Monday 19th November 2018

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Posts tagged ‘kenya’

The new colonialists

October 19th, 2018

China’s overseas expansion raises concerns of influence and arrogance

by Greg Klein

The country boosts its domestic industries through state-sanctioned dumping along with lax environmental, health and safety standards. Aggressive overseas expansion provides money and infrastructure to struggling nations in return for resources and acquiescence. Espionage, counterfeit exports, currency manipulation, economic warfare, intellectual theft—“particularly the systematic theft of U.S. weapons systems”—that’s all part of China’s goal to gain “veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic and security decisions,” according to a recent U.S. study ordered by President Donald Trump.

So it seems a bit anti-climactic to accuse the Red Dragon of arrogance.

But could that become China’s undoing, especially when the arrogance reflects racism? Examples from Kenya reveal a steady stream of racially charged incidents. Among the most recent was ongoing racist abuse from the manager of a Chinese-owned assembly plant. A Chinese company running a much bigger Kenyan operation, the Standard Gauge Railway, faces accusations of practising racial preferences and segregation. Further accounts relay instances of demeaning treatment, even assaults, on African workers in their own countries by Chinese bosses.

China’s overseas expansion brings allegations of influence and arrogance

That might be more a side effect than part of the official agenda, which is alarming in itself. According to Globe and Mail Africa correspondent Geoffrey York, Chinese influence “is sharply increasing in African media, academia, politics and diplomacy.” Earlier this month he reported that a South African newspaper chain backed by Chinese investors fired a columnist who denounced their country’s treatment of Muslims.

“In Zambia, heavily dependent on Chinese loans, a prominent Kenyan scholar was prevented from entering the country to deliver a speech critical of China. In Namibia, a Chinese diplomat publicly advised the country’s president to use pro-China wording in a coming speech. And a scholar at a South African university was told that he would not receive a visa to enter China until his classroom lectures contain more praise for Beijing.”

York pointed to “the huge number of African leaders who flock to the summit of China’s main African organization, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC),” an annual conference featuring announcements of Chinese financial aid. At last month’s event, President Xi Jinping promised grants, loans and investments totalling $60 billion, equaling an amount pledged three years earlier.

China’s massive African infrastructure projects, built by Chinese companies that often enjoy Chinese government financial support, include railways and hydro-electric power. But Chinese interests also get their hands on Africa’s mineral resources as well as oil and gas reserves, not to mention new markets for Chinese exports. Chinese loans have been criticized for overwhelming African countries with debt.

In the values that it promotes, in the manner that it operates and in the impact that it has on African countries, FOCAC refutes the view that a new colonialism is taking hold in Africa, as our detractors would have us believe.—South African
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Then there’s the political influence. The spectacle of African leaders singing China’s praises has provoked cynicism that South African President and FOCAC co-chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa tried to dispel: “In the values that it promotes, in the manner that it operates and in the impact that it has on African countries, FOCAC refutes the view that a new colonialism is taking hold in Africa, as our detractors would have us believe.”

Those remarks might alternately challenge or support allegations of sycophancy. But York notes China’s success in convincing African countries to drop their support for Taiwan, promoting Chinese language and culture, increasing media ownership with attendant interference, and—laughably, considering the communist state’s journalistic standards—providing “‘training’ for 1,000 African media professionals annually.”

Such are the challenges faced by the developing world. And others too.

From Australia come additional examples. “The hubris of the Chinese Communist Party has reached a great and giddy high,” the Sidney Morning Herald declared last month. International editor Peter Hartcher recounted a meeting between Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei and Australian treasurer Joe Hockey in which Lou lit a cigarette without asking permission, then badgered the Aussie with big talk that included offers to take over Rio Tinto, buy 15% of the top 200 ASX-listed companies or grab multi-billion-dollar positions in Australian banks.

Hartcher mentioned another incident a few years ago, when “a Chinese minister walked into the Parliament House office of an Australian Liberal Party minister in the course of a negotiation.

“The visitor sat on the sofa, reclined with his hands locked behind his head, and put his feet up on the coffee table. He crossed his ankles casually, the soles of his shoes pointed towards his Australian host. A mere detail, yes, but a telling one. It infuriated the Australian, who was still steaming as he recounted the story years later.”

Then there’s the threats. In a Sydney meeting last year, Hartcher writes, Labor opposition leader Bill Shorten and two of his key people heard Chinese Communist Party official Meng Jianzhu demand their party support an extradition treaty. They objected, largely due to China’s death penalty.

“To get his way, Meng threatened to mobilize the Chinese diaspora living in Australia to vote against the Labor party. The Labor leaders were unbowed and unimpressed. ‘We cannot let these bastards push us around,’ one later remarked to a colleague. Labor continued to oppose the extradition treaty.”

