Kwacha firms more than 2 pct as copper hits 8-week high

The currency of Africa’s second-biggest copper producer was up 2.7 percent at 10.4500 by 0630 GMT.

Zambia’s kwacha firmed more than 2 percent against the dollar on Wednesday as the price of copper rose to an 8-week high as investors bet on more global stimulus measures after Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union.

The currency of Africa’s second-biggest copper producer was up 2.7 percent at 10.4500 by 0630 GMT.


Zambia’s inflation slows to 21 percent in June

LUSAKA, June 30 (Reuters) – Zambia’s inflation slowed to 21 percent in June from 21.3 percent year-on-year in May, the central statistical office (CSO) said on Thursday.

The monthly inflation rate inched up to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent in May, the statistics agency said.

“The decrease in the annual rate of inflation was mainly attributed to decreases in the price of food items,” the CSO said. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia).

Source: Reuters Africa

Utilise underground water for power generation, UN Coordination urges mines

Mining companies should make use of underground water to generate electricity for their own operations, United Nations (UN) country coordinator Janet Rogan has said.

Most of the water the mines pump out of underground is usually channelled to main water bodies like rivers and streams un utilised.

But Ms Rogan said with the low power production, investment in power generation would help them overcome electricity challenges.

“There is a lot of water that is channelled to the natural water bodies and I think mining companies should think of using the water for power generation looking at the power shortages facing the country,” she said.

Ms Rogan was speaking in an interview in Chililabombwe after touring Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) facilities.

She was impressed after touring the water pumping facility and the latest mining equipment the mining company is employing.

“I am impressed by the level of technology KCM is using; this means that Zambia’s mining sector has a bright future,” Ms Rogan said.

She said with copper prices fetching lowly on the international market, it was imperative for mining companies to work on reducing the cost of production.

Ms Rogan, who also toured Lufwanyama emerald area, said Zambia had massive potential for emerald production which she said had remained untapped.

“I did not know that Copperbelt had a lot of potential for gemstones. There is need for investment in the sub sector, probably the gemstone belt could be developed looking at the massive potential Lufwanyama area has,” she said.

Source: Times of Zambia

Nava Bharat Ventures hits 52-week high; surges 50% in one-month

Nava Bharat Ventures has rallied 13% to Rs 250, also its 52-week high on the BSE, after the company announced that its Zambian subsidiary, Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) has repaid the sponsor bridge loan to Nava Bharat Group in full.

“The company’s Zambian subsidiary, Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) has concluded accession of additional long term debt. With this, MCL’s integrated coal and power project is funded, with long term external total debt of USD 590 million,” Nava Bharat Ventures said in a BSE filing.

Total debt including the debt of US$ 515 million for which the financial closure was announced earlier, it added.

Meanwhile, the stock has outperformed the market by surging 51% in past one month, after the company reported more than doubled net profit of Rs 58 crore for the quarter ended March 2016 (Q4FY16) against Rs 24 crore in a year ago quarter. The S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.7% during the same period.

The company attributed better performance during the quarter owing to a combination of positive factors like better margins for power and sugar with better volumes of sale for power and ferro alloys.

At 12:29 AM, the stock was up 10% at Rs 243 on the BSE. A combined 1.57 million shares changed hands on the counter on the NSE and BSE.

Source: Business Standard

KCM cuts cost of production by 18%


KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has reduced the cost of production by 18 per cent while production has increased by seven per cent despite the challenges mining companies are facing.

KCM vice-president for local economic development, David Paterson said to reduce the impact of low copper prices on the international market, the company had worked on the new business strategy which had seen production costs drop by 18 per cent.

“We have developed a new production strategy which has seen production costs dropping by 18 per cent while increasing copper ore production by seven per cent despite the unfavourable business conditions on the international market,” Mr Paterson said.

He was briefing United Nations country coordinator Janet Rogan who toured the mining company’s facilities in Chililabombwe and Chingola on Wednesday.

Mr Paterson said KCM had been working on increasing efficiency by deploying one of the best modern technology equipment which had seen production costs go down.
He said the company wanted to prepare for the future.

“We want to prepare for the future so that when commodity prices start picking, they find us in a much better condition,” Mr Paterson said.

