• EDITOR'S COMMENT - Longer term optimism for mining industry

    More News

    Longer term optimism for mining industry

    The message evident in longer term mining industry forecasts is to hang in there with conditions set to improve.

    The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) predicts in a commodity outlook that production of energy and minerals commodities will increase by 20% in 2013-14 compared with 2008-09 volumes, with rising demand and the prices also increasing.

    In fact, it has predicted earnings from energy and minerals commodities will grow at an average annual rate of 2.8% to $140 billion (in 2008-09 dollars) in 2013-14 as world economic growth strengthens to 4.3% in 2011, before easing gradually to around 4% a year toward 2014.

    The shorter term outlook is not quite so optimistic with ABARE saying that mineral resource export earnings will fall by 21.2% next year with the lower dollar not enough to shield the mining sector from falling base metals and commodity prices.

    It says that production of metals and other minerals will still increase by 0.8% for the current financial year from 2007-08, due to increased production of iron ore and thermal coal.

    The last vestiges of the resources boom will also carry over into earnings, with ABARE expecting export earnings from energy and minerals to increase by 40% year on year to Aus$162 billion, thanks to bulk commodities and also gold, with metals and other minerals accounting for $85 billion of this. However, the metals and minerals share of this figure will fall by 9% in 2009-10 to $77 billion as base metals prices continue to wallow and iron ore prices also take a tumble.

    Overall, the value of export earnings from energy and minerals will fall to $128 billion in 2009-10 as prices remain depressed.

    “While the Australian dollar is expected to remain weak, averaging US$0.70 in 2008-09 and US$0.68 in 2009-10, this will not be nearly enough to shield the Australian mining industry from the impact of falling production and declining prices.

    “This, together with lower export volumes, is forecast to more than offset the positive effect on earnings of an assumed depreciation of the Australian dollar,” ABARE said in the outlook report.

    Yolanda Torrisi

    Managing editor

    The ASIA Miner

  • MAKING NEWS THIS WEEK

     MineMap mine planning software giveaway

    The ASIA Miner in conjunction with MineMap are giving away 10 MineMap Personal Licence packages over the next 12 months. Each month we will draw a winner. For your chance to win one of these great packages enter this great giveaway.
    MineMapis a complete mining software package used for exploration, surveying, geological modeling and mine planning and design at many mine sites throughout the world. Enter here

     

     PHILIPPINES – Study confirms world-class nature of Tampakan

    An extended pre-feasibility study for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in the southern Philippines indicates annual average copper production of 340,000 tonnes and gold production of 350,000 ounces based on a 20 year operation. More news

     PNG – New copper discovery at Yandera

    Field exploration about 4km south-east of Marengo Mining’s Yandera copper- molybdenum deposit in Papua New Guinea has resulted in discovery of a extensive zone of copper mineralization.
    The new prospect named Kombruku encompasses a large area containing copper mineralization with some outcropping samples containing high concentrations of copper sulphides and oxides. More news

     INDONESIA – Drilling to start shortly at Miwah

    Diamond drilling on East Asia Minerals’ flagship Miwah Gold Project in Aceh Province , Northern Sumatra , will begin in late May.
    The initial drill program will comprise 10 scissor holes from five collars for a total of 2000 metres to provide a 3D validation along the full 1200 metre strike of the Miwah gold-bearing silica zone, exposed along the Miwah ridge. More news

     INDONESIA - Churchill potential supplier to power plant
    Churchill Mining’s subsidiary PT Indonesia Coal Development (ICD) has been selected as a
    prospective thermal coal supplier to Indonesia ’s PT Cirebon Electric Power (CEP), which is building a 660 megawatt power plant in West Java .
    ICD is developing the East Kutai Coal Project in East Kalimantan which has a JORC resource of 1.4 billion tonnes of thermal coal.
    More news

     INDONESIA – On-ground exploration in West Papua

     

    Hillgrove Resources is set to undertake on-ground exploration of two recently granted Indonesian gold tenements with particular focus on its Bird’s Head project in West Papua .
    Bird’s Head is part of an advanced exploration portfolio of 5128sqkm in world-class copper and gold terrains.
    Exploration efforts are targeting porphyry copper-gold and epithermal deposits and the company hopes to discover a world-class ore body.

