Monthly Archives: November 2017

Crater Gold secures funding for PNG works programme

Megan Van Wyngaardt | Mining Weekly | 20 November 2017

ASX-listed Crater Gold Mining has secured a $4-million unsecured loan facility with major shareholder Freefire Technology that will enable it to continue to advance its flagship Crater Mountain gold project, in Papua New Guinea.

The loan will be used to restart exploration activities at the mine, including drilling, and also the restart of mining operations at the high-grade zone (HGZ).

The funds will also further exploration activities at Crater’s North Queensland polymetallic and graphite projects.

The first $1-million in funding is available at the option of the company, with the balance of $3-million requiring the consent of Freefire prior to a drawdown request being executed. Key terms of the loan facility include an interest rate of 12% a year, payable quarterly in arrears. The repayment of the facility will occur after the next equity raising or convertible note raising with the amount repaid to be determined upon the board considering the company’s financial position and future cash requirements.

Crater MD Russ Parker said on Monday the funding enabled the company to move confidently into 2018, well financed to continue working on its key priorities.

“The funding will also allow us to start a drilling programme at the mixing zone project during 2018 and to also explore the other significant exploration targets that exist on other licences the company holds at Crater Mountain.

“We are focused on putting this funding [to work] as productively as possible [toward] advancing our projects and generating positive results from our exploration and mininga ctivities, which we hope will put us in a good position to support future capital raisings,” he added. 

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Filed under Mine construction, Papua New Guinea, Exploration

UK Court of Appeal to hear Nigerian villagers’ pollution claims against Shell

Leigh Day

On 21 November 2017, the UK Court of Appeal will hear an appeal on behalf of over 40,000 villagers from the Ogale and Bille communities from the Niger Delta in the latest stage of their legal battle against the oil giant Shell. 

The villagers claim that they have been severely impacted by years of oil pollution from pipelines owned by Shell and that both the London based parent company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc., and its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, are responsible for the pollution. 

The extensive pollution of the Ogale Community was documented in detail by the United Nations in 2011, which also recommended an urgent clean-up programme be undertaken, however, no such clean-up has taken place. 

Shell resists the villagers’ claims, arguing that the parent company has no responsibility for the pollution and that the claims should be heard in Nigeria rather than the UK.

The villagers are challenging a judgment from the High Court, handed down in January 2017 [His Royal Highness Okpabi & Others v Royal Dutch Shell Plc & Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd [2017] EWHC 89 (TCC)]. 

The Judgment by Mr Justice Fraser sitting in the Technology & Construction Court, part of the High Court, blocks the villagers from bringing their claims in the English Courts. 

Mr Justice Fraser concluded that Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (the parent company) has no legal responsibility for the systematic pollution of the Nigerian communities by its Nigerian subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd.

However, according to law firm Leigh Day which is representing the communities, the High Court Judgment wrongly struck out the claims at an early stage in the litigation before all the relevant evidence was before the Court.  

The Court made its decision before any documents were disclosed and without hearing oral evidence from witnesses about the relationship between Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary.

Daniel Leader, from the International Group Claims Team at Leigh Day, who is representing the communities, pointed out that the Judgment is inconsistent with recent decisions of other European courts.

In 2015, the Dutch Court of Appeal came to precisely the opposite conclusion, finding that Royal Dutch Shell did have legal responsibility for its’ Nigerian operations. 

Mr Leader said:

“These communities have been living with chronic levels of oil pollution for decades. They are clear that there is no prospect of obtaining justice in Nigeria and that unless their claims are allowed to proceed in the UK, Shell will not clean up their oil or compensate them for the extensive impact the pollution has had on their livelihoods. 

“They are hopeful that the Court of Appeal will overturn the first-instance decision and allow their claims to proceed.”

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Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights

Fiji: New mill, processing site to create 200 local jobs

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya (centre) officiates at the groundbreaking ceremony of Tuvatu Gold Mine processing plant civil works in Sabeto, Nadi last Friday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Kalesi Mele | The Fiji Times | November 20, 2017

LION One Ltd Mines will soon have a new mill and processing site after a groundbreaking ceremony at Tuvatu, Sabeto in Nadi.

The new development is set to create employment for about 200 locals.

The company had set up in Fiji eight years ago and was only issued a special mining lease in January 2016.

Acting Prime Minister Faiyaz Koya, who officiated at the event on Friday, said the development was set to have direct contributions to the economy.

“It is evident how the company has forged ahead in meeting its exploration targets and is now advancing into the next stage of finalising its deposits for mine production,” he said.

“This is a positive sign as it portrays the commitment of Tuvatu Gold Mine to produce to its full capacity by the second quarter of 2019.

“This expansion work will contribute to the economy directly and indirectly in many forms, such as the employment of the local community.”

Lion One Metals chief executive officer Walter Berukoff said ore body of the rocks found at the mine was one of the best and believed to be in the top 10 in the world.

“Our goal is also to provide job opportunities for locals for generations to come,” he said.

“We made the promise to build an environmentally sustainable mine and our mandate has not changed. That was the promise I made to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama years ago and it is a promise we will keep.”

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Filed under Fiji, Mine construction

Man builds gold-dredging machine from scrap metal

The National aka The Loggers Times | November 20, 2017

A man from Aseki in Morobe has built a simplified alluvial gold dredging machine using pieces of scrap metal.
The machine, powered by electricity and water, will greatly assist small-scale alluvial miners.
Sam Sky is a Grade 6 dropout from Asini in Salamaua and Bangulum in Bulolo. His alluvial gold-dredging machine was launched during the 103rd Yabem district conference in Aseki which was attended by 14 circuits in the presence of Morobe deputy governor Waka Daimon.
Daimon last Thursday delivered 44 bags of 10kg rice to support and feed the delegations.
Sky said that his first invention was a machine used to husk peanuts after a woman farmer in Markham requested him to build it.
Sky said that it took him two weeks to design and four months to collect materials and tools and another four months to build the peanut pulper.
Sky later designed and built the alluvial mining machine launched last week.

