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Australasia News

BHP reports ‘strong start’ to financial year with upbeat production figures

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th October 2010 Global diversified miner BHP Billiton on Wednesday reported that iron-ore production increased by 6% in the September quarter, compared with the previous corresponding period. Iron-ore production rose to 31,98-million tons in the three months, which was 2% higher than the 31,24-million tons... 

Hunnu Coal to raise A$40m to fast-track Mongolia coal projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th October 2010 Exploration company Hunnu Coal on Wednesday said that it was looking to raise up to A$40-million to accelerate its Mongolian coking and thermal coal projects. The explorer would raise the funds through placing 50-million shares, at an issue price of 80c a share, to institutional and... 

Rio Tinto announces $3,1bn Pilbara iron-ore investment

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th October 2010 Diversified miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday announced that a further $3,1-billion would be invested in expanding its iron-ore infrastructure in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The latest investment would increase the infrastructure capacity to 283-million tons a year, by 2013. 

BHP might walk away from Australia mining tax deal – report

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th October 2010 Australia’s mineral resources rent tax (MRRT) might lose one of its biggest supporters, with local media reporting on Wednesday that diversified miner BHP Billiton was threatening to “walk away” from the deal reached with the federal government. The Australian newspaper on Wednesday reported... 

First Quantum Q3 copper output falls

By: Liezel Hill     19th October 2010 Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals produced 18% less copper in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, after the DRC government told the company to withdraw from its Frontier mine. Output was also affected by a four-day shutdown of the sulphide circuit at the Kansanshi mine in Zambia... 

Peabody doubled Q3 profit, raises full-year target

By: Liezel Hill     19th October 2010 St Louis-based Peabody Energy doubled its earnings in the third quarter, mainly thanks to higher coal sales volumes from the group's Australian mines. The biggest US coal miner said on Tuesday morning it has raised the midpoint of its 2010 earnings target, and now expects full-year earnings... 

Growth in China and India to shift global thermal coal trade

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th October 2010 Energy and metals researcher Wood Mackenzie expects a significant shift in global thermal coal trade over the next decade, the organisation’s chairperson for coal, Jeff Watkins, said on Tuesday. The first shift could occur around 2011, when China would overtake Japan as the world’s largest... 

Mincor’s costs rise on output, project setbacks

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th October 2010 Nickel miner Mincor Resources reported a sharp rise in cash costs for the quarter ended September, driven by lower production and ramp-up costs at the Miitel operation, in Western Australia. Cash costs during the period was estimated at around A$7,64/lb, compared with the A$6,13/lb in the... 

Southdown magnetite project study to be finalised by year-end

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th October 2010 Australian magnetite miner Grange Resources reported on Tuesday that the feasibility study into the Southdown magnetite project was advancing, with the project’s joint venture (JV) partners having approved the A$24-million required to progress the study during the second half of 2010. The JV... 

Paladin reports lower output from Namibia and Malawi mines

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th October 2010 Uranium-miner Paladin Energy on Tuesday reported lower quarterly production as output at its mines in Namibia and Malawi dipped. Paladin produced 1,36-million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) in the first quarter ended September, which was 5% less than the 1,44-million pounds produced in the June... 

Resource upgrade puts Sherwin Iron on track to open mine in 2012

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th October 2010 Iron-ore developer Sherwin Iron has increased the resource base at its W deposit, part of the Roper River iron-ore project in the Northern Territory, by 40%. The total resource estimate for the W Deposit, within the Hodgson Downs series of deposits, is now estimated at around 100-million tons,... 

Prominent Hill gold output likely to exceed FY target – Oz

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th October 2010 ASX-listed Oz Minerals expects the gold production at its Prominent Hill operation, in South Australia, to be 10% above its guidance of 185 000 oz for the year, if strong production continues. In its third quarter results for the three months to September, Oz Minerals reported on Tuesday that... 

