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Australasia News

SA mine strike 'counterproductive', says Chamber

By: Matthew Hill     23rd July 2008 South Africa's Chamber of Mines (CoM) was "disappointed" with the strike that curbed mining production in the country on Wednesday, saying that the action was "counterproductive", senior executive Frans Barker told Mining Weekly Online. He said that the strike, which saw the JSE's gold mining... 

Intrepid to start construction next year on Argentina mine

By: Liezel Hill     23rd July 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Intrepid Mines is working on the design and procurement of key equipment for its Casposo gold/silver project, in Argentina, and expects construction to get under way in the second quarter of 2009, CFO Steve Smith said this week. Production at Casposo, which will be the... 

New settlement proposal for former Kebble-run JCI, R&E

By: Matthew Hill     22nd July 2008 Long-suffering shareholders in fraud-clobbered JCI and Randgold & Exploration (R&E) would likely vote on a new settlement proposal in two to three months, a spokesperson for the two companies said on Tuesday. Brian Gibson told Mining Weekly Online that “shareholders on both sides will probably... 

Freeport-McMoRan Q2 profit slips to $947m

By: Liezel Hill     22nd July 2008 Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold posted net income of $947-million for the second quarter of 2008, a decrease of 14% year-on-year, after copper and gold production declined. The company reported consolidated sales of 942-million pounds of copper, 265 000 oz of gold and 20-million... 

OZ Minerals appoints David Lamont as CFO

21st July 2008 OZ Minerals, the company formed from the combination of Australian miners Oxiana and Zinifex, has named David Lamont as its CFO. Lamont, who is currently executive director and CFO at paper group PaperlinX, will join the miner in early October. 

Analysts to look for signs of greater production consistency from SA’s gold miners

By: Matthew Hill     21st July 2008 While South Africa’s ‘big three’ gold producers should report slightly improved production and cost-control figures for the second quarter when compared with the one previous, analysts canvassed by Mining Weekly Online on Monday indicated that they were likely to pay particular attention to the... 

Australia’s Ampella boosts Burkino Faso gold holdings

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st July 2008 ASX-listed gold and zinc exploration company Ampella Mining has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 100% interest in five gold tenements in Burkina Faso, which would increase its prospecting area of gold and zinc bearing Birmian greenstone belts within the west African country, to 2... 

Former ambassador appointed director at Egypt-focused gold junior

By: Matthew Hill     21st July 2008 An Australian gold exploration and development company, Centamin Egypt, announced the appointment on Monday of Prof Rob Bowker as an independent nonexecutive director. Bowker, who is an expert on the Middle East, having read Arabic and Islamic studies, had previously served as Australia’s... 

Equinox now expects Lumwana project may be completed by December

By: Liezel Hill     18th July 2008 Repair work has begun at Equinox Minerals' Lumwana copper project, in Zambia, after a fire on July 7 damaged a 20-MVA transformer and adjacent 11-kV substation at the process plant facility. The first concentrate was originally scheduled to be produced this month at Lumwana, but the company now... 

Initial study of Philippines coal project by September

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th July 2008 Drilling at Dwyka Resources’ Daguma coal project, in the Philippines, would start in August, the Aim- and ASX-listed company said at the weekend, while reporting that Australian engineering services firm Sedgman has been appointed to conclude a prefeasibility study by September. The company said... 

Intrepid expects first production in 2010 from Argentina gold mine

By: Liezel Hill     17th July 2008 Gold-miner Intrepid Mines now expects to start production at its Casposo project, in Argentina, in the third quarter of 2010, the firm said on Thursday. The company has completed a review of the March 2007 feasibility study on the project, to include an updated resource statement and cost... 

BHP, Mitsubishi agree to buy Australian coal project for $2,4bn

By: Liezel Hill     17th July 2008 Diversified-miner BHP Billiton and partner Mitsubishi Corporation will pay about $2,4-billion in cash for New Hope Corporation's New Saraji metallurgical coal project, in Australia, the firms announced on Thursday. New Saraji is an undeveloped coal deposit located next to BHP Billiton Mitsubishi... 

Perkoa zinc mine placed on care-and-maintenance

By: Mariaan Webb     17th July 2008 Burkina Faso’s largest mine development, the Perkoa zinc mine, as been put on care-and-maintenance, after its owner, Aim Resources, could not secure funding for the project. Aim Resources, headquartered in Sydney, attributed its funding woes to the current zinc prices and forecasts, which made... 

