham, African
Geopolitics senior adviser Eve Howell and Resolute

managing director John Welborn Resolute Mining Ltd

managing director John

Witham’s comments were echoed by Welborn, whose company operates a

Australia’s High Commissioner to Gha- gold mine in Mali and is developing an-

na, Andrew Barnes, who also discussed other in Ghana, said building capacity in

the “rising tide” of economic nationalism both infrastructure and education in Af-

on the African continent. rica was critical.

“Quite fairly they feel they haven’t ben- “Almost anywhere in Africa in the last

efited as they should have from their 10 years has seen capacity building and

natural resources and they see jobs as in parts of Africa it has been on a scale

part of it and they want higher levels of which has been quite immense,” he said.

local hire, but you can’t challenge if your “If you arrived in West Africa now com-

school levels aren’t there,” Barnes said. pared to 10 years ago, you will notice

“The population challenge for Africa is huge infrastructure changes. You’ve also

going to be a boon or a disaster and fun- got the different technologies imported…

damental to that is giving a future for the we’re now seeing 5G roll out and creat-

young people of Africa. Nigeria will be ing all sorts of opportunities and potential

the third largest country in the world af- step changes.”

ter India and China by 2050 and it’s very – Michael Washbourne

African drilling experience
you can rely on

• Established in Tanzania with extensive experience
drilling in remote and challenging environments

• Operational bases across Africa including new
facilities in Bamako, Mali and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

• Large rig fleet
• Complete range of drilling solutions from exploration

to production including underground
• Substantial inventory support at all locations
• Uncompromising safety commitment and innovation
• Extensive in-country experience
• Focus on delivering drill-hole data, not just metres


Mauritania Mali Regional Office
Burkina Faso DRC* Ethiopia
Guinea Kenya We can mobilise quickly from our extensive
Cote d’Ivoire Ghana network of offices located throughout Africa.
*Democratic Republic Contact our team to
of the Congo understand how our
knowledge and experience
Zambia can help your project.

Namibia Botswana | [email protected]


Woodside brings a first

Jamie Stewart to Senegal

Woodside Energy Ltd is on track to egal and the SNE development Phase Committee this month [August] and we are
launch Senegal’s first ever oil and gas One is on track to be the first oil and gas moving forward to approvals on the envi-
development. development for Senegal,” he said. “There ronmental and social impact assessment
is another key development being move in November.”
The discovery well in the SNE prospect forwarded by BP and we have similar time-
was drilled in 2014 and since then 11 wells lines, but we are both looking to really see Phase One of SNE is estimated to gen-
have been drilled as part of the appraisal the emergence of a new industry in Sen- erate government revenues for Senegal of
process, with the project now subject to egal.” between $US2-4 billion and is likely to see
approvals by the Senegalese Government. the emergence of a number of new supply
Stewart said Woodside was preparing chain opportunities within Senegal to sup-
Woodside is development lead for SNE to lodge an application for an exploitation port the oil and gas industry.
on behalf of the Rufisque, Sangomar and permit for SNE this year.
Sangomar Deep (RSSD) JV operated by Stewart said Woodside was helping build
Capricorn Senegal Ltd, which has a 40% “We are looking forward to submitting capacity and capability within the country
interest in the project. those documents in Q4 this year. Senegal and increasing the Government’s aware-
is entering presidential elections next year, ness and understanding of the sector.
Woodside has a 35% stake, while FAR which is certainly going to be an interest-
Ltd (15%) and Petrosen (10%) are also par- ing time in Senegal’s political landscape,” “Social investment is also critical in our
ticipating in the SNE development poised he said. thinking,” he said. “One way of doing that
to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day is through engaging in support to the fish-
when in full flight. “We are looking to secure approvals ing community in and around the area and
ahead of those elections in order for us to helping look after the well-being, health
First oil production from a field about move forward SNE in a productive fashion. and financial stability programmes.”
780m to 2km deep is planned for 2022, We are also progressing forward on our
subject to all necessary approvals being environmental and social assessment im- Stewart added that there was also an em-
granted. pact activities, it is critically important given phasis on supporting teachers in schools
the Senegalese communities are focused and improving education outcomes, which
Woodside business integration manager on many activities relating to the environ- was seen as key as the oil and gas industry
Jamie Stewart said an investment decision ment, in particular fishing. That is actually develops in Senegal.
on Phase One of SNE, poised to deliver going very well, we completed a pre-vali-
240 million barrels, was expected to be dation exercise with the National Technical – Mark Andrews
made in 2019.

