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Australasia News

Fortescue iron-ore shipments exceed target

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th October 2010 Iron-ore-miner Fortescue Metals shipped 10,1-million tons in the September quarter, beating its previous forecast of 9,5-million tons, it reported on Thursday. Total material shipped through the Herb Elliott port, in Western Australia, was 10,26-million tons, which included 0,17-million tons of... 

European Nickel sees strong interest in Turkey project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th October 2010 ASX- and Aim-listed nickel developer European Nickel on Thursday said that its funding arrangements for the Çaldağ mine, in Turkey, should be completed within the next two months. Finance director Mark Hanlon told Mining Weekly Online that the company still needed to secure around $300-million... 

BCD gets Minemakers loan after Bendigo deal collapses

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th October 2010 Australian gold-miner BCD Resources slumped 65% on Thursday when it resumed trading on the ASX. The junior company announced that it had agreed a A$15-million funding deal with Minemakers, in exchange for a 64% shareholding in the company, after a merger with gold producer Bendigo Mining was... 

Western Areas to raise A$20m for Finland project in early 2011

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th October 2010 Australian nickel producer Western Areas was aiming to have a financial partner for its Finland project on board by the beginning of next year. Speaking on the sidelines of the Paydirt Nickel Conference, Western Areas operations director Daniel Lougher told Mining Weekly Online that the company... 

Potash Corp evaluates 'several alternatives'

By: Liezel Hill     13th October 2010 Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, which is the subject of a hostile takeover offer from BHP Billiton, is "evaluating several alternatives", the company said on Wednesday. Potash Corp has rejected BHP's $130 a share offer as too low, and has said it is confident a rival bidder will emerge. 

BCD says Bendigo merger called off

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 ASX-listed BCD Resources said on Wednesday that its proposed merger with gold-miner Bendigo Mining had been terminated and that it had secured a new funding facility with a fellow-listed resources company. BCD and Bendigo announced merger plans in July, to create a midtier gold producer. Under... 

Continental to complete Mashala takeover in coming weeks

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 ASX-listed Continental Coal will move to complete the acquisition of Mashala Resources over the coming weeks, after clearing the final hurdle with the transfer of the mining rights. Continental Coal announced in September that it is buying a 64,1% interest in Mashala Resources for $35-million in... 

Nickel price ‘sustainable’ at $20 000/t – Alto Capital

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2010 Investment bank and advisory service Alto Capital has predicted that the $20 000/t nickel price was sustainable in the medium term, however foreign exchange currency movements could unbalance the price strength. Research analyst Carey Smith told delegates at the Paydirt Nickel Conference that... 

Corazon declares 1,8Mt nickel resource at Lynne Lake in Canada

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 ASX-listed explorer Corazon Mining has declared a maiden resource for the El mine, part of the Lynn Lake nickel sulphide project, in Canada. Using the Paydirt Nickel Conference in Perth as a platform, MD Brett Smith said that the project now had an inferred resource of 1,8-million tons, grading... 

Metallica to start Queensland nickel DFS next year

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2010 ASX-listed Metallica Minerals on Wednesday reported that it was likely to start a definitive feasibility study (DFS) into its Nornico nickel mine, in Queensland, by early next year. The DFS process would take an estimated 12-months, which would allow for maiden production to start by late 2013. 

Vietnam’s first underground nickel mine may open in 2011

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 TSX-listed Asian Mineral Resources was looking to produce the first nickel at its Ban Phuc nickel project, in Vietnam, by late 2011. The $95-million project, which was Vietnam’s first underground nickel mine, was currently around 65% complete, said company president Robert Guest at the first day... 

Coal & Allied lowers FY production forecast

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 ASX-listed Coal & Allied on Wednesday downgraded its production and sales expectations for the year on the back of adverse weather conditions. The miner was now expecting to produce between 25-million and 26-million tons for the year, from a previous target of 27-million. 

WA nickel sector on recovery path

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 Western Australia’s nickel industry is on a stable path to recovery, following the end of the global financial crisis, Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said on Wednesday. He told delegates at the Paydirt Nickel Conference, in Perth, that figures from the Department of... 

