South African home minister urges government to 'take control' of mines


By Trevor Neethling
Business Day, Johannesburg, South Africa
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has upped the ante in the African National Congress' controversial plans for mining, telling African policy makers yesterday that it was time to "take control" of Africa's mineral wealth.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma's fighting talk at a conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) also came as Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders were due to meet in Pretoria to discuss lobbying to get her elected as chairwoman of the African Union (AU) on July 17.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma's comments were part of the growing endorsement by senior members of the ANC for greater state involvement in mining, and came a day after three major global ratings agencies said the plan was a threat to investor confidence.

... Dispatch continues below ...


Sona Discovers Potential High-Grade Gold Mineralization
at Blackdome in British Columbia -- 13.6g over 1.5 Meters

From a Company Press Release
November 22, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- With its latest surface diamond drilling program at its 100-percent-owned, formerly producing Blackdome gold mine in southern British Columbia, Sona Resources Corp. has discovered a potentially high-grade gold-mineralized area, with one hole intersecting 13.6 grams of gold in 1.5 meters of core drilling.

"We intersected a promising new mineralized zone, and we feel optimistic about the assay results," says Sona's president and CEO, John P. Thompson. "We have undertaken an aggressive exploration program that has tested a number of target zones. Our discovery of this new gold-bearing structure is significant, and it represents a positive development for the company."

Sona aims to bring its permitted Blackdome mill back into production over the next year and a half, at a rate of 200 tonnes per day, with feed from the formerly producing Blackdome mine and the nearby Elizabeth gold deposit property. A positive preliminary economic assessment by Micon International Ltd., based on a gold price of $950 per ounce over eight years, has estimated a cash cost of $208 per tonne milled, or $686 per gold ounce recovered.

For the company's complete press release, please visit:

"We should take control of our natural resources. We should beneficiate and also ensure that we do get sufficient benefit from these mineral resources," Ms Dlamini-Zuma told delegates. "At the moment, the company doing the extraction, (the) beneficiation, gets the resources and gets the financial benefit while the countries and its people receive very little."

A report commissioned by the ANC and discussed at its policy conference last week, proposed a 50% resource rent tax on mining "super profits," along with increased regulation, as well as price and export controls for minerals seen as "strategic."

"It's important that the wealthier partners in the Commonwealth contribute to our development guided by our own priorities," Ms Dlamini-Zuma said to general applause.

She said African countries also needed to contain the illicit outflow of capital from the continent and use its raw-materials advantage to attract investment.

It was important to improve transport and telecoms infrastructure to facilitate trade within the continent, she said.

"We have taken lots of decisions as the AU, but where we have failed is in the implementation of the decision," she said in what could be read as a swipe at AU chairman Jean Ping, who was running against her.

The speech was followed by an announcement by International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at the SADC meeting that the regional body was unanimous on the appointment of a woman to lead the AU.

"In this decade of women, from 2010 to 2020, SADC and the southern region are presenting again a formidable candidate in respect to the heads of states’ resolution to dedicate this decade to women," she said.

African leaders will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the latest AU summit this month. The event was originally scheduled for Lilongwe, Malawi, but it was moved after Malawi refused to welcome Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a war crimes suspect.

Mr Ping and Ms Dlamini-Zuma squared off for the post in January, but the election was deadlocked when neither could get the 75% majority required.

Institute for Security Studies head Jakkie Cilliers said the CPA conference had been a chance for Ms Dlamini-Zuma to make an impression ahead of the AU vote and espouse ANC policy.

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Prophecy Platinum Announces Wellgreen Preliminary Economic Assessment:
38% Pre-Tax IRR, $3.0 Billion NPV, and a 37-Year Mine Life

Company Press Release

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada -- Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL, OTC-QX: PNIKF, Frankfurt: P94P) reports the results of an independent NI 43-101-compliant preliminary economic assessment for its fully owned Wellgreen nickel-copper-platinum group metals project in the Yukon Territory.

The independent assessment, prepared by Tetra Tech, evaluated a base case of an open-pit mine (with a mining rate of 111,500 tonnes per day), an on-site concentrator (with a milling rate of 32,000 tonnes per day), and an initial capital cost of $863 million. The project is expected to produce (in concentrate) 1.959 billion pounds of nickel, 2.058 billion pounds of copper, and 7.119 million ounces of platinum, palladium, and gold during a mine life of 37 years with an average strip ratio of 2.57.

The financial highlights of the preliminary economic assessment, shown in U.S. dollars, are as follows:

Payback period: 3.55 years
Initial capital investment: $863 million
IRR pre-tax (100% equity): 38 percent
NPV pre-tax (8% discount): $3 billion
Mine life: 37 years
Total mill feed: 405.3 million tonnes
Mill throughput: 32,000 tonnes per day

Prophecy Chairman John Lee says: "We are pleased with the preliminary economic assessment results. The numbers indicate that Wellgreen is one of most exciting mineral projects in the Yukon. The company is drilling to upgrade and expand the resource base. The infrastructure is excellent as the project is only 1,400 meters in altitude and 14 kilometers from the paved Alaska Highway, which leads to the Haines deep seaport. Discussions are under way with support from local stakeholders regarding permitting and logistics."

For the complete press release, please visit: