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Planetary Resources turns gaze back to earth with $21.1m investment

By: Henry Lazenby     27th May 2016 Prospective asteroid miner Planetary Resources has received a $21.1-million investment to deploy and operate Ceres, an advanced Earth observation business featuring the first commercial infrared and hyperspectral sensor platform that would be harnessed to better understand and manage humanity’s... 

Chile, SQM head to court after failing to reach agreement

By: Reuters     26th May 2016 Chile said on Wednesday that it would bring a recent dispute with fertiliser supplier SQM to court after a meeting with the company's executives failed to produce an agreement. The government's statement follows an announcement on Monday in which it said it was beginning a new arbitration... 

Canada wildfire moves into Saskatchewan, but little risk to mines, farms

By: Reuters     20th May 2016 A Canadian wildfire has moved from oil-rich Alberta province into Saskatchewan province, though that province's fertile farms and lucrative mines are tucked far away from the blaze's path. The fire in northern Alberta hit the town of Fort McMurray in early May, forcing widespread evacuations and... 

Lithium X options half of key Nevada prospect to North South Petroleum

By: Henry Lazenby     19th May 2016 Lithium development company Lithium X Energy has agreed to option half of its Clayton Valley South Expansion lithium (CVL) property, which comprised 471 federal placer mining claims, totalling about 3 861 ha, and was located about 50 km south-west of Tonopah, Nevada, to fellow TSX-V-listed North... 

American Lithium acquires private BC firm with 80% option on Nevada prospect

By: Henry Lazenby     18th May 2016 Canadian explorer American Lithium has closed the acquisition of private British Columbia firm 1065604 BC, which held the option to earn an undivided 80% interest in the Atlantis lithium property located in Fish Lake Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada. Nevada was ground zero for a land rush to cash... 

Chile economy grows 1.3% in Q1, slightly above forecast

By: Reuters     18th May 2016 Chile's gross domestic product grew by 1.3% in the first quarter from the last quarter of 2015, the central bank said on Wednesday, boosted by rising exports. 

Mining companies urged to consider price forecasting with greater care

By: Simon Rees     18th May 2016 While predicting future metals prices is a vital tool for assessing the viability of a deposit, a project’s economics or the potential income an operation could expect to generate, the prognostications often prove wrong. “Studies of past forecasts show that the success rate for commodity price... 

US sets steep duties on imports of Chinese cold-rolled steel

By: Reuters     17th May 2016 The US on Tuesday set final anti-dumping duties of 265.79% on imports of cold-rolled flat steel from China and 71.35% on imports from Japan, finding that producers from these countries were selling the products at unfair prices. The Commerce Department also said it levied final anti-subsidy... 

US sets steep duties on imports of Chinese cold-rolled steel

Miners adapting to more austere fundamental backdrop – report

By: Henry Lazenby     17th May 2016 Mining companies, in general, are adapting to a more austere fundamental backdrop, despite a recent announcement in Chinese media that the country would be removing stimulus and reprioritising reforms, which caused significant apprehension during Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BofAML’s) recent... 

Miners adapting to more austere fundamental backdrop – report

TSX slips as non-gold resource stocks weigh

By: Reuters     13th May 2016 Canada's main stock index slipped on Friday, weighed down by financials, industrials and resource stocks as they pulled back in line with softer prices for oil and other commodities. "Today's price action is somewhat suggestive that some of these commodity sectors are perhaps extended from the... 

Albemarle exploring sale of unit worth $3bn - Bbg

By: Reuters     13th May 2016 Lithium producer Albemarle is exploring the sale of its surface-treatment division for about $3-billion, Bloomberg reported, according to people familiar with the matter. The Chemetall unit is a global supplier of specialty chemicals used in surface treatment of metals and plastics. 

Positive progress at Kombat copper mine

     13th May 2016 Canadian exploration and development company Kombat Copper president and CEO Paul Bozoki is confident that the Kombat copper mine, in the Otavi Mountainlands of Namibia, will start production in late 2016 and begin generating cash flow for the company.  

Positive progress at Kombat copper mine
CONFIDENT CONTRACTOR EBM is confident that it will meet the commissioning date of the production facilities at the Kombat copper mine

Lithium X strikes pilot-production JV accord for flagship Argentina asset

By: Henry Lazenby     12th May 2016 Junior explorer Lithium X has announced Thursday that its 50%-owned subsidiary Potasio y Litio de Argentina (PLASA), which owns 100% of the Sal de los Angeles lithium/potash brine project, in Argentina, has entered into a definitive joint-venture (JV) agreement with a consortium of experienced... 

To stop conflict minerals, make European firms establish origin of supply chain – expert

By: Reuters     10th May 2016 European companies should be required by law to establish the origin of the minerals they use in their products to put an end to the trade in gold, tin and other minerals mined in conflict zones, a leading expert said on Tuesday. Campaigners have long raised concerns that proceeds from mining... 

