Australia Mining News

Extending the life of Australia’s iron ore industry

Adding just one year to the life of Australia’s iron ore industry could earn the nation a bonus A$56 billion according to an article published in the June 2011 issue of CSIRO’s Process magazine. The article highlights how a team of CSIRO scientists has stepped up to the challenge of adding years to the commercial lifespans of known ore resources and converting once uneconomic deposits into viable mines.

Western Areas NL: 100,000 tonnes nickel concentrate exported from Esperance

The Board of Western Areas (TSX:WSA)(ASX:WSA) is pleased to announce an important milestone for the company. Since the first shipment ten months ago, Western Areas has exported over 100,000 tonnes of high grade nickel concentrate from Esperance Port to Jinchuan in China. This represents a gross value of over US$300 million based on average nickel prices since shipping commenced.

Carbon price plan to have minor impact on GNP – Australia

Australian plans to put a price on carbon emissions won't stop the nation's strong economic growth and will have only a small impact on incomes, according to Treasury modelling to be unveiled by Treasurer Wayne […]

Crescent Gold Limited: Maiden gold reserve of 54,000oz near surface at New Apollo deposit in Laverton

Crescent Gold Limited is pleased to announce a maiden probable gold reserve of 54,000 ounces near surface at its newly acquired Apollo Deposit in Laverton, Western Australia. Mining operations have been fast tracked and are scheduled to commence in the third quarter of this year. New drilling results and resource modelling had confirmed the probable gold reserve of 770,000 tonnes and at average grade of 2.2 grams per tonne Au (g/t gold) at the company's newly acquired Apollo deposit, less than 10 kilometres southwest of Laverton. Crescent Gold acquired the project last year from the former owners, Barrick Gold and Carbon Energy.

Middle Island secures Nuon River gold project in Liberia

One of 2010's glamour floats in Australia, Middle Island Resources Ltd (ASX: MDI) has decided to join some global majors, including BHP Billiton and Arcelor-Mittal, in moving into the Liberian exploration scene. The strong support […]

New Gindalbie chief steps in as magnetite project costs balloon to $2.7bn

The Australian reports Tim Netscher the new chief executive of Gindalbie Metals took over after the miner in March announced a second cost blowout at its West Australian Karara joint venture. At the time, Netscher, 60, was working for Newmont Mining and thinking about swapping executive roles for non-executive positions, but the Gindalbie offer was too good to refuse. The multilingual Netscher, who speaks Afrikaans, Indonesian, German, Spanish and English, knows that Gindalbie's Karara magnetite project is at a crucial stage of development, but the mining industry veteran is not shy about a challenge.

Forrest steps down as CEO of Fortescue to become chairman

Andrew Forrest, the high profile chief executive of major new Pilbara iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG), as stepped down as CEO but will become the company's new chairman. Forrest is currently […]

Australia's proposed carbon tax could raise sovereign risk, ruin coal industry – miners

Mining giants warned Australia on Wednesday that its planned carbon-reduction scheme could cost the industry as much as $25 billion through 2020, cut coal production by a third and send investment in that sector tumbling 13 percent. "Australia is walking the plank," Seamus French, who runs the coal division of miner Anglo-American Plc , told a conference, a day after the Australian government's climate-change adviser suggested how carbon emissions should be taxed.

Azumah strengthens Australian links in Ghana

Azumah Resources Ltd (ASX: AZM) said today it has secured an 11% stake in Castle Minerals Ltd (ASX: CDT) through a holding of 11.081 million shares. Azumah's managing director Stephen Stone said the company viewed the holding as a strategic investment that would increase Azumah's options should any of the growing market-based speculation about consolidation in the West African gold sector unfold.

Australia warns resources firms to be vigilant for cyber attack

Australia's government urged companies on Monday to tighten vigilance over cyber attacks launched offshore against some of the world's biggest resource firms and other businesses, warning high-tech threats were intensifying. Lockheed Martin Corp , the U.S. government's top information technology provider, raised concern about cyber hacking at the weekend, complaining of a pattern of frequent attacks on it from around the world.

Fortescue drops $1 billion term loan raising

Australia's Fortescue Metals said on Thursday that due to weak credit market conditions it had dropped plans to proceed with a previously announced $1 billion unsecured term loan facility. The loan was launched in the United States on Monday by JP Morgan , according to Loan Pricing Corp, a Reuters news service. It was syndicated in the range of 375-400 basis point over London Interbank Offered Rates (Libor), it said.

New merged mid-tier gold company aims for 800,000 oz by 2015

Chief operating officer of Alacer Gold Corporation Louw Smith told the Resources and Energy Symposium in the Australian mining city of Broken Hill that there were growth developments at both the company's operations in Western Australia and in Turkey.

SMH: Iron ore queen Gina Reinhart tops billionaires club

The boom in resource industry wealth flowing from iron ore and coal exports to China and India has created a record number of billionaires in Australia, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The latest to top the billionaires club Down Under is iron ore queen Gina Reinhart, who has become the richest person ever in Australia, worth an estimated $10.3 billion. Reinhart is the first woman to to top BRW's Rich 200 list. The list shows Australia now has 35 billionaires, five more than last year, and a cut-off point of $215 million, which is $30 million higher than last year's cut-off of $185 million.

