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Asia News

Gold pulled higher by oil after pipeline blow-up

By: Reuters     27th May 2008 Gold opened higher on Tuesday as further supply disruptions in Nigeria, the world's eighth-largest oil producer, and a weaker dollar, made the precious metal increasingly attractive. Spot gold stood at $927,00/927,90 an ounce by 03:29 GMT, having earlier risen above $930, and up from... 

Laws of the jungle at work as junior, mid-tier mining consolidation continues

By: Liezel Hill     26th May 2008 Consolidation in the junior and mid-tier mining space looks set to continue, as companies find it increasingly difficult to access finance for development projects, making them vulnerable to predators, an Ernst & Young report indicated on Monday. At the same time, medium-sized companies... 

Polyus Gold responds to offer, says fully funded

By: Liezel Hill     26th May 2008 Russia's biggest gold producer, Polyus Gold, said on Monday that, as of January 1, it had $1,4-billion in cash and equivalents, which would cover its development costs until 2010. 

Botswana economy to benefit from new African commodities exchange

By: Matthew Hill     26th May 2008 The new African commodities exchange to be opened in Botswana will bring jobs, tax revenues and the transfer of technology and expertise to the country, vice president Mompati Merafhe said last week. The Multi-Commodity Exchange (MCX) Africa would provide a platform to trade agricultural... 

Russia's Severstal buys controlling stake in African iron-ore project

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd May 2008 Russian steel and mining company Severstal has announced on Friday that it would buy a controlling stake in Africa-focused junior Mano River's 80%-owned subsidiary, African Iron Ore Group (AIOG), for $37,5-million. AIOG owns the exploration rights for an iron-ore deposit in the Putu Range... 

Intrepid completes debt repayment ahead of schedule

By: Liezel Hill     22nd May 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Intrepid Mines has repayed its project finance loan to Australian bank Westpac six months ahead of schedule, the firm said on Thursday. Intrepid, which merged earlier this year with former DRDGold subsidiary Emperor Mines, produces gold from the Paulsens operation, in Western... 

Canadian Royalties gets permitting go ahead for Quebec nickel project

By: Liezel Hill     21st May 2008 TSX-listed Canadian Royalties has been awarded an environmental certificate of authorisation for its Nunavik nickel project, in Quebec, Canada, approving the start of construction and development of the mine, the firm announced on Wednesday. Nunavik, which is targeting output of 30-million pounds... 

Eskom won’t force miners’ hands as coal exports threaten security of supply 

By: Matthew Hill     20th May 2008 While soaring coal prices were a key driver behind Eskom’s latest and much-debated application to the energy regulator for significant electricity price increases, CE Jacob Maroga said on Tuesday that it “won’t be useful to force” issues on the coal industry. However, he... 

Polyus receives offer for 2,5% stake

By: Liezel Hill     20th May 2008 Russia's biggest gold producer, Polyus Gold, has received an offer for 4,76-million shares, or about 2,5% of the company, for $350-million, the firm said on Tuesday.  

SA studies coal master plan to examine pricing, supply

By: Matthew Hill     20th May 2008 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) has commissioned a study to draft a "coal master plan", which would interrogate the "best way of preserving our national coal resources", a spokesperson said on Tuesday. The study would cover a wide range of issues, including... 

Zimbabwe vote crisis may hurt '08 platinum output

By: Reuters     19th May 2008 Platinum supplies from Zimbabwe rose 2,3% to 171 000 oz last year, but a disputed election may damage output this year, metals refiner Johnson Matthey (JM) said on Monday. JM said the dispute over the outcome of an election in March, and further escalation of a power crisis in South Africa, the... 

GCM Resources says Polo made preliminary offer

By: Mariaan Webb     19th May 2008 London-based GCM Resources, which has subsidiaries operating in South Africa and Bangladesh, said on Monday that it had received a preliminary offer from Aim-listed Polo Resources. Polo Resources, which mines coal and explores for uranium in Mongolia, has made a cash offer of 175p a share.  

