Africa Brief: AngloGold in Djibouti, Zimbabwe gold mine, Africa oil and gas, and more

AngloGold to start drilling in Djibouti

Anglo Gold Ashanti, the world’s third-biggest gold producer, and its partner, Stratex International, are expected to begin drilling for the metal in Djibouti in September, an energy ministry official has said. The companies, which obtained 10 exploration licences in the Horn of Africa country, had identified two blocks that may hold “high concentrations” of gold, Abdourahman Omar Haga, director of natural resources in the ministry, said at a mining conference in Dar es Salaam last week. They would continue to explore the remaining eight blocks, he said. The joint venture is planning to drill by the fourth quarter “subject to monies being available, the arrangement of appropriate logistical support, and approvals”, AngloGold said on Sunday. Djibouti’s mining industry — which includes the production of minerals including gypsum, diato-mite and ignimbrite — accounts for less than 1% of total economic output, according to the African Development Bank.

For the full story, read AngloGold to start drilling in Dijibouti, by Sara Jerving, published by Business Day on 23/04/13

African Consolidated Resources opts to focus on Zimbabwe gold mine

African Consolidated Resources is focusing on a Zimbabwe gold project, as now is not the right time for “engaging” with the state over the decision to strip the company of the multibillion-dollar Marange diamond field.

“Marange is water under the bridge,” said CEO Craig Hutton. “Marange has been a problem and a disappointment for us, but we haven’t lost the company. I do believe that we will come to an amicable resolution.”

Zimbabwe seized the diamond fields, discovered by De Beers, from UK-based African Consolidated in 2006. The Marange diamonds are being dug by China’s Anjin Investments with Mbada Mining, which is closely held by South African and Zimbabwean investors. African Consolidated is developing the Pickstone-Peerless gold mine. The project, scheduled to begin output in the first quarter, will produce 15,000oz to 20,000oz of gold before growing to as much as an annual 80,000oz two years later. The US, European Union, Australia and New Zealand do not allow individuals or companies to trade with designated members of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party, or businesses associated with the party.

For the full story, read Miner opts to focus on Zimbabwe gold mine, by Thomas Biescheuvel, published by Business Day on 23/04/13

New revolution in Africa is wrought by oil, gas industry

Africa’s oil and gas outputs have steadily grown in recent years. Some parts of Africa already account for about 7% of world oil production. Some new discoveries of energy resources in Africa are changing the game. Foreign direct investment in infrastructure -exploration and drilling equipment, pipelines, dredging and construction of deep-water ports, liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and offshore floating platforms, could top $150bn over the next decade. Investment in LNG plants in Mozambique alone could be three or four times the country’s annual gross domestic product. While new producers have drawn most of the attention, and the trend is towards diversification in the number of producing countries, existing players still lead. The importance of oil and gas to Africa increases with the decline of minerals such as iron ore and copper, which once were economic mainstays. The African oil and gas boom comes when energy markets are shifting dramatically, making for a more dynamic investment climate.

For the full story, read New revolution in Africa is wrought by oil, gas industry, by Phillip van Niekerk, published by Business Day on 23/04/13

Oil firms set to develop block

Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company and Cohydro of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would develop a shared oil block off the coast of the two countries, Congolese Oil Minister Crispin Atama said on Friday The nations each controlled half of the block, which was in a so-called zone of common interest that overlapped with part of Angola’s block 14 in the Atlantic Ocean, he said in Kinshasa. “Cohydro of DRC and Sonangol from Angola will come together to decide how we can manage the block together” in the zone of common interest, Atama said.

For the full story, read Oil firms set to develop block, by Bloomberg, published by The Star Business Report on 23/04/13

 

David Okwara

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