“Oil and gas is a new industry for Sen-

Prepare for blockchain: Kevin Urama

Just as the internet revolutionised the way countries across the continent need to in- you acquired is no longer yours because it
the world works, the impact of blockchain vest in basic infrastructure and essential is all there logged on the blockchain,” Ura-
technologies in society is tipped to be just as services to support the concept. ma said.
profound, according to African Development
Bank senior advisor to the President Kevin “There is a lot to be done by African gov- “Everyone has access to enter data and
Urama. ernments to ensure we are ready for this once it is entered, you can’t change the his-
industrial revolution, the technology revolu- tory, you can continue to add to it, but you
“It has the possibility of transforming the tion that is happening,” Urama said. can’t change what is there. That traceabil-
way that businesses, governments and ity is one of the major challenges investors
contracts work, but it is not immediate. Urama described blockchain basically face on the continent.
When internet technology came in it took as coded records stored on the internet
about 30 years before it really became in- and can’t be removed, with the element of “Real time processing is very important
tegrated across the world; this is what I ex- transparency attached to the technology a and unique for investors because when you
pect to happen here also,” Urama said. major benefit of its implementation, particu- get into the deal you don’t have to worry that
larly across Africa and the minerals sector. someone is going to renege on the deal.”
There are significant upsides for the in-
tegration of blockchain in Africa, however, “It cannot be changed, it is permanent so – Mark Andrews
with the technology reliant on the internet, once it happens, it happens, nobody is go-
ing to come and tell you that the property



Kibaran gets licence relief

Kibaran Resources Ltd is preparing to its estimated $US89 million pre-produc- be viewed as adding confidence to the
hit the restart button on its Epanko tion capex. investment climate in the East African
graphite play after receiving a 10-year country.
mining licence renewal from the Tanza- German bank KfW has led the project
nian authorities. financing arrangements and Spinks ex- “Our renewal and the issuing of other
pects the process to soon restart after mining licences – as well as the approval
Kibaran has Epanko essentially shov- the delays caused by the legislative un- from the foreign investment board for
el-ready but changes in mining legisla- certainty in Tanzania. OreCorp’s acquisition of its project – is a
tion last year and subsequent delays in very good sign for foreign investment in
the implementation of the new regulatory “The debt lenders will hopefully re- Tanzania,” he said.
framework in Tanzania had left the ASX- sume the process,” he said. “We are on
listed junior bereft of momentum. a well-defined path and were only six The Government’s anti-bribery bent
weeks away from final credit approval could have longer term benefits for
However, in September the company and believe the mining licence renewal Kibaran, according to Spinks, who was
announced it had received advice from will be a major catalyst for KfW to re- recently in Germany talking to graphite
the new Mining Commission that its li- sume the debt financing.” end-users, including car manufacturers.
cence would be renewed for 10 years on
expiry of its current licence. Kibaran was one of several Tanzanian- “We are looking at Tanzania emerg-
focused companies to receive positive ing out of this process as a more ethical
Kibaran managing director Andrew approvals developments in August and source of materials which is increasingly
Spinks said the renewal was a positive September. First Walkabout Resources important in the EV space,” he said.
step for the company. Ltd received a mining licence for its Lindi
Jumbo graphite project which was fol- Kibaran is already investigating the
“The renewal of the mining licence is a lowed by the issuing of a mining licence potential to add spherical graphite pro-
major breakthrough for the project and, for Strandline Resources Ltd’s Fungoni cessing to the Epanko flowsheet and
we believe, will act as a catalyst for the mineral sands project. may even pursue further downstream
debt finance process to restart,” Spinks options.
told Paydirt. OreCorp Ltd also gained foreign in-
vestment board approval for the acquisi- “Once we put out our work from the pi-
Epanko has a NPV of $US211 million tion of the Nyanzaga gold project from lot plant at the end of October we will be
based on 60,000 tpa of graphite concen- Acacia Mining plc, the company at the positioned very nicely to go even further
trate with offtake agreements already in heart of the Tanzanian Government’s down the value chain,” Spinks said.
place with European and Japanese cus- policy stance.
tomers as well as debt financing support – Dominic Piper
from German and Australian lenders for Spinks said the approvals could only