Gold-miner offers China quake relief, says workers safe

By: Mariaan Webb     19th May 2008 Sydney-based Sino Gold reported on Monday that it its operations and workforce in China had not been directly impacted by that country's devastating earthquake disaster, but that it had donated about A$100 000 to the relief effort. The miner donated essential equipment, such as 70 portable... 

Lundin mulls options for Russian zinc prospect

By: Liezel Hill     15th May 2008 Base-metals miner Lundin Mining is “looking at all alternatives” regarding its 49% stake in the Ozernoe zinc deposit, in Russia, president and CEO Phil Wright said on Thursday. Work on the feasibility study was “slow going” and certain project deadlines and governing... 

Demand for Africa’s minerals to underpin AEL’s growth 

By: Matthew Hill     15th May 2008 Explosives manufacturer AEL,a subsidiary of JSE-listed AECI, forecast revenue of R1-billion from African countries excluding South Africa, it said on Thursday. The global commodities boom has sparked a new rush for the continent's minerals, pushing up demand for the firm's products. 

Xstrata targets Philippines copper stake with A$426m bid for Indophil

By: Liezel Hill     15th May 2008 Diversified miner Xstrata Resources plans to make an all-cash offer to buy Indophil Resources for A$1,00 a share, valuing the company at about A$426-million ($400-million), the group said on Thursday.  

Uranium One posts loss as sales decline

By: Liezel Hill     14th May 2008 Uranium-miner Uranium One posted a net loss of $114,9-million for the first quarter of 2008, compared with net income of $8-million a year ago, and a $2,2-million loss in the last three months of 2007. Earnings were affected by a decline in sales volumes, as well as a $103,5-million impairment... 

Vale arranges $5bn financing in Japan

By: Liezel Hill     14th May 2008 Brazilian resources group Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale) has entered into agreements with two Japanese long-term financing agencies for up to $5-billion, the company said on Wednesday. 

Eurasian puts Kazakhmys bid plans on ice

By: Liezel Hill     13th May 2008 LSE-listed Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC) has decided not to make an offer for fellow Kazakh miner Kazakhmys “at the current time”, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday.  

New Angloplat CEO hopes to fix miner's safety reputation  

By: Matthew Hill     13th May 2008 CEO designate of the world's biggest platinum producer, 48-year old mining engineer Neville Nicolau, said on the day of the announcement of his appointment that "safety is our moral licence to operate". This came after his predecessor quit his job because of pressures around... 

Anglo Platinum appoints Neville Nicolau as CEO

By: Matthew Hill     13th May 2008 World number-one platinum producer Anglo Paltinum (Angloplat) on Tuesday announced the appointment of former AngloGold Ashanti COO Neville Nicolau (48) as its new CEO, effective June 1. This came after Ralph Havenstein quit the top job in August last year, leaving Duncan Wanblad and Norman... 

OceanaGold hikes capital estimate for Philippines mine

By: Liezel Hill     12th May 2008 Melbourne, Australia-based OceanaGold now expects its Didipio gold/copper project, on the Northern Luzon island, in the Philippines, to cost $320-million, of which it has already spent $40-million, the firm said on Monday. 

Centerra seeks clarification on Kyrgyz suspension reports

By: Liezel Hill     12th May 2008 TSX-listed Centerra Gold is seeking clarification from the government of Kygyzstan, after press reports that the country's Supreme Court had suspended agreements and licences for the company's Kumtor gold mine, the firm said on Monday. 

Former South Deep boss Thompson joins Camec

By: Mariaan Webb     12th May 2008 London-listed Camec has appointed former South Deep chief, Gordon Thompson, to manage and develop its recently acquired platinum assets in Zimbabwe, the company announced on Monday. Camec bought former Anglo Platinum-owned platinum properties through the acquisition of British firm Lever Finance... 

Kazakhmys rejects Eurasian proposal

By: Liezel Hill     9th May 2008 Copper producer Kazakhmys has rejected a proposal from LSE-listed Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC), the firm said on Friday. 

Gold could ‘easily’ return to $1 000/oz-level – Holland

By: Matthew Hill     9th May 2008 JSE-listed Gold Fields new CEO Nick Holland could "easily see" the gold price returning to levels above $1 000/oz, as economic woes in the US continue, he said on Friday. He also said that surging costs that were affecting the industry could also prop up the price of the yellow metal,... 

