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Australasia News

WCP withdraws from Queensland phosphate project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     23rd March 2009 Australian mineral explorer WCP Resources has withdrawn from the Sherrin Creek phosphate project, in north-western Queensland, as the company continued the evaluation of its projects. In June, WCP entered into an agreement with Superior Uranium, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Deep... 

Court grants wider powers to Pamodzi Gold’s Orkney liquidators

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2009 The Pretoria High Court on Monday granted wider powers to the three provisional liquidators of Pamodzi Gold’s Orkney gold mine to allow the operation to continue to trade and to pay wages to 3 000 workers. Provisional liquidator Enver Motala, who is acting together with who is acting together... 

Paladin says contractor died after this week’s Kayelekera flash fire

By: Mariaan Webb     20th March 2009 Uranium producer Paladin reported on Friday that one off the three contract workers injured at its Kayelekera project earlier in the week, had died. Three subcontractors were injured in a flash fire at the Malawi construction site when solvent cleaning fluid used in a steel tank was ignited by... 

Western Australia to develop A$4bn rail, port project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th March 2009 Western Australia on Friday signed a development agreement with Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) to develop a new A$4-billion deepwater port and a new, open-access railway. Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said in a statement that the proposed development could attract major new resources... 

BHP plans $3,25bn US bond

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th March 2009 Diversified mining giant BHP Billiton on Thursday stated it aimed to raise an estimated $3,25-billion by issuing bonds. The miner said that it has priced a two tranche global bond under its debt shelf registration statement, which has been previously filed with the US Securities and Exchange... 

New Senegal gold mine starts production

By: Mariaan Webb     19th March 2009 Australian-miner Mineral Deposits Limited (MDL) has started gold production at its Sabodala plant, in Senegal, this week, with the pouring of the first gold dore bars, the firm announced on Thursday. In just under four years, MDL progressed from the initial drill hole to first production. The... 

Newmont more interested in producing assets as potential targets

By: Liezel Hill     18th March 2009 Denver-based gold major Newmont Mining continues to look with interest at potential acquisitions, but is more likely to be lured by a mine already – or nearly – in production, than earlier-stage exploration and development assets, CEO Richard O'Brien said on Wednesday. Earlier this year the firm... 

Exploration junior Dwyka flies in to fill nickel gap, promote Swazi gold project

By: Martin Creamer     18th March 2009 London and Australian-listed exploration company Dwyka Resources flew into Johannesburg on Wednesday to hold talks with fund managers interested in filling BHP Billiton’s shoes in what appears to be a promising nickel project in Burundi – and, at the same time, provided an update of its gold... 

Newmont expects ruling on Indonesia divestiture by mid-year

By: Liezel Hill     18th March 2009 US senior gold producer Newmont Mining expects that an arbitration committee will announce a decision during the first half of the year on the details of the firm's obligation to sell stakes in its Batu Hijau copper/gold mine, in Indonesia, to local investors. Newmont took the matter to... 

Platinum Australia treating higher-grade stockpiles at Smokey Hill

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th March 2009 Mining exploration company Platinum Australia has started shipping concentrates from its Smokey Hills platinum project, in South Africa, to the Impala Platinum smelter, and expects to receive its first payment at the end of this month, MD John Lewins said on Wednesday. This would mark the... 

Riversdale starts Mozambique coking coal testing programme

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th March 2009 ASX-listed Riversdale Mining has initiated pilot scale coking tests for its Benga coking coal project, located in Mozambique, with steel giant Tata. “Coking results continue to confirm that the quality of the Benga coking coals will be equal to the best coking coals sold in the market today.... 

Australia’s Gleneagle buys into SA Waterberg coal project 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th March 2009 Perth-based Gleneagle Gold has been granted shareholder approval for a series of transactions relating to the acquisition, financing, and execution of a landmark coal mining and independent power producer strategy, in the Waterberg coalfield, in South Africa. The first stage of the strategy... 

Xstrata shareholders take up 99,42% of rights issue

By: Liezel Hill     17th March 2009 Shareholders in diversified resources group Xstrata accepted 99,42% of the new shares offered by the firm in a rights issue, which closed on Tuesday morning, the firm reported later in the day. Xstrata announced in January that it planned to raise £4,1-billion in a two-for-one rights issue.  