Tick-tock for Black Rock

Post Africa Down Under, the National Rock’s closing of a placement to insti- John de Vries
Environment Management Council tutional and sophisticated investors last
of Tanzania awarded environmental ap- month. The $2.5 million raised will allow tion of the world-class material that Black
proval for Black Rock Mining Ltd’s Ma- Black Rock to progress with Mahenge Rock has at Mahenge.
henge graphite project. project development, the mining licence
and permitting applications, plus market- “The 90t pilot plant run is an order of
Support for Mahenge continued the ing to potential off takers. magnitude higher than anyone else has
flurry of activity in Tanzania’s mining sec- done. We are going to run a second [trial]
tor, which has seen a number of Austral- De Vries said many other graphite pro- because we want to get this thing right,”
ian companies granted mining licences. jects would be hard pressed to match he said.
the potential at Mahenge, which is be-
Black Rock will be joining the queue ing billed as a 31-year mine producing – Mark Andrews
for a mining licence soon, with a DFS 250,000 tpa over three evenly sized
on Mahenge slated for completion this phases at 8% graphite.
A low capex of $US90.1 million was in-
“It will probably go down to 11:59pm on cluded in the 2017 PFS, which was based
September 30, but we are here to deliver on an average sales price of $US1,241/t
things in real time and that is what we are at an operating margin of $US863/t, with
going to do,” Black Rock managing direc- IRR of 45.1% and NPV of $US905 mil-
tor John de Vries said. lion.

“Tanzania has set the rules now and The company plans to move into the
now it is about everyone getting up the construction phase at Mahenge in the
learning curve on how the Mining Code second half of 2019. In the meantime,
works.” de Vries said another 90t pilot plant trial
would be run to provide further confirma-
Investor comfort with the landscape
in Tanzania was demonstrated in Black



