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Australasia News

Global uranium supply seen increasing in H2

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th September 2010 Global uranium supply is expected to increase in the second half of 2010, supported by strong production coming from Kazakhstan and the Ranger and Olympic Dam mines, in Australia. The continued ramp-up of Paladin Energy’s Kayelekera project, in Malawi, would also contribute to increased uranium... 

IMF backs Australia’s mining tax, says could be broader

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th September 2010 Australia’s minerals resources rent tax (MRRT) has received the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which believes that the introduction of the mining tax was “a step in the right direction”. The MRRT, proposed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, would introduce a 30% tax on the... 

Sylvania plans to take full ownership of SA dumps

By: Loni Prinsloo     29th September 2010 Aim- and ASX-listed company Sylvania said on Wednesday that it planned to acquire the 26% balance of the Sylvania dump operations (SDO), through a shares exchange, to take full ownership of the dumps. The SDO operates five platinum plants, Millsell, Steelpoort, Mooinooi, Lannex and Doornbosch,... 

FIRB approves Gloucester’s Middelmount coal acquisition

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has granted ASX-listed Gloucester Coal approval to acquire up to 50% of the Middlemount assets. Earlier this year, Gloucester agreed to buy its majority shareholder Noble Group’s 27,52% stake in the Middelmount joint venture (JV) for A$269,5-million, as... 

MRRT could ‘shut the door on new entrants’ – Forrest

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 Iron-ore-miner Fortescue Metals CEO Andrew Forrest has again raised concerns regarding the impact of the minerals resources rent tax (MRRT), saying it would stifle the development of infrastructure in Australia. Forrest said future investment in infrastructure was penalised by the MRRT because... 

NSW approves A$785m BHP Billiton coal expansion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 The New South Wales government has approved the A$785-million expansion of the Mount Arthur coal mining complex, owner BHP Billiton reported on Wednesday. The operation’s rate of extraction would now increase from 28-million tons a year, to 36-million tons a year, for a period of 12 years. 

Troy says Argentina gold pour delayed

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 ASX- and TSX-listed gold-miner Troy Resources has pushed back the first gold pour from its Casposo gold/silver project, in Argentina, to October. The company initially targeted the September quarter for the gold pour, but said on Wednesday that a delay in the delivery of some processing... 

Paladin surprised by NT’s rejection of uranium project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 The Northern Territory government’s announcement to pull its support for a uranium mine, near Alice Springs, has caught Paladin Energy by surprise, CEO John Borshoff said on Wednesday. “The Northern Territory government did not consult with Paladin in advance of the announcement. Neither has... 

BHP pulls out of Falkland exploration JV

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 Aim-listed Falkland Oil & Gas said on Wednesday that its joint venture-partner BHP Billiton had pulled out of an exploration project in the Falkland Islands. BHP, which owns a 51% stake in 14 exploration and production licences covering 18-million acres, had elected to “walk away” from the... 

Vale makes first payment for stake in Avanco’s Brazil project 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 Iron-ore mining giant Vale has paid ASX-listed explorer Avanco Resource an initial $100 000 in consideration for a stake in the Trindade North project, in Brazil. The two companies agreed in August that Vale could acquire the Trindade North project for up to $40-million, arising from on-site... 

Lynas inks rare-earths supply deal with Japanese consumer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 Rare-earths developer Lynas on Wednesday signed a new supply agreement with a major Japanese rare-earths consumer for the supply of the Mount Weld product, produced from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp), in Malaysia. The new contract covers the product supplied from the 11 000-t/y... 

Marillana iron-ore mine could cost A$1,3bn to A$1,9bn – Brockman

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 Iron-ore developer Brockman Resources on Wednesday reported that its Marillana iron-ore project, in Western Australia, could cost between A$1,3-billion and A$1,9-billion to develop. The final capital cost of the operation would be dependent on the final rail solution adopted.  

NGM challenges Paladin’s takeover withdrawal

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th September 2010 ASX-listed uranium explorer NGM Resources would challenge ASX- and TSX-listed Paladin Energy’s withdrawal of its takeover offer, the company said on Wednesday. NGM operates in Niger where forces associated with Al-Qaeda recently kidnapped seven people employed by French nuclear firm Areva. 