“My aim is to help small coffee farmers and alluvial miners who did not have easy access to services in Lae,” Sky said.

“I also designed and built another alluvial mining machine, soon to be completed that will be powered by water alone that doesn’t need electricity.”

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Filed under Financial returns, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

Construction to begin on Fiji gold mine

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya breaks ground marking the beginning of the civil works on November 17, 2017. Photo: DEPTFO

Talebula Kate | The Fiji Times | November 18, 2017

TUVATU Gold Mines which was given mining license for 21 years beginning in 2014 had its ground breaking ceremony of its Mines processing plant civil works yesterday.

The beginning of the construction of the mill and processing plant is a positive sign, as it portrays the commitment of Tuvatu Gold Mine to produce to its full capacity by the second quarter of 2019.

This expansion work will contribute to the economy directly and indirectly in many forms such as the employment of the local community.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Siddiq Koya officiated at the event.

$100 Million Invested Into New Tuvatu Gold Mine: Lion One

Lusiana Banuve | Fiji Sun | 19 November 2017

A gold mining company in Sabeto, Northeast of Nadi International Airport, says it has invested over $100 million in projects leading up to its new operations opening this weekend.

And Minister for Trade, Industry, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya has congratulated the Lion One Ltd Mines for their ongoing belief in the government of the day and the people of Fiji.

Mr Koya, the acting prime minister,  said :

“Finances committed by the company to date has amounted to approximately $100 million in various forms of operations such as the exploration work, mine preparatory plans, environmental management measures and of course contributing to the economy through employment of its skilled Fijian workforce.

“Currently the company employs 50 locals and about 3 expatriates and this will surely increase in the near future.” Mr Koya said.

The Minister said the new employment business opportunities would go well for the people of Sabeto and particularly acknowledged the landowners and the people.

“I would like to acknowledge the support given by the 20 mataqalis whose land is the centre of this exploration and mining works.

“To all the Turaga ni Mataqali, thank you and vinaka vakalevu for your continued support and belief.

“Your unwavering commitment is truly commendable and I am certain that today’s ground breaking ceremony will benefit your communities in many, many ways.

“Not only for this generation, but for generations to come.” Mr Koya said.

“This work will open up the Sabeto corridor, bringing in the much needed business in the area.

“This is one of the plans of the Fiji First government, in which the decentralisation of services and business is encouraged for rural communities.

“Consequent to this, will be the improvement of health and educational facilities, infrastructure and business which will boost the economy and the livelihoods of these Sabeto communities,” he said.

For a relatively new company, Mr Koya commended Lion One Ltd Mines for its vision and determination.

“In January 2016, our Honourable Prime Minister issued Lion One Tuvatu, its Special Mining Lease.

“This was a 21 years surface lease which commenced from May 2014 and it is evident how the company has forged ahead in meeting its exploration targets, now advancing into the next stage of finalising its deposits for mine production,” he said.

The Miinster also urged everyone present to continue looking after the environment even while business investors grew.

“With the Honourable Prime Minister leading the global charge to combat climate change by taking up the Presidency of COP 23 and this being the first time ever in the history of Fiji, we have a monumental task.

“We must get behind our Prime Minister and ensure we tell the world that we are doing our part, despite being the smallest contributors to global warming.

“And yes, we would not wish to see that day when we are not able to breathe fresh air or drink clean water, things we take for granted in Fiji.

“Thus, I urge you all to work together in protecting our environment and learn our lessons from previous climate events, to help us build resilience and promote a culture of caring and protection what surrounds us – our environment, our beautiful country and the world,” he said.

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Filed under Fiji, Mine construction

Lunch & Learn: Women Miners as Change Makers in Papua New Guinea

Earthworks

Join Earthworks and Community Solutions Program International Fellow, Immaculate Javia, for a Lunch and Learn talk on Wednesday, November 29th from 12 – 1pm.

Immaculate has more than 7 years of experience, training and working with women in the small-scale mining sector in Papa New Guinea.

She will talk about how empowering women through a policy framework can give a voice to women to advocate for change in the ASM industry in Papua New Guinea.

Lunch will be provided, from Taylor Gourmet

LOCATION: Earthworks, 1612 K St. NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006, United States

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Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

Lack of environmental safeguards highlighted in Cooks legislation

Radio New Zealand | 17 November 2017 

The Pacific Network on Globalisation says claims environmental costs would stop seabed mining in the Cook Islands would be thwarted by a lack of safeguards in the country’s laws.

PANG co-ordinator Maureen Penjueli says the Cooks’ Seabed Minerals Act dates back to 2009 when deep-sea mining was believed to be low risk, high return.

She said in 2017 the risks to the environment were still little understood.

The country’s Seabed Minerals Authority Commissioner Paul Lynch said earlier this week that mineral extraction will likely not go ahead if the environmental cost is too high.

Ms Penjueli said there was nothing in the legislation to stop prospecting or mining on environmental grounds.

“When you consider that our economies are heavily dependent on the ocean – our people are heavily dependent on the ocean for livelihoods, food security – that’s quite problematic in terms of the current legislation.”

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Filed under Cook Islands, Environmental impact