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Walsh says Rio Tinto to continue with low-cost iron-ore expansions

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Diversified giant Rio Tinto has told shareholders that the group will continue to push on with its iron-ore expansion in the Pilbara, despite the declining iron-ore price. CEO Sam Walsh said in London this week that the company would continue with a low-capital brownfield expansion as part of... 

Walsh says Rio Tinto to continue with low-cost iron-ore expansions
Photo by Bloomberg
Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh

Moody’s lowers iron-ore and met coal price forecasts, markets to remain under pressure to 2016

By: Henry Lazenby Moody’s Investors Service expected iron-ore and metallurgical (met) coal prices to remain under pressure through at least 2016, prompting it to lower its price expectations for both commodities. The firm fingered slower steel output growth in China and rampant oversupply, particularly in... 

Moody’s lowers iron-ore and met coal price forecasts, markets to remain under pressure to 2016

CoM pledges safe working environment amid xenophobic upheaval

By: Natalie Greve The Chamber of Mines (CoM) has, on behalf of its members, expressed its condolences to the families of South Africans and foreign nationals that have died or been displaced as a result of the ongoing xenophobic attacks, committing in a statement that member companies would continue to provide a... 

CoM pledges safe working environment amid xenophobic upheaval
Photo by Duane Daws
CoM president Mike Teke

RBPlat warns of load-shedding impact as Q1 output falls 6% y/y

By: Megan van Wyngaardt JSE-listed platinum miner Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) on Friday reported that its milled tonnes, for the quarter ended March 31, had increased by 6% to 540 000 t, with Merensky and upper group two (UG2) volumes up 2% and 58% respectively. However, the built-up head-grade reduced by 10% to... 

Brown moves to stabilise Eskom leadership with appointment of Molefe as acting CEO

By: Terence Creamer Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced that Transnet's Brian Molefe had been seconded as acting CEO of Eskom, with immediate effect. Brown said the appointment formed part of government efforts to stabilise the Eskom leadership, following the suspension of four senior executives,... 

Brown moves to stabilise Eskom leadership with appointment of Molefe as acting CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Minister Lynne Brown (in foreground) with Brian Molefe (far left) and Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe at the Eskom announcement

Kibaran raises funds to advance Epanko

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Graphite developer Kibaran Resources has raised A$4.1-million through a share placement to fund the continued development of the Epanko project, in Tanzania. Kibaran on Friday announced that the company had received firm commitments to raise the funds through the placement of 24.4-million... 

Kwale performance keeps up - Base

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Mineral sands miner Base Resources has reported another solid quarter from its Kwale project, in Kenya, with heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) production up 24% over the previous quarter, from 166 000 t to 206 000 t. The miner said on Friday that a focus on debottlenecking the wet processing... 

CompComm blocks proposed Andalusite, Imerys deal

By: Natalie Greve The Competition Commission (CompComm) has prohibited the proposed acquisition of andalusite miner Andalusite Resources by counterpart Imerys South Africa, outlining on Friday that the transaction would result in the removal of an effective competitor in the market for fine- and medium-grade... 

African Potash raises £1.2m to fund projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Exploration company African Potash has secured £1.2-million in funding through the placing of new ordinary shares with Cornhill Capital. Placing proceeds would enable the company to redeem the outstanding convertible securities held by financier Bergen Opportunity Fund and to fund ongoing working... 

Hummingbird’s Mali project on track for construction start

By: Megan van Wyngaardt A recent optimisation study has not only expanded the Yanfolila mine plan, but also highlighted robust economics for the development of the one-million-ton-a-year low-cost high-grade gold project, in Mali, says Hummingbird Resources. The study had defined a path to production, the Aim-listed... 

IMIC concludes bond restructuring to increase cash flexibility

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Aim-listed International Mining & Infrastructure Corporation (IMIC) has concluded a bond restructuring process at a cost of about $100 000, which IMIC chairperson Ethelbert Cooper said on Friday increased its cash flexibility over the next few years. The restructuring, which reflected a rate of... 

