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Nickel News

Africa-focused Albidon closes out hedge book

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd September 2008 ASX-listed Albidon has closed out its hedge book of 11 294 t of nickel to cut its senior debt, it said on Monday. The company, headquartered in Perth, said it had generated net proceeds of about $50-million. 

Grinaker-LTA subsidiary clinches Nkomati plant contract

By: Leandi Kolver     19th September 2008 A new concentrator plant is to be built at African Rainbow Minerals (Arm’s) and Norilsk Nickel Africa’s joint project Nkomati nickel mine, in Mpumalanga. The companies contracted multidisciplinary contractor Grinaker-LTA Mechanical & Electrical Metals & Minerals to build the plant. 

Braemore issues profit warning, shares drop sharply

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th September 2008 Nickel and platinum-producer Braemore Resources on Wednesday issued a statement to the JSE indicating an expected decrease in headline earnings a share of between 20% and 40% for the year ended June 2008. The companies share price dropped almost 44%, to 40c a share by the close of business on... 

African Rainbow Minerals to spend R12bn in next four years, says Patrice Motsepe

By: Martin Creamer     12th September 2008 Diversified black-controlled mining company African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) will be investing R12-billion in projects in the next four years. Executive chairperson and founder Patrice Motsepe said the R12-billion expenditure between 2008 and 2011 would reflect the second major expansionary phase... 

Sentiment changes as the demand side weakens

By: Irma Venter     12th September 2008 The fact that some base metal prices have fallen by more than 50% in recent months, highlights the fact that investment activity in the market can turn quickly from being bullish to bearish, reports London-based Natixis Commodity Markets (NCM) in its third quarter metals review. 

Rio Tinto buys into explorers Kalahari Minerals, Extract

By: Liezel Hill     11th September 2008 Diversified-miner Rio Tinto has bought 14,9% of Aim-listed Kalahari Minerals, which is exploring for gold and base metals on several properties in Namibia, the smaller company reported on Thursday. Kalahari owns just under 40% of ASX-listed uranium explorer Extract Resources, which also... 

Canadian diamond production rose 28% in '07

By: Liezel Hill     9th September 2008 Canada's diamond industry produced 17-million carats last year, an increase of 28% from the 13,28-million carats produced a year earlier, according to figures from the Mining Association of Canada (MAC). However, the value of the production declined almost 10% year-on-year, to C$1,44-billion... 

Mirabela inks 5yr offtake pact with Norilsk Nickel

By: Liezel Hill     9th September 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Mirabela Nickel will sell 50% of the nickel concentrate produced in the first five years of operation at its Santa Rita mine, in Brazil, to mining giant Norilsk Nickel. As part of agreement between the two companies, Norilsk has agreed to provide Mirabela with a subordinated... 

Ontario fast-tracks mining law revamp to bring much-needed clarity, 'balance' - Minister 

By: Liezel Hill     9th September 2008 Ontario's Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle, has defended the pace at which his Ministry set about soliciting submissions on changes to the province's century-old Mining Act, saying that a protracted consultation process would only have prolonged the uncertainty for... 

Albidon says Zambian mine well hedged despite metal price falls

5th September 2008 Perth-based nickel sulphide miner Albidon said it has sidestepped the collapse in metals prices generally through a strong hedge position and low operating costs to ensure a strongly margined nickel mine. The mine was one of the few new nickel sulphide mines to come on stream this year, and... 

Geovic trims capital, operating cost forecasts for Cameroon cobalt mine

By: Liezel Hill     3rd September 2008 Colorado-based Geovic Mining now expects its Nkamouna cobalt/nickel mine, in Cameroon, to cost $379-million, from a previous estimate of $397-million, the company announced on Wednesday. The firm has completed an optimisation study on the project, touted as the world's biggest primary cobalt... 

Independent Nickel backs sweetened offer from Victory

By: Liezel Hill     3rd September 2008 TSX-listed Independent Nickel has recommended that shareholders accept an improved all-share offer for the company from from Toronto-based Victory Nickel. Victory has offered 1,1 of its own shares for every Independent share, up from its original August 19 offer of a one-for-one exchange. 

Western Areas doubles resource at Aussie nickel prospect

By: Liezel Hill     2nd September 2008 ASX-listed Western Areas has increased the high-grade mineral resource at the company's Spotted Quoll prospect, in Western Australia, by 118%, to 1,05-million tons at an average grade of 7,2% nickel, for 75 140 t of contained nickel. The increase in estimated resources indicates the potential... 

Canadian Royalties CEO Faucher resigns

By: Liezel Hill     29th August 2008 TSX-listed Candian Royalties has appointed chairperson Glenn Mullan as interim president and CEO, Richard Faucher resigned from the positions, effective immediately. The company, which is developing the Nunavik nickel project, in Quebec, did not provide reasons for Faucher's departure. 

Implats boosts capex plan to R30bn, delays 2,5Moz target to 2015

By: Matthew Hill     28th August 2008 JSE- and LSE-listed Impala Platinum (Implats) would spend some R30-billion over five years to boost platinum production to the 2,5-million ounce level by 2015, which power concerns had pushed back by three years. A major contributor to this was the Leeuwkop project that it bought from African... 

Implats earnings climb 73% to R12bn

By: Matthew Hill     28th August 2008 Impala Platinum (Implats), the world’s number-two producer of the precious metal, on Thursday posted a 73% rise in headline earnings to R12,5-billion for the year to June 30, after higher prices more than offset a marginal drop in refined metal production. On a per-share basis, headline earnings... 

