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Australasia News

Argentina's Kachi lithium project to cost $544m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 A prefeasibility study (PFS) into the Kachi lithium brine project, in Argentina, has found that the project could support an annual production of 25 500 t/y of battery grade lithium carbonate over a mine life of 25 years. ASX-listed Lake Resources on Thursday said that the PFS estimated a... 

Rhyolite Ridge DFS puts it on the map - ioneer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 The Rhyolite Ridge lithium/boron project, in Nevada, would require a capital investment of some $785-million, a definitive feasibility study (DFS) has found. ASX-listed ioneer on Thursday told shareholders that the DFS placed Rhyolite Ridge as the single most attractive project for the... 

Macmahon tipped as contractor at Coburn

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 ASX-listed Strandline Resources has tipped contractor Macmahon as the preferred contractor for its Coburn mineral sands project, in Western Australia. The two companies have inked an early contractor involvement agreement for early works associated with the contract mining services, and will now... 

Iluka trims zircon forecast

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources has announced plans to cut its zircon production by as much as 110 000 t for the 2020 financial year, on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. The miner told shareholders that the Chinese ceramic industry went into total lockdown during February and was shut... 

Fortescue ups output expectations

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 Iron-ore major Fortescue metals has reported record third quarter iron-ore shipments, with tonnage up by 10% on the previous corresponding period, reaching 42.3-million tonnes. In the year-to-date, iron-ore shipments reached a record 130.9-million tonnes. C1 costs for the quarter under review... 

Newcrest raises major cash for financing buy  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th April 2020 Gold miner Newcrest Mining is undertaking a fully underwritten institutional placement with the aim of raising A$1-billion, along with a share purchase plan (SPP) to raise a further A$100-million. The funds will be used to purchase the Fruta del Norte financing facilities, for $450-million and... 

Newcrest raises major cash for financing buy
Newcrest MD and CEO Sandeep Biswas

Robust iron-ore price to erode as steelmakers shut furnaces

By: Reuters     30th April 2020 The price of iron-ore is set to drift lower in coming months as the coronavirus pandemic eats away at demand, moderating its outperformance against other industrial commodities this year. Iron ore has given up about 10% so far this year compared to 40% for the Refinitiv/CoreCommodity CRB index... 

Robust iron-ore price to erode as steelmakers shut furnaces

Gold still has important role to play, despite Covid-19, says World Gold Council

By: Simone Liedtke     30th April 2020 Global gold holdings is said to have held firm at 1 083.8 t in the first quarter of the year, marking a rise of 1% on the same period last year, according to the World Gold Council’s (WGC's) latest Gold Demand Trends report. The global Covid-19 pandemic fueled the safe-haven investment demand for... 

Gold still has important role to play, despite Covid-19, says World Gold Council

De Beers makes Covid donation to help women in host communities

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2020 Diamond mining and marketing company on Wednesday announced a $200 000 donation across its four producer partner countries of Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa to assist women’s shelters and support organisations to respond to an increase in gender-based violence resulting from Covid-19.... 

De Beers makes Covid donation to help women in host communities
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver

Silver production severely damaged by lockdown measures

By: Mariaan Webb     29th April 2020 Lockdown measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 are impacting on a wide range of commodities, with silver production currently the most severely damaged by mine shutdowns. Data and analytics company GlobalData reports that, as of April 27, the equivalent of 65.8% of yearly global silver... 

Silver production severely damaged by lockdown measures

RBM makes R1.5m Covid food, water pledge

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2020 KwaZulu-Natal minerals sands mining and beneficiation company Richards Bay Minerals has committed R1.5-million towards meeting mine community food, water and health needs during the Covid-19 crisis.  RBM, which Rio Tinto manages as a 74% shareholder, produces predominantly rutile, zircon, titania... 

RBM makes R1.5m Covid food, water pledge
RBM MD Werner Duvenhage (right) and uMhlathuze Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo in elbow shake.

