R/€ = 17.08 Change: 0.10
R/$ = 14.37 Change: 0.10
Au 1810.46 $/oz Change: 2.50
Pt 1059.00 $/oz Change: 1.00

Europe News

Cluff Gold pours first gold in Burkina Faso

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd November 2008 Aim-listed West African gold mining company Cluff Gold has poured its first gold at its Kalsaka gold project, in Burkina Faso, making it the first British company to do so. “We are delighted to announce that the first gold pour has taken place at our Kalsaka project,” said Cluff Gold technical... 

De Beers Canada chief sees silver linings in commodities meltdown

By: Liezel Hill     3rd November 2008 With mounting consumer pessimism and a global economic slowdown already weighing on rough diamond prices, De Beers Canada president and CEO Jim Gowans has surprisingly much to smile about. For starters, it is no secret that the company's two new mines have been under considerable cost pressure... 

Centerra talks continue with Mongolia, Kyrgyz govts

By: Liezel Hill     31st October 2008 Gold-miner Centerra Gold is continuing talks with the governments of Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, to resolve investment agreements for its operations in the countries, president and CEO Stephen Lang said on Friday. In Mongolia, where Toronto-based Centerra is trying to secure an investment agreement... 

'Loads and loads' of gold acquisition opportunities – Harmony CEO

By: Martin Creamer     31st October 2008 There were currently ‘loads and loads’ of gold-company acquisition opportunities, which would be considered once debt levels were lowered, Harmony Gold CEO Graham Briggs said on Friday. Briggs said that Harmony had been looking at assets on which to do due diligence studies in the past six... 

Barrick eyes acquisition prospects amid 'amazing' share declines

By: Liezel Hill     30th October 2008 Barrick Gold, the world's biggest gold-miner, is looking at opportunities to buy rivals or their assets cheaply, after the financial crisis and fears over weakening demand for commodities led to “amazing” declines in valuations, CFO Jamie Sokalsky said on Thursday. “We continue to look at just... 

Barrick earnings drop 26% on impairment

By: Liezel Hill     30th October 2008 Barrick Gold, the world's largest bullion producer, posted third quarter net income of $254-million, 26% lower than a year ago, after the company wrote down its interest in LSE-listed Highland Gold. Before one-time items, net income was $351-million, compared with $354-million a year earlier. 

Lonmin FY output down, says '09 sales to be flat

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th October 2008 The world’s third-biggest platinum producer, Lonmin, reported a 15,8% decline in full-year output, as South African mines suffered production losses relating to safety stoppages, power outages and high-levels of absenteeism. The platinum miner, which lowered its full-year production target three... 

Agnico-Eagle profit rises on foreign currency gain, gold output

By: Liezel Hill     29th October 2008 Canadian gold-miner Agnico-Eagle Mines increased third-quarter net income to $14-million, compared with $11,5-million a year earlier, mainly thanks to a foreign currency translation gain. Gold production in the September quarter increased 23% to 68 753 oz, at weighted average total cash costs of... 

Newmont hopes to turn market mayhem to advantage

By: Liezel Hill     29th October 2008 Denver-based gold major Newmont Mining may delay some projects because of turbulence in financial and commodities markets, but the company also sees opportunities to benefit from the current environment, president and CEO Richard O'Brien said on Wednesday. Gold equity valuations have shrunk... 

Rio Tinto chairperson Paul Skinner will step down end-'09

By: Liezel Hill     29th October 2008 Diversified-miner Rio Tinto will begin a search for a new chairperson, after Diversified-miner Rio Tinto has begun a search for a new chairperson, after Paul Skinner indicated that he will step down after his current term ends in December next year.  

Rio Tinto to build new $228m power turbine in Quebec

28th October 2008 Diversified-miner Rio Tinto will spend $228-million on a new 225-MW turbine at the group's Shipshaw power station, in Saguenay, Quebec. The project is expected to be completed by December 2012.  

Inmet earnings slide on costs, base-metals decline

By: Liezel Hill     28th October 2008 Base metals miner Inmet Mining recorded a 35% fall in profit for third-quarter profit, to C$75,06-million , from C$114,84-million a year earlier. The company blamed the decrease in net earnings on lower zinc and copper prices, higher costs and foreign exchange losses recognised on a US-dollar... 

