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North America News

Uranium One finalises Australia JV with Mitsui

By: Liezel Hill     24th December 2008 Uranium-miner Uranium One has finalised the sale of 49% of its Honeymoon project and other exploration prospects in Australia to Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co, the firms announced on Wednesday. Mitsui will pay at least A$104-million for its share in the new joint venture, most of which will be used to... 

Katanga arranges $265,3m two-year loan facility

By: Liezel Hill     24th December 2008 TSX-listed Katanga Mining has secured a $265,3-million two-year convertible loan facility, the company announced on Wednesday. The facility comprises a new loan facility of $100-million underwritten by Glencore Finance, as well as an amendment to an existing $150-million loan provided by... 

Western Canadian Coal in talks to buy Cambrian Mining

By: Liezel Hill     24th December 2008 Aim- and TSX-listed Western Canadian Coal Corp (WCC) has reached an agreement in principle on the main points of a plan to buy Cambrian Mining, the companies announced on Wednesday. The proposed acquisition, which could be through a scheme of arrangement or a takeover offer, would result in... 

New Barrick CEO Regent sees 'exciting', 'challenging' time for gold

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 The world's biggest gold-miner, Barrick Gold, has named chartered accountant Aaron Regent as the company's new CEO, effective January 16. Regent, 43, who was president of Canadian nickel-miner Falconbridge when the company was bought by Xstrata Resources in 2006, said on Tuesday he believed the... 

Petaquilla Minerals appoints COO

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 Vancouver-based Petaquilla Minerals has appointed Joao Manuel to the position of COO. Manuel was previously CFO at Petaquilla Copper, which was acquired by Canadian miner Inmet Mining in September. 

Lundin finalises agreement for sale of Aljustrel mine

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 Base-metals miner Lundin Mining has reached an agreement to sell the Aljustrel zinc mine, in Portugal, to MTO SGPS, and expects the sale to close by the end of January. The transaction is conditional on approval from the Portuguese Securities Market Commission to withdraw Pirites Alentejanas... 

Franco-Nevada buys 7,29% NSR royalty on Newmont property

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 Resources royalty firm Franco-Nevada Corporation has entered into agreements to buy a 7,29% net smelter return royalty on the Gold Quarry Royalty property, which is part of Newmont Mining's Gold Quarry openpit mine, in the Carlin district of Nevada. Franco-Nevada will buy the royalty from... 

Iamgold buys stake in Merrex, may earn 50% of Mali project

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 Toronto-based Iamgold has bought 6,47% of junior Merrex Gold in a private placement and entered an option agreement that gives it the right to earn 50% of Merrex's Siribaya gold project, in Mali. Iamgold can earn its interest by spending C$10,5-million over four years, the firm said in a... 

FNX names COO, shuffles senior management

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 Canadian base-metals miner FNX Mining has appointed William Shaver as COO, the company announced on Tuesday. Senior corporate development VP Gord Morrison has also been appointed senior VP for exploration, while Catharine Farrow, who currently heads exploration, will take responsibility for... 

Kazakhstan approves industrial production at South Inkai – Uranium One

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Kazakhstan has formally approved the ramp-up to industrial production at the South Inkai uranium mine, TSX- and JSE-listed Uranium One said on Tuesday. The company owns 70% of the Betpak Dala joint venture, which owns the mine. 

Gold Fields will meet output guidance, beat cost target

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 Johannesburg-based gold major Gold Fields expects to report production of about 840 000 oz for the last three months of this year (the company's fiscal second quarter), which means that it will meet earlier output guidance for the period. Costs are expected to be lower than forecast, thanks to... 

Frontera amends agreement with contract miner

By: Liezel Hill     22nd December 2008 Frontera Copper, which stopped last month mining at its Piedras Verdes operation, in Mexico, has agreed with its mining contractor on an amendment to the contract between the two firms. As a result, about $1,7-million will be released from an escrow account, which was funded when the contract... 

Caterpillar cuts executive salaries, launches voluntary retrenchment plan

By: Liezel Hill     22nd December 2008 NYSE-listed construction equipment giant Caterpillar will cut executive pay by as much as half in 2009, reduce senior management salaries and implement a hiring freeze, the company announced on Monday. The steps were necessary because of “the continued deterioration of conditions” in the markets... 