    More news

     

     

     COPPER – Cloncurry resource up to 51 million tonnes
    An increase in Cloncurry Copper Project resources has boosted Exco Resources’ total north west Queensland resource base to more than 500,000 tonnes of copper.
    The Cloncurry project now contains an estimated 51 million tonnes @ 0.84% copper and 0.23 grams/tonne gold.
    The project comprises three key regions of mineralization - the E1 Camp, the Monakoff group of deposits and the Great Australia Deposit. The main focus of recent drilling has been the E1 Camp, which now contains 80% of the contained copper
    . More news

     

     IRON ORE – Chinese investment in Fortescue approved

    A share subscription agreement between Fortescue Metals Group and Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group Company has received approval from the Chinese Government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)
    The approval was the key milestone for the transaction and paves the way for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to formalize the agreement.
    Once formalized, all agreement conditions will have been satisfied enabling Valin to proceed with acquisition of 260 million new Fortescue shares issued at Aus$2.48 per share to raise Aus$644.8 million in new equity capital. NDRC approval follows Australian Government approval on March 31.
    More news

     IRON ORE – Karara production timetables revised

     

    Gindalbie Metals anticipates beginning hematite production at its Karara Project in Western Australia in the second half of 2010 and production from the flagship magnetite phase in the first half of 2011.
    The timelines have been extended following delays with approval of a joint venture with AnSteel as well as delays with environmental approvals, which have subsequently delayed getting on site to start construction.
    While waiting for the approvals Gindalbie’s CEO Garret Dixon says the company has been working hard on procurement of major long lead items and that process has been completed with most orders placed.
    More news

     

     

     PLATINUM & PALLADIUM – Global output declining

     

    Global mine output of platinum and palladium was lower during 2008 with further declines likely this year.
    In its annual report on the world’s platinum and palladium markets, precious metals consultancy GFMS says platinum output declined by 7% in 2008 and palladium by 10%.
    The ‘Platinum & Palladium Survey 2009’ stated that much of platinum’s fall was ascribed to South Africa’s 8% drop, where production was adversely affected by, among other factors, the country’s energy crisis and serious flooding and subsequent temporary closure of the Amandelbult mine.
    More news

     

     

     COMPANY & PRODUCT NEWS - Innovative software a mainstay for mines

    Asset management specialists Maintenance & Project Engineering (MPE) have released an innovative computer software program called ‘mainstay Maintenance Solutions’ which is designed to assist companies overcome limitations in maintenance management.
    The Australian company, which has offices in Singleton, New South Wales and Oxenford, Queensland, has been in operation for more than 10 years and employs a team of 30 comprising engineers and specialists in the mechanical and electrical fields.
    More news

     

     


    To access Alex McCall’s live interview click here

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
  • PHILIPPINES – Study confirms world-class nature of Tampakan

    An extended pre-feasibility study for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in the southern Philippines indicates annual average copper production of 340,000 tonnes and gold production of 350,000 ounces based on a 20 year operation.

    The study confirms the world-class, low-cost and long-life nature of the deposit, underpinned by a 2.2 billion tonne mineral resource containing 12.8 million tonnes of copper and 15.2 million ounces of gold.

  • PNG – New copper discovery at Yandera

    Field exploration about 4km south-east of Marengo Mining’s Yandera copper- molybdenum deposit in Papua New Guinea has resulted in discovery of a extensive zone of copper mineralization.

    The new prospect named Kombruku encompasses a large area containing copper mineralization with some outcropping samples containing high concentrations of copper sulphides and oxides.

  • INDONESIA – Drilling to start shortly at Miwah

              

    Diamond drilling on East Asia Minerals’ flagship Miwah Gold Project in Aceh Province , Northern Sumatra , will begin in late May.

    The initial drill program will comprise 10 scissor holes from five collars for a total of 2000 metres to provide a 3D validation along the full 1200 metre strike of the Miwah gold-bearing silica zone, exposed along the Miwah ridge.

  • INDONESIA - Churchill potential supplier to power plant

    Churchill Mining’s subsidiary PT Indonesia Coal Development (ICD) has been selected as a prospective thermal coal supplier to Indonesia ’s PT Cirebon Electric Power (CEP), which is building a 660 megawatt power plant in West Java .

  • INDONESIA – On-ground exploration in West Papua

    Hillgrove Resources is set to undertake on-ground exploration of two recently granted Indonesian gold tenements with particular focus on its Bird’s Head project in West Papua .

    Bird’s Head is part of an advanced exploration portfolio of 5128sqkm in world-class copper and gold terrains.

  • COPPER – Cloncurry resource up to 51 million tonnes

    An increase in Cloncurry Copper Project resources has boosted Exco Resources’ total north west Queensland resource base to more than 500,000 tonnes of copper.