Gem Diamonds puts sparkle back in Australia’s Ellendale mine

By: Matthew Hill     17th July 2008 Diamond producer Gem Diamonds said on Thursday that it had lifted production at two plants at the Ellendale mine by 58% in June, compared to when it bid for Kimberley Diamond Company, the previous owner, the same month the year before. June production rose to a record 57 814 ct from 697 000 t of... 

Harmony gets ministerial approval for PNG venture

By: Mariaan Webb     16th July 2008 Africa’s third-largest gold miner, Harmony Gold, has received ministerial approval for the joint venture (JV) project with Australian miner Newcrest Mining, the company said on Wednesday. The ministerial approval now paved the way for the conclusion of formalities between the companies, which... 

Newly listed Braemore also eyeing Southern African nickel opportunities 

By: Martin Creamer     16th July 2008 Twin platinum-nickel company Braemore Resources plc would “without question” also seek to apply its proprietary nickel-leaching technologies in Southern Africa in addition to Australia where they were about to be turned to positive account, Braemore acting CEO David Russell said on listing on the... 

Rio Tinto iron-ore output hits fresh record

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th July 2008 Results from diversified-miner Rio Tinto’s second quarter showed record quarterly global production of iron-ore, and copper, while Australian thermal and coking coal production increased by 15% and 25%, and Rio Tinto Alcan “continued to perform well”, the company said on Wednesday. “These strong... 

Braemore lists on JSE, says plans $50m share issue

By: Matthew Hill     16th July 2008 Smelting company Braemore Resources planned on raising some $50-million by issuing shares on the JSE, on which it debuted on Wednesday, within the next six months, an official told Mining Weekly Online at the listing function. Executive director Clayton Dodd said that “all things being equal”,... 

Xstrata, Teck Cominco close Western Australia base-metals mine

By: Liezel Hill     15th July 2008 Operations at Teck Cominco and Xstrata's jointly owned Lennard Shelf Pillara mine, in Western Australia, will cease by early August, after plummeting zinc and lead prices and rising costs made the mine uneconomic, the companies announced on Tuesday. A stronger Australian dollar had also taken... 

Harmony workers down tools after fatal accidents

By: Matthew Hill     15th July 2008 JSE-listed Harmony Gold said that 6 500 employees had halted work at its Virginia operations on Tuesday, after two workers died at local mines, in the past five days. Spokesperson Amelia Soares said that the action was not legal, and that hopefully workers would return on Wednesday. 

Rio Tinto invests $400m in Western Australia natural gas power project

By: Christy van der Merwe     15th July 2008 Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto announced that it would invest almost $400-million in a natural gas turbine power station, to be commissioned in 2010, for its iron-ore mining capacity in Western Australia. The company also said it would study options to increase power generation further to... 

Impala, Australian explorer agree ‘$800 000-in-two-years' platinum-nickel deal

By: Martin Creamer     15th July 2008 South Africa's second-largest platinum miner Impala had agreed to spend $800 000 in two years on platinum-nickel project generation in Southern Africa as part of an alliance with Australian explorer Impact Minerals Limited, the Australian Stock Exchange-listed Impact said on Tuesday. 

High-profile industry, political speakers expected at Australian uranium conference

By: Chanel de Bruyn     14th July 2008 The fourth Australian Uranium Conference, to be held in Perth next week, would be open to a number of topics, including climate change, global warming, carbon emission and carbon trading, the conference organisers said on Monday. More than 400 international and national delegates would attend... 

Gold Fields grows international assets as it targets 5Moz

By: Matthew Hill     14th July 2008 Africa’s second-biggest gold producer, Gold Fields, had plans to produce five-million ounces of the yellow metal in the next three to four years, from the current four-million ounces. Senior vice president: North American investor relations, Willie Jacobsz, told Mining Weekly Online that the... 

Gem Diamonds sells polished Australian diamonds for some $28 860/ct

By: Chanel de Bruyn     14th July 2008 LSE-listed diamond producer Gem Diamonds on Monday said beneficiation trials on the yellow diamonds produced by its Ellendale mine, in Australia, had been successfully completed with a recent tender of polished yellow diamonds, in Antwerp. Four polished yellow diamonds totalling 15,7 ct were... 