Jan du Plessis to succeed Skinner as Rio Tinto’s chair

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th March 2009 Diversified mining giant Rio will appoint Jan du Plessis as new chairperson of the board on April 20, when Paul Skinner retires, the company announced on Tuesday. Du Plessis has been a nonexecutive director at Rio Tinto since September last year. 

Austral defers study to restart Chile gold mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th March 2009 Australia-based exploration company Austral Gold has deferred the prefeasibility study into restarting mining and processing operations at its Guanaco project, in Northern Chile. The company cited current market conditions as reasons for the postponement of the study. In May, Austral lodged an... 

Resolute says commissioning started at new Mali gold mine

By: Mariaan Webb     17th March 2009 Australian gold-miner Resolute Mining has “substantially” completed construction work at its Syama gold mine in Mali, it reported on Tuesday. In an ASX announcement, Resolute Mining said that it had now started commissioning the sulphide processing circuit. 

Feasibility study for $169m Botswana uranium mine to start soon

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th March 2009 Tenders would soon be called for to start a feasibility study into the proposed $169-million Letlhakane mine, in Botswana, which was being developed by ASX-listed uranium exploration company A-Cap Resources. A-Cap Resources MD Dr Andrew Tunks said on Tuesday that the company was now sufficiently... 

What does it cost to produce an ounce of gold? 

By: Liezel Hill     16th March 2009 There are several ways for gold mining companies to measure operating margins, with the 'total cash cost' generally accepted as a standard metric. However, analysts at RBC Capital Markets have taken things a step further, and compared bullion producers on the basis of the “all in” cost per... 

Uranium One sees price 'softness' in short term, return to strength by 2011

By: Liezel Hill     16th March 2009 The spot price for uranium will likely remain at current low levels in the short term, but market conditions can be expected to improve steadily over the next 18 months, Uranium One president and CEO Jean Nortier suggested on Monday. He added, as a caveat, that any short term forecasts in the... 

Firestone Energy posts interim loss

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th March 2009 Perth based exploration company Firestone Energy has reported a net loss of $283 066 for the six months ended December 2008. In the corresponding period of 2007, the company reported a net loss of $1,6-million. 

Second mandatory BEE wave may be harder than first - Ernst & Young 

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2009 The second mandatory portion of black economic empowerment (BEE) in mining was poised to be more difficult than the first, which was currently being severely stress tested, Ernest & Young director Lance Tomlinson said on Friday. Tomlinson told Mining Weekly Online, at a media lunch organised by... 

Uranium One reports $2,3bn loss, output up

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th March 2009 Vancouver-based Uranium One reported a net loss from continuing operations of $2,3-billion for the financial year ended December 2008, compared with a loss of $16,2-million a year earlier, the company reported on Monday. The miner wrote down mineral interests, plant and equipment of an estimated... 

Natasa Mining to acquire 70% stake in African Copper

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th March 2009 Aim- and ASX-listed mining investment company Natasa Mining would acquire a 70% stake in TSX- and Aim-listed African Copper through a proposed $6,5-million equity placement. The companies announced on Monday that they had entered into a loan agreement, in which African Copper would receive a... 

Alliance Resources to raise funds for South Australia uranium mine

16th March 2009 Uranium and gold producer Alliance Resources would have to raise capital to fund its A$22,5-million share of South Australia’s proposed new $90-million uranium mine, at Four Mile, the company said on Monday. “Alliance is currently reviewing all of those options, but we are highly confident that... 

Extract to start uranium feasibility study in Namibia

16th March 2009 ASX- and TSX-listed explorer Extract Resources was likely to appoint an engineering consultant within two weeks, to conduct a feasibility study at its Rossing South uranium discovery, in Namibia. Extract MD Peter McIntyre stated that the company had set a target date of August this year, for the... 