    The Cloncurry project now contains an estimated 51 million tonnes @ 0.84% copper and 0.23 grams/tonne gold.

  • IRON ORE – Chinese investment in Fortescue approved

    A share subscription agreement between Fortescue Metals Group and Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group Company has received approval from the Chinese Government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

    The approval was the key milestone for the transaction and paves the way for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to formalize the agreement.

  • IRON ORE – Karara production timetables revised

    Gindalbie Metals anticipates beginning hematite production at its Karara Project in Western Australia in the second half of 2010 and production from the flagship magnetite phase in the first half of 2011.

  • PLATINUM & PALLADIUM – Global output declining

    Global mine output of platinum and palladium was lower during 2008 with further declines likely this year.

    In its annual report on the world’s platinum and palladium markets, precious metals consultancy GFMS says platinum output declined by 7% in 2008 and palladium by 10%.

    The ‘Platinum & Palladium Survey 2009’ stated that much of platinum’s fall was ascribed to South Africa’s 8% drop, where production was adversely affected by, among other factors, the country’s energy crisis and serious flooding and subsequent temporary closure of the Amandelbult mine.

  • COMPANY & PRODUCT NEWS - Innovative software a mainstay for mines

    Asset management specialists Maintenance & Project Engineering (MPE) have released an innovative computer software program called ‘mainstay Maintenance Solutions’ which is designed to assist companies overcome limitations in maintenance management.

    The Australian company, which has offices in Singleton, New South Wales and Oxenford, Queensland, has been in operation for more than 10 years and employs a team of 30 comprising engineers and specialists in the mechanical and electrical fields.

  • Seeking investors for Philippine manganese deposits

  • KCGM's open pit at Kalgoorlie

  • Metso inlet for the crushing and screening operations

  • The ASIA Miner Volume 6 Edition 2

  • The Asia Miner Volume 6 Edition 1

  • Mine Software Giveaway

    MineMap mine planning software giveaway

     

    TheASIA Miner™ in conjunction with MineMap are giving away 10 MineMap Personal Licence packages over the next 12 months. Each month we will draw a winner. For your chance to win one of these great packages enter this great giveaway.

     

    MineMap is a complete mining software package used for exploration, surveying, geological modeling and mine planning and design at many mine sites throughout the world.

     

    MineMap runs in a true Windows environment and is able to directly interface with Microsoft and other database systems.

     

    MineMap's central CAD module, integrates CAD functionality with drillhole data, model data, rendering and bitmap images - all in a true 3D environment. Rendered 3D views and rotation, incorporating pits, wireframes, underground drives, stopes, drillholes and model cells can be displayed or printed/plotted. Background images (e.g. GIS, aerial photos) can be underlayed, while working with string/drillhole data on screen.

     

    MineMap includes full modelling functionality, plus a powerful Lerchs-Grossman pit optimisation module. The entire system, including on-line help, comes on a single CD. A worked tutorial complete with sample data is also included.

     

    The MineMap Personal Licence is a restricted license, having some modules omitted or restricted including:

     

    AscDump is omitted - Dump model data as text files for import into other software.

     

    Stratig is omitted - Stratigraphic section plots for coal.

    Plotting window is limited to 10 objects per page.

    Models are limited to 200 x 200 x 200 blocks (x, y, and z).

    June 2009 winner
    Alan McClure
    AIR Resources Australia

    July 2009 winner
    Rinchin
    Xanadu Mines Mongolia

    August 2009 winner
    Vanadis Mares
    Red Rock Drilling Services Pty Australia


    September 2009 winner
    ARTURO A ONA
    NEVADA USA

    October 2009 winner
    David Nye
    PT Britmindo Indonesia

    November 2009 winner
    Henry Salvado 
    Sacre Coeur Mineral 
    Guyana

    January- February 2010winner
    Mr David L Lorge 
    Mining and Geological Services
    Nevada

    March 2010 winner
    Frances Wall 
    Camborne School of Mines
    United Kingdom

    April 2010 winner
    Mr. Ken Day
    PT Territory Indonesia 
    Indonesia 

    May 2010 winner
    Mr. FELIX THOMPSON
    PERSEUS MINING LTD 
    GHANA



    {chronocontact}mining_software{/chronocontact}

     

     

  • EDITOR'S COMMENT - Gold shines brightly, but it’s at its peak

    More News

    Gold shines brightly, but it’s at its peak

    The perception held by many investors that retreating to gold is a sound value decision and a safe haven against global commodity and equity market collapses has come under question.