Powering Mozambique’s future

Few moments have given Battery Min- tion from Montepuez, in- David Flanagan
erals Ltd managing director David cluding three into China,
Flanagan greater satisfaction in his dis- highlighting the strong about $38 million to spend on the project.
tinguished career than recent events at demand for graphite We’re building a project with the intention
his company’s Montepuez graphite pro- from Mozambique where of it still being there and operating in 30
ject in Mozambique. Syrah Resources Ltd re- years time.”
cently commissioned its
Flanagan, who received industry ac- Balama graphite opera- In conjunction with ongoing feasibility
claim for his founding role at one-time tion. work, Battery Minerals is also weighing
market darling Atlas Iron Ltd, detailed up options to reprocess what is looming
the positive impact Battery Minerals was “There won’t be a world as a large vanadium resource from the
having on local communities which have that relies on renew- tailings dam.
never previously been afforded the luxu- able energy and batter-
ry of western world comforts. ies without graphite – it “The total value of the vanadium in the
just won’t happen – and resource is around about $US10 billion
“We recently employed someone from it turns out that right now and each year the contained value of the
the local village to work at our project half of the world’s un- vanadium in our waste is about $US35
and we gave them their first ever pair of developed graphite is in million, so the company is working to
shoes and had to educate this person in Mozambique,” Flanagan establish how we might recover some of
how to tie shoelaces,” Flanagan said said. that…it won’t be thrown away,” Flanagan
“At the same time people in that com- “If you want to partici-
munity are then leapfrogging into access pate in a very important evolution of the Preceding Flanagan’s address, Mo-
to smart phones. There’s no electricity in world, which is going to deliver clean en- zambique national director of geology
these communities. They’re leaping from ergy, you’ve got to go to Mozambique. It and mining Elias Daudi acknowledged
a subsistence lifestyle to now accessing presents a real commercial opportunity the significant investments made by Bat-
smart phone technology and getting ac- to make money.” tery Minerals and Syrah over the past
cess to the rest of the world. decade.
Battery Minerals plans to reinvest the
“It’s just an amazing thing to be a part cash flow generated from Montepuez Daudi said the country had clear ob-
of. There’s a wonderful opportunity to be into development of its “higher purity” jectives to attract more foreign invest-
part of a development in Mozambique Balama project, currently subject to a ment into its resources sector.
and do something that we’re all going to feasibility study.
be so very proud of.” “Our vision is to be a leader in the pro-
Flanagan was confident the company motion of the economic, social and cul-
Battery Minerals is making strong can grow its production to more than tural development of the country through
progress at Montepuez where it hopes 200,000 tpa within five years of first ore a sustainable and transparent manage-
to develop an initial 50,000 tpa graph- being processed, but he remained coy ment of mineral resources,” Daudi said.
ite mine over the course of the next 12 on just how far downstream the business
months. would move. “The mission is to ensure the adop-
tion and implementation of policies and
Early earthworks are on track to be “We’ve actually taken graphite all the standards that warrant the rational use of
completed by the end of this year, includ- way downstream to the point of making mineral resources for the creation of the
ing delivery of a 100-man camp and a batteries, we’ve actually looked at the wealth and the harmonious development
tailings dam which will be a water source whole supply chain,” he said. of the country.”
for project development.
“We set up a JV in North America with – Michael Washbourne
Battery Minerals has locked away a technology company, we installed a pi-
four off-take deals for its initial produc-
lot plant, we did all of the
downstream processing
and we made batteries.
But, when we got right
down to it, sometimes
you can’t just walk and
then run. You sort of need
to do a couple of steps of
fast walking and then jog-
ging before you can then
run, and that’s what the
business has done.

“We’ve also decided
that sometimes small fish
can be sweet. It’s not al-
ways about being the big-
gest. So, from the end of
this year we will still have
Elias Daudi



Dressing up for cultural change

Popular mining executive Bron- working with, especially women
wyn Barnes has urged com- because often they are the most

panies to take a “grown-up view” disadvantaged,” Burnett said.

on the subject of integrating more “By educating women and bring-

women in the mining workforce. ing them along as decision-makers

Speaking on the Women in Min- and figuring out a development

ing panel at Africa Down Under, path, there has to be engagement

Indiana Resources Ltd non-ex- between a company that has male

ecutive chair Barnes said the de- and female representatives and

bate was not about women in the communities that have male and fe-

workforce, more so companies male representatives.”

creating inclusive organisational Resolute Mining Ltd chief finan-

cultures. cial officer Lee-Anne de Bruin lived

“I think what we do have is very through apartheid in South Africa
traditional business models; board The Women in Mining panel discussion at Africa Down and saw that change is possible.
and executive leadership teams, Under was chaired by newly installed Federal Assistant “There is not one solution for all,”
management groups all the way Minister for Foreign Affairs Linda Reynolds. Sharing their de Bruin said. “I am fortunate to
down to working levels where we thoughts on the topic were Sipa managing director Lynda have grown up in South Africa and
see various scales of under-repre- Burnett, Resolute Mining chief financial officer Lee-Anne also to have lived through apartheid
sentation of women,” Barnes said. de Bruin, African Geopolitics senior adviser Eve Howell and and had benefitted very significantly
Indiana Resources non-executive chair Bronwyn Barnes from apartheid with a great educa-
“I think the focus needs to be

on how do organisations build that tion afforded to me. I came into a

flexible culture to create more di- a niche in the resources sector as a world where there was a big push
versity into the business, not just geophysicist; a profession scarce of to treat people who were previously
females.” female mentors to guide her. disadvantaged and then give them op-
portunities and then build on that.
While the conversation has started Howell said she was fortunate to “I actually benefitted from being a fe-
on bringing greater diversity to the have very good male mentors during male in South Africa. I think we have a
workforce, with an acute focus on her journey and called on women to long way to go, but I do see some green
miners breaking from tradition and hir- engage more in their organisations shoots where we have people that are
ing women in on-site and board level and lessen the reliance on women’s embracing diversity. I do think it is about
roles, it appears achieving equality is groups for action. how we frame the way we think about fe-
still a way off. males.”
Like Howell, Sipa Resources Ltd Having achieved the status of Aus-
Eve Howell, a career executive and managing director Lynda Burnett ben- tralia’s first ever female Brigadier in the
company director with more than 40 efitted from productive male mentors Army Reserves, new Assistant Minister
years’ in the oil and gas sector, includ- plus a “wave of inclusion and positive for Foreign Affairs Hon Senator Linda
ing 17 years with Apache Corp and later reinforcement” throughout her career. Reynolds certainly challenged the way
Woodside Energy Ltd, said some of the women were seen during her time in the
issues women faced went well beyond Having arrived in Uganda and dis- military.
what could be corrected by a company’s covered nickel-copper sulphide poten- Now, as a federal politician, she has
diversity policies and reforms. tial in the country’s north, Burnett said the opportunity to champion the cause of
her professional fortunes were starkly equal opportunity in the workforce.
“Unfortunately, there is still this uncon- different to those of women in Uganda. “The issue of leadership is not about
scious bias out there; there is no ques- fixing women; it is actually an issue of
tion about that,” Howell, now a senior ad- “What has really got my conscious organisational culture and leadership,”
viser with African Geopolitics, said. going in the last few years since I have Reynolds said.
been working in Africa is how incred- “I throw it back to all of you in the indus-
“We have to be careful in the way that ibly disadvantaged the women are,” try, both here and in Africa, and in fact in
we all behave. I worked with some ex- Burnett said. any organisations and it is about saying
cellent oil companies and people would ‘yes you can’. All of you can go back and
come and say they want a conversation; “Anywhere you go in the world there make a difference in your organisation by
then the conversation would be all about is 50% male and 50% female and as listening to what people are saying and
things that you can tell that a woman a new company going into an area to make a difference in your organisations;
wasn’t really interested in. do greenfields exploration you need to it is up to everybody to make a difference.
represent yourself, your company and
“You were just left out of the conver- a diverse group of people in the com- – Mark Andrews
sation because you are not in that club, munity base, not just the men.”
or group, you don’t play Australian Rules
or whatever. That sensitivity of including Burnett said it was important to rec-
people equally and that is the real inclu- ognise women in the communities as
siveness; not just in relation to females, decision-makers and closely engage
but also people with different back- with them because often they were the
grounds.” ones who could really drive the com-
munity forward.
Sudanese-born Howell moved to the
UK as a young woman and carved “I am really passionate about engag-
ing with all the communities we are


