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Mongolia eyes changes to Oyu Tolgoi copper deal

The Mongolian government is discussing possible changes to a 2009 investment agreement for the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposit, media reports quoted Mongolia's finance minister, S. Bayartsogt, as saying Tuesday. The 2009 deal gave a 66 percent stake in the multibillion-dollar Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia's South Gobi region to the Canadian miner Ivanhoe Mines (Toronto: IVN.TO - news) , in which mining giant Rio Tinto now owns a 48.5 percent stake. The government has the remaining 34 percent stake.

Rio Tinto senses a shift in mood

Despite order books that are full and robust commodity prices, Rio Tinto says that customer sentiment is now more cautious and physical markets are softer than they were six months ago. Executives from Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest diversified miners, voiced their concerns at an investor seminar in London and New York on Tuesday. The company is finding that customers are concerned over the health of the OECD economies and persistent volatility in financial markets.

Empire Mining final assays from Demirtepe main zone return significant copper-gold-silver and molybdenum values

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2011) - Empire Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:EPC) ("Empire") is pleased to report the final assay results for the remaining drill holes from Phase I drilling at the Demirtepe copper-gold-silver-molybdenum project located in western Turkey, where drilling in the Main Zone has consistently intercepted significant shallow mineralization in every hole completed. The most recent assays include the following significant copper-gold-silver and molybdenum intersections

Russia in zinc mining deal with Iran

Russia has agreed to develop an Iranian zinc deposit that is among the largest in the world in a deal involving an Iranian bank that faces international sanctions, the Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported on Tuesday. The agreement to develop

Selwyn Resources Ltd.: new high-grade mineralization extends XY West to the Northwest

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 19, 2011) - Selwyn Resources Ltd. ("Selwyn") (TSX VENTURE:SWN) is pleased to provide additional information on the discovery of zinc-lead mineralization northwest of XY West deposit, as described in the August 15, 2011 news release, within an adjacent fault panel. These new drill results support the significant mineral potential of the Selwyn Project now that high-grade zinc-lead mineralization has been traced over 2,900 metres in the XY Central-XY West deposits area. This drilling was conducted by Selwyn Chihong Mining Ltd. ("SCML"), the joint venture company equally owned by Selwyn and Chihong Mining Canada Ltd. Chihong Mining Canada Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yunnan Chihong Zinc and Germanium Co. Ltd. The location of the new drill holes and lenses can be found on drill plan maps available at www.selwynresources.com.

BHP is looking for robotics exec to dig world’s biggest open pit

Adelaide Now reports BHP Billiton wants to "future-proof" its massive Olympic Dam project, including using driverless haulage trucks and this week put out a recruitment ad for an executive to oversee the high-tech initiative. The system would mean operators can be in a control room on the site or even in the comfort of a city office hundreds of kilometres away. BHP Billiton is in the final stages of the approval process for the $30 billion expansion of its existing underground operation at Olympic Dam to create a new open pit mine that would be the worlds biggest – trucks will haul overburden 24/7 for five to six years just to reach the ore body. The combined operations would mine 72 Mt ore per year and would produce 750,000 tonnes refined copper, 19,000 tonnes uranium oxide, 800,000 gold ounces and 2.9 Moz of silver per year.

Record $8.5 billion likely spent in 2011 exploring for gold

Research firm Metals Economics Group reports gold continues to be top exploration target accounting for more than 50% of global exploration of non-ferrous metals for the second consecutive year in 2011. Latin America is set continue to be the industry's favorite regional exploration destination in 2011, while Canada will remain the top overall country. Copper will account for roughly a fifth of 2011 nonferrous exploration budgets that is expected to exceed US$17 billion for expenditures related to precious and base metals, diamonds, uranium, and some industrial minerals. It represents an increase of about 50% from the 2010 total and a new all time high.

India is now the elephant in the room

New economic numbers from India, the latest forecasts for the country's voracious appetite for gold, iron ore and in particular coal and its plans for a sovereign wealth fund to look at mining deals abroad mean that the GVK-Rinehart tie-up could be the first of many.