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Australasia News

EIA for S Australia rare-earths project gets under way

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2010 Rare-earths developer Arafura Resources has started the environmental impact study (EIS) on its Whyalla rare-earths complex, in South Australia. “The start of these studies is an important step in Arafura’s plan to construct a world-class rare-earths complex at Whyalla,” said MD Steve Ward in a... 

Tanami Gold approves A$8m WA plant upgrade

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2010 The board of ASX-listed gold producer Tanami Gold has approved an A$8-million upgrade to its Western Tanami treatment plant, in Western Australia to double the ore treatment rate. The plant throughput capacity would now increase to 500 000 t/y, enabling Tanami to increase gold production from... 

Atlas Iron in talks with BHP for Pilbara rail line access

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2010 ASX-listed Atlas Iron has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with diversified resources group BHP Billiton regarding an integrated transport solution in Port Hedland, Western Australia. The two companies have agreed to consider point-to-point rail haulage on BHP’s Goldsworthy line to the... 

'Squandered' South African coal should be declared 'strategic'  

By: Martin Creamer     17th November 2010 South Africa is "squandering" its valuable coal endowment and the "miracle mineral" should be declared a "strategic national asset". Coal consulting engineer Dr Ed Koper, who addressed the Fossil Fuel Foundation of Africa's clean coal conference in Johannesburg, believes that South Africa's coal... 

Murchison reassures shareholders on Mitsubishi JV

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 ASX-listed Murchison Metals and its joint-venture (JV) partner, Mitsubishi Development, were committed to the Jack Hills expansion and Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) projects, chairperson Paul Kopejtka assured shareholders on Wednesday. In his address at the annual general meeting, Kopejtka said... 

BHP invests further $570m in WA iron-ore operations

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 Diversified mining group BHP Billiton has approved a $570-million investment to underpin the growth of its Western Australian iron-ore assets. BHP would expand its port, rail and mine infrastructure at the Jimblebar iron-ore mine, it announced in a statement on Wednesday. 

Perth selected to host international LNG conference in 2016

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett on Wednesday announced that Perth had been selected to host the eighteenth International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG18), in 2016. Barnett said the conference was expected to attract more than 4 000 delegates and exhibitors and... 

Corvette signs Côte d’Ivoire gold exploration deal with Cape Lambert

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 ASX-listed Corvette Resources has signed an agreement with Cape Lambert Resources to earn an 80% interest in five projects in the Côte d’Ivoire, by spending A$2,5-million on exploration. A 1% royalty on future gold production from the project area has also been agreed with Cape Lambert as part... 

Cashmere on track with W Australia DSO operation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 Unlisted Cashmere Iron said it was on-track to start its direct shipping ore (DSO) operations at its Downs iron-ore project, in Western Australia by 2013. The company is completing the bankable feasibility study on the DSO component of the project, which would be finalised in the first quarter... 

Aviva unlikely to proceed with 1 000 MW coal-fired project in Botswana

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 Aviva Corporation, which owns coal assets in Botswana, Kenya and Western Australia, on Wednesday criticised South Africa’s energy plan, which does not provide for new independent coal-fired power until 2027. Aviva is proposing a ten-million ton a year coal mine at its Mmamantswe project in... 

Syndicated reports Barbara resource increase

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 ASX-listed Syndicated Metals has reported a 60% increase in the contained copper at the Barbara copper/gold deposit, in Queensland. The Barbara deposit, which is 51% held by Syndicated, now has an indicated and inferred mineral resource of 5,33-million tons, grading at 1,4% copper, 0,1 g/t gold,... 

Medusa approves $80m Philippines gold expansion project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 Gold-miner Medusa Mining has approved an $80-million expansion at its Co-O mine, in the Philippines, which would more than double the current output. The ASX-, TSX- and LSE-listed company said on Wednesday that the expansion of the Co-O mine would see the construction of a new treatment plant... 

Sphere directors resign as Xstrata takes control

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2010 Three directors of Sphere Minerals stepped down on Wednesday, after diversified miner Xstrata took control of the Perth-based company. MD Alexander Burns and directors Marcello Cardaci and Peter Donkin have resigned from the Sphere board with immediate effect, while Lexton Graefe has resigned as... 