Taseko proxy contest cancelled as activist shareholder support fades

By: Henry Lazenby     10th May 2016 A special meeting of Taseko Mines shareholders to decide on proposals brought forward through a special meeting request by activist shareholder Raging River Capital (RRC), which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, has been cancelled on the eleventh hour, as support for the dissident motions... 

Freeport exits Africa with $2.7bn Tenke Fungurume sale 

By: Henry Lazenby     9th May 2016 US diversified miner Freeport McMoRan has announced the $2.65-billion sale Monday of its 70% interest in TF Holdings, which controlled an 80% stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). NYSE-listed Freeport had entered into a definitive agreement to... 

Freeport exits Africa with $2.7bn Tenke Fungurume sale

Canadian miners contribute C$50 000 to Fort McMurray relief

By: Henry Lazenby     6th May 2016 The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has made a charitable contribution of C$50 000 to the Red Cross in Alberta, on behalf of members with mining operations active in almost every Canadian jurisdiction. This is to support the families devastated by the wildfire that has ravaged Fort McMurray... 

Another Mozambique coal railway project develops, while country is hit by debt scandal 

By: Keith Campbell     6th May 2016 The international tender for the construction of a new railway to link Mozambique’s coal fields to the coast closed at the end of last week. The project is being developed by Thai Moçambique Logística, a joint venture between Thailand-based Italian Thai Development Company, which has a 60% share,... 

Crushing circuit commissioned at Côte d’Ivoire gold operation

By: David Oliveira     6th May 2016 Africa-focused gold producer Randgold Resources announced last month that it had commissioned its fourth-stage crushing circuit at its Tongon gold mine, in Côte d’Ivoire, completing an extensive capital project designed to improve throughput and recovery.  The new circuit is being optimised.... 

Developer boosts focus on mine planning software

By: Sebastian Whyle     6th May 2016 Continuing exploration challenges in South Africa have led leading provider of innovative software solutions, MICROMINE, to enhance and continue its focus on exploration and three-dimensional (3D) mine planning, which, subsequently, has assisted in boosting the uptake of mining and scheduling... 

Developer boosts focus on mine planning software
PIECE OF MIND The Micromine solution’s data-validation features enable users to ensure that a job has been completed correctly

Optimisation process determines risk versus reward

By: Kimberley Smuts     6th May 2016 The use of multiparametric block models, which contain more than just geological data, to analyse the risks associated with the mining process, allow more informed business decisions to be made on the basis of risk and exposure to that risk. This is according to The MSA Group mine optimisation... 

Optimisation process determines risk  versus reward
Photo by Bloomberg
OPENPIT RISKS PREDETERMINED When working an openpit resource, The MSA Group uses an optimisation process to determine the net present value generated from a particular geological resource

Quick turnaround of mining data essential

By: Sebastian Whyle     6th May 2016 Data-driven mining inherently poses challenges with regard to the planning of mine operations, states mining industry hardware and software supplier Maptek Africa GM Nick Venter. A fast turnaround is essential for efficient and effective mine planning, as there is a narrow window during which... 

Quick turnaround of mining data essential
POSTIVE UPTAKE More than 8 000 Vulcan software licences are used at mines worldwide

Chilean SQM's Argentina joint-venture project to cost up to $600m

By: Reuters     5th May 2016 SQM, the Chilean chemicals group, said late Wednesday its joint venture with Canadian junior miner Lithium Americas to develop a lithium project in Argentina will require $500-million to $600-million in total expenditures. SQM and Lithium Americas signed the joint venture in March for the... 

Exploration, mining expected to grow in importance for cement producer PPC

By: Martin Creamer     3rd May 2016 The medium-term game plan of African cement producer PPC is to find new resources needed by its operations, which will probably require it to engage in some form of exploration and eventual mining close to where urban development is expected in Africa. Over time, the resources side of the... 

Exploration, mining expected to grow in importance for cement producer PPC
Photo by Duane Daws
Darryll Castle

‘Quiet’ quarter prompts more cautious outlook for Cameco

By: Henry Lazenby     29th April 2016 Canadian uranium producer Cameco has reported a “very quiet” first quarter during which it swung to an adjusted loss of C$7-million, or C$0.02 a share, compared with earnings of C$69-million, or C$0.18 a share a year earlier. For the three months ended March 31, revenues fell 28% year-over-year... 

‘Quiet’ quarter prompts more cautious outlook for Cameco

Emphasis on opportunities in harsh business climate

By: Simon Sonnekus     29th April 2016 The West African Mining & Power Exhibition (Wampex) 2016 will showcase the opportunities that still exist in the challenging African market, says events company and organiser dmg-ems Africa VP Christine Davidson. The biennial event, which has been running for 22 years, will return to the Accra... 

