K+S German potash mine to stay closed until end of November

The German potash mine operated by K+S,where three workers died from carbon dioxide poisoning earlier this month, will remain closed until at least the end of November, the company said on Tuesday.

The firm said its ability to make deliveries has not been affected as existing orders are being processed by sister plants. It added that close to 80 employees from the halted operation, close to town of Unterbreizbach, are currently deployed to provide support for mining and production operations at the Werra plant site in Hesse.

The Oct. 1 blast caused a major carbon dioxide leak, poisoning the air of a 700 metre deep shaft in which seven miners were working. Only four managed to escape.


Read more:Alcoa willing to reopen talks with Klesch – Italian unions

ROME – US aluminium group Alcoa is willing to reopen talks to sell an Italian plant to the Swiss industrial group Klesch, the company said on Monday after a meeting between trade unions and Italian government representatives in Rome.

Alcoa broke off negotiations in June to sell its smelter on the island of Sardinia to Klesch, which put forward a formal expression of interest last year.

“We confirm our willingness to sell the plant but only to a reliable counter-party,” an Alcoa spokesperson told Reuters after union and government officials had announced Alcoa was willing to re-open talks.

The two companies and labour unions will meet again at the industry ministry by the end of November to see whether a deal can be reached, the UILM union and Italian deputy industry Minister Claudio De Vincenti said.

About 300 workers temporarily laid off from the plant protested outside the ministry during the meeting in which the government said there were no other companies apart from Klesch interested in the smelter, UILM said.

Alcoa last year decided to shut its smelter in Sardinia, an island hit by high unemployment and slow economic growth, blaming high power prices for undermining its competitiveness.

But under intense political pressure, the US aluminium giant has laid off workers temporarily and maintained the plant while it searched for a buyer.

Alcoa has already paid back to the government about €295-million it received in preferential power tariffs over the last decade, De Vincenti told reporters.

Europe’s highest court on October 17 ruled that the Alcoa tax breaks constituted state aid and had to be given back to Italy.

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Namibia Seeks Stake in AngloGold Ashanti’s Navachab Gold Mine

Epangelo Mining Co., a Namibian state-owned investment company, plans to buy a minority stake in the country’s biggest gold mine, currently owned by AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., said Managing Director Eliphas Hawala.

Epangelo would finance the purchase by raising debt, Hawala said by phone yesterday. The company didn’t qualify to bid for all of Navachab because it lacked sufficient capital, he said.

AngloGold Ashanti, with 21 operations in 10 countries, earmarked the mine for sale earlier this year as the world’s third-largest producer of the metal announced a plan to divest higher-cost assets. Pan African Resources Plc and Giyani Gold Corp. made a joint bid valued at $130 million for the mine and reserved a 5 percent stake for Epangelo, the Namibian Sun reported Oct. 17.

“Epangelo is keen to approach any potential winner of the Navachab bid for a potential stake,” Hawala said. “If an opportunity arises where we can join any consortium, we will have to investigate the costs and see if they are willing to accommodate us on agreeable terms.”

Read more:Lonmin donates 50 ha of land for residential development

The development of a new integrated human settlement, with all related municipal services, in Marikana, was set to kick off in June 2014, after platinum miner Lonmin on Tuesday donated 50 ha of serviced land for housing.

A “landmark” deal between Lonmin and the North West provincial Department of Human Settlements, Public Safety and Liaison and the Rustenburg local municipality would stimulate public–private sector collaboration for the development of high- and low-density residential housing in the region.

Lonmin further committed to contribute R500-million over the next five years to employee accommodation and community bulk services, Lonmin CEO Ben Magara, who took the reins at Lonmin on July 1 this year, said.

This comes more than a year after Lonmin’s Marikana mine erupted into violent labour unrest that culminated in the deaths of 46 people.

Thirty-four striking workers were killed in a clash with police on August 16 last year, after ten people, including two policemen, two security guards and three National Union of Mineworkers shop stewards, were killed in violent clashes earlier that week.