Kinross buys shares in Nevada gold explorer

By: Liezel Hill     22nd December 2008 Canadian gold-miner Kinross Gold has bought shares and warrants in Victoria Gold Corp, through a private placement, the firm announced at the weekend. Once the warrants are exercised Kinross will own 34,4% of the gold explorati 

First Quantum buys more Equinox shares

By: Liezel Hill     22nd December 2008 Copper-miner First Quantum Minerals has increased its holding in smaller rival Equinox Minerals to 19,25%, Equinox informed shareholders on Monday. First Quantum said a year ago that it had raised its interest in Equinox to 17,27%, for “investment purposes”.  

Fronteer plans all-stock offer for uranium explorer Aurora

By: Liezel Hill     22nd December 2008 Vancouver-based Fronteer Development Group intends to make an offer for the shares in Aurora Energy Resources that it does not already own, to get its hands on Aurora's hefty treasury and uranium deposits. Fronteer, which is already Aurora's biggest shareholder, with 42%, will offer 0,825 of one... 

Diamond Fields suspends mining vessel

By: Liezel Hill     19th December 2008 TSX-listed Diamond Fields International has indefinitely suspended the operations of its diamond mining vessel, the DF Discoverer, which has been recovering diamonds off the coast of Namibia. The suspension was prompted by "the severity of the global economic downturn and the sudden drop in the... 

Pallinghurst buys controlling share in Platmin

By: Liezel Hill     19th December 2008 Brian Gilbertson's Pallinghurst Investment Consortium has bought a 62,36% stake in platinum-hopeful Platmin, for $125-million, the companies announced on Friday. The purchase represented the first tranche of a transaction that will result in a $175-million cash injection for Platmin, enabling... 

HudBay will respond to demand for shareholders meeting on Jan 2

By: Liezel Hill     19th December 2008 Base-metals miner HudBay, which faces opposition from certain shareholders to its plan to buy rival Lundin Mining, has received a requisition for a shareholders meeting, the company said on Friday. “The meeting has been requisitioned for the purpose of removing the current board of directors of... 

NovaGold gets extension to repay bridge loan

By: Liezel Hill     19th December 2008 Vancouver-based NovaGold Resources has been granted a reprieve until March 13, on the maturity of a bridge loan that was to have been due on December 29. Auramet Trading has agreed to extend the maturity date on an portion of the $20-million not repaid by December 29, the company said. 

Potash Corp cuts 2008 earnings guidance

By: Liezel Hill     19th December 2008 The world's biggest potash producer, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, has lowered its earnings expectations for 2008, citing “softness in demand for crop nutrients as a result of widespread uncertainty in the global economy”. The company now expects to report profit of about $10,75 a share,... 

S&P’s places Anglo American’s ratings on CreditWatch negative

By: Mariaan Webb     19th December 2008 Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has placed diversified giant Anglo American’s ratings on CreditWatch negative, owing to the market downturn. Anglo American’s ‘A-/A-2’ long- and short-term corporate credit rating had been placed on CreditWatch negative as S&P’s was evaluating the likely effect... 

Tito Martins named new Vale Inco chief 

By: Liezel Hill     19th December 2008 Rio de Janeiro-based Companhia Vale do Rio Doce has appointed Tito Martins as president and CEO of its nickel subsidiary, Vale Inco, from January 2009. Martins, who replaces Murilo Ferreira, will retain his current position of nonferrous minerals executive director, the group said in a statement. 

Coeur raises $20m through gold loan from Mitsubishi

By: Liezel Hill     18th December 2008 Precious-metals miner Coeur d'Alene Mines has raised $20-million for its Palmarejo silver/gold project, in Mexico, through a gold-lease agreement with Mitsubishi International. Coeur received the cash from the sale of 23 529 oz of gold lent to it by Mitsubishi, and will then deliver these gold... 

'Meet a mining mogul' contest to promote SA microfinance project

By: Liezel Hill     18th December 2008 Two Canadian Women in Mining (WIM) networks have come up with a novel way to drum up cash and awareness for their campaign seeking donations for a microfinance initiative in South Africa. The WIM networks in Toronto and Vancouver plan to raise at least C$250 000 by March 2009 for The Township... 

