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North America News

First Uranium CEO confident of meeting production targets, despite Ezulwini delay

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th August 2008 Toronto- and Johannesburg-listed First Uranium’s next big milestone would be to complete the commissioning of its delayed 100 000 t/m uranium plant at its Ezulwini mine, in South Africa, it said on Monday. Last month, the company announced that it had delayed the commissioning of the plant,... 

NovaGold faces legal challenge over disclosures

By: Liezel Hill     8th August 2008 Canadian gold-miner NovaGold Resources and some of its officers have been named as defendants in a “purported” securities class action lawsuit, the company revealed on Friday. The case, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges, among other things, that the... 

Coeur d'Alene Mines posts loss on new-mine costs

     8th August 2008 Precious-metals miner Coeur d'Alene Mines reported a net loss of $5,4-million for the second quarter, mainly owing to $10,7-million in predevelopment expenses at its Palmarejo silver project, in Mexico, the company said on Friday. Excluding these costs, will be capitalised in future quarters,... 

Thompson Creek sees no let up in overall molybdenum demand

By: Liezel Hill     8th August 2008 Molybdenum producer Thompson Creek Metals has not seen any weakening of demand for the metal and expects the market to remain strong going forward, chairperson and CEO Kevin Loughrey said on Friday. Although some customers, such as ones that supplied to the automotive industry, had slowed... 

Iamgold looking for acquisitions in West Africa, S America

By: Liezel Hill     8th August 2008 Toronto-based Iamgold is on the prowl for acquisition opportunities in West Africa and the Guyana basin, president and CEO Joseph Conway said on Friday. Flagging output levels, surging metal prices and low valuations for junior companies are sending the world's gold-miners out with shopping bags... 

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,... 

Potash Corp workers down tools

By: Liezel Hill     8th August 2008 About 500 workers at Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan's Allan, Cory and Patience Lake operations began a strike on Thursday evening, after the company was unable to reach an agreement over contracts with members of the United Steelworkers union. The employees concerned were responsible for... 

Rio Tinto may hold IPO for US coal unit

By: Liezel Hill     8th August 2008 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has filed a registration statement for a proposed initial public offering of the common stock of its Cloud Peak Energy subsidiary, the company said on Friday. Cloud Peak Energy holds most of the North American coal assets of Rio Tinto Energy America, which is one of... 

Iamgold posts $33,3m Q2 profit, lifts output forecast

By: Liezel Hill     8th August 2008 Canadian gold-miner Iamgold increased net earnings in the second quarter, to $33,27-million, compared with a loss of $81,37-million a year earlier, when it took a $93,7-million impairment charge related to its Mupane mine, in Botswana. Stripping out the effects of the impairment, profit rose... 

Thompson Creek Q2 earnings rise to $60,4m

By: Liezel Hill     8th August 2008 Denver-based molybdenum producer Thompson Creek Metals posted second-quarter net income of $60,4-million, an increase of 6,3% year-on-year, and 29,1% higher than in the first quarter of this year. Revenue declined to $243,9-million, however, from $254,8-million in the first quarter and... 

Four killed in BC helicopter crash

     8th August 2008 Four people died after a helicopter carrying contractors to Bravo Venture Group's Homestake Ridge prospect, in British Columbia, crashed on Wednesday morning, the company said in a statement. "At this stage few details of the circumstances of the accident are known to the company and company... 

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.  

Yamana sees continued output growth

By: Liezel Hill     7th August 2008 Toronto-based Yamana Gold, which was established five years ago this week, expects to increase production by 470 000 gold-equivalent ounces in 2009, CEO Peter Marrone said on Thursday. Given that the company maintained its output guidance of between 1,1-million and 1,2-million ounces (includes... 

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... 

Yamana profit falls 20% to $42,1m on foreign exchange loss

By: Liezel Hill     7th August 2008 Canadian gold-miner Yamana Gold reported net income of $42,1-million, compared with $57,8-million a year earlier, after higher costs and foreign exchange losses related to the strengthening of the Brazilian real against the US dollar, as well as general inflationary pressures, offset the benefits... 

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... 

'Proudly Canadian' tack could help De Beers cash in on new mines - expert

By: Liezel Hill     6th August 2008 Diamond giant De Beers could extract the best value from its newly-opened Snap Lake and Victor mines, in Canada, by moving downstream and marketing the high-value stones produced at the mines as specifically Canadian-sourced gems through luxury outlets, suggests independent analyst John Kaiser.... 

Canadian diamond explorers need 'blockbuster' discovery to recapture market's attention

By: Liezel Hill     6th August 2008 Despite reasonably robust levels of activity in Canadian diamond exploration, the market has “completely lost interest” in the sector, says independent analyst and editor and publisher of the well-respected Kaiser Bottom-Fishing Online, John Kaiser. Investors have been left cold by the long and... 

Barrick to buy more Alberta oil, gas assets to hedge energy costs

By: Liezel Hill     6th August 2008 Gold giant Barrick Gold has agreed to pay Daylight Resources Trust C$87,5-million in cash for oil and gas assets in Alberta, Canada, the company said on Thursday. The announcement follows Barrick's C$410-million offer for Alberta-based Cadence Energy, which the gold-miner said at the time would... 

