R/€ = 16.07 Change: -0.01
R/$ = 14.41 Change: -0.03
Au 1275.33 $/oz Change: -0.71
Pt 815.47 $/oz Change: -8.82

Europe News

Aquarius’ Everest employees return to work

By: Matthew Hill     3rd June 2008 A 1 300-worker strong illegal strike at Aquarius Platinum's Everest mine in Mpumalanga ended on Monday evening, leading to the total loss of 1 950 oz of platinum-group metals, the company said on Tuesday. The unrest began on Wednesday last week, and the Labour Court granted the miner an... 

First metal from world's first bioleach nickel mine Oct 1, says Talvivaara CEO

By: Martin Creamer     3rd June 2008 The first metal from the world's first bioheapleaching nickel mine would be produced on October 1, Talvivaara Mining plc CEO Pekka Pera said in Finland on Tuesday. The London-listed Talvivaara uses the bioheapleaching method to extract nickel from one of the largest known sulphide nickel... 

Eldorado starts construction at Turkey gold project

By: Liezel Hill     2nd June 2008 Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold has received all the necessary permits and approvals to start building its Efemcukuru mine, in Turkey, and has begun site preparation work at the project, the company said on Monday. Efemcukuru, which will be the company's second mine in the country, is expected... 

Kermas offers to buy Metmar’s stake in metal alloys producer

By: Matthew Hill     2nd June 2008 Commodities marketing company Metmar rose to a new high in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon, after it announced the sale of its stake in metal alloys producer PGR 17 for R390-million to London-based Kermas. Kermas had made an irrevocable offer to buy PGR 17 with effect from September 1, of which... 

River Diamonds confident of profitability at Fiji mine

By: Liezel Hill     30th May 2008 Aim-listed River Diamonds, which poured the first gold this month after reopenening the Vatukoula mine, in Fiji, is optimistic that it will be able to turn a profit at the operation, chairperson Colin Orr-Ewing said on Friday. The company gained control of the mine in April when it bought the... 

Cape Diamonds agrees to buy SA gem producer

By: Matthew Hill     30th May 2008 London-based Cape Diamonds, which mines diamonds near Kimberley in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, announced on Friday that it had agreed to buy junior KMG Diamond Resources SA in an all-scrip deal. KMG operated two diamond mines in the same vicinity as Cape’s Elandslaagte... 

BHP Billiton files Rio Tinto takeover plans with EU regulator

By: Liezel Hill     30th May 2008 The world's biggest miner, BHP Billiton, has formally filed for antitrust clearance from the European Commission for its hostile takeover bid for rival Rio Tinto, the company said. The commission has the authority to block the merger or require BHP to sell certain assets if the takeover... 

Gold dehedging accelerates faster than expected – GFMS

By: Matthew Hill     29th May 2008 Global gold dehedging accelerated faster than what people expected in the first quarter of 2008, with producers lopping off 128 t, or 22,6-million ounces, of their forward contracts in the three-month period, a report said on Thursday. However, despite these "weighty cuts" the... 

Australian explorer raises stake in SA PGM project

29th May 2008 ASX- and Aim-listed platinum-group metals (PGMs) exploration company Platinum Australia would acquire a further 10,75% stake in the Smokey Hills platinum project in South Africa, bringing its stake to 69,75%, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The company would first acquire an... 

Angus & Ross receives mining permit for Greenland zinc mine

By: Liezel Hill     28th May 2008 Aim-listed exploration and development firm Angus & Ross has been awarded a 30-year licence to mine zinc, lead and silver ore from its Black Angel mine, in western Greenland, opening the way for the company to restart the mine later this year, as planned. The company has started building a... 

Griffin agrees to repurchase 79,85m shares

By: Liezel Hill     27th May 2008 Aim-listed Griffin Mining gained 6,51% on Tuesday, after the company announced that it would buy back 79,85-million shares in the company from Citadel Equity Fund, at £0,765 each. 

Frontier Pacific urges investors to reject hostile bid

By: Liezel Hill     27th May 2008 Vancouver-based Frontier Pacific Mining has recommended that its shareholders reject an unsolicited takeover bid from Eldorado Gold, which is offering 0,122 of of its shares and $0,0001 in cash for each Frontier Pacific share. The offer was opportunistic and significantly undervalued the company... 

