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Australasia News

Alaskans plan Anglo AGM clash, Anglo says shareholder questions welcome

By: Martin Creamer     7th April 2009 A delegation of Alaskans would confront mining major Anglo American at its April 15 annual general meeting (AGM) in London over concerns about the Pebble copper mine project in southwest Alaska, Resource Media said in media release on Tuesday. Anglo American media relations head in Johannesburg... 

BHP may be raising acquisition cash, Anglo may be covering liquidity shortfall – analysts

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2009 While BHP Billiton may be raising cash by way of a bond for a potential acquisition, Anglo American may be doing so to cover a potential liquidity shortfall, say mining analysts. The analysts point out that BHP Billiton is offering to pay considerably less for the €2 250-million euro bond it is... 

‘We believe the ferrochrome price has bottomed’ – Merafe

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2009 “We believe that the ferrochrome price has bottomed,” Merafe Resources CEO Steve Phiri told Mining Weekly Online on Monday, after the European benchmark price had settled 13% down at 69 c US/lb. “The price can only go up from here,” Phiri said, revealing that the second-quarter (Q2)... 

Paladin reports second fatality after Kayelekera flash fire

By: Mariaan Webb     6th April 2009 Uranium producer Paladin reported on Monday that a second contract worker, injured at its Kayelekera project in Malawi last month, had died. The worker had died in a hospital in Johannesburg on Friday, the company stated. On March 20, Paladin reported the death of the first contract worker. 

Squabble brews between Griffin, Ivernia

By: Liezel Hill     3rd April 2009 Toronto-based Iverna on Friday assured shareholders that it plans to respond “in detail” to statements by former suitor Griffin Mining, which said earlier in the day that it was withdrawing a cash-based offer to buy Ivernia. Last week, Ivernia agreed to amend the terms of some secured... 

Chalice makes offer for Sub-Sahara Resources

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd April 2009 Exploration and development company Chalise Gold has proposed a merger with Australian junior Sub-Sahara Resources as part of a strategy to consolidate the ownership and fund the continued development of the emerging 1,04-million ounce Zara gold project, in northern Eritrea. The proposed merger,... 

Central Asia Resources seeks buyer for expanded Kazakhstan gold prospect

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd April 2009 ASX-listed Central Asia Resources on Friday stated that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has granted an area extension at its Kengir gold prospect. The area increase of 1,75 km2 represented an almost 100% increase in the total license area. 

Australian explorer terminates deal to earn stake in Colombia gold project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd April 2009 ASX-listed explorer Windy Knob Resources said an agreement in which it would have earned it a 65% stake in the Titiribi gold project, in northern Colombia, had been terminated. Windy Knob Resources had the right, but not the obligation, to earn the stake by spending $4,5-million by May 6, 2009. 

Anglo American prices $2bn bond offering

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd April 2009 Mining giant Anglo American has priced a two tranche bond offering made to qualified institutional buyers in the US and investors outside the US. The offering would comprise of $1, 25-billion 9,375% senior notes, due in 2014, and $750-million 9,375% senior notes due in 2019. 

AngloGold production slips below guidance, impacts unit costs

By: Martin Creamer     2nd April 2009 Gold major AngloGold Ashanti expected its first-quarter production to be 2,5% below guidance and impact its unit costs, the company said in a market update on Thursday. AngloGold said that it expected first-quarter production of 1,1 million ounces, which was below previous guidance of 1,13... 

Australian gold sector can expect better 2009 – Hartleys

2nd April 2009 The Australian gold sector can expect a recovery in 2009 as it shakes off negative impacts that have weighed on the sector in recent years despite the metal’s rising price. West Australian-based financial services firm Hartley’s lead director corporate finance Grey Egerton-Warburton said on... 

South Australia aims to process mining leases in 6 months

2nd April 2009 South Australia’s mining authorities have set a goal of granting mining licences within six months of submission, as the State seeks to maintain and protect its resources investment against increasingly competing government-backed exploration incentives emerging in Western Australia and... 

Arbitration panel gives Newmont six months to sell Indonesia mine stakes

By: Liezel Hill     1st April 2009 An international arbitration panel has ruled that the Indonesian government may not terminate the contract of work with Newmont mining, for the Batu Hijau copper gold mine in the country. But, in a ruling on Tuesday, the panel also said that Newmont and its partner in the mine, a subsidiary of... 

