Donors pledge $7.8bn for plan

Senegal secured pledges worth about $7.8 billion (R85bn) at a donor conference that began in Paris on Monday to help kick-start a development plan aimed at doubling economic growth rates over the next decade. Senegal is one of west Africa’s most stable democracies. The development plan being presented at a gathering of private and public sector institutions had sought 2.97 trillion CFA francs (R68bn) to help finance development over the next four years, but managed to raise 3.73 trillion CFA francs. – Reuters


Newmont to cut 600 gold jobs

Newmont Mining planned to cut up to 600 jobs at its Ghana gold mine by June, its local manager said on Monday, citing an ageing facility and slumping gold prices. US-based Newmont operates two mines in the country. Ahafo produced its first gold in mid-2006, and Akyem began commercial production last year. Adiki Ayitevie, Newmont’s external affairs director, said the planned job cuts, mostly at Ahafo, were part of measures to readjust expenditures to the ageing milling rate. Global gold prices plummeted 28 percent last year, and have recovered around 4 percent so far this year, benefiting from risk aversion on fears of capital flight from emerging markets. – Reuters


Accident halts copper mine

Operations were suspended at an underground mine owned by a unit of Vedanta Resources following an accident, Zambia’s deputy minister of mines said yesterday. Richard Musukwa said the government had halted ore hoisting operations at the Konkola Deep mining project following last Friday’s accident. Investigations and risk assessment were under way. “The company needs to replace the hoisting ropes and clear the spillage that happened in the accident,” he added. Konkola Copper Mines aims to expand production of copper ore at Konkola from 2 million tons a year to 7.5 million tons by accessing a rich ore body lower down, the Vedanta unit says on its website. – Reuters