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Australasia News

Johannesburg gold to be mined at $320/oz cash cost - Central Rand Gold

By: Martin Creamer     7th October 2008 Johannesburg gold would be mined at a cash cost of $320/oz within an operational paradigm that was on track to become a lowest-quartile-cash-cost producer, Central Rand Gold (CRG) CEO Greg James said on Tuesday. James told analysts and investors that the LSE- and JSE-listed company would extract... 

Rapid minerals expansion still needed to meet long-term demand – commentators 

By: Martin Creamer     7th October 2008 Rapid expansion of minerals projects was needed, not curtailment, if long-term demand for commodities was to be satisfied, Venmyn mineral industry adviser Neil Mc Kenna said on Tuesday. Mc Kenna said that the sharp drop in commodity prices had been the result of factors largely unrelated to the... 

Waratah urges no action on 'opportunistic' bid

By: Liezel Hill     6th October 2008 Coal hopeful Waratah Coal has advised shareholders not to take any action while it evaluates an offer from Clive Palmer's Mineralogy, which said on Friday that it wants to buy a controlling stake in the company. In the meantime, however, TSX Venture Exchange-listed Waratah, which plans to build... 

Project house moves to hard-wire engineering-study standards

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th October 2008 Project house SRK Consulting has warned that price escalations, cost over-runs, and insufficient technical capacity were threatening to limit the attractiveness of new mining projects. The group, which recently assembled its experts from around the world to assess project vulnerability, was also... 

Braemore secures first right of refusal over Atomaer projects

By: Martin Creamer     6th October 2008 JSE- and Aim-listed Braemore Resources had secured first right of refusal over the nickel and platinum projects of its controlling Atomaer shareholder and put an end to a perceived share overhang, CEO Leon Coetzer said on Monday. Coetzer said that the new relationship removed the potential for... 

Survey finds Australia getting 'less risky' for resource development

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th October 2008 Australia has come in fourth in a top ten list of individual countries with the least risk for resource sector investment, according to resources publication ResourceStocks’ 2008 World Risk Survey. This year’s survey covered 74 countries and included individual African nations. First-time... 

Permitting process formally under way for sea-floor mining project

By: Liezel Hill     3rd October 2008 The government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has registered the receipt of a mining lease application by TSX- and Aim-listed Nautilus Minerals, for its Solwara 1 sea-floor mining project, the company announced on Friday. "This formally commences the permitting process for the development of the... 

DRDGold raises stake in Elsburg JV to 65%

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd October 2008 JSE-listed DRDGold South Africa would acquire a further 15% stake in the Elsburg gold mining joint venture (JV) for R100-million, the company said on Friday. Initially a 50:50 JV, recovering and processing gold from the Elsburg tailings complex on South Africa’s East Rand, DRDGold SA would now... 

Langer Heinrich uranium mine achieves planned output – Paladin

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd October 2008 ASX-, TSX- and NSE-listed uranium producer Paladin Energy on Friday reported that its Langer Heinrich uranium mine, in Namibia, had achieved the targeted stage-one production of 2,6-million pounds a year of uranium. The mine produced 650 560 lbs of uranium for the quarter ended September 30,... 

Equinox secures $80m loan facility, insurers agree to pay for fire damage

By: Liezel Hill     2nd October 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Equinox Minerals is currently quantifying the losses suffered from a fire at the processing plant at its Lumwana copper project in Zambia, after the project's insurance syndicate agreed to accept indemnity for the accident, the firm said on Thursday. Repair work is... 

IGC walks away from Zambian copper/gold acquisition

By: Liezel Hill     2nd October 2008 Explorer IGC Resources has opted not to go ahead with its plan to buy a 90% stake in TransAfrican Limited Zambia, the firm announced on Thursday. TransAfrican owns gold and copper concessions in northwest Zambia, but, after completing advanced field evaluation, the IGC decided that it could get... 

Cobalt output up year-on-year in the first half of '08

By: Liezel Hill     1st October 2008 Global production of refined cobalt increased 5,4% in the six months of this year, to 27 668 t, compared with 26 242 t a year earlier, according to figures from the Cobalt Development Institute (CDI). The most notable change was in China, where refined production of cobalt increased by almost 3... 