Score one for Down Under determination. Hartcher warns that China could meet its comeuppance once the country’s economic growth stops, possibly in a decade or so. Still, that gives the Middle Kingdom considerable time to expand its influence in acquiescent countries, which need not be limited to the developing world.

Like Canada, for example. Do our politicians match Australian Labor’s resolve? Do our media match the Sidney Morning Herald’s candour? Or would the example of HD Mining International, which planned to staff underground operations at a British Columbia mine exclusively with Chinese workers, typify Canada’s response?

How fares Canada in the Fraser Institute’s global mining survey?

February 25th, 2015

by Greg Klein | February 25, 2015

Saskatchewan’s number two worldwide, Quebec’s back in the top 10 and Manitoba climbed 17 notches. But Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia took a beating in the latest Fraser Institute survey of mining jurisdictions. Released February 24, the study rates 122 jurisdictions (including provinces and states in Canada, the United States, Australia and Argentina) based on 485 returned questionnaires. Drawing on their 2014 experience, mining and exploration companies provided numerical ratings for a number of factors, which the institute tracked on separate indexes.

Most important is the Investment Attractiveness Index, which combines two other indexes—Best Practices Mineral Potential (geology) and Policy Perception (government attitudes). The institute weighs the IAI 60% for geology and 40% for public policy, roughly the same consideration companies reported for their investment decisions.

Here’s the top 10 IAI globally, with 2013 rankings in brackets:

1 Finland (4)
2 Saskatchewan (7)
3 Nevada (2)
4 Manitoba (13)
5 Western Australia (1)
6 Quebec (18)
7 Wyoming (11)
8 Newfoundland and Labrador (3)
9 Yukon (8)
10 Alaska (5)

Here are the Canadian runner-ups:

15 Northwest Territories (25)
21 New Brunswick (23)
22 Alberta (10)
23 Ontario (14)
28 British Columbia (16)
29 Nunavut (27)
42 Nova Scotia (47)

Prince Edward Island wasn’t included.

As for the bottom 10:

113 Sudan
114 Nigeria
115 Bulgaria
116 Guatemala
117 Egypt
118 Solomon Islands
119 Honduras
120 Kenya
121 Hungary
122 Malaysia

The 122 jurisdictions totalled 10 more than in 2013. For inclusion, the institute requires a minimum of 10 responses per jurisdiction.

The anonymous replies also included comments which, for Canadian provinces and territories, note serious but unsurprising concerns.

But for some people, the rankings rankled. B.C.’s 10th-place finish out of 12 Canadian jurisdictions doesn’t jibe with the province’s second-place status for mining investment, according to the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia. Citing data from Natural Resources Canada, AME BC credited Ontario as Canada’s favourite for attracting investment. Fraser Institute respondents stuck that province with ninth place in Canada.

“Furthermore, one of the best indicators of success in exploration is seeing discoveries move through to mine development,” said AME BC president/CEO Gavin Dirom. “In recent years, we have seen a number of new major metal mines constructed in our province, including Copper Mountain in 2011, New Afton in 2012 and Mount Milligan in 2013. Also, Red Chris is being readied for commercial operations, and the KSM and Kitsault mine development projects have received environmental assessment certificates.”

The NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines noted the Northwest Territories’ considerable improvement and its breakaway territory’s slight slump. The organization vowed to continue working with federal and territorial governments “to improve the investment climate for exploration and mining in the two territories.”

Download the Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies 2014.

To Africa and back

January 2nd, 2013

Wesdome, African Queen and SLAM release gold results from Quebec, Kenya and New Brunswick

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Wesdome Gold Mines TSX:WDO began the New Year by releasing gold assays from its Kiena Mine in Val-d’Or, Quebec. The company stated that underground exploration drilling demonstrates continuity of the mine’s S-50 (South Zone) mineralized system southeast and at depth.

Intercepts were provided as estimated true widths. Grades were cut to 34.28 grams per tonne. Highlights include:

  • 8.6 grams per tonne gold over 7.3 metres
  • 3.38 g/t over 10.7 metres
  • (including 6.61 g/t over 2.2 metres)
  • 3.82 g/t over 8.78 metres
  • 34.28 g/t over 0.85 metres
  • 3.72 g/t over 6.75 metres
  • 2.83 g/t over 5.42 metres
  • 11.4 g/t over 1.07 metres
  • 8.86 g/t over 1.53 metres.
Wesdome’s Kiena Complex produced an estimated 20,000 gold ounces in 2012.

Wesdome’s Kiena Complex produced
an estimated 20,000 gold ounces in 2012.

