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Asia News

Asia's coal markets tighten on Indonesia port probe, Australian cyclone

By: Reuters     Updated 8 minutes ago Port disruptions in Indonesia and a cyclone hitting mines in Australia have tightened Asia's coal markets in March, while demand in China and other key import markets remains strong, lifting prices. Prompt thermal coal cargo prices for export from Australia's Newcastle port have risen by more... 

Vedanta says has no plans to buy Anglo American assets in South Africa

By: Reuters     Updated 25 minutes ago The chairperson of Indian miner Vedanta Resources has no plans to buy assets in South Africa from Anglo American, or to push for a board seat after announcing a plan to acquire a 13% stake in the mining giant. "I believe in the management, I believe in the company (Anglo)... and felt that if I... 

Vedanta says has no plans to buy Anglo American assets in South Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal

India to offer free pricing, revenue sharing model to open up commercial coal mining

By: Ajoy K Das     Updated 1 hour 38 minutes ago Returning to commercial coal mining for the first time since 1973, India will offer free pricing and a revenue sharing contracts to investor securing coal blocks through the reverse auction route. In a working paper outlining the plans for launch of commercial mining, the Coal Ministry proposed... 

Swedish miner says Donald Trump doesn't hold key to metal prices

By: Bloomberg     28th March 2017 The operator of some of Europe’s largest copper and zinc mines expects President Donald Trump’s plans to spend on US infrastructure to have much less impact on base-metal prices than the needs of burgeoning middle-class populations in emerging markets. That’s because projects in the US and other... 

Randgold hoists dividend 900% in ten years

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2017 Gold mining company Randgold Resources on Tuesday reaffirmed its intention to increase its final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2016. Since its first dividend in its 2006 financial year, the yearly dividends have increased by 900% over the ten-year period. 

Randgold hoists dividend 900% in ten years
Photo by Duane Daws
Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow

Diamond industry’s famous hungry crocodile doesn't cut it

By: Bloomberg     28th March 2017 The diamond industry’s most famous chart is the hungry crocodile, the ancient reptile’s jaws wide open, reflecting both a predicted shortage of gems and the inevitable price rises that will come with it. Not only has this chart, which has been an industry staple for more than a decade and... 

India to announce iron-ore pricing mechanism next month

By: Ajoy K Das     28th March 2017 A committee appointed by the Indian government will submit its report of recommendations on a domestic pricing mechanism for iron-ore next month, raising the specter that the free pricing regime for natural resources might be coming to an end, or could face limitations. A Steel Ministry official... 

Turquoise Hill stocks rise despite narrower FY profit

By: Henry Lazenby     28th March 2017 The NYSE-listed stock of Rio Tinto subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources rose sharply after market close on Monday, gaining nearly 6% to $3.24 a share, after the company reported a full-year profit for 2016 and a positive production outlook for this year. In 2016, Turquoise Hill recorded net income... 

Turquoise Hill stocks rise despite narrower FY profit
Photo by Turquoise Hill Resources
Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia

11 killed in two gold mine accidents in central China – Xinhua

By: Reuters     27th March 2017 Accidents at two neighbouring gold mines in central China's Henan province killed 11 people on Friday, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing local authorities. Thick smoke engulfed a pit at the Qinling gold mine of China National Gold Group in Lingbao City on Friday morning, trapping... 

Southern Gold partners with London-listed firm on two Korean projects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     27th March 2017 Gold producer Southern Gold could restart two of its Korean gold mines with the help of LSE-listed Bluebird Merchant Ventures. ASX-listed Southern Gold on Monday announced that it has signed a conditional agreement with Bluebird for the farm-in on two of Southern Gold’s 17 gold projects in South... 

South32 to return additional $500m to shareholders

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2017 Diversified mining company South32 on Monday announced that it intends to return an additional $500-million to shareholders, equating to 4.5% of the group’s current market capitalisation. The Sydney-, London- and Johannesburg-listed company said in a media release that this dividend-complementing... 

South32 to return additional $500m to shareholders
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Glencore bond tanks and scuppers Anglo's return

By: Reuters     25th March 2017 Anglo-Swiss miner Glencore sold its first US dollar bond in two years on Tuesday, but the deal tumbled after pricing as a global sell-off added to a backlash against the deal's tight spread. The $1-billion ten-year trade is the company's first since April 2015, and follows a recovery in... 

Miners regain mojo to spark $18bn in exploration hunt

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2017 A rebound in exploration by global miners could see spending hit $18-billion by 2025 with China the front runner in the search for a new generation of giant discoveries. Exploration budgets are rising after they plunged to an 11-year low of about $10-billion last year as mining companies slashed... 