Australia’s Toro Energy sees no slowdown in uranium demand

16th March 2009 Western Australian uranium-miner Toro Energy on Monday said that the global demand for yellow cake would be driven by the continued improved use of nuclear energy, extensions to the operational life of existing reactors, and new reactors in the pipeline. Speaking at this year’s Paydirt Uranium... 

South Australia to promote mining projects in Asia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th March 2009 The South Australian government plans to ramp-up efforts to promote the state’s mining projects overseas, as the current economic situation placed strain on Australia’s mining sector, a top government official said on Monday. The South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources Development, Paul... 

Bateman’s majority shareholder proposes Aim delisting

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2009 The board of engineering group Bateman had been approached by its largest shareholder, Global Minerals BV, to consider delisting the company from the Aim market of the London Stock Exchange, the company said in a statement on Monday. Bateman, which is focused mainly on resources-sector projects... 

Uranium exports could add significantly to Australia’s GDP – lobby group

16th March 2009 Australia’s major uranium lobby group, the Australian Uranium Association, said on Monday that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) would be boosted by A$17-billion by 2030, if it maximised its supply role in the burgeoning global demand for nuclear-based cleaner energy. Speaking at the... 

Mongolia Parliament will consider Oyu Tolgoi pact again in April

By: Liezel Hill     13th March 2009 The national Parliament of Mongolia has concluded its extraordinary winter session without approving a draft investment agreement for Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines' Oyu Tolgoi mine, Ivanhoe said on Friday. However, the agreement will continue to be a “principal priority” for the country's... 

Implats names Dunne as head of operations, moves Bessit to projects

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th March 2009 Platinum producer Impala Platinum has appointed its group executive for processing, Paul Dunne, as new group executive of operations, it announced on Friday. Dunne would also chair the operations committee, and would lead all of the company’s South African mining and mineral processing operations. 

Chinese explorer to buy 25% stake in Australia’s Arafura

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th March 2009 ASX-listed Arafura Resources has confirmed that China’s East China Exploration (ECE) would invest A$24-million to acquire a 25% interest in the company. ECE would acquire 60-million shares at a price of up to 40c a share, by way of two placements. The details of ECE’s commitment were confirmed... 

Shield implements cash-preservation strategy, sticks to low-cost exploration

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th March 2009 Africa-focused gold and base metals explorer Shield Mining on Friday stated that it would continue to pursue its gold exploration strategy in Mauritania, but that it had reviewed and reduced overheads in light of the prevailing economic condition. In order to preserve its $3,4-million cash, the... 

Sylvania accelerates new chrome, platinum recovery projects

By: Chanel de Bruyn     13th March 2009 ASX- and Aim-listed platinum junior Sylvania Resources was fast-tracking the development of its new Doornbosch and Tweefontein chrome and platinum recovery plants, it revealed on Friday. The company announced plans to build the two new plants at a combined cost of R224-million, in October last... 

No business case for contributing to Pamdozi Gold's pumping costs - Aflease

By: Martin Creamer     13th March 2009 There was no business case for Aflease Gold's Sub Nigel operation to contribute to the costs of pumping water that was rising to critical levels at Pamodzi Gold's cash-strapped neighbouring Grootvlei gold mine, Aflease Gold CEO Neal Froneman said on Friday. Froneman was responding to criticism... 

Dwyka secures full-ownership of Burundi nickel project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th March 2009 ASX- and Aim-listed Dwyka Resources, through its wholly owned subsidiary Danyland, has secured full ownership of the Muremera nickel project, in Burundi, following an agreement with diversified mining giant BHP Billiton. The company would now proceed with the planned exploration programme.  

Vale may earn up to 80% in Uranium Equities’ project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th March 2009 Brazilian miner Vale has reached an agreement with ASX-listed Uranium Equities to earn up to 80% equity in the company’s Headwaters project, in the Northern Territory. Under the terms of the agreement, Vale would commit to sole funding the first $1-million of exploration expenditure within two... 

Bonaparte establishes task team to study Minemakers’ offer

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th March 2009 The board of ASX-listed diamond-miner Bonaparte has set up a takeover response committee, which would comprising independent directors, to study the unsolicited take over offer from exploration company Minemakers. Last week, Minemakers made a conditional scrip offer for all the shares in... 

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