    In addressing a recent conference in Australia , Westpac Economic Research senior economist Justin Smirk said gold had a good future “but is close to its peak price”.

    He said, “It will continue to do well but will be outperformed by other rebounding commodities which will move faster as economies recover.

    “Gold is a good buy now as a hedge but perhaps not for much longer in terms of comparison against other metals.

    “The world deflationary spiral is keeping gold below US$1000 an ounce and I don’t expect it to get back above that, or not by much, for about two years.

    “In real terms and looking at the past 100 years, gold’s value in Australia has not returned to inflationary levels of the 1980s, which is around the equivalent of US$1600 an ounce.

    “The metal will need an outbreak of inflation to have a strongly positive future but that means other commodities will also benefit at the same time and I would expect, outperform gold in every way, so on that basis, we question the perception of its true value.”

    Westpac’s forecasting suggests a gold price of around US$914 an ounce in 2010, rising to US$1063 in 2011 and US$1150 in 2012, however the bank’s own parallel forecasts for copper suggest the copper price performance would outperform gold over that period on a percentage basis.

    The current rush to gold was hardly surprising as cashed up China and European economies - which would have invested a large share of their funds in the US - have turned away from that due to the American economic downturn and gold has been a short-term benefactor.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Yolanda Torrisi

    Managing editor

    The ASIA Miner                                                                      More News

  • MAKING NEWS THIS WEEK

    INDONESIA - Additional gold targets at Miwah

    The reprocessing of historical airborne data has enabled East Asia Minerals to identify new high-potential gold targets at its Miwah gold prospect in northern Sumatra.
    Initial prospecting and sampling has also begun near the recently discovered Sipopok gold prospect, 1.5km northeast of Miwah. More news

       KAZAKHSTAN – Focus on two advanced gold projects

    Central Asia Resources is focusing immediate exploration efforts on two of its six Kazakhstan gold prospects - Alyntas and new Dalabai tenement.
    It will accelerate the investigation of Dalabai, which it purchased late last year, on a number of fronts, including extension drilling, metallurgy test work and feasibility studies. More news

    PHILIPPINES – Co-O phase I expansion nears completion

    The Phase I expansion project at Medusa Mining’s Co-O Gold Project in the Philippines is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2009.
    The expansion will raise gold production at Co-O to 60,000 ounces/year.
    A total of 1665 metres of development was completed in the first quarter and the Agsao shaft produced its first development ore. More news

       PAKISTAN – Block VI coal feasibility study under way

    Oracle Coalfields, the developer of the 1.4 billion tonne Block VI coal deposit in southern Pakistan, has appointed Wardell Armstrong International to carry out the Environmental/Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) on the project.
    The ESIA will form part of the Bankable Feasibility Study on the project.
    Block VI is on the Thar coalfield in the eastern Sindh province and hosts a JORC-compliant resource of 1.4 billion tonnes of which 371 million tonnes are in the proven category. More news

    CHINA – Nuclear reactor work under way

    The first concrete has been poured at Sanmen for the construction of China’s first AP1000 nuclear reactor.
    Despite difficulties in arranging the ceremony, work went ahead at the end of March, so the reactor is now properly under construction. More news

    CHINA – Zinc and fluorite revenues down

    REVENUE decreases from zinc and fluorite processing operations resulted in China Shen Zhou Mining and Resources recording a decrease of 50.27% in overall revenue during 2008.
    Net revenues for 2008 were $7.14 million, compared to $14.35 million in 2007.
    The biggest impact was from Qianzhen Mining, whose zinc processing operations were affected by a shortage of ore supplies and sharp decrease of the price of metals. This resulted in a reduction of revenue of 82.36% or about $5.83 million compared to 2007. More news

    GOLD – Ivanhoe farms-in to Tennant Creek projects

    Emmerson Resources has signed an exploration farm-in and joint venture agreement with Ivanhoe Australia to fast track the discovery of potentially world-class gold and gold-copper deposits at the Tennant Creek Mineral Field in the Northern Territory.
    Ivanhoe will be involved in aggressively advancing the large number of high quality gold-copper targets identified by Emmerson within its extensive tenement package.
    It will fund expenditure of $18 million on exploration over a three year farm-in period to earn a 51% interest in the majority of the tenement package. More news  

    GOLD – ‘Much better’ year in 2009

    Australia’s gold sector can expect a recovery in 2009 as it shakes off negative impacts that have weighed heavily in recent years despite the metal’s rising price.
    Addressing a recent conference Hartleys Limited’s lead director, corporate finance, Grey Egerton-Warburton, said the Australian gold industry had changed significantly in the past few years with fewer local operations. More news

