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Australasia News

Oz Minerals warns of lower profits as commodity prices fall

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th November 2008 The world’s second largest zinc producer, and Australia’s third largest diversified miner, Oz Minerals, on Wednesday warned that 2008’s profits would be lower-than-expected, because of the substantially lower commodity prices, the current market volatility, and the generally higher production... 

Queensland Ores suspends molybdenum operations at Wolfram camp

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2008 ASX-listed tungsten and molybdenum producer Queensland Ores on Tuesday announced that it had suspended operations at its Wolfram camp, in North Queensland, in order to conserve cash while some mining and metallurgical issues were addressed. The step had been further reinforced in light of a... 

BHP reactivates Western Australian uranium project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2008 Diversified mining giant BHP Billiton on Tuesday announced that it would reactivate its Yeelirrie uranium project, in Western Australia. In a letter to the State Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Norman Moore, the company indicated that it would first undertake a drilling programme to confirm the... 

Impact wants to boost Australian, African project pipeline

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th November 2008 ASX-listed uranium and gold exploration company, Impact Minerals, was taking advantage of the current market turmoil to review a number of advanced mineral projects in Australia, which could offer the potential for near-term production. Impact MD Dr Mike Jones said the company was taking prudent... 

Outlook for platinum market uncertain - Johnson Matthey

By: Christy van der Merwe     18th November 2008 Platinum refiner Johnson Matthey expects the price of platinum to range between $700/oz and $1 400/oz in the next six months, and said on Tuesday that the outlook for the market was more uncertain than it has been for many years. “The dramatic fall in the platinum price in the third quarter of... 

Bannerman secures A$10m loan facility, appoints new CEO

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2008 ASX- and TSX-listed uranium exploration and mine development company Bannerman Resources on Monday announced that it had secured a A$20-million convertible note facility from Resource Capital Fund, and that Len Jubber would take up the position of CEO. The company said that the funds would be... 

Gem Diamonds reviews projects, issues profit warning

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th November 2008 London-listed diamond producer Gem Diamonds warned on Monday that it might post a full-year loss, and that it was reassessing its operations amid the global credit crunch. The company has already halted at least two projects in Africa. 

Coal of Africa expects first sales from Mooiplaats mid-2009

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th November 2008 Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) on Monday reported that its Mooiplats project was developing on track for commissioning by March, with first sales set for the end of the first half of 2009. "I am pleased to report continued progress at the Mooiplaats coal project, largely in line with scheduled... 

Former Rio exec Mackenzie starts as BHP nonferrous chief

By: Mariaan Webb     17th November 2008 Andrew Mackenzie, a former Rio Tinto executive, has started as group executive and CE of nonferrous minerals at BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest diversified miner said on Monday. Mackenzie was previously CE of diamonds and industrial materials at Rio Tinto, which BHP Billiton has offered to buy. 

Effects of Chinese fiscal stimulation anticipated ‘sometime in 2009' - Albanese

By: Martin Creamer     14th November 2008 The effects of Chinese fiscal stimulation can be anticipated "sometime in 2009", says Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese. Albanese, who describes the current global financial turmoil as a "pause for breath", says that China is working with a set of macroeconomic tools that most other governments would... 

Redbank secures A$6m funding to develop Australian copper mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th November 2008 ASX-listed copper and gold miner Redbank Mines has secured a A$6-million funding package to underpin the company’s continued development of its copper project, in Australia’s Northern Territory. The funding would be provided in stages through an agreement with private investment firm, Crawley... 

Metallica buys stake in Queensland Gold & Minerals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th November 2008 ASX-listed Metallica Minerals has announced the acquisition of a 15% stake in Brisbane-based Queensland Gold & Minerals (QGM). Metallica, a Queensland-based company developing nickel and coal projects, would take an initial placement of 7 702 500 (15%) ordinary shares in QGM at a price of 0,75c... 

Shield says Mauritania gold exploration results show potential

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th November 2008 Perth-based Shield Mining has announced that the initial gold results from the 2008 to 2009 exploration programme at its Mauritania property had enhanced the continuity of the five main gold anomalies at its Tijirit project. The company plans to drill test the Tijirit prospects with a 5 000 m... 