He said since the company took over mining operations in the country, the parent company, Vedanta Resources Plc, had invested to a tune of US$3 billion, a demonstration of the company’s commitment to the future of its mining in the country.

KCM geological services manager Davy Mubita said the sinking of the shaft at Konkola underground mine in Chililabombwe had expanded the lifespan and copper ore production for KCM.

“We recently extended the production capacity of the mine to eight million tonnes of ore after deepening shafts as well as sinking new ones at Konkola underground mine,” Mr Mubita said.

Source: Times of Zambia

Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd arm repays sponsor Bridge Loan to Nava Bharat Group

Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd’s Zambian subsidiary, Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) has concluded accession of additional long term debt. With this, MCL’s integrated coal and power project is funded, with long term external total debt of US$ 590 million (including the debt of US$515 million for which the financial closure was announced earlier).

Following the disbursement of loan by the additional lender, MCL has repaid the sponsor bridge loan to Nava Bharat group in full, pursuant to common terms agreement with the lenders.

Shares of NAVA BHARAT VENTURES LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.220.85 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 217.25. The total number of shares traded during the day was 49542 in over 1655 trades.

The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 224.15 and intraday low of 218.75. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 10983874.

Source: Equity Bulls

Chibuluma earns over US$70 million


CHIBULUMA Mines earned more than US$70 million in 2015, a senior company official disclosed recently.

Chibuluma country manager Jackson Sikamo said the company sold 13,303 tonnes of copper in 2015, earning US$71 million in gross revenue.

Mr Sikamo also said as at May 31, this year, Chibuluma spent US$14.4 million on development.

He said Chibuluma’s current major project is the company-financed US$24 million Chifupu copper development project.

Mr Sikamo was speaking in Lusaka during the just ended 6th Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference which was held under the theme, ‘Mining and energy on the growth path to support and grow the Zambian economy.’

“However, the mine’s performance in the financial year 2015 has been characterised by low production volumes, and this, coupled with the continuously falling copper prices, has put severe pressure on the company’s cash flow,” he said.

He said Chibuluma Mines is facing operational challenges due to, among other issues, the copper price reduction and increasing cost of production.

Mr Sikamo said other challenges facing the company are current resources mined out by 2019 (excluding the Chifupu reserve), skills retention, underground collisions, supervisor safety culture, historically supervisor- dependent and equipment availability and reliability, among others.

He said to address the challenges, Chibuluma Mines is looking for acquisitions, explorations and joint-venture partnerships with local or foreign companies to expand its operations in the country.

Chibuluma Mines plc is a modern mechanised underground copper mine which is 85 percent owned by Jinchuan Group Company Limited and 15 percent by ZCCM-IH plc.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

‘Movables can be used as collateral’

THE Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) will produce a collateral registry by December this year to enable small-sized enterprises to use movables as security to access finance.

The collateral registry will enable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to access finance using other forms of property as security other than real estate.
The establishment of the collateral registry follows the enactment into law of the Moveable Property Security Interest Act No. 3 of 2016.

PACRA chief executive officer Anthony Bwembya said in a statement issued by public relations officer Vaida Njobvu yesterday that the agency has already competed the first phase of the procurement process and has since submitted the implementing regulations to the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Bwembya said the registration system for collateral registry will be online and will, therefore, be accessible all the time.

“The registry will be accessible to the public at all times including weekends and holidays,” he said.

He said the enactment of Act No. 3 is a milestone for Zambia as it seeks to broaden the scope of the movable property that can be used as collateral.

“The agency is hopeful that with the establishment of the collateral registry, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises will have easy access to finance,” Mr Bwembya said.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

LuSE stock share drops

THE Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) last week recorded a significant reduction in the number of shares transacted, registering a drop in turnover from over K3 million the previous week to almost K330,000.

A total of 155,524 shares worth K333,899 were transacted in 65 trades last week compared to a total of 1,137,134 shares transacted in 85 trades, resulting in a market turnover of K3,054,920 the previous week.

According to the LuSE weekly report for June 24, of the total turnover Madison, Finance Services accounted for K117, 276, followed by Real Estate Investment Zambia (REIZ), which recorded K68,376, while Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEEC) and Zambian Breweries registered K59, 891 and K44, 392, respectively.

