Nearly $7 million in new federal and provincial capital investments will help create a world-class tourism and heritage site at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Cumberland County. The investments will help build an interpretive centre to showcase one of the world’s richest and most significant coal age fossil sites that dates back 310 million years. The federal government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is investing more than $4.8 million in the new centre. The Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage will invest up to $1.8 million. “Canada’s government is getting things done for the people of Nova Scotia. Our investment of over $4.8 million will boost Atlantic Canada’s eco-tourism potential,” said MP Bill Casey, on behalf of Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of ACOA. “This government understands that strong tourism is key to strengthening the economy and to job creation for Atlantic Canadians.” The provincial investment is in addition to $1.1 million provided in December 2005 to help leverage other funding, bringing the total provincial contribution to up to $2.9 million. “The Joggins Fossil Cliffs are a tremendous resource for Nova Scotia in terms of preserving our heritage and sharing it with the world,” said Len Goucher, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “Our investment will help develop a unique tourism experience and contribute to the efforts to get UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.” The Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association is leading the project and, with the support of the municipality of Cumberland, has contributed $921,600. “A key element of success for this project is our community involvement, support and stewardship of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs site,” said the association’s executive director, Rhonda Kelly. “This project will serve as a significant stimulus for the local and regional economy.” The association has chosen an environmentally friendly building design for the 13,000-sq.-ft. centre. It will house interpretive displays about the fossil cliffs and lab space for research. It will also include a cafe, retail space and a multipurpose room. Four full-time, staff will run the centre, including a director, a geologist, a manager of visitor services and marketing, and a site and maintenance manager. There will also be one part-time, year-round position, and nine full-time, seasonal staff. The centre is a key component of the association’s application to have the Joggins Fossil Cliffs designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The centre will be built on nearly 28 acres of provincial Crown land being transferred by the Department of Natural Resources to the municipality. The centre will cost about $9 million and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2007. The federal investment is from ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund, a five-year, $175-million program to support economic development throughout Atlantic Canada in critical areas such as innovation, community development, training and improving the climate for business growth.
Anglo American-owned Kumba Iron Ore has reported positive 2017 full year results. Themba Mkhwanazi, Chief Executive of Kumba, said, “I am pleased to report that Kumba has delivered on our key objectives for 2017. Most importantly, our safety initiatives resulted in a fatality-free year with material improvement across our key indicators. At Sishen, our focus on all aspects of the value chain resulted in productivity gains by the fleet whilst we also delivered improved plant efficiencies and higher yields. These factors contributed to production above guidance with an overall increase of 8% to 45 Mt. Higher production, together with ongoing cost discipline, contained unit costs below guidance.”The new mine plan at Sishen and ongoing implementation of the Operating Model delivered further productivity gains, including significant fleet productivity improvements, and were the main drivers of Sishen’s strong performance. The mine implemented increased operator training, changed shift patterns and introduced more accountability at supervisory levels. Through these measures and higher attendance rates from a committed workforce, the mine has been able to increase direct operating hours (DOH), adding extra production hours per day. In the pit, wider benches, changed blast sizes and improved shovel productivity contributed to an increase in mining volumes.Total tonnes mined at Sishen increased by 12% to 199.5 Mt (2016: 178.3 Mt) with 39% fewer trucks. Consistent with the mine plan, the stripping ratio increased to 4.3 compared to 3.3 in 2016. Consequently, the amount of waste mined also increased, as planned, to 162 Mt (2016: 137 Mt).Sishen’s production increased by 10% to 31.1 Mt (2016: 28.4 Mt) due to increased plant throughput and higher plant yields.At the Kolomela mine, total tonnes mined increased by 12% to 71.8 Mt (2016: 64 Mt). Waste mined was 55.6 Mt (2016: 50.2 Mt), an increase of 11%, supporting higher production levels. Kolomela’s production was 9% higher at 13.9 Mt (2016: 12.7 Mt), reflecting productivity improvements. Productivity and efficiencies of the Kolomela drill fleet increased by 20% with the introduction of automated drilling technology. The Kolomela modular plant delivered 0.5 Mt, although performance was affected by delays in the ramp-up of the crushing plant.