Tanzania World Bank Involvement

Tanzania World Bank Involvement
:From 1994-2000, IDA supported mining sector technical assistance in Tanzania in the areas of mining legislation and regulations, mining fiscal regime, environmental policies and enforcement, divestiture of state-owned enterprises, and strengthening institutional capacity. The foreign direct investment in the mining sector increased to an average of US$250 million per year in 2001-08 from less than US$10 million per year in 1990-99. However, as the fiscal regime was designed to attract investment into a declining, high-risk sector, mining tax revenues were only 4 percent of total fiscal revenues in 2007, and several mining communities were not satisfied with their benefits from the mining operations. Since 2009, IDA has been supporting the government to strengthen its capacity to manage the mineral sector to improve the socioeconomic impacts of mining. In 2010, the government passed a new mining law that increases the rate of royalty paid on minerals from 3 to 4 percent and allows for participation by the government in all future mining projects. 

Madagascar World Bank Involvement:

Madagascar World Bank Involvement:
IDA has supported mining sector reform in Madagascar through a series of technical assistance projects since 1998, with emphasis on attracting investment, improving the sector’s environmental performance, and ensuring that the sector’s benefits are widespread. The reforms fostered a large increase in activity, including the development of large mining operations in ilmenite and nickel/cobalt. Given the country’s widespread poverty, the government undertook a strategy centered on strengthening local governance, decentralizing fiscal revenues, and providing technical assistance to community associations and municipal governments for the integration of mineral resources management in their development plans.
Two investment agreements totaling US$5.5 billion were signed in the mining sector in 2005-06. Approximately 12,000 domestic jobs were created during construction of the two mines.The ilmenite mine opened in 2009 and the nickel/cobalt mine opened in 2012 and, according to company reports, is positioned to become the world’s biggest lateritic nickel mine by 2014. Mine forestry committees have been established to assist with biodiversity and land use planning. Both mining companies have provided extensive short-term training and some long-term training for workers that will help provide local communities with a source of income beyond mine closure. Both companies have taken proactive stances in enabling local small and medium enterprises to take advantage of business opportunities arising during construction and exploitation. A multi-use port partially funded by the World Bank (US$32 million, 2006) was built near the ilmenite operation, while the nickel/cobalt operation did a major port upgrade. Both operations provide power to their local areas. An additional objective was to establish a foundation in connection with the ilmenite mine that would provide local communities with a source of income far beyond mine closure.

Uganda World Bank Involvement:

Uganda World Bank Involvement: 
Over the period of 2004 to 2011, the World Bank, together with the African Development Bank and the Nordic Development Fund invested approximately US$32 million to strengthen the government's capacity to develop a sound minerals sector based on private investments and improvements in selected artisanal and small-scale mining areas. Over the period of 2004 to 2011, annual investment in mining exploration increased significantly from US$5 million in 2004 to US$47 million, with a total cumulative investment over the period of US$329 million.   Exports of cement, gold and cobalt (representing about 95 percent of total exports) also increased during the same period, from US$22 million per year in 2004, peaking to between US$250-350 million in 2008 and then reducing to US$120 million at the end of 2010 as commodity prices relaxed. In part because of increased volume and prices of mineral production, but also due to increased government capacity, total fiscal revenues more than doubled over the life of the project. This increase in revenue was achieved at the same time as the increase in the transparency of mining sector revenues as evidenced by regular publication of such mineral revenues. The project also had a significant impact on the incomes and operating performance of artisanal miners.  Incomes of artisanal miners increased 60 percent from US$4.81 per day to US$5.00 – US$7.50 per day for precious metal and industrial mineral miners respectively.  Furthermore, by the end of the project the Government of Uganda had received and approved, 590 health and safety plans from artisanal miners, up from zero in 2003.

Cameroon World Bank Involvement

Cameroon World Bank Involvement
Total project cost US$30 million
The objective of the Mining Sector Capacity Building Project for Cameroon is to improve (i) the efficiency and transparency of mining sector management; and (ii) the frameworks for sustainable mining development. There are three components to the project, the first component being access to mineral resources and governance of mining operations. This component will address existing constraints to proper management of up-stream functions of the EI value-chain, focusing particularly on access to resources (EI value chain link1), monitoring of mining operations (link 2) and transparency and accountability mechanisms (mainly referring to link 3). The second component is the integration of mining into local and regional development. This component will contribute to improve the integration of current exploration and future exploitation activities into local and regional development (link 5). The third component is the Management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). this component will support project coordination and management of procurement, financial management, and disbursement as well as monitoring and evaluation of project implementation.

