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Nickel News

Exxaro H1 headline earnings up 54% to R1,3bn 

By: Matthew Hill     14th August 2008 Diversified miner Exxaro, which is State-owned Eskom’s biggest coal source, on Thursday posted a 54% rise in headline earnings for the half-year ended June 30 to R1,3-billion, after its coal unit achieved a record operating profit of R935-million. However, net operating profit dropped by 10% to... 

Lonmin outlines growth prospects in bid to fend off Xstrata takeover

By: Matthew Hill     13th August 2008 Xstrata takeover target Lonmin on Wednesday voiced its rejection of the diversified miner’s offer, highlighting its “outstanding growth prospects from 2008's low point”. The world’s third-biggest platinum producer reiterated that the £33 a share bid, announced one week ago, did not offer its... 

Xstrata-target Lonmin may struggle to defend £33-a-share bid – analysts

By: Matthew Hill     8th August 2008 Platinum producer Lonmin might find it difficult to defend diversified miner Xstrata’s £5-billion bid, but a sharp rise in the white metal’s price would provide it refuge, analysts said. Also key to the bid’s potential success will be whether it garnered support from Lonmin’s major shareholders,... 

FNX Mining earnings slide on lower prices

By: Liezel Hill     7th August 2008 Toronto-based FNX Mining reported a 68% decline in second-quarter net earnings, to C$11,3-million, mainly owing to lower prices received for its nickel. FNX realised an average nickel price in the second quarter of $9,21/lb, compared with $18,54/lb in the same period last year, while copper... 

Lundin says Portugal zinc mine 'not viable', mulls options

By: Liezel Hill     7th August 2008 Shares in base-metals miner Lundin Mining slid on Thursday, after the company posted a second-quarter loss of $108,42-million, and said that its Aljustral project, in Portugal, was not economically viable at current zinc prices. The company recorded a $152,8-million noncash impairment after... 

FNX 'long' on Gold Wheaton holding

By: Liezel Hill     7th August 2008 Toronto-based FNX Mining sees its holding in the newly created Gold Wheaton as a long-term investment, CEO Terry MacGibbon affirmed on Thursday. “We didn't do this deal for a short-term fix,” he said on a conference call.  

Aquarius CEO confident ‘common sense will prevail’ in Zim ownership law

By: Matthew Hill     7th August 2008 Bermuda-based Aquarius Platinum CEO Stuart Murray said on Thursday that he was not losing sleep over indigenisation threats in Zimbabwe, as he believed that “common sense will prevail”. He stated that it was unlikely that the country’s indigenisation Bill would go before Parliament by the time a... 

SA’s gold output drops further

By: Matthew Hill     7th August 2008 The fall in South Africa’s gold production continued in June, when the industry produced 12,3% less of the yellow metal than the same month the previous year, government figures showed. Actual total mining production in the country for the quarter ended June 30, slid by 6,3% compared with the... 

Xstrata’s offer for Lonmin rejected as ‘wholly inadequate’

By: Matthew Hill     7th August 2008 Platinum-miner Lonmin on Thursday reiterated its dissatisfaction with Xstrata’s preconditional takeover bid for the company, calling it “wholly inadequate”. “The preconditional offer is opportunistic and an entirely unwelcome attempt to acquire Lonmin at a price which fails to adequately value... 

SA labour issues a bigger headache for Aquarius than power woes

By: Matthew Hill     7th August 2008 Miner Aquarius Platinum was pegging its production improvement hopes for 2009 on patching up labour relations in South Africa over the next three to six months, CEO Stuart Murray said on Thursday. The company has repeatedly suffered setbacks because of worker strikes, and Murray believed that... 

FNX CEO Lill quits

6th August 2008 Canadian base-metals miner FNX Mining Company has appointed executive chairperson Terry MacGibbon as president and CEO, effective August 6, after the resignation of John Lill “to pursue other interests”. Lill was appointed president and CEO of FNX in September 2007, replacing MacGibbon, who then... 

Aim-listed seafloor deposits developer lodges its first mining licence application

By: Irma Venter     1st August 2008 AIM-listed explorer and developer of seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) deposits, Neptune Minerals, has lodged its first mining licence application, and this over the Rumble II West Seamount, within the New Zealand exclusive economic zone. 