    IRON ORE – Strong drilling results from Wodgina

    Atlas Iron has received some outstanding exploration drilling results from the Wodgina Iron Ore Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
    Selected results include 68 metres from surface @ 60.0% iron and 0.08% phosphorus, 46 metres from 18 metres @ 60.6% iron and 0.03% phosphorus, 36 metres from 20 metres More news

    CONFERENCES – Helping mining industry rise to the challenge

    The fifth AMEC National Mining Congress in Perth during May aims to help the mining industry rise to the challenges presented by the global financial crisis.
    It is, therefore, appropriate that the theme of the congress is ‘Rising to the Challenge’.
    The congress is organised by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies and this year will be held at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre on May 21 and 22. More news

    MOVERS & SHAKERS – New president and CEO for Southeast Asia Mining

    Southeast Asia Mining Corp has appointed its chairman Kerry Smith as new president and CEO.
    The appointment of the chairman to these positions follows the resignation of John Steele, who will focus his efforts on the company’s Thailand subsidiary, Geotai Mining and Exploration.  More news

    To access Alex McCall’slive interview click here 




  • STORY OF THE MONTH - KCGM benefits from Metso life-cycle partnership

    The development of a life-cycle approach by Metso with its equipment and services has resulted in greater efficiency and production for Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) at its gold operations in Kalgoorlie , Western Australia .

    Metso has been involved with KCGM since 2001 as preferred contractor for servicing and maintenance of the Crushing and Materials Handling Facility at Fimiston Plant.

  • INDONESIA - Additional gold targets at Miwah

    The reprocessing of historical airborne data has enabled East Asia Minerals to identify new high-potential gold targets at its Miwah gold prospect in northern Sumatra.

    Initial prospecting and sampling has also begun near the recently discovered Sipopok gold prospect, 1.5km northeast of Miwah.

  • KAZAKHSTAN – Focus on two advanced gold projects

    Central Asia Resources is focusing immediate exploration efforts on two of its six Kazakhstan gold prospects - Alyntas and new Dalabai tenement.

    It will accelerate the investigation of Dalabai, which it purchased late last year, on a number of fronts, including extension drilling, metallurgy test work and feasibility studies.

  • PHILIPPINES – Co-O phase I expansion nears completion

    The Phase I expansion project at Medusa Mining’s Co-O Gold Project in the Philippines is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2009.

    The expansion will raise gold production at Co-O to 60,000 ounces/year.

    A total of 1665 metres of development was completed in the first quarter and the Agsao shaft produced its first development ore.

  • PAKISTAN – Block VI coal feasibility study under way

    Oracle Coalfields, the developer of the 1.4 billion tonne Block VI coal deposit in southern Pakistan, has appointed Wardell Armstrong International to carry out the Environmental/Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) on the project.

  • CHINA – Nuclear reactor work under way

    The first concrete has been poured at Sanmen for the construction of China’s first AP1000 nuclear reactor.

    Despite difficulties in arranging the ceremony, work went ahead at the end of March, so the reactor is now properly under construction.

  • CHINA – Zinc and fluorite revenues down

    REVENUE decreases from zinc and fluorite processing operations resulted in China Shen Zhou Mining and Resources recording a decrease of 50.27% in overall revenue during 2008.

    Net revenues for 2008 were $7.14 million, compared to $14.35 million in 2007.

  • GOLD – Ivanhoe farms-in to Tennant Creek projects

    Emmerson Resources has signed an exploration farm-in and joint venture agreement with Ivanhoe Australia to fast track the discovery of potentially world-class gold and gold-copper deposits at the Tennant Creek Mineral Field in the Northern Territory.

    Ivanhoe will be involved in aggressively advancing the large number of high quality gold-copper targets identified by Emmerson within its extensive tenement package.

  • GOLD – ‘Much better’ year in 2009

    Australia’s gold sector can expect a recovery in 2009 as it shakes off negative impacts that have weighed heavily in recent years despite the metal’s rising price.

    Addressing a recent conference Hartleys Limited’s lead director, corporate finance, Grey Egerton-Warburton, said the Australian gold industry had changed significantly in the past few years with fewer local operations.