Guinea World Bank Involvement

Guinea World Bank Involvement 
Total project cost US$20 million
The development objective of the Mining Sector Governance Support Project for Guinea is to strengthen the capacity and governance systems of key institutions for managing the minerals sector in Guinea. There are three components to the project. The first component is facilitating access to mineral resources. This component will focus on supporting the Government of Guinea (GoG) in developing the capacities and systems to facilitate negotiation and contracting with private sector mining companies including mining ancillary infrastructure. It will further strengthen the governance and institutional structure of Societe Guineenne du Patrimoine Minier (State-Owned Guinean Mining Company) (SOUGIPAMI) and its technical, legal, and financial capacities to engage with mining projects sponsors. The second component is institutional strengthening for mineral management. This component will focus on strengthening the GoG capacities to license, control and monitor technical, environmental, and financial compliance of mining operations. The third component is promoting economic development of mining areas and good governance. This component will focus on sustainable investments. This will include the facilitation of regional and local development plans through partnerships with the private sector, and the strengthening of mechanisms for demand for good governance (DFG). This component will have a regional aspect, in that it will most likely focus on at least one 'growth corridor,' (iron-ore in the South-East or Bauxite/Alumina in the North-West). It will build on work carried out under previous studies, and seek synergies with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other donor activities. The fourth component is project management. This component will support the project implementation unit, based in the Ministry of Mines, in the management of fiduciary activities, project monitoring and evaluation and the implementation of activities.

Mining methods and terminology

a graphic illustrates the underground mining methods and surface mining methods
Source: http://www.uky.edu/KGS/coal/coal_mining.htm

Underground Mining
Underground modes of access include drift, slope, and shaft mining, and actual mining methods include longwall and room and pillar mining. Drift mines enter horizontally into the side of a hill and mine the coal within the hill. Slope mines usually begin in a valley bottom, and a tunnel slopes down to the coal to be mined. Shaft mines are the deepest mines; a vertical shaft with an elevator is made from the surface down to the coal
In room and pillar mining, the most common type of underground coal mining, coal seams are mined by a "continuous miner" that cuts a network of "rooms" into the seam. As the rooms are cut, the continuous miner simultaneously loads the coal onto a shuttle or ram car where it will eventually be placed on a conveyor belt that will move it to the surface. "Pillars" composed of coal are left behind to support the roof of the mine. Each "room" alternates with a "pillar" of greater width for support. Using this mining method normally results in a reduction in recovery of as much as 60 percent because of coal being left in the ground as pillars. As mining continues, roof bolts are placed in the ceiling to avoid ceiling collapse. Under special circumstances, pillars may sometimes be removed or "pulled" toward the end of mining in a process called "retreat mining." Removing support during retreat mining can lead to roof falls, so the pillars are removed in the opposite direction from which the mine advanced: hence the term "retreat mining."

Longwall mining is another type of underground mining. Mechanized shearers are used to cut and remove the coal at the face of the mine. After the coal is removed, it drops onto a chain conveyor, which moves it to a second conveyor that will ultimately take the coal to the surface. Temporary hydraulic-powered roof supports hold up the roof as the extraction process proceeds. This method of mining has proven to be more efficient than room and pillar mining, with a recovery rate of nearly 75 percent, but the equipment is more expensive than conventional room and pillar equipment, and cannot be used in all geological circumstances. As mining continues, roof bolts are placed in the ceiling to avoid ceiling collapse. In longwall mining, only the main tunnels are bolted. Most of the longwall panel is allowed to collapse behind the shields (which hold the roof as coal is excavated).

Surface or Opencast Mining
Surface-mining methods include area, contour, mountaintop removal, and auger mining. Area mines are surface mines that remove shallow coal over a broad area where the land is fairly flat. Huge dragline shovels commonly remove rocks overlying the coal (called overburden). After the coal has been removed, the rock is placed back into the pit. Contour mines are surface mines that mine coal in steep, hilly, or mountainous terrain. A wedge of overburden is removed along the coal outcrop on the side of a hill, forming a bench at the level of the coal. After the coal is removed, the overburden is placed back on the bench to return the hill to its natural slope. Mountaintop removal mines are special area mines used where several thick coal seams occur near the top of a mountain. Large quantities of overburden are removed from the top of the mountains, and this material is used to fill in valleys next to the mine. Augur mines are operated on surface-mine benches (before they are covered up); the coal in the side of the hill that can't be reached by contour mining is drilled (or augured) out

