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Australasia News

Potash Corp, Mosaic agree to phosphate price hike with India

By: Matthew Hill     2nd September 2011 Fertiliser companies Potash Corp and Mosaic on Thursday said they agreed with two Indian customers to raise the price of diammonium phosphate by about 10% to $677/t, owing to “strong market conditions”. The agreement is for around one-million tons of the crop nutrient, and is part of a... 

Market analyst predicts financial market slump that will wreak havoc on commodities

By: Jonathan Faurie     2nd September 2011 Global market analyst Natixis Commodities Markets (NCM) warns of a ‘rocky road’ ahead for the global financial markets, which could wreak havoc on commodities as demand will slow.  

Baffinland names community relations expert as new chief

By: Matthew Hill     1st September 2011 Baffinland Iron Mines, which steelmaking behemoth ArcelorMittal and Nunavut Iron acquired in March, has named former Vale Newfoundland and Labrador GM Tom Paddon as its new CEO. He replaces Phil Du Toit, who was ArcelorMittal’s executive vice-president in charge of mining projects and exploration. 

Golden Predator says now biggest Yukon landholder

By: Matthew Hill     1st September 2011 Explorer Golden Predator has increased its mineral rights holdings in the Yukon to over 1.4-million acres, making it the biggest land position in the territory, the TSX-listed company said on Thursday. The biggest additions to its properties were in the Livingstone district, northeast of... 

Partners finalise agreement for Argentina copper-gold venture

By: Matthew Hill     1st September 2011 Xstrata Copper, Goldcorp and Yamana Gold, have finalised an agreement to buy the Agua Rica copper-gold project from Toronto-based Yamana, and develop it through the Minera Alumbrera joint venture. The partners said on Thursday Xstrata and Goldcorp have the right to pay Yamana $110-million over a... 

Potash junior Karnalyte rises on big resource boost 

By: Matthew Hill     1st September 2011 Shares in TSX-listed Karnalyte Resources rose 4.5% to a new record on Thursday, after the potash explorer increased the resource at its Wynyard project in Saskatchewan more than three-fold to 201.3-million tons. BMO Capital Markets analyst Joel Jackson said in a research note this would be... 

Hathor to respond to Cameco bid by Sept 14

By: Matthew Hill     1st September 2011 TORONTO ( – Hathor Exploration, the target of a hostile C$520-million bid from Cameco, on Thursday reiterated to shareholders not to act on the offer, saying it will provide its formal response by September 14. “The company continues to urge its shareholders not to respond to... 

Zim needs $6bn mining investment, indigenisation law ‘flexible’− Minister

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 Zimbabwe would need some $6-billion worth of mining investment within the next five years, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Tapiwa Mashakada said on Thursday. He said at a mining conference in Perth that the sector had “immense opportunities” for investment, as it was endowed... 

Sundance looking at ways to improve Mbalam schedule, capital needs

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 Iron-ore developer Sundance Resources CEO Giulio Casello told delegates at the second day of the Africa Downunder conference that the miner was working on improving the value at its Mbalam project, on the border between Cameroon and the Republic of Congo. Casello said that since completing the... 

Operating in remote areas requires robust, but simple, systems

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 Mining companies operating in Africa had to tackle organisational challenges associated with remote operations, along with cultural, logistical and legal complexities, mining software solutions provider Scope Systems said. “I think the biggest challenge for mining companies is making sure that... 

Australia-Africa mining group to facilitate PPPs

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 The Australia Africa Mining Industry Group (AAMIG) has set itself a number of milestones to reach its objectives of facilitating the creation of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to facilitate the Australian government’s re-engagement with the African continent. The AAMIG was established in... 

Feasibility for Syama gold expansion study ‘on track’ − Resolute

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 Gold miner Resolute Mining said on Thursday that it was on track to deliver the feasibility study for the expansion of its Syama gold project, in Mali, before the end of March next year. A strategic study completed in the June quarter confirmed that a significant increase in the project value... 