Gold One creates new company Goliath to host Megamine

By: Chanel de Bruyn     13th October 2010 In a deal that values its Megamine assets at R260-million, or A$38,6-million, South Africa-focused Gold One has launched a new gold exploration and development company, Goliath Gold, through the reverse takeover of White Water Resources. The JSE- and ASX-listed junior miner, led by CEO Neal... 

Market cap of listed WA companies up 9,9% – Deloitte Index

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th October 2010 The market capitalisation of Western Australia-listed companies which comprise the Deloitte Western Australian Index increased by 9,9% for the month of September, maintaining its strong growth to close at A$167,1-billion. Western Australian companies have increased in value by 18,6% in the three... 

WA’s Moore sees MRRT as a ‘serious misunderstanding’

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore on Tuesday called on the mining industry to continue to oppose the mineral resources rent tax (MRRT). Speaking at the first day of the Paydirt Nickel Conference, in Perth, Moore said that the introduction of the MRRT was a “serious... 

Era cuts 2010 uranium output guidance by up to 800 t

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th October 2010 Uranium producer Energy Resources of Australia (Era) downgraded its 2010 production guidance to 3 900 t, from a previous target of between 4 300 t and 4 700 t of uranium oxide (U3O8). The production forecast was reduced, owing to the lower-than-expected ore grade in September, Era said on... 

Equinox raises Lumwana output guidance after strong Q3

By: Liezel Hill     12th October 2010 TSX- and ASX-listed Equinox Minerals now expects to produce 140 000 t of copper in concentrate this year from its Lumwana mine, in Zambia, after achieving design throughput rates at the plant through the September quarter. The company had previously forecast production this year of 135 000 t. It... 

Australia on the verge of biggest mining boom since 1850s

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 Australia is about to embark on its biggest mining investment boom since the 1850s Gold Rush, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan told investors in the US this week. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics estimates the current pipeline of resources projects in... 

Citadel reports new resource estimate for Saudi Arabia project

12th October 2010 Emerging gold and base metals producer Citadel Resources has increased the resource estimate at its Jabal Sayid Lode one copper ore body, adjacent to the Jabal Sayid project, in Saudi Arabia. The measured, indicated and inferred resource for the Lode one orebody is now estimated at 6,4-million... 

Kagara plans to bid for Copper Strike

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 Base-metals-miner Kagara on Tuesday said that it would make an off-market takeover offer for Queensland explorer Copper Strike. Kagara was offering 11c in cash for each Copper Strike share, which represented a premium of 40% to the 90-day volume weighted average price of Copper Strike shares. 

Mindax boosts Mount Forrest resource estimate

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 ASX-listed iron-ore developer Mindax has increased its indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate at the Mount Forrest project, in Western Australia, by 260%. The updated mineral resource now stands at 1,01-billion tons at 31,4% iron, up from the 387-million tons maiden resources, declared... 

Avalon to start bankable study on Sweden project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 Copper developer Avalon Minerals on Tuesday said that it would move towards a bankable feasibility study on its Viscaria copper/magnetite project, in Sweden, after a prefeasibility study (PFS) confirmed the technical and financial viability of the project. ASX-listed Avalon said in a statement... 

Sandfire shares soften on LS-Nikko alliance uncertainty

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 Share prices in ASX-listed Sandfire Resources fell to A$7,56 a share on Tuesday, having closed at A$7,85 a share on Monday, after the company warned shareholders that its strategic alliance with Korea-based LS-Nikko Copper could lapse. Sandfire said in a statement that discussions with LS-Nikko... 

Sinosteel Midwest appoints COO to succeed Casello

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 Chinese-owned iron-ore miner and developer Sinosteel Midwest Corporation has appointed Julian Mizera as COO, with effect from the end of October. Mizera takes over the role following the resignation of current COO Giulio Casello, who has accepted the position as MD and CEO of Africa-focused... 

