Archive for the ‘PEOPLE’ Category

A Canadian mining discussion. Barrick & Goldcorp PODCAST

Monday, July 10th, 2017















Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Johannesburg (AFP) – President Jacob Zuma received on Tuesday the official report into the police killing of 34 South African miners in 2012, as rights groups demanded that its findings be quickly made public.

The shooting at the Marikana mine was the worst violence in the country since the advent of democracy in 1994, and evidence at the inquiry tarnished police claims that they had acted in self-defence when they gunned down the striking miners.

In the days before, 10 other people were killed in violence around the platinum mine — including non-striking miners, security guards and two police officers who were hacked to death.

Lawyers for the dead miners’ families blamed the killings on a bout of police revenge, and accused officers of a cover-up.

Zuma, who is visiting Algeria, “will prioritise the consideration of the report on his return”, a statement from his office said, confirming that the document had been received.

But Deprose Muchena, of Amnesty International, said Zuma “must make public the full report as a priority,

“The surviving victims of the tragic events of Marikana and the families of all those who died have a right to receive justice.”

The Marikana Support Campaign group demanded that the report be published within two months, adding that the evidence heard by the inquiry pointed to “some weighty conclusions”.

The presidency made no mention of when it planned to release the report.

Mining house Lonmin was widely criticised during the inquiry for failing to engage with the workers’ wage demands.

It has also been blamed for the murders of its security guards and non-striking miners. The mining house has denied any responsibility.

A cross on a hill pays tribute to the 34 miners killed in 2012 near Lonmin mine in Marikana, in South Africa (AFP Photo/Mujahid Safodien)

A number of the legal teams recommended that senior police officials –- including the former police minister Nathi Mthethwa and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega –- be investigated for murder.

They also argued that Lonmin executives should be charged as accomplices.

But others fingered South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa contacted the ministers of police and mineral resources in the days leading up to the massacre, pushing for police intervention over the strike.

Ramaphosa was not in government at the time, but a non-executive director of Lonmin and a senior leader in the ruling ANC party.

He has maintained he was simply trying to prevent further violence.


Henry Sapiecha

Prospector uncovers massive two kilo gold nugget in Victoria Australia

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Prospector uncovers massive two kilo gold nugget

A prospector has uncovered a single gold nugget weighing in at more than two kilograms in central Victoria.Australia.

The man, Mick Brown, discovered the 87 ounce rock while prospecting alone outside of Wedderburn, according to 9News.

Brown dubbed the find the ‘fair dinkum’ nugget.

“It took a while to name it but everyone that looked at it was like “fair dinkum”, you know, so that’s what we called it, the fair dinkum nugget,” Brown told Nine news.

The nugget, at current gold prices, is believed to be worth at just over US$ 104,000.

In 2013 another prospector uncovered an 177 ounce gold nugget outside of Ballarat, Victoria.

Brown’s find is believed to have been discovered near the Pride of Australia nugget, which was uncovered in 1981, and weighed around 256 ounces, and was found in Mosquito Gully, near Wedderburn.

It also not far from where the Hand of Faith nugget, which is the largest single nugget uncovered with a metal detector and weighed in at 845 ounces, was discovered, and Cindy’s Pride, which was discovered in 1985 and weighed in at 159.3 ounces.


Henry Sapiecha

Canadian miners the world’s top asset buyers in 2014

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Canadian miners the world’s top buyers of assets in 2014

Canada led the acquisition of mining and metals assets in terms of volume last year, and it was a close contender in terms of value, a study released Monday shows.

Despite the deals boom, overall mergers and acquisitions globally continued to decline on both a volume and value basis in the sector compared to 2013, according to EY’s Mergers, acquisitions and capital raising in mining and metals: 2014 trends, 2015 outlook.

“A few big deals in Canada in 2014 put us at the top in terms of deal volume,” says Bruce Sprague, EY’s Canadian Mining & Metals Leader. “But the reality is that the majority of the deals were junior-level strategic mergers aimed at conserving cash.”

Canada scored the top gold deal in 2014, with the joint acquisition of Osisko Mining Corp by Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines for $3.6 billion. The next largest gold deal was the UK’s Polymetal International’s acquisition of Kazakhstan’s Altynalmas Gold (Kyzyl gold project) for $619m.

