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Deal to build the world’s richest coal mine collapses

The China Post reports Mongolia's National Security Council has rejected a deal struck with foreign firms to develop the western block of Tavan Tolgoi in the South Gobi desert, the world’s largest deposit of high-quality coking coal used in steelmaking. Metallurgical coal has been trading at record levels of $330/tonne this year and the news is a blow to US mining giant Peabody Energy, China's Shenhua and a Russian-Mongolian consortium that were announced as winners in July. At the time the losing bidders from Brazil, India and South Korea were smarting and Japan went so far as to call the bidding process 'extremely regrettable'. Mongolia was hoping to privatize its Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal-mining company which controls the remainder of the 6 billion tonne resource for $3 billion next year.

Iron ore probe judge says exports eat away India’s national wealth

Sify reports rampant extraction of iron ore for export was steadily eating away India's national wealth, retired Supreme Court judge M.B. Shah, who heads a commission probing illegal mining in several states, said Saturday. Justice Shah is probing unlawful mining in Goa, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. His team has been camping in Goa for the last two days – visiting mining leases, interviewing bureaucrats and inspecting documents, related to the more than 100 operational iron ore mines in the state. Justice Shah, who heads the nine-member commission, would be submitting a comprehensive report on the Goa mining scandal to the central government within 45 days.

Rio Tinto plans to sell ‘a lot’ Of Oyu Tolgoi output to China

Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) plans to sell "a lot" of the output from the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project in Mongolia to China, and is in discussions with smelters in China, Rio Tinto's U.S. Copper Chief Financial Officer said Friday at an industry event."Talks are still underway, and there's no definite plan right now," Kay Priestly told a Metal Bulletin conference in China. With the Oyu Tolgoi mine strategically located close to China where demand is high, so "it's certainly our plan to transport a lot of the products to China," Priestly added.

Huge steppe up for Prophecy Coal after Mongolia approves power plant

TSX-V junior Prophecy Coal was trading up 6% by early afternoon on Thursday after jumping 11% earlier in the day on news that the Mongolian government has given the go-ahead for a power plant at the mouth of its Chandgana mine. Prophecy – which also controls a Yukon platinum explorer – has more than 1.4 billion tonnes of surface minable thermal coal resources at Chandgana and its producing mine Ulaan Ovoo for which it recently signed offtake agreements in Russia. There is renewed interest in Mongolian coal assets and earlier this week an Australia-based firm exploring in the fast-growing country was sold for a 800% profit a mere 18 months after its IPO.

Freeport braces for month-long strike

For the second time this year workers have downed tools at one of the world's largest copper and gold mines. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting thousands of workers at Freeport-McMoran's gold and copper mine in eastern Indonesia have begun a month-long strike over a wage dispute: Union spokesman Juli Parorongan said roughly 90 per cent of the Papua mine's 12,000 workers were taking part in the action, which began on Thursday.

Indian firms eye $6 billion Afghan iron ore contract

As the United States and its allies look back on a weekend of memorials and tributes to the nearly 3,000 victims of 9/11, the country that was struck in retaliation for the 2001 attack on America could become a hotbed of mining. The National reports that Indian firms are bidding billions of dollars for a contract to mine iron ore in a central district of Afghanistan: "A consortium led by the state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) could invest up to US$6 billion (Dh22bn) in the mine, railroads and a steel plant in a race with China to lock in raw materials for two of the world's fastest-growing economies."

Junior sold for 800% more 18 months after IPO as coal miners go mad for Mongolia

Strong interest in the Mongolian resource sector has provided shareholders in Hunnu Coal a 800% gain in only 18 months. Thailand's Banpu announced Tuesday it is taking over the ASX-listed junior for $400 million or $1.80/share – Hunnu went public in February 2010 at 20c. Hunnu may be the first of many firms with Mongolian coal assets to attract bidders with Ivanhoe Mines' SouthGobi and TSX-V junior Prophecy Coal talked about as likely targets and a way in for smaller investors who are not be able to participate in Tavan Tolgoi's $3 billion IPO slated for next year.

Philippine 2011 mining investment may hit $2.8 bln

Mining investments could reach $2.8 billion in the Philippines this year if Chinese investors proceed with plans to jointly develop mining projects in the country, a senior mining official said Tuesday. There is a good chance that an initial target of $1.4 billion could be doubled if Chinese investors follow through in the last quarter on investments they have expressed interest in, Mines and Geosciences Bureau director Leo Jasareno said.