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Monday, March 29, 2010.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon de Ryhove.
Making headlines today:
Petroleum Agency SA frontier geology manager Jennifer Marot says that diversified miner Anglo American, as well as Shell International, have applied to explore for shale gas in South Africa's arid Karoo.
This follows the news that South Africa's Sasol has teamed up with Statoil of Norway and Chesapeake of the US to do the same.
Shale, which hosts shale gas, has for long been considered too difficult to drill until a recent horizontal-drilling and hydraulic-fracturing breakthrough led to the so-called "shale gale". In the US, the process of fracturing has already caused environmental concern with some politicians worried about the possible contamination of ground water.
Shale gas is one of a number of unconventional sources of natural gas, like coal-bed methane.
Diversified miner BHP Billiton has halted production at its Groote Eylandt manganese mine, in the Northern Territory, over the weekend, owing to a tropical cyclone threat.
A BHP spokesperson said that the company had progressively shut down operations on Sunday afternoon as a precautionary measure. The operations remain closed and they are monitoring the weather.
Cyclone Paul, which has been classified as a category two storm, was expected to move inland on Monday. Winds of up to 130 km/h could develop around East Arnhem land and Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and rising tides could cause flooding.
Also making headlines:
A flood in an unfinished Chinese coal mine traps 153 people.
China jails Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu for 10 years.
Gold miner Aurora Empowerment Systems receives interim funding to service its short-term financial obligations, and will pay February salaries by Tuesday.
And, Zambia's Chinese-owned Munali nickel mine resumes output.
That's a round up of news making headlines today.