New Horizons for Mining in 2023

Algeria is rich in mineral resources such as iron ore, phosphate, gold, copper, zinc, lead, marble, bentonite, barite, manganese, and wolframite. In fact, the country has one of the largest iron ore deposits in the entire world.

Mining in 2023

Akobo Minerals AB (publ) (AKOBO.OL) announced that they have officially started exploration and development for the Segele mine in Ethiopia. Their mining contractor, IW Mining Pty (Ltd), recently arrived on the site. 

“With the arrival of this highly experienced team, the moment of first ore extraction is getting closer. Mining of ore will be highly significant for us, our host communities, and for the Ethiopian mining industry. We are very pleased with the partnership which we have developed with the IW Mining team which has overcome the inevitable hurdles which all mining companies face. We are ahead of schedule with fabrication of the processing plant which will be assembled at site in the beginning of 2023, with gold production thereafter,” Jorgen Evjen, CEO of Akobo Minerals said. 

The material and equipment needed for underground mining is currently being transported while the items needed for surface mining have already arrived and are ready to be used.

The entire mining team of IW Mining Pty (Ltd) went through extensive training before leaving South Africa for the Segele underground operation. Mining consultants of Akobo mining also conducted research on the portal area to ensure worker safety. The first gold extraction is expected to begin in March 2023 and full production should start by June 2023. 

Ian Lowers, CEO of IW Mining Services, stated “Our aim has always been to provide a level of service that exceeds the normal contractual scope of work. For IW Mining Services, this contract in Ethiopia with Akobo Minerals is an important milestone in line with our growth strategy. IW Mining Services has committed itself fully to ensuring the success of this unique project by being a responsible partner in mining innovation. Our belief is that this mining project is the beginning of a strategic multi-party partnership in Ethiopia between Akobo Minerals and IW Mining Services.”

The Segele Mine is expected to produce 69,000 oz of gold at 22.7 g/t Au.

Attempt to diversify Algeria

Algeria is rich in mineral resources such as iron ore, phosphate, gold, copper, zinc, lead, marble, bentonite, barite, manganese, and wolframite. In fact, the country has one of the largest iron ore deposits in the entire world. The Algerian government has been trying to revive their economy for the past few years and an important means of achieving the same is to help the mining industry. 

Several mining projects were relaunched earlier this year in the Sahara Desert. The country expects to extract more than ten million tons of iron ore per year to support the Algerian steel industry. 

The iron ore thus extracted will be sent to different local and international laboratories to help evaluate the extracted minerals. The move is expected to help the economy of the country by creating job opportunities and supporting urban development.

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“The world’s major consumers are now starting to find it difficult to obtain supplies. So as soon as they found out there was a large deposit in Algeria, they came forward to buy our product,” said Mahmoud Boukrouma, site manager at Feraal. 

Like many countries, Algeria is currently trying to find rare earth elements within its own borders. The country has also launched a new school specifically for future mining professionals to help unleash their potential and galvanize the field.

“Today, the world economy needs metals, needs mineral products, and Algeria wants to seize this opportunity to create wealth, to create employment, to develop our country and to leave future generations with substantial projects, projects of value,” Messaoud Houfani, Minister’s Advisor at the Algerian Ministry Of Energy And Mines stated.

He also added that it was time ‘to exploit what is exploitable and look for what is not yet found but which may be found promptly’.

At the time of writing this article, many Danish energy companies are looking into investing in Algeria’s mining and renewable energy market. The two countries are likely to benefit mutually from this partnership since they are both focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

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Tharisa to invest 391m USD in mine development in Zimbabwe

The South African mining firm Tharisa has shown interest in investing $391m in a mining project to be developed by Karo Platinum. The potential site is located 100 km south-west of Harare. 

The development and construction of the mine is expected to start by December 2022 and end by July 2024. It is expected to be a low risk open pit. The ball mills and flotation cells needed for this operation are ready for use. 

“We have advanced our position in Karo Platinum, which is on track to become the second world-class asset in our portfolio. The next major milestone is ‘ground-breaking’ at the Karo site in December 2022, as this PGM asset moves into the construction phase, with inaugural production planned for within the next 24 months,” said Phoevos Pouroulis, CEO of Tharisa.

Karo has also set an annual 194,000 oz PGM production of platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium, and gold. With the goal of reducing the carbon footprints of the operation, the company is planning to build a 300 MW solar plant near Karo’s proposed processing plant for green energy and efficiency. 

“We still have the water supply and the power supply to be approved by the Zimbabwean government. Those are in process, and we see no real issues with them. In terms of the tailings dam, clearly a subject that is important to all miners, this is a structurally safe dam, rock built not earth or dam built, and it has been independently designed and checked by our consultants. We will prioritise local recruitment so that we can benefit the local communities as much as possible,” Karo mining Holdings MD Bernard Pryor stated.

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