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Australasia News

Plans ‘well advanced’ to start small-scale Waterberg coal mine – Firestone

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd July 2009 Perth-based exploration company Firestone Energy said on Friday that plans to start a small-scale mining operation in South Africa’s Waterberg region before the end of the year were “well advanced”. The Australian company’s joint-venture (JV) partner, Sekoko Coal, has approached the Development... 

BHP to sell Queensland nickel refinery to Clive Palmer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd July 2009 Diversified giant BHP Billiton has signed an agreement to sell the Yabulu nickel refinery, in Queensland, to companies owned by Professor Clive Palmer. The miner said in a statement that although none of the sales terms could be publicised, both parties had agreed that at the completion of the... 

Mithril, BHP withdraw from Western Australia nickel/gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd July 2009 The Silver Swan North nickel and gold project, in Western Australia, would revert back to FerrAus, following Mithril Resources’ and BHP Billiton’s withdrawal from the joint venture (JV) project. Mithril Resources has agreed to transfer its JV interest to FerrAus in return for the grant of a 1,5%... 

‘Don’t panic’ says exposed, unhedged Harmony on rand gold price slump 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd July 2009 The strengthening South African currency is decimating the price of gold in rand terms, at a time of rising energy costs and robust wage demands. “But, the important thing is not to panic,” says Harmony Gold CEO Graham Briggs, whose totally unhedged gold-mining company is currently still fully... 

CCR starts New South Wales silver feasibility study

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd July 2009 ASX-listed mineral explorer Cobar Consolidated Resources (CCR) said on Thursday that the Wonawinta joint venture (JV) operating committee had approved the feasibility study scope for the Wonawinta silver project, in New South Wales. Work on the feasibility study would start immediately. 

Gold Aura moves to protect interest in Brazilian exploration project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd July 2009 Australian gold explorer Gold Aura on Thursday said that it had entered into an agreement to buy an effective 60% stake in the Sao Chico gold property, in Brazil, in a move to protect its interest in the asset. The company would acquire a 100% of Sao Chico, but would pay a 40% net profit royalty. 

Boart Longyear sells SA manufacturing operations

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd July 2009 Drilling products and services provider Boart Longyear has sold some of its sub-Saharan African operations to South African empowered investment company Tranter Energy & Mining. This included its percussive rock drills and hard rock tools product lines for sub-Saharan Africa and all its... 

Harmony Gold can give Pamodzi Free State ten-year-plus life – CEO 

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2009 The world’s fifth-largest gold-mining company Harmony Gold was in a position to give the provisionally liquidated Pamodzi Gold Free State a life of ten years plus, Harmony CEO Graham Briggs told Mining Weekly Online on Wednesday. Briggs said that what was needed in the Welkom area was long-term... 

Black Range says Uranium One US deal terminated

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st July 2009 Australian uranium hopeful Black Range Minerals would acquire a 49% stake in the Hansen uranium deposit in Colorado from NZ Minerals. This comes after Canada-based Uranium One defaulted on its option to buy a 39,2% stake in the uranium project from NZ Minerals. 

Hazelwood’s tungsten prefeasibility study to be completed in Sept

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st July 2009 ASX-listed nickel sulphide and tungsten exploration company Hazelwood Resources’ Big Hill prefeasibility study was progressing ahead of schedule, following a recent A$3-million raising, the company said on Wednesday. The study on the deposit, located in Western Australia, was likely to be... 

Breakaway starts reverse circulation drilling in Western Australia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st July 2009 ASX-listed base metals company Breakaway Resources has started a 2 200-m reverse circulation drilling programme on its Spargos Reward and Scotia Gold targets, in Western Australia. The drill programme will test near surface positions over a total strike length of 500 m, centred on the existing... 

Gindalbie completes A$162m Ansteel share placement

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st July 2009 ASX-listed iron-ore producer Gindalbie Metals has completed the A$162,06-million share placement to China’s Ansteel. Ansteel’s shareholding in the Australian company has now increased to 36%. 

Gold One sells Australian exploration project for A$1,75m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st July 2009 JSE and ASX-listed gold junior Gold One has sold its Twin Hills project for A$1,75-million. North Queensland Metals acquired a 60% stake in the Twin Hills exploration project, with Heemskirk Consolidated taking the remaining 40%. 

