Daily podcast – November 25, 2008

25th November 2008 By: Shannon de Ryhove - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia

This podcast is brought to you by Mercedes Benz Commercial - the right partner.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.

Making headlines today:

On Tuesday, BHP Billiton said that its marathon bid for Rio Tinto had been scrapped and the 450-million dollar bid-incurred cost would be written off. The company added in a separate second announcement, that it would absorb a 2,1-billion dollar impairment as a result of the "dramatic" fall in the price of nickel.

On the ill-fated bid to absorb the reluctant Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton said that it no longer believed that the completion of the offers for Rio Tinto would be in the best interests of BHP Billiton shareholders.

In a third separate announcement made in quick succession, BHP Billiton said that it would be proceeding with the 4,8-billion dollar Rapid Growth Project 5 iron-ore project. The project would lift the production capacity of its Western Australia iron-ore operations by 50-million tons to 205-million tons a year.

On Tuesday, London-listed ferrochrome producer International Ferro Metals said that it had suspended production at its two ferrochrome furnaces in South Africa in a response to falling demand.

International Ferro Metals would maintain sales from its inventory, which stood at 38 076 t at October 31. The company has offtake agreements with Chinese steel maker Jisco and New-York listed CMC Cometals.

In mid-November, the company said that it would cut output by 40% and delay some capital projects.

International Ferro Metals also announced that it would immediately suspend sales in China until conditions and prices in that country improved.

Also making headlines:

TSX-listed NovaGold Resources will suspend operations at its Rock Creek mine after suffering operational setbacks and extreme weather conditions.
The Congo government calls for a swift end to the mining review.
Underground mining comes to an end at BHP Billiton's Douglas colliery.
And, Vancouver-based Rockwell Diamonds plans a longer year-end shutdown as the market softens.

That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit miningweekly.com.