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Europe News

Gem Diamonds puts sparkle back in Australia’s Ellendale mine

By: Matthew Hill     17th July 2008 Diamond producer Gem Diamonds said on Thursday that it had lifted production at two plants at the Ellendale mine by 58% in June, compared to when it bid for Kimberley Diamond Company, the previous owner, the same month the year before. June production rose to a record 57 814 ct from 697 000 t of... 

Rio Tinto iron-ore output hits fresh record

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th July 2008 Results from diversified-miner Rio Tinto’s second quarter showed record quarterly global production of iron-ore, and copper, while Australian thermal and coking coal production increased by 15% and 25%, and Rio Tinto Alcan “continued to perform well”, the company said on Wednesday. “These strong... 

Braemore lists on JSE, says plans $50m share issue

By: Matthew Hill     16th July 2008 Smelting company Braemore Resources planned on raising some $50-million by issuing shares on the JSE, on which it debuted on Wednesday, within the next six months, an official told Mining Weekly Online at the listing function. Executive director Clayton Dodd said that “all things being equal”,... 

Uranium One still looking to sell remaining Aflease stake

By: Matthew Hill     15th July 2008 Nuclear fuel miner Uranium One would still sell its remaining stake in Aflease Gold, the JSE- and TSX-listed gold junior, and CEO Jean Nortier said that it was looking at “a number of options” regarding this. He declined to comment whether his company was still talking to Mvelaphanda... 

Harmony workers down tools after fatal accidents

By: Matthew Hill     15th July 2008 JSE-listed Harmony Gold said that 6 500 employees had halted work at its Virginia operations on Tuesday, after two workers died at local mines, in the past five days. Spokesperson Amelia Soares said that the action was not legal, and that hopefully workers would return on Wednesday. 

Higher prices will more than offset production losses – Northam

By: Liezel Hill     14th July 2008 Platinum-miner Northam Platinum basic and headline earnings a share to come in between R6,20 and R6,60 a share for the year ended June 30, the firm said on Monday. This represents an increase of as much as 17,8% over the R5,60 reported a year earlier.  

‘Significant’ financial losses after technical glitch delays opening of JSE 

By: Matthew Hill     14th July 2008 The JSE’s failing to open for trade until nearly 15:00 on Monday owing to technical problems entailed significant losses for the stock broking industry, for which CEO Russell Loubser apologised. “Obviously, apart from the elevated blood pressure levels, our business is about volumes, and we’ve... 

Kazakhmys in early-stage talks on possible offer for company

By: Liezel Hill     14th July 2008 LSE-listed Kazakhmys is in preliminary discussions with a third party on a potential merger, the company said on Monday. “In the course of its business, Kazakhmys continues to evaluate a wide range of potential opportunities and confirms that it is in very preliminary discussions about a... 

Gold Fields grows international assets as it targets 5Moz

By: Matthew Hill     14th July 2008 Africa’s second-biggest gold producer, Gold Fields, had plans to produce five-million ounces of the yellow metal in the next three to four years, from the current four-million ounces. Senior vice president: North American investor relations, Willie Jacobsz, told Mining Weekly Online that the... 

Burundi tantalite project not viable – IGE

By: Liezel Hill     11th July 2008 Stockholm-based exploration firm International Gold Exploration (IGE) has halted work on its Kabarore Colombo tantalite project, in Burundi, after an evaluation study indicated that the project was not economically viable, the firm said on Friday. The study completed by IGE Burundi SA included... 

New World Resources reports fatalities at Czech mine

By: Liezel Hill     11th July 2008 Coal-miner New World Resources is investigating the deaths of two workers at its Darkov mine, in the Czech Republic, the company said on Friday. Two members of a five man team working on the recovery of longwall equipment were found unconscious on Thursday morning. 

De Beers to sell 10% of Victor diamonds to Ontario beneficiators

By: Liezel Hill     10th July 2008 Diamond giant De Beers has agreed to make 10% of the rough diamonds produced at its Victor mine, in Ontario, Canada, available for cutting and polishing in the province. One or more buyer will be chosen, presumably from the company's existing list of sightholders, and will be expected to set up... 

