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Asia News

Nordgold increases Lefa mine investment

By: Simone Liedtke     29th April 2019 Diversified gold producer Nordgold has completed a significant investment programme at its Guinea-based Lefa mine. Capital expenditure in 2018, which was designed to both improve efficiencies at Lefa, while also extending its life-of-mine, increased to more than $70-million, from $48-million in... 

Alrosa’s Vladivostok diamond auction brings in $9.65m

By: Simone Liedtke     29th April 2019 Diamond miner Alrosa on Monday said the revenue from the sale of special size diamonds at an auction in Vladivostok, exceeded $9.65-million. The auction took place from April 8 to 19, with 105 diamonds with a combined weight of 2 481.9 ct put on offer and 2 030.32 ct sold. 

Trans-Siberian lifts first-quarter gold, silver output

By: Simone Liedtke     29th April 2019 Russian miner Trans-Siberian Gold achieved a 52% year-on-year increase in gold production to 12 345 oz at its Asacha gold mine for the three months ended March 31. The increase was driven by higher grades and better recoveries, the company said, adding that it remains on track to meet its... 

IBM seeks legal opinion on closed Goa mines

By: Ajoy K Das     29th April 2019 The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), the federal government scientific and governance body, is seeking legal opinion on iron-ore mines in the western coastal state of Goa, shuttered since last year by court orders. A Supreme Court verdict on the mining leases of 88 iron-ore mines in Goa was... 

India’s Iranian gas investments buried by US sanctions

By: Ajoy K Das     26th April 2019 India’s plan to develop natural gas assets in Iran has been buried in the wake of the US administration’s withdrawal of exemption from sanctions for trade in crude and natural gas with the Persian Gulf nation. A consortium, led by ONGC had held protracted negotiations with Iran since 2002 to... 

Nalco spat over surplus alumina sale to Vedanta reaches apex court

By: Ajoy K Das     26th April 2019 Indian State-run integrated aluminium producer National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) has appealed to the Supreme Court seeking to prevent rival Vedanta Limited from participating in tenders for the sale of surplus alumina. Nalco has maintained that it would not register Vedanta as a bidder... 

Indian government issues supply assurances to domestic oil refineries

By: Ajoy K Das     26th April 2019 In the wake of the end of sanction waivers by the Trump administration for imports of Iranian crude oil, India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has officially issued assurances to all domestic refineries that the government will ensure adequate supplies. “The government has put in place a... 

SailingStone to vote against Turquoise Hill independent directors

By: Mariaan Webb     26th April 2019 San Francisco-based investment advisory firm SailingStone Capital Partners has informed TSX- and NYSE-listed Turquoise Hill that it intends to vote against the independent directors of the company at the yearly meeting on May 14, citing concerns about corporate governance practices. MD MacKenzie... 

Macau’s decision to join Kimberley Process attracting Angolan interest in the territory

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2019 The Government of Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China, which was ruled by Portugal from 1557 to 1999 (442 years) and which retains strong ties with the Lusophone world, hopes that joining the Kimberley Process will strengthen its trade relations with Angola. “There are companies in... 

Freeport quarterly profit misses expectations amidst Grasberg expansion

By: Reuters     25th April 2019 Freeport-McMoRan Inc, the world's largest publicly traded copper producer, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday due to slipping production and prices for the red metal. The results come as the company spends more than $15-billion to expand Indonesia's Grasberg copper and... 

China's Australian coking coal imports double in March from Feb

By: Reuters     25th April 2019 China's imports of Australian coking coal nearly doubled in March from a month earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, as a flurry of shipments were accepted after being delayed at customs clearance for more than a month. Arrivals of Australian coking coal were at 2.23-million tonnes last... 

More than 40m people work in artisanal mining – report

By: Reuters     25th April 2019 More than 40-million people around the world work in artisanal and small-scale mining where minerals including gold, diamonds and cobalt are dug up often by hand, a report by the World Bank and development organisation Pact said on Wednesday. Increasing demand for metals and rising prices have... 

More than 40m people work in artisanal mining – report

Deep-sea mining boss says new law could be adopted next year

By: Reuters     25th April 2019 China and a quest for battery minerals have injected momentum into a long UN process to agree a law on deep-sea mining, which could be adopted by the end of 2020, if the political will exists, the head of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) said. So far the UN body, headquartered in... 

Deep-sea mining boss says new law could be adopted next year

ICMM to establish mine tailings storage facilities standard 

By: Schalk Burger     24th April 2019 International mining organisation, the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) will conduct an independent review of mine tailings storage facilities to establish an international standard for the safe management of tailings storage facilities that can be applied to all tailings dams... 

