October 2020 – Burkina Faso
Not so long ago (circa 20 years), Burkina Faso’s economy was pretty much described as agriculturally based, with the sector employing around 80% of the working population. Recently, however, it has enjoyed somewhat of a mining boom: Gold is the most mined mineral and it is reportedly found in every region of the country, from the southeast to the northwest.
This year, Canadian listed Endeavour Mining merged with Semafo (also Canadian listed) to create what is arguably the largest Gold miner in the country. Word on the streets is that the combined group are seeking a London listing. Other players in the gold space include Roxgold and Thor Exploration, both also Canadian listed.
Trevali, (again, Canadian listed – there may be a trend here) currently operates the only base metals mine, Perkoa Mine, in the country and its CEO recently described Burkina Faso as having “one of the richest zinc ore bodies in the world.”
Here at Bargate, we think the mining sector in Burkina Faso is worth a closer look even with the security concerns and a pending Presidential and National Assembly elections coming up next month.
#gold #mining #africa #burkinafaso
Contact us @BargateAdvisory to learn more
Source: Planet Gold; Proactive; Mining Review
September 2020 – Nigeria
Ahead of the Nigeria Mining Week this October, Bargate Advisory’s UK MD, Ugo Isiadinso attended a “virtual aperitif” of sorts to this conference, a webinar on driving investment to the mining sector. We heard from the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite; the Executive Governor of Nassarawa state in Nigeria, Engineer Abdullahi Sule as well as other industry professionals and yes, we are somewhat convinced of the seriousness with which this industry is being looked at!
So, what has been happening? you ask!
Okay, in 2017, The World Bank’s Board approved a $150 million credit line to enhance the contribution of the mining sector to the Nigerian economy.
Nigeria spent the last few years enhancing the resources of its mining cadastre. We have checked it out and we think it’s actually decent. Furthermore, the ministry’s ‘National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project’ has the primary objective of generating integrated Geosciences information. We think there is evidence here that the ministry believes data is king which is what it should be!
On a fiscal policy level, the sector is being teased with tax holidays of 3 – 5 years for “would-be” investors and duty waivers on importation of mining equipment. As per infrastructure, rail links and/or water ways are also being developed to support the sector. There are also various projects in train to formalize the artisanal mining sector. Here at Bargate, we have a cost effective power solution for mining which we are prepared to discuss.
With respect to the private sector;
Australian listed, Kogi Iron (ASX: KFE) continues their iron-ore Agbaja Cast Steel project and, as at last month’s reports, is in the process of conducting trial mining on site.
Also last month, Canadian listed, Thor Explorations (THX:TSX-V) reported results from its drilling program in Osun state, Nigeria and they are scheduled to pour first gold in Q2 2021.
Now this one is interesting: Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc, plans to raise $70 million to fund its "reassignment” from an oil and gas services company to a mining company.
Bargate will continue to keep a close eye on the developments of this sector.
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August 2020 – Namibia
Tucked neatly in southwest Africa, with the Atlantic Ocean at its side, Namibia has the capacity to provide a significant proportion of the world’s uranium – a key component to nuclear powered electricity generation and nuclear weapons. In fact, two of its mines provided around 11% of the world’s Uranium Oxide output in 2019.
Rössing, the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine was established in 1976 by Rio Tinto in Namibia and has produced the most uranium of any single mine. Its uranium is sold to power utilities in Central Europe, North America and South-East Asia including China.
Since July 2019, China National Uranium Corporation Limited replaced Rio Tinto as the largest shareholder (c69%) in Rössing Uranium Limited. Other investors include the Iranian Foreign Investment Co, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and the government of Namibia at 3% equity holding, albeit they maintain 51% voting rights.
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July 2020 – Botswana
If you ever considered taking out a mortgage to buy diamond jewelry, then you have probably heard of DeBeers! The name is synonymous with high quality diamonds. They have one of those shops on Old Bond Street, London where you know not to ask for the price of anything. If you are asking, you can’t afford it!
But did you know that the largest diamond sorting and selling facility in the world is in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana? Through the entity, Debswana (you guessed it, a fusion of “De”Beers and the government of Bot“swana”), stones from Canada, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana are sorted and offered to diamond buyers and manufacturers from around the world (Geology.com, 2020).
Debswana is also the country’s largest employer. In fact, mining as a whole is a major contributor to Botswana's GDP, accounting for around 80% of export earnings (Businesswire, 2020) of which two-thirds are diamond exports. Botswana is also the largest producer of diamond in the world when we consider gem quality; take a bow Russia!
Another random fact, did you know that the United States consumes over 40% of the world’s diamonds (all together now...USA! USA! USA!)
But, can we really talk about diamonds without a mention of conflict minerals? Okay, two sentences then: First, Botswana is a member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which certifies international trading of rough diamond, so as to stop the trade of conflict diamonds via legitimate trading lines. Second, Botswana is recognized by Transparency International as one of the most favorable countries to do business in Africa (CPI, 2019).
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