Emphasis on opportunities  in harsh business climate
GLOBAL ATTRACTION Between 50 and 100 companies are expected to attend, with exhibitors from China, the UAE, France, Poland, South Africa, the UK and Turkey confirmed

Society aims to integrate more students into mining sector 

By: Kimberley Smuts     29th April 2016 The University of Witwatersrand's Students Mining Engineering Society (SMES) aims to increase the integration of mining engineering graduates into the mining industry this year, as well as to encourage mining engineering students to have an opinion on mining-related issues in South Africa. SMES... 

Society aims to integrate more students into mining sector
FORTUNE MSIBI Mining engineering students face the challenge of a lack of available jobs in the sector, as a result of South Africa’s financial crisis

Sherritt widens headline loss as low oil, metals prices hurt Q1 financials

By: Henry Lazenby     27th April 2016 Diversified miner Sherritt International has reported a 79% wider adjusted loss year-on-year in the first quarter, as nickel, cobalt and oil prices have plunged during the period. Excluding special items of about C$79.1-million, Toronto-based Sherritt recorded an adjusted loss of... 

With permits in hand, Mexus starts mine construction

By: Henry Lazenby     25th April 2016 US exploration firm Mexus Gold US has received all environmental and mining permits required to start work on the area that will become Mexus’ openpit heap leach mine on the Julio/Santa Elena property, located 54 km northwest of Caborca, Mexico. The company advised on Monday that it would clear... 

Market slowdown sinks Precision Drilling’s Q1 performance

By: Henry Lazenby     25th April 2016 A marked decline in business activity during the quarter ended March 31 has pushed North American oil and gas industry services provider Precision Drilling’s earnings into negative territory, forcing it to suspend its dividend. The Calgary, Alberta-based company on Monday reported that activity... 

Despite some commodity price spillover, Caterpillar lowers 2016 midpoint outlook

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd April 2016 US earthmoving machinery manufacturer Caterpillar on Friday lowered the midpoint of the outlook for 2016 sales and revenues by about 2% on Friday, despite reporting some signs of improvement. The profit outlook at the midpoint of the sales and revenues range was now $3 a share, or $3.70 a share... 

Despite some commodity price spillover, Caterpillar lowers 2016 midpoint outlook

Alecto Minerals secures partners for Zambia gold project

By: David Oliveira     22nd April 2016 Gold and base metals exploration and development company Alecto Minerals earlier this month signed an agreement with Chinese mining equipment manufacturer Yantai Xinhai Machinery and South Africa-based turnkey solutions provider PenMin for the proposed construction and financing of mining... 

Industry body eyes ongoing partnership with municipal govt

By: Sascha Solomons     22nd April 2016 Industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa), a voluntary organisation of consulting engineering firms, plans to partner with government entities on a municipal level in the long term to tackle challenges such as a lack of technical personnel and poor service delivery. “Cesa wants to... 

Industry body eyes  ongoing partnership with municipal govt
CHRIS CAMPBELL Partnership with governmet entities could tackle service delivery challenges

Mining industry stands a chance through risk mitigation

     22nd April 2016 Integrated engineering projects company DRA Group CEO Paul Thomson notes that to mitigate risks for investors and mining companies, he recommends investment in consulting engineers with experience, pedigree and a good track record, which will save mining companies thousands in execution. “Mining... 

Mining industry stands  a chance through risk  mitigation
Photo by Bloomberg
RISK MITIGATION Everyone suffers when a mine or project fail to be built

Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi lifts gold guidance after strong start to 2016

By: Henry Lazenby     19th April 2016 Rio Tinto subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources, which owned a 66% interest in the significant Oyu Tolgoi copper/gold mine, in Mongolia, on Tuesday said the mine’s first quarter performance was so strong, that it hiked its full-year production guidance. For the three months ended March 31,... 

Lithium juniors outperform on expected future demand 

By: Henry Lazenby     19th April 2016 In the wake of Tesla Motors' introduction of the 'Model 3' mass market electric vehicle (EV), lithium development and exploration company share prices have exploded. This was despite Tesla not having sold (or even built) a single Model 3 yet. Tesla would also not have it on the road for years,... 

Lithium juniors outperform on expected future demand
Electric vehicles charging

Excellon on the up as Q1 output rises

By: Henry Lazenby     19th April 2016 Mexico’s highest-grade silver producer Excellon Resources on Monday rose to a new 52-week high on the TSX, after it reported strong results for the quarter ended March 31. Toronto-based Excellon, which operated the high-grade La Platosa mine, in Durango state, reported that silver equivalent... 

Denham Capital seeks upside advantage during downturn

By: Simon Rees     18th April 2016 With most metals reaching a bottom, and many of the ‘zombie juniors’ finally laid to rest, opportunities for private-equity companies to find value and upside potential in the mining space have continued to grow. Seeking to tap into these opportunities, private equity firm Denham Capital was... 

Denham Capital seeks upside advantage during downturn
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