New safety move may cut Gold Fields’ output

By: Matthew Hill     9th May 2008 JSE-listed miner Gold Fields would soon have its operations scrutinised in an external audit in a bid to improve its "unacceptable" safety record, and is also doing a review that could see it pull out of some pillar and remnant areas, which account for about one-fifth of its total... 

Gold Fields earnings surge, March quarter output falls 14%

By: Matthew Hill     9th May 2008 Gold major Gold Fields on Friday reported a 446% year-on-year jump in headline earnings for the quarter ended March to R1,24-billion, as higher metal prices considerably eclipsed lower output and rising costs. The company reported a 14% drop in production and a 21% rise in costs, compared with... 

Dwyka may buy 30% in Philippines coal prospect

By: Liezel Hill     7th May 2008 Aim- and ASX-listed Dwyka Resources has signed an option agreement giving it the right, subject to shareholder approval, to buy a 30% stake in two adjacent coal deposits, on the Philipines island of Mindanao, the company said on Wednesday.  

Higher silver prices fail to put a dent in demand

By: Liezel Hill     7th May 2008 Industrial demand for silver rose for the sixth year in a row, and jewellery fabrication slipped by only 2% last year, as high and volatile prices for the metal failed to deter buyers, according to an industry report published on Wednesday. In their World Silver Survey 2008, launched in New York,... 

Funding crunch means more juniors up for grabs – Kinross chief

By: Liezel Hill     7th May 2008 The credit crisis in western financial markets has created more opportunities for large and mid-tier gold companies to target juniors, many of whom are struggling to finance the exploration and development of their projects, Kinross Gold CEO Tye Burt said on Wednesday. "We are seeing a lot... 

Gold near one-week high on oil, ETF holdings up

By: Reuters     7th May 2008 Gold held steady on Wednesday, hovering near a one-week high hit the previous day, after crude oil powered to another record and spurred buying of the precious metal by investors seeking to hedge against inflation. An increase in gold holdings in the world's largest exchange-traded fund... 

Xstrata coal output declines, chrome and copper rise

6th May 2008 Diversified miner Xstrata Resources produced 4% less coal during the first quarter of this 2008 than in the same period a year earlier, largely as a result of heavy rains and flooding at its Australian operations. The group produced 18,5-million tons of coal during the quarter, after thermal coal... 

World gold supply trend 'tragic' – Barrick founder Munk

By: Liezel Hill     6th May 2008 The failure of the gold-mining industry to find and exploit large new deposits of the yellow metal was “tragic”, Barrick Gold chairperson and acting CEO Peter Munk said on Tuesday. 

Barrick profit leaps as margins swell on higher prices

By: Liezel Hill     6th May 2008 The world's biggest gold producer, Toronto-based Barrick Gold, increased its first quarter net income to $514-million, compared with a loss of $159-million a year earlier, thanks to its exposure to record gold-price levels. The gold-miner reported a loss in the first quarter of 2007 after... 

Eldorado Gold profit rises on higher prices, increased sales

By: Liezel Hill     2nd May 2008 Mid-tier gold-miner Eldorado Gold increased its first quarter net income to $20,7-million, compared with $12,6-million a year ago. The company sold 73 604 oz of gold from its two mines in Turkey and China, up from 64 177 oz in the first three months of 2007. 

Norilsk Q1 nickel output up 22%

By: Liezel Hill     30th April 2008 The world's biggest producer of nickel and palladium, Norilsk Nickel, increased its first quarter nickel production by 22% year-on-year, to 74 572 t of saleable nickel, the firm said on Wednesday.  

Cameco, Centerra agree to extend deadline for Kyrgyz investment pact

By: Liezel Hill     29th April 2008 Toronto-based Centerra Gold and its largest shareholder, uranium giant Cameco, have agreed to extend a deadline for a deal on an investment agreement with the government of Kyrgyzstan, for Centerra's Kumtor mine in the country. The deadline has been extended for a second time, from April 30... 

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