Taking a Sip-a success in Uganda

Since making the Akelikongo nickel sul- discoveries that turn the dial, whether it is the region and introduced the Days for
phide discovery at the Kitgum Pader in Australia or other countries like Uganda. Girls feminine hygiene and education pro-
project four years ago, Sipa Resources Ltd The JV with Rio Tinto started in August, gramme.
has plunged about 6,000m of drilling into with their interest being exposure to [po-
the northern Ugandan project. tentially] an entire nickel province,” Sipa Part of the programme is to provide girls
managing director Lynda Burnett said. with sanitary kits and education of the im-
With nickel stockpiles dwindling, a lack portance of hygiene and well-being, which
of supply on the horizon and steady de- Diamond drilling at Akelikongo is Burnett says has proved fruitful.
mand for stainless steel, there are bullish planned for later this year, with Sipa em-
forecasts for nickel despite the base met- barking on a programme of geochemistry “The result of that means girls don’t
als’ price plunge since mid-year. mapping and gravity over 14 nickel targets drop out when they go through puberty
at the time of print. and they stay on in high school. We have
In addition to traditional uses for nickel, been working with that programme now
its role electric vehicle batteries is a grow- By making the Akelikongo discovery – for three years and hopefully we’ll see an
ing narrative which has afforded players in with significant intercepts including 84.5m effect in attendance of girls in schools and
the space some attention. @ 0.37% nickel and 0.16% copper – and empowering those girls to do way more
bringing Rio Tinto back to a country it has than they have been able to do in the
Despite being an early-stage play, not touched for over a decade, Sipa can past,” she said.
Sipa’s potential in Uganda has been rec- claim to have experienced some success
ognised by blue-chip miner Rio Tinto Ltd in Uganda. “In the three years we have been work-
which has agreed to farm into Kitgum ing there as a small junior exploration
Pader. While its work in the exploration space company, we have managed to distribute
has received some acclaim, its contribu- 3,000 kits to over 31 schools in our tene-
Rio Tinto has backed Sipa’s exploration tion to the communities within the Kitgum ment area. There are a lot of kids up there
strategy, with the junior to manage JV ac- Pader base metals project area should and a very young community of Ugan-
tivities for the first 18 months. also be recognised. dans. Schooling and education is really
important for the northern Ugandans and
Under the JV terms, Rio Tinto can earn In the part of northern Uganda Sipa we are really pleased to be able to partner
75% of Kitgum Pader by spending $73 finds itself, it is estimated that every wom- with them and make a difference, particu-
million, stage one of which requires a min- an has an average of 8-9 children, while larly the girls in those communities.”
imum spend of $US12 million within five the attendance rate of girls in schools has
years, including a minimum commitment been poor. – Mark Andrews
of $US2 million to earn a 51% interest.
In the past three years, Sipa has fo-
“We now have a big brother on board cussed on the empowerment of girls in
and we are only really interested in large

Lynda Burnett

Arcadia is 70% Prospect-owned and 30% held by
locals, including Executive Director of Prospect

Lithium Zimbabwe (Private) Ltd, Paul Chimbodza who
was the original owner of the lithium project

Prospect to find right
size for Arcadia

Many expatriate Zimbabweans have longed for an Despite the promising future seen by Hosack for Prospect, having
opportunity to return home and for Sam Hosack the a young family to consider and being well entrenched in his
pathway back to his native land has come through previous workplace meant joining the ASX junior was a difficult
Prospect Resources Ltd. decision.
Hosack started as Managing Director of Prospect
in July this year; a time in which both company A third generation Zimbabwean, Hosack has lived in Perth for
and country were positioning to emerge on the the last 12 years having emerged through First Quantum Ltd’s
international scene. projects team.
For any up and coming Managing Director, the
chance of taking the reins of a near-term lithium A particularly big feather in Hosack’s cap in recent times was
producing outfit is one hard to resist. project managing a coal offloading and copper loading port,
120km 230kV transmission line and a 300MW coal fired power
station for Minera Panama, which is 80% owned by First Quantum.

Much can be said for the experience of being involved in Cobre
Panama – one of the biggest copper projects in the world – and
while Hosack will look back on his time with First Quantum fondly,
his finely tuned expertise will be well consumed at Prospect.


Sam Hosack started as Managing Director of Prospect
Resources in July. Hosack is a third generation

Zimbabwean and is excited by the opportunity to bring
his expertise back to his homeland.

