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Australasia News

SA watchdog to interrogate effect of BHP-Rio tie up on iron-ore, aluminium

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th August 2008 South Africa’s competition overseer will be “looking seriously” at how BHP Billiton’s proposed takeover of Rio Tinto would affect the iron-ore, aluminium and coking coal markets, a senior official said on Friday. Manager of the Competition Commission’s mergers and acquisitions department,... 

Gold firms near 2-week highs on oil, physicals support

By: Reuters     29th August 2008 Gold rose nearly $7 on the back of firmer oil prices on Friday, hovering near its highest level in more than two weeks, with demand from jewellers ahead of the festive season in Asia also offering additional support. India, the world's largest consumer, is stepping up purchases ahead of the... 

Eskom still to decide on fate of Richards Bay coal export allocation

By: Matthew Hill     29th August 2008 State-owned Eskom has received several unsolicited offers for its valuable coal export allocation at Richards Bay, but has yet to make a call on how to deal with these offers, spokesperson Fani Zulu said on Thursday night. He told Mining Weekly Online that the coal strategy the utility was busy... 

BHP settles dispute with SA competition body

By: Liezel Hill     28th August 2008 The world's biggest mining group, BHP Billiton, reached a settlement with South Africa's Competition Commission on Thursday, after the two disagreed over information to be submitted by the company relating to its hostile takeover bid for rival Rio Tinto. 

New GBS chief Peter Breese resigns

By: Liezel Hill     28th August 2008 CEO Peter Breese could barely have finished unpacking boxes in his new office at TSX-listed gold-miner GBS Gold International before the company announced on Thursday that he had resigned the post. Breese was the COO of nickel-miner LionOre Mining International when it was acquired by Norilsk... 

Impala says now right time to go on hunt

By: Matthew Hill     28th August 2008 Precious-metals-miner Impala Platinum (Implats) CEO David Brown “absolutely” believes now to be the right time to be looking at acquisitions, but the world’s second-biggest platinum producer would avoid projects that have are deep and dangerous. However, in June he commented that South Africa’s... 

Implats boosts capex plan to R30bn, delays 2,5Moz target to 2015

By: Matthew Hill     28th August 2008 JSE- and LSE-listed Impala Platinum (Implats) would spend some R30-billion over five years to boost platinum production to the 2,5-million ounce level by 2015, which power concerns had pushed back by three years. A major contributor to this was the Leeuwkop project that it bought from African... 

SA Competition Tribunal cancels BHP hearing

By: Liezel Hill     27th August 2008 South Africa's Competition Tribunal has cancelled a hearing with diversified miner BHP Billiton, which was scheduled for Thursday, the body said in a statement. The Competition Commission and BHP Billiton, the world's largest miner, are in negotiations and, if a settlement is not reached, the... 

Mozambique coal mine decision expected early ’09 - Riversdale

By: Matthew Hill     27th August 2008 Australia’s Riversdale Mining on Wednesday said that it would decide on the development of its Mozambican Benga coal project by early next year. The company sold a 35% stake in the project to Indian steelmaker Tata, and is undertaking a feasibility study with Elgas SARL to develop a coal-fired... 

Paladin plans to be hunter, not hunted – MD Borshoff

By: Liezel Hill     26th August 2008 Uranium-miner Paladin Energy will seek both organic and acquisitive growth as it brings a string of projects into production and seeks to step up into the ranks of large producers of the nuclear fuel, MD John Borshoff said on Tuesday. The company would have to “grow and eat, or be eaten”, he... 

Bannerman starts search for MD after Peter Batten quits

By: Liezel Hill     26th August 2008 Perth-based uranium exploration and development company Bannerman Resources has named director Clive Jones as interim MD, and started a search for a permanent appointment, as Peter Batten would leave the company “effective immediately”, the company announced on Monday. “The board wishes Peter... 

R&E claims billions from third parties after JCI agreement fails

By: Matthew Hill     26th August 2008 Fraud-battered mining firm Randgold & Exploration (R&E) on Tuesday further lifted the lid to the Pandora’s box of claims that it has instituted against third parties, after it failed to reach an agreement with JCI. The formerly Brett Kebble-headed company has lodged billions of rands worth of... 

Chinese urbanisation influx keeps demand for Rio Tinto products strong

By: Matthew Hill     26th August 2008 China might have to build from 40 000 to 50 000 skyscrapers by 2025 to meet the needs of the country's urbanisation influx, diversified miner Rio Tinto CE Tom Albanese said on Tuesday. This would require, he noted, “a lot of steel, copper and aluminium”. “These are the numbers that are keeping... 