Aviva to complete Botswana coal mine EIA early next year

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 The environmental-impact assessment for the Mmamantswe coal project, in Botswana, would be completed early in 2012, the CEO of Perth-based Aviva Corporation reported on Thursday. The project has a 895-million ton reserve, and contains some 200-million tons of export coal and 150-million tons of... 

Noble expects Bibiani commercial output by year-end

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 The Bibiani gold mine, in Ghana, would reach commercial production by December this year, owner Noble Resources said on Thursday. The ASX-listed company was nearing the completion of its A$25-million refurbishment of the Bibiani plant, which would mill some three-million tons a year. 

W Australia offers to help African govt’s with mining agreements

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has extended an invitation to African governments to gain assistance in formulating mining laws and agreements for large mining projects. Speaking at a Ministerial dinner following the first day of the Africa Downunder conference, Barnett told African... 

Rio sees ‘staggering’ increase in global iron-ore demand

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st September 2011 African countries would be ideally placed to meet the growth in demand for natural resources, which would reach record levels, Rio Tinto’s MD for iron-ore expansion projects said on Thursday. David Joyce told delegates at the Africa Downunder conference in Perth that global iron-ore, copper and... 

UEC buys US uranium database from larger peer

By: Matthew Hill     31st August 2011 New York-listed Uranium Energy Corp. (UEC) on Wednesday said it agreed to pay $900 000 for a uranium database package for plots of land in South Texas from Canada’s Uranium One. It will settle the bill through issuing 159 236 shares, and paying $400 000 in cash, the company said. 

Iamgold sells Botswana gold mine for $34m to junior

By: Matthew Hill     31st August 2011 Toronto’s Iamgold has sold its Mupane Gold Mine in Botswana to TSX V-quoted junior Galane Gold for $34-million in cash and shares, the company announced on Wednesday. The mine was nearing the end of its life under Iamgold’s plan, and the company had said earlier this month it was nearing a deal... 

Nautilus to raise $100m in private placement

By: Matthew Hill     31st August 2011 Toronto- and London-listed Nautilus Minerals said on Wednesday it will raise $100-million in a private placement, after weak markets forced it to cancel a $150-million equity offering in June. Oman-based MB Holdings Company unit Mawarid Mining will take up about half of the placement, with iron... 

Copper to take the M&A spotlight: Ernst & Young

By: Matthew Hill     31st August 2011 Canada led the world in mining acquisitions for the first half of the year, both for acquirers and targets, and low debt and big cash balances mean deal flow is likely to continue for the rest of the year, Ernst & Young said on Wednesday. Canadian mining and metals practice leader Tom Whelan... 

NUM agrees wage deal with Amplats

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st August 2011 South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday it had agreed a two-year wage deal with world number-one platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats). The wage deal would see the lowest-paid workers receive a 10% increase in the first year, with an 8.5% increase for... 

Gold One on track to meet FY production target − Froneman

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st August 2011 JSE- and ASX-listed Gold One remained on track to meet its yearly gold production target of 120 000 oz, CEO Neal Froneman said on Wednesday. This announcement follows a strong performance by the miner for the June quarter and for the first six months of the year.  

Amplats reports fatality at Rustenburg operations

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st August 2011 The world’s largest platinum miner Anglo American Platinum on Wednesday reported a fatality at its Rustenburg operations. The worker was reported as missing on Tuesday, August 30, and was found dead at the level 29 haulage, between the boundary of the Khomanani 2 and the Siphumelele 1 shafts.  

AngloGold appoints former SA ambassador to board

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st August 2011 Gold producer AngloGold Ashanti on Wednesday welcomed its new independent nonexecutive director Nozipho Patricia January-Bardill. Chairperson Tito Mboweni said January-Bardill, would bring to the board fresh ideas and new perspectives in the company’s deliberations.  

Bannerman continuing discussions with China’s Hanlong

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 Uranium hopeful Bannerman Resources on Wednesday told delegates at the Africa Downunder conference that it was still engaging in discussions with its Chinese suitor Hanlong Mining, along with other potential development partners. CEO Len Jubber said that the company was exploring “all options to... 