Quadra produces first copper cathode at Arizona mine

By: Liezel Hill     18th December 2008 Vancouver-based Quadra Mining has begun producing cathode copper at its Carlota project, in Arizona, the company announced on Thursday. “With the successful start-up of the SX-EW facility and the first harvest of copper cathode, Quadra has completed the development phase of the Carlota copper... 

Frontera recommends shareholders spurn Invecture takeover offer

By: Liezel Hill     18th December 2008 TSX-listed Frontera Copper on Thursday urged shareholders to reject an unsolicited takeover offer from Invecture Group, arguing that the C$0,59 a share offer undervalues the company and its assets. The offer from Invecture, which already owns 15% of Frontera, was “opportunistic, given the recent... 

BHP Billiton continuing to invest, maintaining sales volumes - Argus

By: Martin Creamer     18th December 2008 The world's largest mining company BHP Billiton said on Thursday that it was able to continue to invest through the global economic downturn and was also able to maintain sales volumes. BHP Billiton chairperson Don Argus said that sales volume maintenance was being achieved through a combination... 

TSX, TSX-V closed all day Wednesday

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 The Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange are expected to reopen on Thursday, after trading was halted several minutes after markets opened on Wednesday morning. The TMX Group, which operates both exchanges, halted trading at 9:48 due to a technical glitch which affected data feeds. 

Ecuador gold plant may be commissioned by end-March - Dynasty

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 TSX-listed Dynasty Metals & Mining is nearing the end of construction of its Zaruma gold plant, in Ecuador, and plans to start commissioning during the third quarter of 2009. “President Correa and other senior Mining Ministry representatives continue to express publicly and privately their... 

Gold Wheaton makes first payment for First Uranium gold

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 Vancouver-based Gold Wheaton has made its first payment to uranium and gold miner First Uranium, as part of a gold-stream deal announced by the companies last month. According to the agreement, Gold Wheaton will buy at least 20 000 oz of gold next year from First Uranium's Mine Waste Solutions... 

NovaGold doesn't know why shares rose this week

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 NovaGold Resources, which has closed its only producing mine and warned of difficulties in meeting payment obligations, said on Wednesday it was not aware of any reason for a sharp gain in its share price over the last several days. The shares have more than tripled from a closing price of... 

Seafloor-mining hopeful Nautilus cancels orders for equipment

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 TSX- and Aim-listed Nautilus Minerals is terminating an agreement with the company that was to have provided the support vessel for its undersea mining project, in a move to preserve the company's cash position. Although permitting work will continue for the Solwara 1 project, off the coast of... 

Great Basin Gold raises $51,5m for US, SA projects

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 Junior gold-miner Great Basin Gold has raised $51,5-million in a senior secured notes financing, and will use the cash to buy and refurbish a mine and mill in Nevada, as well as to fund its Burnstone gold project in South Africa while it negotiates project finance for the mine. The company has... 

Anglo shares rise as capex is halved to $4,5bn, no pronouncement on job cuts 

By: Martin Creamer     17th December 2008 The shares of South Africa's largest mining group Anglo American rose on Wednesday after it halved its 2009 capital expenditure (capex) to $4,5-billion, and steered clear of any immediate job-cut pronouncements. The capex halving came with an assurance from Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll... 

Anglo Platinum cuts ‘assumed’ capex, production, lies low on retrenchment

By: Martin Creamer     17th December 2008 The world’s largest platinum company Anglo Platinum on Wednesday opted for reductions of both capital expenditure (capex) and production and lay low on making any retrenchment pronouncements. In reviewing its programme in the light of the “unprecedented” market downturn, the JSE-listed Anglo... 

Legal claims are 'completely unfounded' – Rusoro president

By: Liezel Hill     17th December 2008 Allegations that Vancouver-based Rusoro Mining's financial advisers had inappropriate access to confidential information when it prepared a hostile takeover bid for Gold Reserve are “completely unfounded”, president George Salamis asserted on Tuesday. Gold Reserve, which hopes to develop the... 

Gold Reserve seeks injunction against Rusoro offer

By: Liezel Hill     16th December 2008 TSX- and Amex-listed Gold Reserve has filed an action in the Ontario Superior Court against Rusoro Mining and its financial adviser Endeavour Financial, seeking an injunction restraining both firms from going ahead with an unsolicited offer for Gold Reserve announced on Monday by Rusoro. Gold... 

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