“Gold remains the most-targeted commodity by volume,” says Sprague. “We saw that play out right here in Canada. The majority (88%) of gold deals, however, were valued at less than $50m, reflecting distress among gold juniors on the back of squeezed margins.”


EY says current market conditions are putting mining companies in a quandary – investing for the next stage of growth is potentially unpopular with shareholders, but it could prove to be a masterstroke if they want to fully capitalize on the next uplift in the cycle.

“For the past few years, companies have been focused on cost-reduction programs, internal capital allocation and productivity measures,” notes Sprague. “Moving forward, they need to have a broader focus on total shareholder return and make capital decisions that will support long-term value creation.”

Companies in a quandary

Still, in its outlook EY says long-awaited funding from private capital funds should begin to deploy across the sector as sellers align their value expectations with the market, and assets continue to be sold by the large cap producers in search of optimum portfolios.

“The deals we’re seeing now are a lot of mergers between equals and consolidation opportunities benefiting both parties,” explains Sprague. “The large cap producers are more focused on looking to either sell or spin off non-core assets.”


Henry Sapiecha

The full report is available here.


Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

CEOs-in-mining infographic image


Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

The meek shall inherit the earth,

but not its mineral rights:

Meet mining’s 40 richest billionaires

Frik Els | April 16, 2012

Billionaire_collage copy counts more than 90 billionaires involved in minerals, metals and mining on the planet with a combined wealth of well over $300 billion.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Professor Martyn Poliakoff toured the Bank of England’s gold vaults, which contains $315 billion worth of bullion, and felt a little sad.

“In some ways, seeing these bars is quite disappointing because gold is an exciting element. It has interesting chemistry, and it’s just sitting here doing nothing,” said Poliakoff, who hosted a gold episode of The Periodic Table of Videos.

“It’s enormously impressive. It’s a bit sad, like a mausoleum where the dead gold is sitting, waiting for people to remember it when it could be doing exciting reactions.”

While touring the vault, Poliakoff notes that each shelf alone contains a tonne of gold worth $56 million.

“I have never seen so much of any element. Ones first reaction is that it can’t be real, because one doesn’t see such things.”
Marketing with no money

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Christoffel Wise mining magnate of South Africa is alleged to owe the South African government $250,000,000 in back taxes

Mining entrepreneur and South Africa’s third wealthiest man , billionaire Christoffel Wiese, is said to owe the country’s revenue agency (Sars) an estimated $250 million (R$2 billion) in unpaid taxes.
Amanda Jo Jewellery

Wiese, who sits on numerous corporate boards and also has investments in gold and diamond mining companies, told the Sunday Times on Sunday that he is not hiding from Sars.

“Do you think that for 50 years Sars has not been aware of my existence? I’m not hiding anywhere, so if you think I owe you money, send me the bill,” the newspaper quoted him saying.

The 71-year-old also holds stakes in real estate firms and is involved in a private equity firm with investments in jeweller Fabergé.

Wiese owns vast properties, among them a private game reserve in the Kalahari and the prized Lourensford wine farm, a 300-year-old estate by the Helderberg mountains in the Western Cape.

The Sars assessment for Wiese, reports, is the largest in South African history and it would make him the largest individual tax offender in the country.

The investigation into Wiese was reportedly triggered when British custom officials stopped Wiese at the London airport en route to Luxembourg in 2009, seizing over 1 million dollars (about £700,000) he was carrying in cash.

He said at the moment the money came from diamond deals and had been in a safety deposit box in London for years.

Wiese got the full sum back recently, following a legal process and, according to his lawyer, represents less than two weeks’ income for his client.

Image: Wiese in an interview with German television

Manifest Absolutely Anything v2.0

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, July 30th, 2012


World biggest iron ore producer Vale over the last few days “played down fears” that the planned expansion of its Carajas mine – a truly monstrous  project that will see the Brazilian giant commit to almost $20 billion over the next several years – would have an ill effect on the local Awá tribe

Greentraders - Saving the Planet one trade at a time

AFP quotes Survival International, an indigenous peoples rights group, as saying the Brazilian firm’s plans to have trains as long as two kilometres run in both directions to its port in a remote northern section of the Amazon forest will only heighten the pressure on the still nsurviving members of “The planet’s most threatened tribe”.

The rights group said the Carajas mine and railways “devastated the Awa tribe in the early 1980′s by opening their land up to a number of settlers, ranchers and loggers.”