Platinum may peak at $1 900/oz in next 6 months – Johnson Matthey 

By: Martin Creamer     16th November 2010 The platinum price may peak at $1 900/oz in the next six months, says Johnson Matthey principal analyst Alison Cowley, whose top-of-the range forecast for palladium is $850/oz. 

Brockman board rejects Wah Nam offer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th November 2010 Iron-ore miner Brockman Resources said on Tuesday that shareholders should reject a takeover offer from Hong Kong-based Wah Nam International. Chairperson Barry Cusack said in a speech delivered at the company’s annual general meeting that the board’s decision to reject the all-scrip offer of 30... 

Continental to start coal exports as it concludes Mashala deal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th November 2010 South Africa-focused Continental Coal on Tuesday completed the acquisition of coal junior Mashala Resources, it announced on Tuesday, paving the way for the company to become the country’s newest coal exporter. “The acquisition of Mashala will have a fundamental impact on Continental’s... 

SAFM starts production at Ponto Verde mine in Brazil

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th November 2010 ASX-listed South American Ferro Metals (SAFM) has started iron-ore production at its Ponto Verde project, in Brazil. Under an agreement with LGA Mineracao e Siderurgia, the mining contractor would mine ore at Ponto Verde and truck the ore to its own plant for beneficiation, before selling it to... 

Sandfire unveils plan to raise A$102m for DeGrussa project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th November 2010 Minerals developer Sandfire Resources on Tuesday reported that it would raise A$102-million through a share placement and an entitlement offer to fund the initial development of the DeGrussa copper/gold project, in Western Australia. The DeGrussa project is earmarked to start construction in... 

BHP expects Olympic Dam expansion decision by late 2011

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th November 2010 Global miner BHP Billiton expects to take a decision on the expansion of its Olympic Dam operations, in South Australia, by the end of next year, CEO Marius Kloppers said on Tuesday. Speaking at the annual general meeting, he said that the company was still awaiting the completion of the... 

BHP won't change acquisition approach – Nasser

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th November 2010 The world’s largest diversified miner, BHP Billiton, on Tuesday assured its shareholders that it would not be changing its growth strategy, despite three recent unsuccessful deals, including failed takeovers for rival Rio Tinto and Canada’s Potash Corporation. BHP chairperson Jac Nasser said at... 

Talison looks at further lithium capacity expansions

By: Liezel Hill     16th November 2010 TSX-listed Talison Lithium, the biggest pure-play producer of the metal, will complete a capacity expansion at its Australian operations early next year, and is already considering further increases as demand continues to rise. Demand for lithium from China was so strong in the September quarter... 

Gold One bondholders elect not to redeem bonds for cash

By: Loni Prinsloo     15th November 2010 ASX- and JSE-listed junior miner Gold One said on Monday that none of its convertible bondholders had exercised their one-off put option to redeem their bonds for cash. This meant that Gold One longer required the credit approved $65-million debt facility, which was being concluded with Absa... 

Alumina says $320m facility oversubscribed

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 ASX-listed Alumina on Monday advised shareholders that it had executed a $320-million unsecured senior syndicated revolving cash facility as part of its ongoing renewal of its banking facilities. The facility, which was oversubscribed, comprises a $106,7-million, three-year tranche, as well as a... 

FerrAus starts definitive study on Pilbara iron-ore project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 Emerging iron-ore producer FerrAus on Monday approved the start of a definitive feasibility study on its Pilbara project, in Western Australia, after a prefeasibility study (PFS) showed the project was “financially robust and technically viable”. The PFS found that the net present value of the... 

Galilee sells NZ coal assets to Bathurst, cancels IPO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 ASX-listed coal developer Bathurst Resources has agreed to buy Galilee Energy subsidiary Eastern Resources for A$35-million. Galilee has previously announced its intentions to float its New Zealand coal assets through an initial public offering (IPO). However, the company said on Monday that its... 