  • IRON ORE – Strong drilling results from Wodgina

    Atlas Iron has received some outstanding exploration drilling results from the Wodgina Iron Ore Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

    Selected results include 68 metres from surface @ 60.0% iron and 0.08% phosphorus, 46 metres from 18 metres @ 60.6% iron and 0.03% phosphorus, 36 metres from 20 metres @ 57.4% iron and 0.06% phosphorus, 34 metres from 42 metres @ 57.9% iron and 0.03% phosphorus, 28 metres from 2 metres @ 58.5% iron and 0.08% phosphorus, 26 metres from surface @ 60.6% iron and 0.05% phosphorus, 34 metres from 6 metres @ 59.2% iron and 0.08% phosphorus, and 26 metres from 16 metres @ 59.2% iron and 0.11% phosphorus.

  • CONFERENCES – Helping mining industry rise to the challenge

    The fifth AMEC National Mining Congress in Perth during May aims to help the mining industry rise to the challenges presented by the global financial crisis.

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New president and CEO for Southeast Asia Mining

    Southeast Asia Mining Corp has appointed its chairman Kerry Smith as new president and CEO.

    The appointment of the chairman to these positions follows the resignation of John Steele, who will focus his efforts on the company’s Thailand subsidiary, Geotai Mining and Exploration.

  • The ASIA Miner news service 20 April 2009


    Asia's miners await result of Chinalco’s Rio Tinto bid

    The US$19.5 billion bid by Chinese aluminium giant Chinalco for a stake in multi-national miner Rio Tinto is being watched with interest by Asian mining firms who are eyeing off Australia’s cheap resources stocks.

    The Chinalco bid is the latest, and largest, move by a Chinese company into the Australian resources industry and has passed all tests put before it to date, although there are several more to come.

    It follows moves by other companies from China, India, South Korea and Japan into the resources sector into Australia, and particularly iron ore and coal but more recently in gold and uranium as well.

    There are Asian companies involved in negotiations for equity in a number of mid-sized Australian miners but who have adopted a wait and see attitude owing to the dealings between Rio and the state-owned Chinalco.

    If Australian regulators respond positively and the deal proceeds, the negotiations are likely to progress.

    Another test for the deal will be the meeting of a nervous Rio Tinto board in May, although it is expected to approve the arrangement, and probably has little option but to do so.

    The desire from Asian countries for resources is the main driver behind the increased interest, but also aiding the trend is the weak Australian dollar, low price/earnings ratios of Australian resource stocks and the fact that many Asian firms are cashed-up with some also underwritten by official reserves.

    Chinalco has offered US$7.2 billion in the form of convertible bonds which, once converted to shares, would increase its stake in Rio from 9.3% to 18%. The bonds, which have a 60-year term, would attract annual interest of 9-9.5% and would be redeemable after seven years.

    The deal would give Chinalco a sizeable stake in some of Rio's key ore, aluminum and power assets, including the vast Hamersley Iron operation in Western Australia.

    It is in Rio’s interest for it to proceed as it badly needs the cash injection to clear US$38 billion of debt incurred when it bought Canadian aluminum producer Alcan in 2007. The company is committed to repay US$8.9 billion in October and a further US$10 billion next year.

    Opponents argue that Rio could mortgage its future by hiving off key assets while the Australian government fears the deal could allow the Chinese effectively to dictate terms in their tortuous annual price negotiations with the resources sector.

    Shareholders, especially institutional investors, will have a strong say in the outcome, as many have been angered that the offering was made to Chinalco at a premium and that they were left out.

    There is still a possibility of a rival bid from another suitor, as the Chinalco deal has not yet been voted on by investors. BHP, which considered launching a formal bid last year, is one possibility, though it would mean Rio would have to pay a US$195 million ‘break fee’ to Chinalco.

    Other Asian miners cannot be ruled out. China Minmetals recently wrapped up an Aus$2.6 billion takeover of OZ Minerals while Chinese steel producer Anshan Iron & Steel Group is paying Aus$162 million for a bigger stake in Gindalbie Metals.

         Yolanda Torrisi Managing editor The ASIA Miner
         Ph: +61 3 9816 8048
         Mob. +61 412261870
         [email protected]

  • Aust-Asia Conference 09

    Under Construction

  • INDONESIA – Thick coal seams identified at IBP

    A 4600 metre drilling program on Kalimantan Gold’s PT Indobara Pratama (IBP) coal project in Indonesia has identified two thick seams.

    One seam is between 1-6 metres thick while the other is between 8 and 13 metres. The flat lying to shallow dipping nature of the seams indicates a low overburden ratio of around 2:1 (2 metres of overburden per 1 metre of coal).

  • PHILIPPINES – Canatuan sulphide project commissioned

    TVI Pacific has overcome many obstacles in the past two years to bring its Canatuan Sulphide Project online and last month achieved a milestone with the first shipment of copper concentrates leaving for China .

