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AEL – A South African Manufacturer Of Explosives Now Listed On The Lusaka Stock Exchange …

 

FILL IT UP An AEL Zambia re-pump emulsion truck filling up at the company’s plant outside Mufulira

Picture by: AEL

FILL IT UP An AEL Zambia re-pump emulsion truck filling up at the company’s plant outside Mufulira

By: Jonathan Faurie

Commercial explosives manufacturing and distribution company, African Explosives (AEL) has made a long-term investment in the Zambian Mining industry by listing on the Lusaka Stock Exchange says AEL international business director Stuart Wade.

The listing was confirmed in October 2006, Zambian investors and employees currently hold 20% of the company’s shares.

Wade reports that Zambia has traditionally been a large business hub for AEL. During the 1990s there was a slow down in mining activities but renewed interest in the region has made AEL’s Zambian expansion more possible and there are now significant investment plans.

“The company is in the process of upgrading, investing, reconfiguring, and aligning itself around the growth in the market place,” says Wade. This investment will expand the companies regional presence in Central Africa. The investment is configured to deliver products, blasting solutions and develop long term partnerships with customers.

Wade says that AEL Zambia is in a position in Africa to support both itself and the region and feels that the Zambian operation has the biggest growth potential. Copper, which is abundant in Zambia, is in huge demand at the moment contributing to the fact that the Zambian and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) operations are positioned to take part in the mining boom in the Central African region.

AEL has earmarked Zambia and the DRC as strategic growth areas for the company. Wade reports that the amount of money that is currently being invested in Zambia could be doubled when AEL DRC is fully established in the coming years. The company has achieved this growth through five board approved investment projects that are being executed in order to grow in Zambia.

Meanwhile, AEL has confirmed its involvement at Australian miner Equinox Minerals’ Lumwana mine in north western Zambia, reports Wade.

“This is by far one of the biggest greenfields projects that we have worked on to date,” says Wade.

The mine is 65 km west of the town of Solwezi. Equinox has acquired a large-scale mining license, which covers an area of around 1 355 km2, and includes two major copper deposits, Malundwe and Chimiwungo, as well as 27 exploration prospects.

The two copper deposits are 7 km apart, and will be mined sequentially by openpit mining methods. AEL reports that the mine design forecasts the extraction of 348-million tons of ore. Equinox has allocated land and amenities to mine supply partners to supply the mine, and plans to establish a town site to cater for up to 5 000 people.

AEL Zambia MD Wayne Du Chenne pointed out that the size of Lumwana, and the explosives needed to mine 20-million tons of ore a year, would require the erection of a bulk emulsion manufacturing plant on site to produce 3 000 t of bulk emulsion that will be required in the third year of the operation.

“Added to this, will be three to four mobile manufacturing units that will travel to the benches and deliver the emulsion down the hole. This infrastructure and capital equipment will require an investment of close to R30-million by AEL,” Du Chenne reveals.

Wade explains that the company has already been through the preparation phase of the project and is currently commencing with the building of magazines and civil work on the bulk emulsion plant. Once completed, AEL will have a bulk explosives manufacturing plant within the mine’s light industrial area Wade reports that once the site is fully functional it will conform to all the client’s requirements from the international fire protection standards to the environmental protection requirements.

Wade reports that the construction phase to bring the plant to full capacity will be completed by the first quarter of 2008.

Wade says the contract between AEL and Equinox will cover a period of ten years. While not disclosing the value of the Lumwana contract, he commits that the company’s Zambian operation faces even further expansion.

AEL is further positioning itself to start explosives supply to First Quantum Minerals, frontier mine in the DRC. The mine is still in the early stages of its development with pre-stripping and establishment of the mine is currently in progress.

He reports that the changing legislative environment, taxes, duties and logistics are the biggest challenges that the company faces in Africa.

Wade adds that the industry-wide lack of skilled labour is a concern for AEL. “AEL is currently manning itself up with competent people from each region who are able to work in the highly technical environment of explosives,” says Wade.

Wade feels that skills transfer is a key area that AEL has been focusing on as part of its long term strategy, “when we enter into new projects in Zambia we use the existing employees and structures to man up the projects. This provides excellent opportunities to grow local skills and competencies for future business growth,” he says

AEL also runs businesses in Ghana, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.

“AEL has set up business hubs in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa to service the needs of clients outside of South Africa,” Wade concludes.

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China’s insatiable energy needs could send uranium prices soaring by 900% or more!

Lumwana’s uranium reserves and explorations could not have come at a better time than this for the Zambian Enterprise. Zambian investors and indigenous entrepreneurs also need to take a serious look at how they could profit from this uranium wave. 

No one is in an even better position than Equinox as they exploit more possibilities to add to their bottom line. As the world demand continues to trend in positive trajectories and giant mining companies look for junior buy-outs, we don’t actually see Equinox lasting without a hostile take over …

In February 2001, the commodity price of Uranium sat at its 30-year low of around $7 per pound. Now, just over 6 years later, uranium has risen an astounding 1,700% to an all-time high of $135 per pound.  

The primary force behind this incredible uptrend is simply that uranium stockpiles have declined for several years as escalating demand has far outpaced new supplies.

A key demand-driver is China with its immediate plans to bring 30 new fuel-hungry nuclear reactors online – and the country’s uranium appetite is just getting started. 

China’s rapidly expanding economy demands a vast increase in the capacity of its national power grid. The Chinese government has made an irreversible commitment to nuclear power upon which $TRILLIONS in industrial revenues depend.

With 2 new nuclear power plants slated to go online each year from 2007 through 2020, China knows that its future fortunes cannot merely rely on foreign uranium suppliers – China must own the foreign uranium supplies. 

classy-daddy-3.gifWe saw with our own eyes how the boom copper prices did little to create indigenous wealth and we are looking at how the next boom (the uranium boom) will for once benefit the land from which it emanates.

 The challenge for the Zambian government would be how much of that stake they are going to capitalize on for the benefit of the general populace; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

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Oil and gas exploration licenses have been put on hold until the end of December 2007 because the current laws are of a lower design than those prevalent to similar nations on the global scale where such prospects are carried out.

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According to media reports issued in Lusaka this week, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Dr. Kalombo Mwansa disclosed that the 1995 Petroleum Act was too weak to handle current exploration prospects thus the need to draw up policies and guidelines to facilitate oil and gas exploration by private companies. 

The first-ever reserves of oil and gas whose microbial analysis showed that 12 sites were positive for oil and six for gas have been discovered in Zambia near the border with Angola. The exploration was initially started in 2004 after prolonged fires that affected the areas, which prompted the government to launch an investigation.  

Zambia‘s northwestern region is becoming the country’s economic mainstay after the recent huge foreign investment at Lumwana Mines, which has one of the world’s largest reserves of copper ore. Lumwana also has a higher grade of uranium than initially thought. Other precious metals at Lumwana include large reserves of gold as well as cobalt.

Should all go as anticipated, the Zambian Enterprise will be set on a path to economic prosperity similar to what the United States of America experienced soon after the Great Depression. Our economy is slated to have exponential inexorableness similar to no other in Africa.

Dr. Mwansa who is also head of the special cabinet committee appointed by the president to oversee these drafts has been doing a fabulous job at the ministry and deserves some kudos from our team at the Zambian Chronicle; Britain, Russia and United States of America have shown interest in prospecting for oil and gas … thanks a trillion

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.