World's central banks want more gold as India joins spree

By: Bloomberg     24th April 2019 India’s central bank is likely to join counterparts in Russia and China scooping up gold this year, adding to its record holdings and lending support to worldwide bullion demand as top economies diversify their reserves. The Reserve Bank of India’s purchases are part of a wider picture across... 

World's central banks want more gold as India joins spree

India’s NMDC targets 63Mt by 2021/22

By: Ajoy K Das     24th April 2019 Indian iron-ore miner NMDC Limited will ramp up its production capacity to 63-million tonnes a year by 2021/22, from 32-million tonnes achieved in 2018/19. The company is also planning to reduce logistics and transportation costs by 55% by constructing a slurry pipeline. 

India’s oil imports to surge on US actions

By: Ajoy K Das     24th April 2019 The US administration’s decision to end sanction waivers for Iranian oil imports by India and seven other countries will trigger a surge in India’s oil import bill even as it scurries to secure new energy sources. The government’s preliminary estimates for 2018/19 estimate the Indian oil import... 

India’s Coal Ministry sets growth target for CIL

By: Ajoy K Das     24th April 2019 India’s Coal Ministry has set a production target of 655-million tonnes for State-run miner Coal India Limited (CIL) for 2019/20. This compares with production of 607-million tonnes achieved by CIL during 2018/19, which is a shade below the 610-million-tonne target set by the Ministry for the year. 

Gindalbie/Ansteel deal gets FIRB backing

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th April 2019 The Foreign Investment Review Board has approved Hong Kong-based Ansteel’s takeover of ASX-listed Gindalbie Metals. Gindalbie in March announced a 2.6c a share takeover offer from Ansteel, which currently holds a 35.71% interest in Gindalbie and is a 52.16% shareholder in the Karara project. 

China's Tsingshan expands plans for Zimbabwe steel plant

By: Reuters     24th April 2019 China's Tsingshan Holding Group has expanded its plans for a steel plant in Zimbabwe to include a power plant and a lithium concession, Zimbabwe's Mines Minister Winston Chitando said on Tuesday. President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government is trying to woo foreign investors, especially in mining,... 

Global Witness welcomes LME’s new responsible sourcing rules 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd April 2019 International nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Global Witness has welcomed the London Metal Exchange’s (LME’s) new responsible sourcing rules, which were published for public consultation on Tuesday. The exchange’s responsible sourcing roadmap is intended for LME-listed brands and builds on a... 

Global Witness welcomes LME’s new responsible sourcing rules

China slams province for failing to curb polluting industries

By: Reuters     23rd April 2019 China's environment ministry reprimanded provincial officials in Shandong, the country's biggest aluminium producing province, for failing to comply with policies to cut coal consumption and curb the growth of highly polluting aluminium output. Shandong has been a key part of China's efforts to... 

Anglo steps up defense to repel Agarwal's interest – Telegraph 

By: Bloomberg     23rd April 2019 Anglo American has hired three investment banks to fend off a potential takeover bid from the billionaire owner of Vedanta Resources, Anil Agarwal, the Telegraph reported, citing unidentified people. Agarwal has previously stated he had no intention to take over the miner, but bankers think he... 

Orion reawakening geological giant in Northern Cape  

By: Martin Creamer     18th April 2019 Three years ago, Orion Minerals was trading at an eighth of an Australian cent a share. It had a market capitalisation of $4-milllion and set out to find something that could be turned into a mine. The good news is that the company found that opportunity in South Africa, and its share price has... 

Orion reawakening geological giant in Northern Cape
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer interviewing Orion Minerals CEO Errol Smart. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Photographs: Dylan Slater.

LME ready to address flaws in its metal storage rules

By: Reuters     18th April 2019 The London Metal Exchange is poised to deal with a loophole in its warehousing rules, exposed after commodity trader Glencore bought large amounts of aluminium earlier this year, sources familiar with the matter said. But the exchange will have to wait until a complaint lodged by Glencore with... 

Fitch warns iron-ore price increase may be ‘more structural’ than initially thought

By: Simone Liedtke     18th April 2019 The sharp rise in iron-ore prices to over $90 per dry metric ton (dmt) from under $75/dmt since January, may be “more structural than initially anticipated”, says Fitch Ratings. It believes sustained iron-ore prices of above $85/dmt over the next 9 to 12 months should provide cash flow windfalls... 

