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Australasia News

Sylvania pushes ahead with growth projects, reports lower profit

By: Chanel de Bruyn     29th April 2009 Aim- and ASX-listed platinum junior Sylvania Resources was satisfied that it had built a solid business with sustainable margins, MD Terry McConnachie reported on Wednesday, adding that the continued improvement and efficiency of its plants was core to its success. The company’s platinum,... 

Fortescue cuts FY iron-ore sales forecast by 15%

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2009 Australian iron-ore producer Fortescue has reduced its full year sales projection by 15% to 26-million tons, citing difficult operating conditions in the March quarter. “The adverse operating conditions over the March quarter will impact on the full year results, as Fortescue will not be able... 

Sundance raises $15,75m for Mbalam project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2009 Australia-based iron-ore company Sundance Resources has raised $15,75-million through a share purchase plan and placement to fund the development of a project in Cameroon. MD Don Lewis said that 2 996 shareholders had accepted the offer. 

Riversdale gets mining contract for Moz coal project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th April 2009 The Mozambican government has granted ASX-listed Riversdale Mining a mining contract for its Benga coal project, the company said on Wednesday. The mining contract established the particular terms that would govern the development and implementation of the Benga project, and covered all aspects... 

Coal-miner Exxaro entering power generation business

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2009 JSE-listed coal-mining major Exxaro had struck alliances with four large international coal-fired electricity producers as part of Eskom’s base-load programme for independent power producers (IPPs), Exxaro manager growth energy Thomas Garner told Mining Weekly Online on Tuesday. Garner said that... 

State support key to accelerated scale-up of carbon capture and storage

By: Terence Creamer     28th April 2009 Commercial-scale carbon-capture and storage (CCS) solutions would probably only be possible in the context of material government support, owing to the high degree of cost and reliability uncertainty that still surrounded the technology, new research indicates. Frost & Sullivan energy and power... 

Iron-ore trades on exchange for first time

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2009 Iron-ore has been traded on an exchange for the first time in the history of the commodity, London Dry Bulk CEO Clive Murray said on Tuesday. Murray said that the world’s first iron-ore trade was brokered on the Singapore Stock Exchange’s AsiaClear at 8:00. 

Gold One to be dual primary listed in mid-May – Aflease

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2009 The inward dual primary listing of Gold One in Johannesburg and Australia would occur by no later than mid-May 2009, Aflease Gold anticipated on Tuesday. Gold One’s JSE and ASX listings “by no later than mid-May” would be subject only to the fulfilment of the last remaining condition precedent –... 

Australia's EPA conditionally approves A$1,8bn iron-ore project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2009 The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of Western Australia has recommended the approval the A$1,8-billion Karara iron-ore project, paving the way for joint-venture (JV) partners Gindalbie Metals and AnSteel to start construction later this year. Gindalbie said that the EPA recommendation... 

Metallica Minerals raises stake in takeover target Queensland Ores

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th April 2009 ASX-listed Metallica Minerals has increased its stake in takeover target Queensland Ores, after the tungsten and molybdenum producer's largest shareholder, Talbot Group Holdings, accepted Metallica's offer. Metallica now holds a 10,36% interest in Queensland Ores, of which about 5,25% previously... 

Global nickel output to fall 9,3% this year – study group

By: Liezel Hill     27th April 2009 World production of refined primary nickel is expected to decline 9,3%, to 1,26-million tons in 2009, the International Nickel Study Group predicts. Last year, nickel production slid 2,1%, to 1,39-million tons, compared with 1,42-million tons in 2007. 

Mineral Deposits reports 'smooth' ramp up at Senegal gold mine

By: Liezel Hill     27th April 2009 Melbourne-based Mineral Deposits' Sabodala mine, which started up in March, has ramped up “smoothly” to full production levels, the firm reported on Monday. “No significant operational performance issues at either the process plant or power plant have been encountered,” the company said in a... 

Prefeasibility of new Pilbara iron-ore project by July

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th April 2009 ASX-listed Brockman Resources on Friday reported that the prefeasibility study (PFS) for its Marillana iron-ore project, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, was likely to be complete by July this year. In its quarterly report for the period ending March 31, Brockman stated that its... 

