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Australasia News

Ampella to raise A$2,7m for Burkina Faso project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2009 ASX-listed Ampella Mining said on Friday that it had arranged the placement of 15-million new shares, at 18 c a share, to raise a total of A$2,7-million. Settlement of the placement and the allotment of shares would be completed by April 24, and followed on from a one-for-two rights issue... 

Mapungubwe emerges as new theatre in tussle between mining and ecotourism 

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th April 2009 The consistently contentious question of whether or not mining, ecotourism and agriculture can co-exist, was once again highlighted during the public consultation process for Coal of Africa Limited’s (CoAL’s) Vele Colliery, near the Mapungubwe World Heritage landscape in Limpopo. The... 

Global debt markets appear to be easing – analysts

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2009 Global debt markets appear to be easing, indicated by the progressively declining capital-raising coupon rates on offer from mining majors BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Rio Tinto. Nedcor Securities Johann Pretorius sees Anglo’s 4%-range coupon rate for its $1,5-billion convertible bond issue... 

Bonaparte likely to receive second takeover offer

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2009 ASX-listed Bonaparte Diamonds on Friday advised shareholders that Union Resources would lodged a takeover bid for the company in the coming week. Union had advised that the proposed bid would be by way of an all-scrip offer, and would be subject to certain conditions, including the completion of... 

Iluka may sell stake in mineral-sands producer

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th April 2009 ASX-listed Iluka Resources has confirmed receipt of a takeover offer from Unimin Australia for all the company’s shares in mineral sands producer Consolidated Rutile (CRL) for $0,41 a share. The offer would increase to $0,45 a share should Unimin received sufficient acceptance to hold a relevant... 

Another Chinese company makes Oz inroads

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th April 2009 Australian speciality metals explorer Arafura Resources of Friday sealed a $24-million equity investment agreement with Jiangsu Eastern China Non-Ferrous Metals Investment Holding. The deal would see the East China Exploration and Development Bureau subsidiary taking a 25% interest in Arafura. 

Iluka's revenue tumbles on waning demand

By: Liezel Hill     16th April 2009 Iluka Resources, the world's biggest producer of zircon, recorded just A$44,5-million revenue from its mineral sands operations in the first three months of this year, compared with A$276,8-million in the previous quarter, after demand decreased and the firm curtailed some output. A... 

Ivanhoe, Emmerson enter gold-copper alliance

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th April 2009 ASX-listed Emmerson Resources has entered into a binding agreement with Ivanhoe Australia to form an exploration farm-in and joint-venture (JV) to fast track the discovery of deposits at Emmerson’s Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory. A number of prospective gold-copper targets had already... 

Aussie miner interrogates Sierra Leone iron-ore tailings prospect

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th April 2009 Australian resources company Cape Lambert Iron Ore reported on Thursday that it had started an air core drilling campaign of the historical iron-ore tailings at the Marampa project, in Sierra Leone. The tailings resource estimate would likely be completed later this year. 

Anglo raises $1,5bn through bond issue

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2009 Global mining giant Anglo American announced fresh details on Thursday relating to its intention to offer $1,5-billion in convertible bonds, which it said would strengthen its balance sheet, diversify its source of funding, and lengthen its debt maturity profile. The company also indicated that... 

Peabody Energy trims more output to match demand

By: Liezel Hill     15th April 2009 Peabody Energy, the biggest coal producer in the US, will reduce production levels again, both at home and in Australia, in response to “sluggish” demand for coal from steelmakers and power utilities. The production cuts are necessary to adjust to lower demand and keep inventories at acceptable... 

Most commodity prices appear to have stabilised – Anglo

By: Martin Creamer     15th April 2009 The prices of most commodities appeared to have stabilised, Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll said on Wednesday. Carroll told the annual general meeting (AGM) in London that there were even signs of some improvement, most notably in the copper price that had increased by more than 50% from its... 

Anglo should back off Pebble if it damages fisheries – Moody-Stuart 

By: Martin Creamer     15th April 2009 Mining major Anglo American should not build the proposed copper-gold Pebble mine if it could not be built in a way that avoided damage to Alaska’s fisheries, wildlife and livelihoods, Anglo American chairperson Sir Mark Moody-Stuart said on Wednesday. Moody-Stuart’s comments to the annual... 