  • CHINA – Changkeng indicated gold resource up 65%

    A new resource estimate for Minco Gold Corporation’s Changkeng Project in Guangdong Province , China , has resulted in a 65% increase in indicated gold ounces.

    The gold portion of the resource estimate has been expanded and upgraded to contain indicated resources of 4 million tonnes @ 4.89 grams/tonne gold for a total of 623,100 ounces. The estimate also contains inferred resources of 4 million tonnes @ 3.01 grams/tonne for a total of 386,800 ounces.

  • CHINA – Caijiaying operations to resume June 1

    Production at Griffin Mining’s Caijiaying zinc-gold mine in China is expected to resume on June 1.

  • MONGOLIA - China buys into uranium interests

    Canadian company Western Prospector Group, which has uranium interests in Mongolia , has accepted a US$25 million takeover bid from China 's CNNC International.

    Western Prospector's main interest is the Saddle Hills uranium project near Dornod in eastern Mongolia , and in particular in the Gurvanbulag deposit.

  • CONFERENCES – China Mining an important discussion platform

    There are many important questions facing the mining industry during the global economic downturn and many of them do not have definitive answers.

    The China Mining Congress and Expo in Tianjin from October 20-22, 2009 , will provide the ideal platform to discuss many of the questions and perhaps even come up with some solutions.

  • AWARDS – FCF Minerals recognised for Philippines’ project

    Philippines-based FCF Minerals has been recognised for a community development project that focuses on out of school youth.

    The project saw FCF, which is owned by UK-based Metals Exploration, take out the 2009 Asia Mining Congress Sustainability Award.

  • COMPANY & PRODUCT NEWS - Innovative products from AMC

    The Australian Mud Company (AMC), a drilling fluids and products company, has launched a number of products aimed at making the mining industry more sustainable with far less impact on the environment.

  • PRODUCT NEWS – The Airport Economist’s view of exports

    There are many aspects to the Australian export industry with the work of successful Australians in evidence throughout the world.

  • PHILIPPINES – Potential for large copper system

    Initial drilling of Medusa Mining’s Lingig copper prospect in the Philippines has returned intersections bearing gold and copper mineralization.

    While it is very early in the exploration program, the company believes, based on evolving geological interpretations, that this is potentially a large mineralized copper system.

  • INDONESIA – Romang exploration to be accelerated

    Continuing strong drilling results from Robust Resources’ Lakuwahi caldera prospect on Romang Island in Indonesia have prompted the company to accelerate and extend its exploration program on the island.

    An additional diamond rig is to be purchased and an increased budget for the second half of the year is being formulated to provide for a full year drilling program of 5000 metres.

  • INDONESIA – Wetar copper shipment of top quality

    The first shipment of 61 tonnes of copper cathodes from Finders Resources’ Wetar Copper Project in Indonesia has exceeded LME A Grade Copper Cathode specifications.

    For Finders and its Indonesian partner PT Batutua Kharisma Permai, the shipment marks another key milestone for development of the Wetar project.

  • CHINA – Likely upside in Beyinhar gold grade

    Assay results from a reverse circulation drilling program at Sino Gold’s Beyinhar Gold Project in Inner Mongolia , China , provide likely upside in the estimated grade of the deposit.

    The program covered about 25% of the ore body with further work now warranted to check and better quantify the potential upside to the estimated resource grade.

    Sino Gold’s chief executive officer Jake Klein says: “The latest results could have a materially positive impact on the project economics.

  • CAMBODIA – Drilling begins at Anchor gold prospect

    The first round of reverse circulation (RC) drilling has started at Southern Gold’s Anchor gold prospect in Cambodia .

    Anchor is the company’s second Cambodian prospect to be drilled and follows an RC campaign at the Kratie North gold and base metals project.

    The 10-hole, 500 metre program is designed to target the source of significant gold trench intercepts at Anchor, which is part of the Snoul project, northeast of Phnom Penh .

  • IRON ORE – Territory secures Chinese offtake agreements

    Territory Resources has secured long-term Chinese sales commitments for iron ore production from its Frances Creek operations in the Northern Territory .

    The company has entered into agreements with three steel producers in China .

  • TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES – Micro-organisms may have big mining impact

    Curtin University of Technology researchers are hoping that a micro-organism can help save the mining industry thousands of dollars each year.

    Biomedical Science PhD student Carla Zammit, 24, is trying to find a micro-organism that is salt tolerant and can be used in the biomining process.