Anvil halts Kinsevere plant construction as funds dry up

By: Liezel Hill     13th November 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed copper-miner Anvil Mining has suspended the fabrication and construction works for its Kinsevere Stage II solvent extraction-electrowinning plant, until the company arranges additional funding and global financial and commodity markets stabilise.  

IFM slashes output, defers projects to weather economic storm

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th November 2008 Ferrochrome producer International Ferro Metals (IFM) has cut its production by up to 40% and delayed some of its capital expenditure projects in what it calls a prudent and swift move to ensure that the company weathers the economic storm. "We intend to cut production and delay expansion plans... 

Former Indophil MD joins Intrepid Mines' board

11th November 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Intrepid Mines has appointed Alan Roberts as a director of the company, effective November 11. Roberts has held various positions with the Rio Tinto Group in Australia, South America, UK, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and is also a former MD of Indophil Resources.  

ArcelorMittal nominee appointed to CoAL board

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th November 2008 Coal of Africa, a coal development company operating in South Africa, has appointed Pierre Leonard as Indian steel giant ArcelorMittal’s nominee nonexecutive director. The appointment, which is effective immediately, comes as ArcelorMittal bought a 16% stake in CoAL in April, and agreed to buy... 

OZ Minerals reviews spending

By: Liezel Hill     10th November 2008 World-number-two zinc-miner OZ Minerals is reviewing all capital and operational expenditures, in response to “low and volatile” commodity prices, turbulent currency exchange rates and tight credit markets, the firm said on Monday. “The review will be ongoing and will focus on carefully managing... 

Iron-ore-miners cut output amid demand slowdown

By: Chanel de Bruyn     10th November 2008 Mining group Rio Tinto will cut its Australian iron-ore production by about 10%, CE Tom Albanese announced on Monday. The group said in a statement to shareholders that this was owing to a reduction in demand from its customers and reduced shipments. 

Gindalbie accepts Ansteel offer, completes iron-ore project funding

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th November 2008 ASX-listed iron-ore producer Gindalbie has accepted an offer by its joint-venture (JV) partner in the Karara iron-ore project, Anshan Iron & Steel (Ansteel), to fund its share of the equity contribution towards the estimated AU$1,8-billion project development cost. This would be done through a... 

Harmony Gold looks forward to being debt free

By: Martin Creamer     7th November 2008 South Africa’s Harmony Gold is hankering for the days when it will be free of debt. Harmony CEO foresees that happening by the middle of next year. “We’ll be a different company,” he says, able to contemplate not only further organic growth, but also acquisitive growth. 

Nautilus marks another milestone towards permitting for seafloor mining project

By: Liezel Hill     6th November 2008 The government of Papua New Guinea has accepted an environmental impact statement (EIS) submitted by TSX- and Aim-listed Nautilus Minerals, for the company's Solwara 1 seafloor mining project, off the nation's coast. The acceptance of the document means that it complies with the submission... 

Aquarius appoints Savannah’s Mankazana to board

By: Esmarie Iannucci     6th November 2008 ASX- and JSE-listed platinum producer Aquarius Platinum has appointed Zwelakhe Mankazana as nonexecutive director, it said on Thursday. The appointment would be effective immediately. 

Gold extends losses on dollar, eyes rate cut, data

By: Reuters     6th November 2008 Gold extended a 2-percent drop in New York on Thursday, erasing some of this week's gains, as the US dollar rose against the euro ahead of an expected rate cut and reduced bullion's appeal as an alternative investment. Dealers awaited the release of US nonf-farm payrolls data on Friday, which... 

Fraser Institute's annual mining survey under way

By: Liezel Hill     4th November 2008 The Fraser Institute, a Canada-based independent research organisation, is urging mining industry executives to participate in this year's annual survey of mining companies. The institute conducts a yearly survey of mining and exploration companies to assess how mineral endowments and public... 

Biodiversity will be future mining industry issue – Rio Tinto CEO

By: Martin Creamer     3rd November 2008 Biodiversity was poised to become the future emerging issue of the global mining industry, Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese said on Monday. Albanese told journalists on a visit to Rio Tinto’s new QMM mineral sands project in Madagascar that mining companies were encountering a new elevated set of... 