Metallica makes off-market takeover bid for Queensland Ores

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st April 2009 ASX-listed Metallica Minerals has announced its intention to combine its operations and assets with mineral resources company Queensland Ores, by making an off-market takeover bid for all of its shares. Metallica was offering one share for every 22 Queensland Ores shares. 

SA mineral-law claimants stick to their ‘expropriation’ guns 

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2009 The South African mineral-law claimants, who took their grievances to a world body, said on Wednesday that they remained “fully confident” in the strength of their “expropriation claims” against the South African government. Responding to Tuesday’s South African government media release on the... 

Aflease Gold opts for bondholder ‘irrevocables’, will 'easily' raise final R30m

By: Martin Creamer     1st April 2009 Irrevocable support for the Gold One International transaction was being successfully secured from bondholders in North America and Europe and no hitches were expected in the raising of the final R30-million for the completion of the Modder East gold project, Aflease Gold CEO Neal Froneman told... 

Gold may be outperformed by other commodities – economist  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2009 The perception that a retreat to gold was a sound value decision and a safe haven against commodity and equity market collapses globally, has been questioned by a senior bank economist. Addressing the first day of the Paydirt 2009 Australian Gold Conference, held in Perth, Westpac Economic... 

Firestone lifts Waterberg resource with second Sekoko Coal agreement

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st April 2009 ASX- and JSE-listed Firestone Energy has added to its ground holding in South Africa’s Waterberg coalfield, by signing a second joint-venture (JV) agreement with coal producer Sekoko Coal. The transaction would deliver an interest in four additional farms, which have a joint ore reserves... 

Gem Diamonds plans to raise £75m to repay debt

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st April 2009 LSE-listed diamond-mining company Gem Diamonds planned to raise about £75-million ($107-million) through a share placement to repay certain debt, it announced on Wednesday. The miner required additional funds to meet the obligations related to its acquisition of Kimberley Diamonds in 2007, on... 

Cheap capital driving China’s new crown as number-one gold producer

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2009 Increasing access by foreign entities to cheap Sino capital and accelerated safety and environmental regimes more in line with world best-practice will continue to drive China’s transition into the world’s newest and largest gold producer, said Australia-based Sino Gold. Sino Gold, which... 

Navigator expects gold from Leonora project in October 2010

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2009 The Leonora gold project in Western Australia was expected to be in production by October next year, stated owner Navigator Resources. Addressing the first day of the Paydirt 2009 Australian Gold Conference, Navigator MD Tom Sanders said capital costs of the mine were still being determined, but... 

Gold Fields’ 4Moz target on track, says St Ives turned the corner

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st April 2009 South African gold producer Gold Fields is on track to restore annual production to four-million ounces by year-end, it stated on Wednesday at a conference in Australia. Vice-president of exploration and business development Tommy McKeith said that since 2005, gold prices had trended upwards,... 

Western Australia's gold output almost halved in last 10 years – Minister

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st April 2009 Gold production in Western Australia has fallen almost 50% over the past decade, with a 16% reduction in gold production during 2008. However, Western Australia Mines Minister Norman Moore stated on Wednesday that while gold production in Australia had fallen to its lowest level in 20 years, the... 

Tawana in discussions with potential investors

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st April 2009 Australian exploration company Tawana Resources was holding numerous discussions with potential investors to recapitalise the company, the ASX- and JSE-listed firm said on Wednesday. Chairperson Neil Barrie stated in the financial report for the year ended December 2008, that the extreme turmoil... 

World body gives miners 2 months to see if SA mineral laws equal expropriation

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st March 2009 The South African Government has agreed to a two-month stay of an international arbitration in which Italian granite miners claim that their mineral rights are being expropriated by South Africa's minerals legislation. The South African government said in a media release on Tuesday that the... 

Pallinghurst's platinum 'glass only half-full' – CEO

By: Martin Creamer     31st March 2009 JSE-listed Pallinghurst Resources sees its “glass as being only half-full” in platinum, where it is already the controlling shareholder in emerging platinum producer Platmin, which is said to be the lowest-cost entry point into platinum through a listed entity. Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen... 

