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Petroleum / Mining in Southern Africa

  • Russian firm seals energy exploration deal to drill South African shelf

    CHINA, 2017/09/07 Russia’s geological research company Rosgeo and South African national oil company PetroSA have signed an offshore drilling agreement on the sidelines of the of the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China. The transaction is worth an estimated $400 million over the next 10 years. Rosgeo aims to start exploring two blocks off the country's south coast. The agreement covers a huge all of geological exploration work, inclunding drilling exploratory wells.
  • Union Ready to Fight Retrenchments at South African Gold Mine

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2017/08/07 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is shocked and disgusted next it received Section 189 notice today from Sibanye Gold to retrench 7 400 permanent employees at Beatrix West and Cooke Operations. The number excludes close to 3 000 contractors who are as well facing these retrenchments.
  • Tennis ball-sized 'diamond in the rough' too big to sell

    BOTSWANA, 2017/07/19 In the mysterious world of diamond mining, it turns out that some stones are too large to sell. Canada's Lucara Diamond Corp will have to cut its tennis ball-sized rough diamond to find a buyer, industry insiders say, following Sotheby's failed auction for the world's major uncut stone last summer. It's not the ending that William Lamb wanted for his 1,109-carat stone, named 'Lesedi La Rona', or 'Our Light' in the national language of Botswana where it was mined.
  • The SADC Wrap: Magufuli marches on against mines

    BOTSWANA, 2017/07/17 Tanzania’s president John Magufuli last week left mining houses reeling next signing into law a set of bills that would radically alter the playing field. The new laws allow the country to renegotiate all of its current mining contracts, increase royalties, and partially nationalise mining projects. “The laws as well deny the rights of mining companies to seek international arbitration and relief in the event of a dispute with the government,” reports The West Australian.
  • Geopolitics To Drive Oil Prices Once Again

    WORLD, 2017/07/09 I have picked up three news items from Oil & Energy Insider that supports my hypothesis that US Shale output will continue to rise. However, some of the oil producing nations may become victim of commotion, anarchy and proxy wars. This will automatically reduce the supplies from these nations. OPEC may as well opt not to extend cut anymore. Energy sector analysts are desperately awaits the outcome of OPEC’ conference in Vienna scheduled for 25th May. While the overwhelming expectation is that the cartel will acknowledge on a six-month extension of the production cuts. However, presently top OPEC officials are wondering if it will be enough. OPEC’s monthly statement revised expected US shale increase sharply upwards, predicting output to increase 64 % additional than originally expected. That equates to projected increase from US shale of 950,000 bpd this year. OPEC fears that an extension will boost prices just enough to allow shale companies to lock in hedges once again, ensuring an extra wave of supply.
  • Africa rejects Europe's 'dirty diesel'

    BOTSWANA, 2017/05/04 Ghana and Nigeria are the first countries to respond to reports of European companies exploiting weak fuel standards in Africa. Stricter limits on the sulfur content of diesel will come into force on July 1. Governments in West Africa are taking action to stop the import of fuel with dangerously high levels of sulfur and other toxins. Much of the so-called "dirty diesel" originates in Europe, according to a report published by Public Eye, a Swiss NGO, last year. The report exposed what Public Eye calls the "illegitimate business" of European oil companies and commodities traders selling low quality fuel to Africa. While European standards prohibit the use of diesel with a sulfur content higher than 10 parts per million (ppm), diesel with as much as 3,000 ppm is regularly exported to Africa.
  • How revenues from oil and gas in Africa can be made to work for ordinary people

    AFRICA, 2016/07/27 Critics point out that ordinary people have not benefited from oil and gas exploitation in a lot of African states. Billions of dollars in revenue have had little positive impact on the lives of most people in nations like Angola and Nigeria. Local content policies have been expanding across Africa and are currently being drafted in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique. In a new book, The Petro-Developmental National in Africa, Jesse Salah Ovadia argues that this needn’t be the case and that a different approach focused on local content is possible. This involves regulations that encourage employment and nurture local companies to increase domestic participation in the industry. I asked him whether his proposed approach could be a game changer for economic development in Africa’s oil producing states.
  • South Africa Seeks Proposals for Liquid-Fuels Terminal in Durban

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2016/07/27 South Africa issued a request for proposals to design, finance, build and operate a liquid-bulk terminal to handle petroleum products at the country’s biggest port. Bidders must be at least 51 % owned by black citizens to qualify to participate in the 25-year concession at the Durban port, Transnet SOC Ltd., the national-owned rail and ports operator, said in a document posted on a National Treasury’s website. Bids need to be submitted by Jan. 27.
  • Namibian Debmarine takes possession of new mining and exploration vessel

    NAMIBIA, 2016/07/26 The Namibian joint-venture of Anglo American’s diamond subsidiary De Beers, Debmarine, on Monday took possession of its sixth mining and exploration vessel SS Nujoma. The R2.3bn vessel was built by Norwegian shipbuilders Kleven Verft. “Our Debmarine Namibia crew will sail the vessel from Norway to Cape Town, leaving later this week, and arriving in late August,” Debmarine project chief Michael Curtis said in a statement on Monday.
  • Beyond Commodities: How African Multinationals Are Transforming

    BOTSWANA, 2016/05/11 Oil, gold, diamonds, palm oil, cocoa, timber: raw materials have long been linked to Africa in a lot of businesspeople’s minds. And in fact the continent is highly dependent on commodities: they constitute as much as 95% of some nations’ export revenues, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. But propping a country’s entire economy on commodities is risky business, like building a mountainside home on stilts. You can’t be sure about the weather, or in this case the commodities market. The current free-fall of oil prices to less than $40 a barrel is a glaring example. “The commodities cycle has tanked out,” says Austin Okere, founder of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), a Nigerian emerging multinational financial services company. “And this time it looks additional structural than cyclical, so it’s not a matter of waiting it out. Something has to give.”