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Mining, independence at stake as Greenland goes to the polls

By: Reuters Greenlanders go to the polls on Friday with hopes for a mineral-rich independence from Denmark foundering on the reality of a tiny, shrinking economy. The fall of premier Aleqa Hammond last month in an expense scandal has muted the nationalist rhetoric that promised independence based on wealth... 

Burkina Faso's transitional government to review mine permits 

By: Reuters Burkina Faso's transitional government will review some mine contracts signed under former President Blaise Compaore, responding to concerns that exploration permits were granted in opaque conditions, new mines minister Colonel Boubacar Ba said. Gold is the West African nation's top commodity and... 

QRC analysis shows how mining provides A$77bn boost to Qld economy

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The resources sector in Queensland added an estimated A$77.6-billion to the state’s economy in 2013/14, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) reported on Friday. Revealing an analysis of spending in the resources sector, QRC CEO Michael Roche noted that despite challenges in the commodity... 

Rio Tinto defers Pilbara iron-ore mine, no impact on expansion forecast

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Diversified miner Rio Tinto on Friday deferred the development of the proposed billion-dollar Silvergrass iron-ore mine, in the Pilbara, until at least the third quarter of 2015. A final investment decision on the Silvergrass mine, which would assist Rio in achieving its aim of increasing its... 

Rio Tinto defers Pilbara iron-ore mine, no impact on expansion forecast
Photo by Bloomberg
Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh

Colombia mine regulator sees faster project licensing within a year

By: Reuters Colombia's mining regulator will be able to bring wait times for exploration and production permits back within legal limits in about a year after it has smoothed out the legal tangles that have bogged down its decisions, its chief said on Thursday. Natalia Gutierrez, president of the National... 

Analytical Services Division upgrade to streamline efficiency

By: Mia Breytenbach Refurbishments to State-owned minerals research organisation Mintek’s Analytical Services Division are expected to start in the first quarter of 2015, Mintek Analytical Services Division manager Joe Baloyi tells Mining Weekly, highlighting that expanding the division’s services to the... 

Analytical Services Division upgrade to streamline efficiency
STREAMLINED EFFICIENCY Mintek’s Analytical Services Division will create an open-plan laboratory where ore weighing, sample preparation, testing, analysis and results processing are performed in successive stages

Demand increase for geological data management systems

By: Mia Breytenbach Australia-based mining software solutions and services provider MICROMINE has registered a 20% to 30% demand increase for its flexible and secure Geobank and Geobank Mobile mining data-management solutions software, MICROMINE Africa customer services manager Craig Peek tells Mining Weekly. He... 

Demand increase for  geological data management systems
DATA COMPARISON The Sample Tracker module in the Geobank Mobile data management software solution enables users to perform full reconciliation of laboratory dispatch and received samples

Increased demand for mineralogical services

By: Mia Breytenbach State-owned council for mineral technology Mintek has noted a 60% demand increase for its mineralogical services in the past five years, with a significant increase in analysis enquiries on graphites, manganese and phosphates, as well as a surge in inquiries from the platinum mining sector,... 

Increased demand for mineralogical services
TECHNOLOGICAL INVESTMENT The Field emission gun Qemscan 650F implements chemistry and back-scatter electron signals to identify the mineral phases and determine their degree of liberation within particles

Increased uptake of PT schemes

By: Mia Breytenbach Coupled with year-on-year growth for mining laboratory quality-control services provider Qotho Laboratory Services, market uptake of the company’s interlaboratory proficiency testing (PT) schemes for various commodities has been successful over the past 12 months, says MD Hannelie de Beer. “Qotho... 

Increased uptake of  PT schemes
Photo by Bloomberg
ACCREDITATION DRIVE Qotho Laboratory Services recognises that laboratories are implementing ISO 17025 – the laboratory equivalent of the ISO 9000 quality management certification

Mining houses, other stakeholders in bid to mitigate high levels of indebtedness among workers

By: Zandile Mavuso About 6.72% of mineworkers in South Africa have been issued with emolument attachment orders (EAOs), which has resulted in a crisis of indebtedness in the mining sector – a crisis that some believe is one of the major underlying factors of the recent labour unrest and protracted strike action. 

Mining houses, other stakeholders in bid  to mitigate high levels of indebtedness among workers

Statistical method assists in exploration borehole drilling

By: Mia Breytenbach As the mining industry needs to start adopting a fresh approach to determine mineral resources and the exploration required to do so, professional services firm Venmyn Deloitte introduced the Variance Towers statistical method in 2010 to assist in early-stage exploration. “This technique is used... 

Statistical method  assists in exploration borehole drilling
DEFINITIVE APPROACH The Variance Towers technique is used to estimate the minimum number of boreholes to find the information required to declare the inferred to indicated mineral resources

Worker unrest, cost pressures and demand weakness hit mining companies in 2014 financial year

By: Chantelle Kotze The 2014 financial year was marred by labour unrest, compounded by local cost pressures and international demand weakness which resulted in shrinking margins and wide ranging impairment provisions in the South African mining industry, according to PwC director Andries Rossouw. 

Keysbrook construction given green light

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The board of mineral sands developer MZI Resources on Thursday confirmed a final investment decision on the Keysbrook project, in Western Australia, following the completion of all funding conditions. Company chairperson Mal Randall said that having satisfied all conditions precedent to access... 

Decline in commodity prices puts brakes on resource projects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The latest data from the Bureau of Resources and Economics (BREE) has revealed that the downward spiral in commodity prices has resulted in an increase in the number of resource projects either being delayed or deferred. BREE stated in its latest Resources and Energy Major Projects report that... 