Zambeze has potential to be hard coking coal mine – Riversdale

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 ASX-listed coal producer Riversdale Mining on Tuesday reported that its Zambeze coal project, in Mozambique, was poised to become a hard coking coal project, following results from the first coke test. “Zambeze’s high coke strength, combined with its massive nine-billion ton coal resource,... 

Australia's Northern Territory withdraws support for Paladin-Cameco mine 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson has withdrawn his support for the establishment of a uranium mine at Angela Pamela, near Alice Springs. The Angela Pamela project, which is a joint venture (JV) between Paladin Energy and Cameco, was granted an exploration licence in 2008. The JV... 

Apollo Gas agrees to takeover from Dart Energy

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 ASX-listed coal seam gas developer and Arrow Energy spin-off Dart Energy has agreed to make an all-scrip offer for Apollo Gas. Dart on Tuesday offered three of its own shares for every four Apollo shares held, valuing Apollo’s shares at A$0,79 a share, and valuing the company at A$145-million. 

Xstrata extends Sphere offer, says main condition met

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 Diversified miner Xstrata is one step closer to buying Australian junior Sphere Minerals after a key condition to the A$428-million takeover has been met. Xstrata told shareholders on Tuesday that the Mauritanian Ministry of Mines and Industry had declared the validity of the El Aouj mining... 

Crescent hikes Laverton gold reserve by 140%

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 Perth-based explorer and developer Crescent Gold on Tuesday reported that the gold reserves at its Laverton project, in Western Australia, had increased by 140%. The project is now estimated to host a probable ore reserve of 6,5-million tons, at 2,1 g/t gold, for 445 000 oz of contained gold.... 

Bass Metals completes A$12m financing for Hellyer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 ASX-listed polymetallic miner Bass Metals has completed the project financing for its Hellyer base-metals mine, in Tasmania, after drawing down the A$12-million project loan facility. Financial services provider RMB Resources has provided the remaining funding required to complete the Hellyer... 

Range River adds more gold ounces to Mt Morgans project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 Gold producer Range River has added a further 48 700 oz of gold to its Mount Morgans project, in Western Australia, by confirming the openpit mining potential of the Millionaires deposit. “The recent results from preliminary openpit mining optimisation at Millionaires add further options for... 

Mining tax panel to meet WA miners next week

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th September 2010 The policy transition group advising the Julia Gillard government on the proposed minerals resources rent tax (MRRT) would start its consultation with miners in Perth next week, before moving onto Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The initial round of consultation is scheduled to run... 

Integra pours first gold pour at Randalls

By: Loni Prinsloo     27th September 2010 Australian mining company Integra Mining has poured its first gold from its Randalls gold project near Kalgoorlie, last week. The first gold bar of 1,78 kg was poured at its new Salt Creek process facility.  

Aquila and Vale head to court over Belvedere valuation

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th September 2010 Joint-venture (JV) partners in Queensland’s Belvedere coking coal project, BD Coal and Vale Belvedere, would meet in court to settle issues regarding the fair market value of BD Coal’s interest in the project. Vale Belvedere, which is a subsidiary of Brazilian diversified major Vale, in June... 

Paladin drops NGM offer after Niger kidnappings

By: Liezel Hill     24th September 2010 ASX- and TSX-listed uranium miner Paladin Energy will let its takeover offer for NGM Resources lapse when it expires on October 8, because of concerns that recent kidnappings in Niger would affect potential exploration of NGM's properties in the West African nation. Seven people employed by... 

Arafura's rare-earths complex gets priority status

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th September 2010 Rare earth developer Arafura Resources on Friday announced that South Australia Urban Development and Planning Minister Paul Holloway had declared the Whyalla rare earths complex a major project. “The scale and complexity of the proposal and its potential to contribute significantly to... 