AECI appoints acting CEO for mining subsidiary

By: Natalie Greve Explosives and specialty chemicals group AECI has appointed Edwin Ludick as acting MD of subsidiary AEL Mining Services, with effect from May 15, until the process to appoint a permanent candidate has been completed. Ludick is a member of the AECI executive committee and an executive of the... 

Cobre proves lithium technology in Europe

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Perth-based lithium developer Cobre Montana has produced its first battery-grade lithium carbonate from the Cinovec project, in the Czech Republic. The company announced this week that the results, which included leaching and chemical extraction processes, were achieved on a 50 kg sample of ore... 

Indonesian tin group says members won't sell below $17 000/t

By: Reuters Indonesia's tin association said on Friday its members and PT Timah, the country's biggest tin exporter, will not trade the metal at prices below $17 000 a tonne, seeking to stem a sharp sell-off. Tin prices on the London Metal Exchange have fallen more than 13% this week, hitting their lowest... 

Anglo American weighs options to ease water shortage at Chile mine

By: Reuters Anglo American is weighing its options to resolve a water shortage at Los Bronces copper mine, in central Chile, that has hit production, and testing market appetite for two of its copper deposits, a top executive said. An eight-year drought has dried up reservoirs and rivers, sucking into the... 

Anglo American to give Mitsubishi option to boost Peru Quellaveco stake

By: Reuters Anglo American is looking at syndicating its Quellaveco copper project, in Peru, and having current partner Mitsubishi Corp increase its current 18.1% stake, said Hennie Faul, the head of Anglo's copper business. "If you're going to syndicate that and increase the partnership, we've got a very... 

Study details economic benefits of WA’s exploration spend

By: Esmarie Swanepoel An economic impact study into the Western Australian Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) has revealed that for every A$1-million invested by the state government, the EIS stimulated exploration activity generating A$10.3-million in direct benefits to the state. The study also found that for every... 

US gold bullion exports jump 83% in Q4; South African imports on the rise

By: Henry Lazenby The US Geological Survey (USGS) on Friday revealed that total US gold exports for the fourth quarter 2014 were 58% greater than in the third quarter, owing to an 83% increase in fourth-quarter bullion exports when compared with third quarter exports. The USGS’s most recent mineral industry survey... 

US gold bullion exports jump 83% in Q4; South African imports on the rise

Alpha Natural Resources to submit plan to cure NYSE listing deficiency

By: Henry Lazenby US coal producer Alpha Natural Resources has been notified by the NYSE that its common stock did not satisfy one of the exchange’s standards for continued listing, which required that the average closing price of a listed company's common stock be at least $1 a share over any consecutive 30-day... 

Miners report first-quarter output ahead of financials

By: Henry Lazenby Several miner this week reported production results ahead of publishing financial results for the three months ended March 31. NYSE- and TSX-listed McEwen Mining reported gold output increased 23% to 24 696 oz and silver production decreased 10% to 655 339 oz in the period when compared with the... 

BHP Billiton shuts oven at Colombia ferronickel plant, cutting output

By: Reuters BHP Billiton has shut an oven at its Cerro Matoso ferronickel plant in Colombia after equipment damage, cutting output by as much as three quarters, the president of the union representing the plant's workers told Reuters on Friday. Damage to a crane stopped production of one of two ovens at the... 

Barrick Gold's board faces backlash over executive pay at AGM

By: Reuters Barrick Gold faces a fresh backlash over executive pay at its shareholder meeting this month, with some big institutions planning to vote against its compensation plan and withhold votes for directors to express their unhappiness. Two major Canadian pension funds, the British Columbia Investment... 

Barrick Gold's board faces backlash over executive pay at AGM

Santos volumes rise, but oil price dents revenue

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Santos has reported an increase in production and sales volumes during the first quarter of 2015, but lower oil prices have led to a decline in sales revenue. Santos on Friday announced that production had increased by 15% year-on-year to 14-million barrels of oil... 

Maules Creek drives Whitehaven output

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The continuing ramp-up of the Maules Creek coal mine, in New South Wales, has assisted in coal miner Whitehaven Coal reporting a 160% increase in run-of-mine (ROM) production during the March quarter. The New South Wales-focused company on Friday announced that ROM production for the three... 

