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Australasia News

Australia’s carbon tax threatens confidence, projects, says Rio Tinto  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th September 2011 Australia’s proposed A$23/t tax on carbon emissions would undermine business confidence and the country’s international competitiveness, diversified miner Rio Tinto reiterated on Wednesday. “It [carbon tax] will inevitably hinder investment and jobs growth without meaningfully reducing global... 

Amplats signs wage deal with SA unions

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     7th September 2011 World number-one platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Wednesday it had formally signed a two-year wage agreement with South African unions. CEO Neville Nicolau said he was pleased with the outcome and the manner in which the process was handled. 

Galaxy signs offtake agreement for battery production

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th September 2011 Lithium producer Galaxy Resources has signed an offtake framework agreement with 13 Chinese electric bicycle manufacturers for the full production from its proposed lithium-ion battery project, in China. MD Iggy Tan said on Wednesday that the level of interest in the batteries from major e-bike... 

Intrepid dismisses merger rumours

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th September 2011 ASX- and TSX-listed Interpid Mines on Wednesday dismissed media speculation that it was in merger discussions with fellow Indonesian miner G Resources. The company was responding to an article in the Australian Financial Review, which suggested that Intrepid, prompted by record gold prices, was... 

Randalls exceeds Integra's expectations

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th September 2011 Gold miner Integra Mining has exceeded production expectations for the first month, following the upgrade to its Randalls gold project processing facility, in Western Australia. MD Chris Cairns said on Wednesday that the operation had produced some 8 873 oz of gold during the month of August. 

Kentor shares rise on exploration success

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th September 2011 Shareholders smiled on ASX-listed Kentor Gold on Wednesday after the company reported encouraging results from its Reward prospect, at the Jervois project in the Northern Territory. The embattled explorer said that assay results from diamond drilling at Jervois has continued to indicate... 

Didipio to pour first gold in November

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th September 2011 ASX- and TSX-listed OceanaGold was on track to pour its first gold at the Didipio project, in the Philippines, by November this year. “We continue to make good progress on construction activities at Didipio, with the key milestone of pouring first gold concentrate on schedule in November 2011,”... 

India explores flow-through stock options to increase mining investment

By: Ajoy K Das     7th September 2011 India’s Mines Ministry is working on a proposal to introduce a flow-through share option for foreign investors in the mining sector to create a suitable market structure that would attract risk investments in exploration and mining projects. The proposal has been discussed at an... 

Cameco-target Hathor says talking to big miners, Asian utilites

By: Matthew Hill     6th September 2011 Hathor Exploration has signed “several” confidentiality agreements with companies interested in its Roughrider deposit in Saskatchewan, which Cameco coveted in a hostile C$520-million for the company, a spokesperson said on Tuesday. The TSX-listed company was talking to “some very large mining... 

Curis considers courting strategic partner for US copper project

By: Matthew Hill     6th September 2011 Curis Resources, the TSX-listed junior hoping to build an in-situ copper mine in Arizona, is considering selling a minority stake in its Florence project to a strategic investor, CEO Michael McPhie said on Tuesday. Speaking in an interview, he said the company had already signed more than a... 

Stanmore secures 12Mt/y capacity at new Qld coal terminal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th September 2011 ASX-listed developer Stanmore Coal has entered into a conditional agreement to ship up to 12-million tons a year of coal through the proposed Dungeon Point coal terminal, in Queensland, from 2016. The Adani Group is developing the new 90-million-ton-a-year coal terminal adjacent to the existing... 

Namibian competition body approves Chinese takeover of Gold One

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th September 2011 The Namibian Competition Commission has unconditionally approved the A$150-million transaction between ASX- and JSE-listed Gold One and a Chinese consortium. In May, Gold One entered into an agreement with the Chinese consortium, which would see the investors becoming majority shareholders in... 

Hot Chili reports maiden resource at copper/gold/moly project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th September 2011 ASX-listed Hot Chili has reported a maiden resource estimate of 85.1-million tons, grading 0.6% copper, 0.1 g/t gold and 146 g/t molybdenum at its Productora project, in Chile. This equated to a contained metal inventory of around 483 000 t of copper, 290 000 oz of gold and 12 418 t of molybdenum. 