Low-cost surface operations closing high-cost ERPM gap – DRDGold 

By: Martin Creamer     24th April 2009 Low-cost gold production from surface material was starting to fill the gap left by the closure of the high-cost East Rand Proprietary Mines (ERPM) underground operations, DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius said on Friday. The company had R545-million in cash or cash equivalents and had maintained a... 

Explorer seeks to raise A$10m for Burkina Faso project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th April 2009 ASX-listed Gryphon Minerals said on Friday that it wouldraise A$10-million to advance exploration at its prospective Banfora gold project, in Burkina Faso. The company had agreed to place a total of 50-million fully paid ordinary shares, at 20 c a share, to institutional and sophisticated... 

Marengo claims to unearth new PNG copper prospect

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th April 2009 Perth-based Marengo Mining reports that it has discovered an extensive zone of copper mineralisation near its Yandera copper- molybdenum deposit in Papua New Guinea. The new prospect, which has been named Kombruku and which was discovered by recent field explorations about 4-km south-east of... 

BHP Billiton Energy Coal may close 182-person Witbank corporate office

By: Martin Creamer     24th April 2009 Energy coal miner BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa Limited (Becsa) might close its 182-person corporate office in Witbank in response to the rapid deterioration in the global market for energy coal, the company said on Friday. It said that the running costs of the Becsa central services... 

FerrAus gets right to mine in Aboriginal reserve

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th April 2009 ASX-listed FerrAus has been granted consent by the Western Australian government to mine for iron-ore at tenements located within the Jigalong Aboriginal Reserve. The consent to mine was granted following a recommendation and agreement of support for mining by the relevant indigenous stakeholder... 

Gulf acquires Uganda vermiculite project from Rio 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd April 2009 Australian minerals development company Gulf Resources has signed a sale and purchase agreement with diversified resources group Rio Tinto for the acquisition of the Namekara mining operation, in eastern Uganda. Namekara was considered one of the largest high-grade vermiculite mineral deposits... 

Liberty completes Queensland acquisition

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd April 2009 Perth-based Liberty Resources reported this week that it had completed the acquisition of Queensland tenements covering shallow and deep coal, potentially suitable for underground coal gasification (UCG). Liberty now owns 100% of tenement areas covering about 26 000 km2 in the Surat, Galilee,... 

Harmony Gold debt free by mid-May when it will have R1,5bn cash on hand

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2009 South African gold major Harmony Gold would have wiped its debt slate clean by mid-May, when it would have R1,5-billion in unencumbered cash, Harmony Gold interim financial director Frank Abbott said on Thursday. Abbott told Mining Weekly Online that company was already free of net debt. “But... 

Big upward revision in Moz coal project resource estimate

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd April 2009 ASX-listed Riversdale Mining has updated resource and reserve estimates for its Benga coal project, in Mozambique, to four-billion tons. This represented an increase of 90% over the previous resource announced in September last year. 

First energy coal from BHP Billiton’s 81%-complete Klipspruit

By: Martin Creamer     23rd April 2009 The first coal to run-of-mine stockpile has been achieved at South Africa’s 81 %-complete Klipspruit energy-coal project in Mpumalanga, BHP Billiton said on Thursday. On schedule and on budget, BHP Billiton added in its quarterly production report, were the accelerated construction activities at... 

Q1 inflow to gold ETFs was highest ever – World Gold Council

By: Liezel Hill     22nd April 2009 Investors bought a record 469 t of gold through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) during the first three months of this year, as ongoing risk aversion, uncertainty over consumer price outlook and an appetite for effective portfolio diversification supported supported investment demand for the yellow... 

TVI Pacific enters agreement to settle class-action claims

By: Liezel Hill     22nd April 2009 Calgary-based copper miner TVI Pacific has agreed to pay C$2,1-million to settle class-action claims against the company, as well as its directors and a former officer. “In entering into the settlement agreement, neither TVI nor any of the other defendants has made any admission of liability in... 

Freeport-McMoRan Q1 earnings weighed by lower copper price

By: Liezel Hill     22nd April 2009 Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold on Wednesday reported sharply lower net income of $43-million for the first quarter of this year, compared with $1,1-billion a year earlier, because of falls in the price of copper year-on-year. Group revenue more than halved, to $2,6-billion, from... 

