Vedanta to invest over $8bn in India and $1.2bn in South Africa

London-based oil-to-metals group Vedanta Resources announced plans to invest up to Rs600bn ($8.42bn) in its Indian operations over the next three years, alongside a $1.2bn investment in its South African projects.

Vedanta executive chairman Anil Agarwal told TV channel ET Now that the firm is targeting annual production of zinc of two million tonnes across its global operations. As part of this target, it aims to expand its zinc operations in India and Africa.

Agarwal, along with Vedanta CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan and Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo, is part of the business delegation accompanying South African President Ramaphosa on his current trip to India.


Minas Gerais tightens mine laws following Vale disaster

The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, where a burst dam at a Vale iron mine near the town of Brumadinho triggered one of the country’s greatest environmental disasters, passed a law banning the construction of upstream dams.

The law was passed by Governor Romeu Zema following approval of the state’s legislative assembly and follows a nationwide ban on the dams.

A similar bill was proposed to the state government in 2016, following the collapse of a dam at the Samarco project, owned by Vale and BHP, which killed 19 people, but the proposal was defeated.

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Under the new law, mining companies will be prohibited from building upstream dams in the state and have three years to decommission existing structures. The law also tightens the permitting requirements for new mining projects, with new operations needing three types of permit ahead of construction, and clarifies that mining companies are solely responsible for disruptions and accidents at their operations.


Codelco to incorporate Uptake AI into mining operations

Chilean copper producer Codelco is set to deploy an Uptake artificial intelligence (AI) solution to monitor the health of mining equipment to ensure safe operations.

As part of the agreement, the companies support Codelco’s digital transformation. The latest move came as the miner plans to add fresh technologies to modernise some of its old mines.

Uptake Industry, Product and Partnerships executive vice-president Jay Allardyce said: “Codelco is the world’s leader in copper production and we’re pleased to support their digital efforts to make operations and maintenance expenditures more efficient by increasing visibility into the real-time and future health of mining machines.”


NexGen to begin environmental assessments on Rook I project

NexGen Energy secured approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment (MOE) to begin environmental assessments (EA) on its proposed on Rook I uranium mining project.

The acceptance of a project description by the CNSC and the MOE marked the commencement of EA on the project in accordance with the requirements of both the Environmental Assessment Act and the 2012 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

In order to obtain a licence to prepare and construct for the Rook I project, NexGen also submitted an initial licence application to the CNSC under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.


Teck signs $2.5bn financing agreement for Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 project

Canadian metals and mining company Teck Resources signed a $2.5bn recourse project financing agreement to fund the development of the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project.

The QB2 project, which is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper resources, will have an initial mine life of 28 years.

Construction of the project was sanctioned by the project partners last December and first copper production is expected in the second half of 2021.


CNMC, ETG and Turkey reportedly express interest to buy KCM in Zambia

China’s Nonferrous Metals Mining Corporation (CNMC), the commodity trading group ETG and an undisclosed Turkish company announced plans to acquire a stake in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a copper mining and smelting company in Zambia.

Vedanta Resources, which partly owns Mumbai-listed Vedanta group of companies, holds a majority stake in KCM.

Vedanta Resources announced its plans to open a dialogue with the Government of Zambia, to fight for its legal rights and oppose the appointment of a provisional liquidator to complete the closure of the KCM business.


Alrosa and ZCDC to develop diamond deposits in Zimbabwe

Russian mining company Alrosa signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) to develop diamond deposits in Zimbabwe.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alrosa will own a 70% controlling stake for the development of greenfield projects and ZCDC will hold the remaining 30% interest.

The JV will be initially engaged in the geological exploration of greenfield deposits. The two parties will then focus on diamond mining and the independent sale of rough diamonds in external markets.


Telstra to roll out 4G LTE network for South32 mine

Australian telecommunications company Telstra partnered with South32 to roll out private 4G LTE network at the North West Queensland mine.

Telstra is pre-deploying the LTE network at the South32 Cannington underground silver, lead and zinc mine. The technology is expected to drive improved safety and automation at the site and allow staff to directly access vehicles and sensors around the mine at all times.

The system offers a high throughput and low latency, thereby allowing the mine staff to control critical equipment without interruption.


Peru gives approval for $1.4bn Tia Maria copper project

The Peruvian Government reportedly gave the go-ahead for Southern Copper’s $1.4bn Tia Maria project in the southern Islay province of the Arequipa region.

Reuters reported that the government has advised that the ‘right social and environmental conditions’ will have to be met for the project to move forward.

Peru Prime Minister Vicente Zeballos was quoted by the news agency as saying: “But we also reaffirm that our government will not impose the Tía Maria mining project if there are not the environmental and social conditions for its development.”


Glencore and Katanga reach deal on $5.8bn rights issue

Copper and cobalt producer Katanga Mining announced its plans to raise C$7.6bn (approximately $5.8bn) under a discounted rights offering with parent organisation Glencore.

With respects to this rights issue, Katanga filed a preliminary short form prospectus with securities regulatory authorities in each of the Canadian provinces and territories.

Glencore owns approximately 86.3% of Katanga. It agreed to swap $5.8bn in debt for equity, which will further raise its stake in the firm.