HudBay completes Skye tie-up, names new CFO

By: Liezel Hill     26th August 2008 Base-metals-miner HudBay Minerals has finalised its acquisition of Skye Resources, and has appointed Skye CFO David Bryson as CFO for the merged company, the firm said on Tuesday. Bryson replaces Jeff Swinoga, who has resigned to pursue other opportunities, HudBay said in a statement.  

African Eagle discovers nickel in Tanzania

By: Matthew Hill     26th August 2008 UK-based copper and gold explorer African Eagle Resources on Tuesday said that it had found a significant nickel deposit at Dutwa in Tanzania, which was the first of its type. MD Mark Parker said that the grades were “easily comparable” with those at many major nickel lateritic deposits worldwide. 

Northam studies alternative power sources for Booysendal project 

By: Matthew Hill     25th August 2008 Precious metals producer Northam Platinum could produce at full capacity of some 400 000 t/m from its newly acquired Booysendal project from 2014/15, an official said on Monday. One feature that its bankable feasibility study (BFS) on the project, which is currently under way, would interrogate... 

Perception that miners do not receive support from DTI is erroneous – Deloitte

By: Leandi Kolver     22nd August 2008 There is a perception in the mining industry that it does not receive adequate support from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in the form of grants because there is a special capital expenditure tax deduction system available for mining companies. 

HudBay to close Balmat zinc mine, concentrator

By: Liezel Hill     21st August 2008 Base-metals miner HudBay Minerals will close its Balmat zinc mine and concentrator, in New York, the company announced on Thursday, citing low zinc prices, high operating costs and "general inflationary pressures". "HudBay has determined that its Balmat operation is not economically viable given... 

Metorex earmarks $400m to quadruple copper output

By: Matthew Hill     21st August 2008 Global copper supply will not be able to meet demand going forward, provided the developing world sustains its growth, midtier miner Metorex said on Thursday. The company plans on quadrupling its own output of the metal to 135 000 t/y in 2011, and will spend some $400-million to build two big... 

Skye shareholders approve HudBay takeover

By: Liezel Hill     20th August 2008 Shareholders in Vancouver-based Skye Resources have voted in favour of a takeover by base-metals miner HudBay Resources. More than 99% of the votes cast at a special meeting of Skye security holders were in favour of a friendly deal announced in June, under which Skye shareholders will receive... 

Nickel minnow considers unsolicited offer from rival

By: Liezel Hill     20th August 2008 In the latest in a flurry of corporate activity by Canadian junior miners and explorers, TSX-listed Independent Nickel has urged shareholders to sit tight while it evaluates an unsolicited takeover offer from Toronto-based Victory Nickel. Victory, which owns sulphide nickel deposits in Manitoba... 

Canadian Royalties names interim CFO after Price quits

By: Liezel Hill     19th August 2008 Montreal-based nickel hopeful Canadian Royalties has appointed the company's corporate controller, Daniel Poisson, as interim CFO, after Gerald Price resigned from the post. The firm will immediately launch a search for a new CFO, chairperson Glenn Mullan said in a statement. 

Xstrata temporarily shuts Falcondo mine as costs bite, prices sink

By: Matthew Hill     19th August 2008 Diversified miner Xstrata, which is bidding to buy Lonmin for $10-billion, on Tuesday announced the temporary shutdown of its Falconbridge Dominicana (Falcondo) nickel operation, owing to high input costs and low metal prices. The shutdown, which confirmed BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers’... 

BHP says Rio takeover makes ‘more sense than ever’

By: Matthew Hill     18th August 2008 Resources colossus BHP Billiton said on Monday that a merger with smaller rival Rio Tinto “makes more sense than ever”, and that its original acquisition timetable remained intact. CEO Marius Kloppers said that BHP Billiton remained focused on seeing the deal through to conclusion, which he... 

BHP Billiton expects commodity markets to remain robust

By: Matthew Hill     18th August 2008 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest resources company, on Monday reiterated its upbeat outlook on the commodities markets, as demand keeps growing, and companies struggled to bring on new supply. CEO Marius Kloppers said that “people are way too optimistic on the speed of which new projects can... 

Norilsk hires former HSBC official to advise on corporate strategy

15th August 2008 The world's biggest miner of nickel and palladium, Norilsk Nickel, has appointed former HSBC resources and energy sector chief Adrian Coates as the company's senior adviser on corporate strategy, the group said on Friday. Coates left HSBC in June, after more than two decades in banking and... 

Large crane delivered to nickel producer

15th August 2008 Crane and hoist company Condra has completed and delivered a 140-t double-girder maintenance crane ordered by nickel producer Tati Nickel, for its Activox project 

Russia’s Norilsk Nickel now stretches from Arctic to South Africa, US to Australia

By: Keith Campbell     15th August 2008 Cover story on world number 7 mining group, OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel of Russia, including an overview of its operations, especially in Southern Africa, its possession of the Activox refining technology, and its R&D capabilities. 

Exxaro sees better second-half on improved coal output  

By: Matthew Hill     14th August 2008 JSE-listed Exxaro on Thursday said that it would “definitely see much stronger” results for the second half of 2009, as it raised coal output by “a couple of million tons”. Outgoing COO Mike Kilbride said that the company’s coal division, its biggest revenue source by far, would have a... 

Former Rio exec Rumble joins BHP board

By: Matthew Hill     14th August 2008 The world’s biggest resources company, BHP Billiton, has appointed Keith Rumble, a former executive of Rio Tinto, which it has targeted for a takeover, as a director. In an announcement on Tuesday, the company said that it had also appointed US-based Fluor Corporation chairperson and CEO Alan... 

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... 

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