Variables Influencing Mining Methods
Source: http://www.desrizal.com/reading-186-Variables-Influencing-Mining-Methods.html
Variables Influencing Mining Methods
When selecting a mining method, it is important to maintain flexibility within the method, in case something goes wrong. Any mining layout must establish the following facilities. Creation of the above facilities is dependent on the following variables:
Physical Properties of the mined rocks and ore. The stress/strength relationships of rocks and ore determine the horizontal and vertical stope dimensions which will stand without support. This in turn establishes the appropriateness of one of the three basic stoping methods ...
  • Naturally supported
  • Artificially supported
  • Unsupported (caving)
Orebody Dimensions - The strike length, width (footwall to hanging wall) and height of the orebody determine the maximum spans that are possible, which in some cases will exceed the permissible spans. For greater orebody widths, longitudinal stopes will give way to transverse stopes. Longitudinal stopes constitute mining along strike and transverse stopes are perpendicular to strike. Stope and pillar dimensions must be established.
Orebody Orientation - the dip of the orebody determines the part gravity will play in the mining operation. In this course, the following orebody classifications are used ...
  • Flat Dip: 0-20o
  • Medium Dip: 20-50o
  • Steep Dip: 50-90o
Ore Grade - The grade of the orebody influences considerations of selective or mass production methods and thus the need and method for pillar recovery.
Structural Features - Major faults, dykes, and rock mass jointing influence the location and size of stopes and pillars.
Depth of Operation - This is a factor in so far as stress increases with depth ... in addition, hoisting heights, and hence costs, also increase.
Proximity of Other Orebodies - Orebody proximity determines the method of mining one orebody or lens with respect to an adjacent ore block. It also determines extraction sequences, location of access, pillar sizes, etc., and whether mining progresses from hanging wall to footwall or footwall to hanging wall.
Ground Surface Effects ... Considerations with respect to restriction of subsidence, e.g. where there are lakes, towns, etc. above; the requirements of land reclamation and waste and tailings disposal; and the control of effluents in surface water discharge may all impact on the choice of mining method. The climate and topography must also be considered.
Labour and Supplies - Cheap, locally available, labour does not necessarily mean low costs. Instead, mining methods must generally be modified for different parts of the world in accordance with the competency of available labour. The presence of skilled labour but in short supply influences the choice of methods and equipment. Local availability of supporting materials such as timber, fill, tailings, cement, etc. also influence mining practice.
Capital Available ... Costs in mining are of two types, capital and operating. If the capital for certain desirable expenditures is not available, operating costs are likely to be higher. For example, the open stoping method in some cases ties up less capital than shrinkage stoping. Some methods at a higher operating cost may require less development expenditure. In the overall picture retreating methods may be more economical than advancing methods. In each case a capital outlay might be recoverable through lower operating costs when sufficient tonnage is in sight. The judicious outlay of capital is always desirable. The difficulty arises in defining judicious in terms of developed and prospective ore at various stages in the life of a mine.
Physical Location - The location and jurisdiction of the orebody (political, provincial, federal, foreign) must be taken into account as well as ownership (park, reservation, private, common property) or boundary with another mining operation.

Century-old gold price 'fix' swept away with ICE platform

Century-old gold price 'fix' swept away with ICE platform

LONDON – ICE Benchmark Administration will run the century-old London gold price benchmark, or "fix", from the first quarter of 2015, switching to a new electronic system that will remove the last bastion of tradition in precious metals benchmarking.
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the body in charge of finding an alternative method to the gold "fix", said on Friday that IBA will provide a physically settled, electronic and tradeable auction for what will become the LBMA Gold Price.
"We look forward to working closely with the LBMA and the precious metals industry as we deliver an IOSCO-compliant benchmark that fulfils the requirements of market participants in an efficient and transparent manner," ICEBenchmark Administration president Finbarr Hutcheson said.
Since 1919 and up until 2014, representatives from a handful of banks had agreed a price daily on which their customers - producers, consumers and investors - could trade and value the metals.
But a regulatory push for more transparency has heralded a move to electronicsolutions that display selling and buying order volumes.
The first precious metals benchmark to undergo reform was silver, after Deutsche Bank said in January it would withdraw from the gold and silver fixes after two decades.
A number of companies had taken the chance to propose their alternatives for the silver and platinum fixes, but they always had in mind the bigger prize - gold.Gold is the biggest precious metals market, whose over the counter trade is worth around $200-billions a day.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, jointly with Thomson Reuters, were named as the new operators of an auction-based silver price in August, while theLondon Metal Exchange will run the platinum and palladium fixes from December. 

Enirgi Group's New Technology Allows Significant Lithium Extraction

Enirgi Group's New Technology Allows Significant Lithium Extraction

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30, 2014 (Bernama) -- Enirgi Group Corporation's new proprietary Lithium Extraction technology could produce lithium directly from unconcentrated raw brine at commercial scale and reduce the processing time drastically from 500+ days to less than 24 hours.

This technology has exceeded all expectations and totally eliminated the need for capital intensive mega-evaporation pond infrastructure, said a statement issued today by the company in Toronto, Canada.

The technology was developed and validated by the company's Applied Innovation Division, in partnership with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Minerals Division (ANSTO Minerals) at demonstration plant scale (1,500 tpa Lithium Carbonate Equivalent or "LCE").

"We plan to commence construction of an initial 50,000 tpa LCE plant at Enirgi Group's Salar del Rincon situated in Salta Province, Argentina in 2015 and to be in production in 2017," explained Cameron Stanton, Enirgi's Group VP of Innovation and Technology in the same statement.

The statement added this technology is expected to deliver one of the lowest production cost for brine-based lithium resources, about 50 percent less than the processing costs of existing hard rock operations.

This revolutionary technology was conceptualized, developed, proven in the laboratory and is now proven at scalable demonstration level within one year.