Mining industry faces 'tough road ahead' - PwC

By: Liezel Hill     30th June 2009 Mining companies have some difficult decisions to make if they are to reduce costs and protect margins in the prevailing economic environment, professional services group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in a report published on Tuesday. "There is no doubt that the industry is facing a tough... 

Davis 'winning hearts and minds' as Xstrata reiterates $1bn Anglo synergies

By: Martin Creamer     30th June 2009 London-listed Anglo American suitor Xstrata, whose CEO on Monday night reportedly won mining-community hearts and minds at a London dinner, on Tuesday officially confirmed the $1-billion-a-year-plus Anglo merger synergies to the fastidious UK Takeover Panel.  

Panoramic enters into JV with Territory Uranium

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th June 2009 ASX-listed Panoramic Resources has entered into a farm-in agreement with Territory Uranium, to earn up to 80% in the Bluebush copper/gold project, in Tennant Creek. Panoramic Resources has agreed to spend $500 000 in the first 12 months of the agreement, while Territory Uranium would manage the... 

PanAust restarts Laos operation after mill failure

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th June 2009 ASX-listed gold producer PanAust has resumed operations at its Phu Kham copper/gold operation in Laos, following the shutdown caused by a SAG mill motor failure on June 19. The process plant grinding circuit comprises a SAG mill and a ball mill with each mill being driven by two identical 6,5 MW... 

Gindalbie appoints two Ansteel execs to board

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th June 2009 ASX-listed Gindalbie Metals has appointed two new non-executive directors to its board, as representatives of its major shareholder, and joint venture partner, Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (Ansteel). The appointments of Yu Wanyuan and Chen Ping, both of whom are senior executives with... 

Paladin board approves Langer Heinrich uranium expansion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th June 2009 Australian uranium company Paladin Energy has concluded a feasibility study on expansion options for its Langer Heinrich uranium mine, in Namibia. The ASX- and TSX-listed company reported on Tuesday that the board had given its approval to proceed with the Stage 3 expansion of its flagship... 

Mine-to-metals platinum, ferrochrome link in R2,9bn Ruukki-Sylvania merger

By: Martin Creamer     30th June 2009 Finnish company Ruukki is emerging on the South African mining and metals front with an integrated platinum and ferrochrome mine-to-metals business that is heading for listings in London, Johannesburg and Helsinki, following Tuesday’s R2,9-billion merger plan with Sylvania and last month’s... 

Technical fault halts operations at KCM’s Zambia smelter

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th June 2009 Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has suspended operations at its Nchanga smelter owing to a technical fault which occurred over the weekend. The company expects the smelter to be closed for around two weeks, with normal operations resuming on July 12. The setback would result in a production... 

DRDGold, Mintails agree takeover terms

By: Martin Creamer     29th June 2009 JSE-listed gold-miner DRDGold on Monday announced that the ASX-listed Mintails had conditionally accepted its offer to acquire all of Mintails’ South African business assets, except its interest in underground explorer West Wits Mining (WWI). DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius described the offer as an... 

Iron Mountain’s bid for Terrain fails

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th June 2009 ASX-listed Iron Mountain on Monday reported that it had failed in its takeover bid for exploration company Terrain Minerals. Iron Mountain had offered two of its shares for one Terrain Minerals share. However, it stated on Monday that the unsolicited offer would not proceed as it had only... 

Even all-share Xstrata-Anglo merger may be credit negative - Fitch

By: Martin Creamer     29th June 2009 Even a wholly share-based merger of diversified miners Xstrata and Anglo American may be credit negative, credit agency Fitch Ratings said on Monday. Fitch said that, even though a potential combination of the two companies would offer a variety of business benefits stemming from increased... 

Ivanhoe Australia earmarks A$7m for exploration at Tennant Creek – Emmerson

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th June 2009 Copper and gold explorer Ivanhoe Australia has approved a A$7-million exploration programme as part of its A$18-million farm-in obligation to Emmerson Resources in the Tennant Creek mineral field, in the Northern Territory. Emmerson, the operator of the farm-in phase, said that the expenditure... 