Ipsa inks 20-yr coal-supply agreement with Elitheni

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th October 2008 Aim- and JSE-listed electricity generation company Independent Power South Africa (Ipsa) has reached a formal coal-supply agreement with junior miner Elitheni Coal for about 250 MW of its initial power projects in South Africa. Under the agreement, Ipsa’s indirect subsidiary, Indwe Power, would... 

Sylvania to transfer exploration assets to partner

By: Liezel Hill     27th October 2008 Aim- and ASX-listed platinum producer Sylvania Resources will sell its interests in three prospects to Great Australian Resources (GAR), the firm announced on Monday. Sylvania, which produces platinum from chrome tailings, owns a 13,8% stake in ASX-listed GAR, and has identified the firm as its... 

Aim miners plummet 54% as doors close on new capital

By: Martin Creamer     27th October 2008 A market-value index of the top 20 mining companies on London’s alternative investment market (Aim) plummeted 54% in the third quarter of 2008, well below its January 2004 base level, Ernst & Young said on Monday. The FTSE All Share Mining Index of main market companies also fell 44%, the... 

Diamond junior Kopane hires new CEO, Lesotho mine manager

By: Mariaan Webb     27th October 2008 Mike Wittet, ex-Debswana deputy MD, and Daniel Smit, former GM of the Williamson diamond mine, have joined Aim-listed Kopane Diamonds’ management team, the junior miner said on Monday. Wittet, who has worked with the De Beers/Anglo American group for 36 years, has been appointed as CEO, having... 

Liberia extends Mano River’s iron-ore exploration licence

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th October 2008 Aim-listed exploration and development company Mano River Resources on Friday announced that it was granted a two-year extension to its Putu Range iron-ore exploration licence, by the government of Liberia. The licence, which now extended until the end of September 2010, enabled the company to... 

Teck tightens purse strings, may sell assets

By: Liezel Hill     23rd October 2008 Diversified-miner Teck Cominco plans to reduce sustaining capital and exploration spending, and will consider selling assets, as it adjusts to slumping metals prices and seeks to pay down debt. The company has arranged for $9,8-billion in debt to fund its acquisition of Fording Canadian Coal... 

SA clears BHP-Rio merger, but says Coega project must be sold

By: Christy van der Merwe     23rd October 2008 South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended the approval of the proposed merger arising from BHP Billiton’s hostile takeover bid to acquire Rio Tinto, but only if it sells the Coega aluminium smelter project. In its recommendation for approval to the Competition Tribunal, the... 

Anglo American reviews capex plans due to market uncertainty

By: Mariaan Webb     23rd October 2008 Diversified miner Anglo American is reviewing its capital expenditure programme owing to current market volatility and uncertainty, the global miner said on Thursday. Anglo American, the fourth biggest diversified mining group, said it was conducting a review of its project pipeline on a... 

Better SA rail and output lift manganese despite power cuts – BHP Billiton

By: Martin Creamer     22nd October 2008 Record production at South Africa’s Hotazel manganese operation in the Northern Cape as well as increased South African rail and port capacity helped BHP Billiton to increase its manganese production in the latest quarter in spite of using 10% less power, the company said on Tuesday. “The South... 

$1,4bn SA energy coal projects heading for production – BHP Billiton

By: Martin Creamer     22nd October 2008 The two combined-value $1,425-billion coal projects BHP Billiton was developing in South Africa were both "on schedule and within budget" for initial production in 2009 and 2010, the world’s largest diversified mining company said on Tuesday. Releasing its quarterly report on exploration and... 

De Beers says to cut Nov, Dec diamond sales

By: Reuters     21st October 2008 Diamond giant De Beers will reduce the amount of unpolished gems at its next two sales due to reduced demand, it said on Tuesday. The decision came after reports that diamond prices were falling and following a call by an industry group last week for producers to cut supply to the market amid... 

Xstrata Q3 copper volumes down 8%, coal, nickel output up

By: Mariaan Webb     21st October 2008 Diversified miner Xstrata on Tuesday reported stronger third-quarter ferrochrome, thermal coal, platinum, mined nickel, zinc in concentrate and lead output, while copper production fell in the three months ended September. The Zug-based miner attributed the 8% decline in copper output to lower... 