Toro to buy WA uranium project, boost resource to 30Mlb

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th October 2010 Uranium developer Toro Energy has agreed to buy the Dawson-Hinkler Well uranium project, near Wiluna, in Western Australia, from U3O8 Limited, it announced on Tuesday. Toro would pay U3O8 A$6,2-million once it completed a due diligence on the project.  

A$30m raised for Azumah's 1,2Moz gold project in Ghana 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th October 2010 Gold developer Azumah Resources on Tuesday reported that it had raised A$30-million through a share placement to accelerate the development of its 1,2-million ounce Wa gold project, in Ghana. Azumah placed 50-million shares, at 60c a share to North American, Australian and European institutional... 

Continental raises A$40,5m for acquisition, SA project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th October 2010 South Africa-focused Continental Coal on Tuesday resumed share trading on the ASX after completing a A$40,5-million capital raising to fund the acquisition of unlisted Mashala Resources and the development of the Penumbra project. A$10-million of the capital raising was done through a... 

First Quantum eyes 2012 production decision for Peru copper project

By: Liezel Hill     18th October 2010 Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals, which announced on Monday it will buy Canadian junior Antares Minerals for the company's Haquira copper project in Peru, could be ready to approve construction of the mine in 2012, said president Clive Newall. With the C$460-million Antares deal, the... 

Copper market expected to move into deficit in 2011

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 The copper market is forecast to move from a small surplus in 2010, to a deficit of around 400 000 t by 2011, Australian equity research firm Resource Capital Research (RCR) reported on Monday. The demand reflected a continuing surge in Chinese demand, as well as the current tight supply in the... 

Apex lifts gold production 19%

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 ASX-listed Apex Minerals increased its gold production by 19% in the September quarter, from the 16 300 oz produced in the previous quarter. In a statement in advance of its full-quarter report, Apex noted that it had produced 19 300 oz of gold during the three months to September 30.  

Kasbah seeks A$24m to fast track Morocco tin project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 Tin hopeful Kasbah Resources on Monday reported that it would raise up to A$24-million to fund an accelerated exploration and development programme at its Achmmach tin project, in Morocco. The company would issue 87,5-million shares, at 24c a share, through a share placement to raise up to... 

Cazaly sells 51% stake in Hamersley project to SVG

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 Western Australia-focused explorer Cazaly Resources has sold a 51% shareholding in the Hamersley iron-ore project to fellow-listed Saint Istvan Gold (SVG). Cazaly said in a statement on Monday that the agreement with SVG would allow the company to leverage its position to exploit the potential... 

Wilcherry Hill could cost A$12m to A$19m to develop – Ironclad

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 The first stage of the Wilcherry Hill iron-ore project, in South Australia, would cost between A$12-million and A$19-million to develop, ASX-listed Ironclad Mining said on Monday. A further A$6-million to A$9-million would be required for working capital during stage one of the start-up period,... 

Marengo signs MoU with China’s NFC for PNG project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 Diversified metals company Marengo Mining has taken a further step to develop its Yandera copper/molybdenum/gold project, in Papua New Guinea (PNG), by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Company (NFC). The MoU... 

Cape Alumina mine ‘unviable’ under Wild Rivers law

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 Queensland Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said on Monday that the state government would not be amending its Wild Rivers law, despite an announcement by ASX-listed Cape Alumina that the legislation had made its Pisolite Hills bauxite mine “unviable”. Cape Alumina... 

BHP and Rio abandon Pilbara iron-ore venture

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 Diversified mining groups BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto on Monday called off the proposed Pilbara iron-ore joint venture (JV) as the two companies struggled to receive regulatory approvals. The miners have been advised that the European Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer... 

Southern Hemisphere mulls finance for Chile manganese project

By: Liezel Hill     15th October 2010 Southern Hemisphere Mining expects to get final permitting approval and complete a final feasibility study in the first quarter of 2011 for its Los Pumas manganese project in Chile, the company said on Friday. The Los Pumas mine could produce an average of 300 000 t/y of manganese for seven... 