“My experience in delivering large mining PROSPECT RESOURCES LTD
projects indicates the direction in which
Prospect wants to take Arcadia. I believe in ASX: PSC
the project and am prepared to invest in the
people to build the social license that is so OFFICE: Suite 6, 245 Churchill Avenue, Subiaco,
necessary to operate successfully in Western Australia 6008
Zimbabwe. One thing that Harry [Greaves]
has really emphasised is that social TEL: (08) 9217 3300
integration is essential. This alignment of
values is key to my involvement at Prospect. WEB:

Key people: Hugh Warner (Executive Chairman); Sam Hosack
(Managing Director); Harry Greaves (Executive Director); HeNian
Chen (Non-Executive Director); Gerry Fahey (Non-Executive
Director); Zed Rusike (Non-Executive Director); Meng Sun
(Alternate Director to HeNian Chen)

“They [First Quantum] are a fantastic company. I was very committed placed to recruit high calibre professionals to the business given
to them and the decision I took to come to Prospect was not taken its near-term production ambitions. In readiness for production,
lightly,” Hosack said at Africa Down Under. Prospect is currently on the hunt for a production manager. “ I am
confident we will find the right person,” Hosack said. “We have a
“I have a clear skill-set that I bring with me, which matches well with strong Australian organisational culture at Prospect, combined with
the direction that Prospect want to take the company, underpinned the cultural awareness that is critical to operating successfully in the
by Arcadia, which I believe to be a high quality asset. I have a wide Zimbabwean mining environment. Zimbabwe has a long, successful
range of exposure, from small scale business development to large mining history that can be harnessed. We are being smart about how
project execution, with the mechanisms used to be successful in the we select our equipment so that it can be serviced, maintained and
former and the latter being quite different.” operated using local expertise.”

With ground broken at the +20 year Arcadia lithium project, 35km As initial works are underway at Arcadia, the company is in the process
from Harare, and Prospect charging down the development path, of completing an updated feasibility study. Just how big Arcadia will
Hosack’s first point of business as Managing Director was to take stock be remains to be seen, but rest assured Hosack will find the right fit for
of the true potential inherent within the company. Prospect. “We need to look at how well the mine can support sizing
variances on the processing plant, and all the costs associated, in
“We had to take a step back and say ‘who do we want to be when we order to ensure we are maximising shareholder value,” he said, “Once
grow up?’,” Hosack said. “I believe in making decisions that provide we are clear on that and I don’t think we are far from that, then we
long-term rewards and deliver long-term sustainable business. In the will update the market, and progress towards our goal of successfully
short-term however, we all have to roll up our sleeves for Arcadia to delivering the Arcadia project”.
become the cornerstone asset that allows us to become relevant in
the junior to mid-tier mining sector. ARCADIA LITHIUM PROJECT - PRE-FEASIBILITY HIGHLIGHTS

“We need to take time to understand how big this project should Location: 35km east of Harare, Zimbabwe
be. We have a great exploration team and we firmly believe there is Project specs: Sourced from ASX Announcement 19 March 2018
strong regional potential. The resource itself was initially drilled out and updated 4 April 2018
to a 20-year mine life before the decision was made to stop. We are Resource: 43.2mt @ 1.41% lithium oxide (1% lithium oxide cut-off)
going to continue to develop the resource over time until we know Reserves: 26.9mt @ 1.31% lithium oxide and 128 ppm tantalum
exactly where it ends,” he said. Throughput: 1.2 mtpa
Life of mine (LoM): +20 years
At the time of print, pre-stripping of the main pit and tailings dam Spodumene production: 96,000 tpa @ 6% lithium oxide
had started, whilst initial infrastructure development was imminent. (average LoM)
Petalite production: 127,000 tpa @ 4.1% lithium oxide
DRA is in control of engineering services and the plant design of (average LoM)
Arcadia, whilst the earth moving and mining will be performed by Total lithium carbonate equivalent: 27,000 tpa (average LoM)
JRG Goddard (Pvt) Ltd. Pre-tax NPV at 10%: US$401 million

Prospect has regained control of the timetable for building and
financing Arcadia since renegotiating a deal with Sinomine Resource
(Hong Kong) International Trading Co. Ltd, which included the latter
completing a $10 million placement at 6c/share and off-take of about
70% of phase one production committed over seven years.