  • COMPANY & PRODUCT NEWS – New Bucyrus training products

    Training has become a very important part of the business model for many companies around the globe and Bucyrus is no different.

    To ensure that their shovels, draglines and rotary drills perform safely and productively to the highest degree, Bucyrus provides customers with professional training products and services as a part of every machine sale.

  • PRODUCT NEWS – New book debunks climate change politics

    Prominent Australian mining geologist Professor Ian Plimer has written a new book which debunks the theory that humans have induced climate change.

    The book, Heaven and Earth – Global Warming – The Missing Science, is being released this month through Connor Court Publishing.

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New COO at Grange Resources

    Grange Resources has appointed Wayne Bould as chief operating officer. He has a substantial track record in the resources sector and will be instrumental in implementing a range of efficiency and operational improvements.

    In his role Wayne Bould will be responsible for management of Grange operations at Savage River and Port Latta in Tasmania , Bukit Ibam in Malaysia and the Southdown project in Western Australia .

  • KAZAKHSTAN – Fast track to Dalabai development

    The feasibility study for Central Asia Resources’ Dalabai gold project in Kazakhstan is progressing well and the company is confident of beginning development later this year.

    The company acquired Dalabai in the final quarter of 2008 and immediately began work to progress through feasibility study to development.

  • CHINA – Sino Gold increases Eastern Dragon stake

    Sino Gold has increased its ownership in the Eastern Dragon Lode 5 gold-silver project and the surrounding exploration licence, and will shortly begin an aggressive drilling program at the property in northern China’s Heilongjiang Province.

    The company has spent US$20 million on increasing its Eastern Dragon Lode 5 stake from 80% to 95% and a further US$11 million in increasing its stake ion the surrounding 53sqkm exploration licence from 25% to 60%.

  • CHINA – Surplus King Solomon licences sold

    King Solomon Mines has completed the sale of two non-core exploration licences in Inner Mongolia, China, with proceeds to be used to advance the company’s principal projects.

    The surplus licences contain the Wang Jia Ying Zi and Dong Gou Zi projects, which were acquired in 2007 as an adjunct to the acquisition of the Bu Dun Hua property.

    Bu Dun Hua remains a highly prospective asset but evaluation of the secondary projects has confirmed they appear unlikely to host major deposits and do not fit with the company’s strategy of having large scale potential.

  • MONGOLIA – New impetus for mining industry

    Entrée Gold is confident that recent endorsements of the draft Investment Agreement for the giant Oyu Tolgoi project will provide a major boost to Mongolia’s mining industry.

    Company president and CEO Greg Crowe says the in principle approval of the draft agreement by both the Cabinet and the country’s Security Council is positive news for the mining industry. The draft, which outlines the terms for development of Oyu Tolgoi, will now go to parliament for final approval.

  • INDONESIA - Government confirms tenure of Southern Arc's applications

    The Indonesian Government has confirmed the tenure of Southern Arc Minerals’ West Lombok and Taliwang Contract of Work applications.

    In a letter to the company the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources states that the applications will continue to be respected and new mining business licences (IUP) will be processed without the properties going to public tender.

  • INDONESIA – Placement to support ongoing exploration

    Kalimantan Gold Corporation plans to use funds from a private placement to support its ongoing gold and coal exploration programs in Indonesia.

    The company hopes to raise up to $500,000 from the non-brokered private placement, which is subject to compliance with applicable securities laws and to receipt of regulatory approval.

  • IRON ORE – Atlas signs two Chinese off-take deals

    Atlas Iron has entered off-take agreements with two Chinese steel mills accounting for 50% of iron ore produced from its Pardoo DSO project for three years.

    The agreements follow Atlas’ maiden off-take agreement in December 2008 in respect of 30% of the iron ore that will be produced from Pardoo.

  • IRON ORE – Essar acquires Brazilian concession

    The acquisition by India’s Essar Group of a new iron ore mineral concession in Amapa, north Brazil, will cater to the company's proposed steel plant at Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean.

    Essar will now proceed with plans for a full-scale mining licence and the chief executive officer for the project, PR Dhariwal says the company expects approval based on the results of the exploration.

  • IRON ORE – Sinosteel obtains stake in Murchison

    China ’s Sinosteel has obtained a 5.85% stake in Western Australian iron ore company Murchison Metals.

    The stake was purchased by Sinosteel Ocean Capital, a related corporation of the Chinese state-owned Sinosteel Corporation.

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New Minco Silver director

    Minco Silver Corporation has appointed Wayne Spilsbury to the Board of Directors and Audit Committee.

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