Coal of Africa on track for Q4 start-up at Mooiplaats coal mine

By: Liezel Hill     1st October 2008 Aim-, ASX- and JSE-listed Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) has finalised negotiations with the contract miner for its Mooiplaats thermal coal project and expects mining at the operation to get under way before year-end, the firm said on Wednesday. The company has secured all the necessary mining... 

Coffey Mining highlights importance of independent technical audits

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st October 2008 ASX-listed Coffey International subsidiary, Coffey Mining, on Wednesday stated that although technical audits were sometimes considered a “grudge purchase”, they were necessary to correctly define the resource body of a project. Coffey Mining GM Rick Yeates at this year’s Asia Downunder... 

Australia clears BHP’s Rio Tinto bid

By: Martin Creamer     1st October 2008 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had cleared BHP Billiton’s proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton said on Wednesday. BHP Billiton welcomed the commission’s decision that the commission had no objection. 

Asia seen as holding the key to future resources – equity fund

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st October 2008 Unlisted private equity fund, the Asian Lion Fund, on Wednesday stated that the economy had seen the end of the resources boom towards the final days of last year, and that it anticipated that margins would only deteriorate further. Asian Lion president Jon Dugdale, at this year’s Asia Downunder... 

International Royalty sees 'infinite opportunities' as cash-crunched miners come a-knockin'

By: Liezel Hill     30th September 2008 Colorado-based mineral royalty firm International Royalty Corp (IRC) finds itself in the enviable position of being able to “pick and choose” between a host of potential deals, as miners and hopefuls seek alternative financing options. “It's been an amazing year in terms of the sheer volume,”... 

Philippines seeks to bolster mining investment

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th September 2008 In a bid to revitalise and attract investment in its mining sector, the government of the Philippines has invested in several initiatives, including the creation of a cabinet level mining council to ensure the harmonisation of mining concerns with other political and social concerns. The council... 

New project developers advised to seek bank assistance early

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th September 2008 European investment Bank West LB on Tuesday advised that greenfield mining projects should aim to get banking institutions involved early in the project life to ensure that agreements and analysis were done on time. West LB head of metals and mining Rod Hill stated that although greenfield... 

Asia cushioned against US and European difficulties – mining association

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th September 2008 While the US and Europe could be experiencing financial difficulties, China, India, and South East Asia were likely to be cushioned against many of the repercussions of these difficulties. This was the message by the Asean Federation of Mining Associations president Benjamin Romualdez at the... 

Moly Mines finalises $150m facility

By: Liezel Hill     29th September 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Moly Mines has executed full financing documentation for the provision of a $150-million debt financing facility with funds associated with the Trust Company of the West. The company will use the funds to continue building its Spinifex Ridge molybdenum project while it works... 

Braemore widens loss, says made 'significant' progress at operations

By: Christy van der Merwe     29th September 2008 JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – JSE-listed nickel and platinum processor Braemore Resources on Monday reported a widened loss a share for the year ended June 2008, to 0,21p, compared with a loss a share of 0,16p for the comparative period. However, the company remained upbeat, stating that... 

Pallinghurst sets three-year timeframe for manganese project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th September 2008 JSE-listed Pallinghurst had entered into a manganese investment in the Kalahari Basin with the aim of creating a significant manganese operation within the next three years, the company said on Thursday, in announcing a staggering 769% rise in headline earnings. Headline earnings rose from $5... 

CoAL says solid foundation in place to bring SA coking coal projects into production

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th September 2008 With mining at its Mooiplaats thermal coal project on schedule to start in the fourth quarter of 2008 and with A$200-million in cash, coal development company Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) believes it has a solid foundation to bring its coking coal projects into production. The company, headed... 

‘Unusual, very attractive’ tax-free mining incentive – Gippsland 

By: Martin Creamer     23rd September 2008 The Egyptian government is incentivising mining projects in a “very unusual, but very attractive tax-free way" that includes repayment of capital expenditure with interest, Gippsland Limited reports. “First of all we have no royalty, and the whole project is set up in a free-trade zone. This... 

