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Despite negative fundamentals for US coal, some flickers of hope to be found

By: Henry Lazenby     28th May 2016 One would be hard-pressed to find optimism in today’s US coal industry, but even as the country’s exports fall and the fossil fuel’s importance in the energy mix diminishes, there are some flickers of hope for the industry facing seemingly ever-darkening fundamentals. Doyle Trading Consultants... 

Commodity price indices rally as oil picks up where metals left off

By: Henry Lazenby     27th May 2016 Commodity price indices have rallied in recent weeks as strong performance by oil softened the lull in metals price movements. Scotiabank's commodity price index had improved by 4.5% month-over-month in April as energy gains more than offset metals weakness. 

Commodity price indices rally as oil picks up where metals left off

Nautilus lifts Central Pacific underwater resource by 67%

By: Henry Lazenby     27th May 2016 Marine mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals has this week reported an upgraded and improved mineral resource at its Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) project in the Central Pacific, which it held through its 100%-owned subsidiary Tonga Offshore Mining (TOML). Toronto-based Nautilus advised... 

India’s mining industry turning a corner

By: Ajoy K Das     27th May 2016 After several years of contraction, the Indian mining industry has turned the corner, marking a highlight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-years in office. According to official data, the mining industry notched an 8.2% growth during the first eleven months of the 2015/16 financial year,... 

Cleaver is new De Beers CEO

By: Martin Creamer     27th May 2016 Bruce Cleaver, 51, is the new CEO-designate of De Beers. He will take over from Philippe Mellier on July 1. After a half-decade at the helm, Mellier, who is ten years Cleaver’s senior, has honoured his commitment to step down as CEO after five years. 

Cleaver is new De Beers CEO
Photo by Creamer Media
New CEO-designate of De Beers Bruce Cleaver

New sanctions could cripple reclusive North Korea’s mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons     27th May 2016 New sanctions on North Korea imposed by the United Nations (UN) and the US in March for allegedly undertaking nuclear and ballistic missile tests earlier this year will affect the country’s mineral resources sector. North Korea – officially named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)... 

New sanctions could cripple reclusive North Korea’s mining sector

WTI, Brent crude rises above $50 for first time this year

By: Henry Lazenby     26th May 2016 Hamstrung oil producers could on Thursday afford a brief sigh of relief as the prices of both West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude rose briefly above the psychologically important $50/bl-mark in early trading. WTI hit a high of $50.21/bl around 08:00 Eastern Daylight Time, while Brent... 

WTI, Brent crude rises above $50 for first time this year

Rio Tinto agrees to extend Laramide farm-in and JV agreements

By: Henry Lazenby     26th May 2016 Canadian uranium project developer Laramide Resources has received an extension from Rio Tinto Exploration (RTX) to complete certain work programmes and satisfy minimum spending obligations under the earn-in periods on the Rio Tinto Murphy farm-in and joint venture (JV) tenements in the Northern... 

Continually flipped Moz gold project goes for $17.5m

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2016 The Manica gold project in Mozambique, which has been bought and sold several times in recent years, is being disposed of once more. On two occasions the disposals have been conducted under the same management head – Jan Nelson, who announced on Thursday that his London Aim-listed Xtract had... 

Continually flipped Moz gold project goes for $17.5m
Photo by Duane Daws
Xtract CEO Jan Nelson

Surge in Chinese zinc output could shrink forecast global deficit

By: Reuters     26th May 2016 Chinese zinc miners and smelters cranked up output in March after prices rallied, raising questions over the market's bullish scenario by potentially delaying global shortages. Zinc has been the darling of the base metals market and the best performer this year, with many investors piling in to... 

Kingsgate’s Chatree licence renewed to year-end, no certainty about mine’s future

By: Mariaan Webb     26th May 2016 Australian miner Kingsgate Consolidated on Thursday requested an extension of its voluntary trading halt on the ASX, owing to continued uncertainty over the future of its only operating mine, Chatree, in Thailand. The company was granted a renewal of its metallurgical licence for the gold mine,... 

Kingsgate’s Chatree licence renewed to year-end, no certainty about mine’s future
Gold ore is transported on belt at the Chatree gold mine, in Thailand.

Kincora consolidates key Mongolian land-holdings with ‘mega’ potential

By: Henry Lazenby     26th May 2016 Bolstered by the recent restart of Rio Tinto’s multibillion-dollar Oyu Tolgoi Phase 2 in the copper belt, TSX-V-listed explorer Kincora Copper on Wednesday advised that it had reached an agreement with privately owned explorer High Power Exploration (HPX) to merge two Kincora subsidiaries with... 

Centerra vows to fight two enviro rulings as Kyrgyz woes continue 

By: Henry Lazenby     26th May 2016 Canada’s Centerra Gold is having a busy week at the Kyrgyz courts after the company received two rulings in two days against its wholly owned subsidiary Kumtor Operating Company (KOC) for alleged environmental infractions at its eponymous mine in the country. Centerra also had to defend itself... 