Inmet investigates ground movement at Spanish copper project

By: Liezel Hill     10th July 2008 Toronto-based Inmet Mining expects an investigation into the cause of an “unexpected ground movement” at its Las Cruces copper project, in Spain, to take several weeks, the firm said. The incident occurred on Thursday at the new storage facility for dried residues from the mine's process plant. 

Rambler completes mine dewatering

By: Liezel Hill     9th July 2008 Aim- and TSX Venture Exchange-listed Rambler Metals and Mining has finished dewatering its Ming copper/gold mine, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The mine was flooded in the early 1980s but, after 12 months of work, during which 245-million gallons of water was pumped and treated, company... 

Braemore to make JSE debut on July 16

By: Mariaan Webb     9th July 2008 London-listed Braemore Resources, which has the exclusive licence to the patented Mintek ConRoast technology for smelting platinum group-metal (PGM) concentrates, would list on the main board of the Johannesburg bourse on July 16, it said on Wednesday. Acting CEO David Russell said that it was... 

Gold rebounds on Iran missile test, off two-week low

By: Reuters     9th July 2008 Gold regained ground on Wednesday as speculators resurfaced on news that Iran had test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles, lifting the metal's safe-haven appeal in times of uncertainty. State media said Iran had test fired missiles, including one which it had previously said could travel... 

Karelian Diamond jumps on results from Finland prospect

By: Liezel Hill     8th July 2008 Shares in Aim-listed Karelian Diamond Resources gained 36,6% on Tuesday, after the company reported encouraging results from the analysis of a sample taken from its Seitaperä kimberlite, in Finland. A total of 67 diamonds were recovered from 100 kg sample, including 61 micro-diamonds and six... 

CoAL, Rio Tinto ink SA farm-swap agreement

By: Mariaan Webb     8th July 2008 Junior-miner Coal of Africa (CoAL) has entered into an agreement with resources giant Rio Tinto to gain access to project areas that were contiguous to its coking coal project, in South Africa, the company announced on Tuesday. CoAL, which is listed in the UK, Australia and South Africa, said... 

Crew Gold COO quits

By: Liezel Hill     7th July 2008 UK-based miner Crew Gold's COO, Simon Booth, has resigned to “pursue personal business interests”, the company said on Monday. 

Junior miner completes name change

By: Liezel Hill     4th July 2008 TSX- and Aim-listed European Minerals has changed its name to Orsu Metals. The firm's shares began trading on the Aim market under its new name and the symbol 'OSU' on Friday morning. 

EU launches in-depth probe into proposed BHP-Rio tie-up

4th July 2008 The European Commission has opened a detailed investigation into plans by the world's biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, to acquire rival Rio Tinto, after an initial assessment raised concerns over the deal, the executive arm of the European Union said on Friday. The commission's initial... 

Nkwe now targets September for Johannesburg, London listings

By: Matthew Hill     4th July 2008 ASX-listed platinum junior Nkwe has pushed back its planned JSE and Aim listings to September this year, after delayed reports did not allow it to debut in Johannesburg and London this month. “We are now targeting September,” MD Maredi Mphahlele told Mining Weekly Online. The company announced... 

BHP starts China regulatory clearance process for Rio merger

By: Matthew Hill     4th July 2008 BHP Billiton has begun the filing process to get clearance for its proposed merger with rival Rio Tinto with China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom), it said on Friday. The resources multinational has already filed for clearance in the European Union, the US, Australia, Canada and South Africa,... 

Iron-ore benchmark pricing system 'doomed'?

By: Liezel Hill     3rd July 2008 Despite opposition from steelmakers, the iron-ore benchmark pricing system may be on its way out, according to a report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), together with the Raw Materials Group. "It appears likely that trade in iron ore will become more... 

Inquiry into alleged human rights abuses at Angloplat nearing completion

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd July 2008 World number-one platinum producer Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) would hopefully have closure from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on pressure group ActionAid's claims of human rights abuses within a month. SAHRC spokesperson Sello Hatang told Mining Weekly Online that it was... 

Eldorado offer wins more than 90% of Frontier Pacific, to buy out minorities

By: Liezel Hill     3rd July 2008 Shareholders representing more than 90% of the shares of Frontier Pacific Mining had accepted Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold's revised takeover offer, the firm said on Thursday. Including a previous holding in Frontier, Eldorado will own 93% of the smaller company once the acquisition of the... 