Sandfire draws down first A$30m on DeGrussa debt facility

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th September 2011 Metals developer Sandfire Resources has drawn down the first A$30-million of a A$75-million mine development facility for its DeGrussa copper/gold project in Western Australia. The initial facility of A$75-million, along with A$27-million in cash reserves, would continue to fund the ongoing mine... 

Uranium spot prices to fall, says RCR

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th September 2011 The uranium spot price was expected to decline over the next three to six months, however, the long-term outlook for yellowcake remained positive, equity research firm Resource Capital Research (RCR) said on Tuesday. “The sector has continued to come under selling pressure over the past few... 

Qld looking for private investment in coal-linked projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th September 2011 The Queensland state government would approach the private investment market to deliver two infrastructure projects, which would give the growing coal industry a boost, Premier Anna Bligh said on Tuesday. Bligh said in a statement that the Queensland Treasury had been tasked with investigating... 

NSW hikes mining royalties to offset carbon tax costs

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th September 2011 The New South Wales Treasury on Tuesday announced plans to increase the state’s mining royalties in an effort to offset carbon tax costs. Treasurer Mike Baird said in his budget speech that the federal government’s proposed carbon tax would cost New South Wales more than A$900-million, and that... 

Grange agrees MoU with Venture for Mount Lindsay magnetite

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 Magnetite producer Grange Resources has agreed to explore the potential to act as a downstream partner for Venture Minerals, which is developing the Mount Lindsay project, in Tasmania. The mine would produce magnetite as a by-product to tin and tungsten, with some 200 000 t/y of magnetite... 

Macarthur board recommends Peabody, Arcelor offer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 The board of ASX-listed Macarthur Coal on Monday “unanimously” recommended shareholders accept a takeover offer from US-based Peabody Energy and steel producer ArcelorMittal. In its target statement, chairperson Keith DeLacy said that the offer delivered value for shareholders and provided a... 

Oz Minerals may start Carrapateena construction by mid-2015

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 Copper miner Oz Minerals would look to start construction of the Carrapateena project, in South Australia, by mid-2015. In a presentation released to the ASX on Monday, the miner said that prefeasibility work on the copper project would be completed by the end of 2013, which would be followed by... 

Minerals Council of Australia refutes govt claims on tax

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 The Minerals Council of Australia on Monday refuted government claims that mining companies were not paying enough tax, saying that total tax take reached around 42.2% during the 2009/10 financial year. This meant that taxpayers received about 42c for every dollar of taxable income earned by... 

Norton Gold Fields cuts debt to A$23m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 Gold miner Norton Gold Fields has reduced its net debt to A$23-million, after paying back a further A$15-million to Merrill Lynch. “One year ago, when we converted the Lehmans hedge into a debt, we had total debt of A$145-million. Today, we have a A$51-million debt with Merrill Lynch and a net... 

58% resource increase reported at Sherwin Iron’s Roper River

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 ASX-listed Sherwin Iron on Monday increased the resource estimate for its Roper River iron-ore project, in the Northern Territory, by 58%. The developer said in a statement that the overall tonnage of hematite mineralisation at Roper River now stood at around 168-million tons, grading 44.7% iron. 

QR National signs deal with coal miners for new A$900m rail line

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 Freight haulage operator QR National has signed an agreement with a consortium of eight coal producers to build a new A$900-million rail project to link to a new export terminal in Gladstone. Subsidiary company QR Network has reached a commercial agreement with Xstrata Coal, Aquila Resources,... 

Aquila’s new Bowen basin coal mine to cost A$368m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th September 2011 Diversified miner Aquila Resources’ Washpool mine in the Bowen basin could produce some 2.6-million tons a year of hard coking coal over 16 years, a definitive feasibility study (DFS) has confirmed. The recently completed study found that some A$368-million (A$335-million and a A$33-million... 

US Gold, Minera Andes revise merger ratio

By: Matthew Hill     3rd September 2011 Mining investor Rob McEwen's Minera Andes and US Gold, which he proposed to combine in June, have agreed to negotiate a new deal that will see US Gold shareholders owning slightly more of the merged entity than previously proposed. The companies said they based the move on recommendations from... 

