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James Macharia

Northam shut mine after worker killed

South Africa's Northam Platinum said on Wednesday it expected to lose about 1 000 ounces per day of output after shutting its mine early on Tuesday when a worker was killed in a rockfall. The mine -- the world's deepest platinum mine -- produces about 325 000 PGM ounces of platinum a year.

African Diamonds sees big Botswana mine by end-2009

African Diamonds has applied for a diamond-mining lease for a one-million carat-a-year mine in Botswana and is due to start production by late 2009, managing director James Campbell said on Monday. Botswana is the world's biggest diamond producer by value, and several other junior companies are prospecting in the Southern African country.

Mine accident a ‘wake-up call’

About 1 250 miners remained trapped more than 2,2km underground in Harmony Gold's Elandsrand mine near Carletonville on Thursday after an all-night rescue mission. The mine's general manager, Stan Bierschenk, said the morale of workers still stuck below ground was ''fairly brittle''.

Rescuers save 1 700 trapped miners

Rescue teams working to save 3 200 miners trapped deep underground in Harmony Gold's Elandsrand mine brought 1 700 to the surface on Thursday morning, mine and union officials said. Harmony said the rescue operation was going smoothly and that a secondary lift was bringing up batches of miners.

AngloGold stops output at mine after worker deaths

The deaths of four miners in a rockfall forced a halt to production at AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng underground mine on Monday while safety checks were carried out, the company said. Increasing deaths at South Africa's deep and treacherous underground mines have thrust safety into the spotlight in a country where about 200 miners are killed in accidents every year.

Eskom looks to nuclear plants

South Africa's largely coal-driven power utility Eskom has hit the limits of its capacity and aims to double output by 2025, with nuclear plants supplying more than a quarter of future energy compared with 6% now. Eskom's chief executive Jacob Maroga told a coal conference on Tuesday the state-owned firm would cut back on polluting coal-fired plants.

Tutu reflects on joy, shame of SA today

Archbishop Desmond Tutu berated South Africa's government on Friday over delays in introducing an HIV/Aids drug treatment plan and said its leaders' unorthodox views had led to unnecessary deaths. Recalling fallen anti-apartheid heroes, the Nobel peace laureate said they would be shocked by the devastation caused by the pandemic, which he said was killing 900 people every day.

Strike enters fourth day as some BP pumps run dry

BP said on Thursday petrol pumps had started running dry at some of its outlets on the fourth day of a multi-industry strike, as South Africa's largest oil refinery faced a possible shutdown. BP spokesperson Zipporah Mothoa said delivery of stocks to petrol outlets had been ''gravely impacted'' because workers in the distribution chain were on strike.

Annan says Africa must guard against tyrants

Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan urged African leaders on Sunday to practise good governance and democracy to rebuild the continent, and told the world's rich nations to keep their promises of aid. ''It is vital that Africa lead its own development process,'' he told a gathering at the fifth annual Nelson Mandela lecture.

Harmony posts ‘reasonable’ third-quarter results

South Africa's Harmony Gold posted a 31,8% rise in third-quarter headline earnings per share to 58 cents on Wednesday, on a stronger gold price, better grades and cost controls. Harmony, the world's fifth-biggest gold producer, said it achieved the growth despite lower production in the quarter to end-March, while non-operational earnings boosted its profit.

Angola, DRC set to be big diamond players

Central Africa, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will overtake Southern African countries in the next 10 to 20 years as Africa's dominant diamond producers, a conference heard on Tuesday. At the same time, Africa is the world's preferred destination for exploration, with about -million spent in 2006 compared with -million in 2000.

SA weighs plan to enrich uranium

South Africa, which has backed Iran's right to enrich uranium, says it is contemplating processing its own uranium to boost power generation and envisages building up to six new nuclear reactors. But Minerals and Energy Affiars Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said in a speech that any enrichment of uranium would be pursued within international obligations.

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