“I say again, here, what I have been repeatedly saying: that settlements are illegal under international law. This must stop,” the Secretary-General told journalists today in New York following an announcement that Israel planned to construct another 20 dwellings in East Jerusalem, in addition to the 1,600 new settlements announced last week. Earlier in the day, the Secretary-General briefed the Security Council on the meeting of the diplomatic Quartet – comprising of the UN, the European Union (EU), the US and Russia – he attended last Friday in Moscow, and his subsequent visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.Mr. Ban reiterated that there were no alternatives to a two-State solution, and that all final issues should be resolved within 24 months despite possible provocations from extremists.He also noted that “there have been too many negative facts on the ground” and called for more positive signs, such as the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip and an end to rocket fire from militants based in Gaza.“Israelis and Palestinians should do much more to build trust and meet their obligations under international law and the Roadmap,” the Secretary-General told the Security Council. He said that while peace is primarily in the hands of the parties themselves, the international community will continue to play a crucial role. “At this important juncture, the Quartet is determined to push the parties and monitor the situation,” the Secretary-General said. “The parameters of a solution are well known. Our challenge is to get from here to there.” Turning to the weekend Arab League summit in Sirte, Libya, the Secretary-General said he planned to urge Arab support for indirect negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, otherwise known as proximity talks. “It is crucial for Arab countries to help create a favourable atmosphere in which the talks can succeed,” Mr. Ban said.He also noted that during his visit, the Israeli Government had raised the Iranian nuclear issue.The Secretary-General told the Security Council that he emphasized the international consensus to address this question and the crucial diplomatic process under way. 24 March 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that he will participate in the League of Arab States summit this weekend in Libya amid what he called a crisis of confidence surrounding Israel’s plans to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.
Global engineering and project delivery group DRA has announced that it has been awarded the feasibility study of the Darwendale PGM project in Zimbabwe by Great Dyke Investments (Pvt) Ltd (GDI), which is a Russian-Zimbabwean joint venture company. The Darwendale project is located in northern Zimbabwe and is part of the Great Dyke ore reserve. The deposit is recognised as one of the largest PGM resources in the world, with the mineral resource potential estimated at 45 Moz (1,400 t) of platinum group metals (PGM) and its development will be a major step forward in Zimbabwe’s mining industry.The feasibility study awarded to DRA will cover a wide range of components of the project, including mining, processing and associated infrastructure. It is planned that the long life project will be implemented over three phases, with Phase 1 involving a 3.25 Mt/y open pit mine and concentrator. In future phases, and as the project progresses, it is expected that mining will be by underground methods and more concentrator facilities will be added.Paul Thomson, CEO of the DRA Group, comments: “We are extremely pleased and proud to have been awarded the study of this major project by GDI. Discussions and negotiations have been taking place over the last few months and during that time a strong relationship has been established between our respective project teams. It is especially pleasing that the Darwendale study will apply a full range of DRA’s in-house expertise in mining, processing and infrastructure development.”Thomson continues: “DRA has by far the largest track-record and highest level of expertise in the PGM industry in South Africa and Zimbabwe of any our peer organisations. Earlier projects in Zimbabwe have included the Mimosa, Ngezi and Unki developments. Similarly, in South Africa the large majority of PGM production is via DRA’s concentrators. In addition, we were recently pleased to announce the award of the feasibility study of the Platreef PGM project by Ivanhoe Mines. We now look forward to the opportunity of adding Darwendale and Platreef to our already long and successful list of PGM projects.” The feasibility study of the Darwendale project is already underway in DRA’s Johannesburg office with initial trade-off and optimisation studies, and is expected to be completed by late 2016.