USGS Tantalum report (just published)

Two years ago I was involved in a very interesting tantalum project in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) – photo gallery here. I have since then followed with attention this metal’s market news (and its idiosyncrasies, being one of the 3TG minerals – subject to control under the conflict minerals framework).

USGS just published a report on the evolution of this metal’s market and production structure and origin in the last 15 years. It’s well worth reading (thanks to USGS for publishing the report) – you can get it here.

Exploração de calcário em zonas cársticas

Guia de boas práticas em discussão pública

Guia_conultaA Sociedade Brasileira de Espeleologia disponibilizou a versão preliminar do Guia de Boas Práticas de Mineração de Calcário em Áreas Cársticas e convida todos a participar enviando críticas, comentários e sugestões.

(a Terra é de todos; neste caso, este Guia está à disposição de todos os falantes da língua de Camões, Pessoa e Vinícius – que todos contribuamos para a versão final com as nossas ideias, comentários e sugestões)

Este Guia é uma importante iniciativa da Cooperação Técnica entre a Votorantim Cimentos, a Sociedade Brasileira de Espeleologia e a Reserva da Biosfera da Mata Atlântica que reafirma o seu compromisso de propor soluções inovadoras para o desenvolvimento económico com responsabilidade social e ambiental.

Elaborado por uma equipa de especialistas de diversas áreas do conhecimento, os seus principais objetivos são a proposta de práticas mais sustentáveis e menos danosas para a atuação das mineradoras em áreas cársticas e permitir a avaliação cíclica do processo de mineração em áreas de karst.

Neste momento, a Sociedade Brasileira de Espeleologia convida todos a partilhar das suas opiniões, sugestões e visões sobre o documento. Para tanto, sugere que usemos a ficha de consulta disponível neste link e encaminhemos a nossa contribuição para o e-mail até dia 03 de janeiro de 2016.

+10 M USD: Williamson kimberlite pink diamond sold


Petra Diamonds Limited sold the exceptional 23.16 carat pink diamond recovered from the Williamson mine in Tanzania in November  into a partnership, with Petra receiving US$10,050,000 (US$433,938 per carat) for the rough stone, as well as retaining a 20% interest in the sales proceeds of the polished.

The diamond was bought by Golden Yellow Diamonds on behalf of M.A. Anavi Diamond Group, a leading diamond manufacturer and specialist in large and unique coloured diamonds.

Photos of the 23 carat pink can be viewed at the Company’s website.

Follow the link to to read Petra’s full news release.


Responsible sourcing for mining & metals – ICMM

Companies have a shared responsibility for the materials that they produce. Demonstrating value focuses on the two complementary sides of the responsible sourcing debate – sustainable procurement and responsible supply.

A client (a small to medium sized operation) recently asked my help to certify the origin of its production in a neighbouring country of DRC. If it’s diamonds we talking about, there are already standard procedures in place (it’s relatively easy); if it’s one of the 3TG (tin,tantalum, tungsten or gold), then it’s a complex maze, especially if you are outside the Great Lakes countries but in their shadow (neighbouring countries).

In this situation, there is no one locally to whom you may ask for advice (no financing for institutions to have representations in the countries outside the main focus of attention; yet local producers have to “exercise supply chain due diligence“, whatever this is (don’t bother explaining the concept, I understand it in theory; how does a small to medium operation puts it into practice?).

I use ICMM (as well as CIM and PDAC’s) guidelines and publications in the projects I design; I did it in the past and am doing it now in an exploration project in Angola. I must confess that I only check for new ICMM updates on a need to use basis; this time I downloaded the new report on responsible sourcing from today’s e-mail. Perhaps I will get (and my client) some insight from this document.

You may obtain it here or directly from ICMM website.

First kimberlites confirmed in Borborema Province, NE Brazil

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According to a publication by CPRM,

Two kimberlitic bodies were recognized and studied on northern Rio Grande do Norte state during fieldworks of the Diamond Brazil Project. These intrusions have been named Santa Fé-1 and Santa Fé-2 and are located in the Rio Piranhas-Seridó domain, Borborema Province. The Santa Fé-1 and Santa Fé-2 pipes have areas of 27 ha and 9 ha, respectively, and exhibit a volcaniclastic kimberlite breccia texture containing ilmenite, garnet, spinel and clinopyroxene in abundance. Eclogite garnet contains Na2O >0.07 wt.% and has been classified as G3″D” and G4″D”. According to ground magnetic and gravity survey data, these kimberlitic intrusions are cylindrical bodies, magnetically stratified and discordantly hosted into highly magnetic and dense rocks, which correspond to granodioritic and tonalitic orthogneisses and migmatites of the Arabia Complex (2546 ± 4.2 Ma, SHRIMP U-Pb zircon). The recognition of kimberlitic pipes with expressive dimensions in a previously not prospective setting opens new horizons to exploration of primary sources for diamonds in the Borborema Province and especially in the Rio Grande do Norte state.

(in INFORME TÉCNICO N° 2 Brasília, novembro 2015, CPRM)


Lundin Mining Production Outlook 2016-2018

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(1) Production guidance is based on certain estimates and assumptions, including but not limited to; mineral resources and reserves, geological formations, grade and continuity of deposits and metallurgical characteristics.
(2) Tenke guidance has not yet been provided by operator, Freeport McMoRan Inc. (“Freeport”). Lundin Mining anticipates future production from Tenke to be comparable to expected 2015 production.

In a press release (Marketwired – Dec. 2, 2015) Lundin Mining Corporation (TSX:LUN)(OMX:LUMI) (“Lundin Mining” or the “Company”) provides the following production guidance for the three-year period of 2016 through 2018. Key highlights are as follows:

  • Annual attributable copper production guidance for 2016 and 2017 has improved from last year’s three year production guidance due primarily to the improved production profile at Candelaria.
  • Zinc production is expected to increase by 2018 due to a low-cost plant improvement project at Zinkgruvan.
  • This outlook does not include guidance for the Aguablanca nickel/copper mine. The mine is under suspension and recommencement of operations will depend on timing of receipt of environmental approval for underground operations and the outlook for nickel and copper prices.
  • This production profile does not incorporate any expansions for the zinc plant at Neves-Corvo or further debottlenecking at Tenke, each of which could further increase the Company’s production profile.
    Given current depressed market conditions, the Company continues to refine planned investments in capital programs and exploration.

The Company is also conducting a further review of operating costs and considering actions required in order to preserve healthy operating margins under a sustained period of low commodity prices. The 2016 outlook for cash costs, capital spending and exploration programs will be disclosed towards the end of January 2016.

Mr. Paul Conibear, President and CEO commented: “The Company’s near term strategy is focused on stable production with low capital investment and improving operating costs, in order to maximize profitability and cash flows, preserving a strong balance sheet. The stability of our producing assets combined with the strength of our balance sheet, ideally positions the Company to generate leading returns to shareholders in any commodity price environment.”