New Gold says Q1 sales beat forecast

By: Liezel Hill     21st April 2009 Vancouver-based midtier gold-miner New Gold sold 55 397 oz of gold in the first quarter of this year, at a cash cost of $513/oz net of by-product sales, the firm reported on Tuesday. New Gold, which was formed last year from the three-way merger of juniors Metallica Resources, New Gold and Peak... 

Study group forecasts 345 000 t refined copper surplus in '09

By: Liezel Hill     21st April 2009 The global market for refined copper will likely show a surplus of at least 345 000 t of copper this year, compared with an estimated 250 000 t surplus in 2008, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said on Tuesday. For 2010, the group has forecast a surplus of 400 000 t. 

Hillgrove reports A$11,1m profit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st April 2009 ASX-listed exploration company Hillgrove Resources has recorded a net profit of A$11,1-million for the year ended January 2009. The profit increase reported by Hillgrove for the period was the company’s second profit in three years, and an exceptional outcome for an exploration and development... 

Pilbara tungsten project 80% larger than anticipated

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st April 2009 ASX-listed Hazelwood Resources has identified a significant maiden mineral resource estimate for the Big Hill tungsten deposit, in the Pilbara area of Western Australia. At a cut-off grade of 0,1% tungsten trioxide (WO3), a total mineral resource of 8,97-million tons, at 0,17% WO3 for about... 

Emmerson starts Tennant Creek drilling programme

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st April 2009 ASX-listed Emmerson Resources has started its 2009 drilling programme. The company said on Tuesday that reverse circulation drilling had now started at the Analytic One prospect, where at the conclusion of the last field season, in December 2008, the company reported an intersection of 24 m at... 

Bonaparte increases Namibian resource by 300%

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st April 2009 ASX-listed Bonaparte Diamond Mines has reported an estimated 300% increase in the indicated mineral resource estimate for the Sandpiper/Meob phosphate joint venture (JV) project area, off the coast of Namibia. The cumulative indicated mineral resource estimate for the three primary tenements of... 

Perseus increases Ayanfuri in-pit resource

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st April 2009 Australian gold explorer Perseus Mining has reported that the gold resources contained in its Ayanfuri project, in Ghana, has increased to between 3,4-million ounces and four-million ounces. This compared to the estimated 1,9-million ounces of gold in the previously announced feasibility study. 

Strong demand enables Anglo to up convertible bond offering to $1,7bn

By: Martin Creamer     21st April 2009 Strong demand has enabled diversified mining major Anglo American to increase its convertible-bond offering by $200-million to $1,7-billion from an original $1,5-billion. "In fact, there was in excess of $10-billion of demand," Anglo media relations head James Wyatt-Tilby revealed to Mining... 

Indonesian ruling opens way for exploration on previously quarantined project area

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th April 2009 ASX-listed minerals explorer Oropa Limited reported on Monday that an Indonesian High Court ruling had opened the way for the company to pursue work on the sensitive western portion Pungkut project in Sumatra. The decision went against a Forestry Minitries decree on a national park, which... 

Baptism of fire for Rio’s new SA chair as he nails his colours to Chinalco mast

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2009 It was a baptism of fire for Rio Tinto’s new South African-born chairperson, who on Monday nailed his colours to the Chinalco mast, amid intense investor questioning of the proposed $19,5-billion transaction that would give the Chinese company an 18% shareholding in Rio and enable the... 

Gold One to have 13Moz resources inventory, says Aflease

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th April 2009 JSE-listed Aflease Gold on Monday announced that its bondholders had approved the acquisition by ASX-listed Gold One International, previously known as BMA Gold, opening the way for the creation of a company with a resource base of over 13-million ounces of gold. The company also confirmed that... 

Conquest pulls trigger on Silver Hill feasibility study

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2009 ASX-listed Conquest Mining reported on Friday that it would proceed towards production at its Silver Hill gold/silver/copper prospect, in North Queensland, within the next two years. The commissioning of a definitive feasibility study had been approved after updated resource estimates improved... 

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