‘Never seen before’ copper price spikes ahead – Revett CEO

By: Matthew Hill     3rd September 2011 The copper price might hit $5/lb to $6/lb in the next three to five years, as the world experiences a supply shortfall, TSX- and NYSE-listed Revett Minerals CEO John Shanahan said on Friday. “I’m convinced there’s going to be a copper shortage over the next three to five years. I think it’s... 

Silvercorp denies faceless fraud claims, shares slide

By: Matthew Hill     2nd September 2011 Shares in TSX-quoted Silvercorp plunged over 12% on Friday after the company, which owns silver mines in China, said it had received an anonymous letter from someone making fraud allegations, and claiming to have shorted its stock. The company denied the allegations in the letter, saying it... 

Eritrea potash mine to start production in 2016

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd September 2011 Minerals developer South Boulder Mines plans to open the world’s first openpit potash mine in Eritrea in 2016, MD Lorry Hughes said on Friday. Speaking in Perth, he said that a definitive feasibility study had commenced on the Colluli potash project, which would cost between $500-million and... 

Anvil mulls further expansion at DRC copper mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd September 2011 ASX- and TSX-listed Anvil Mining CEO Darryll Castle said on Friday that the copper miner would announce a decision on expanding its Kinsevere project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, by the fourth quarter of this year. The expansion would increase output from the Stage 2 expansion of 60 000... 

Forécariah project key to Guinea’s iron-ore sector – Bellzone CEO

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     2nd September 2011 Aim-listed Bellzone Mining’s Forécariah joint venture (JV) project remained key to the development of the iron-ore sector in Guinea, as well as to the growing importance of West Africa as an iron-ore producer globally, CEO Nik Zuks said on Friday. “Progress continues at a fast pace with several... 

Garatau platinum project attracts ‘huge interest’, says Nkwe MD

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd September 2011 Platinum developer Nkwe Platinum would likely secure a joint venture (JV) partner for its Garatau platinum project in South Africa before the end of the year, MD Maredi Mphahlele told Mining Weekly Online on Friday. He could not disclose the exact number of parties that Nkwe was in discussions... 

Extract advancing Husab financing talks, strategic partner still an option

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd September 2011 Uranium hopeful Extract Resources said on Friday that the development decision on its $1.66-billion Husab uranium project, in Namibia, would only be taken once financing for the project has been locked in. Extract project manager Andrew Penkethman said at the Africa Downunder conference that the... 

Lynas seals rare earth supply agreement with BASF

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd September 2011 Mineral sands developer Lynas has signed a long-term agreement with BASF Corporation for the supply of rare earths from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP), in Malaysia. Under the contract, Lynas would supply product from both phase one and phase two of its expansion of the LAMP. The... 

Xstrata announces resource increase at PNG copper/gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd September 2011 The copper division of Swiss-listed diversified miner Xstrata on Friday announced a 10% copper resource increase at its Frieda River copper/gold project, in Papua New Guinea. The miner said in a statement that the new resource estimate for the Horse-Ivaal-Trukai (HIT) deposit comprised a total... 

Miners should look at protection measures as nationalism tide rises

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd September 2011 Resource nationalism, which is seen as the number-one threat to the mining industry, is not only limited to Africa, with at least 25 countries globally raising the issue in some form, Melbourne-based law firm Gilbert Tobin said on Friday. Some of the countries said to be looking at options of... 

Botswana to lift coal licence moratorium by month-end

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd September 2011 Botswana, which is seeking to diversify its mining output away from diamonds, would lift a moratorium on new coal prospecting licences by the end of the month, Trade and Industry Minister Dorcas Makgato-Malesu said on Friday. Botswana froze the issuing of new prospecting licences for coal and... 

Cameco sceptical of some uranium junior supply growth

By: Matthew Hill     2nd September 2011 While the Japanese nuclear disaster has had an impact on demand projections for uranium, it has also posed problems for new supplies, Cameco marketing strategy and administration VP Tim Gabruch told analysts on Thursday. The event has caused the world’s biggest uranium producer to cut its demand... 

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