Rio Tinto posts record half-year results

By: Matthew Hill     26th August 2008 Diversified miner Rio Tinto, which BHP Billiton is bidding for, on Tuesday posted a 114% rise in earnings for the half year to June 30 to a record $538,7c a share, compared with the same period the previous year’s figure of $251,3 a share. The company achieved half-year production records in... 

BHP asks SA competition authorities to set aside summons over Rio bid

By: Matthew Hill     25th August 2008 Diversified resources firm BHP Billiton this week would present an urgent application to South Africa’s Competition Tribunal to set aside a summons regarding information the watchdog wants for its evaluation of the miner’s proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto. The Tribunal said in a statement that... 

BHP-Rio deal could push up iron-ore prices ‘significantly’ – regulator

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd August 2008 Australia’s competition watchdog warned on Friday that a merged BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto might be able to, and want to, influence global iron-ore supply and prices. This could lead to steelmakers paying “significantly” higher prices for the raw material, the Australian Competition & Consumer... 

Xstrata bows out of battle for Indophil

By: Liezel Hill     21st August 2008 Diversified-miner Xstrata Resources will not raise its offer for Australia's Indophil Resources, after rival bidder Stanhill Resources announced a sweetened offer on Wednesday. Xstrata's takeover offer of A$1,28 in cash for every Indophil share will not be extended beyond the closing time of... 

DRDGold says Ergo section contains 1,7Moz of gold

By: Matthew Hill     20th August 2008 Miner DRDGold on Wednesday said that part of its joint venture (JV) with Australia’s Mintails, Ergo, contained resources of 1,7-million ounces of gold, 14,9-million pounds of uranium oxide, and 1,76-million tons of sulphur. A competent persons report that consultants RSG compiled said that this... 

Safety audit report to be released 'soon' – DME

By: Matthew Hill     20th August 2008 Government has completed audits on all the 300-plus high-risk mines, ordered by South African President Thabo Mbeki, and will release the report “soon”, an official said on Wednesday. “The report has been finalised,” Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) chief inspector of mines Thabo Gazi... 

Pallinghurst still looking to create 'steel-feed company', eyes iron-ore

By: Matthew Hill     20th August 2008 Pallinghurst Resources, which began trading on the JSE on Wednesday, has not abandoned the concept of creating a “steel-feed corporation”, and is scouting an iron-ore opportunity in south-west Australia, chairperson Brian Gilbertson said. Pallinghurst also had significant opportunities to... 

BHP Billiton studying new South African energy coal projects – Marius Kloppers

By: Martin Creamer     19th August 2008 World-leading diversified mining company BHP Billiton was studying the feasibility of new energy coal projects in South Africa in addition to the Douglas Middelburg Optimisation (DMO) and Klipspruit projects that were being built at a combined cost of R12-billion, BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers... 

JCI, R&E extend settlement deadline to next week

By: Matthew Hill     19th August 2008 The late Brett Kebble-run companies, Randgold & Exploration and JCI, have extended the deadline to sign a settlement agreement to August 25, they said on Tuesday. This was after they reached an understanding on July 22, which would see each company transferring various shares to the other, which... 

Keaton seeks permission to start production at ‘small but lucrative’ Klipfontein mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th August 2008 Coal exploration and development company Keaton Energy could transform itself into a producer within two months, as it worked to bring its small Mpumalanga Klipfontein mine in on line. It had applied to the Department of Minerals and Energy for a limited mining permit at the 400 000-t project,... 

International Goldfields to appoint adviser to value SA platinum stake

By: Matthew Hill     19th August 2008 Perth-based junior International Goldfields (IG) would appoint an independent adviser to value its 15% holdings in three platinum farms, and an agreement on the proposed merger with Nkwe which was expected by October, it said on Tuesday. Nkwe had paid A$100 000 and 2,5-million of its own shares... 

Xstrata temporarily shuts Falcondo mine as costs bite, prices sink

By: Matthew Hill     19th August 2008 Diversified miner Xstrata, which is bidding to buy Lonmin for $10-billion, on Tuesday announced the temporary shutdown of its Falconbridge Dominicana (Falcondo) nickel operation, owing to high input costs and low metal prices. The shutdown, which confirmed BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers’... 