Forge acquires NSW project after listing

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th September 2010 Uranium developer Australian American Mining (AusAmerican) on Friday cleared the sale of its New South Wales base metals project to newly-listed Forge Resources, which has listed on the ASX. The listing was the last condition precedent to the sales agreement between the two companies. 

FEL not affected by Cape Lambert litigation - Sage

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th September 2010 Mining personality Tony Sage on Friday brushed off speculation that ASX-listed FE Limited (FEL) would have difficulty arranging iron-ore offtake agreements with the Chinese market. Sage, who is the nonexecutive chairperson of FEL, was responding to comments made yesterday by takeover target... 

Malagasy abandons merger plans with Madagascar Resources

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th September 2010 ASX-listed Malagasy Minerals has abandoned plans to merge with unlisted Madagascar Resources, saying it was not in the best interest of shareholders to proceed with the merger. During May this year, Malagasy made a three-for-one offer for all Madagascar Resources shares, in an effort to create a... 

Gryphon raises A$48,2m to accelerate exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th September 2010 West Africa-focused Gryphon Minerals on Friday reported that it had raised A$45,2-million through a share placement, to fast track exploration at its Banfora gold project, in Burkina Faso. Under the capital raising, Gryphon would issue 36,1-million shares to institutional investors, at an issue... 

BHP gives green light for $1,5bn WA gas project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th September 2010 The world’s largest diversified miner, BHP Billiton has approved the development of the $1,5-billion Macedon gas project, in Western Australia. The Macedon project involves four offshore production wells supplying a wet gas pipeline to an onshore gas treatment plant. A sales gas pipeline would... 

Rio invests a further $230m in Pilbara capacity

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th September 2010 Diversified miner Rio Tinto on Friday announced that it would spend a further $230-million to expand its Pilbara iron-ore capacity to 230-million tons a year. The company said that the investment would be made into the expansion of the Dampier port, which would result in an additional... 

Biggest pure lithium producer now listed in Toronto

By: Liezel Hill     23rd September 2010 Talison Lithium, which produced about a third of the world's lithium last year, listed its shares in Toronto on Thursday, after buying Canadian junior Salares Lithium earlier this week. The merged company is the biggest pure-play lithium producer in the world.  

Potash lawsuit won't be 'major hurdle' for BHP bid – Liberum

By: Liezel Hill     23rd September 2010 A lawsuit filed by Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan against BHP Billiton is not likely to be a “major hurdle” to the bigger company's hostile $40-billion takeover bid for Potash, analysts at Liberum Capital said on Thursday. “We see little substance to the lawsuit and to us seems suggestive of... 

Australia moves to beef up offshore petroleum safety

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd September 2010 Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (Nopsa) has been granted enhanced powers to regulate the industry. Speaking at the 2010 South East Asia Australia Offshore Conference in Darwin, Resources, Energy and Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson underlined the importance of... 

Padbury urges shareholders to reject ‘low-ball’ FEL offer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd September 2010 Junior miner Padbury Mining, which is the subject of a hostile takeover bid by FE Limited (FEL), urged shareholders of Thursday to reject what it described as FEL’s “low ball” offer FEL has offered one of its own shares, along with 1c in cash, for every 13 Padbury shares held. But its bid was... 

Atlantic buys Windimurra project following capital raising

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd September 2010 Resources development company Atlantic has completed the acquisition of the Windimurra vanadium project, in Western Australia, following the finalisation of an associated A$55,5-million capital raising exercise. The completion of the capital raising and the acquisition were key to Atlantic... 

Beadell sells noncore assets to fund Brazil gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd September 2010 Gold developer Beadell Resources has agreed to sell the iron-ore royalties from its Amapá project, in Brazil, to Toronto- and London-listed Anglo Pacific Group for A$31,25-million. “This is an outstanding result for both Anglo Pacific Group and Beadell,” said Beadell MD Peter Bowler. 

Cudeco gets A$20m injection from institutional investor

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd September 2010 Copper hopeful Cudeco on Thursday announced that it had raised A$20-million through an institutional placement to fund the development of its Rocklands copper project, in Queensland The company placed ten-million shares, at A$2 a share to raise the funds, and in doing so, has introduced an... 

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