The deadly events resulted in a closer industry- and government-wide look at the state of the South African mining industry and spurred discussions and arguments on how to build a better, more inclusive and sustainable industry.

The incident had also influenced the Department of Human Settlements’ decision to commit almost R400-million, of a R1.6-billion development grant aimed at improving living conditions across the country’s mining towns, to four mining towns around the North West’s platinum belt, namely Brits, Rustenburg, Moses Kotane and Marikana.

“This deal will help address the critical shortage of appropriate and affordable accommodation in the area and fulfil our core constitutional mandate of delivering adequate housing and basic services to communities living within the Greater Rustenburg municipal area,” Human Settlements Minister Connie September said.

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Pretium (T.PVG), Strathcona speak out on B.C. mining spat

The head of Strathcona Mineral Services is speaking out about why his company recently chose to walk away from high profile gold-silver project in British Columbia.

Graham Farquharson said his firm resigned from its role as consultant to Pretium Resources Inc.  (TSX: T.PVG, Stock Forum) and its Brucejack project because it disagreed with resource estimates prepared by another consulting firm in late 2012.

“We recommended to the company that it publicly disclose some of our observations,’’ said Farquharson in an interview with Stockhouse Thursday.

“When they decided not to it was time to walk away,’’ he said.

Farquharson’s comments, made during a telephone interview from Toronto Thursday are sure to add fuel to the controversy surrounding Pretium and its high-grade Brucejack gold silver project in northwestern B.C.

Slated for a possible startup in 2016, the project is being run by Pretium CEO Bob Quartermain, a highly experienced mining executive, who is known for building Silver Standard Resources Inc. (TSX: T.SSO, Stock Forum) from small beginnings into an international mining firm with a market cap of $520 million.

At the age of 58 he has previously worked for the Geological Survey of Canada and metals giant Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX: T.TCK.B, Stock Forum).

Ironically, Brucejack was recognized earlier this year with a discovery award from the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.

That was before the project was caste in a different kind of spotlight following the resignation of Strathcona. Best known for its work in confirming that the Bre-X discovery was a scam, it was hired to help validate underground work and confirm a resource estimate that was prepared by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants for Brucejack’s Valley of Kings deposit.

Strathcona planned to use a sample tower that was designed to extract 30-kilogram samples from every 100 tonnes processed from a 10,000-tonne underground bulk sample.

The aim was to add to the level of confidence in resource estimates that Pretium will use secure financing for a mine that is expected to cost around $600 million to develop.

But on October 9, 2013, Pretium shares plunged 30.5%, closing at $4.87 after Pretium announced that Strathcona had resigned.

Asked if Pretium shareholders should be concerned, Farquharson said “it’s up to the individual shareholders to decide.’’
Farquharson has clarified in published reports that his beef with Pretium centres on when it is appropriate to disclose material facts.

When reached by phone in Vancouver, Pretium President and CEO Robert Quartermain said he was disappointed by Strathcona’s decision to resign.

“We contracted both Snowden and Strathcona to work collaboratively on this project for us going forward. So we were disappointed that a consultant would withdraw preliminarily from the project.”

Pretium has already released parts of Strathcona’s letter of resignation. It reads: “There are no valid gold mineral resources for the [Valley of Kings] zone, and without mineral resources there can be no mineral reserves, and without mineral reserves there can be no basis for a feasibility study,” Strathcona said.

However, Quartermain said Snowden continues to maintain that its November 2012 mineral resource estimate for the project is valid.

He also said it may be that the sample tower was an inappropriate methodology for the type of gold deposit that Pretium is working with.

Pretium has elected instead to process the entire 10,000-tonne sample through a mill to see how much gold can be produced.

Meanwhile, Pretium recovered some lost value Thursday, rising 20.5% to $3.99 after the company released more drill results from drilling that was completed as part of the Valley of Kings bulk sample program, as well as drilling in other areas of the Valley of Kings.

