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Miners' gold forward sales surged 103t last year, most since 1999 – report

By: Reuters The volume of gold sold forward by mining companies rose by 103 t last year, the biggest annual increase since 1999, an industry report showed on Friday. That far outstrips an estimate given late last year of 42 t to 52 t, after Mexican gold and silver miner Fresnillo said it was hedging 47... 

Bauba makes first chrome shipment in platinum exploration funding move

By: Martin Creamer The JSE-listed Bauba Platinum, which is mining and selling chrome ore to fund its platinum exploration, this week shipped the first run-of-mine output from its maiden chrome horizon blast at the Moeijelik operation. Bauba last year entered into a two-year chrome-ore supply agreement with ASA... 

Bauba makes first chrome shipment in platinum exploration funding move
Photo by Duane Daws
Syd Caddy

LME looking to restore bullion forward curve, eyes broad market restructuring

By: Reuters The London Metal Exchange (LME) has started talking to the main bullion trading banks about reinstating end-of-day gold and silver forward curves, which could be part of a bigger structural change in the precious metals market. A forward curve, which consists of a series of prices reflecting... 

Electricity-slashing platinum game changer expected by December

By: Martin Creamer The target date is the end of this year for the decision to go ahead with the commercial implementation of a paradigm shift technology that will mine and refine platinum in an integrated on-site process and use only a tenth of the electricity normally consumed. Major detail design work has... 

Electricity-slashing platinum game changer expected by December
Photo by Duane Daws
Arne Frandsen

Valence waves off first graphite

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Valence Industries has exported its first graphite out of Port Lincoln from the Uley graphite project, in South Australia. Some 20 t of flake graphite was trucked from Port Lincoln to Valence Industries’ Port Adelaide logistics handling facility in preparation for export to customers... 

Sumatra raises funds for Tembang development

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Gold developer Sumatra Copper & Gold would raise A$5.1-million through the placement of CHESS depository interests (CDIs) to professional and sophisticated investors. Under the terms of the placement, Sumatra would issue more than 88.52-million CDIs, representing some 13% of the total CDIs on... 

India’s proposed coal linkage auction to impact new thermal capacity

By: Ajoy K Das The fate of 15 000 MW of thermal power generation capacity, scheduled for completion before the end of the year, is facing an uncertain future as major Coal India Limited (CIL) has been directed not to sign any new fuel supply agreements (FSAs). An inter-Ministerial committee, which met earlier... 

Steadfast Wescoal reacts firmly to stave off negative reports

By: Martin Creamer A steadfast Wescoal on Wednesday reacted firmly to stave off negative news reports by restating that an offer made for the company had been taken off the table after conditions could not be met and simultaneously reconfirmed its oft-stated position of wanting to increase its black shareholding to... 

Steadfast Wescoal reacts firmly to stave off negative reports
Photo by Duane Daws
Wescoal chairperson Robinson Ramaite

Second round of Indian coal block auctions starts in April

By: Ajoy K Das The Indian government will launch the second round of coal-block auctions in April, but has yet to announce the number of blocks that would be put up for bid. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that the new round of auctions would fall within the 204 blocks allocated to the process,... 

India’s MMTC sets up subsidiary in South Africa

By: Ajoy K Das India’s government-owned and -operated MMTC Limited is planning to float a fully-fledged trading company in South Africa to leverage the region’s mineral assets and offset falling iron-ore exports at home. According to a strategic plan drawn up by the country’s largest trading house, the South... 

CITIC takes HK$13.7m hit on WA iron-ore project

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Chinese major CITIC has reported a HK$13.7-billion noncash impairment on the Sino iron-ore project, in Western Australia, during the full year ended December. As a result, the miner reported a drop in profit attributable to shareholders from HK$48.4-billion to HK$39.8-billion. 

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee

By: Martin Creamer South Africa should seize the current timely opportunity to amend its mining taxation in a manner that encourages foreign investment, stimulates prospecting, gets mining companies to start dealing with marginal mines and gives enough back to the fiscus for the benefit of this country's people,... 

Seize opportunity to improve mining tax, pleads KPMG’s Saloojee
Muhammad Saloojee

Dome completes PFS on iron sands project

By: Esmarie Swanepoel A prefeasibility study (PFS) into the Sigatoka iron sands project, in Fiji, has placed a $83.2-million price tag on the development, said owner Dome Gold Mines on Tuesday. With a pay-back period of less than two years, the project was expected to have a net present value of $236.9-million and an... 

New mining legislation to empower Indian provinces

By: Ajoy K Das Under new Indian mining legislation, mineral-bearing provinces have been fully empowered to auction mineral resources; however, guidelines and auction documents would need to adhere to templates established by the federal government. According to a Mines Ministry official, standardised rules for... 

Pallinghurst shares rise on triple performance in troubled times 

By: Martin Creamer The shares of diversified mining company Pallinghurst rose by more than 4% in Johannesburg on Monday after the company reported a rise on the performance of its platinum, manganese and coloured gemstones business units during troubled times. In the 12 months to December 31, the JSE-listed... 

Pallinghurst shares rise on triple performance in troubled times
Photo by Duane Daws
Arne Frandsen

Zijin Mining acquires 9.9% stake in Ivanhoe Mines

By: Megan van Wyngaardt TSX-listed miner Ivanhoe Mines has entered into a $82-million deal with Chinese Zijin Mining Group to boost the miner’s working capital and available funds for general corporate purposes, including the advancement of the company’s projects in Africa. Under the terms of the deal, the Chinese... 