IFM says growth profile robust despite SA power concerns

By: Chanel de Bruyn     22nd September 2008 Ferrochrome producer International Ferro Metals (IFM) has completed its first full year of production at its Buffelsfontein ferrochrome facility, in South Africa, with output expected to increase by over 10% from July 2009. The company produced about 205 607 t of ferrochrome in the year ended... 

Paramount reshuffles board

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd September 2008 ASX-listed Paramount Mining Corporation on Monday announced the restructuring of its board with the appointment of Mohammed Munshi as nonexecutive chairperson, and Guy Anderson as nonexecutive director. “We are particularly pleased to announce the first stage of restructuring of our board, as... 

Africa-focused Albidon closes out hedge book

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd September 2008 ASX-listed Albidon has closed out its hedge book of 11 294 t of nickel to cut its senior debt, it said on Monday. The company, headquartered in Perth, said it had generated net proceeds of about $50-million. 

Australian junior prepares to mine phosphates off Namibia's ocean floor

By: Martin Creamer     19th September 2008 A growing world population eating better food is opening up mining opportunities in agricultural input materials. The mining industry has seen the world’s biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, report that it expects to invest “billions upon billions” into the “exciting” potash-mining business... 

Australian junior prepares to mine phosphates off Namibia's ocean floor

By: Martin Creamer     19th September 2008 A growing world population eating better food is opening up mining opportunities in agriculture input materials. The mining industry has seen the world’s biggest mining company BHP Billiton report that it expects to invests “billions upon billions” into the “exciting” potash-mining business and... 

Mining offers hope to 'break through barriers of poverty' in Africa, says Australian High Commissioner

By: Martin Creamer     19th September 2008 Mining is the most important ‘sunrise’ industry in Africa at the moment, says the Australian High Commissioner to Africa Philip Green. Green, who addressed the Africa Downunder mining conference in Perth last week, says mining “offers as much hope as just about anything does” to break through... 

Market observers divided on sustainability of gold’s surge

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th September 2008 Resurgent interest in gold, which saw the price of the precious metal leap by nearly $100/oz during feverish buying on Wednesday and Thursday, has analysts divided as to whether or not it is the start of a protracted bull run for the yellow metal, or whether it is simply a fleeting phenomenon,... 

Firestone shareholders support SA coal acquisition

By: Mariaan Webb     18th September 2008 The shareholders of Australian explorer Firestone Energy have “overwhelmingly” supported its planned acquisition of a stake in two South African coal projects, near Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine, it said on Thursday. The company planned to buy the Vetleleegte and Olieboomsfontein coal projects by... 

Braemore says no change to prospects as shares tumble on profit warning

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th September 2008 JSE-listed nickel and platinum producer Braemore Resources issued a statement on Thursday advising that the company was “not aware of any material adverse change to the prospects of the company, and continues to operate in line with managements’ expectations”. This followed an announcement to... 

Braemore issues profit warning, shares drop sharply

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th September 2008 Nickel and platinum-producer Braemore Resources on Wednesday issued a statement to the JSE indicating an expected decrease in headline earnings a share of between 20% and 40% for the year ended June 2008. The companies share price dropped almost 44%, to 40c a share by the close of business on... 

International Goldfields appoints Grant Thornton to value SA platinum stake

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th September 2008 Advisory firm Grant Thornton has been appointed by Australian resources company International Goldfields (IGC) to provide an independent valuation of its 15% holdings in three platinum-rich farms in the South African Bushveld Complex. The three areas of interest, collectively known as the... 

Gold price expected to bounce back to $900/oz – GFMS

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th September 2008 The gold price was expected to gain strength after its significant sell-off since July, and could reach up to $900/oz, and perhaps over $950/oz in the next few months, said precious metals consultancy GFMS on Wednesday. GFMS believed that the recent dollar recovery was an “ill founded temporary... 

Gold ‘innocent bystander’ in Wall Street 'hurricane' – US precious metals adviser

By: Martin Creamer     16th September 2008 Gold had been an “innocent bystander” of the financial hurricane hitting Wall Street, American Precious Metals Advisors MD Jeffrey Nichols said on Tuesday. Nichols said that gold’s swift descent in the past few weeks was “a direct consequence of the unfolding global credit crisis”.  

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