Quartermain said he is relying on Snowden to deliver an updated mineral resource estimate for the project before the end of this year.

Brucejack’s Valley of Kings hosts a probable mineral reserve of 6.6 million ounces of gold (15.1 million tonnes grading 13.6 grams gold per tonne). The company is hoping to develop a 2,700 per day underground mine with commercial production targeted for 2016.

By early next year, Quartermain hopes to have permits in hand, allowing his company to proceed with construction in 2015.

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Saskatchewan Research Council’s new mineral processing pilot plant open

The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) officially opened its new mineral processing pilot plant in Saskatoon on Friday.

The pilot plant, announced in the fall of 2012, was now fully operational and had been well-received by the mining industry, already taking requests from clients in Saskatchewan and across Canada, the SRC said in a statement.

The new pilot plant, coupled with SRC’s existing mineral processing expertise, laboratory and testing facilities, including a new quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy, known as the Qemscan service, would allow mining companies to access a full range of mineral processing services, making it more efficient, convenient and economical to do business.

“The mining industry continues to be a pillar of the Western Canadian economy. Our investment in SRC’s pilot plant facility will help improve productivity and lead to the creation of more jobs and opportunities for growth,” Saskatoon Member of ParliamentBrad Trost said.

The pilot plant would specifically support developing and demonstrating new and improved methods for processing minerals such as potash, uranium, gold, base metals, coal, oil sands and oil shale, along with being one of the few centres in Canada with an emphasis on rare earth minerals.

Through enabling the pilot-scale demonstration of new technologies, it would be able to assist companies increase mining yields and decrease associated costs.

“This pilot plant showcases not only the latest evolution SRC has made in support of the mining industry, but also how they continue to be a leader in this very important sector,” the Economy Minister and Minister responsible for SRC Bill Boyd said.

“The fact that this facility is gaining worldwide attention goes to show that Saskatchewan’s talents are recognised around the globe and we are a hub for providing some of the very best services in the world.”

The pilot plant adjoins SRC’s diamond facilities and pipe flow technology centre.

Operating at a throughput capacity of about two metric tonnes a day, the plant could process 400 t/y to 500 t/y for multiple clients and projects.

“The response we have received to this pilot plant has been encouraging and we are pleased to be able to offer these much-needed services to the mining industry not only here in Saskatchewan but in Canada and internationally. The addition of this pilot plant is just another example of the many ways SRC is contributing to the continued economic growth of the Saskatchewan economy,” SRC president and CEO Dr Laurier Schrammsaid.

The Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement funded $1.27-million of the project, with the SRC providing $930 000 for the project.

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ES Sand Gravel Pump Structure


ES sand slurry pump


Capacity:to 4320 m³/h
Head:to 80 m
Liner Materails:Metal Pump


ES series gravel(sand) pumps are horizontal single-casing slurry pumps with wide passage to transfer sand or slurry with big particle size. The wet parts are made of Ni-hard and high-Chrome alloys to ensure long service life. ES gravel pumps has far better performance than common pumps in dredging, sand mining, barge loading and mineral processing, etc. Featured with all the advantages of ES series, ESG series gravel pumps have achieved extra high head for special working conditions.


ES Gravel Pump


1. Broad path created by single casing and clamp bands connection;
2. Unique design to make maintenance and wet parts replacement convenient;
3. The wet parts are made of Ni-hard and high-chrome wear-resistant alloys with good anti-corrosive property;
4. The discharge direction of pump can be oriented in any direction of 360°;
5. The standard seal type is packing seal. 6. Good performance of NPSH.


Application and Reference
Series ES slurry pumps are widely used in the mining, coal washing, power plant, metallurgy, petrochemical, building material, dredging, and other industrial departments, etc.


Typical Application:


  • Sand Excavation
  • Coal Washery
  • Power Plant
  • Mineral Processing Plants
  • Other industries


 ES Sand Gravel Pump Structure