“The first step is clearly to push for unity in the Malian Government,” the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.“The existing divisions, the past divisions, the history that we had and the present difficult relations are certainly obstacles to preserving the unity and solidarity of the country,” he added.The instability and insecurity resulting from the renewed clashes, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability in the wake of a military coup d’état in March, have led over 250,000 Malians to flee to neighbouring countries, with 174,000 Malians estimated to be internally displaced.“The second goal is clearly to preserve and guarantee the unity of a country that is now divided,” said the former Italian prime minister, noting that the current split of the country is “unnatural.” This is the first visit to New York for Mr. Prodi since his appointment in early October. In addition to meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday, the envoy held a range of consultations that will help him to move forward with his mandate, which is focused on the development and implementation of a UN regional strategy on the crisis affecting the Sahel as a whole. This included meetings with the Secretariat officials, Member States of the Sahel region, as well as with Security Council members and other delegations interested and active on the issue.The western part of the Sahel region, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria, is currently facing a swathe of problems, which are not only political but also involve security, humanitarian resilience and human rights.In addition to political instability in Mali, the region suffers from extreme poverty, with human development levels among the lowest in the world, porous borders that present significant security challenges, as well as human rights problems.Added to that is the humanitarian crisis affecting the region this year, in which over 18 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity and over one million children risk severe acute malnutrition.Since his appointment, Mr. Prodi has travelled to a number of cities for meetings with government officials, including in the Malian capital, Bamako, as well as in Ethiopia, Egypt and Algeria. He is scheduled to travel to Morocco next week. He stated that his mission is not only focused on the security situation in Mali but also on humanitarian aid and development issues, noting that there can be no solution to the crisis in Mali without addressing these two dimensions. Last month, in a unanimously adopted resolution, the Security Council indicated that it could consider endorsing an international military force to restore the unity of Mali. The 15-member body called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to support the Malian political process and provide, at once, military and security planners to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and other partners, to help frame a response to a request by Mali’s Transitional Authorities for such a force, and to report back within 45 days.Upon receipt of the report, and acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Council said it was ready “to respond to the request of the Transitional authorities of Mali regarding an international military force assisting the Malian Armed Forces in recovering the occupied regions in the north of Mali.”Chapter VII of the Charter allows the Council to use force in the face of a threat to peace or aggression, taking “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security,” including blockades and other operations by the forces of Member States.
The dreaded rent resource tax saga – coupled by elections which resulted in a hung parliament, with five tax supporters sitting in the balance of power, has battered Australia’s mining share index recently. From Rio Tinto’s head to the Australian Institute of Geoscientists there have been few, in the mining industry at least, who have not expressed their worry over Australia’s mining future. However, despite this year’s setbacks and next year’s hurdles, the long term potential of the country’s mining companies and assets is still very healthy -a point that Australian miners have been increasingly determined to prove in the latest issue of International Mining Project News. Certainly Gindalbie’s Karara project has not had difficulty in finding funds, which is hardly surprising with a predicted production of 9 plus Bt over a 30 year life of mine, and the company is quickly moving towards its production goal with the award of another multi-million dollar construction contract. Although not as quickly as the Randalls gold project which has been travelling on a whirlwind deposit to report extensive drilling results, ranging from 2.89 g/t to 51.25 g/t, while on the verge of its first gold pour. This last deposit’s transition from uninspiring to high grade confirms the underground potential beneath Integra Mining’s feet as well as providing a glittering reminder of what may yet lay undiscovered.Venturex Resources has revealed more of those riches in the Pilbara region with drilling results that include 8 m at 256.3 g/t silver and strong lead, zinc and copper mineralisation. The results will prove useful for the company’s revised JORC, expected for the next issue of International Mining Project News, and should help upgrade the open pit resource. Brockman Resources also has some very pure answers from its metallurgical sinter testwork program on the company’s flagship iron ore project – reaffirming the Pilbara region’s well known potential to Chinese steel mills and leaving Brockman close to completing its DFS.Cortona have been facing climate change head on at its wholly owned gold project in New South Wales with plans to drastically cut material and waste movement. While still having to persevere through bad weather the environmentally minded company has managed to stay on track for its expected resource upgrade. Since its own Swedish surprise Avalon Minerals has been re-evaluating its options and is on the lookout for investors to help fund further exploration and development of its flagship copper/iron project. In the meantime the company has rewarded one of its experienced employees, for his role in leading the resource drill-out and expanded PFS which led to the significantly increased resource, with the position of MD.Mundo Minerals have already secured financing for an upgraded treatment facility at its Engenho gold project and are looking forward to bringing another pit into production with a new COO direct from Gold Fields. These twin developments should give the company extra momentum as it reaches towards a 100,000 oz/y target.Centaurus Metals has also been enjoying Brazil with testwork results and a completed RC and diamond drilling program paving the way for a maiden JORC estimate to be completed at its iron ore project before the end of October. Not far away, in Chile, Antofagasta Minerals and Carbon Energy have been feeling the benefits of underground coal gasification technology as the proposed project at the Mulpun deposit obtains environmental approval.All this and much more in International Mining Project News…To receive the full 30+ page report, subscriptions to this service can be registered and paid for on-line (SUBSCRIBE TO IM PROJECT NEWS BUTTON), or contact [email protected] for a free trial copy.
Hexagon Mining has launched HxM Athena Planning, a performance-indicator bundle that makes sense of data from production planning, grade control, fragmentation, drill operations, and plan compliance. Interactive heads-up displays are integral to HxM Athena, a solution that empowers miners to transform data into knowledge and builds on Hexagon Mining’s vision of smart change.Using a robust data integration process, HxM Athena imports, validates, analyses, and combines purposeful data from multiple sources. Real-time fleet management telematics are overlaid with geological and geographical models, planning and mine-centric KPIs. By displaying the information in near real-time in a centralized location, inefficiencies are quickly exposed, allowing you to solve problems and improve productivity.“This is not just another dashboard-driven, business intelligence-business analytics product,” said Hexagon Mining President Hélio Samora. “HxM Athena uses dynamic spatial renderers to address the challenge facing all mines – data from multiple sources with no single correlated source of context or relevance. HxM Athena empowers managers to understand what is going on in their operation across multiple areas of the mining value chain.”For example, poor excavator productivity could be related to an operator, the haulage cycle capacity, or a result of poor drill planning and blasting. If you are only looking at the excavator dig rates, other variables may be overlooked. HxM Athena assembles all this data into a single place, allowing decision makers to see the real cause of issues and make decisions to implement smart change and improve quality and productivity.Future versions of HxM Athena will address safety, production, and machine health, with links to the SAFEmine Collision Avoidance System and Leica Jigsaw Jmineops and Jhealth.