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Australasia News

Anglo shares rise as capex is halved to $4,5bn, no pronouncement on job cuts 

By: Martin Creamer     17th December 2008 The shares of South Africa's largest mining group Anglo American rose on Wednesday after it halved its 2009 capital expenditure (capex) to $4,5-billion, and steered clear of any immediate job-cut pronouncements. The capex halving came with an assurance from Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll... 

Bateman expects 'materially' lower revenue in 2009

By: Liezel Hill     16th December 2008 Aim-listed project house Bateman Engineering expects that its revenues in 2009 will be “materially below” 2008 levels, as slowing economic activity and weaker South African and Australian currencies weigh on income, the group said on Tuesday. The company also said in expects to report an... 

Bannerman shares halted ahead of news

By: Liezel Hill     16th December 2008 Uranium exploration and development firm Bannerman Resources requested a trading halt on Tuesday, ahead of an announcement “regarding a material company update”. Trading will resume in the company's shares no later that when the market opens in Toronto on Wednesday. 

Aquarius shutting Everest platinum mine for 6 months, retrenching 1 950 workers 

By: Martin Creamer     15th December 2008 South African platinum miner Aquarius said on Monday that it would be closing its subsidence-hit Everest mine for at least six months and would be retrenching most of Everest's 1 950 workers. Describing the subsidence-induced mining interruption as a "significant event", the ASX- and JSE-listed... 

MRC gets mining right for SA mineral sands project

By: Christy van der Merwe     12th December 2008 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) has confirmed that ASX-listed Mineral Commodities (MRC) has reached “final sign off” and conversion of mining rights for the Tormin mineral sands project on the west coast of South Africa. The Steenvas mining right conversion had been awaiting approval... 

EPCM contract signed for Uranium One’s Honeymoon project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th December 2008 ASX-listed engineering and project management company Ausenco Minerals has signed a contract with uranium producer Uranium One Australia for the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) service, for the Honeymoon uranium project, in South Australia. The contract award... 

Trend-bucking zircon price poised to lift – Exxaro

By: Martin Creamer     12th December 2008 The zircon price appears poised to buck the general downward commodity price trend and rise to $920/t from the sub $800/t level of last year as the contracyclicality characteristic of the titanium dioxide (TiO2) business comes to the fore during these troubled times. Exxaro’s TiO2 business... 

Let private sector play role in rail transport of coal – Exxaro

By: Martin Creamer     12th December 2008 The private sector should be allowed to play a role in the railing of coal in the same way as it has been allowed to play a role in the generation of electricity as independent power producers (IPPs), says Exxaro executive GM Mxolisi Mgojo. Mgojo tells Mining Weekly that South Africa is not... 

Australia’s Bass Metals expands in Tasmania

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th December 2008 ASX-listed base-metals producer Bass Metals has reached an agreement to acquire the processing facility and associated infrastructure, tailings resource, and the mining lease of the Hellyer mine project, in north west Tasmania, for A$4-million from metals producer Intec. The acquisition has... 

Queensland coal project has 338Mt inferred resource – Liberty

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th December 2008 ASX-listed coal explorer Liberty Resources has announced a 338-million tons inferred mineral resource at its Galilee project, in Queensland. The project covers an area of 27 000 km2, and the figures represented a 12,5-million ton resource for every square kilometre, over the entire resource area. 

Sino Gold expects 2009’s output to rise 53%

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th December 2008 ASX-listed gold producer Sino Gold on Thursday stated that the combined 2009 gold production from its Jinfeng and White Mountain projects, in China, would be in the range of between 210 000 oz to 230 000 oz of gold. The company stated that its Jinfeng operation was on track to meet production... 

Let private sector partner State to end SA coal-railing constraints - Exxaro

By: Martin Creamer     11th December 2008 Because South Africa is exporting diminishing volumes of coal owing to rail constraints, Exxaro executive GM Mxolisi Mgojo believes that the State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) should allow the private sector to play a role in the railing of coal, as Eskom has allowed in power generation.... 

La Mancha says latest drilling points to supergene zone at Sudan mine

By: Liezel Hill     10th December 2008 TSX-listed La Mancha Resources, which mines gold in Australia, Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire, believes that the latest set of underground drilling results at its Hassaï mine indicate the presence of an enriched supergene zone. The company has been identified and begun exploring volcanogenic massive... 