Nkwe upgrades SA PGM project’s resource

By: Matthew Hill     3rd July 2008 Nkwe Platinum, searching for the metal in South Africa's Bushveld Complex, had increased the confirmed resource at its Eerste Geluk and Nooitverwacht properties by 64% to 20,4-million ounces. The company said that it was now calling the properties the Tubatse platinum-group metals (PGMs) project. 

JSE coal stocks drop sharply as commodity’s prices decline

By: Matthew Hill     3rd July 2008 The JSE’s coal index shed over 10% on Thursday morning, after the fuel’s prices dropped. Coal prices had surged up to trade at around the $200/t mark this week, but a South African coal analyst said that these levels were "anomalous", and a correction would come. 

Over 27 000 ct recovered from DiamondCorp’s Free State tailings

By: Matthew Hill     3rd July 2008 Emerging diamond producer DiamondCorp, developing the Lace mine in South Africa, recovered 27 103 ct from the mine’s tailings in the first six months of 2008, it said on Thursday. During the same period, the company sold 19 214 ct of gem-quality diamonds for $1,1-million, at an average price of... 

Chromex shares surge on SA licence approval

By: Liezel Hill     2nd July 2008 Aim-listed Chromex Mining gained 14,3% on Wednesday, after the firm announced it had been awarded a new-order mining right for its Mecklenburg chromite deposit, in South Africa's Limpopo province. The project contains a 9,6-million ton underground resource, which Chromex plans to mine over a ten... 

Angloplat appoints new head of engineering, projects unit

By: Matthew Hill     2nd July 2008 World number-one platinum producer Anglo Platinum on Wednesday said it had appointed Frederik Neethling to executive head of its engineering and projects division. Neethling was replacing Duncan Wanblad, who had resigned from the post to join parent company Anglo American as CEO if its copper... 

Coal junior urges RBCT shareholders to open access to port

By: Matthew Hill     2nd July 2008 Emerging South African coal producer HCI Khusela Coal (HKC) has export-grade material, the means to rail it to Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), and eager customers waiting on the other side, but is struggling to gain access to the port. This has become an all-too-familiar story, particularly... 

Lesotho’s Letšeng diamonds sold at average price of $42 000/ct

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd July 2008 LSE-listed diamond-miner Gem Diamonds has sold ten diamonds, totaling 261,4 ct that were recovered from the Letšeng mine, in Lesotho, at an average price of $42 000/ct, the company announced on Wednesday. The world average price for a rough diamond was $91/ct, it stated. 

Uranium One sales rebound, secures $100m credit facility

By: Liezel Hill     2nd July 2008 Uranium-miner Uranium One increased second-quarter sales to 685 000 lb, almost triple the 244 300 lb sold in the same quarter last year, and an increase of 142% over the group's uranium sales of 283 300 lb in the first three months of this year. The company's ballooning financial loss in the... 

Price of SA export coal likely to drop to $120/t by year-end – analyst

By: Matthew Hill     2nd July 2008 While South Africa's red-hot export coal prices have traders seeing levels of $200/t free-on-board (FOB) being only "days away", a local expert believed that prices would fall to around $120/t by the end of the year. Current price levels were "anomalous" Wood Mackenzie senior coal analyst Xavier... 

HCI Khusela eyes first production from SA coal mines this month

By: Matthew Hill     2nd July 2008 Coal junior HCI Khusela Coal (HKC) would begin production from its first two mines this month, after the Department of Minerals and Energy granted it mining rights, it said on Tuesday night. The company would invest some R300-million into the development of its Palesa mine, near... 

New diamond marketing manager for Petra

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd July 2008 With a growing production base in South Africa, Aim-listed diamond mining group Petra Diamonds on Wednesday announced it had appointed a new diamond marketing manager, Gregory Stephenson. Stephenson formerly worked for a number of divisions of diamond giant De Beers and also set up his own... 

Ferrochrome prices at record levels on supply deficit, could rise further

By: Matthew Hill     1st July 2008 While the European benchmark third quarter ferrochrome prices scaled a new peak at $2,05/lb, producer of the stainless-steel ingredient Merafe Resources' share price fell off, on market expectations of a steeper hike. Black-empowered miner Merafe Resources, which has a ferrochrome joint venture... 

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