Centerra vows to fight two enviro rulings as Kyrgyz woes continue
Photo by Reuters
Kumtor, Kyrgyz Replublic

Russia, China add more gold reserves; Venezuela sells more

By: Reuters     25th May 2016 China and Russia, two of the largest holders of bullion, and Kazakhstan bolstered their gold reserves last month, while Venezuela sold off more of its bullion earlier this year, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Tuesday. Extending a prolonged buying spree, Russia added 16.2 t... 

Vale to delist from Hong Kong exchange

By: Henry Lazenby     25th May 2016 Brazilian diversified mining major Vale has delisted from the Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEx) as part of the company’s simplification strategy. In a press release issued Tuesday, the Rio de Janeiro-based miner announced that the HKEx had approved the withdrawal of Vale´s HDRs – an informal name... 

New acid mine water process has huge agri potential in arid areas  

By: Martin Creamer     25th May 2016 The newly developed process that yields handsome profits by converting acid mine water into valuable fertiliser materials, also has the potential to process South Africa’s large volumes of currently unusable brackish groundwater. The use of the process that eradicates acid mine drainage (AMD) for... 

New acid mine water process has huge agri potential in arid areas
Photo by Duane Daws
Trailblazer Technolgies director John Bewsey

Kyrgyz court fines Centerra unit Kumtor $98m

By: Reuters     25th May 2016 A court in Kyrgyzstan fined the country's biggest gold miner Kumtor Operating Company, a unit of Canada's Centerra Gold, 6.7-billion some ($98-million) for environmental damage on Wednesday. Kumtor's lawyers told reporters at the hearing that they would appeal the ruling. 

Kyrgyz court fines Centerra unit Kumtor $98m
Photo by Centerra Gold
Kumtor, Kyrgyz Republic

China iron-ore, steel stabilise after rout, spot ore may hold near $50/t

By: Reuters     25th May 2016 Iron-ore and steel futures in China steadied on Wednesday after recent steep losses, supporting market expectations that the price of spot iron-ore could find support at around $50/t. After a seasonal pickup in demand, consumption in China, the world's top steel user, has softened, pushing... 

RBCT CEO to stand down

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2016 Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) CEO Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane will be stepping down after four years at the helm. RBCT said on Tuesday that GM finance Alan Waller would be taking over as CEO from July 1, when GM strategy and compliance Casper Mbuyazi would assume the finance role. 

RBCT CEO to stand down
RBCT CEO Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane

New highly profitable acid mine water solution unveiled 

By: Martin Creamer     24th May 2016 A process has been developed that yields handsome profits by converting acid mine water into valuable fertiliser materials. The process, which purifies the water free of charge, removes all of the total dissolved solids and converts them into saleable products. 

New highly profitable acid mine water solution unveiled
Photo by Duane Daws
Trailblazer director John Bewsey (right) and Martin Creamer

Oil and gas discoveries at 64-year low as price slump hits exploration budgets

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th May 2016 Conventional oil and gas discoveries outside North America have fallen to the lowest level since 1952, with recoverable resources of only 12-billion barrels of oil equivalent having been discovered in 2015. Analysis from NYSE-listed IHS, which was published on Tuesday, showed that the volume of... 

Indonesia renews Newmont Mining's copper export licence for six months

By: Reuters     24th May 2016 Indonesia's mining ministry recommended renewing the export licence for the local unit of US copper and gold miner Newmont Mining Corp to export copper concentrate for the next six months, a ministry official said on Tuesday. Newmont, Indonesia's second-biggest copper miner, will be allowed to... 

Pit collapse kills at least 13 in Myanmar jade-mining district

By: Reuters     24th May 2016 A collapse at an illegal mine killed at least 13 people in Myanmar's northern Kachin State, a resident involved in rescue efforts said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of deadly accidents to hit the jade-mining area. The wall of the pit in Weikha Village in Hpakant, the centre of the opaque... 

De Beers ‘encouraged’ by stable rough diamond demand

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th May 2016 Although De Beers’ rough diamond sales were lower for the fourth sales cycle of this year than in the third, the diamond miner said it was “encouraged by the continued stability of demand for rough diamonds”. De Beers sold about $630-million of diamonds in the fourth sales cycle up to May 23,... 

De Beers ‘encouraged’ by stable rough diamond demand

First permanent infrastructure being built at new DRC tin mine

By: Martin Creamer     23rd May 2016 The first permanent mining infrastructure is being built at the proposed new tin mine at Bisie, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for which $130-million is being raised. Alphamin Resources CEO Boris Kamstra said the return airway drive being built would be used to acclimatise mining... 

First permanent infrastructure being built at new DRC tin mine
Photo by Duane Daws
Alphamin CEO Boris Kamstra

India’s Hindustan Copper reduces capex to $59m

By: Ajoy K Das     23rd May 2016 India’s sole State-owned integrated copper producer Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) has lowered its capital expenditure (capex) for the current financial year, owing to delayed clearances for reopening and expanding three of its captive copper mines. Data sourced from the government showed that... 