Highfield finds buyer for Muga salt

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 Potash developer Highfield Resources has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with salt distribution company Maxisalt-Paradira Premium for up to 500 000 t/y of salt from the Muga potash mine, in Spain. The MoU covered 400 000 t/y of vacuum salt, a higher value product, and 100... 

Miner subsidies minimal - govt

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) on Wednesday noted that the Productivity Commission’s latest Trade and Assistance Review 2018-19 repudiated the claim that Australian mining is subsidised. The report states that tariff and budgetary assistance to mining is ‘disproportionately small’, with... 

Orion agrees top-level pay cuts, reduces employee numbers 

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2020 A revised interim remuneration structure had been agreed with all directors and executives of Orion Minerals, the Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed company said on Wednesday. Included would be the reduced remuneration of MD and CEO Errol Smart, effective from May 1. 

Orion agrees top-level pay cuts, reduces employee numbers
Photo by Creamer Media
Errol Smart

Pensana gets mining permit in Angola

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 The Angolan government has approved a mining title for ASX-listed Pensana Rare Earth’s Longonjo project. The mining title allows Pensana to mine for rare earths, and is renewable up to 35 years, covering an area of 21 km2. 

Tigers Realm firmly on track for 2020

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 Coal miner Tigers Realm Coal has maintained its production guidance for the 2020 financial year of 550 000 t, as its operations in Russia remained unaffected by impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic. Run of mine production for the three months to March reached 137 000 t, down from the 288 000 t... 

Stanmore urges offer acceptance

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 The directors of takeover target Stanmore Coal have urged shareholders to accept a takeover offer from shareholder Golden Investment. Golden Investment is offering Stanmore shareholders A$1 a share in cash for all of their shares held, and since launching its offer in April, the company’s... 

Zijin warns PNG of China anger over end of Barrick gold mine lease

By: Reuters     29th April 2020 China's Zijin Mining has warned Papua New Guinea that its failure to renew the lease of a gold mine it jointly owns with Barrick Gold Corp there could damage bilateral relations. Papua New Guinea on Friday said it would not renew a 20-year mining lease at its Porgera gold mine, citing... 

Universal posts strong quarter amid takeover

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 South Africa-focused coal miner Universal Coal has reported an 11% increase in run-of-mine (ROM) production for the March quarter, and a 16% increase is sales volumes, compared with the previous corresponding period. The miner on Wednesday reported that quarterly ROM production reached... 

Allegiance nearly halves New Elk startup capex

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 Coal developer Allegiance Coal has once again reduced the projected start-up capital for its New Elk coal mine, in Colorado. The ASX-listed miner on Wednesday said that a review of the mine plan by independent engineers Stantec has reduced the start-up capital estimate from $40-million to... 

West African buys Burkina Faso deposit from B2Gold

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 ASX-listed West African Resources has struck a $45-million deal with Canada’s B2Gold Corp to acquire the Toega gold deposit, in Burkina Faso. Located within 14 km of West African’s own Sanbrado project, the Toega deposit has an existing inferred resource of some 1.1-million ounces, grading 2.1... 

West African buys Burkina Faso deposit from B2Gold

BHP invests in Covid research

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 Mining major BHP is continuing its battle against the Covid-29 pandemic, pledging A$3-million to the prevention and treatment of the virus through support for two research institutions based in Australia. BHP on Wednesday said that its Foundation would provide A$2-million to support the... 

Lynas plant in Malaysia remains closed

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2020 The Malaysian government has extended its Movement Control Order until May 12, meaning rare earths miner Lynas’ operations in the country would remain suspended. Operations at the Advanced Materials Plant was suspended in March as part of the country’s wider effort to halt the spread of the... 

Caterpillar earnings dive as coronavirus wreaks economic havoc

By: Reuters     28th April 2020 Caterpillar on Tuesday reported a steeper-than-expected decline in first-quarter earnings, with sales falling across all regions and all primary business segments as the coronavirus pandemic devastated economies around the world. The Deerfield, Illinois-based heavy equipment manufacturer,... 

