Botswana may be the world’s top diamond producer, but it is keen to diversify its exports away from precious stones. The country has been steadily mapping out a plan to develop what it says are its huge coal resources.
The benefit would be clear: in addition to boosting domestic energy supplies, a coal industry would be able to export to countries such as China and India in the future. The question is, just what is the size of its reserves? Continue reading »
African Barrick Gold continues to fail to live up to expectations. The Tanzania-focused miner, which was spun off from Barrick Gold in 2010, disappointed investors again on Wednesday with guidance in its full-year results suggesting its gold production would be 540-600 thousand ounces in 2013.
This compares to 2012′s 626koz – 9 per cent less than 2011 – and suggests the company is once again heading for a decline in production. Continue reading »
South Africa once attracted economic migrants from across the continent. The tables are now turning. Growth in South Africa is 2.5 per cent, half that in sub-Saharan Africa and South African companies are now crossing borders to cash in on this growth, according to a Special Report from the FT. Continue reading »
Gold diggers beware! The World Bank is setting up a trust fund to give African nations some muscle when dealing with foreign investors in the extractive industries. The $50m fund is driven by concerns that African governments are allowing the natural wealth of their country to be chipped and siphoned away, with little benefit to local people.
Recent strikes in South Africa have left foreign investors wary of putting money into African mining. Further challenges won’t be welcome. Continue reading »
It was bad news for Zambia in March when Fitch, the ratings agency, downgraded the country’s economic forecast, citing concerns over the new government’s direction on mining reform. But things seem to be looking up for Africa’s biggest copper producer, with First Quantum Minerals announcing a hefty $3.7bn investment in the country. Continue reading »
For a few hours last week, the Zambian kwacha was the world’s best performing currency, reaching its highest value against the dollar in over a year.
But the move is not necessarily a vote of confidence in Zambia’s economy. It is more the result of a law introduced in May restricting the use of foreign currency to settle domestic payments in Africa’s largest copper producing country. This has pushed up demand for the kwacha as businesses and individuals rush to exchange their dollars. Continue reading »