Australia Top Stories

Striking miners at BHP’s Escondida block roads, clash with police

Incidents come despite a local judge ruled late Tuesday that…

BC Iron tries its luck in the potash industry

Joint venture with Kalium Lakes has added the Carnegie potash…

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Acquisition agreement for Cambodian gold mine positive for Astral Mining

Astra Mining, an Australian diversified mining company, has signed an option agreement to fund the acquisition of an operating gold mine in Cambodia which presently has an exploration licence.The agreement provides Astra with a majority interest in Petone Mining (Asia) which has the acquisition agreement for the mine. A mining licence will be applied for prior to production expansion of the mine.

Perseus completes US$85M drawdown for Central Ashanti Gold Project

Perseus Mining Limited (ASX/TSX: PRU) is pleased to announce that the US$85 million Project Finance Facility provided to Perseus’s 90%-owned subsidiary, Central Ashanti Gold Limited (“CAGL”), by Macquarie Bank Limited and Credit Suisse AG has been drawn down. To date, approximately US$152 million of the estimated US$174 million capital cost of Perseus’s Central Ashanti Gold Project in Ghana has been funded by equity capital raised by Perseus. The balance of construction costs will be financed using funds drawn under the debt facility.

Iron Road Limited (ASX:IRD) Raises A$21M to Advance Central Eyre

Iron Road Limited (ASX:IRD) is pleased to announce it has successfully raised A$21.6 million to further advance the Central Eyre Iron Project following the recently completed positive prefeasibility study. "The funds raised today will allow us to continue our aggressive resource drilling campaign and deliver additional large tonnages into the project. We are currently drilling the Murphy South western extension and PIRSA have this week approved drilling over the Murphy South eastern extension. This work will further enhance our position as we continue our partnership discussions.

BHP Australia coal miners hold third day of strikes before starting talks

More than 1,000 workers at two BHP Billiton coking coal mines in Australia staged a third day of strikes in a dispute that is disrupting production from the world’s largest exporter of the steelmaking commodity. Analysts believe the industrial action, added to the 15% cut in annual production caused by monsoon rains and a cyclone, will support rampant prices for steel-making coal which hit an all-time high in April of $330 per tonne. Metallurgical coal accounts for A$24.5bn of the Australia’s A$202.17bn in total annual goods exports.

Alcyone pours first silver from Twin Hills, hopes to produce 2m oz/year at a cost of $15/oz

Australian junior miner Alcyone Resources has poured its first silver bullion from its 100%-owned Texas silver and polymetallic project in Queensland it acquired 18 months ago, after starting in early April this year to re-irrigate the existing silver-rich heaps at the Twin Hills mine. Alcyone says its forecast cash operating cost is around A$15/ounce which provides strong margins with the silver price hovering above A$30/ounce. It expects to start full-scale operations by the September 2011 quarter at an initial annualised rate of 1.5-2.0m ounces. The ASX-listed penny stock is up some 120% so far this year.

Tata Steel sells Riversdale stake to Rio Tinto

India's Tata Steel on Thursday agreed to sell its 26 percent stake in Australia's Riversdale to Rio Tinto for $1.1 billion, giving the Anglo-Australian giant full control of the coal miner. Tata, the world's No 7 steelmaker, will sell shares in an open offer at A$16.5 each. Riversdale shares closed little changed at A$16.50 in Sydney on Thursday before Tata Steel's announcement.

Peel Mining Limited (ASX:PEX) announcs strong IP anomalies at Ruby Silver project

In April/May, Peel Mining Limited (ASX:PEX) undertook an 18 line kilometre IP survey over the historic Tulloch silver mine and Rockvale arsenic mine areas in preparation for an upcoming drill programme. Peel is pleased to report that multiple zones of strong shallow chargeable anomalism have been identified, many of which are coincident or proximal to known historic workings. These chargeable IP responses are interpreted as areas of possibly concentrated sulphide mineralisation and will be high-priority targets for future drill programmes.

Rio Tinto to spend $676m to speed up iron ore expansion plans

World no.2 iron ore miner Rio Tinto is investing $676 million to speed up its iron ore expansion by six months to capture demand as rival plans to boost production are impeded. Rio said on Wednesday it expects to increase its capacity by 50 percent to 333 million tonnes a year by the first half of 2015.

Astra plans Frankfurt listing, inks Nigerian deal

Diversified Australian miner Astra Mining announced on Wednesday plans to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange before the end of August after two days earlier inking a deal to enter the Nigerian market and further expand its global presence. Deal-hungry Astra Mining’s global portfolio includes gold and tin interests in south east Asia and southern India, coal mines in Australia, iron ore in India, manganese in Africa and the commercialisation of a new high-strength steel technology from a base in Hungary.