Gold pulled higher by oil after pipeline blow-up

By: Reuters     27th May 2008 Gold opened higher on Tuesday as further supply disruptions in Nigeria, the world's eighth-largest oil producer, and a weaker dollar, made the precious metal increasingly attractive. Spot gold stood at $927,00/927,90 an ounce by 03:29 GMT, having earlier risen above $930, and up from... 

Measured resource at SNR's SA coal project increases 155%

By: Mariaan Webb     27th May 2008 Strategic Natural Resources (SNR), the London-listed mining company developing the Elitheni coal mine to supply an independent power project in South Africa, said on Tuesday that the mine's measured coal resource has more than doubled. The measured coal resource at the planned Elitheni... 

Ontario appoints valuer for gems from De Beers mine

By: Liezel Hill     26th May 2008 The government of Ontario has appointed a Canadian company to assess the value of diamonds produced at De Beers Canada's new Victor mine, in order to establish a market value and determine the royalties to be paid on production, the province announced on Monday. Victor is Ontario's... 

Laws of the jungle at work as junior, mid-tier mining consolidation continues

By: Liezel Hill     26th May 2008 Consolidation in the junior and mid-tier mining space looks set to continue, as companies find it increasingly difficult to access finance for development projects, making them vulnerable to predators, an Ernst & Young report indicated on Monday. At the same time, medium-sized companies... 

Incwala CEO Mbatha quits, acting chief says ‘back to drawing board’

By: Matthew Hill     26th May 2008 It's "back to the drawing board" for black-owned Incwala Resources, new CEO Ronnie Ntuli said on Monday, after having replaced Zanele Mbatha. Ntuli, who was previously chairperson of the group, declined to comment on the reasons for Mbatha's sudden resignation, saying he... 

CEO Davis buys £6,9m of Xstrata shares

By: Liezel Hill     22nd May 2008 Mick Davis, the CEO of gloably diversified miner Xstrata Resources, bought 167 480 shares in the company this week, for just under £7-million, the company said in a statement. 

Two DRDGold workers die in anti-foreigner clashes on East Rand

By: Matthew Hill     22nd May 2008 Mid-tier gold producer DRDGold said on Thursday that another employee at its East Rand ERPM mine had been confirmed dead after violent outbursts swept through informal settlements around Gauteng. Production at the mine was continuing but at lower levels, after only 42% of its workforce arrived... 

ERPM output hit by attacks on foreigners, one miner confirmed dead

By: Matthew Hill     21st May 2008 Gold producer DRDGold has suffered production setbacks at its ERPM operation near Primrose, in Johannesburg, because of the recent violent attacks on foreigners, and one employee’s death has been confirmed, CFO Craig Barnes told Mining Weekly Online on Wednesday. He said that there... 

Lonmin hit by number of small smelter explosions, miner says not serious

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st May 2008 The world's third-largest platinum producer, Lonmin, on Wednesday denied that there had been any "serious explosions" at its Merensky smelter or that it had failed to report any incidents to the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME). South African trade union Solidarity on... 

Kopane to raise £6,6m for development of Lesotho diamond mine

21st May 2008 Aim-listed diamond producer Kopane Diamond Developments would place up to 70-million new ordinary shares at 10p a share to raise about £6,6-million, for development at its Lesotho project, as well as for general working capital purposes, it said on Wednesday. The placing would represent... 

Weatherly forms Namibian exploration JV with Anglo subsidiary

By: Mariaan Webb     21st May 2008 Base-metals company Weatherly International has formed a joint venture (JV) with Ambase Prospecting, a subsidiary of resources giant Anglo American, to explore in Namibia. London-based Weatherly said on Wednesday that the JV would explore its tenement in the Grootfontein district, in... 

Anooraq secures R1,7bn debt finance for Lebowa acquisition

By: Matthew Hill     21st May 2008 Platinum junior Anooraq on Wednesday said that it had secured sole underwritten debt finance from Standard Chartered Bank of up to R1,7-billion for its acquisition of 51% of Lebowa Platinum from top producer Anglo Platinum. Anooraq agreed to buy the stake for R3,6-billion in cash, which it would... 

Eskom won’t force miners’ hands as coal exports threaten security of supply 

By: Matthew Hill     20th May 2008 While soaring coal prices were a key driver behind Eskom’s latest and much-debated application to the energy regulator for significant electricity price increases, CE Jacob Maroga said on Tuesday that it “won’t be useful to force” issues on the coal industry. However, he... 