Australian group lines up China backing for new iron-ore rail, port infrastructure

By: Reuters     24th March 2017 China State Construction Engineering Corp has tentatively agreed to build a new port and rail line for a yet-to-be-approved iron-ore mine in Western Australia, according to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with privately-owned New Zealand firm BBI Group. The MoU, tied to a A$6-billion... 

India's oil, gas companies seek minimum floor price for natural gas

By: Ajoy K Das     24th March 2017 Oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies in India are seeking to have the natural gas pricing regime revised to allow for the setting of a minimum rate, as a sustained fall in prices is fast eroding the economic viability of operations. The E&P companies, in a communication with the... 

Kingsrose administrators raise cash

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     24th March 2017 The administrators of ASX-listed Kingsrose Mining have announced that the company has raised some A$5.4-million through a secured convertible loan facility to assist with its restructuring. The gold junior in December 2016 went into voluntary administration, placing its Talang Santo mine, in... 

Proponents see glistening future in seabed mining, but environmentalists fret  

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th March 2017 With the current known mineral deposits on land increasingly being depleted globally, necessitating greater exploration, interest in deep-sea minerals is growing as mining companies look for future sources to exploit. “The ocean is where future resources exist,” India Council of Scientific and... 

Proponents see glistening future in seabed mining, but environmentalists fret

Russia's Alrosa expects 6% fall in first-quarter diamond sales

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 Russian diamond miner Alrosa expects its first-quarter sales to be down 6% at $1.25-billion compared with a year ago, the state-controlled company said in a presentation for its investor day on Wednesday. Alrosa, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds, plans to increase diamond output to... 

Harmony plans to grow output to 1.5Moz, outlines acquisition criteria

By: Ilan Solomons     22nd March 2017 Dual-listed Harmony Gold is aiming to increase its yearly gold production from the current 1.1-million to 1.5-million ounces over the next three years. This would be achieved by undertaking expansions at its operations in South Africa, the rest of Africa and Papua New Guinea, while also... 

Harmony plans to grow output to 1.5Moz, outlines acquisition criteria
Golpu gold project, in Papua New Guinea

Mitsubishi says it may sell stakes in Australia thermal coal mines

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corp may sell stakes in Australia thermal coal mines as it presses on with a switch to core assets such as coking coal after slumping to its first-ever annual loss last year, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The Nikkei business daily reported earlier on... 

BHP buys back $2.5bn in bonds

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     22nd March 2017 Mining major BHP Billiton has repurchased $2.5-billion worth of bonds, allowing the miner to extend its average debt maturity profile and enhancing its capital structure. BHP this week announced the expiration of its tender offers for its $1.25-billion, 3.25% senior notes due in 2021, its... 

BHP buys back $2.5bn in bonds

India, Iran gas deal not expected before third quarter

By: Ajoy K Das     22nd March 2017 Any definitive agreement between India and Iran on the development of the Farzad B offshore gasfields, in the Persian Gulf, seems unlikely before the third quarter of this year. Despite India’s ONGC Videsh having submitted a curtailed $3-billion development plan to the Iranian national oil... 

Anglo American readies bond market return

By: Reuters     21st March 2017 Anglo American is poised to sell its first public bond since it was stripped of its investment-grade status last year following the shock capitulation of global commodity prices. The mining company, rated Ba1/BB+, is expected to sell a US dollar and/or euro-denominated bond on Wednesday, after... 

Big banks talking to Rio Tinto's specialist new Ventures arm

By: Reuters     21st March 2017 London bankers are vying for contracts after Rio Tinto said it had set up a new unit, Rio Tinto Ventures, to develop more specialised mining prospects as it seeks to reduce its reliance on bulk commodities, three banking sources said. The big miners have traditionally relied on producing... 

Freeport Indonesia resumes copper concentrate production

By: Reuters     21st March 2017 Freeport McMoRan Inc's Indonesian unit has resumed production of copper concentrate at its giant Grasberg mine, a spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday, ending a more than one-month stoppage. "We have begun to resume operations in stages," Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said, confirming... 

$60m 'Pink Star' diamond goes back on sale next month

By: Reuters     21st March 2017 A 59.60-ct diamond known as "The Pink Star" is returning to auction next month and could fetch a record $60-million, three years since it was sold for even more - only for the buyer to pull out of the deal. The diamond was presented by Sotheby's in London ahead of the auction in Hong Kong on... 

TransCanada to push ahead with C$1.4bn North Montney gas pipeline earlier than expected

By: Henry Lazenby     21st March 2017 Pipeline operator TransCanada has filed a variance application with the National Energy Board to proceed with construction of the North Montney Mainline Project (NMMP) ahead of schedule. The Calgary, Alberta-based oil and gas transporter has already been granted the required federal and... 