Nautilus awards more contracts

By: Liezel Hill     3rd November 2008 Nautilus Minerals, the company that plans to mine the ocean bed for copper, gold, zinc and silver, has awarded three key contracts for mining equipment, the firm announced on Monday. Oil and gas suppliers based in Houston, Texas, have been awarded fixed-price contracts to supply equipment which... 

'Loads and loads' of gold acquisition opportunities – Harmony CEO

By: Martin Creamer     31st October 2008 There were currently ‘loads and loads’ of gold-company acquisition opportunities, which would be considered once debt levels were lowered, Harmony Gold CEO Graham Briggs said on Friday. Briggs said that Harmony had been looking at assets on which to do due diligence studies in the past six... 

Barrick eyes acquisition prospects amid 'amazing' share declines

By: Liezel Hill     30th October 2008 Barrick Gold, the world's biggest gold-miner, is looking at opportunities to buy rivals or their assets cheaply, after the financial crisis and fears over weakening demand for commodities led to “amazing” declines in valuations, CFO Jamie Sokalsky said on Thursday. “We continue to look at just... 

Firestone Energy lists on JSE

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     30th October 2008 ASX-listed explorer Firestone Energy’s secondary listing on the JSE would allow the Australian company to use its shares for the acquisition of South African assets, it said on Thursday. Firestone Energy, which plans to develop two Limpopo coal projects in partnership with black-empowered Sekoko... 

Gold production 'in crisis' – AngloGold Ashanti CEO  

By: Martin Creamer     30th October 2008 Gold production was “in crisis” and a gold price of $900-to-$1 000/oz was needed to arrest the downward trend, AngloGoldAshanti CEO Mark Cutifani said on Thursday. Cutifani said that the world had seen a decline in the production of gold across the globe in the last seven years, and that the... 

Barrick earnings drop 26% on impairment

By: Liezel Hill     30th October 2008 Barrick Gold, the world's largest bullion producer, posted third quarter net income of $254-million, 26% lower than a year ago, after the company wrote down its interest in LSE-listed Highland Gold. Before one-time items, net income was $351-million, compared with $354-million a year earlier. 

Tawana makes new board appointment

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th October 2008 JSE-listed Tawana Resources has announced the appointment of Nonkqubela Mazwai to the board of directors. Mazwai is one of the principal shareholders of Tawana’s black economic-empowerment partner Seven Falls Trading 155, and was previously employed at the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME). 

Newmont, AngloGold hike Boddington cost again

By: Liezel Hill     29th October 2008 The world's second and third-biggest gold producers by volume, AngloGold Ashanti and Newmont Mining, have increased the capital cost estimates for their Boddington project, in Australia, for the second time this year. Denver-based Newmont now expects its 66,67% share of project costs to be... 

Newmont hopes to turn market mayhem to advantage

By: Liezel Hill     29th October 2008 Denver-based gold major Newmont Mining may delay some projects because of turbulence in financial and commodities markets, but the company also sees opportunities to benefit from the current environment, president and CEO Richard O'Brien said on Wednesday. Gold equity valuations have shrunk... 

Rio Tinto chairperson Paul Skinner will step down end-'09

By: Liezel Hill     29th October 2008 Diversified-miner Rio Tinto will begin a search for a new chairperson, after Diversified-miner Rio Tinto has begun a search for a new chairperson, after Paul Skinner indicated that he will step down after his current term ends in December next year.  

Gold Fields sees higher quarterly output, eyes acquisitions

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th October 2008 JSE-listed gold producer Gold Fields was likely to reach its short-term production target of one-million ounces in the March quarter, CEO Nick Holland said on Wednesday. The company, Africa’s second-largest gold producer, produced 798 000 oz in the September quarter, which was down 7% on the... 

Newmont Q3 earnings fall on lower sales, higher costs

By: Liezel Hill     29th October 2008 Denver-based Newmont Mining posted a 51% decline in net income for the third quarter, to $196-million, after copper and gold sales missed expectations and costs rose. Newmont sold 1,28-million ounces of gold during the quarter, at an average cost of $480/oz, compared with sales of 1,33-million... 

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