South32 spin-off from BHP turns bearish

By: Creamer Media Reporter Creamer Media's Shannon de Ryhove speaks to Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer about the planned spin-off of South32 from BHP Billiton turning bearish, with an unprecedented number of ‘sell’ recommendations by analysts. 

South32 spin-off from BHP turns bearish

Thompson Creek Metals lifts Q1 gold output, while molybdenum business ticks over

By: Henry Lazenby Denver, Colorado-based Thompson Creek Metals has lifted copper and gold output from its flagship Mount Milligan mine, in British Columbia, despite dealing with frozen and plugged feeders and unscheduled mechanical issues in areas of the grinding and flotation circuits since the start of the... 

Tahoe Resources to appeal employee detention

By: Henry Lazenby Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources this week said Guatemala subsidiary Minera San Rafael (MSR) would appeal the court-ordered confinement of an employee pending the investigation of a 2012 environmental claim. The TSX- and NYSE-listed miner said the employee was in charge of regulatory issues,... 

Walter Energy exercises 30-day grace period for debt interest payments

By: Henry Lazenby NYSE-listed metallurgical coal producer Walter Energy has exercised a 30-day grace period to make debt interest payments. Last year, Walter Energy idled its Canadian operations in the second quarter and, in January, the cash-strapped miner suspended its quarterly dividend on its common stock in... 

DoE prepares to take cogen, gas-to-power procurement steps

By: Terence Creamer A request for proposals (RFP) for cogeneration power projects will be released in April 2015, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has announced, adding that preferred bidders would be named during the third quarter of 2015. In line with Gazetted determinations, government would be seeking to... 

DoE prepares to take cogen, gas-to-power procurement steps

Diamcor sold 4 619 ct in Q4

By: Megan van Wyngaardt TSX-V-listed Diamcor Mining sold 4 619 ct of rough diamonds, worth $842 419, in the three months to March 31. The company, which owned the Krone-Endora at Venetia mine, in South Africa, had recovered an additional 650 ct of rough diamonds in the fourth quarter of the 2015 financial year, prior to... 

Lupaka Gold reports fatal accident

By: Henry Lazenby Peru-focused explorer and project developer Lupaka Gold has reported that a fatal accident involving a Peruvian employee occurred on Tuesday at the Invicta gold mine site. The employee's family and all relevant authorities were contacted and an investigation into the accident started with the... 

Mwana Africa lifts Q4 output despite challenges

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Despite numerous challenges, Aim-listed Mwana Africa increased gold production at its Freda Rebecca mine and nickel concentrate output at its Trojan mine, in Zimbabwe, during the three months ended March 31. The diversified miner noted in a statement to shareholders on Thursday that it had... 

Sudan buys Sawiris stake in Ariab Mining Company for $100m

By: Reuters Sudan has taken full ownership of Ariab Mining Company after purchasing a 44% stake from Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris in a $100-million deal, the country's minister of mining said on Wednesday. Ahmed Sadiq al-Karouri told Reuters the government had already paid half of the sum and would... 

Apart from Big 3, iron ore miners face 'existential' threat -Goldman

By: Reuters Up to half of iron-ore output by miners outside the three mega producers in Australia and Brazil is at risk of closure with global demand set to peak at about 1.4-billion tonnes next year, Goldman Sachs said. Production volumes among top miners - Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton - was not at... 

Petra Diamonds share price tumbles on grade woes

By: Martin Creamer The share price of Petra fell sharply on Thursday on grade variability issues and 31% lower overall revenue in the three months to March 31. In the absence of the previous corresponding quarter’s $25.6-million “exceptional stone” as well as product-mix changes and lower grades, revenue fell to... 

Petra Diamonds share price tumbles on grade woes
Photo by Duane Daws
Johan Dippenaar

Fortescue forecasts big drop in C1 cash costs

By: Esmarie Swanepoel A 9% reduction in C1 cash costs for the March quarter, compared with the previous quarter, has allowed iron-ore major Fortescue Metals to significantly lower its full-year cost guidance for the next financial year. During the quarter under review, Fortescue achieved a C1 cost of $25.90/t,... 

Fortescue forecasts big drop in C1 cash costs

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