TransCanada to push ahead with C$1.4bn North Montney gas pipeline earlier than expected

Smaller global copper deficit seen in December – ICSG

By: Henry Lazenby     21st March 2017 The International Copper Study Group said Monday the global copper market deficit had fallen back to about 50 000 t in December, following a deficit of about 90 000 t in November. According to the group’s latest copper bulletin, world mine output is estimated to have increased by around 5%, or... 

Smaller global copper deficit seen in December – ICSG

Sibanye’s Stillwater deal to come under April 25 spotlight

By: Martin Creamer     20th March 2017 The proposed acquisition by Sibanye of Stillwater Mining will come under the spotlight on April 25, when shareholders will be asked to consider resolutions to give effect to the transaction, with or without amendment. The Johannesburg- and New York Stock Exchange-listed Sibanye, headed by CEO... 

Sibanye’s Stillwater deal to come under April 25 spotlight
Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman

Gold hits 2-wk high as Fed rate outlook weighs on dollar

By: Reuters     20th March 2017 Gold prices hit a two-week high on Monday as the dollar slumped to near 6-week lows after the US Federal Reserve's dovish outlook on the pace of rate increases this year continued to disappoint dollar bulls. Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1 234.60/oz by 0735 GMT, after earlier touching $1 235.50/oz, its... 

South African OEM completes equipment delivery to Chinese copper mine

By: David Oliveira     20th March 2017 South African original-equipment manufacturer Galison earlier this month completed the delivery of an automated underground rolling stock solution, comprising 40 underground wagons and two tipping stations, to Chinese State-owned copper mine Pulong, in Yunnan province, China, at a cost of about... 

South African OEM completes equipment delivery to Chinese copper mine
Galison's 20 m3 wagons are capable of carrying 40 t of rock in a single load

Rio quietly optimistic over Trump’s infrastructure delivery promises

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th March 2017 Mining giant Rio Tinto is quietly optimistic about the ability of US President Donald Trump to deliver on his infrastructure promises, driving demand for Rio’s products. Speaking on CNBC, Rio CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques said a team from Rio had recently met with “key influencers and key... 

Scoping study demonstrates positive economics for Kyrgyzstan gold project

By: Anine Kilian     20th March 2017 A scoping study on Aim-listed Highland Gold’s Unkurtash project, in Kyrgyzstan, has demonstrated positive economics. The study, which was compiled by SRK, estimates some $322-million in capital expenditure will be require to build the mine, which is estimated to produce some 133 000 oz/y of gold... 

India boosts drive for greater CBM extraction

By: Ajoy K Das     20th March 2017 Tweaking the rules of the current administrative regime, India’s Coal Ministry has permitted Coal India Limited (CIL) and its wholly-owned subsidiaries to extract coal bed methane (CBM) under existing coal block mining leases. The liberalisation of the rules would permit CIL to fast-track its... 

Adani to start Carmichael construction in August

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     20th March 2017 Construction on the A$21.7-billion Carmichael coal and rail project is expected to start in August, Indian major Adani confirmed to Mining Weekly Online. Chairperson Guatam Adani told a media conference in Mumbai that the outstanding approvals and licences were in the pipeline for approval and... 

Adani to start Carmichael construction in August

Vedanta already turning Anglo’s discarded zinc assets to account 

By: Martin Creamer     17th March 2017 Diversified mining company Vedanta, which is being associated with the acquisition of 13% of the equity of Anglo American by Volcan Investments because of the link both these entities have with Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, has done well with the South African assets it acquired from Anglo... 

Vedanta already turning Anglo’s discarded zinc assets to account
Flashback video: Vedanta's Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo updates Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer on the Gamsberg zinc project. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Anglo's billionaire investor puts mining on cusp of M&A era

By: Bloomberg     17th March 2017 Anil Agarwal’s surprise move into Anglo American suggests the mining industry may be on the cusp of a new wave of deals. For years, Anglo has been the subject of takeover speculation and during the worst of the commodities crisis it seemed on the verge of a breakup. It spent last year getting... 

Anglo's billionaire investor puts mining on cusp of M&A era
Photo by Bloomberg
Anil Agarwal

Suspended Philippine nickel miner plans to restart in policy test

By: Reuters     17th March 2017 A Philippine nickel ore producer plans to reopen two mines suspended for environmental violations while it awaits the outcome of an appeal, in a test of rules around the government's crackdown on the industry. The two mines were among 10 suspended last year during a months-long audit led by... 

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