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Australasia News

Lihir reports higher profit on strong gold prices, higher output

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th August 2010 ASX-listed gold producer Lihir Gold (LGL), which is merging with Newcrest Mining, increased its underlying profit by 17% in the first six months of the year, on the back of higher prices and sold gold production, MD Graeme Hunt reported on Friday. Underlying profit increased to $142,5-million in... 

A$9,5bn Newcrest-Lihir deal clears final hurdle

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th August 2010 The proposed merger between gold major Newcrest Mining and ASX-listed Lihir Gold (LGL) has been given the final go ahead, after the National Court of Papua New Guinea approved the deal. On Monday, LGL shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the A$9,5-billion transaction. 

Newmont says Indonesian partner's claims 'patently false'

By: Liezel Hill     26th August 2010 Colorado-based Newmont Mining on Thursday accused PT Pukaufu Indah (PTPI), an Indonesian company with a stake in Newmont's Batu Hijau mine, of making “inaccurate claims”. Newmont, the second-biggest gold-miner by production, said PTPI also breached an earlier agreement by failing to dismiss... 

PanAust posts profit on strong operating performance, prices

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 Australian gold- and copper-miner PanAust has swung back to profitability, reporting a net profit after tax of A$47,5-million for the six months to June, compared with a loss of A$15,8-million in the previous corresponding period. Revenue from operations almost doubled to A$223,9-million during... 

Batavia buys Roper River project, to change name to Sherwin Iron

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 Iron-ore explorer Batavia Mining would take full ownership of Roper River, in the Northern Territory, after exercising its option over the iron-ore project. The company would also change its name to Sherwin Iron, following the acquisition, newly appointed CEO Greg Bittar said on Thursday. 

Ero Mining puts Queensland alluvial gold mine up for sale

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 ASX-listed junior Ero Mining would start searching for a buyer for its Georgetown gold operations, in Queensland, it said on Thursday. The company reported last month that it would be considering alternative strategies for the century-old alluvial gold mine, which it bought in 2009 for... 

Iluka mulls zircon options as demand exceeds supply

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 Mineral sands producer Iluka said that demand for zircon had increased by such an extent, that it was currently unable to meet all its customers' requirements. “In terms of zircon, we are unable, as the largest zircon supplier in the industry, to meet our customer requirements in full. And we... 

Western Areas achieves A$14,2m profit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 Nickel producer Western Areas on Thursday reported that it had achieved its first full year of profit, topping A$14,2-million in the financial year ended June 30. This was compared with a loss of A$35,1-million for the previous financial year. 

IMX opens new iron-ore, copper mine in South Australia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 ASX-listed IMX Resources on Thursday officially opened its Cairn Hill iron-ore/copper/gold operation, in South Australia. IMX chairperson Johann Jacobs said that the operation presented the first of the next generation of iron-ore mines in South Australia in over a century.  

Fortescue working on funding options for A$15bn projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 The board of iron-ore-miner Fortescue Metals would decide on two new projects – Solomon and Chichester Hub – before the end of the year, CFO Stephen Pearce reported on Thursday, but warned that it would require certainty on the Australian tax regime. Speaking to journalists on a conference call,... 

Australian investments ‘firmly’ back on Rio Tinto’s agenda

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th August 2010 Diversified resources group Rio Tinto will continue to expand its operations, with growth in Australia “firmly” back on its agenda, CEO Tom Albanese said on Thursday. Australia is the largest contributor to Rio Tinto’s financial performance, adding value worth some $15-billion to the group in 2009. 

WGC sees gold demand 'robust' over remainder of 2010

By: Liezel Hill     25th August 2010 Demand for gold, which rose 36% year-on-year in the second quarter according to data from the World Gold Council, will remain “robust” during 2010, the industry body said on Wednesday. Gold will be underpinned by accelerating demand from India and China, as well as increases in investment demand... 

BHP doubles profit, vows won't overpay for Potash Corp  

By: Liezel Hill     25th August 2010 BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, will be “disciplined” in its attempts to get control of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, and will not overpay for the company, CEO Marius Kloppers said on Wednesday. BHP reported full-year profit of $12,7-billion, more than double earnings of... 