CIL implements new pricing strategy, slashes e-auction reserve price

By: Ajoy K Das     23rd May 2016 Reacting to oversupply pressures and rising stockpiles, Coal India Limited (CIL) has taken the first step to adjust the price of coal and meet the volume demand of consumers. In a significant change in pricing strategy, Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), a wholly owned subsidiary of CIL, has... 

Regulator asks China Molybdenum how it will finance Brazil buy

By: Reuters     23rd May 2016 China Molybdenum (CMOC) said Chinese regulators have asked it to disclose how it will finance its $1.5-billion acquisition of Anglo American Plc's niobium and phosphates business in Brazil. The request comes after CMOC, one of China's largest producers of molybdenum, agreed to buy... 

Mining licence fees now SMS-enabled in forward-striding Tanzania

By: Martin Creamer     20th May 2016 The Tanzanian online mining cadastre system now allows licence holders to request the total licence fees they owe via short message service (SMS). The addition of SMS extends the range of payment functionality that the Ministry of Energy and Minerals offers to its customers, the FlexiCadastre... 

Mining licence fees now SMS-enabled in forward-striding Tanzania
Tanzanian president John Magufuli

Oil Search signs MoU to sell down InterOil assets following same-day acquisition

By: Samantha Herbst     20th May 2016 Following ASX-listed oil and gas major Oil Search’s successful acquisition of Papua New Guinea-focused InterOil Corporation for $2.2-billion, or $40.25 a share, Oil Search reported on Friday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with multinational integrated oil and gas major... 

Oil Search signs MoU to sell down InterOil assets following same-day acquisition

Russia eyes $1.3bn proceeds from Alrosa, Sovkomflot stake sales - reports

By: Reuters     20th May 2016 The Russian government aims to make over 84-billion roubles ($1.3-billion) from selling its stakes in diamond miner Alrosa and the shipping firm Sovkomflot this year, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was quoted as saying on Friday. Russia plans a major privatisation push this year in a move to... 

Gold heads for biggest weekly drop in eight on Fed rate outlook

By: Reuters     20th May 2016 Gold steadied after two days of losses on Friday, but was set for its biggest weekly slide in eight weeks on the back of a firmer dollar and indications from the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest raise rates sooner than expected. New York Fed President William Dudley said on... 

Mitsui looking to close deal to acquire stakes in Vale’s Moz operations by next March

By: Keith Campbell     20th May 2016 Japanese general trading company Mitsui & Co, part of the Mitsui group, has stated that it plans to close its deal with Brazilian mining and logistics group Vale to acquire stakes in the latter’s Mozambican operations by March next year. In December 2014, Mitsui & Co agreed to buy 15% of Vale... 

Too costly to shut: Mine sales stumble on looming clean-ups

By: Reuters     19th May 2016 Major miners are trying to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in closure costs by selling off pits, as cash is tight due to a prolonged commodities price slump, but the crippling cost of environmental rehabilitation makes it tough to seal deals. Where mine sales have gone ahead, production is... 

Too costly to shut: Mine sales stumble on looming clean-ups
BHP Billiton held on to its loss-making Nickel West operation after failing to find a buyer. The business is estimated to have $1-billion in closure liabilities.

Transparency equals bankability, World Diamond Congress hears

By: Martin Creamer     19th May 2016 The large number of bad-debt bankruptcies in the diamond industry in recent years was aired on the second day of the 37th World Diamond Congress in Dubai, where much emphasis was again placed on the critical need for financial transparency. De Beers commercial development head Howard Davies drew... 

Transparency equals bankability, World Diamond Congress hears
World diamond top-brass Rony Unterman, Ernie Blom, Yoram Dvash, Julien Drybooms

Chinese investors interested in privatisation of Russia's Alrosa – TASS

By: Reuters     19th May 2016 Chinese investors are interested in taking part in the government sell-off of a 10.9% stake in Russian diamond miner Alrosa, the TASS news agency quoted Alrosa CEO Andrey Zharkov as saying on Thursday. Alrosa, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carats, competes with De Beers, a... 

Red Mountain’s Batangas JV with Bluebird up and running

By: Samantha Herbst     19th May 2016 ASX-listed junior gold developer Red Mountain Mining’s strategic joint venture (JV) partner Bluebird Merchant Ventures has completed the Stage 1 payments totalling $1.7-million required to cement the JV that will fast-track the initial development of the Batangas gold project, on Luzon Island in... 

China sets aside $4bn to finance steel, coal capacity cuts

By: Reuters     19th May 2016 The Chinese central government will earmark 27.64-billion yuan ($4.23-billion) to help local governments pay for capacity closures in the steel and coal sectors this year, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday. The industrial enterprise restructuring funds will come in two parts, with the first... 

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