Majority of B2Gold’s mines outperform guidance in strong first quarter

By: Nadine James     18th April 2019 TSX-listed B2Gold exceeded its first-quarter production and sales guidance by 6%, producing 230 859 oz and selling 232 076 oz of gold. The Fekola, Masbate, Otjikoto and El Limon mines all exceeded their targeted production, with the Mali-based Fekola and the Philippines-based Masbate mines,... 

Five-month gold strike is over 

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2019 The five-month strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at Sibanye-Stillwater’s South African gold operations is over. Parties have acknowledged that it is in their interest to rebase and develop a constructive relationship going forward, Sibanye-Stillwater said in a... 

Eager black investors fund premium-priced opportunity in zinc, copper 

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2019 Black investors have self-funded the purchase of shares at a premium price in the fast-tracked redevelopment of the Prieska zinc and copper mine in the Northern Cape, which has a three-year payback and a minimum mine life of ten years. The $8-million equity capital raising by Orion Minerals,... 

Eager black investors fund premium-priced opportunity in zinc, copper
Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Dylan Slater
Orion Minerals’ ‘meet-the-media’ attendees were from left: Jowell Tobias, Godfrey Gomwe, Billy Mawasha, Michelle Jenkins, Errol Smart, Nelson Mosiapoa, Tom Borman, Sharon Matthews and Roger Matthews.

Royal Bafokeng boosts production despite setbacks 

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2019 Black-owned platinum group metals mining company Royal Bafokeng Platinum boosted its production in the three months to March 31, in spite of several setbacks in the period. Tonnes delivered to concentrators increased by 17.3% to 862 000 t and tonnes milled increasing by 11.6% to 846 000 t.... 

Indian Cabinet approves pact with Bolivia

By: Ajoy K Das     16th April 2019 India’s Union Cabinet on Monday approved a pact with Bolivia for bilateral cooperation in geology and mineral resources. “The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval of the memorandum of understanding signed between India and Bolivia on cooperation in the fields of geology and mineral... 

Gold output to reach record high this year – report 

By: Nadine James     16th April 2019 Gold production increased for the tenth consecutive year in 2018 to 107.3-million ounces and is expected to reach a new record high of 109.6-million ounces this year, S&P Global Market Intelligence research analyst Christopher Galbraith said on Tuesday.   He noted that while the year-on-year... 

Gold output to reach record high this year – report

WGC, ICBC sign MoU to develop Chinese gold market

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2019 The World Gold Council (WGC) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on developing the Chinese gold market, including the development and marketing of gold solutions for Millennial consumers and institutional investors.   China... 

Turquoise Hill reviewing impact of Oyu Tolgoi Shaft 2 delay

By: Mariaan Webb     16th April 2019 Rio Tinto, the project manager of the Oyu Tolgoi, in Mongolia, has concluded a review of the fit-out and commissioning issues at Shaft 2 – the main production and services shaft of the underground development – and expects the Shaft to be completed by the end of October. Rio Tinto-owned... 

Orion clinches potent new-style empowerment deal  

By: Martin Creamer     16th April 2019 Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed exploration and mining development company Orion Minerals has found a formula to achieve empowerment that puts all shareholders at full participation and contribution. “What we’ve arrived at is a fantastic win-win scenario,” an overjoyed Orion CEO Errol Smart told... 

Orion clinches potent new-style empowerment deal
Orion Minerals CEO Errol Smart (left) interviewed by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Photographs: Dylan Slater.

India’s reformed oil, gas E&P policy to come into play in June/July

By: Ajoy K Das     15th April 2019 India’s reformed oil and gas exploration policy will come into force when the next round of bidding for blocks kicks off in June/July, the sector regulator has announced. “Parameters of the new policy reforms shall apply from Open Acreage Licensing Policy IV onwards,” a notification from the... 

Tiffany training Africans to cut diamonds sourced from the region

By: Bloomberg     15th April 2019 Tiffany & Co has been expanding its workforce in sub-Saharan Africa – a region of almost one billion people where the jewellery giant does not have a single store. More than a quarter of the New York-based company’s 1 500 global diamond cutters and polishers are now based in Africa, CEO... 

Tiffany training Africans to cut diamonds sourced from the region

Orocobre and Toyota Tsusho approve Japan plant

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th April 2019 Lithium miner Orocobre and its joint venture partner Toyota Tsusho Corporation have approved the development of the $77.6-million Naraha lithium hydroxide plant, in Japan. “We are excited to announce the approval of the Naraha project. The construction of the Naraha lithium hydroxide plant will... 

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