Coal & Allied temporarily shuts NSW coal facility

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th April 2009 Australian coal producer Coal & Allied has reported it would shut down the Mount Thorley Warkworth North coal preparation plant, in New South Wales, on a temporary basis. The decision was taken after the company conducted an organisational review during the first quarter of 2009, which ended in... 

Output of 2,5mt now the target at Frances Creek

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th April 2009 Australian iron-ore miner Territory Resources reported on Wednesday that its Frances Creek mine, in the Northern Territory, reached “steady state” production during March, and that it was now seeking to increase output beyond initial estimates. The company said in a statement that the total... 

Brockman provides Marillana resource update

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th April 2009 ASX-listed exploration and development company Brockman Resources has reported an upgrade to the indicated mineral resource for its Marillana iron-ore project, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The company said in a statement that the indicated mineral resource had been increased to... 

Chinese steel demand recovery expected second-half 2009 – Rio Tinto

By: Martin Creamer     15th April 2009 Diversified mining major Rio Tinto said on Wednesday that it expected Chinese demand for steel to recover in the second-half of 2009. Recording low first-quarter (Q1) production and continuing to pin hopes on delivering the $19,5-billion Chinalco transaction, Rio CE Tom Albanese added that... 

Rio Tinto prices $3,5bn of 'business as usual' bonds

By: Liezel Hill     14th April 2009 Diversified mining giant Rio Tinto has priced $2-billion of five-year, and $1,5-billion of ten-year Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) registered securities, the company said on Tuesday. The bonds were issued by Rio Tinto Finance (USA), with payment of principal and interest fully guaranteed... 

Go ahead given for Duketon gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th April 2009 ASX-listed Regis Resources has formally decided to proceed with the $125,3-million Duketon gold project, in Western Australia, after receiving results from a definitive bankable feasibility study. The project would be developed into a 145 000 oz/y mine, with construction to start in the third... 

Avoca makes $49m bid for Dioro

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th April 2009 Australian gold producer Avoca Resources has announced a $49-million takeover offer for ASX-listed Dioro Exploration. Under the offer, Avoca would exchange one share for every 2,82 Dioro shares, which valued Dioro shares at $0,53 a share.  

Oz Minerals seals new $1,2bn deal with Minmetals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th April 2009 Struggling diversified miner Oz Minerals on Tuesday stated that it has signed a sales implementation agreement with China’s Minmetal’s for its assets, excluding Prominent Hill and Martabe, for an estimated $1,2-billion. “We are pleased that we have now agreed binding terms with Minmetals. 

Australian updates Kalplats resources estimate

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th April 2009 Perth-based Platinum Australia has updated its estimated mineral resource at the Kalahari platinum (Kalplats) project, in the North West province of South Africa, to 26,2-million tons, at 2,04 g/t of platinum, palladium, and gold. The updated mineral resource estimate has been completed for the... 

Jewellers join Alaskan Pebble project fight on eve of Anglo AGM

By: Martin Creamer     14th April 2009 Alaskan opposition to Anglo American’s Pebble project intensified on Tuesday when six UK jewellers joined the fray in London on the eve of Anglo’s April 15 annual general meeting (AGM), saying “no to dirty gold”. Simultaneously, Anglo's Pebble project partner, Northern Dynasty Minerals of... 

Vedanta’s aluminium output, iron-ore shipments set new records

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th April 2009 Diversified miner Vedanta Resources’ aluminium production rose to a record 134 000 t in the March quarter, and iron-ore shipments reached a new high at 5,01-million. The India-focused group reported on Thursday that aluminium production had increased by 31,4% over the corresponding period in... 

Mount Burgess appoints consultant to boost diamond expertise

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th April 2009 Perth-based Mount Burgess Mining has appointed Manfred Marx as a consultant to add further geological expertise to the company’s diamond exploration efforts in Namibia and Botswana. Marx has 40 years of unbroken experience in the diamond exploration and mining industry, and has been employed by,... 