CoAL secures rail allocation to export through Richards Bay terminal

By: Chanel de Bruyn     10th December 2008 Aim-, JSE- and ASX-listed coal development company Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) has concluded negotiations with South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) for rail services to export coal from its Mooiplaats thermal coal project through the Richards Bay dry bulk export terminal. The company... 

MRC issues shares to fund Tormin mineral sands project

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th December 2008 ASX-listed Mineral Commodities (MRC) has issued over 18-million new ordinary shares to fund the initial development stages of its Tormin mineral sands project, on the west coast of South Africa. The company issued the shares at A$0,02 apiece, raising some A$368 000. 

Rio Tinto to cut $10bn debt, shed 14 000 jobs, sell ‘significant' assets, JV projects

By: Martin Creamer     10th December 2008 Global diversified miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday announced sweeping plans to cut net debt by $10-billion, shed 14 000 jobs, sell additional assets, joint-venture (JV) existing projects and lop $5-billion off capital expenditure. "Given the difficult and uncertain economic conditions, and the... 

Kalahari raises £3,9m to maintain Extract shareholding

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th December 2008 Aim-listed mining and exploration company Kalahari Minerals has raised £3,9-million placing shares, to maintain the company’s 39,05% stake in ASX- and TSX-listed Extract Resources. The funds would also be used to develop Kalahari’s current copper and base metal projects, and for general working... 

DRDGold to buy remaining stake in Elsburg JV

By: Mariaan Webb     9th December 2008 JSE-listed DRDGold has agreed to acquire Australian-miner Mintails’ remaining 35% stake in their Elsburg joint venture (JV) for R177-million, thereby getting full management control over the operation. Acquiring control over the Elsburg JV would accelerate the advancement of the project, and... 

Kalahari Minerals wants Buchan removed from Extract board

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th December 2008 Aim-listed Kalahari Minerals is seeking the removal of Robert Buchan as a director of ASX- and TSX-listed Extract Resources, in which Kalahari owns a 39% stake through its subsidiary Kalahari Uranium. Kalahari said that it “no longer makes sense to have a chairman located in North America”. 

Atlas signs native title mining agreement

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2008 ASX-listed iron-ore producer Atlas Iron on Monday signed a native title mining agreement with the Njamal people, with respect to its Abydos project, located 120 km south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The agreement set new standards in engagement and opportunity for... 

Explorer enthused by high-grade rhenium find

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2008 The discovery of a “significant” zone of high-grade molybdenum and rhenium mineralisation has been reported by Vancouver-based Ivanhoe following the conclusion of a recent drilling campaign at the Mount Dore copper project, in north-west Queensland. Drilling of the discovery, dubbed the “Merlin”... 

Vatukoula improves output at Fiji gold mine  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2008 UK-based miner and explorer Vatukoula Gold on Monday stated that production at its mine, in Fiji, has continued to steadily ramp-up, with a 20% increase in production over the past two months. The company reported the operation’s first profit since it acquired the mine in April this year, with... 

Hillgrove updates South Australia copper/gold resource

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2008 ASX-listed Hillgrove Resources has updated its total resource at the Kanmantoo property, in South Australia, to 32,2-million tons, at 0,9% copper and 0,2 g/t of gold. This would place estimated resources at 292 200 t of copper and 191 100 oz of gold, showing an increase of 1 500 t of copper and... 

Anvil puts ‘uneconomic’ DRC copper mine on care-and-maintenance

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed minerals company Anvil Mining has begun the process of suspending concentrate production, postponing underground development work, and initiating a care-and-maintenance programme at its 90%-owned Dikulushi copper mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This was as a... 

Pepinnini confirms uranium mineralisation in North Queensland

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th December 2008 ASX-listed minerals producer Pepinnini Minerals has confirmed high-grade uranium and phosphate mineralisation within its Plain Creek prospect, in North Queensland. The company stated that exploration by previous explorers investigating the uranium potential within the prospecting area had... 

