Asia Top Stories

Rio Tinto faces fresh legal setback at Oyu Tolgoi mine

Administrative court has upheld claims that authorities didn’t follow due…

Indonesia hopes for environmental nod soon for battery-grade nickel plants

Indonesia wants to become a global hub for producing and…

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Southern Arc hits more ‘blow-outs’ in hunt for gold and silver in Indonesia

Eyeing potential for high-grade gold tonnage, Canada's Southern Arc reports on another swelling gold-silver mineralized vein in Indonesia. A zinger of a drilling result - wide with high-grade gold mineralization - propped up Southern Arc Minerals' theory that the Pelangan target on its West Lombok property in Indonesia may hold other bonanza-grade ore shoots.

Indian buyers help lift gold sales in the Middle East

The Middle Eastern market, which has seen sustained interest in large denomination bullion bars from high-net-worth individuals, has a new ally. Heavy buying from expatriates from the Asian subcontinent, notably India, has spurred sales of the precious metal.

Hunnu buys controlling stake in Mongolia Coal JV from Rio Tinto

Mining Weekly reported that Hunnu Coal (ASX:HUN) bought a majority stake in the Altai Nuurs coal project from Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO). The market news is quoted as saying: Hunnu said in a statement that it would now start Jorc modelling at the Altai Nuurs project, with a major drilling programme planned for the remainder of 2011.

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Indonesia to review all existing mining permits as new mining regulations passed

Indonesia will audit over 8,000 existing mining permits to make sure they are in line with mining and environmental laws, the country's finance minister said on Monday, days after the country passed new regulations on environmental protection. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last week signed a two-year moratorium on permits for logging and another decree allowing underground mining in protected forests if conditions such as an environmental assessment had been met.

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.

Reuters: Quality issues threaten India iron ore sales to China

Reuters reports that world number three supplier India's iron ore exports and prices could be hit by quality issues raised by China on $2.2bn worth of shipments. India sends almost all its exports to China, trade worth around $1.5bn per month. During the first four months of 2011, over a third of India's exports to the Chinese province of Jiangsu were substandard, China's General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a notice posted on its website.

India Net Polished Exports $553M in April

Gross exports of polished diamonds from India continue to grow, rising 5.5% year over year. In April the country exported nearly 5 million carats worth $2.05 billion, according to the latest figures published by the GJEPC.

Investors worried about bullion’s direction should look east

Many investors are calling into question billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros’s commitment to gold. With higher highs no longer a regular occurrence in the gold market, some see Soros’s dumping of gold ETFs as a clear sign that the party is over. But as trading in the first Asian precious metal futures contract opens on Wednesday, bearish investors may want to take a cue from the millions — maybe billions — of investors in India, China, Vietnam and across the region who are pouring money into gold and are willing to pay a premium.