Australia Top Stories

Fortescue Metals ups stake in Candente Copper

Fortescue now owns almost 20% of Candente, which is advancing…

Core Lithium gets Europe supply deal for Finniss project

The agreement is for the supply of 50,000 tonnes per…

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Hanlong buys Sundance for US1.57B

A Chinese company has made another bid to secure iron ore and other metals beyond its borders. On Tuesday Hanlong Mining said it will buy Perth-based Sundance Resources for US$1.57 billion. AFP reported that Hanlong will acquire Sundance through a scheme of arrangement, after lifting its offer to 57 cents cash per share from 50 cents back in July.

Wesfarmers slashes coal price but experts see no reason to panic

The price of coking coal is likely to remain buoyant despite a recent price cut by Wesfarmers and softening Chinese demand for steelmaking inputs. Wesfarmers, an Australian conglomerate based in Perth, over the weekend cut the price it receives for its Curragh coal to US$280 a tonne over the next three months. The move prompted analysts to consider whether coal, like several commodities like copper, nickel, and zinc, is the next domino to fall as slowing global growth pinches commmodities.

Asian and Australian markets down sharply, gold up

The Hang Seng Index was down 4.38% and S&P/ASX 200 slid 2.78% over fears of euro zone contagion and the risk another recession may be looming. Gold is up and at $1657/oz. It closed last week at $1624/oz. Hang Seng was also hit by worries about the casinos in Macua. There is less credit available from China, which may dampen revenue from gambling.

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What happened at Bougainville

SBS World News Australia reports that Bouganville copper mine, one of the world's largest deposits of copper, could open if past combatants could be fairly compensated. The report also alleges new complicity in the conflict that cost the lives of around 15,000 to 20,000 people. The open pit mine was established in Papua New Guinea in the early 1970s by Bougainville Copper Limited, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. While operating, it accounted for 20% of the country's national budget.

Substition hurts rare earth demand

Subsitution is driving rare earth demand down, according to analyst Dudley Kingsnorth speaking at an industry conference in China. Kingsnorth is executive director of Industrial Minerals Company of Australia. Dudley told the Metal-Pages(TM) Minor Metals and Rare Earth Conference in Beijing last September that he is dropping projected demand of rare earth oxide per annum to 170,000 tonnes from a previous forecast of 195,000. For example manufacturers of rechargeable batteries may start using lithium ion materials instead of a nickel-metal hydrid, which uses the light rare earth lanthanum.

Sedgman wins A$85 million Codrilla coal handling contract

The Thiess Sedgman Joint Venture (TSJV) has been awarded a A$85 million contract to design, procure, construct and commission a Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) at the Codrilla coal mine on behalf of Macarthur Coal (C&M Management), the manager of the Coppabella Moorvale Joint Venture (CMJV).

PNG nickel mine ready to start dumping 200 million tonnes of waste in ocean

Despite a rancourous dispute with local landowners over compensation and infrastructure upgrades and an appeal against a Papua New Guinea High Court ruling approving the dumping, Australia's Highlands Pacific on Friday said it is confident it could power on its already built mine next year after the intervention of a provincial governor. The wrangling over the $1.5 billion Ramu nickel and cobalt mine that over its life will dump 100 million tonnes of waste 400m offshore comes as the new PNG's government moves to quell concerns about proposed changes to mining rights that would potentially force projects worth billions of dollars into renegotiation.

Finland is the least risky place to mine; Australia comes 7th

Country risk is one of the most important factors in mining, and a new study ranks Australia as the seventh best place to mine in terms of risk. Topping the list was Finland, which got a low score of 7, followed by Chile (9.7), Burkina Fasso (11), Botswana and Sweden (11.3), U.S. (11.4), Brazil (11.9), Canada (12.4) and Argentina (13.1).

Yancoal hungry for more mines in Aus

With the price of coal off about $5 a metric tonne, coal-mining companies are looking more tempting to acquirers. The Australian reports that Yancoal Australia, fresh from purchasing Wesfarmers' Premier Coal Mine in Western Australia for $297 million last week and Syntech Resources last month for $202.5 million, could buy more coal mines.