Grass Valley JV fails to get Pan Palladium shareholders’ backing

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th July 2008 ASX-listed junior exploration company Pan Palladium Limited’s (PPD’s) shareholders has voted against the issue of shares and options to nickel and platinum group metal (PGM) producer, Braemore Resources, following an earlier heads of agreement over the Grass Valley PGM base-metals deposit, in the... 

Canadian Royalties receives outstanding leases for Quebec nickel mine

By: Liezel Hill     29th July 2008 TSX-listed Canadian Royalties has been granted mine leases for the Mesamax, Ivakkak and Mequillon deposits at its Nunavik nickel project, in Quebec, the company reported on Tuesday. The company received the lease for the Expo deposit last month, and has now secured the mining rights for all of... 

Zimbabwe is of ‘strategic importance’ to Angloplat, says CEO 

By: Matthew Hill     28th July 2008 Platinum-miner Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) on Monday reaffirmed its controversial commitment to developing the Unki project in Zimbabwe, with new CEO Neville Nicolau saying the country was strategically important for the company’s growth plans. He commented that Angloplat did not “hang its future... 

Angloplat targets volume growth to improve H2 revenues

By: Matthew Hill     28th July 2008 Anglo Platinum, the world’s biggest producer of the precious metal, would be able to achieve second-half revenues similar to that of the first half, if the platinum price were to average at $1 500/oz, CFO Norman Mbazima said on Monday. This was as the miner aimed to significantly increase its... 

Angloplat headline earnings surge to record R8,4bn, output tumbles

By: Matthew Hill     28th July 2008 Despite Anglo Platinum’s (Angloplat’s) period-on-period production tumbling by nearly one-fifth for the six months ended June 30, the world’s biggest miner of the white metal said on Monday that headline earnings had risen 22% to a record R8,44-billion. The record performance was thanks to... 

South Africans have been ‘spoiled’ by easy access to abundant electrical power, says new platinum smelter Braemore

By: Martin Creamer     25th July 2008 On slide 33 of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing document, Braemore Resources acting CEO David Russell has a headline that reads, “South Africa: previously spoiled for access to electrical power”.  

Norilsk completes syndication of $1,5bn loan

21st July 2008 The world's biggest miner of nickel and palladium, Norilsk Nickel, said on Monday that it had successfully closed a $1,5-billion medium-term syndicated loan. The facility was used to refinance the $2,5-billion short-term facility arranged last year to fund the company's acquisition of Canada's... 

Mwana’s Zim mines continue to operate despite ‘difficulties’

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th July 2008 Despite economic difficulties affecting Aim-listed resources company Mwana Africa’s existing operations in Zimbabwe, the company had continued production and had completed two large projects at its Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) operation, the company reported on Thursday. “Our existing... 

Newly listed Braemore also eyeing Southern African nickel opportunities 

By: Martin Creamer     16th July 2008 Twin platinum-nickel company Braemore Resources plc would “without question” also seek to apply its proprietary nickel-leaching technologies in Southern Africa in addition to Australia where they were about to be turned to positive account, Braemore acting CEO David Russell said on listing on the... 

Braemore lists on JSE, says plans $50m share issue

By: Matthew Hill     16th July 2008 Smelting company Braemore Resources planned on raising some $50-million by issuing shares on the JSE, on which it debuted on Wednesday, within the next six months, an official told Mining Weekly Online at the listing function. Executive director Clayton Dodd said that “all things being equal”,... 

Impala, Australian explorer agree ‘$800 000-in-two-years' platinum-nickel deal

By: Martin Creamer     15th July 2008 South Africa's second-largest platinum miner Impala had agreed to spend $800 000 in two years on platinum-nickel project generation in Southern Africa as part of an alliance with Australian explorer Impact Minerals Limited, the Australian Stock Exchange-listed Impact said on Tuesday. 

Upgraded processing plant set for handover

11th July 2008 Following a successful commissioning exercise at the end of March this year, mining-focused engineering project house TWP Consulting is due to hand over a fully refurbished and upgraded concentrator plant to Mwana Africa subsidiary Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) in Zimbabwe. 

Mirabela inks 5yr offtake pact for Brazil nickel mine

By: Liezel Hill     9th July 2008 Perth-based Mirabela Nickel has signed a five-year offtake agreement with Votorantim Metais Niquel for 50% of the nickel concentrate produced at the company's Santa Rita mine, in Brazil, and is in advanced talks to sell the rest of the mine's production, the company reported on Wednesday. The... 