Iron-ore market moving away from benchmark-pricing system

By: Matthew Hill     18th August 2008 Not only was the iron-ore benchmark pricing system coming apart at the seams, but it has “lost a pants leg”, as the market moved towards more transparent prices, BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers said on Monday. Further, he said that the movement towards the steelmaking ingredient becoming a... 

BHP says Rio takeover makes ‘more sense than ever’

By: Matthew Hill     18th August 2008 Resources colossus BHP Billiton said on Monday that a merger with smaller rival Rio Tinto “makes more sense than ever”, and that its original acquisition timetable remained intact. CEO Marius Kloppers said that BHP Billiton remained focused on seeing the deal through to conclusion, which he... 

BHP Billiton expects commodity markets to remain robust

By: Matthew Hill     18th August 2008 BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest resources company, on Monday reiterated its upbeat outlook on the commodities markets, as demand keeps growing, and companies struggled to bring on new supply. CEO Marius Kloppers said that “people are way too optimistic on the speed of which new projects can... 

Sino Gold interim results mark ‘turning point’, loss narrowed

By: Chanel de Bruyn     18th August 2008 The progress made during the six months ended June 30, 2008, had placed ASX-listed China-focused gold-miner Sino Gold in a good position to continue to capitalise on the opportunities presented by China’s growing gold industry, the producer said on Monday. Sino Gold CEO Jake Klein said in a... 

Blow for Pamodzi as major investor pulls out of $50m financing deal

By: Matthew Hill     15th August 2008 Cash-strapped Pamodzi Gold is desperate to raise $50-million, after a major funder pulled out of a deal it had lined up at the last minute. Corporate affairs director Bongi Radebe told Mining Weekly Online at the weekend that she was “quite confident” that the company would secure a new funding... 

Gilbertson’s Pallinghurst to list on Johannesburg bourse

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th August 2008 Brian Gilberton's Pallinghurst Resources will list on the JSE on Wednesday, offering investors exposure to coloured gems, manganese, the Faberge brand, and, surprisingly, platinum. The former BHP Billiton boss's son, Sean Gilbertson, said that Pallinghurst was "particularly" acquisitive at this... 

Hidden Valley's production delayed to next June - Harmony

By: Matthew Hill     15th August 2008 Production at Harmony Gold’s new Hidden Valley mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been delayed by three months to June next year, but its new partners on the project are eager to push this forward, CEO Graham Briggs said on Friday. Mobilising skills to the site had contributed to the delay, he... 

Russia’s Norilsk Nickel now stretches from Arctic to SA, US to Australia

By: Keith Campbell     15th August 2008 In July 2007, a Canada-domiciled mining company was acquired by a Russian group for $5,2-billion. That company was LionOre, and it had assets in Southern Africa – an 85% share in Tati Nickel, in Botswana, and a 50% stake in Nkomati Nickel, in South Africa. LionOre’s buyer was the giant Russian... 

BHP unlikely to bid for Implats – analysts

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th August 2008 It was improbable that BHP Billiton would bid for global platinum number-two Impala Platinum (Implats), analysts said on Thursday. The company said before that safety risks associated with South Africa’s deep-level mines was a deterrent to bringing the white metal into its production fold, which... 

Exxaro sees better second-half on improved coal output  

By: Matthew Hill     14th August 2008 JSE-listed Exxaro on Thursday said that it would “definitely see much stronger” results for the second half of 2009, as it raised coal output by “a couple of million tons”. Outgoing COO Mike Kilbride said that the company’s coal division, its biggest revenue source by far, would have a... 

Exxaro H1 headline earnings up 54% to R1,3bn 

By: Matthew Hill     14th August 2008 Diversified miner Exxaro, which is State-owned Eskom’s biggest coal source, on Thursday posted a 54% rise in headline earnings for the half-year ended June 30 to R1,3-billion, after its coal unit achieved a record operating profit of R935-million. However, net operating profit dropped by 10% to... 

Gold demand by value rose to record in Q2

14th August 2008 Although total identifiable demand for gold fell 19% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2008, demand in terms of value rose 9% to a new quarterly record of $21,2-billion, the World Gold Council (WGC) said this week. In tonnage terms, demand slid to 735,6 t, dampened by “high and volatile”... 

Lonmin outlines growth prospects in bid to fend off Xstrata takeover

By: Matthew Hill     13th August 2008 Xstrata takeover target Lonmin on Wednesday voiced its rejection of the diversified miner’s offer, highlighting its “outstanding growth prospects from 2008's low point”. The world’s third-biggest platinum producer reiterated that the £33 a share bid, announced one week ago, did not offer its... 

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