$579m price estimate for Algeria zinc project, decision likely in 2011

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 ASX-listed base metals producer Terramin Australia on Tuesday reported that its 65% owned Tala Hamza zinc and lead project, in Algeria, would cost an estimated $579-million to develop. A recently concluded definitive feasibility study (DFS) found that a four-million ton a year project would be... 

Ero to focus on lithium projects in South Australia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th October 2010 ASX-listed minerals explorer Ero Mining on Tuesday reported that it would reposition itself as a lithium-focused company with the acquisition of unlisted South East Energy. Through the South East acquisition, Ero would be acquiring exploration acreage at Lake Frome, Lake Torrens and the... 

Quarterly iron-ore prices expected to remain stable in 2011

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 The iron-ore market, which moved to quarterly contracts in the second quarter of the year, has stabilised, following a period of volatility after the global financial crisis and the collapse of the yearly benchmark pricing system. The quarterly price for iron-ore jumped 23% in the third quarter... 

Pilbara Minerals secures option over Indonesia gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 Base-metals explorer Pilbara Minerals has entered into an option agreement to buy a majority interest in a private Indonesian company, which holds the rights to a gold deposit in that country. Pilbara has agreed to pay A$350 000 in cash, in tranches, over a three-month period for an option to... 

San Miguel buys $40m stake in Indophil

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 ASX-listed explorer Indophil Resources, which owns a 37,5% stake in Tampakan copper/gold project in the Philippines, inked a $40-million share placement with San Miguel Corporation. Under the agreement, Indophil would place more than 48-million shares, or about 10,1% of its issued shares, to the... 

Pike River passes milestone at NZ coal mine, shares rise

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 ASX-listed Pike River rose by more than 8% on Monday as the company announced that its mine in New Zealand had passed the first of its hydro-monitor commissioning milestones. CEO Peter Whittall said in a statement that production was continuing to increase daily. 

Gold/copper project in NT ‘viable and likely’ – Westgold

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 ASX-listed Westgold Resources on Monday reported that it would cost around A$101-milion to develop its Rover 1 project, in the Northern Territory. A recently completed scoping study found that the project could produce 35 000 oz/y of gold and 4 000 t/y of copper, equivalent to a cash operating... 

Metminco to raise funds for S America exploration projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 ASX- and Aim-listed explorer Metminco said on Monday that it would raise up to A$30-million through a share placement to build on its 926-million ton copper/molybdenum resource. The company would place 150-million shares at 20c a share to raise the capital before costs. The placement, which was... 

Oil and gas firm Peak to launch A$55m IPO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 Oil and gas developer Peak said on Monday that it would raise around A$55-million through its initial public offering (IPO). The Philippines-focused developer would place 157-million shares up for sale when the IPO opens on October 15. Once the IPO has been completed, Peak would have 288-million... 

QR National could raise up to A$5bn in IPO 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th October 2010 The Queensland government would be looking to raise up to A$5-billion in the initial public offering (IPO) of the rail freight company Queensland Rail (QR) National, which was officially launched this weekend. Between 1,46-million and 1,6-million shares were on issue under the IPO, ranging in... 

Fortescue shares rise on $2bn funding deal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2010 The share price of Fortescue Metals jumped on the ASX on Monday after the iron-ore miner announced a refinancing strategy over the weekend. The company’s stock rose to A$6,25 a share, from Friday’s closing price of A$5,80 a share, after it announced on Sunday that it would refinance its existing... 

Waiting for Mr Right: will Potash Corp get a better offer?

By: Matthew Hill     8th October 2010 Potash Corp of Saskatchewan has been full of sound and fury in its defence against BHP Billiton’s $40-billion hostile bid, hoping for a higher bid, but this has, so far, come to nothing. There is still no sign of Potash’s promised white knight. In fact, the company touted as the most likely... 

Investors show voracious appetite for debut $1bn Gold Fields bond

By: Martin Creamer     8th October 2010 International fixed-income investors have shown a voracious appetite for Gold Fields debut $1-billion bond offer, which was more than two times oversubscribed and which achieved the lowest dollar rate for any South African corporate this year. "The bond significantly strengthens our liquidity... 

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