Discovery looking for ‘another Boseto’ in the Kalahari

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st August 2011 Aim- and BSE-listed Discovery Metals, which posted a loss of $2.5-million for the financial year ended June 30, was still on target to become a mid-capped mining company, MD Brad Sampson said on Wednesday. He added that Discovery continued to advance systematically towards its aim of... 

Resgen sells Tasmanian assets to focus on SA coal mine

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st August 2011 ASX- and JSE-listed Resource Generation (Resgen) said on Wednesday it would be divesting its Tasmanian coal tenements for $1.5-million. This would be achieved through the sale of all its shares in Energy Investments and Tiger Coal. 

$93bn a year needed for Africa infrastructure

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 Global law firm DLA Piper on Wednesday estimated that Africa would need an estimated $93-billion infrastructure investment each year. “This is best exampled when you consider there are only 10 000 km of roads connecting African countries and between 60 000 km and 100 000 km of road network is... 

Gold One targets 2.5Mlb/y uranium output by 2016  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 ASX- and JSE-listed Gold One CEO Neal Froneman said on Wednesday that the miner would start building its uranium plant in 2013, to process uranium ore from the recently acquired Rand Uranium operations, in South Africa. In May, Gold One signed a $250-million takeover agreement with Rand Uranium... 

Development work at Perseus gold mine to start early 2012

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 ASX- and TSX-listed gold miner Perseus Mining on Wednesday told delegates at the Africa Downunder conference that it was likely to start development work on its Tengrela gold project, in Côte d'Ivoire, by the first quarter of next year. Perseus MD Mark Calderwood said that the... 

Continental to decide on new mine in the next few months

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 ASX-listed Continental Coal on Wednesday said that it would take a development decision on its De Wittekrans coal project, in South Africa, within the next few months. Speaking on the first day of the Africa Downunder conference, in Perth, Continental’s executive director Jason Brewer said that... 

Vital secures 60% stake in Burkina Faso gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 Gold explorer and tungsten developer Vital Metals has secured majority ownership in the Doulnia gold project, in Burkina Faso, from project owner Ampella Mining. Vital has now taken its ownership to 60% by spending the requisite A$1.5-million in exploration, and has committed to earn an... 

BHP invests $367m in Newcastle port expansion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 Diversified miner BHP Billiton has approved a further $367-million investment for the third stage of development at the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group’s coal handling facility, in Australia. The port expansion project would increase the coal terminal’s capacity from the 53-million tons a... 

Investor uncertainty over nationalisation justified − S Africa's Nogxina

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 Resources investors in Africa could have certainty regarding nationalisation in South Africa by July next year, Advocate Sandile Nogxina said on the sidelines of the Africa Downunder conference, in Perth. Nogxina, the former director-general in the Mineral Resources Department and now an adviser... 

More uranium investment needed, says Paladin CEO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 Uranium miner Paladin Energy CEO John Borshoff said that more investment was needed in the uranium sector, as supply and demand dynamics would become more strained. “Discoveries of new deposits have to be made, exploration and high-risk capital needs to be sunk into these programmes, because... 

Australian miners invest $20bn in Africa, ‘billions more in the pipeline’

By: Esmarie Iannucci     31st August 2011 Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd said on Wednesday that there was significant opportunity for Australian companies to increase their presence in the African resources sector. In a pre-recorded message to the Africa Downunder conference, in Perth, Rudd said that while Africa was... 

Potash prices could beat $650/t by end 2012

By: Matthew Hill     31st August 2011 As the supply-demand equation for potash continues to tighten, prices will continue to climb, analysts said on Tuesday, with one predicting they may even top $650/t by the end of next year. “The average spot price of potash should climb to at least $650/t by late 2012 – perhaps higher,”... 

Rusoro slips into red as Venezuelan gold output dips

By: Matthew Hill     30th August 2011 Rusoro Mining, the Russian backed miner with gold assets in Venezuela, on Tuesday posted a $9.8-million net loss for the quarter ended June, having made a $3.3-million profit for the same period last year. Lower production and grades at the company’s 100%-owned Choco Mine and 50%-held Isidora... 

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