Global output of refined cobalt rose 4,1% last year

By: Liezel Hill     8th April 2009 Big increases from China helped push global production of refined cobalt up by 4,1% last year, despite declines in production levels from most other producers, according to figures from the Cobalt Development Institute (CDI). The institute estimates that the total cobalt supply in 2008 rose to... 

Norton develops underground gold mine in Western Australia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th April 2009 Australian gold-miner Norton Gold Fields has begun development of the Homestead underground gold mine at its Paddington project, in Western Australia. The underground mine was expected to start production by December.  

BHP resumes work at Nelson Point after accident

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th April 2009 Diversified mining giant BHP Billiton on Tuesday said that work had resumed at both its yards on Finucane Island and Nelson Point in Western Australia, after the miner suspended operations to reiterate safety procedures on site. The suspension of operations came shortly after an incident on the... 

Prosperity’s Oz iron-ore assets up for sale to focus on Indonesia projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th April 2009 ASX-listed explorer Prosperity Resources on Tuesday stated that it would shift its focus to projects in Indonesia, with specific attention paid to gold, silver, copper, and nickel. As such, the company was seeking expressions of interest for the purchase of its iron-ore assets in Western... 

Sword of Damocles lifted – Tom Dale on lower Honeywell settlement

By: Martin Creamer     8th April 2009 “The Sword of Damocles has gone,” Sallies CEO Tom Dale told Mining Weekly Online as the news broke on Wednesday of the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration meting out a far lesser penalty payment in the Honeywell case than might have been. The international... 

Bonaparte says Minemakers offer reasonable

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th April 2009 The independent directors of ASX-listed Bonaparte on Tuesday advised its shareholders to accept the proposed takeover offer by exploration company Minemakers. Bonaparte said in a statement on Tuesday that the offer has been deemed fair and reasonable, and that an independent expert had valued... 

Former Anglo execs join Firestone’s board

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th April 2009 ASX- and JSE-listed Firestone Energy has appointed John Dreyer and John Wallington, both former executives from the Anglo group, to its board as nonexecutive directors, effective immediately. Firestone stated on Tuesday that the appointment significantly strengthened its board in the areas of... 

New highs likely, but it's a bumpy ride ahead for gold

By: Liezel Hill     7th April 2009 The price of gold could scale a new record later this year or early in 2010, fuelled by investment demand, but it is not all sunny skies ahead for the yellow metal, according to respected metals consultancy GFMS. Gold has already experienced a good deal of volatility in 2009 – it started the... 

Cape Lambert starts air-core drilling at Sierra Leone iron-ore project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th April 2009 ASX- and Aim-listed Cape Lambert Iron Ore on Tuesday stated that the air core drilling at its Marampa iron-ore project, in Sierra Leone, had started. In October, Cape Lambert formalised an agreement with Aim-listed African Minerals for a 30% investment in the Marampa project.  

Australia’s Iluka cuts zircon, rutile output

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th April 2009 The world’s largest zircon producer, Iluka Resources, has unveiled plans to adjust its production base in response to the weak demand for its major products. Iluka MD David Robb said that market indications suggested that inventories have now been substantially drawn down, and that customer... 

Rio sheds 700 jobs as it cuts bauxite output, slows refinery expansion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th April 2009 Diversified giant Rio Tinto on Tuesday announced that it would slow down the construction of the Yarwun alumina refinery expansion, in Gladstone Australia, and curtail yearly bauxite production at its Weipa mine, in Queensland. Bauxite output at the mine would be reduced to 15-million tons a... 

Now Pamodzi Gold’s fundless judicial management on knife edge 

By: Martin Creamer     7th April 2009 The judicial management of Pamodzi Gold’s Free State and East Rand operations may be short-lived. Joint provisional liquidator and judicial manager Enver Motala told Mining Weekly Online on Tuesday that, if there were no funds in the company’s account on Wednesday, he would be applying to the... 

Equinox seeks to raise C$160m

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th April 2009 TSX- and ASX-listed Equinox Minerals plans to raise C$160,02-million by selling shares, the firm announced on Tuesday. A syndicate of underwriters led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and Goldman Sachs Canada has agreed to buy 88,9-million Equinox shares, at C$1,80 each.  

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