Brinkley takeover talks terminated, chair, FD resign

By: Liezel Hill     20th May 2008 UK-based uranium exploration company Brinkley Mining said on Tuesday that discussions regarding a possible offer for the company had been called off, and that chairperson Gerard Holden would step down from the board with effect from May 31. 

SA studies coal master plan to examine pricing, supply

By: Matthew Hill     20th May 2008 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) has commissioned a study to draft a "coal master plan", which would interrogate the "best way of preserving our national coal resources", a spokesperson said on Tuesday. The study would cover a wide range of issues, including... 

Zimbabwe vote crisis may hurt '08 platinum output

By: Reuters     19th May 2008 Platinum supplies from Zimbabwe rose 2,3% to 171 000 oz last year, but a disputed election may damage output this year, metals refiner Johnson Matthey (JM) said on Monday. JM said the dispute over the outcome of an election in March, and further escalation of a power crisis in South Africa, the... 

Platinum market expected to be in ‘substantial’ deficit in ‘08

By: Chanel de Bruyn     19th May 2008 The platinum market was expected to remain in a deficit in 2008, after it swung into a deficit of 480 000 oz in 2007, precious metals consultancy firm Johnson Matthey said on Monday. In its latest report, the company said that sustained industrial and automotive demand, coupled with... 

Coal junior targets 3,5Mt/y output from first two SA mines

By: Matthew Hill     19th May 2008 Coal junior HCI-Khusela Coal expected to produce some 3,5-million tons of the fuel from its Bronkhorstspruit and Ogies mines in its first year of operation, but first needed mining rights for these properties from government, it said at the weekend. It also hoped to begin producing coal at its... 

GCM Resources says Polo made preliminary offer

By: Mariaan Webb     19th May 2008 London-based GCM Resources, which has subsidiaries operating in South Africa and Bangladesh, said on Monday that it had received a preliminary offer from Aim-listed Polo Resources. Polo Resources, which mines coal and explores for uranium in Mongolia, has made a cash offer of 175p a share.  

SNR gears up for coal production as DME awards mining permit

By: Mariaan Webb     19th May 2008 South Africa-focused coal and energy company Strategic Natural Resources (SNR) said on Monday that it hoped to start production at its Elitheni coal project, in the Eastern Cape, in the next two months, after the government granted it a mining permit. The operation - one of South Africa's... 

Kiwara encouraged by Zambia uranium drilling results

By: Matthew Hill     19th May 2008 Zambia-based copper and uranium hopeful Kiwara said on Monday that it had intercepted potentially viable grades of the nuclear fuel at four drill holes at its licence in the north west of the country. The company said that this confirmed historic findings that the mineralisation occurred in at... 

Gold Fields sells holding in explorer

By: Liezel Hill     16th May 2008 Gold major Gold Fields has sold its entire 6% stake in Emed Mining Public in a private placement to institutional investors, Emed said on Friday. 

Platinum juniors to become prime take-over targets

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th May 2008 The platinum industry is in distress and juniors that are able to navigate the challenging landscape could become attractive targets for bigger companies, an analyst said on Friday. "The race is on," stated RBC Capital Markets analyst Leon Esterhuizen. 

Lundin sells stake in Swedish zinc/copper project

By: Liezel Hill     16th May 2008 TSX Venture Exchange-listed Gold-Ore Resources has agreed to buy Lundin Mining's 90% interest in the Norrliden base- and precious-metals deposit from Lundin Mining, the company said on Friday. Gold-Ore will make a one-time payment of 3-million shares for the 90% interest in Norrliden and... 

Junior explorer to start production at Botswana mine

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th May 2008 Base-metals exploration company African Copper on Friday said its Mowana mine, in Botswana, would start production in the second quarter of this year, which would change the junior explorer into a copper producer. Cold commissioning of the mine was now ongoing, with ramp up to production to... 

Lundin mulls options for Russian zinc prospect

By: Liezel Hill     15th May 2008 Base-metals miner Lundin Mining is “looking at all alternatives” regarding its 49% stake in the Ozernoe zinc deposit, in Russia, president and CEO Phil Wright said on Thursday. Work on the feasibility study was “slow going” and certain project deadlines and governing... 

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