Lithium expertise is currently in high demand and Prospect is well



The future is Africa

Aleading energy and resources lawyer A frenetic three days of meetings, presentations and networking at Africa Down Under
with Australian firm Gilbert + Tobin has ended in true Paydirt style, with a vibrant discussion on Australia’s role in the
urged the Australian Government to up its
engagement with its African counterparts globalisation of Africa. Paydirt editor Dominic Piper moderated the panel session and
or risk missing the chance to partake in was joined by Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) head of international
some of the world’s emerging economies.
programme Lisa Sharland, Kenya’s High Commissioner to Australia, Isaiah Kabira,
Gilbert + Tobin partner, energy and re- Gilbert + Tobin, partner, energy and resources Phil Edmands and Australian High
sources, Phil Edmands asked the question Commissioner to South Africa HE Adam McCarthy
why Australia hadn’t tightened its sover-
eign-to-sovereign links and helped African back the CFTA, with Kenya one country and we have seen that level of interest. It’s
countries more with fiscal and regulatory already behind the initiative. all about creating win-win situations.”
“Seven countries, including Kenya, have Africa’s integration with Australia and
Edmands said the likes of Singapore, already ratified that treaty because we are the rest of the global community remains
China and South Korea had put in an enor- saying that we, as Africa, have stuff to do. key to unlocking the vast opportunities for
mous effort strengthening relationships We need to see how we become an attrac- people across the continent. Australian
with African governments, essentially tive trading destination but also an invest- Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) head of in-
providing tremendous value and support ment destination and we are preparing for ternational programme Lisa Sharland said
for their investors and industries entering that; we are not just sitting on our hands,” the support African countries gave during
Africa. Kenya’s High Commissioner to Australia, Australia’s bid for a seat on the UN Secu-
Isaiah Kabira said. rity Council needed to be embraced.
“We need to do the same and I think we
are under-done in that sense. I think that “Back in Kenya, we have established “That support from multilateral institu-
is a policy issue, but it is also a funding is- the Big Four and one of the Big Four is tions is something we need to be mindful
sue,” Edmands said. manufacturing. We need to start prepar- of in terms of our engagement with the
ing ourselves to be the future manufactur- rules based order which really supports a
“From Australia’s point of view, more can ing base of the world, not just because we number of our interests,” Sharland said.
be done on policy and regulatory settings. have cheap labour, but because we know
But, my broader point is that we are doing we have the big market. We are seeing “Australia sees Africa as very far away,
some things at government level and fol- the extractives industry as being one of but a lot of the issues that affect Africa also
lowing our companies into Africa, though the enablers of that procedure and that affect Australia. I think we need to keep
not very much to be honest, which is not process, so Australia is open to participate that in mind when we speak to some of the
a criticism of DFAT or embassies as they global developments that we are seeing.
work within the amount of money they are
given. However, you can’t wait for Africa
to arrive and then catch up. I think there
needs to be much more bilateral effort
from Australia because Africa is going to
be huge. It is a huge market for us; we
can’t just leave it for businesses to go into
Africa and for METS to follow it.”

With the population across Africa ex-
pected to total 2.5 billion people by 2050,
the continent will be a huge component of
the world’s economy.

The mining and beneficiation industries
are areas, which if developed properly,
can contribute greatly to the economies of
many African countries.

Australian companies have set the
standard for mining and CSR practices
across Africa, however, with countries in
the region moving to become a more inno-
vative economic block through the African
Continental Free Trade Area, greater op-
portunities are opening up.

A handful of countries have agreed to
the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)
brokered by the African Union, which is
premised on the removal of tariffs from
90% of goods, essentially opening up free
access to commodities, goods, and ser-
vices across the continent.

Twenty-two signatories are required to


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