Centamin starts production at Egypt’s first modern gold mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th June 2009 ASX, TSX, and Aim-listed Centamin Egypt has poured its first gold at the Sukari gold project, in Egypt. The milestone marked the start of production and commissioning at the Sukari gold mine, ahead of the commercial ramp up of production, which was anticipated over the coming months. 

West Australian says not in talks to sell Namibia uranium project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th June 2009 Uranium mining company West Australian Metals (WME) on Monday stated that it was not in any formal discussions with either Rio Tinto, Areva, or any other firms regarding the sale of its Marenica project, in Namibia. However, responding to media speculation, the company said that it maintained... 

Gold Fields to boost Q4 output by 4%

By: Chanel de Bruyn     26th June 2009 South Africa-based gold-miner Gold Fields would again increase its gold production by 4% in the fourth quarter of the 2009 financial year, it said on Friday. In May, the company reported that it had increased production by 4% to 871 000 oz in the third quarter, saying it was expecting to achieve... 

AngloGold wraps up Boddington transaction

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th June 2009 JSE-listed gold producer AngloGold Ashanti has completed the sale of its 33,33% interest in the Boddington gold mine, in Western Australia, to US-based Newmont Mining. AngloGold Ashanti reported that it had received $750-million in cash and that it had been reimbursed for all its contributions... 

Investment demand, ETFs providing platinum price underpin

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th June 2009 With the current economic downturn and a struggling automotive industry, which consumes around half of the global platinum supply for use in catalytic converters, platinum demand has experienced a fall for the first time in nine years. Interestingly, platinum investment has almost doubled since... 

S&P launches global base metals index

By: Liezel Hill     25th June 2009 Index compiler Standard & Poor's (S&P) on Thursday launched its new S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index, which aims to provide investors with an investable index of global securities involved in the production or extraction of base metals. The new index is a subset of the existing S&P/TSX Global... 

ATW reports commercial production, starts expansion at W Australia mine

By: Liezel Hill     25th June 2009 Vancouver-based ATW Gold has completed commissioning and achieved commercial production at its Burnakura mine, in Western Australia, the firm reported on Thursday. The company has now recovered more than 5 000 oz since mining and processing operations begain on March 3, including this week's pour.  

GFMS still expects fresh gold peak in H2 09 

By: Liezel Hill     25th June 2009 An inflation-driven surge in gold investment around the world will likely boost the yellow metal to new highs in the second half of this year, GFMS chairperson Philip Klapwijk writes in the latest issue of the consultancy's quarterly newsletter. Investment demand, and especially so-called... 

Xstrata says no retrenchments, South Africa net Anglo-deal beneficiary

By: Martin Creamer     24th June 2009 Anglo American suitor Xstrata on Wednesday published an open letter in which it set out its rationale for an all-share merger of equals that bore none of the usual characteristics of shareholder premiums and worker retrenchments. Mining analyst John Meyer of Fairfax said simultaneously that the... 

Gold One to raise A$37,5m, pours first gold at Modder East

By: Mariaan Webb     24th June 2009 ASX- and JSE-listed Gold One announced on Thursday that it would raise A$37,5-million (R244-million) and that it had poured its first gold at the Modder East gold processing plant in South Africa. The company, which was formed when South Africa’s Aflease Gold bought Australia’s BMA Gold, would... 

Sylvania says in talks about possible offer

By: Mariaan Webb     24th June 2009 Platinum junior Sylvania Resources confirmed on Wednesday that it had received an approach from a third party, which may or may not lead to an offer. The ASX- and Aim-listed company owns assets in South Africa.  

Xstrata has strong shareholder backing for Anglo merger – Fairfax

By: Martin Creamer     23rd June 2009 Anglo American suitor Xstrata has strong institutional shareholder backing for its merger proposal and will gain further support for the deal despite Anglo’s rejection, Fairfax mining analyst John Meyer said on Tuesday. Xstrata spokesperson Claire Divver told Mining Weekly Online, however, that... 

Dwyka makes £1,8m bid for Minerva

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd June 2009 ASX- and Aim-listed Dwyka Resources has made a £1,8-million bid for UK-based explorer Minerva Resources, it said on Tuesday. Dwyka, which announced on June 1 that it was in talks with Minerva, said that it was offering one new share for every five Minerva shares. Based on a closing price of... 

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