BHP Billiton's Southern African aluminium smelters going ex-growth?

By: Martin Creamer     25th August 2010 Southern Africa's aluminium smelters appear to be heading for an ex-growth future. BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers, who has announced a 16%-higher $12,5-billion profit for the world's largest mining company in the 12 months to June 30, indicates that new "ubiquitous" aluminium technology and... 

Norseman Gold resumes mining at OK decline after accident

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 ASX- and Aim-listed Norseman Gold has resumed underground operations at its OK decline, at the Norseman gold project, in Western Australia, following a fatality on August 5. The miner said in a statement on Wednesday that the investigation into how the fatality occurred was continuing. 

Pilbara JV regulatory process taking longer than expected – Kloppers

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 The world’s biggest diversified miner BHP Billiton remains committed to its proposed A$130-billion iron-ore joint venture (JV) with Rio Tinto, but the regulatory process is taking longer than expected, CEO Marius Kloppers said on Wednesday. “The reality is that the process has turned out to be... 

Disgruntled investors seeking A$18m from Oz Minerals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 Law firm Slater & Gordon has launched a class action in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against copper- and gold-miner Oz Minerals. The class action was filed on behalf of a number of investors who claim that they had lost some A$18-million during 2008, when Oz Minerals share price fell by... 

Macarthur Coal raises funds for Bowen basin coal acquisition

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 ASX-listed coal-miner Macarthur Coal on Wednesday completed a A$438,7-million institutional placement to raise funds for the acquisition of a coal tenement, in the Bowen basin in Queensland. Macarthur would now issue around 38,15-million new shares, at A$11,50 a share. The company’s two largest... 

Western Tamani gold resource increased by 31%

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 ASX-listed gold producer Tanami Gold has increased the mineral resource at its Western Tanami operations, in Western Australia, by 31% to 554 700 oz. The miner said in a statement on Wednesday that the upgraded figure comprised 3,12-million tons, grading at 5,5 g/t gold.  

IOH increases Bongaroo South iron-ore resource

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 ASX-listed junior Iron Ore Holdings (IOH) has expanded the resource estimate for its Bongaroo South deposit, in Western Australia. The resource estimate of the western area of the Bongaroo South deposit has now been increased by 193%, to 97,2-million tons, grading at 57,14% iron. 

Toro energy completes test pit at Wiluna uranium project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 Uranium explorer Toro Energy on Wednesday reported that it had completed the extraction of a bulk mineralised sample at its resource test pit, at the Wiluna uranium project, in Western Australia. MD Greg Hall said in a statement that the completion of the test pit would enable Toro to complete... 

Crusader targets at least 1Moz gold resource in Brazil

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 ASX-listed gold explorer Crusader Resources has declared a maiden Joint Ore Reserves Committee (Jorc) resource of 728 000 oz for its Borborema gold project, in Brazil. The project is estimated to host 13,88-million tons of ore, grading at 1,63 g/t. 

Oz swings to profit, targets higher FY gold output

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th August 2010 The Prominent Hill mine in South Australia produced 60 145 t of copper and 90 821 oz of gold during its first full six months of production, owner Oz Minerals reported on Wednesday. The company also reported that it had returned to profitability, posting a net profit of A$405,7-million. 

Gem Diamonds assessing growth opportunities – CEO

By: Loni Prinsloo     24th August 2010 LSE-listed Gem Diamonds said on Tuesday that despite a sustained price recovery in diamond markets during the first six months of the year, its profit still dropped sharply, which it attributed to the impact of inflation and exchange rates. The diamond miner reported profit of $7,8-million in... 

New government should tackle capacity constraints in mining – economist

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th August 2010 Australia’s new ruling government had to look at easing capacity constraints in the mining industry if the country was to benefit from a “mining investments boom”, economic analyst BIS Shrapnel said on Tuesday. “This boom, when it really ramps up in one or two years, will leave little room for... 

