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Australasia News

Norseman reports fatality at WA gold mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th August 2010 Australian gold producer Norseman Gold on Friday reported a fatality at its Norseman project, in Western Australia. The miner said in a statement that little was known of the circumstances surrounding the “incident” except that the fatality occurred at the OK decline, which would now be closed... 

Australia’s Blackthorn sells stake in Limpopo PGMs project for R4-million

By: Jonathan Faurie     6th August 2010 Australian mining major Blackthorn Resources has advised that it has accepted an offer from its black economic empowerment (BEE) partner, Matimba Resources, to purchase the Blackthorn’s 74% interest in the Mokopane project, in South Africa, for a total consideration of R4-million. 

Anglo goes from delight to disappointment as project acquisitions sour

By: Martin Creamer     6th August 2010 Diversified major Anglo American has had two high profile acquisitions under Cynthia Carroll’s watch, which have both have gone from delight to disappointment.  

Gold Fields wants 20% margin irrespective of gold price 

By: Martin Creamer     5th August 2010 JSE-listed gold major Gold Fields would be re-engineering its operations in order to achieve a minimum 20% profit margin across the group after all operational and capital expenditure, Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland said on Thursday. Gold Fields, which is chasing a production target of 3,8-million... 

Enviro groups turn to court to halt CoAL's Vele project

By: Loni Prinsloo     5th August 2010 Aim- ASX- and JSE-listed Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) said on Thursday that it had been served with court papers in a South African High Court interdict application against the development of its Vele project in Limpopo province. The interdict, which was launched by predominantly environmental... 

Rio Tinto gets binding offer for Alcan Engineered Products

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has received a binding offer for a 61% stake in Alcan Engineered Products (AEP), from funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management and the Fonds Strategique d’Investissement (FSI). Under the terms of the transaction, Apollo would become the majority and managing... 

FerrAus doubles Mirrin Mirrin DSO resource

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 Emerging iron-ore producer FerrAus has doubled its direct shipping ore resource for the Mirrin Mirrin project, in Western Australia, to 30,8-million tons. FerrAus said in a statement on Thursday that the total resource for the Pilbara project now stood at 316,4-million tons, mainly as a result... 

Growth is ‘first priority’ for Rio Tinto cash flow – Albanese

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 Global diversified miner Rio Tinto more than doubled its half-year earnings to $5,8-billion on the back of a strong market recovery, CEO Tom Albanese reported on Thursday. “We have reaped the benefits of the cost reduction efforts implemented in 2009, and have been pushing our production hard to... 

Gold explorer Lawson lists on ASX

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 Australian gold explorer Lawson Gold on Thursday started trading on the ASX following the successful completion of a A$4,7-million initial public offering (IPO). Lawson now had 24,9-million shares on issue, trading at around 20c a share. 

Cockatoo declares 74,2Mt coal resource in Queensland

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 ASX-listed Cockatoo Coal has declared a combined maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (Jorc-) compliant resource of 74,2-million tons for its projects, in Queensland. The explorer said on Thursday that a Jorc marketable reserve of 33,6-million tons have been defined at the Baralaba mine, and the... 

Gloucester raises A$434m for Middelmount acquisition

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 ASX-listed coal producer Gloucester Coal on Thursday successfully completed the A$434-million institutional component of its share raising. The miner would now issue 47-million new shares, sold at an offer price of A$9,25 a share. 

Fortescue awards A$3bn contract at Christmas Creek

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 Iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals has awarded project house Downer EDI a A$3-billion contract to provide mining services at the Christmas Creek operation, in Western Australia. Downer EDI CEO and MD Grant Fenn said on Thursday that the six-year contract at the Pilbara iron-ore project was one... 

Paladin explores growth opportunities with Chinese group

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 Uranium-miner Paladin Energy has signed an agreement with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) to explore a long-term sales agreements and potential joint-venture (JV) participation, it announced on Thursday. Paladin, which owns mines in Africa and projects in Australia, said that GCNPG... 

Whitehaven shares advance on M&A speculation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th August 2010 The share price of Australian coal producer Whitehaven Coal jumped on Thursday to A$6,28 a share, after the company confirmed that it was in discussions with third parties relating to “potential corporate transactions”. Prices jumped by nearly 10% from Wednesday’s closing price of A$5,73 a share. 

Australian trade surplus hits record, helped by commodities

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 Commodities have helped to push Australia’s trade surplus to a record A$3,5-billion in June, official statistics showed on Wednesday. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the resources-rich country’s balance of goods and services recorded a surplus of A$3,5-billion in seasonally... 

Global Geoscience sells NSW copper/gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 ASX-listed Global Geoscience has agreed to sell its Guyra copper/gold project, in New South Wales, to White Rock Minerals. Global Geoscience would receive two-million shares in White Rock, which would list on the ASX later this year.  

Range River changes to underground mining at Craic deposit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 Gold producer Range River would start the changeover from openpit mining to underground mining at its Craic deposit, in Western Australia during the current quarter, it reported on Wednesday. MD Rick Watsford said that the company would also shift its focus from bulk mining operations to more... 

Gladiator teams up with Oroscur on Uruguay project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 ASX-listed metals explorer Gladiator Resources has signed an option and joint-venture (JV) agreement with TSX-listed Orosur Mining to explore and develop that company’s Isla Cristalina Belt (ICB) project, in Uruguay. The companies would explore for iron-ore, manganese and base metal potential at... 

Korab takes full ownership of Ukraine gold mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 ASX-listed Korab Resources has taken full ownership of the Bobrikovo gold mine, in the Ukraine, after acquiring the outstanding 26% shareholding from a Ukrainian investor. The project was now held by Korab subsidiary Lugansk Gold, which was spun-off in July.  

Western Desert, Crossland form Northern Territory JV

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 ASX-listed exploration and development companies Western Desert and Crossland Uranium Mines have formed a joint-venture (JV) over the Clough Damp property, in the Northern Territory. Crossland could earn a 60% interest in the tenement area from Western Desert by spending A$500 000 over the next... 

Continental pays $35m for stake in South African junior

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 South Africa-focused Continental Coal has agreed to a $35-million deal to obtain a majority 62% stake in unlisted Mashala Resources, which owns mines in the Witbank and Ermelo coalfields. The acquisition would transform ASX-listed Continental into a multi-mine operator, with existing export and... 

Ivanhoe hikes moly/rhenium grade at Queensland deposit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 Minerals explorer Ivanhoe Australia has reported a 43% increase in the molybdenum resource grade and a 49% increase in the rhenium resource grade at its Merlin deposit, in Queensland. The Merlin deposit is now estimated to hold 6,7-million tons of ore, at 1,34% molybdenum and 23,2 g/t rhenium.... 

Gloucester buys coal assets from shareholder Noble

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2010 ASX-listed coal producer Gloucester Coal has agreed to buy its main shareholder Noble Group’s interest in the Middlemount coal joint venture (JV) for A$437,5-million, as part of its strategy to grow its metallurgical coal assets. The acquisition would comprise a cash component of A$337,5-million... 

Rio Tinto approves $790m for Pilbara port expansion

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd August 2010 Diversified miner Rio Tinto on Tuesday announced that it would invest an additional $790-million to expand its Cape Lambert port as part of its plans to increase the overall capacity of its Pilbara iron-ore operations to 330-million tons a year. The Pilbara expansion would centre on increasing... 

Xstrata set to increase coal capacity in South Africa

By: Loni Prinsloo     3rd August 2010 Mining major Xstrata said on Tuesday that a slower performance from its South African coal projects was mainly owing to the transformation of the operations from underground mines to new openpit mines. Xstrata coal CEO Peter Freyberg said that the company was focused on increasing its capacity... 

Xstrata says new $1,1bn Australian coal mine to open in 2014

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2010 Diversified resources group Xstrata expects the first coal from its Ulan West underground mine, in New South Wales, in 2014, the miner said on Tuesday, when it announced the approval of $1,1-billion to develop the mine. Construction on the 6,7-million ton a year thermal coal mine, which would... 

Australian explorer to meet Greenland officials on uranium policy

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2010 ASX-listed Greenland Minerals and Energy will meet with top government officials in Greenland next week to clarify claims that the country would adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards uranium mining. The company has requested a voluntary share trading halt this week, following the speculation,... 

Nexus refutes takeover speculation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2010 Oil and gas explorer Nexus Energy on Tuesday refuted media speculation that it was a takeover target for major oil producer Shell. In response to a query from the ASX, Nexus said that it had not been approached by any party, nor was it in discussions with any parties in respect of a takeover. 

Opposition to coal mine near WA tourist town mounts

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2010 Heavy industrial operations, such as coal mining, were “totally incompatible” with the Margaret River region, the Conservation Council of Western Australia said on Tuesday, as opposition to a new underground coal mine near the tourist town mounted. New South Wales-based LD Operations is planning... 

Gloucester Coal’s FY profit down 60% on lower prices

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2010 ASX-listed Gloucester Coal on Tuesday reported that net profit after tax, and excluding transaction costs, for the year ended June had declined to A$36,4-million, compared with the A$90,7-million reported in the previous financial year. Sales revenue for the 2010 financial year fell by 25% to... 

Wasow to retire as Santos CFO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2010 ASX-listed Santos reported on Tuesday that executive vice president and CFO Peter Wasow would be retiring at the end of 2010. Wasow has been in the position since 2002, and would remain in his role until the end of the year, or until a successor is appointed to enable an orderly transition of... 

Swan names mining tax policy group

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd August 2010 Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan on Tuesday announced the appointment of the remaining members of the Policy Transition Group (PTG), tasked with consulting with both industry and the Australian government on the proposed minerals resources rent tax (MRRT). The group, lead by Resources and Energy... 

Xstrata’s growth plan on track, approves projects worth $5,3bn

By: Loni Prinsloo     3rd August 2010 Diversified mining major Xstrata said on Tuesday that the group was on track to deliver 50% volume growth and 20% cost reduction from its organic growth pipeline by 2014. The Swiss-headquartered miner had successfully commissioned major projects during the first half of 2010 including: Nickel... 

Rio Tinto approves $170m for Guinea iron-ore project

By: Loni Prinsloo     2nd August 2010 Mining major Rio Tinto has approved another $170-million for the development of its Simandou iron-ore project in Guinea, it announced on Monday. The additional funding comes on top of the $650-million that the miner had already spent on exploration, community development and evaluation studies... 

Bow Energy and LNG explore opportunities

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd August 2010 Oil and gas explorer Bow Energy on Monday confirmed that it was in negotiations with fellow-listed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) with respect to that company’s Fisherman’s Landing LNG project, in Gladstone. LNG said in a statement that the company was exploring gas supply and strategic partner... 

IOH says Hamersley’s Iron Valley exclusivity period has lapsed

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd August 2010 ASX-listed Iron Ore Holdings (IOH) on Monday said that it would now open discussions with other interested parties regarding the development of its Iron Valley project, after the exclusivity period with fellow-listed Hamersley Iron had lapsed. In December, IOH signed an agreement with Hamersley... 

CoAL denies claims of noncompliance at Vele project

By: Loni Prinsloo     2nd August 2010 Aim- ASX- and JSE-listed Coal of Africa (CoAL) on Monday denied undertaking any unauthorised activities at its Vele Colliery in South Africa. This comes after South African Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica accused the company of carrying out illegal activities at the... 

Territory extends Frances Creek mine life to 2013

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd August 2010 ASX-listed iron-ore miner Territory Resources has extended the life of its Frances Creek iron-ore mine, in the Northern Territory to 2013, with a 50% increase in the ore reserves. A re-optimisation of the existing resource inventory has resulted in the conversion of additional indicated mineral... 

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