Resourcehouse’s fourth crack at Hong Kong listing delayed as commodity prices slump

Hot on the heels of a lacklustre listing by Swiss commodities and mining behemoth Glencore, news comes of another multi-billion dollar natural resources IPO going awry. Resourcehouse planned to raise $3.6bn on the Hong Kong market on Thursday but has now postponed the listing to at least the end of the month. The Australian iron ore and coal miner has made three previous attempts to go public in 2009 and 2010.

Breakthrough in rare earths processing technology

Australian rare earths company Arafura Resources has successfully completed the hydrochloric acid regeneration program, a key part of its wider, previously reported technology program. The process involves taking calcium chloride residues from the phosphate circuit and re-acting them with sulphuric acid to produce re-useable hydrochloric acid, a key raw material in Arafura’s pre-leach circuit, and calcium sulphate (gypsum), a potential saleable product into various end applications.

Nickel process technology company set to list on ASX

The executive chairman of private company Direct Nickel Julian Malnic told the Resources & Energy Symposium in Broken Hill in New South Wales that the company was currently moving to raise $A15 million ($US14.7 M) to utilise an ASX-listed shell company for listing.

Indians working Australian mining jobs may soon be needed back home

The Australian: Australia is facing a critical skills shortage in mining and other industries, and India seemed like the perfect place to get skilled labour. However with new projects opening in India, the question is arising as to whether India can spare that labour.
The Australian government this month announced it would fast-track 457 temporary migrant visas for mining companies seeking foreign recruits for positions they can't fill from the domestic labour pool. Austrade is championing the idea of Australian vocational training courses in Indian workplaces and institutions, and eventually an India-based Australian mining and engineering college, with the capacity to train as many as 100,000 Indian workers annually.

Bloomberg: Exxaro bids A$123 million for Territory in iron ore strategy

South African coal miner Exxaro Resources has agreed to pay AUD$123 million for Territory Resources with the goal of producing 10 million metric tonnes of iron ore a year, Bloomberg reported Monday: Exxaro offered A$0.46 a share for the iron-ore miner based in Perth, Western Australia, the companies said in a statement today. The bid, at a 64 percent premium to the closing price on May 20, was recommended by Territory’s board, they said.

Coal exports from U.S. reach 20-year high on Australia floods

Bloomberg reported that a drop in coal exports following Australia’s floods pushed up exports from the US. The market news is quoted as saying: Queensland Resources Council, representing miners in the Australian state, said in January 85 percent of mines were “impaired by excess water.” Further rains delayed a production recovery, RBS Morgans Ltd. said last month.

New underground lead/zinc/silver mine in Broken Hill to start next year

The Rasp underground mine in the heart of one of Australia' most historic mining centres -- Broken Hill's Line of Lode -- should be operating by April next year. Development of the Rasp mine on Central Mining Lease 7 is in one of the most intensely worked areas between the Perilya Ltd North and South mining leases and it had a stop-start scenario with the big stall being when the zinc price crashed in during the global financial crisis.

Trading Room: Fortis to raise $236m for Kazakh potash mines

Trading Room reports that Melbourne-based Fortis Mining Ltd has agreed to raise $236m by selling new shares and notes to investors in Hong Kong and China to buy and develop two potash mines in Kazakhstan. ASX-listed Fortis, previously a gold and base metal explorer, acquired the rights to purchase the Chelkarskaya and Zhilyanskoe salt deposits in March. The deposits have an exploration target range of 6.5 – 6.6bn tonnes of potassium making them amongst the largest potash salt deposits in the world.

SMH: New South Wales freezes coal and gas exploration licences

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Friday that the state of New South Wales announced a 60-day freeze on new exploration licences for coal, coal seam gas and petroleum in a push to resolve the escalating conflict between farmers, miners and conservationists over land use. The need for a moratorium was questioned by the state's mining industry, which said billions of dollars in investment were at stake, but it said it broadly supported the development of a new approach to avoid conflict over valuable land.

Reports: Chinese steel giant says iron ore market is in a ‘bubble’

"Everyone who has money is rushing to invest in iron ore," Baosteel Group chairman, Xu Lejiang said on Friday, warning that supply may outstrip demand “sooner than expected” pushing prices down in the process. Brazil’s Vale, and Australian heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto have some $45bn slated for new mines. The cash price of 62%-iron ore shipped to China's Tianjin port has almost tripled from Nov. 21, 2008 when data became available, according to the Steel Index.

Valuations of Australian iron ore companies take a hit after royalty increase

Valuations of iron ore companies have been cut in response to Western Australia's controversial royalty increase, with Andrew Forrest's fast-growing Fortescue Metals taking the biggest hit. The valuation hits were despite the protection from state the protection from state royalty increases that the miners negotiated last year with the federal government in the reworked - and less onerous - minerals resource rent tax.

Bloomberg: GVK said to be in talks to borrow $850m for Australia’s Hancock mines

Bloomberg reports on Thursday that GVK Power & Infrastructure, a builder of airports and utilities controlled by Indian billionaire GV Krishna Reddy, is in talks to borrow as much as $850m to fund the purchase of two Hancock Prospecting coal mines according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. GVK will use the money to pay Hancock $500m for equity in the mines and another $350m as compensation for costs incurred by the Australian company for running them.