One of Wesdome’s three operating gold mines, Kiena’s 2012 production is estimated at 20,000 ounces. The company expects another 20,000 ounces from its Eagle River operation and 10,000 ounces from the Mishi open pit, both near Wawa in central Ontario. As of December, Wesdome’s year-to-date cash flow was $10.5 million.

Wesdome opened January 2 at $0.87, two cents above the previous close. The stock nudged a day’s high of $0.90 before returning to an 87-cent close.

More January 2 gold results came from African Queen Mines’ TSXV:AQ Odundu Property, part of its Rongo Gold Fields Project in Kenya. The company stated that initial drill and trenching results indicate extensive, low-grade near-surface mineralization.

True widths weren’t provided for the drill results. One intercept began at a down-hole depth of 27 metres, while the furthest stopped at 171 metres. Drill assays include:

  • 1.03 grams per tonne gold over 26.35 metres

  • (including 5.27 g/t over 0.6 metres)
  • (including 2.87 g/t over 2.87 metres)
  • 1.17 g/t over 12 metres
  • (including 2.97 g/t over 2 metres)
  • 1.08 g/t over 11 metres
  • (including 5.96 g/t over 0.6 metres)
  • 0.89 g/t over 10 metres
  • 1.45 g/t over 5.16 metres
  • (including 3.21 g/t over 0.8 metres)
  • (including 2.31 g/t over 0.93 metres).

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Pacific Wildcat reports Kenya Assays up to 4.78% TREO over 91m

May 11th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningPacific Wildcat Resources Corp TSXV:PAW announced results from its Mrima Hill Niobium and Rare Earth Project in Kenya. Assays include

14.8% total rare earth oxides over 23 metres
4.02% TREO over 65 metres
4.78% TREO over 91 metres
1.07% niobium over 62 metres
0.88% niobium over 93 metres
1.44% niobium over 23 metres
1.3% niobium over 12 metres
1.35% niobium over 14 metres
1.65% niobium over 11 metres
1.66% niobium over 12 metres

President Darren Townsend remarked, “The initial results from the 2012 RC drill program are highly encouraging for both depth and grade of rare earths and niobium. Work continues on evaluating all the drill results received to date and once this is complete we look forward to finishing the residual 5,000 metres of the drill program and progressing towards an inaugural rare earth resource for Mrima Hill.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Don Willoughby
Corporate Communications Manager
416.306.5777

by Ted Niles

Pacific Wildcat reports Kenya Assays of 1.27% Niobium over 54.4m, 6.06% TREO over 44m

February 9th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningPacific Wildcat Resources Corp TSXV:PAW announced results from its Mrima Hill Niobium and Rare Earth Deposit in Kenya.

Niobium assays include
1.27% niobium over 54.4 metres
0.81% over 74.5 metres
(including 1.14% over 15.2 metres)
0.9% over 43.2 metres
(including 1.44% over 16 metres)
0.48% over 70.9 metres
(including 0.95% over 10.7 metres)
1.03% over 24.3 metres

Total rare earth oxide assays include
6.06% total rare earth oxides over 44 metres
(including 8.94% over 14 metres)
7.23% over 27 metres
(including 12.62% over 1.5 metres)
6.03% over 35.5 metres
(including 9.97% over 5.1 metres)
8.92% over 24.5 metres
(including 13.34% over 2 metres)
5.63% over 28.8 metres

Pacific Wildcat has a conditional contract granting it the right to acquire an indirect 70% interest in Mrima Hill. The project has a July 2011 resource estimate of 105.3 million tonnes grading 0.65% niobium for a total of 1.52 billion pounds niobium.

View Company Profile

Contact:
Don Willoughby
Corporate Communications Manager
416.306.5777

by Greg Klein

Pacific Wildcat reports Kenya Assays: 11.26% TREO / 21m, 1.7% Nb / 39.6m

September 14th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningPacific Wildcat Resources Corp TSXV:PAW announced assays from its Mrima Hill Project in Kenya. Total rare earth oxides results include 11.26% TREO over 21 metres, 5.45% over 39.6 metres, 5.72% over 37.1 metres, 5.56% over 26.3 metres and 5.48% over 12 metres. Niobium results include 1.7% over 39.6 metres, 1.14% over 29.3 metres, 1.05% over 11.5 metres and 1.05% over 8.2 metres.

President Darren Townsend commented, “These first diamond results confirm the significant depth potential to the Mrima Hill Deposit. As can be seen from the cross-sections, we have now proved the high-grade niobium mineralization extends at depths substantially deeper than the initial inferred niobium resource, which is limited to a depth of 30 metres. The drilling also indicates the REO mineralization extends to significant depths, supporting the potential for a considerable REO resource. We look forward to the results from the next batch of assays with 380.65 metres of core now at the laboratory in Perth.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Don Willoughby
Corporate Communications Manager
416.306.5777

by Greg Klein