uranium


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By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA, (Reuters) – Zambia plans to pass a new uranium law this month to allow foreign firms to start mining uranium on a large scale for use as a source of energy to drive its economy and for exports, a minister said on Wednesday.

Kalombo Mwansa, the minister of mines and minerals development, said the southern African country had drawn up guidelines on mining and exports of uranium in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The law would be approved before the end of December after consultations with the United Nations agency, to enable foreign firms that have been exploring for uranium to apply for mining licences in areas where uranium has been discovered, he said.

“We have already drawn guidelines for mining uranium which we handed to the ministry of justice. The justice minister is currently consulting the UN on the mining, storage and transportation of uranium,” Mwansa told Reuters in an interview.

“A statutory instrument (legislation) will be signed before the end of December. Once we publish the law, we will begin to process applications and ask (more) mining companies to apply for licences,” he added.

“Our legislation must be in line with the guidelines for the International Atomic Energy because of the sensitivity surrounding uranium,” Mwansa said.

Mwansa said uranium had been discovered in parts of mineral-rich Zambia and that more licences would be awarded to foreign firms for exploration of uranium in other parts of the country which the government believed had uranium deposits.

“Currently we have uranium deposits in north-western and southern provinces, but we feel more deposits can be found with much more exploration in other parts of the country,” Mwansa said.

Mwansa said Zambia in future would export energy derived from uranium to neighbouring countries, but he gave no further details.

He said uranium would contribute more foreign exchange to the treasury of a country that ranks among the world’s largest copper and cobalt producers.

“Apart from bringing in more foreign exchange, the new uranium mining companies will create more jobs for our people,” Mwansa said.

Copper and cobalt mining is Zambia’s main economic lifeblood although other minerals such as uranium and nickel have been discovered recently.

Some of the foreign firms prospecting for uranium in Zambia are Australia’s Africa-focused miners Albidon Ltd (ALDq.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Australia-based African Energy Resources (AFR.AX: Quote, Profile, Research), have jointly discovered more uranium deposits in southern Zambia.

Others are Lithic Metals and Energy Ltd (LMEY.L: Quote, Profile, Research), which is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market and Equinox Minerals Ltd, all of which have said they have found good results in their exploration areas.

(Editing by Michael Roddy)

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The factors boosting commodity prices such as copper, uranium, gold, cobalt, sugar, etc. are likely to continue, keeping those prices up …

The good times are here to stay in the short to medium term. Sugar is in high demand in the European Union and Nakambala can reap high returns from this. 

The price of gold, South Africa’s biggest export, has surged 16 percent this year, helping to underpin the currency for instance.  Copper has climbed 25 percent, benefiting Zambia, Africa’s biggest producer of the metal.

Overall, Sub-Saharan Africa is benefiting from rising prices of gold, oil and copper, helping the region’s economy expand an estimated 6.8 percent this year, from 5.5 percent last year. The challenge now is for countries like Zambia that are dependent on commodity exports to properly “manage” the commodity boom.

If we respect the truth, then we need to admit that commodity boom phases have not been managed well in the past, and we are at risk of making the same mistakes again. The main factors underpinning commodity prices were strong demand for platinum in devices that cut pollution in cars and rising demand in China and other emerging markets.

Still, commodity prices might drop, hurting growth in some African countries. To assume that current prices and the current boom phase reflects a permanent shift, rather than a temporary opportunity, would be a naive and risky approach to adopt. 

If our analysis is correct, then the slump will come and it will bring with it a significant decline in commodity prices but prudent asset management now would help governments that are diversified enough to transition into manufacturing, construction and service sectors.

 

 

 

However, with norminal GDP rising from $3.24 billion in 2000 to well over $10.71 billion in 2006; per capita GDP income thriving from $303.00  in 2000 to $902.00 in 2006; inflation falling from 26.1% in 2000 to just 9.2% for fiscal year 2006; tourism at its highest peak and a combination of other factors … the Zambian Enterprise is headed for some good times, that’s the memo this week 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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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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ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVALS

Zambian go-ahead on copper,  

gold and uranium projects

Three mining projects in Zambia get the nod from environmental authorities, a move that paves the way for further progress on Luanshya Copper Mines Plc’s Mulyashi project.

Author: Ronald Mwila
Posted:  Tuesday , 14 Aug 2007
NDOLA – 

The Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) has approved Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) Plc’s Mulyashi project, clearing the way for its development.

Mulyashi was among three mining related projects approved by the ECZ, which included copper-gold explorations by AIM-listed African Eagle’s Zambian subsidiary Mwembeshi Resources Limited in the country’s Eastern Province.

The third project is a bid by TSX Venture Exchange-listed Aldershot Resources Limited to explore for uranium in the Kariba Valley, an area that seems to be drawing considerable interest from uranium-focused explorers.

Other explorers combing the Kariba Valley include African Energy Resources with Albidon Limited and OmegaCorp.

The approval of the Mulyashi Copper Mine project, which is anticipated to become operational by next year, is set to revamp the fortunes of Luanshya, a mining district that was devastated by the closure of a mine operated by Roan Antelope Mining Company Zambia Limited.

The only failure of Zambia’s mine privatisation programme, the Luanshya Division of the defunct Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) was the first unit to be sold in 1997.

LCM also operates the Baluba Mine and concentrator in Luanshya, as well as Chambishi Metals Plc, the country’s largest cobalt producer.

The Mulyashi project comprises a number of oxide caps near Baluba and the closed Luanshya Mine. ECZ spokesperson Justin Mukosa said the council was convinced that LCM had instituted adequate environmental protection measures hence the project’s approval.

Mukosa also stated that the ECZ has approved Mwembeshi and Aldershot’s exploration activities on condition that the operators undertake ecological restoration by planting trees and grass in areas where vegetation and soil would be seriously disturbed by the activities.

http://mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page66?oid=25102&sn=Detail

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It already has 2,500 employees in its construction phase. The Lumwana Project already houses the largest crane in Africa – the diesel powered Hitachi EX5500 excavator with at least 27 EH4500 diesel AC drive trucks to haul the needful. 

A 72 Km power line is taking shape with a substation carrying 330/33Kv capacity is expected to be fully functional this fall. Main housing units approximately 178 (houses) are ready for occupancy and water and sewerage systems are fully functional. 

Peter Tomsett with 25 years experience in the mining industry including his last 20 at Placer as CEO and President has been appointed as the Non-executive Chairman.

classy-daddy-3.gifLumwana is backed by secured $584 million contingent letters of credit from 12 international banks on four continents has a dual listing in Canada & Australia respectively. Lumwana has already paid as much as $3 million in direct taxes to the Zambian government.

With just as much copper, just as much cobalt, just as much gold and just as much uranium in one shove, Lumwana is the best thing to ever happen to the Zambian Enterprise since sliced bread by Supaloaf; to those old enough to reckon … 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.