Whitehaven to expand coal output to 6Mt/y in FY2011

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th August 2010 ASX-listed Whitehaven Coal will increase its saleable coal production to six-million tons a year in the 2011 financial year, MD Tony Haggarty reported on Tuesday. This would a 50% increase on the to 3,4-million tons produced in the 2010 financial year, ended June 30.  

MDL drops Grande Côte IPO in favour of Sabodala demerger

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th August 2010 ASX- and TSX-listed Mineral Deposits Limited (MDL) would demerge its Sabodala gold project rather than its Grande Côte mineral sands project, it announced on Tuesday. The company has been investigating ways to split the two projects, both located in Senegal, into separate listed entities,... 

Glencore to invest $80m in Burkina Faso zinc mine 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th August 2010 Commodities trader Glencore International would invest $80-million in the Perkoa zinc project, in Burkina Faso, to move it into production by early 2012, joint-venture (JV) partner Blackthorn Resources said on Tuesday. Glencore would fund the remaining capital required to commission the Perkoa... 

Kagara swings to A$3,7m profit after ‘rebuilding’ period

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th August 2010 ASX-listed metals producer Kagara has turned around a loss in the 2009 financial year to a A$3,7-million net profit in 2010, it reported on Tuesday. Chairperson Kim Robinson said that the A$94-million loss reported in 2009, reflected the global financial crisis-related provisional pricing... 

Macarthur to develop fourth mine by 2014 – CEO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th August 2010 Australian miner Macarthur Coal said on Tuesday that it was looking to double its 2009 sales volumes over the next five years to reach 9,2-million tons a year. “We are committed to achieving sales of 9,2-million tons a year by 2014 by continuing the development of the Middlemount mine project,... 

Xstrata moves into iron-ore with A$428m bid for Sphere

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th August 2010 Zug-based diversified miner Xstrata on Tuesday made a A$428-million cash offer for Sphere Minerals, an Australian junior which owns iron-ore projects in Mauritania. Xstrata Coal CEO Peter Freyberg said that the diversified miner had the financial and technical capabilities to expedite the... 

Potash Corp has 'number' of approaches on rival deal, seeks talks

By: Liezel Hill     23rd August 2010 Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, fending off a hostile takeover bid from Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton, is pursuing discussions with “several” third parties that could put together a competing transaction. Potash Corp formally rejected BHP's $130 a share offer on Monday. With the clock... 

Vale says offer rumours 'unfounded'

By: Liezel Hill     23rd August 2010 Brazil's Vale has not made an offer to buy Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and is also not in any negotiations to that end, the world's second-biggest mining company indicated on Monday. Speculation that Vale has made an offer or is in talks to acquire a fertiliser producer are “entirely... 

Vele mine rehab to take place concurrently with mining - CoAL  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd August 2010 Mining and rehabilitation will take place concurrently at Coal of Africa's (CoAL's) Vele's opencast coal project where South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has ordered mining to cease. The Vele opencast mine, which is 15 km from the border of the Mapungubwe National Park – a... 

Riversdale posts FY loss, ZAC output falls

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd August 2010 ASX-listed coal-miner Riversdale Mining on Monday reported a net loss, reflecting reduced interest income and lower production from its Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC), in South Africa. The company, which is also developing coal projects in Mozambique, reported a net loss of A$779 000 for the... 

DMC to delist as Cape Lambert takes full ownership

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd August 2010 ASX-listed iron-ore producer Cape Lambert on Monday took full ownership of DMC Mining after completing the compulsory acquisition of outstanding shares. DMC Mining would now be removed from the ASX in the near future, Cape Lambert said in a statement. 

Lihir shareholders approve merger with Newcrest

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd August 2010 Shareholders of gold-miner Lihir on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favour of a merger with gold major Newcrest Mining. The resolution was passed by 99,86% of the total number of votes cast, and exceeded the 75% required majority as ordered by the Papua New Guinea Court. 

Independent experts to advise on uranium mining in WA

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd August 2010 Western Australia’s Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has employed ten independent experts to advise it on a regulatory framework for uranium mining in the state. Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said the tender was awarded to the Australian Centre for Geomechanics, a joint... 

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