Oct 22, 2017 Last Updated 8:31 AM, Oct 20, 2017

Norway invests $50m into African renewable energy development

ABN – Norway has announced that it will invest US$50 million into renewable energy development in sub-Saharan Africa.

The announcement was made by the Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende at the Norwegian-African Business Summit.

More than 400 people from both Africa and Norway attended, including the Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.

Brende said: "More than 700 million people in Africa lack electricity. The continent needs more investments in renewable energy.

"I am pleased to announce that Norway will contribute to Green Africa Power, a new fund to stimulate private sector investment in renewable energy in sub-Sahara Africa."

Eivind Fjeldstad, managing director of the Norwegian-African Business Association, added that plans to open an office in Nairobi are already underway.

President Mahama emphasised the need for support in Africa to develop the international business community and encourage infrastructure development within the continent.

High-value production to begin at Paragon Diamonds’ Lesotho operation

Paragon Diamonds’ (LSE: PRG) management is looking to begin producing large, high-value diamonds in order to build a top-class diamond company.

 

The production is set to commence in early 2015 at the Lemphane Kimberlite operation in Lesotho.

Paragon Diamonds plans to manage the journey of the stones from the ground to the high street, in order to ensure that its shareholders preserve maximum value.

Stage 1 is set to commence in 2015 and will be in operation for two years.

Initial revenue at the Lemphane Kimberlite Mine is expected to be around US$9 million per annum where production of 20,000 carats, with an estimated average value of $930-1,025 per carat, has been targeted.

The company has secured a renewable 10-year mining lease at Lemphane.

Paragon Diamonds CEO Stephen Grimmer said: “Having secured a mining lease during the period and with infrastructure already in place at the site, our immediate focus is to secure a processing plant so that we can commence Stage 1 production at our flagship Lemphane pipe in Lesotho in the near term.”

Stage 1 is expected to mine 1 million tonnes of ore and result in the recovery of more than 100 diamonds larger than nine carats.

“The report indicates the recovery of diamonds of over 300 carats in size, up to 50 diamonds in excess of 100 carats and 175 diamonds in excess of 50 carats,” said Grimmer.

“These numbers are consistent with those being achieved at the nearby deposit of Letseng, and if achieved would see Lemphane added to the list of world class kimberlite pipes in Lesotho.”

Price of gold rebounds following airstrikes in Syria

The price of gold has rebounded from an eight-month low following airstrikes in Syria.

Airstrikes were launched against Islamic State positions in Syria by the United States and its Arab allies.

Demand for the metal increased and the price of gold for December delivery rose by 0.3% to US$1,222 an ounce.

The US Mint recorded sales of gold coins reaching 43

200 ounces so far for this month, topping August’s total by 73% and making for the best month since June.

 

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