Decline in commodity prices puts brakes on resource projects

Enviro assessment process for Taseko’s Aley project starts

By: Creamer Media Reporter The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) will start an environmental assessment review of TSX- and NYSE-listed Taseko Mines’ Aley niobium project in northern British Columbia. Additionally, the Federal Minister of Environment had granted substitution of the environmental... 

Productivity efforts fail to flow through to midtier bottom line

By: Esmarie Swanepoel A new study by advisory firm PwC has revealed that despite the Australian mining industry’s efforts to boost productivity, there has been little impact on the bottom line of midtier miners. In its eighth yearly analysis of the 50 biggest Australian mining companies with a market capitalisation... 

WA economy to slow as resources sector shifts to operational phase

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Western Australian economy was headed for a slowdown as the resources sector transitioned from a construction to an operational phase, the latest Quarterly Economic Brief from the Chamber of Energy and Minerals of Western Australia (CME) revealed on Tuesday. Deloitte Access Economics has... 

WA economy to slow as resources sector shifts to operational phase

BHP to spend $200m on Olympic Dam debottlenecking

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Diversified major BHP Billiton would invest about $200-million in its Olympic Dam operation, in South Australia, as part of its debottlenecking efforts, and would accelerate long-term drilling plans and mine development. CFO Peter Beaven said on Monday that it was hoped the debottlenecking... 

Teck appoints two to board

By: Creamer Media Reporter TSX-listed Teck Resources has appointed Laura Dottori-Attanasio and Tracey McVicar to its board, with immediate effect. Dottori-Attanasio has over 20 years of senior and high profile leadership experience in the finance sector, with significant exposure to the mining industry. She is senior... 

Levin says will meet CFTC to discuss scope of LME oversight

By: Reuters US Senator Carl Levin plans to meet with the US commodities regulator to discuss the scope of its oversight of the London Metal Exchange, the world's biggest and oldest metal market, in the United States, he told reporters on Friday. His comments came at the end of a two-day hearing of his... 

Major shake-up of BHP management as demerger advances

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining giant BHP Billiton on Monday announced a major management reshuffle as it advanced with the demerger of its noncore assets. BHP earlier this year announced the demerger of the aluminium, nickel, manganese and silver assets. Its focus will remain on its iron-ore, coal, petroleum, copper... 

Mining investment in Oz to decline by 40%

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Investment into Australia’s resources sector would decline by about 40% over the next four years, economic forecaster and industry analyst BIS Shrapnel reported on Monday. “In terms of the mining investment bust, we have hardly begun – this has a long way to run,” said BIS Shrapnel’s... 

BHP Billiton looks to further cut costs

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mining giant BHP Billiton has widened its productivity gains expectations by a further $500-million between now and 2017. In October, the miner announced that it was targeting productivity gains of at least $3.5-billion a year by the 2017 financial year, with CEO Andrew Mackenzie saying at the... 

BHP Billiton looks to further cut costs

Beacon Hill restructuring talks ongoing

By: Natalie Greve Responding to a jump in its share price, Beacon Hill reiterated on Friday that it remained in advanced negotiations with an unnamed development finance institution in relation to a new senior debt facility. The commodity producer’s shares on the LSE were trading up 5.8% to 0.09p on Friday... 

Wallbridge pays down additional debt by $1m

By: Creamer Media Reporter TSX-listed exploration and mining company Wallbridge Mining has successfully negotiated an early prepayment of $1-million on its $2-million debt owing to Callinan Royalties. This was pursuant to a line of credit (LoC) entered into with Callinan on December 12, 2012. The interest payable on the... 

Australia's RBA upbeat on outlook for China resource demand

By: Reuters Chinese demand for Australian resources is likely to stay strong over the long run as the Asian giant continues to urbanise and mature into a consumer-led economy, a top central banker said on Friday. The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) head of economic research, Alexandra Heath, acknowledged... 

Nuclear metal hafnium price hits record high

By: Reuters The price of nuclear and aerospace metal hafnium has surged to an all-time high as shrinking supplies fail to catch up with demand from consuming industries, traders said. Producers had run down their existing stockpiles and any available material was being sold on a first-come-first-served... 

Energy security takes centre stage at Australia-India meeting

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have prioritised the resources sector as one of the key areas for shared commercial growth, following the G20 summit in Brisbane. In a joint statement this week, the two Prime Ministers noted that energy was a central... 

Energy security takes centre stage at Australia-India meeting

MZI awards EPC contract at Keysbrook

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mineral sands developer MZI Resources has executed a A$54.6-million engineering, procurement and construction contract for its Keysbrook project, in Western Australia, with project house GR Engineering Services. The contract was for the delivery of the Keysbrook mine site and an upgrade to the... 

Latest Gemfields emerald auction yields $35m

By: Creamer Media Reporter Aim-listed Gemfields’ latest auction of rough emerald mined at its Kagem mine in Zambia has earned the company $34.9-million from the sale of 598 000 ct. The auction, which was held in Lusaka from November 13 to 17, was the second for the current financial year, and 16 of the 17 lots on offer had... 

Landmark Oz-China free trade deal wins praise from resources sector

By: Esmarie Swanepoel A jubilant Australian resources sector has welcomed the federal government’s signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with China. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot on Monday inked a landmark free trade agreement with China’s President Xi Jinping, following the G20 meeting in Brisbane. 

Landmark Oz-China free trade deal wins praise from resources sector
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