Highest nickel grade intercepts – African Eagle

By: Martin Creamer     21st October 2008 The Dutwa nickel laterite discovery in Tanzania had produced its highest-grade intercepts to date, Aim- and JSE-listed African Eagle MD Mark Parker said on Tuesday. Parker said that 85% of drill holes had return favourable nickel grade and thickness in the Dutwa project area, which was... 

Refined copper deficit was 54 000 t in Jan to July – study group

By: Liezel Hill     20th October 2008 Global consumption of refined copper exceeded supply by 54 000 t between January and July this year, according to preliminary data from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG). This compares with a deficit of 89 000 t during the same period a year earlier. 

Mongolia working group to propose changes to mining law

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th October 2008 Vancouver-based Ivanhoe Mines and diversified miner Rio Tinto on Friday affirmed their intention to continue investment in the Oyu Tolgoi cooper/gold project, in Mongolia. The companies said that they were looking forward to engaging in negotiations with the new Mongolian government, in an... 

Global accounting body relooks at mining-sector reporting standards 

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th October 2008 The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has commissioned a research project on extractive activities, to take a “fresh look” at how mining companies report and account for mineral, oil and gas reserves and resources. The project is in its first stage, and a discussion paper will be... 

Freeport's Adkerson appointed new ICMM chairperson

By: Liezel Hill     16th October 2008 The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has appointed Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold president and CEO Richard Adkerson as its new chairperson. BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers has been appointed vice-chairperson, the council said in an email statement.  

South Africa’s State mining company gazetting ‘concerning’ – Chamber   

By: Martin Creamer     16th October 2008 The government gazette notice relating to the new State mining company appeared to “negate the principle of equality before the law” and “we are concerned”, acting Chamber of Mines (CoM) of South Africa CE Frans Barker said on Thursday. Barker’s comment followed Wednesday’s by Webber Wentzel... 

Vale inks 5yr supply contract with Corus

By: Liezel Hill     16th October 2008 Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale) has signed a long-term contract with steelmaker Corus, to supply iron-ore to its plants in Europe. 

JP Morgan raises 2008/9 gold price forecast

By: Reuters     15th October 2008 JP Morgan said on Wednesday it is raising its price forecast for gold for 2008 and 2009 on expectations investors will buy into bullion as a haven from risk. However, it is trimming its expectations for platinum, palladium and silver prices on fears over falling demand for the more industrial... 

South African Minerals Minister ‘may have acted unlawfully’ – Peter Leon 

By: Martin Creamer     15th October 2008 South Africa's Minister of Minerals and Energy might have acted unlawfully by exempting State-owned African Exploration Mining & Finance Corporation from key licensing provisions of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), Webber Wentzel natural resources and regulatory... 

Long-term outlook still positive, but near-term spend reviewed – Rio Tinto

By: Martin Creamer     15th October 2008 While the long-term mining outlook remained positive, the current market upheaval provided an opportunity for a review of near-term capital expenditure and project costs, diversified mining major Rio Tinto CE Tom Albanese said on Wednesday. Albanese said that Rio Tinto had continued to perform... 

Kenmare reports progress at Moma, but still plagued by equipment failure

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th October 2008 Ireland-based Kenmare Resources stated that dredging of on-site ore increased by 32% from August and by 7% from the previous best month of June from its Moma heavy minerals mine, in Mozambique. The company also stated that about 50 000 t of heavy mineral concentrate was produced by its wet... 

Initial resource estimate completed for Portugal tungsten prospect

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th October 2008 The Regua tungsten deposit, in northern Portugal, contains an estimated 1,26-million metric tons of tungsten trioxide, the owners of the project reported on Tuesday. ASX-listed Tamaya Resources said in a statement that its 82%-owned subsidiary Iberian Resources reported its first JORC-compliant... 

Gem Diamonds says financial turmoil may delay Bostwana project start-up

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th October 2008 London-listed Gem Diamonds may postpone the start-up of its Gope project, in Botswana, because of expected delays in securing project finance, the company warned on Tuesday. Gem expects to complete a bankable feasibility study on the project by year-end, and has applied for a mining licence. 

Q4 ferrochrome prices fall 9,8% - Merafe

By: Liezel Hill     13th October 2008 The European benchmark ferrochrome price for the fourth quarter of this year has been settled at $1,85/lb, a decline of 9,8% from the third quarter, JSE-listed Merafe Resources informed shareholders on Monday. 

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