Perseus awards mining, fuel supply contracts for Ghana gold mine

By: Liezel Hill     15th October 2010 ASX- and TSX-listed Perseus Mining has awarded key contracts for its Central Ashanti Gold project, in Ghana, in preparation for the start-up at the mine next year. The firm has provided a letter of intent to African Mining Services, a subsidiary of Ausdrill Limited, for an openpit mining... 

EnviroGold to start proceedings against Las Lagunas partner

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2010 Minerals developer EnviroGold on Friday stated that it would initiate “enforcement proceedings” against the minority participant in the Las Lagunas gold tailings project, in the Dominican Republic, after that company failed to comply with a loan-facility requirement. EnviroGold said in a... 

Kingsgate eyes Mt Kare gold project in PNG 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2010 ASX-listed gold-miner Kingsgate Consolidated on Friday confirmed that it was reviewing the Mount Kare project in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as part of its strategy to diversify its asset base in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. CEO Gavin Thomas said that the PNG government was finalising its... 

Queensland’s Bligh opens $1,29bn Rio Tinto mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2010 Queensland Premier Anna Bligh on Friday officially opened Rio Tinto’s $1,29-billion Clermont thermal coal mine. The diversified resources group’s new coal mine would contribute some A$500-million a year to Queensland's gross state product, as well as A$100-million a year to the state in... 

Australia’s FIRB approves C$3,6bn Andean-Goldcorp deal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2010 The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has given the go ahead for the C$3,6-billion takeover of Andean Resource by Canadian-miner Goldcorp. Goldcorp was offering Andean shareholders the option of exchanging their shares for 0,14 common shares, or a cash payment of C$6,50 a share,... 

Santos prices €300m follow-on hybrid

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2010 ASX-listed oil and gas company Santos on Friday launched and priced a €300-million follow-on hybrid issue, to follow its debut issue of a €700-million, which settled during September. This will bring the total amount of hybrid capital raised by Santos in the market to €1-billion, or around A$1,4... 

Gindalbie wants Karara project exempted from MRRT

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2010 Magnetite developer Gindalbie Metals has asked the policy transition group (PTG) to exempt the Karara project from the mineral resources rent tax (MRRT). Gindalbie, which released its September quarterly report on Friday, said that the Western Australian project should be exempted from the 30%... 

Enviro approval granted for Mt Marion lithium project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th October 2010 Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation has approved the Mount Marion lithium project, ASX-listed Reed Resources said on Friday. The approval has also been granted for site clearance, which would start on the approval of the mining proposal, expected later this month. 

BHP, Rio say no decisions yet on next steps for iron-ore JV

By: Liezel Hill     14th October 2010 Diversified miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto on Thursday expressed "disappointment" after the German Federal Cartel Office said it intends to object to the companies' planned iron-ore joint venture in Western Australia. "No decisions about next steps have been taken at this stage while... 

Crocodile Gold boosts gold resource at Northern Territory project

By: Liezel Hill     14th October 2010 Toronto-based Crocodile Gold has increased the indicated resource at its Pine Creek project, in Australia's Northern Territory, by 315%, to 288 600 oz, the firm announced on Thursday. The project also has an estimated inferred resource of 183 200 oz. 

Rio Tinto iron-ore output hits record in Q3

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th October 2010 Diversified resources group Rio Tinto on Thursday reported record iron-ore and coking coal production for the third quarter. The company boosted iron-ore output to 47,6-million tons of iron-ore in the quarter, which is a 9% increase on the second-quarter production. 

Ivanhoe Australia applies for listing on TSX

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th October 2010 ASX-listed Ivanhoe Australia has applied for a listing on the TSX, to expose the company to a wider investor audience, CEO Peter Reeve said on Thursday. Ivanhoe Australia, which is 62% owned by Ivanhoe Mines, could be listed on the TSX as early as November, he said in a statement. 

Poseidon to start production in next two years

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th October 2010 ASX-listed Poseidon Nickel on Thursday reported that its Windarra deposit, in Western Australia, would start production within the next two years. Speaking at the Paydirt Nickel Conference, Poseidon CEO David Singleton said that the company would spend just under an initial $55-million to move... 

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