Equinox lenders agree to restructure debt

By: Liezel Hill     30th March 2009 TSX- and ASX-listed Equinox Minerals, which started up its flagship Lumwana copper mine, in Zambia, last year, has renegotiated the terms of its credit facility so that debt payments over the next few years are more evenly spread out. Equinox will now only need to pay $138,4-million this year,... 

Gold Fields shares sell like hot cakes, Mvela halves debt

By: Martin Creamer     30th March 2009 Eleven million Gold Fields’ gold shares have sold like hot cakes, halving the debt obligation of Tokyo Sexwale’s Mvela Resources. Mvela, which received 50-million Gold Fields shares on March 17, still has 39-million shares and another 11 months in which to sell them. 

Australian firm to start drilling at Namibian uranium project in April

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th March 2009 ASX-listed uranium company West Australian Metals would start a diamond-drilling programme at the Marenica uranium project, in Namibia, in which it owned an 80% stake, on April 1. The 1 500-m drilling programme would provide information for geotechnical, mineralogical and metallurgical testwork... 

Vale to fund exploration at Rubicon’s Western Australia project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th March 2009 Brazilian miner Vale’s Australian subsidiary, Vale Australia, has agreed to fund the next stage of exploration at ASX-listed Rubicon’s Warburton iron oxide/copper/gold project, in Western Australia. Following the completion of the evaluation stage of exploration, subject to the evaluation and... 

Gold Fields set to lift production by 4%, cash by 13%

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2009 JSE-listed gold major Gold Fields said on Friday that it was poised to increase its production by 4% and cash by 13% in the third quarter of its financial year. Giving guidance for Q3 F2009, the company said that eight of its nine operations were set to lift gold output, with a 25% better output... 

South Africa should set out to dominate in resources – Clem Sunter 

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2009 South Africa should set out to dominate in resources as the country remained “very resource rich” despite the decline in gold and diamond production, renowned scenario planner Clem Sunter said on Friday. Sunter, who served in mining for more than 40 years with diversified major Anglo American,... 

Aflease sees loss narrowing after cutting back on exploration

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th March 2009 JSE-listed gold company Aflease Gold expected to narrow its loss a share of the year ended December 31, 2008, the company announced on Friday. The company said its basic loss a share for the year would be between 37,8% and 57,82% less than the basic loss a share it had recorded the year before. 

Aquarius inks implementation deal with takeover target Ridge

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th March 2009 Midtier platinum-miner Aquarius Platinum and its takeover target Ridge Mining on Friday announced in a joint statement to shareholders that they had signed an implementation agreement, following which Aquarius would make an all-share offer for Ridge Mining. Aquarius on Thursday said it would... 

AngloGold provides R10m for Pamodzi wages, begins technical study 

By: Martin Creamer     27th March 2009 Gold major AngloGold Ashanti on Friday agreed to provide R10-million for wages at Pamodzi Gold’s provisionally liquidated Orkney gold mine and simultaneously began a five-day technical study into the impact of a possible closure of the Orkney mine. AngloGold Ashanti corporate affairs manager... 

Gold could hold above $1 000/oz for 'extended periods'

By: Liezel Hill     26th March 2009 The gold price is expected to continue to trade with a high level of volatility in the next six months, and could top the psychologically four-digit market for “extended” periods of time this year, Australian equity researcher Resource Capital Research suggested in a report this week. “The... 

Illuka idles rutile kiln early

By: Liezel Hill     26th March 2009 Iluka Resources, the world's biggest producer of zircon, has decided to idle one of its four synthetic rutile kilns, in Western Australia, earlier than planned. Synthetic rutile kiln four will now be idled in April, rather than mid-year as previously announced. The decision is part of ongoing... 

Anglo ducks Trahar’s attack on Carroll, analyst says Anglo no longer ‘blue chip’ 

By: Martin Creamer     26th March 2009 The London office of diversified miner Anglo American on Thursday declined to comment on former Anglo CEO Tony Trahar’s vilification of current CEO Cynthia Carroll, over her passing of the final 2008 dividend – but an analyst charged that Anglo had ceased to be “blue-chip” as a result. Anglo... 

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