Anvil to raise C$296m in private placement

By: Liezel Hill     10th July 2008 Shares in copper-miner Anvil Mining surged 22,06% on Thursday, after the company said that it had agreed to sell shares worth about C$296,67-million in a private placement. The shares will be bought by Catala Global, a company owned by a trust for the benefit of Israeli diamond trader Dan... 

Paladin appoints new finance chief

By: Mariaan Webb     10th July 2008 Australian-miner Paladin, which owns some of Southern Africa’s most advanced uranium projects, has appointed Ross Glossop as CFO on July 18. Glossop, who joins Paladin from Oceana Gold, would replace Ron Chamberlain, who has resigned to pursue other interests, the company said on Thursday.  

Mirabela inks 5yr offtake pact for Brazil nickel mine

By: Liezel Hill     9th July 2008 Perth-based Mirabela Nickel has signed a five-year offtake agreement with Votorantim Metais Niquel for 50% of the nickel concentrate produced at the company's Santa Rita mine, in Brazil, and is in advanced talks to sell the rest of the mine's production, the company reported on Wednesday. The... 

Cameco, Mitsubishi to pay Rio Tinto $495m for Australian uranium project

By: Liezel Hill     9th July 2008 Canadian uranium-miner Cameco Corporation and Mitsubishi Development have agreed to buy Rio Tinto's Kintyre uranium project, in Western Australia, for $495-million. Cameco will have a 70% holding in the project and Mitsubishi Development, the Sydney-based subsidiary of Japan's Mitsubishi... 

Braemore to make JSE debut on July 16

By: Mariaan Webb     9th July 2008 London-listed Braemore Resources, which has the exclusive licence to the patented Mintek ConRoast technology for smelting platinum group-metal (PGM) concentrates, would list on the main board of the Johannesburg bourse on July 16, it said on Wednesday. Acting CEO David Russell said that it was... 

Impact buys remaining 15% stake in Botswana uranium project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th July 2008 Australian explorer Impact Minerals has acquired the remaining 15% shareholding in its uranium prospecting licences in Botswana and now owned 100% of the project, it said on Wednesday. The company bought the shares from its COO in Africa, John Blaine, for two-million shares in the company.  

Gold rebounds on Iran missile test, off two-week low

By: Reuters     9th July 2008 Gold regained ground on Wednesday as speculators resurfaced on news that Iran had test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles, lifting the metal's safe-haven appeal in times of uncertainty. State media said Iran had test fired missiles, including one which it had previously said could travel... 

Spinifex Ridge moly project gets environmental thumbs-up

By: Liezel Hill     8th July 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Moly Mines has received approval from the Western Australian Environment Minister for its Spinifex Ridge molybdenum/copper project, the company said in a statement.  

Harmony cuts cash portion for Oz sale after Monarch battles to raise funds

By: Liezel Hill     8th July 2008 South African miner Harmony Gold has renegotiated the terms of sale for its Mount Magnet assets in Australia, after junior Monarch Gold struggled to raise cash for the deal. Monarch will now pay Harmony an initial A$15-million in cash (A$5-million of which has already been paid), compared with... 

Aquila intersects further high-grade manganese in Northern Cape

By: Mariaan Webb     8th July 2008 Australian explorer Aquila Resources has intersected further high-grade manganese in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, it said on Tuesday. Aquila’s partner, JSE-listed Tawana Resources, said in a statement that the manganese assay results from its Avontuur projects, located near... 

CoAL, Rio Tinto ink SA farm-swap agreement

By: Mariaan Webb     8th July 2008 Junior-miner Coal of Africa (CoAL) has entered into an agreement with resources giant Rio Tinto to gain access to project areas that were contiguous to its coking coal project, in South Africa, the company announced on Tuesday. CoAL, which is listed in the UK, Australia and South Africa, said... 

Equinox warns of Lumwana delay after fire damages transformer

By: Liezel Hill     7th July 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Equinox Minerals expects that the commissioning of its flagship Lumwana copper project, in Zambia, may be delayed, after a fire on Monday damaged a 20-MVA transformer and adjacent 11 kV substation. The transformer and substation are part of the process plant facility which... 

EU launches in-depth probe into proposed BHP-Rio tie-up

4th July 2008 The European Commission has opened a detailed investigation into plans by the world's biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, to acquire rival Rio Tinto, after an initial assessment raised concerns over the deal, the executive arm of the European Union said on Friday. The commission's initial... 

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