Zijin Mining acquires 9.9% stake in Ivanhoe Mines
Photo by Duane Daws
Robert Friedland

Indonesia may ease bauxite export ban to help fund refineries

By: Reuters Indonesia is looking at easing its mineral export ban for bauxite producers to help promote the building of domestic processing capacity, a mines ministry official said on Monday. Early last year Indonesia put in place export restrictions aimed at forcing miners to develop smelting and... 

Early signs of another good year for diamond jewellery – De Beers

By: Martin Creamer Early signs that 2015 will be another positive year for the diamond industry are being given by Valentine’s Day demand in the US and Chinese New Year sales in China. De Beers strategy director Bruce Cleaver, who spoke to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online in a video interview following 2014's... 

Early signs of another good year for diamond jewellery – De Beers
Photo by Darlene Creamer
Bruce Cleaver

China slowdown pushes coal, iron-ore to fresh lows

By: Reuters Key Asian mining markets are being thrown into crisis by China's slowdown and industrial reforms, with coal and iron-ore prices falling this week to levels last seen before the global financial crisis. Benchmark Australian coal settled below $60/t on Thursday, the lowest price since before... 

India's Parliament passes Bills to allow mine auctions

By: Reuters India's Parliament passed two bills on Friday to auction mines that produce minerals such as coal, iron-ore and bauxite, in a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bid to kickstart an industry that has languished for years. The Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation, and Coal Mines... 

Global diamond jewellery demand hits record $81bn

By: Martin Creamer Global demand for diamond jewellery grew 3% to a record $81-billion in 2014, De Beers said on Friday, while pointing out a slower last-quarter pace of growth across the luxury goods category in both the US and China, the biggest and second–biggest diamond-jewellery markets. De Beers diamond... 

Global diamond jewellery demand hits record $81bn
Photo by Duane Daws
Philippe Mellier

Asian miners transition towards digital mining – survey

By: Henry Lazenby Online data, analysis and advisory services provider Timetric’s Mining Intelligence Centre (MIC) says Asian mines are transitioning towards digital mining, as demonstrated by continuing investment in design software and mine surveying. The UK-based firm this week revealed that a recent survey of... 

Effective CSR strategies becoming increasingly critical to project success

By: Henry Lazenby With the extractive industry these days being forced to look for viable projects in more far-flung regions, it often entails coming into contact with communities that have, in a sense, been forgotten or neglected by their own governments, potentially adding to project risk. But socioeconomic... 

Effective CSR strategies becoming increasingly critical to project success

Glencore opts for squeaky clean

By: Martin Creamer Mining and marketing giant Glencore on Thursday took the unprecedented step of signing a major human rights commitment with a top human rights body, in a bid to keep its activities beyond reproach and squeaky clean. In its latest step of many recent steps to keep the company firmly on mining's... 

Glencore opts for squeaky clean
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Indian government caught in quicksand over coal block auction

By: Ajoy K Das The Indian government faces fire as it re-examines and takes a decision on the winning bids for nine coal blocks put up for auction. According to Coal Ministry officials, the options under consideration included putting the nine coal blocks up for auctions again or handing them over to... 

Barrick Gold faces legal action in PNG over Porgera mine

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Gold miner Barrick Gold was facing a legal challenge at its Porgera mine, in Papua New Guinea, with landowners in the region claiming billions of dollars in compensation. The Justice Foundation for Porgera (JFP), which represents landowners in the Porgera region, has submitted a position... 

Barrick Gold faces legal action in PNG over Porgera mine

TNG inks second agreement with Woojin

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed TNG has signed a second binding term sheet with Korean ferrovanadium producer Woojin, this time for a technology exchange at the Mount Peake vanadium/titanium/iron project, in the Northern Territory. The new term sheet would see Woojin transfer its proprietary ferrovanadium... 

Xanadu reports maiden resource in Mongolia

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Xanadu Mines has reported a maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee-complaint resource of 230-million tonnes at the Kharmagtai copper/gold project, in Mongolia. Grading 0.34% copper and 0.33 g/t gold, the project is estimated host about 1.5-billion pounds of copper and 2.2-million ounces... 

Zinc metal deficit expected to intensify – Glencore

By: Martin Creamer The zinc metal market’s 2014 deficit is expected to intensify this year, Glencore says in its latest annual report. The 200-page document, in which CEO Ivan Glasenberg notes slower than expected post-financial-crisis normalisation, positions the company as one able to react quickly and benefit... 

Zinc metal deficit expected to intensify – Glencore
Photo by Duane Daws
Ivan Glasenberg

Crater restarts operations in PNG

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Crater Gold Mining has resumed mining operations at the High Grade Zone mine, at its Crater Mountain operation, in Papua New Guinea. The company was ordered to cease mining activities in late December, pending the conclusion of a Papua New Guinea Mines and Safety Inspectorate inquiry... 

Besra inks heads of agreement to boost investment in Vietnam project

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian gold producer Besra has signed a heads of agreement that could potentially pave the way for a prominent Vietnamese financial institution to become a significant partner in the Phuoc Son project, while injecting new capital. The agreement provided for a coordinated investment in the Phuoc... 

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