Cleveland-Cliffs may buy Alpha Natural despite Harbinger opposition – Deutsche analyst

By: Liezel Hill     6th August 2008 US miner Cleveland-Cliffs may succeed in its friendly bid for coal-miner Alpha Natural, without the support of Harbinger Capital Partners, which owns about 15,6% of Cleveland-Cliffs, Deutsche Bank said this week. The “deal tide appears to be turning”, as feedback from clients indicated that the... 

Xstrata announces C$121m expansion at Canada copper mine

By: Liezel Hill     6th August 2008 The world's fourth-biggest copper miner, Xstrata Copper, will spend C$121-million to expand its Kidd underground mine, in Northern Ontario, Canada, the company announced on Wednesday. The project will involve deepening the copper and zinc mine,to add 3,4-million tons of ore to the mining plan... 

Platmin secures $200m debt facility for SA platinum mine

     6th August 2008 TSX- and Aim-listed Platmin has finalised a joint mandate and term sheet with the Standard Bank of South Africa and Standard Chartered Bank, which will act as joint lead arrangers and underwriters for a $200-million debt facility, the company announced on Wednesday. The debt facility is expected... 

Intrepid awards engineering contract to local firm for new Argentina mine

By: Liezel Hill     6th August 2008 ASX- and TSX-listed Intrepid Mines has awarded the engineering and procurement services contract for its Casposo gold/silver project to Buenos Aires-based Ingenieria Penta Sur. Production at Casposo, which will be the company's second mine, is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010,... 

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... 

Xstrata interim profit dips 8%, expects better second-half

By: Christy van der Merwe     6th August 2008 Diversified miner Xstrata on Wednesday reported an 8% decrease in attributable profit for the first six months of its financial year to $2,75-billion, down from over $3-billion in the first half of 2007. However, the company expected significantly increased earnings in the second half, as it... 

CIC Energy signs agreement with Shell for Botswana coal-to-hydrocarbons plan

By: Liezel Hill     5th August 2008 Toronto- and Botswana Stock Exchange-listed CIC Energy, which plans to build a coal mine and power station at its Mmamabula project in Botswana, has unveiled the next step in its ambitious plans for the coal field, with an option agreement for a licence on technology from fuel heavyweight Royal... 

Katanga inks new agreement with DRC miner Gecamines

By: Liezel Hill     5th August 2008 TSX-listed Katanga Mining and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) State miner Gecamines have reached a deal over a new joint venture agreement, the company announced on Tuesday. Based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both parties, the two separate joint venture agreements between... 

Rio Tinto invests $652m to continue Arizona copper study

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th August 2008 Diversified-miner Rio Tinto on Monday announced it would inject $652-million to support its continued pre-feasibility studies on a large copper deposit at it Resolution Copper Mining operation, in Arizona. The pre-feasibility studies were expected to be complete by 2012, with production at the... 

High River Gold slides on share sale plans

By: Liezel Hill     1st August 2008 Shares in TSX-listed High River Gold declined on Friday, after the company announced it had agreed to sell shares equivalent to as much 32% of the company, to a subsidiary of Russia's Alfa Group. Alfa will buy as many as 160-million shares in High River, in two stages, the second of which will... 

Eldorado getting back on its feet after Turkey mine reopened

By: Liezel Hill     1st August 2008 Midtier gold-miner Eldorado Gold achieved second-quarter net income of $25,2-million, compared with $26,7-million a year earlier, the company reported on Friday. The company produced 87 380 oz of gold during the period, which was the first full quarter of production from the Kisladag mine, in... 

Gold price could hit $1 500/oz next year, says Holland

By: Matthew Hill     1st August 2008 Gold could trade as high as $1 500/oz in 2009, the head of Africa’s second-biggest producer of the yellow metal said on Friday. Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland said that the industry was operating slightly above break even at a gold price of $900/oz, not leaving room for profits. 

Aurora Energy appoints well-connected new head of Labrador affairs

By: Liezel Hill     1st August 2008 TSX-listed uranium explorer Aurora Energy Resources has appointed Chelsey Anderson to the newly created position of Labrador affairs VP, the company announced on Friday. Aurora's flagship Michelin project is located in Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador province, and the company's shares took a... 

Gold Fields takes short-term production knock to tackle safety record 

By: Matthew Hill     1st August 2008 Gold Fields sank to a new 12-month low on the JSE on Friday, after it reported that it was taking even more short-term production pain in favour of improving safety at its operations, with the six-month closure of the main shaft at its key Kloof mine. The move would cost it in the order of 500... 

NovaGold to sell renewable energy unit for $40m

By: Liezel Hill     1st August 2008 Vancouver-based gold-miner NovaGold Resources has agreed to sell its NovaGreenPower subsidiary for as much as $40-million, to energy infrastructure firm AltaGas. NovaGreenPower owns several development-stage run-of-river hydroelectric projects located in northwest British Columbia. 

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