Caterpillar earnings dive as coronavirus wreaks economic havoc

Morale high as Covid-masked South African miners get back to work 

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2020 Morale is reportedly high as Covid-masked and physically distanced South African mineworkers get back to mining underground for companies that have gone the extra mile to ensure that they have been fully remunerated and host communities generously funded during the national lockdown. In a... 

Morale high as Covid-masked South African miners get back to work
Mineworkers with personal protective equipment.

Lucapa to raise about $5.25m

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th April 2020 ASX-listed Lucapa Diamond Company plans to undertake a nonrenounceable rights issue on a 1 for 5 basis with a free attaching options exercisable at $0.10 each and expiring two years from the date of issue. If fully subscribed, the intended rights issue will raise up to $5.25-million. 

Nordgold starts large-scale Covid-19 testing at its mines

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2020 Gold producer Nordgold has started large-scale Covid-19 testing at its mines. To date, 282 employees have been tested at its Holba mine, in Russia, with zero cases being diagnosed. 

Emerald closes Okvau financing

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 ASX-listed Emerald Resources has achieved financial close on a $60-million project debt facility for its Okvau gold project, in Cambodia. The company had previously inked a credit agreement with Sprott Private Resource Lending to allow for the construction of the Okvau project. 

Saracen posts record quarter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 Gold miner Saracen Mineral Holdings has reported another quarterly production record, with the miner producing 158 132 oz of gold in the three months to March. The March quarter production was up from the previous record of 120 127 oz produced in the December quarter, with all-in sustaining... 

REZ takes a new look at Mt Makenzie

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 Junior Resources and Energy Group (REZ) is undertaking a review of its Mount Mackenzie gold/silver project, in Queensland, to incorporate a higher gold price. A December scoping study into the project estimated that for a capital cost of A$13-million, the company could develop a gold mine... 

Stanmore earnings take a hit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 Coal miner Stanmore Coal has warned shareholders that its underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) for the full 2020 will be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The miner has revised its underlying Ebitda expectations for the full year from between... 

De Grey raises cash for Mallina exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 Junior De Grey Mining will raise A$31.2-million through a share placement to fund its ongoing exploration work at its Mallina gold project, in Western Australia. The company on Tuesday reported that it had received firm commitments for the placement of more than 111.4-million shares, at a price... 

Offtake deal signed at Gabanintha

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 ASX-listed Technology Metals Australia has inked a binding vanadium pentoxide offtake agreement with China’s CNMC Orient Group Company at the Ganabintha vanadium project, in Western Australia. The offtake agreement covers a minimum 2 000 t/y, or 4.4-million pounds of vanadium pentoxide on a... 

ACCC allows coordinated bargaining for miners

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed interim authorization by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), allowing resources companies to co-ordinate on sourcing crucial supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic. Members of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and... 

Australia's CSIRO finds fracking is safe for the environment

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 A three year scientific study by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) into the air, water and soil impacts of hydraulic fracturing has found little to no impacts on air quality, soils, groundwater and waterways. The study also found current water treatment... 

Australia's CSIRO finds fracking is safe for the environment

BHP to spend A$300m on Pilbara environment

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 Major BHP has announced a A$300-million investment over a five year period to improve air quality and reduce dust emissions across its Pilbara operations. “BHP has reviewed global best practice dust management and air quality control methods and identified new opportunities to further improve... 

OceanaGold restarts operations in New Zealand

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2020 Dual listed gold miner OceanaGold has resumed mining operations in New Zealand after the government decreased the country’s Covid-19 alert level from four to three. The new alert level meant that businesses apart from those considered to be essential services, could resume operations if they... 

Opencast mines may return to 100% of capacity from May 1 – Patel

By: Martin Creamer     27th April 2020 Opencast mines are permitted to return in phases to 100% operation from May 1 but underground mines must continue at 50% of production capacity, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Saturday. Speaking during a media briefing covered by Mining Weekly on South Africa’s easing from the... 

Opencast mines may return to 100% of capacity from May 1 – Patel
Openast mines like this one may return to 100% production capacity.
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