A Brazilian government survey cited by Survival International estimates there could be “up to 4,500 invaders, ranchers, loggers and settlers” occupying just one of the four territories inhabited by the Awa, whose total population stands at less than 450.

The rights group has enlisted the help of British actor Colin Firth who narrates a short film about the plight of the Awá.

In the film, the Oscar-winner says: “The Awá’s forest is being illegally cut for timber. When the loggers see these natives, they kill them. Their bows and arrows are no match for guns. And at any other time in history, that’s where it would end. Another people wiped off the face of the Earth, forever. But we’re going to make sure the world doesn’t allow that to happen.”

The area also hosts some 2,000 caves that scientists regard as “potentially precious features” because of the high incidence of iron and unusual biology: “One caveexplored, hosts four species of bat – only one of them carnivorous, luckily – and excavations in its floor have revealed evidence of human habitation as long as up to maybe 9,000 years ago” according to a BBC report.

The operations manager of the mine, Jaymilson Magalhaes, tells [the BBC] that the mine complex only covers about 3% of the area of the national forest and that before any digging can start, the company has to have an adequate  restoration plan to return the area to its original state.

That includes using spoil to fill in the mines once they are exhausted to reshape the topography – a process we witnessed in one small area – and undertake a massive replanting programme using native species of vegetation.

The chronically understaffed Brazilian conservation agency only has 1a dozen rangers in that area of the Serra Sul Amazon region “but Vale pays for a further 80, plus cars, boats,equipment and the use of a helicopter, all vital to guard against illegal logging and poaching.”


According to The Guardian, Ibama , Brazil’s environment agency, “has fewer than 1,000 officers on the ground at any one time across a country nearly four times the size of western Europe”.

Vale (NYSE:VALE) was granted a preliminary environmental license for the lowly-named “S11D” mine in June.

The Carajas complex is the largest iron ore deposit in the world with 7.2 billion tonnes in proven and provable reserves – that’s a more than  $800 billion contribution  to the Brazilian economy at today’s prices.

S11D would not only lower Vale’s overall costs at the operation, but drastically improve the average quality of the ore that it mines.

Vale said in a statement that it plans to spend $8 billion to develop the mine and build a new processing plant, as well as $11.4 billion to expand the railroad and local port to allow it to ship the steel-making ingredient to important markets in Asia & the rest of the world using its massive Valemax carriers (400,000 deadweight tonnes).
Ka Gold Jewelry

To ameliorate the planned works’ environmental impact, Vale said it would transport iron ore from the mine to the processing plant via a massive distance 37km of conveyer belts instead of using trucks. At the moment the mine mills 300,000 tonnes per day.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company added S11D would produce 90 million metric tonnes of iron ore – adding some 30% to Vale’s current output – and begin operations in 2016.

This week Vale’s earnings came in at $2.7 billion, down 59% from $6.5 billion in 2011 and its lowest level in more than two years. Profits sank 30%.

The Q2 results came only days after CEO Tito Martins announced he was leaving the company, marking the fifth top-level substitution in the past eight months at Vale.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 - Scientifically Designed Golf Equipment.

Brazil’s Eike Fuhrken Batista takes a $1b hammering on his companys personal fortune

Brazil’s Eike Fuhrken Batista is the world of mining’s richest man and has been on a roll so far this year, increasing his wealth by a third according to Bloomberg data.

But he took a few blows to the body on Tuesday.

After his oil and gas firm OGX – one of five public companies under Batista’s control – disappointed with reserve figures of only 110 million barrels at an offshore well called Tubarão-Azul or Blue Shark the company was beaten down 7.8%.

That decline and a generally bad day on the world’s stock markets meant $1,023,200,000 disappeared from Batista’s personal fortune on Tuesday.


Batista is now down to his last $30 billion and is in danger of dropping out of the top 10 if commodity stocks continue to slide. (The three who could catch Batista  – Wal-Mart’s Walton siblings  – only lost $100 million on Tuesday.)

A much more encouraging find on land by another Batista business could not reverse the steep declines.

CCX, Batista’s coal unit, also announced today that it discovered a 672 million tonnes reserve, making it the fifth largest coal deposit in the world, at San Juan in Colombia.

CCX is being spun off and will list separately on the Sao Paulo exchange on May 25.

Perhaps having a sixth publicly traded entity will help Batista cobble together another billion or so.


Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha