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Australasia News

Cockatoo raises A$150,8m to buy Anglo coal assets

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th September 2010 ASX-listed Cockatoo Coal on Wednesday reported that it would raise up to A$150,8-million to fund the acquisition of development and exploration assets from diversified miner Anglo American. Cockatoo said in a statement to shareholders that around A$96,4-million would be raised in a two-for-five... 

Rio Tinto awards $1,3bn Hope Downs 4 EPCM contract

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th September 2010 Diversified resources group Rio Tinto has awarded a $1,3-billion engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract to Texas-based engineering firm KBR for the Hope Downs 4 iron-ore mine, in Western Australia. Construction on the 15-million-ton a year mine is scheduled to begin... 

GFMS eyes 'spike' to $1 300-plus gold this year

By: Liezel Hill     14th September 2010 The price of gold could easily rise “comfortably” above the $1 300/oz level before the end of the year, metals research consultancy GFMS predicted on Tuesday. GFMS, which launched its latest gold research publication, 'Gold Survey 2010 – Update 1', in London, said the gains would continue to be... 

Resgen inks 20-yr coal supply deal with Indian group

By: Mariaan Webb     14th September 2010 ASX- and JSE-listed Resource Generation (Resgen), which owns projects in South Africa's Waterberg region, has signed a 20-year coal supply deal with an Indian group, which will take a 10% shareholding in the coal company. Resgen would supply one-million tons a year of thermal coal for the first... 

Whittall to take over as Pike River CEO in October

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 ASX-listed coal developer Pike River has appointed Peter Whittall as its CEO, following the resignation of Gordon Ward earlier this month. Whittall will take over as CEO from October 2. 

Paladin acquires Deutsche Bank’s shares in NGM

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 Uranium-miner Paladin Energy on Tuesday reported that it had acquired more than 19,9-million shares in takeover target NGM Resources from the Deutsche Bank Group. In August, Deutsche Bank acquired more than 10% relevant interest in the Perth-based explorer, breaching one of the conditions of the... 

QR coal network to stay under Queensland regulator’s watch

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 A National Competition Council (NCC) decision on Tuesday paved the way for the Queensland coal rail network to stay under the jurisdiction of the Queensland Competition Authority, as opposed to the national regulator. "Today's announcement by the NCC is an endorsement of the measures the... 

Ironclad appoints marketing agent for Wilcherry Hill iron-ore

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 ASX-listed Ironclad Mining has signed a sales contract and marketing agreement with Singapore-based OM Materials (OMS), a subsidiary of fellow ASX-listed OM Holdings, to sell the first two years of iron-ore product from the Wilcherry Hill project, in South Australia. Ironclad has also appointed... 

Newcastle weekly coal exports down

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 Coal exports from the Newcastle port, in New South Wales, fell by 54 110 t during the past week, reaching 1,90-million tons, compared with the more than two-million tons delivered in the previous week. The Newcastle port supports coal exports from diversified miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto,... 

Sundance signs Cameroon port deal with Chinese

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 Africa-focused iron-ore developer Sundance Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to establish the scope, cost and delivery programme for a bulk materials port in Cameroon. The port should be sufficient to support the planned... 

Queensland exploration hits record A$917m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 A record A$917,1-million in exploration expenditure was invested in Queensland's mining and petroleum industries in the 2009/10 financial year, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said on Tuesday. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures highlighted the ongoing value of the... 

Fortescue could overtake majors as Australia’s top iron-ore miner by 2017

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 Iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals would need to raise between $9-billion and $10-billion in debt if it wished to fund its expansion to 355-million tons a year, by 2017, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has reported. In a report, led by analyst Lyndon Fagan, RBS stated that Fortescue could... 

Rio invests $803m in Argyle underground diamond mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 Global diversified giant Rio Tinto will invest $803-million to complete the underground development of its Argyle diamond mine, in Western Australia, it announced on Tuesday. The underground operation would extend the life of Argyle, which is an openpit mine, until at least 2019.  

CME calls for uranium support as Greens threatens to block projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th September 2010 The Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) of Western Australia on Tuesday called on the federal government to maintain its support for the development of new uranium mines, after the environmentalist Greens party threatened to block new uranium mines. Greens nuclear spokesperson Scott Ludlam told... 

Rio Tinto hikes stake in Ivanhoe to 34,9%

By: Liezel Hill     13th September 2010 Diversified miner Rio Tinto has increased its holding in Canada's Ivanhoe Mines by 5,3%, after the maturation of a $350-million convertible credit facility that Rio provided to Ivanhoe in 2007. The facility was fully drawn down by mid-2008, and the outstanding principal and accrued interest of... 

Coal to remain world's top power source over next 20 years

By: Matthew Hill     13th September 2010 Global energy demand will rise as much as 40% in the next 20 years, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates chairperson Daniel Yergin said on Monday. "In our scenarios for the future we expect by 2030 to see growth somewhere between 30% and 40% off a much larger base in demand. That's a very... 

Australia's Leighton CEO King ends 23-year reign

By: Reuters     13th September 2010 Top Australian contractor Leighton Holdings eased out CE Wal King after 23 years, promoting another company veteran into the top job on Monday. Leighton, majority owned by German construction group Hochtief, said David Stewart, currently co-chief operating officer, would take over on January 1,... 

CoAL to apply for Makhado right after DMR approves farm swap

By: Loni Prinsloo     13th September 2010 Coal mining and development company Coal of Africa (CoAL) announced on Monday that South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources had granted its application for the Rio Tinto farm swap, which would allow it to lodge a new order mining right application for its Makhado coking coal project. CoAL... 

Matilda plans to restart trading on ASX by late 2010

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 Embattled Matilda Minerals on Monday announced plans to raise capital, exit administration and restart trading on the ASX by late 2010. In 2008, Matilda, which was operating as a minerals sands producer at the time, went into administration after the collapse of Chinese sales agreements. 

Renaissance to buy WA gold project from Newmont Exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 ASX-listed Renaissance Minerals has entered into a binding agreement with Newmont Exploration to acquire the Pinjin gold project, in Western Australia. Renaissance would acquire an 80% interest in the Kirgella joint venture (JV), a 90% interest in the Lake Rebecca JV, and a 100% interest in some... 

Tasmania mine ready for commissioning in Q4 – Bass Metals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 The Hellyer base-metals project, in Tasmania, is on track to start commissioning and production ramp up by November, owner Bass Metals reported on Monday . The Hellyer mine development marked Bass Metals’ transition towards a midtier zinc, lead and copper producer. ASX-listed Bass Metals MD... 

Rio awards A$276m Cape Lambert port contract to John Holland

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 ASX-listed construction specialists John Holland on Monday reported that it had been awarded the A$276-million contract to construct Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert port B project, in Western Australia. The contract package involves the construction of a 920-m jetty and a two-berth wharf, new... 

Public environmental review for Bauxite’s WA project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 Perth-based Bauxite Resources has reported that its two-million ton a year mining operation in Western Australia would have to go through a public environmental review before the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) would approve it. The company said on Monday that this level of assessment... 

Coal miners have a future in Australia – Minister

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 The coal industry “absolutely” had a future in Australia, despite the federal government’s pursuit of carbon pricing, newly appointed Carbon Change Minister Greg Combet told The Australian newspaper. Combet, who was appointed as the Minster for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency over the... 

Adamus to raise A$31m for Ghana gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 ASX- and TSX-listed gold developer Adamus Resources plans to raise A$31,3-million through a share placement and rights issue for the development of its Nzema gold project, in Ghana. The company said on Monday that the raising would consist of a placement of 29-million fully paid ordinary shares,... 

Arafura produces rare-earth oxides from Northern Territory project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th September 2010 Rare-earths developer Arafura Resources on Monday announced that it had successfully produced commercial quality separated rare-earth oxides (REO) from its Nolans project, in the Northern Territory. The REO separation was one of the key technology work streams in progress for the Nolans project... 

Mundo advances Brazil openpit gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 Gold developer Mundo Minerals on Friday reported that the approvals and infrastructure upgrades at its Engenho gold plant, in Brazil were well advanced for the development of the new satellite Crista openpit. The openpit was expected to enhance Engenho’s production, grade and overall economics,... 

Greenland changes rules to allow for uranium exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 Shares in Australian companies exploring in Greenland rallied on Friday on news that the country has eased a decades-old ban on uranium exploration. Perth-based Greenland Minerals, which explores the Kvanefjeld project, surged by 77% to 0,64c a share, from Thursday’s closing price of 0,36c a... 

Allied Gold expands PNG gold reserve, earmarks A$8m for exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 ASX-, TSX- and Aim-listed Allied Gold has increased the gold reserve of its Simberi project, in Papua New Guinea, by 155% to 2,15-million ounces. The proven and probable reserve estimate now totals 45,9-million tons, grading at 1,4 g/t gold. This was a 1,31-million ounce increase compared with... 

Azumah exploration adds more gold ounces to Ghana project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 West Africa-focused Azumah Resources has added another 60 600 oz of resource to its Wa gold project, in Ghana, bringing the total mineral resource at its Julie-Collette district to 410 700 oz. The Wa project is now estimated to host more than 1,16-million ounces of gold. 

Anglo Australian WA copper/zinc scoping study

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 ASX-listed Anglo Australian Resources would start a scoping study on its Koongie copper/zinc project, in Western Australia, to examine options for the commercial development of the Sandiego deposit. The scoping study would be based on the new Joint Ore Reserves Committee resource estimate, which... 

Pike River CEO Ward to step down

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 ASX-listed coal producer Pike River on Friday reported that Gordon Ward would resign as MD and CEO on October 1. Ward has been in the MD and CEO position at Pike River since 2007, and has led the company from its initial conceptual design through development, to its second coal export shipment... 

Mitsui may buy Queensland coal assets from Cockatoo

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 ASX-listed explorer Cockatoo Coal has entered into an exclusivity agreement with trading and investment firm Mitsui & Co regarding the possible acquisition of an interest in some of Cockatoo’s Surat basin assets, in Queensland. Cockatoo on Friday reported that it had agreed to give Mitsui an... 

Ampella raises A$41,9m for Burkina Faso exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th September 2010 Africa-focused Ampella Mining has raised A$41,9-million to accelerate exploration at its Batie West gold project, in Burkina Faso. The funds were raised through a private placement of 21,5-million ordinary shares, at A$1,95 a share. This was an 8% discount to the company’s last closing price of... 

Govt halting of Vele production results in CoAL laying off 596 amid union anger

By: Martin Creamer     10th September 2010 The directive of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to halt mining at the Vele colliery has left Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) “with no choice” but to reduce its workforce by 596 people, CoAL CEO John Wallington says. The DEA ordered CoAL to stop mining on August 11. CoAL has since... 

Brockman declares maiden iron-ore reserve at Marillana

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th September 2010 Emerging iron-ore producer Brockman Resources has declared a maiden hematite ore reserve of 1,05-billion tons at its Marillana iron-ore project, in Western Australia. Around 868-million tons of this reserve is in the probable category, while a further 133-million tons has been classified in the... 

Santos/Petronas JV sell 20% stake to Total

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th September 2010 ASX-listed gas producer Santos and its joint-venture partner (JV) in the Gladstone liquefied natural gas (GLNG) project, Petronas, have agreed to sell a 20% stake in the project to Total. Santos said in a statement that it had sold 15% of its 60% stake in GLNG to Total for a total of... 

Hazelwood says Vietnam ferrotungsten plant on track

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th September 2010 ASX-listed tungsten developer Hazelwood Resources on Thursday reported that construction at its plant in Vietnam remained on schedule for completion by the end of the year, with first production and sales scheduled for the March quarter in 2011. The company said in a statement that samples of... 

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