High nickel prices promotes use of ferritic stainless steel grades

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th July 2008 There has been a global shift from austenitic to ferritic stainless steel grades with high nickel prices acting as a trigger for this shift, German firm Heinz H Pariser Alloy Metals & Steel owner Heinz Pariser said on Wednesday. Ferritic stainless steel grades contain less nickel than austenitic... 

Braemore to make JSE debut on July 16

By: Mariaan Webb     9th July 2008 London-listed Braemore Resources, which has the exclusive licence to the patented Mintek ConRoast technology for smelting platinum group-metal (PGM) concentrates, would list on the main board of the Johannesburg bourse on July 16, it said on Wednesday. Acting CEO David Russell said that it was... 

Impact buys remaining 15% stake in Botswana uranium project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th July 2008 Australian explorer Impact Minerals has acquired the remaining 15% shareholding in its uranium prospecting licences in Botswana and now owned 100% of the project, it said on Wednesday. The company bought the shares from its COO in Africa, John Blaine, for two-million shares in the company.  

FNX inks mutual-benefits pact with local First Nation

By: Liezel Hill     4th July 2008 Toronto-based FNX Mining has concluded an agreement with the Wahnapitae First Nation, the community located nearby the company's Podolsky property, in the Sudbury basin. 

Nickel-miner Minara maintains output forecast, despite gas-supply woes

By: Liezel Hill     4th July 2008 Australia's second-biggest nickel producer, Minara Resources has returned its Murrin Murrin plant in Western Australia to full production, after output was affected by an explosion that severed natural-gas supplies to the region from an offshore plant. The company has arranged an alternative... 

Havenstein joins Norilsk Nickel as CEO of international unit

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th June 2008 Ralph Havenstein, former CEO of platinum giant Anglo Platinum, will now head up the international operations of the world’s largest nickel and palladium producer, Norilsk Nickel. Havenstein, who quit his job at Angloplat in August, would have overall responsibility for the Norilsk Nickel’s... 

HudBay to buy Skye Resources for Guatemala nickel project

By: Liezel Hill     23rd June 2008 Canadian miner HudBay Minerals has agreed to buy TSX-listed Skye Resources to gain control of the smaller company's Fenix nickel project, in Guatemala, the two firms announced on Monday. Skye shareholders will receive 0,61 HudBay shares for every Skye share they own, and HudBay will also buy... 

Skye CFO to retire, names replacement

By: Liezel Hill     20th June 2008 TSX-listed Skye Resources has appointed finance VP and treasurer David Bryson as CFO, to replace Keith Service, who is retiring. Service will remain available to Skye “to assist on special assignments”, the firm said. 

Zim loses 500 skilled personnel, may not enrol new mining, engineering students

By: Oscar Nkala     20th June 2008 Zimbabwe’s mining sector has lost over 500 technically skilled and experienced personnel over the last year alone, a recent survey conducted by the Chamber of Mines reveals. 

Mwana to raise £25m to boost Zim unit, fund exploration

By: Chanel de Bruyn     18th June 2008 Aim-listed pan-African diversified resources company Mwana Africa would place new ordinary shares to raise up to £25-million in order to fund exploration and capital expenditure (capex) at some prospects, as well as provide financial support to Zimbabwe's Bindura Nickel Corporation... 

Miners cautioned to watch expenses as costs eroded 2007’s revenues 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th June 2008 While commodity prices were expected to remain strong in 2008, professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said on Tuesday that it was expecting prices to taper off slightly, and that some companies would come under pressure if they did not watch input and operational costs.... 

Zinc surplus widens – study group

By: Liezel Hill     16th June 2008 The global zinc market was in surplus by 78 000 t during the first four months of this year, compared with an oversupply of 43 000 t during the same period of 2007, according to estimates from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG). Mine output, which increased 9,2% year on year, to... 

Zinifex investors OK Oxiana merger, to create new zinc No 2

By: Liezel Hill     16th June 2008 The shareholders of Australian base-metals miner Zinifex on Monday voted to approve the takeover of the company by Oxiana, to create the newly-christened OZ Minerals, which will be the third-largest diversified miner in Australia, and the world's second biggest producer of zinc in... 

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