Kentor raises A$65,2m for Kyrgyz copper/gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 Gold developer Kentor on Monday announced that it had successfully raised A$65,2-million through share placement and rights issue. The share placement consisted of 86,5-million new shares, at 15,5c a share to raise a gross proceed of A$13,4-million.  

Globe forms strategic partnership with Chinese entity

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 Chinese State-owned entity East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau (ECE) will take a majority shareholding in Australia-based Globe Metals & Mining for A$41-million. ECE would subscribe for more than 118,1-million fully paid ordinary shares in Globe, at a price of 34c a share. 

Centrex shifts focus to multimine start-up

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 Iron-ore developer Centrex Metals on Monday announced a new multi-mine plan in South Australia, rather than a single site start up. The developer said it would now focus on first production from multiple Eyre Peninsula mines by 2014/15, including its joint-venture (JV) developments with China’s... 

Scandinavian buys rest of Rakkuri from Anglo, Rio

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 ASX-listed explorer Scandinavian Resources has taken full ownership of the Rakkuri project, in Sweden, after acquiring the interest of diversified miners Anglo American and Rio Tinto. Scandinavian Resources, through its subsidiary Kiruna Iron, agreed to buy the rest of the project for... 

BHP revives $4,2bn share buyback after scrapping Potash Corp offer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 Mining giant BHP Billiton on Monday called off its $40-billion bid for Saskatchewan-based fertiliser company Potash Corp, and reactivated a $4,2-billion share buy-back programme. BHP said in a statement that it had determined that the condition of its offer, relating to receipt of a “net... 

Western Desert raises A$12m for NT iron-ore project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 Diversified minerals explorer Western Desert Resources on Monday reported that it had raised A$12-million for its Roper Bar iron-ore project, in the Northern Territory. The explorer said in a statement that it would place 37,5-million shares, at 32c a share to various sophisticated and... 

Citigold signs A$30m exploration deal with Chinese firm

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th November 2010 ASX-listed Citigold has inked a A$30-million deal with China’s Anhui Geology and Mining Investment Company to jointly explore and develop the exploration area around the Charters Towers mining operation, in Queensland. Anhui would invest A$30-million over the next five years in exploration works... 

Ivanhoe Australia starts trading in Toronto

By: Liezel Hill     13th November 2010 Shares in Melbourne-based Ivanhoe Australia started trading on the TSX on Friday, adding to the existing ASX listing. The company's shares closed the day in Toronto at C$3,40 apiece and 49 600 shares changed hands. 

Mineral Deposits prepares for Sabodala spin-out

By: Liezel Hill     12th November 2010 Teranga Gold, the company formed to hold ASX- and TSX-listed Mineral Deposits' Sabodala gold project in Senegal, has obtained a receipt for its final long-form prospectus filed in Canada for an initial public offering, the companies said on Friday. Teranga plans to sell 32-million shares at C$3... 

Paladin ready to commission Langer Heinrich expansion early 2011

By: Liezel Hill     12th November 2010 Uranium miner Paladin Energy expects a project to expand capacity at the Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia to 5,2-million pounds a year will reach mechanical completion and be ready for commissioning early next year, the firm said on Friday. The project represents the third stage of production... 

Forte Energy making progress at uranium prospect in Mauritania

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th November 2010 Aim- and ASX-listed Forte Energy said on Friday that it had drilled 30 holes or a total of 2 500 m at it A238 uranium prospect in Mauritania since drilling started last month. The uranium company plans to carry out 5 000 m of reverse drilling as the first phase of its drilling programme at the... 

Firestone completes definitive Waterberg coal study, offtake deal ‘imminent’

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th November 2010 JSE- and ASX-listed Firestone Energy said on Friday that the definite feasibility study (DFS) for its joint venture (JV) Waterberg coal project with black-empowered Sekoko Coal had been completed. However, the coal-miner said in a statement that it would only fully disclose the study once it had... 

Redpath, Platinum Australia enter arbitration to resolve Smokey Hills dispute

12th November 2010 Mining contractor Redpath Mining and junior miner Smokey Hills have entered into an arbitration process in a bid to resolve a dispute over the termination of a contract at the Smokey Hills mine in South Africa. The arbitration process is under way, with a resolution expected by July 2011, said... 

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