Exxaro bullish on 'contracyclical' mineral sands business

By: Martin Creamer     8th December 2008 Diversified miner Exxaro is bullish on the prospects for improved performance from its mineral-sands business, which generally performs contracyclically to most other mining activities, currently in steep decline. The results of Exxaro's titanium dioxide (TiO2) business in the first six months... 

First production under its belt, now Equinox eyes Lumwana expansions  

By: Liezel Hill     5th December 2008 “It's a tremendously exciting event in the life of Equinox ,” the copper-miner's president and CEO Craig Williams said in Toronto on Friday, as he played a video of the first concentrate entering the storage unit at the company's brand new Lumwana mine, in Zambia. TSX- and ASX-listed Equinox... 

Fortescue suspends iron-ore cost and freight shipping contracts

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th December 2008 ASX-listed metals producer Fortescue Metals has suspended all of its long-term cost and freight (CFR) shipping contracts, as a direct response to market conditions demanding greater free-on-board (FOB) sales. About two-thirds of Fortescue’s ore shipment to date, has been done through CFR contracts. 

Xstrata won't reopen Falcondo nickel mine

By: Liezel Hill     4th December 2008 The Falconbridge Dominicana (Falcondo) nickel mine and plant will not resume operations, and will be placed on care-and-maintenance, Xstrata Resources said on Thursday. Falcondo, in the Dominican Republic, has a capacity of 29 000 t/y of nickel in ferronickel. 

Freeport takes a pounding on cutbacks, dividend suspension

By: Liezel Hill     3rd December 2008 Shares in Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold dropped 17% on Wednesday, after the company said it would cut capital spending in half, reduce copper output and suspend its dividend until market conditions improve. Freeport is the world's second biggest copper miner, and the single... 

Australia’s Gleneagle takes stake in SA coal project

By: Chanel de Bruyn     3rd December 2008 Australian gold-miner Gleneagle Gold would acquire up to 70% of a 1,29-billion ton coal project located in the South African Waterberg coal field, in Limpopo province. The miner announced on Wednesday that it would acquire an initial 35% shareholding in Temo Coal Mining and Manupont 243 from... 

BHP Billiton cuts manganese ore, alloy production

By: Martin Creamer     3rd December 2008 Manganese ore and alloy production was being reduced in line with market weakness, BHP Billiton said on Wednesday. BHP Billiton said it expected to reduce manganese ore production by 21% and alloy production by 23% the 2009 financial year (FY).  

Surface-wave system promises to cut exploration costs, improve accuracy

By: Liezel Hill     2nd December 2008 Montreal-based Micromentis, which has developed a noninvasive system that enables explorers to build a detailed profile of geological structures before the first hole has been drilled, will start leading prospective customers through onsite demonstrations in the first quarter of next year. The... 

Lonmin dissolves Tanzanian JV with IMX

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd December 2008 ASX-listed resources company IMX Resources on Tuesday announced that its Mibango joint venture with the world’s third-largest platinum producer, Lonmin, would be dissolved. IMX would retain 100% interest in the Mibango tenements, located in Western Tanzania. 

Gold-miner Morning Star secures funding

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd December 2008 ASX-listed gold producer Morning Star has secured funds to further develop its fully owned Woods Point gold project, in Eastern Victoria. The company raised A$715 000 from a group of investors, through selling shares at 10c apiece. This was the first leg of the company’s current recapitalisation... 

Aflease acquires Mozambique gold concession

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd December 2008 South African gold miner Aflease Gold has acquired the 22 000-ha Tulo concession, in Mozambique, which CEO Neal Froneman formerly described as a "company maker" for the new Gold One. Aflease last month announced that it would merge with Australia's BMA Gold to form Gold One, an international... 

Paladin to make A$17,8m offer for Fusion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd December 2008 ASX- and TSX-listed uranium-miner Paladin intended to make an off-market scrip takeover offer for minerals exploration company Fusion Resources. The offer valued Australian explorer Fusion at about A$17,8-million, and Paladin stated that the offer would comprise one fully paid ordinary Paladin... 

Atlas Iron appoints Clifford as chairperson

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd December 2008 ASX-listed iron-ore producer Altas Iron has appointed Geoff Clifford as independent nonexecutive chairperson. Clifford has been acting as an independent nonexecutive director since 2007, and as chairperson of Altas’ audit and risk committee. 

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