Other companies which recorded trade activity were African Explosives Limited Zambia, First Quantum Minerals Zambia, Lafarge, National Breweries, Standard Chartered Zambia, Zambeef Products, Zanaco and Zambia Sugar.

On the share price changes, in all the 23 listed firms, there was no change.

Meanwhile, the LuSE all-share index maintained the previous close of 4,780.22 points.

During the week under review, bonds valued at K29, 249,000 changed hands in 19 trades, yielding market value sales of K18,773,000.

This is in comparison with bonds valued at K52,795,000 which changed hands in seven trades, yielding market value sales of K34,212,000 the previous week.

On market capitalisation, the local bourse last week closed at about K60.4 billion maintaining the previous week close.

Source: The Daily Mail

Mining’s contribution to civilisation

SINCE prehistoric times, mining has been an integral part of man’s existence. Hence the term ‘mining’ in its broadest context means encompassing the extraction of all naturally occurring mineral substances (solid, liquid and gas) from the earth for utilisation. Utilisation refers to all essential human needs and desires that have been met by minerals throughout the ages.

In fact, most of the cultural ages of man are associated and identified by minerals or their derivatives. These include the Stone Age (prior to 4000 BC), the Bronze Age (4000 to 1500 BC), the Iron Age (1500 BC to 4000 BC), the Iron Age (1500 B.C. to A.D. 1780), the Steel Age (1780 to 1945), and the Nuclear Age since 1945. Many milestones in human history such as Marco Polo’s journey to China, Vasco Da Gama’s voyages to Africa and India, Columbus’ discovery of the new world were achieved with minerals as the prime incentive.

It is also true that minerals and mining have been associated with the dominance of great civilisation of history.

Development of mining technology
Mining began in the Palaeolithic Era some 450,000 years ago. This was in the early Old Stone Age. There are, of course, no records to substantiate the fact, but flint implements have been found in the bones for early man from the Old Stone Age. He extracted these from the earth and learned to shape them by crude techniques. At that time he was satisfied to recover raw material from surface excavations but by the beginning of the New Stone Age he had progressed to underground mining in systematic openings up to one metre height and 10m in depth. The oldest known underground mine believed to be an iron mine in Swaziland is 40,000 years old. Early deep miners employed crude methods of ground control, ventilation, hoisting, lighting and a method of rock breakage. Egyptians attained a depth of 250 metre in underground mines.

Metallic minerals attracted the attention of prehistoric man and initially were used in their native form, probably obtained by washing river sand to get several minerals including gold. However, man discovered how to break a rock easily by smelting thereby reducing ore to native metal or alloy form.

Among the greatest discoveries of humankind and the first technological breakthrough in mining, the art and science of rock breakages are of fundamental importance. No other technological advancement in mining had an equal impact, until black powder.(low explosive – the Chinese discovery) was first used to blast rocks in the seventeenth century.

At the close of the eighteenth century there was spectacular improvement in mining technology, especially in scientific concepts and mechanisation and these improvements have continued to this date. Currently mining is being done more than four kilometres below the earth surface.

Environmental problems and disasters in mines
Environment – It is impossible to extract minerals from the earth without changing the natural environment in some way, as technology improves the adverse effects of mining on the environment will also continue to be reduced.

Disasters in mines
Disasters in mines are naturally a matter of great concern as they seem to be caused by lack of precision or miscalculation. But statistics show that it is much more often by neglect, ignorance or over specialisation. Also, nature has a habit of taking advantage of those who turn their backs on it. Subsurface conditions can hardly be known or predicted accurately in advance. Therefore, decisions are made and cost estimates are based on the best information that can be obtained.

Future of mining
Mineral deposits are a wasting asset and are irreplaceable. Despite this fact, the long established dependence of man on this mineral heritage will continue indefinitely. Requirements of technological progress will place increasing demands upon the mineral industry to produce more and greater variety of elements.
Progress in technology will make ore out of many rocks which are considered useless today. Methods will change as a way to make mining safer as well as reduce environmental impairments.

The art and science of mining began with the early man and is changing rapidly. It is certain that mining will continue as long as man lives on earth.
The author is a professor at the University of Zambia, School of Mines, Department of Mining Engineering.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail