• CHINA – Eldorado and Sino Gold to merge

    Sino Gold Mining and Eldorado Gold have agreed to a business combination which will see Canadian-based Eldorado purchase all of Sino Gold’s shares in a transaction that values the Australian company at about Aus$2.2 billion.
    The combination will create an intermediate global gold producer with combined market capitalization of about Can$6.4 billion and will establish Eldorado as the leader among international gold producers in China, the world’s largest gold producing country.
    It reinforces Eldorado’s position as a low-cost, high-growth global gold producer with the addition of Sino Gold’s Chinese assets. Combined current annual gold production is 550,000 ounces from four new mines, growing to 850,000 ounces by 2011 from six mines.
    Project pipeline and expansion opportunities are expected to fuel gold production growth to beyond 1 million ounces by 2013.
    The combination also provides Sino Gold shareholders with continued exposure to China’s gold industry as well as diversifying their country risk by gaining exposure to quality gold assets in Turkey and South America.
    Eldorado will seek to establish an Australian listing of Eldorado shares such that Sino Gold shareholders can hold the Eldorado shares they receive on the ASX.
    Sino Gold directors have unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the proposed scheme.
    After completion of the transaction Eldorado shareholders will own about 75% of the merged company and Sino Gold shareholders 25%, but including Eldorado as a shareholder, Sino Gold’s ownership will reach about 30%.
    Eldorado’s president and CEO Paul Wright says, “Eldorado entered China in 2004 recognizing that it was quickly emerging as the most important gold producing country in the world.
    “China is blessed with outstanding geological potential, a supportive population and government, and a strong mining law.
    “The business combination with Sino Gold enables Eldorado to realize its vision of establishing a leading presence in China.”
    Sino Gold’s president and CEO Jake Klein says, “This transaction is an exciting opportunity for Sino Gold shareholders to participate in the creation of a leading intermediate gold producer with an international footprint and exciting prospects.”
    www.sinogold.com.au

  • STRATEGIC Energy Resources (SER) is seeking an investor

     

    By John Miller,
    editor-in-chief, The ASIA Minerâ„¢

    STRATEGIC Energy Resources (SER) is seeking an investor to help bring a world-class, near-production ready graphite project in South Australia into operation.

    The Uley Graphite Project on the Eyre Peninsula, near the regional centre of Port Lincoln, operated in the early 1990s but was suspended in 1993 due to very low graphite prices and high freight costs.

    The processing plant has since been kept under care and maintenance, and the entire operation needs some capital investment to be in a position to profitably produce graphite owing to increased global demand and much higher prices.

    SER’s managing director Mark Muzzin told The ASIA Miner that the company is extremely confident in the future of Australia’s premier graphite deposit but is seeking an investor coupled with offtake agreements to move it forward.

    “SER doesn’t have the capital resources at this stage to start producing and you would not take on a project like this without having offtake agreements in place.

    “We are seeking a partner to help get the plant back up to spec and also hope they will have the market tied up with a customer for the product.

    “We believe the investment will be from an international group from Asia, Europe or the USA. When we took on the project in December 2008 we saw that the graphite price was well above the levels of the early 1990s. On paper it appeared that the project would be economically feasible.”

    Exploration in the 1980s by CRA estimated that the graphite tonnage is 387 million tonnes @ 7.4% graphite. Detailed exploration by the previous joint venture revealed an in-situ indicated geological resource adjacent to the plant site of 2.87 million tonnes @ 13.4% graphite. This is sufficient tonnage to annually provide up to 15,000 tonnes of product for more than 25 years.

    SER is having Coffey Mining complete a JORC compliant statement on Uley Main Road deposit. Coffey has also been engaged to run a pit optimization on Main Road as well as ranking the other known deposits for their potential.

    Mark Muzzin says, “The first stage is to get the Main Road anomaly into a JORC category. We have also appointed consultants to investigate processing to see what modern options are available and also costing, as we don’t know exactly how much money it will take to get the plant up to spec.”

    Regarding the use of graphite, he says most people think immediately of pencils but that is only an incredibly tiny part of the market. “Graphite is predominantly used in the metal processing industry and for refractory bricks. It is used in the car industry for brake linings while flexible graphite products are used for gaskets and the like. Graphite has many lining applications and is also used for batteries and heat sinks.

    “Ours is premium quality and a larger flake product, which is what most customers want. Large flakes have good thermal high temperature protection qualities as well as good electrical conductivity.”

    When the project was operating it was producing three different grades of graphite – plus 100-80 mesh and plus 80 mesh, which were 94-97% carbon, and there was also a coarser plus 50 mesh. The product was well accepted by customers, including BHP, RASA Corporation from Japan and Ashby Graphite from the US.

    Mark Muzzin says, “Extensive exploration work has been done at Uley and the plant was in production. We know there is world-class mineralization and it is now a matter of upgrading the plant to get the project back into production.

    “It has been under care and maintenance since 1993 and a couple who used to work in the mine has been living there. The first time I was there in January they actually started up the plant.

    “The front-end of the plant is a bit rusted because that’s where it is exposed and that’s where a sizeable proportion of the funds would go.
    “We really have to do a bit more work on the processing side to optimize the best result.”

    He says it’s not really a mining project in terms of extraction. The mineralization is very close to the surface. It is basically stripped with graders so it is a very simple process.

    “Whoever needs the product can have operations up and running in quite a short period. Everything is there, the plant is in pretty good shape, we’ve got the water, we’ve got power with a small substation, phone and data lines are there and we have all the sheds and the accommodation. It just needs a bit of a revamp on the processing side.

    “We are only 23km away from Port Lincoln with deepwater port facilities and we are well serviced by sealed roads and rail. Uley ticks all the boxes as far as infrastructure and location are concerned.

    “Fortunately in Australia we have stable governments and we have had a lot of support from the State Government, so this is a fantastic opportunity for the right people who need the product.”

    Contact: Mark Muzzin, Strategic Energy Resources managing director. Email: [email protected] or phone: +61 3 9629 2330.

     
  • CHINA – Ningdong CTL project proceeds

    China Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group is likely to start its coal-to-liquids (CTL) project at Ningdong Energy-Chemical Base in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region within the next 12 months.
    An official with the Coal Chemical Industry Company under Shenhua Ningxia Coal, Jia Zhenyun, says progress on the project has accelerated recently
    He says the company is still in discussions on the project’s feasibility study, adding that negotiations had been going slowly because of concerns over technology and other aspects.
    In April this year, Royal Dutch Shell Group announced it would postpone the Ningdong CTL project, however, Jia Zhenyun says Shenhua and Shell had stopped negotiations as early as in 2008 and Shell’s decision didn’t affect the project’s progress.
    China’s National Development and Reform Commission in 2008 called a halt to all CTL projects, except the indirect CTL project in Ningdong and the direct CTL project in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.
    - News courtesy of China Coal Monthly/China Coal Resource en.sxcoal.com

     

  • PHILIPPINES - Drilling at American Tunnels

    Drilling has started at Mindoro Resources’ American Tunnels gold-copper prospect, which is part of the Agata Project in the Surigao Gold District.
    The drilling follows the awarding of a drilling contract to Australian-Indonesian company Indodrill, which recently completed a due diligence drill program for Avocet Mining on Mindoro’s Kay Tanda gold-silver resource.
    An initital test of 6 to 8 drill holes totaling 1200 to 1500 metres is planned at American Tunnels. The drill program is designed to test both gold mineralization and an underlying porphyry copper-gold target.
    The drilling has started on a window of exposed mineralization, where artisanal miners are carrying out near-surface, small-scale mining of both gold and copper mineralization.
    American Tunnels is a small erosional window through ultra-mafic cap rocks within an extensive, 6km trend of strong IP chargeability anomalies associated with extensive alteration, geochemical anomalies, and abundant gold and copper-gold showings.
    There are more than 100 shallow artisanal mines and workings within the trend, but mineralization is mostly obscured by ultra-mafic cap rock of variable thickness.
    Where the mineralization is exposed, younger gold mineralization is telescoped into interpreted porphyry copper-gold related mineralization. The drilling is targeting both types of mineralization.
    www.mindoro.com

     

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – Savoyardy decision soon

    KENTOR Gold will make a development decision on its Savoyardy Gold Project after completing pre-development works in October.
    If this work is successful the company expects it will be in a position to make a decision to proceed with development of the mine by the end of the year with a view to beginning gold production in 2010.
    The pre-development work has included further metallurgical test work, further drilling designed to increase the resource, negotiating firm contracts for the mining, and finalizing arrangements for the transport, processing and sale of the gold.
    Initial production is likely to be at the rate of about 10,000 ounces a year for three years, based on the current resource, with ongoing exploration designed to extend the resource base and thus the mine life.
    A pre-feasibility study examined a number of scenarios for mining and processing of the ore at Savoyardy. The optimum scenario involves underground mining, taking advantage of the extensive drives developed during the 1970s for exploration and trucking the high grade ore to an existing processing facility at Haidarkan for processing to a gold concentrate.
    The Haidarkan mercury mining and processing complex is 370km from Savoyardy but has several advantages over establishing new processing facilities including less capital cost, reduced environmental impacts, less permitting, a shorter development schedule and an existing trained work force at Haidarkan.
    The Haidarkan plant also has roasting facilities available and metallurgical test work will determine if roasting of the concentrate followed by leaching will result in a high recovery of gold from the concentrate.
    Expansion of the Savoyardy resource through exploration is considered likely. The planned exploration program consists of surface and underground diamond drilling designed to delineate additional resources to the south west of the existing resource.
    Kentor has signed an agreement with Manas Resources to acquire 100% of the project, having previously agreed to earn a 70% interest by 2012.
    www.kentorgold.com.au

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Mambare test results

    Metallurgical tests from Regency Mines’ Mambare nickel-cobalt project in Papua New Guinea have achieved a leaching rate of 78.1% nickel and 50.2% cobalt over a 110 day period.
    Tests on the limonite ore were carried out by the General Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals (GRINM) in Beijing, which recommends a hydrometallurgical route comprising granulated heap leaching, leach liquor purification and iron removal, followed by nickel-cobalt precipitation and enrichment.
    GRINM’s metallurgical report is based on an extensive testwork program, including a variety of leaching methods to treat the limonite.
    It recommends further research on pre-treatment of the ore to improve the leaching rates and reduce iron digestion, and on iron recovery.
    All cores from the 336 drill holes completed last year have now been logged and sampled. This follows a break in the work program at the beginning of this year when Regency decided to conserve cash resources in the face of collapsing markets for nickel and capital raising for exploration.
    The first 104 holes were sampled at the end of 2008 and the remainder in June this year, with results due shortly.
    First results are generally from holes on the lower slopes bordering the Aruma River and, therefore from limonite material only.
    Later drilling was able to include the significant depth of laterite outlined by the company’s 2008 ground penetrating radar program in areas off the main slopes and on the Mambare Plateau itself.
    www.regency-mines.com

  • LAOS – Seven Xekong prospects defined

    Argonaut Resources has defined seven prospective areas over the 588sqkm tenement at the Xekong Gold Project in Laos.
    The most prospective area defined by reconnaissance sampling is a prospect known as Ban Bak.
    The principal gold mineralization at Ban Bak appears to be strata-bound, replacement-style mineralization hosted in a silicified mudstone, stratigraphically above a decalcified bioclastic limestone.
    Mineralization is spatially associated with porphyry intrusions which, in many cases, are related to separate economically viable deposits.
    The mineralized areas were identified using a gold, arsenic and antimony geochemical signature in soil samples. This geochemical ‘fingerprint’ has been used in the discovery of numerous economic gold deposits.
    The company has maintained its exploration presence at the Century Project.
    Recent field activity included continued evaluation of gold targets at the Houai Khouay and Vang Ma prospects and reassessment of previous exploration results at Khohke and Nam Hone prospects.
    www.argonautresources.com

  • INDONESIA – Highest yet Romang intersections

    Drilling by Robust Resources at the highly prospective Batu Hitam prospect within the Lakuwahi calder on Romang Island has returned the highest yet intersections of the exploration program.
    Best intersection was 9.2 metres of gold and silver @ 5.09 grams/tonne gold equivalent, including 1.5 metres @ 20.7 grams/tonne gold equivalent.
    Results from a further five diamond holes at Batu Hitam show that all holes intersected hydrothermally altered and mineralized volcanic rocks and four holes intersected values of potential economic significance.
    This mineralization extends the precious metal zone established in and around a hole drilled by Billiton in the late 1990s as well as two previous holes drilled by Robust.
    Further evidence of the continuity of the broad precious metal mineralization at Batu Hitam comes from one of the holes which was drilled as a pilot hole for the bulk sample shaft being excavated at this prospect. An intersection of 46 metres @ 1.4 grams/tonne gold equivalent was obtained.
    Robust also recognizes the potential for base metal mineralization in a geological horizon sitting just below the precious metal horizon at Batu Hitam. Results from the latest drilling have yielded graded such as 1 metres @ 1.3% copper, 2.6% lead and 1.51% zinc from 35.7 metres.
    www.robustresources.com.au

  • INDONESIA – East Kutai study on schedule

    Churchill Mining is on schedule to have a comprehensive mine-to-port feasibility study completed for the East Kutai Coal Project by the end of 2009.
    It continues to move ahead with mine and infrastructure planning at the project while awaiting final JORC-compliant numbers.
    As part of the feasibility study process the company has completed detailed engineering plans for the mine, the haulage route, the multi-flight conveyor system and the port. A peer review process of these plans will begin shortly.
    Concurrently, the company has completed a detailed field survey of the haulage and conveyor routes and begun land acquisition negotiations. Its geologists are examining areas which will form the future supply of limestone and road base aggregate.
    Geotechnical drilling in the north of the RTM block has been completed to measure rock competency for future open pit mining. Geotechnical drilling is also under way in the southern area of the block.
    Further holes will soon be drilled to sterilize an area near the middle of the resource envelope, which has been identified as the location for the coal processing plant.
    Churchill continues to engage large coal and energy groups about potential joint venture opportunities at the East Kutai project.
    To date four groups have completed extensive investigations into the project and are 50%-70% of their way through their respective detailed due diligence, including having appointed investment banks and others to complete valuations based on the project.
    The company also continues to have ongoing discussions with a number of investment and project financing institutions.
    www.churchillmining.com

  • INDONESIA – Positive Miwah drilling

    Initial diamond drilling at East Asia Minerals’ flagship Miwah Gold Project in Aceh Province, Northern Sumatra, has returned positive intersections.
    Results from the first two diamond drill holes include 3.29 grams/tonne gold over 66 metres in a wider interval of 158 metres @ 1.71 grams/tonne.
    Another hole encountered 1.97 grams/tonne gold over 57.1 metres, including 2.78 grams/tonne over 38.3 metres.
    The results support the interpretation of shallow out-flowed, laterally extensive gold mineralization controlled by multiple northerly trending higher-grade feeder structures that cut steeply through the 1.2km-long (east-west) Miwah Gold Zone.
    The two holes were drilled in opposite directions from a common drill pad about 200 metres east of the currently mapped western end of the Main Miwah Gold Zone. The mineralization is open.
    East Asia’s president and CEO Michael Hawkins says, “We are greatly encouraged by the width and tenor of the Miwah gold mineralization.
    “The mineralization we intercepted supports the company's earlier confidence that high-grade structural feeder controls on the Main Miwah Gold Zone will result in higher overall grades than the 1.2 grams/tonne gold average from surface channel sampling.
    “We have achieved 3D drill core validation of the potential for a large lateral gold deposit along the 1.2km Miwah Gold Zone.
    “In addition, the South Miwah Bluff Gold Zone appears to represent exposure of the underlying higher-grade gold-bearing structures and displays the upside potential for continued exploration of the prospective Miwah land tenement.
    “It is our intention to test these zones over the coming months, and with success, to progress towards drill definition of NI43-101 compliant resources.”
    www.EAminerals.com

  • INDONESIA – AEL awarded coal contracts

    PT AEL Indonesia has been awarded major contracts to supply explosives and services for the operations of two of Indonesia’s leading coal mining contractors.
    AEL Indonesia, which is part of the international AEL Mining Services group, will supply all explosives and initiating systems for PT Bukit Makmur (BUMA) at Gunungbayan Coal Mine and PT Thiess Contractors Indonesia (TCI) at Melak Coal Mine in East Kalimantan
    It will provide a Down-The-Hole service to BUMA and a Prime, Load, Tie and Shoot service to TCI.
    TCI was awarded a five-year Aus$1 billion contract for development and operation of the Teguh Sinar Abadi (TSA) and Firman Ketaun Perkasa (FKP) coal mines. TSA and FKP are subsidiaries of Bayan Resources in Indonesia and combined are referred to as Melak.
    The contract includes mine planning, overburden removal, coal mining, plus loading and transportation of coal from the mine site to the river port. The initial production target is 4 million tonnes of coal with an annual 40 million BCM of overburden targeted by the third year.
    BUMA is one of two mining contractors operating at Gunungbayan with a contract to remove overburden. The company annually moves around 30 million BCM of material and has intentions of ramping volumes up to 54 million BCM. The mine has an estimated lifespan of 20 years and annually produces in excess of 5 million tonnes of coal.
    Gunungbayan is owned by PT Gunung Bayan Pratam (GBP), which has a second generation Coal Contract of Works (CCOW) to mine in Muara Pahu. The mine is split into two separate blocks with a total combined concession area of 24,066 hectares. GBP operates as a subsidiary of PT Bayan Resources Tbk.
    AEL Indonesia is committed to meeting the short, medium and long-term needs of TCI and BUMA, which will start with establishment of dedicated on-site bulk emulsion manufacturing plants to produce AEL's Synergy range of bulk emulsions.
    The Melak site will be serviced by one new 20 tonne Mobile Manufacturing Unit (MMU) and two new 20 tonne units will operate on site at Gunungbayan. About 24,000 tonnes of bulk explosives per annum will be delivered into blast holes at the two sites.
    AEL Indonesia's head office is situated in Jakarta and services South-East Asia.


     

  • INVESTMENT – Chinese involvement in placement

    As cornerstone investors in Grange Resources, a number of significant operators in the Chinese iron ore and steel sectors will fully participate in a placement and underwritten entitlement issue which are expected to raise Aus$167 million.
    The issue of new shares and placements to major shareholders, along with a restructure of certain of Grange’s key liabilities, will significantly enhance the company’s cashflow outlook and strengthen its balance sheet.
    The measures will enable the company to continue with investment in its Savage River operations and development of Southdown.
    Grange’s managing director Russell Clark says, “The restructure initiatives supported by the raisings, as well as additional working capital, allow us to position the company and its balance sheet correctly for the current financial climate. As an existing producer we are also well placed to benefit from the future iron ore price outlook.
    “We believe future iron ore price fundamentals are very promising. This year's benchmark settlements are the second highest on record and we are already receiving numerous enquiries to purchase spot product at a significant premium to the current benchmark.
    “The support of our major shareholders, who include China's largest privately owned steel mill and significant operators in the Chinese iron ore market, represents a strong vote of confidence in the future of Grange and the iron ore market.”
    www.grangeresources.com.au

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New IronPlanet director

    IronPlanet, an online auction company for used construction and agricultural equipment, has appointed Roger S Siboni to its board of directors.
    Roger Siboni brings more than 30 years of experience and executive level management in technology and financial management to the IronPlanet board.
    He served as president and chief executive officer of E.piphany Inc from August 1998 to July 2003 and from 2003 to October 2005, was chairman of the E.piphany board.
    He was previously with KPMG Peat Marwick for more than 20 years, serving as deputy chairman and chief operating officer.
    Roger Siboni sits on the boards of directors of ArcSight, Cadence Design Systems, Dolby Laboratories and infoGROUP, and has previously served on the boards of Active Software, Corio, FileNet, Macromedia and Pivotal Corporation.
    IronPlanet’s chairman and chief executive officer Gregory J Owens says, “Roger brings extensive executive and board level experience to IronPlanet through his successful leadership of high-growth technology companies.

    “In addition to Roger’s executive leadership, his technology background coupled with his keen insights into optimizing customer relationships makes Roger the perfect addition to the board as IronPlanet builds the world’s leading online marketplace for used construction and agricultural equipment.”
    www.ironplanet.com

  • PRODUCT NEWS – Software solutions for coal

    In today’s economy executives and mine managers are being tasked with unlocking additional profits at their coal operations by boosting site productivity and lowering costs.
    A key to accomplishing this is ensuring coal seams are accurately interpreted and mine plans are optimised and scheduled effectively to increase recovery rates and improve the efficiency of mining processes.
    This can be a challenge even at the best of times but is particularly difficult when facing the complex, faulted geology found throughout Asia. Fortunately, there are software solutions for geology and mine planning like Gemcom Minex that can help.
    “Minex offers us a unique advantage because it has been developed for stratified deposits like coal, providing us with a decision-making environment that accurately reflects the reality of our operation,” says PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam’s senior mine planner Wali Al Hasunah.
    “The unique combination of geological modelling, mine design and comprehensive planning tools all in the single, powerful Minex interface gives us huge efficiency gains in the way that we can now integrate our business and control our data flow and mine planning processes.”
    Minex 6.0, the latest version of the software, marks a first for the mining industry by delivering an integrated end-to-end solution for stratified deposits spanning exploration through rehabilitation and encompassing vital processes including modelling, design, optimisation, scheduling and surveying.
    The result is improved productivity across the mining value chain. Geologists, mine planners and surveyors use one source of data and one common system, which increases the timeliness and accuracy of geological models and production schedules.
    Gemcom AustralAsia senior vice president Andrew Pyne says, “Integration of the software tools that drive mining processes has additional benefits. The total cost of ownership is reduced because client personnel only need to be trained on one software application and have a single point of contact for support. Additionally, fewer consulting resources and IT systems are required.”
    As part of its end-to-end capabilities, Minex 6.0 includes a new detailed interactive scheduler in which schedules are created by interacting with 3-D graphics generated from seam models, pit designs and reserves. Also available is the option of scheduling to meet volume or tonnage requirements in a given period.
    www.gemcomsoftware.com

  • FIJI – Faddy’s gold grades increase

    Recent drilling by Geopacific Resources at the Faddy’s Gold Project in Fiji has increased gold grades by an average of 76% over drilling by previous owners.
    A resource estimate for the small area of Faddy’s that has been subject to historic and recent drilling shows indicated and inferred resources of 355,000 tonnes @ 2.18 grams/tonne gold.
    Drilling by previous explorers has shown the mineralized zone to have a strike length of at least 650 metres and to extend to more than 240 metres depth.
    Geopacific has completed a test drilling and surface channel sampling program on the eastern part of the known mineralized structure, taking strenuous efforts to minimize core losses. This test zone covers about 220 metres of strike length at the eastern end of the known mineralized zone and has limited drilling down to 140 metres below surface.
    Hellman and Schofield has completed a resource estimate, using Multiple Indicator Kriging, of the portion of the mineralized zone tested by Geopacific. The strong increase in grade achieved through better sampling within the test zone, if repeated throughout the known mineralized area, offers potential to at least treble the resources from the currently known extent of the Faddy’s mineralized shear, with additional potential for lateral and depth extensions.
    Metallurgical test work on a composite of Faddy’s oxide mineralization has defined several possible development and processing options.
    Geopacific is now undertaking a study of various processing options to determine the most appropriate development pathway. It is seeking to establish a small, high grade gold mine with low development and operating costs which will provide cash flow for funding for further exploration and development of the high grade sulphide mineralization beneath the surface oxide zone.
    Potential to toll treat some of the high-grade Faddy’s oxide gold mineralization through a recently completed circuit at the Vatukoula Gold Mines facility is being considered and this could provide Geopacific with a relatively early cash flow.
    www.geopacific.com.au

  • PHILIPPINES – Kay Tanda continuity confirmed

    A drilling program at Mindoro Resources’ Kay Tanda prospect has confirmed continuity of near-surface low-grade gold-silver mineralization.
    The drilling program is part of due diligence being carried out by Avocet Mining pursuant to an agreement which allows Avocet to earn up to a 75% interest in the project.
    The Kay Tanda epithermal gold-silver prospect is part of the Archangel Project.
    The company has received results from the first seven drill holes, with six being in-fill holes and one an extension hole. Noteworthy intercepts include 48 metres @ 0.57 grams/tonne gold followed by 1 metre @ 46.46 grams/tonne gold and 3.85 metres @ 5.90 grams/tonne gold.
    The drilling program aims to upgrade the existing NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate, which did not include many higher-grade gold intercepts encountered in the previous drill program due to lack of information on geological controls. The due diligence test of 14 drill holes has been completed and Avocet is now modeling the data and working on a new resource estimate.
    Kay Tanda is being evaluated for its open-pit, heap-leach potential. Mindoro has completed 147 reverse circulation and 26 core drill holes.
    Almost all holes encountered near-surface, generally flat-lying to gently-dipping blanket-like low-grade stockwork mineralization. This is strongly to partially oxidized to depths of 40 to 160 metres and non-oxide below this.
    Drilling encountered at least five steeply-dipping much higher-grade zones to 246 grams/tonne gold and more than 1000 grams/tonne silver, especially at deeper levels. These are interpreted as structurally controlled upflow, or ‘feeder’ zones which appear to trend NW to SE, at right angles to the dominantly NE to SW trending lower grade stockwork system.
    Early in 2008 Mindoro released an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate reporting a total inferred resource of 11,599,000 tonnes at 0.70 grams/tonne gold and 3.0 grams/tonne silver for 262,000 contained ounces of gold and a total indicated resource of 3,365,000 tonnes at 0.88 grams/tonne gold and 8.0 grams/tonne silver for 95,000 contained ounces of gold.
    Many gold mineralized intercepts, including much of the higher-grade grade material, were not included in the resource estimate due to wide drill spacing, averaging 50 metre centres, and lack of information on geological controls. Additional drilling is required to understand these geological controls and potentially increase both the grade and tonnes of the gold-silver resource.
    www.mindoro.com

  • INDONESIA – Samples extend Miwah strike

    Mapping and sampling along the recently discovered South Miwah Bluff Gold Zone at East Asia Minerals’ flagship Miwah Gold Project in northern Sumatra continues to extend the strike length of the high-grade gold-bearing feeder structures.
    Recent rock sawn and chip channel sampling along strike from previously announced areas encountered up to 24.7 grams/tonne gold over 6.3 metres in a rock sawn channel.
    Other results from the additional 112 samples include 20.05 grams/tonne gold over 2.2 metres, 6.15 grams/tonne over 3.1 metres and 5.19 grams/tonne over 2.0 metres from rock sawn channel samples, extending the recently reported high-grade structure another 75 metres to the south.
    In an area 250 metres south along strike from all previously reported mapping/sampling, the company encountered 2.2 grams/tonne gold over 24 metres, including 7.89 grams/tonne over 5 metres, and 2.78 grams/tonne over 15 metres from rock chip channel sampling in an altered subcrop and boulder area.
    Twenty-seven chip samples of altered subcrop and boulder were collected in a 135 x 35 metres area 100 metres north along strike of the 83.59 grams/tonne gold over 24 metres channel sample.
    Two clusters of greater than 1 grams/tonne gold occur on the southern and northern margins of this anomalous area.
    These new results combined with ongoing mapping indicate the South Miwah Bluff Gold Zone comprises a minimum of three major generally northerly trending gold feeder structures, with associated cross-cutting structures where high-grade gold appears to be concentrating.
    The gold-bearing zone has been extended another 250 metres to the south, for a currently outlined north-south length of about 650 metres. The north limit is defined as the location where the structures enter the western portion of the higher elevation Main Miwah Gold Zone.
    The gold structures continue north through the Main Miwah Gold Zone and towards the Sipopok discovery a further 1.5km to the north along structural strike. The known width of the South Miwah Bluff Gold Zone, as exposed at surface, is up to 350 metres wide (east-west).
    To date 204.8 metres of rock sawn channel samples have been obtained from the South Miwah Bluff discovery, and average 14.25 grams/tonne gold.
    Drilling is also progressing well to test along the full strike length of the main Miwah Gold Zone and the campaign will now include scout drilling of the new South Miwah Bluff Gold Zone.
    www.EAminerals.com

  • INDONESIA – Move into iron ore

    Asia Resources Holdings intends to purchase a 55% stake in an iron ore deposit in Indonesia.
    The Hong Kong-listed company has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the owner of the 1195 hectare deposit.
    The owner of the deposit, Mr Lam, has agreed not to enter into negotiations with any other parties while Asia Resources carries out due diligence on the site.
    Asia Resources is principally engaged in the manufacturing and sales of pharmaceutical products, but is moving into iron ore mining.
    The company’s first iron ore property is in Mongolia and this was purchased after completing a transaction in June this year.

  • PNG – New seafloor exploration

    Nautilus Minerals has started its 2009 exploration program in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as it seeks to expand its inventory of seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) prospects.
    Nautilus has signed agreements with Fugro to provide exploration services for the 2009 programs in the Bismarck, Woodlark and Solomon Islands exploration licences using the vessel MV Fugro Solstice.
    The contract with Fugro is for 124 days of services which started in early August.  Nautilus has options to extend this initial period by up to 98 days.
    During this time, Fugro will conduct target generation and target testing work.
    Target generation consists of regional geophysical and geochemical surveys while target testing consists of detailed geophysical surveys, geological traversing and sampling of SMS prospects with a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV).
    SMS systems tend to occur in clusters on the seafloor. Among its many advantages, seafloor resource production allows the aggregation of resources from multiple mineralized systems without the need for significant additional capital.
    MV Fugro Solstice is a 70.25 metre long, 2397 tonne, DP2 (dynamically positioned), ROV support vessel built in 2007. It is fitted with both Fugro's own navigation/positioning systems and 3000 metre capable, permanently installed FCV3000 ROV.
    The vessel and ROV will be used to deploy a range of geophysical, geochemical and sampling instruments which represent a further step forward in the advancement of Nautilus' SMS exploration techniques.
    Nautilus' CEO Stephen Rogers says, “We are excited by the program we have planned in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands focusing on building our high grade SMS prospect inventory. We will apply exploration techniques which we have refined each year since 2006.
    “This is the first time we have been supported by Fugro in our exploration effort and we look forward to building a relationship founded on its strong global track record in the mining and oil and gas sectors.”
    www.nautilusminerals.com

  • MineMap mine planning software giveaway

    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
    Navata USA



    The ASIA Miner in conjunction with MineMap are giving away 12 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.

    DriveSec is omitted - Stope and ring design in underground operations.

    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).

    To be eligible to win a free copy of a MineMap Personal Licence including one year’s support valued at USD$5000.

    To  submit your entry click here:

  • STORY OF THE MONTH – Baobab seeks investors

    Baobab Resources is seeking investors in its highly prospective Tete iron ore and vanadium project in Mozambique.
    With exploration conducted on a small part of the company’s Tete tenement package there is plenty of evidence to suggest a large magnetite deposit with attractive vanadium credits.
    Tete also has very good access to infrastructure, including abundant hydro-electric power, coking coal resources and rail/port facilities, which places Baobab’s iron ore project at a significant advantage to most others on the continent. Mozambique is strategically located on the Indian Ocean seaboard, close to resource-hungry markets such as China, India and the Middle East.
    Baobab’s technical director Ben James says strategically the company has two long-term options for investment – a partnership with a mining major or an offtake agreement with an Asian end user that requires the resources.
    Baobab began exploration in 2008, completing an aeromagnetic survey, field mapping and sampling, and metallurgical test work. It has focused 2009 activities on the Massamba Group area where exploration has identified magnetite mineralization over more than 8km of strike.
    The company has received results from the first round of drilling and test work.
    Diamond drilling tested 500 metres of the 8km strike potential of Massamba. It intersected significant widths of shallow dipping magnetite mineralization from surface and this remains open down dip on all sections.
    Head and Davis Tube Recovery concentrate analytical results have been received from drill core sampling with iron and vanadium concentrate grades significantly higher than expected.
    Concentrate intercepts include 20.5 metres @ 65.8% iron and 0.74% vanadium pentoxide from 62.5 metres, 19.5 metres @ 64.6% iron and 0.69% vanadium pentoxide from 99.5 metres, and 30 metres @ 66.6% iron and 0.72% vanadium pentoxide from 130.5 metres.
    Ben James says, “It is hoped that the exploration success that we have had to date will attract the right strategic partner to assist in the future development of the project.
    “We have tested a fraction of the tenement and a resource estimate is due by quarter four this year. This will dictate the direction of the company’s exploration and development in 2010.
    “It is likely to include scout drilling along the strike length identified so far as well as desktop studies and scoping studies, which will help us to better define the broader resource potential and clarify mining, processing and end user market requirements.”
    Massamba is 55km north-northeast of the provincial capital of Tete while the largely untested Singore prospect is about 30km north of Tete.
    Tete is fast becoming an industrial and investment hub in Southern Africa with mining majors Vale and Riversdale/Tata Steel opening up the Moatize and Benga coal fields. The railway connecting Tete to the port of Beira is being refurbished as is the deep water port.
    Hydro-electric power is readily available from the 2075MW Cahora Bassa dam, with an additional 1500MW scheme at Mphanda N’kuwa, also on the Zambezi, in advanced planning stages. Coal fired power plants have also been proposed for Moatize and Benga.
    Baobab formed a strategic partnership with IFC (International Finance Corporation) in January 2009 whereby IFC purchased a 15% direct participation in the Tete project.
    Ben James says the IFC is supporting development of Tete as an emerging industrial hub of southern Africa and Baobab’s plans for the Tete project fit in with this aim. “They are interested in this project coming to fruition and it fits IFC guidelines in terms of transparency as well as community and social responsibilities.”
    For more information on this investment opportunity, please contact The ASIA Miner’s editor-in-chief John Miller on +61 2 417 651 844 or email [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  • PNG – Strong ironsands results

    Assays from a sampling program at MIL Resources’ Amazon Bay Ironsands Project in Papua New Guinea have returned encouraging results, including strong vanadium values.
    More than 200 test pit and auger samples were collected from the Barracouta and Threadfin ironsands prospects at Amazon Bay and these returned values of up to 1.02% vanadium pentoxide, 50.7% iron and 20% titanium dioxide.
    Amazon Bay, in southeast PNG, is a major ironsands exploration target of 3-4 billion tonnes of magnetite ironsands based on previous exploration and an airborne magnetics survey flown by MIL in 2008.
    At Barracouta 37 samples were collected from surface to a maximum depth of 6 metres and at Threadfin 171 samples were collected from surface to a maximum depth of 10 metres.
    The samples were prepared into 16 representative composites and sent to Metcon Laboratories, Sydney where they were screened, blended, riffle divided and separated on a dry rotating magnetic drum separator to produce a magnetic concentrate. The magnetic fraction (iron bearing magnetics) was then riffle sampled and pulverized and sent to Spectrolabs, Geraldton, Western Australia, for assay.
    Metallurgical work is under way to determine the optimal route for the treatment of the Amazon Bay vanadium rich titanomagnetite and engineering scoping studies are under way in preparation for reviews by potential strategic long term funding/offtake partners.
    MIL also has an interest in the Poi gold-copper prospect about 15km northeast of Amazon Bay. A large gold anomaly has been identified with assay results from stream sediment geochemistry defining five gold zones ranging up to 35.6 grams/tonne gold.
    Geophysical interpretation of Poi identifies major airborne magnetic and radiometric anomaly striking over 10km long and 1.5km wide coincident with cross-cutting radiometric structures and magnetic anomalies. Field work is being carried out to identify drill targets.
    www.mgil.com.au

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – 95% Savoyardy recovery

    Bio-leach amenability testing (BAT) followed by conventional carbon-in-leach (CIL) processing on a bulk concentrate sample from Kentor Gold’s Savoyardy Project in the Kyrgyz Republic has achieved gold recovery of 95%.
    The high grade, low cost Savoyardy project is targeted to begin production in 2010 subject to a final development decision late in 2009.
    The metallurgical testing is part of current pre-development work that also includes confirmatory and exploration drilling to increase the current JORC Resource, negotiation of mining contracts, transport, processing, product sales and government approvals.
    BAT test work showed that 98.9% of the contained sulphide sulphur was oxidized during the bio-leach stage.
    The combined BAT/CIL test work demonstrated a gold recovery of 95% from the global concentrate sample derived from Savoyardy underground ore types. The bio-oxidized product demonstrated fast leach kinetics, with 95% of the contained gold leached into solution after 2 hours.
    The overall predicted gold recovery from the Savoyardy global composite using the gravity-flotation/UFG/BIOX/CIL process flow sheet is predicted at 88.4%.
    Kentor Gold’s managing director Simon Milroy says, “These results represent a significant step forward for the Savoyardy project.
    “We can now be confident of realizing good payment terms for our concentrate, and we have a range of marketing options to existing BIOX facilities in the central Asia region.”
    The BAT work was completed in Tasmania using Goldfields BIOX technology, and the CIL test in Perth, Western Australia.
    BIOX is a bio-hydrometallurgical process for the pre-cyanidation treatment of refractory gold ores. This process offers an alternative to conventional roasting or pressure oxidation techniques. Commercial BIOX installations exist in neighbouring Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and western China.
    Initial production at Savoyardy is envisaged at the annual rate of 10,000 ounces of gold for a minimum of three years, to provide Kentor Gold with valuable early cash flow.
    www.kentorgold.com.au

  • INVESTMENT – Seeking Canning Basin investor

    With a large Western Australian thermal coal project containing more than 511 million tonnes, Rey Resources is seeking a cornerstone investor to help bring the project into production.
    The Canning Basin coal project covers about 8000sqkm in the north-west of Western Australia, providing easy access to the coal hungry markets of India and China.
    Rey has drilled around 20sqkm of the area which confirms the potential of the basin and is confident further exploration will enhance resources, possibly to more than 1 billion tonnes.
    It is working on a pre-feasibility study focused on developing a 2 million tonne/year project and believes this can be adequately exported through the port of Derby, 150km to the west.
    The company is also progressing environmental surveys as a precursor to a full feasibility study next year, with reserve definition drilling and engineering drilling planned.
    While Rey has received a predatory takeover offer from one of its majority shareholders, Gujarat NRE Coke, its managing director Kevin Wilson believes shareholders would be better served if this is rejected and the company secures a cornerstone investor.
    Gujarat owns almost 17% of Rey and has made a 9 cents per share cash bid.
    Kevin Wilson says the Board believes this vastly undervalues the company, which “has an excellent future and is well placed to deliver greater value”.
    “The offer is opportunistically timed at a low point in the Rey share price. We have completed a capital raising and the share price should trade up. Since the offer the shares have traded much higher and in August have been around 17-19 cents.
    “We had a rights issue at 9 cents and with 72% of shareholders taking part it is unlikely the bid will succeed.
    “Rey Resources has been talking about the growth in Indian demand for thermal coal for the last 18 months. Gujarat’s takeover bid is trying to capitalize on this growth market.”
    Kevin Wilson envisages the operation will be a simple ‘starter-kit’ development with an open cut mine supplying the export market, with coal transported to Derby via trucks.
    While Rey has rejected Gujarat’s offer, it is banking on thermal coal demand from India driving prices and tonnage requirements, and making development of the Canning Basin assets possible.
    “What you are starting to see is confirmation of what we suspected – that the Indian economy will need to import about 200 million tonnes of coal in 2012, up from 40 million tonnes last year,” Kevin Wilson says.
    “That is a massive increase if you think that the whole seaborne global coal market is 600 million tonnes. People are now recognizing that the story for thermal coal is not just China, it is India.”
    www.reyresources.com

  • CONFERENCES – Tackling coal challenges

    oaltrans’ Coal Mining Operations and Economics conference in Indonesia will help coal industry stakeholders identify strategies that can contribute to the maximization of operational efficiency, cost management and the achievement of optimal mine economics.
    The third Coal Mining Operations and Economics conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt in Jakarta on October 12 and 13, and will focus on critical, bottom-line issues.
    Prevailing economic conditions have created a number of operational and cost management challenges for coal producers, which will be addressed during the conference.
    Coking and thermal coal prices have suffered globally in the past year although thermal coal prices have held up better than coking coal owing to demand in China and other parts of Asia.
    Faced with tighter margins coal producers and contractors must look at the most effective methods to cut costs without forfeiting their variable responses to demand fluctuations. This makes conferences like this important for all those involved in the coal industry.
    Coal Mining Operations and Economics will also provide delegates with expert forecasts of Indonesian and global market trends and scenarios as well as outline how Indonesia’s new Mining Law is likely to impact coal mining operations in that country.
    Other critical issues that will be covered are project evaluation and feasibility, financing exploration, risk management and mitigation, cost containment, efficiency, and the creation of long-term added value for mine sites and investors.
    The conference will provide a hands-on, strategy-driven examination of challenges facing the coal industry and will include a host of speakers with expertise in operational efficiency to help operators benchmark their business against best practices from coal mining operations around the world.
    Two Indonesian government ministers will be presenting keynote speeches on the opening day – Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro and director general for mineral resources, coal and geothermal affairs Bambang Setiawan.
    For information and to register visit www.coaltrans.com/MOPS

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – Churchill appointments

    Churchill Mining has appointed David Gibbs as project manager and Andrew Davies as technical manager, to its Jakarta-based mining and infrastructure team as it continues to ready the East Kutai Coal Project for financing and development.
    David Gibbs is a highly experienced mine planning and mine manager who has worked in a direct international and consulting capacity and has considerable experience in Indonesia.
    Most recently, he spent three years managing, evaluating and planning a new 5 million tonnes/year coking coal mine in Central Kalimantan.
    Prior to this, he was manager of mine planning for Bumi Resources at Indonesia’s largest coal mine, Kaltim Prima Coal. His core task was to plan the expansion of annual operations from 17 million tonnes to 54 million tonnes.
    Andrew Davies is an accomplished technical manager and engineer who has worked throughout the world setting up and managing systems for mines, refineries, process plants, airports and industrial buildings.
    Most recently, he was project manager for an Indonesian coal mine upgrade and was responsible for the commissioning of a new overland conveyor system.
    Prior to this, he was construction manager for the Central Queensland Port Authority’s new Aus$5 billion coal handling facility in Australia.
    Both men will be Indonesian-based and will work from Churchill’s office in Jakarta.
    www.churchillmining.com

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – Churchill appointments

    Churchill Mining has appointed David Gibbs as project manager and Andrew Davies as technical manager, to its Jakarta-based mining and infrastructure team as it continues to ready the East Kutai Coal Project for financing and development.
    David Gibbs is a highly experienced mine planning and mine manager who has worked in a direct international and consulting capacity and has considerable experience in Indonesia.
    Most recently, he spent three years managing, evaluating and planning a new 5 million tonnes/year coking coal mine in Central Kalimantan.
    Prior to this, he was manager of mine planning for Bumi Resources at Indonesia’s largest coal mine, Kaltim Prima Coal. His core task was to plan the expansion of annual operations from 17 million tonnes to 54 million tonnes.
    Andrew Davies is an accomplished technical manager and engineer who has worked throughout the world setting up and managing systems for mines, refineries, process plants, airports and industrial buildings.
    Most recently, he was project manager for an Indonesian coal mine upgrade and was responsible for the commissioning of a new overland conveyor system.
    Prior to this, he was construction manager for the Central Queensland Port Authority’s new Aus$5 billion coal handling facility in Australia.
    Both men will be Indonesian-based and will work from Churchill’s office in Jakarta.
    www.churchillmining.com

  • CONFERENCES – Tackling coal challenges

    Coaltrans’ Coal Mining Operations and Economics conference in Indonesia will help coal industry stakeholders identify strategies that can contribute to the maximization of operational efficiency, cost management and the achievement of optimal mine economics.
    The third Coal Mining Operations and Economics conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt in Jakarta on October 12 and 13, and will focus on critical, bottom-line issues.
    Prevailing economic conditions have created a number of operational and cost management challenges for coal producers, which will be addressed during the conference.
    Coking and thermal coal prices have suffered globally in the past year although thermal coal prices have held up better than coking coal owing to demand in China and other parts of Asia.
    Faced with tighter margins coal producers and contractors must look at the most effective methods to cut costs without forfeiting their variable responses to demand fluctuations. This makes conferences like this important for all those involved in the coal industry.
    Coal Mining Operations and Economics will also provide delegates with expert forecasts of Indonesian and global market trends and scenarios as well as outline how Indonesia’s new Mining Law is likely to impact coal mining operations in that country.
    Other critical issues that will be covered are project evaluation and feasibility, financing exploration, risk management and mitigation, cost containment, efficiency, and the creation of long-term added value for mine sites and investors.
    The conference will provide a hands-on, strategy-driven examination of challenges facing the coal industry and will include a host of speakers with expertise in operational efficiency to help operators benchmark their business against best practices from coal mining operations around the world.
    Two Indonesian government ministers will be presenting keynote speeches on the opening day – Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro and director general for mineral resources, coal and geothermal affairs Bambang Setiawan.
    For information and to register visit www.coaltrans.com/MOPS

  • INVESTMENT – Seeking Canning Basin investor

    With a large Western Australian thermal coal project containing more than 511 million tonnes, Rey Resources is seeking a cornerstone investor to help bring the project into production.
    The Canning Basin coal project covers about 8000sqkm in the north-west of Western Australia, providing easy access to the coal hungry markets of India and China.
    Rey has drilled around 20sqkm of the area which confirms the potential of the basin and is confident further exploration will enhance resources, possibly to more than 1 billion tonnes.
    It is working on a pre-feasibility study focused on developing a 2 million tonne/year project and believes this can be adequately exported through the port of Derby, 150km to the west.
    The company is also progressing environmental surveys as a precursor to a full feasibility study next year, with reserve definition drilling and engineering drilling planned.
    While Rey has received a predatory takeover offer from one of its majority shareholders, Gujarat NRE Coke, its managing director Kevin Wilson believes shareholders would be better served if this is rejected and the company secures a cornerstone investor.
    Gujarat owns almost 17% of Rey and has made a 9 cents per share cash bid.
    Kevin Wilson says the Board believes this vastly undervalues the company, which “has an excellent future and is well placed to deliver greater value”.
    “The offer is opportunistically timed at a low point in the Rey share price. We have completed a capital raising and the share price should trade up. Since the offer the shares have traded much higher and in August have been around 17-19 cents.
    “We had a rights issue at 9 cents and with 72% of shareholders taking part it is unlikely the bid will succeed.
    “Rey Resources has been talking about the growth in Indian demand for thermal coal for the last 18 months. Gujarat’s takeover bid is trying to capitalize on this growth market.”
    Kevin Wilson envisages the operation will be a simple ‘starter-kit’ development with an open cut mine supplying the export market, with coal transported to Derby via trucks.
    While Rey has rejected Gujarat’s offer, it is banking on thermal coal demand from India driving prices and tonnage requirements, and making development of the Canning Basin assets possible.
    “What you are starting to see is confirmation of what we suspected – that the Indian economy will need to import about 200 million tonnes of coal in 2012, up from 40 million tonnes last year,” Kevin Wilson says.
    “That is a massive increase if you think that the whole seaborne global coal market is 600 million tonnes. People are now recognizing that the story for thermal coal is not just China, it is India.”
    www.reyresources.com

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – 95% Savoyardy recovery

    Bio-leach amenability testing (BAT) followed by conventional carbon-in-leach (CIL) processing on a bulk concentrate sample from Kentor Gold’s Savoyardy Project in the Kyrgyz Republic has achieved gold recovery of 95%.
    The high grade, low cost Savoyardy project is targeted to begin production in 2010 subject to a final development decision late in 2009.
    The metallurgical testing is part of current pre-development work that also includes confirmatory and exploration drilling to increase the current JORC Resource, negotiation of mining contracts, transport, processing, product sales and government approvals.
    BAT test work showed that 98.9% of the contained sulphide sulphur was oxidized during the bio-leach stage.
    The combined BAT/CIL test work demonstrated a gold recovery of 95% from the global concentrate sample derived from Savoyardy underground ore types. The bio-oxidized product demonstrated fast leach kinetics, with 95% of the contained gold leached into solution after 2 hours.
    The overall predicted gold recovery from the Savoyardy global composite using the gravity-flotation/UFG/BIOX/CIL process flow sheet is predicted at 88.4%.
    Kentor Gold’s managing director Simon Milroy says, “These results represent a significant step forward for the Savoyardy project.
    “We can now be confident of realizing good payment terms for our concentrate, and we have a range of marketing options to existing BIOX facilities in the central Asia region.”
    The BAT work was completed in Tasmania using Goldfields BIOX technology, and the CIL test in Perth, Western Australia.
    BIOX is a bio-hydrometallurgical process for the pre-cyanidation treatment of refractory gold ores. This process offers an alternative to conventional roasting or pressure oxidation techniques. Commercial BIOX installations exist in neighbouring Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and western China.
    Initial production at Savoyardy is envisaged at the annual rate of 10,000 ounces of gold for a minimum of three years, to provide Kentor Gold with valuable early cash flow.
    www.kentorgold.com.au
    ntly, he was project manager for an Indonesian coal mine upgrade and was responsible for the commissioning of a new overland conveyor system.
    Prior to this, he was construction manager for the Central Queensland Port Authority’s new Aus$5 billion coal handling facility in Australia.
    Both men will be Indonesian-based and will work from Churchill’s office in Jakarta.
    www.churchillmining.com

  • PNG – Freida resource upgrade expected

    Exploration drilling at Highlands Pacific’s Frieda Copper Gold Project provides further valuable data for an expected resource upgrade later this year.
    The work program at the Horse-Ivaal-Trukal copper-gold porphyry deposit within the Frieda project area has 220 people on site with four drill rigs undertaking about 2400 metres of drilling each month as part of a 35,000, US$36 million budget for 2009.
    Significant intersections at a 0.2% copper cut-off include 122 metres from 46 metres down hole @ 0.41% copper and 0.13 grams/tonne gold, 312 metres from 38 metres @ 0.72% copper and 0.26 grams/tonne gold, 434 metres from 162 metres @ 0.60% copper and 0.35 grams/tonne gold, and 210 metres from 150 metres @ 0.59% copper and 0.40 grams/tonne gold.
    The results include shallow and deep drilling, some to a depth of 622 metres. They will be included in the revised resource model that will be constructed in late 2009.
    A revised resource statement due in December this year will be used to prepare a mining plan for the pre-feasibility study that is due for delivery in mid-2010.
    Highlands’ managing director John Gooding says, “Whilst the aim of the drilling program was predominantly as in-fill to the previously defined 840 million tonne resource, the joint venture partners now expect a significant resource upgrade later this year.”
    The Frieda project is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper/gold resources. It is 170km northwest of the giant Porgera gold mine and owners are Xstrata Frieda River with 72.6%, Highlands Pacific with 16.9% and OMRD with 6.9%.
    Highlands has a free-carried interest through to completion of a feasibility study, which is required by January 2012.
    The results of an extended scoping study were released in early 2009 and envisage a 40 million tonnes/year plant with production over an initial 27 year mine life annually averaging 160,000 tonnes of copper metal and 240,000 ounces of gold.
    www.highlandspacific.com

  • PNG – Strong ironsands results

    Assays from a sampling program at MIL Resources’ Amazon Bay Ironsands Project in Papua New Guinea have returned encouraging results, including strong vanadium values.
    More than 200 test pit and auger samples were collected from the Barracouta and Threadfin ironsands prospects at Amazon Bay and these returned values of up to 1.02% vanadium pentoxide, 50.7% iron and 20% titanium dioxide.
    Amazon Bay, in southeast PNG, is a major ironsands exploration target of 3-4 billion tonnes of magnetite ironsands based on previous exploration and an airborne magnetics survey flown by MIL in 2008.
    At Barracouta 37 samples were collected from surface to a maximum depth of 6 metres and at Threadfin 171 samples were collected from surface to a maximum depth of 10 metres.
    The samples were prepared into 16 representative composites and sent to Metcon Laboratories, Sydney where they were screened, blended, riffle divided and separated on a dry rotating magnetic drum separator to produce a magnetic concentrate. The magnetic fraction (iron bearing magnetics) was then riffle sampled and pulverized and sent to Spectrolabs, Geraldton, Western Australia, for assay.
    Metallurgical work is under way to determine the optimal route for the treatment of the Amazon Bay vanadium rich titanomagnetite and engineering scoping studies are under way in preparation for reviews by potential strategic long term funding/offtake partners.
    MIL also has an interest in the Poi gold-copper prospect about 15km northeast of Amazon Bay. A large gold anomaly has been identified with assay results from stream sediment geochemistry defining five gold zones ranging up to 35.6 grams/tonne gold.
    Geophysical interpretation of Poi identifies major airborne magnetic and radiometric anomaly striking over 10km long and 1.5km wide coincident with cross-cutting radiometric structures and magnetic anomalies. Field work is being carried out to identify drill targets.
    www.mgil.com.au

  • PHILIPPINES – Co-O reserve 500,000 ounces

    A new JORC-compliant resource estimate for Medusa Mining’s Co-O gold mine shows probable reserves of 1.041 million tonnes @ 14.9 grams/tonne containing 500,000 ounces of gold.
    This represents an increase of 101%, or 251,000 ounces, over the probable reserve of 249,000 ounces @ 10.8 grams/tonne announced in August 2008. Mine depletion since the 2008 estimate is excluded from the new estimate.
    The ore reserve will allow an approximate five year mine life at an annual production rate of 100,000 ounces.
    Crosscut Consulting, of Queensland, Australia, was contracted to complete a reserve estimation based on the resource wireframe model provided by Cube Consulting. An indicated and inferred resource totalling 1.38 million ounces at a grade of 10.8 grams/tonne gold was announced on July 1, 2009.
    The probable reserve was estimated from an indicated resource of 1.25 million tonnes @ 15.0 grams/tonne gold containing 603,000 ounces. The estimate was based on a gold price of US$900/ounce and a stope cut-off grade of 3.3 grams/tonne.
    Medusa’s managing director Geoff Davis says, “A mine life of five years based on reserves is a major achievement for a narrow vein mine and is the culmination of more than 40,000 metres of drilling and more than 6000 metres of underground development that has been completed in the past year.
    “The company anticipates that it will be able to maintain this level of reserves on a yearly basis through continuing conversion of inferred resources to reserves as the mine develops.”
    www.medusamining.com.au

  • PHILIPPINES – Pao/Yabbe exploration

    Royalco Resources expects to resume exploration at its Pao/Yabbe Gold Project during this quarter.
    Its exploration efforts are focused on the main Manidyo prospect at Pao where drilling will take place.
    Manidyo is a high-sulphidation epithermal vein comprising several sub-parallel veins and enargite-cemented vein breccias. A sample from this vein assayed 49 grams/tonne gold, 348 grams/tonne silver and 3.94% copper.
    Various community support programs have been initiated in the Pao tenement area in the past 12 months and road rehabilitation has started at both local and regional levels.
    The tenement application for Yabbe, which adjoins Pao on the south side, is being progressed.
    A few stream sediment samples with anomalous assays up to 30 grams/tonne gold have been recorded from this region during exploration in the 1980s.
    The company’s application is awaiting FPIC approval with this process envisaged to be completed closer to calendar year end.
    Royalco is also initiating a joint venture with the Bugkalot indigenous community over possible exploration in their ancestral domain, which lies to the east and southeast of the Pao/Yabbe tenements.
    Meanwhile at the Gambang Copper Project approvals to proceed with the second phase exploration area, including the Manga Prospect, and the third phase, which includes the Cableway Prospect, are still awaiting processing by the NCIP Central Office.
    Expressions of interest have been received from third parties to farm into this tenement. The extent of this interest will be clarified in coming weeks and consideration will be given to a joint venture over this property should a suitable arrangement be offered.
    The basis for Royalco’s exploration initiatives is to generate royalties and free carried interests in a portfolio of projects. It is not necessarily the company’s ultimate intention to be the operator of any mining project. Third parties would probably be introduced to develop and mine any discovery made.
    www.royalco.com.au

     

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Ramu construction on track

    Construction at the Ramu Nickel Cobalt Project remains on track for completion by the end of 2009 with commissioning due to start during the final quarter.
    The US$1.4 billion project, which is operated by MCC Ramu NiCo, a subsidiary of China Metallurgical Construction Corporation, remains on budget. MCC Ramu owns 85% of the project and Highlands Pacific owns 8.56%.
    The major earth works and foundations at the refinery and mine site have been completed and many prefabricated structures are being erected.
    The second and third autoclaves have been positioned on site while all major equipment has been purchased, shopped to site and is in an advanced stage of installation.
    The 135km slurry pipeline is more than 98.5% joined with only a small 2km section remaining. After joining is completed pumps and the monitoring system will be installed and commissioned.
    The Madang offices and accommodation complex is now operational while a detailed commissioning plan has been developed and 144 managerial, technical and operational employees have been recruited.
    Meanwhile at the Frieda River Copper Gold Project, in which Highlands Pacific has a 16.9% interest, a revised resource estimate is due in December.
    Highlands Pacific is exploring the porphyry deposit in joint venture with Xstrata Frieda River and OMRD Frieda Co. Xstrata is funding Highlands’ share of expenditure until completion of a feasibility study.
    The estimate forms part of pre-feasibility work which also includes up to 37,000 metres of drilling, preparation work for the mine plan and schedule, flotation test work on Nena ores, preparation for a pilot plant, engineering design work on a hydro-electric dam, environmental baseline monitoring, re-estimation of capital cost and community affairs work.
    www.highlandspacific.com

     

  • CHINA – Exploration to be stepped up

    Asia Now Resources aims to accelerate drilling programs at its gold prospects in Yunnan Province, China, and to begin drilling at a new target.
    The company is placing emphasis on aggressively exploring the properties, which continue to be its cornerstone.
    Currently, it is drilling and tunnelling in a 0.8sqkm high-grade copper-molybdenum-gold zone at Habo South and in a 0.7sqkm zone in the middle of the 13km long by 2km wide gold zone at Beiya North. This zone is adjacent to the Beiya Gold Mine, the largest open-pit gold mine in Yunnan producing up to 100,000 ounces of gold annually.
    In addition to the budgeted exploration programs, the company plans to speed up drilling at these two targets, and to start to drill a third target (0.6sqkm) in the northeast part of the identified gold zone in Beiya.
    Subject to successful financing, the planned drilling programs are aimed to delineate mineable resources at these three targets.
    Asia Now also plans to grow beyond its existing exploration projects. It has reviewed many production or close to production projects and is evaluating potential acquisition opportunities in Asia and North America.
    The company has developed extensive relationships with investors, particularly in Asia, and will continue establishing and strengthening strategic partnerships with Asian funds for new development opportunities.
    Asia Now’s president Dr Kaihui Yang says, “We believe there is great potential in combining western technologies and management with Asian funds in the global mining industry.
    “Asia Now will take advantage of its strong international team and its access to Asian funds to seek new opportunities.”
    www.asianow.ca

  • CHINA – Plant construction starts

    The first concrete has been poured for unit 2 of the Fangjiashan nuclear power plant, near Shanghai in China.
    Fangjiashan is effectively a fifth stage of the Qinshan nuclear plant, and its completion in 2014 will give China National Nuclear Corporation nine reactors totalling 6300 MWe there.
    The total cost of the two largely indigenous CPR-1000 units is 26 billion yuan ($3.8 billion).
    - Information courtesy of World Nuclear News.

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Savoyardy drilling program

    KENTOR Gold has started a drilling program aimed at increasing the gold resource at the Savoyardy Gold Project and aims to make a development decision after completing pre-development works in October.
    If this work is successful the company expects it will be in a position to make a decision to proceed with development of the mine by the end of the year with a view to beginning gold production in 2010.
    The drilling is part of the pre-development work that also includes further metallurgical test work, negotiating firm contracts for the mining, finalizing arrangements for the transport, processing and sale of the gold, and government approvals.
    Two diamond drill rigs have started drilling from the surface along strike from the known resource. The surface rigs are following up Soviet trenching results of 4 metres @ 14.3 grams/tonne gold as well as drilling in Kentor’s 2008 campaign which returned an intersection of 7 metres @ 6.3 grams/tonne on the same section.
    A third rig has started drilling from underground to upgrade the current JORC-compliant inferred resource estimate.
    Initial production is likely to be at the rate of about 10,000 ounces a year for three years, based on the current resource, with ongoing exploration designed to extend the resource base and thus the mine life.
    A pre-feasibility study examined a number of scenarios for mining and processing of the ore at Savoyardy. The optimum scenario involves underground mining, taking advantage of the extensive drives developed during the 1970s for exploration and trucking the high grade ore to an existing processing facility at Haidarkan for processing to a gold concentrate.
    The Haidarkan mercury mining and processing complex is 370km from Savoyardy but has several advantages over establishing new processing facilities including less capital cost, reduced environmental impacts, less permitting, a shorter development schedule and an existing trained work force at Haidarkan.
    This plant also has roasting facilities available and metallurgical test work will determine if roasting of the concentrate followed by leaching will result in a high recovery of gold from the concentrate.
    www.kentorgold.com.au

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Seismic data sharing

    Nimrodel Resources has signed a cooperation agreement to facilitate the sharing of seismic and geophysical data on the company’s Batken uranium leases in the Kyrgyz Republic.
    The agreement with Kyrgyz company CJSC South Petroleum Company follows the recent completion of an extensive seismic exploration program in south-western Kyrgyz by CJSC.
    The data sharing will be of mutual benefit and will assist Nimrodel in targeting structural trap sites for potential Palaeogene uranium mineralization.
    In particular it will be utilized to expand the exploration around the existing uranium prospect at Oilma on the Batken leases. There is a well documented and close relationship between oil occurrences and uranium deposits throughout the Fergana Valley region of southern Kyrgyzstan.
    The sharing of this data at no cost to Nimrodel is of great benefit in developing the ongoing exploration strategy for the Batken leases.
    Nimrodel Resources is an international exploration company which is developing a portfolio of highly prospective, uranium, precious and base metals projects in Kyrgyz and Australia. The company has three core projects - the Batken Province and Tyuz-Ashuiskaya Projects in Kyrgyzstan and the Buckaroo Project in Australia.
    The Batken Oblast Project covers 1946sqkm and encompasses a highly prospective area with geology similar to that of the Mailuu-Suu Uranium Mine, which historically produced about 10,000 tonnes of high-grade uranium.
    The leases are in the Fergana Basin, within 10km of an existing uranium plant at Hojent in Tajikistan and within 45-100km of former Soviet uranium mines, including Mailuu-Suu and Tuya Muyun.
    The company also recently announced that it has signed an agreement with private UK-based company Pangaea Energy, for the option to purchase  80% of the Kamushan Uranium Project, located near the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. The option also includes the acquisition of the 720sqkm Jetym Uranium Lease in eastern Kyrgyzstan.
    www.nimrodel.com.au

  • INDONESIA – Tujuh Bukit agreement

    Intrepid Mines has signed an agreement which enables Vale Exploration to acquire a 60% interest in a joint venture company holding the rights to the Tujuh Bukit sulphide copper-gold project in East Java.
    The deal involves Vale Exploration, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vale SA, spending at least US$40 million to gain the interest.
    Intrepid and its Indonesian alliance partner, PT Indo Multi Niaga (IMN), will retain the remaining 40% interest in the sulphide project and will be free carried by Vale through to completion of a bankable feasibility study.
    Intrepid and PT IMN will continue to retain sole rights to the oxide gold-silver deposit which sits above the sulphide copper-gold deposit. About 2.57 million ounces of gold equivalent resources have already been estimated at the oxide deposit.
    Intrepid will now complete a scoping study on the oxide cap and look to create a 10 year mine annual producing 150,000 ounces as part of a pre-strip operation which will then give Vale and Intrepid access to the copper porphyry below.
    Tujuh Bukit is in the province of East Java and covers an area of about 11,600 hectares, about 205km south-east of Surabaya, the provincial capital.
    Intrepid’s CEO Brad Gordon says: “We are extremely pleased to have such an important and respected partner working with us on this tremendously exciting discovery. At the same time, we believe that the terms of this agreement very positively reflect both the sulphide deposit’s potential and the real contributions that our team and organization have to make in its potential development.”
    Intrepid will remain as manager of the project during the option period, operating under the direction of a technical committee comprising representatives of Intrepid and Vale. Vale will sole fund a pre-feasibility study and a bankable feasibility study on the sulphide deposit.
    www.intrepidmines.com

  • INDONESIA – Desa Mirah almost ready

    Stage 1 mining at Lincoln Minerals’ Desa Mirah Iron Ore Project will begin as soon as negotiations with neighbours are completed and equipment can be mobilized on site.
    Desa Mirah, in South Central Kalimantan, is being developed jointly by Lincoln Minerals and Samusa Corporation through an Indonesian mining company, PT Samusa Bintang Mandiri.
    A small parcel of about 7000-10,000 tonnes of high grade iron ore was stockpiled during previous trial mining and selected run-of-mine samples average 66.2% iron.
    The initial shipment of stockpiled ore at the Desa Mirah mine site and the start of mining have been delayed due to ongoing negotiations with the palm oil plantation owner on whose land the mine is located.
    Work to date at the mine site includes regional field reconnaissance which identified high grade iron ore outcrops over an area with a strike length of at least 3.5km.
    Trenching adjacent to the existing mine found that mineralization averaging 62.6% iron extends over an area of at least 10,000 square metres.
    A detailed ground magnetic survey has been completed to outline the boundaries of the iron ore.
    This work, including processing and interpretation of magnetic data, has defined sufficient resources to enable stage 1 mining to start.
    A small parcel of ore was transported from the mine to the jetty at Pundu in June but trucking was discontinued partly due to the state of the connecting road between the mine and the jetty where the ore will be loaded onto barges for shipment.
    Following advice from an independent civil engineering consultant, sections of the road including some bridges are being upgraded or reconstructed.
    The company has commissioned the construction in Jakarta of a small diamond core drill rig which is being transported to the mine area. This will allow for a drill program to define the extent, depth, thickness and iron grade of the resource within the mining or exploitation concession.
    The initial drilling will focus on the area close to the existing mine site and stockpile.
    www.lincolnminerals.com.au

     

     

  • CAMBODIA – Significant Anchor intercepts

    Significant gold mineralization has been intercepted by Southern Gold in the company’s first reverse circulation (RC) drilling program on its projects in northeast Cambodia.
    The intersections followed the recent completion of a 10 drill hole, 500 metre RC program to target the source of significant gold trench intercepts at the Anchor prospect.
    Prominent intersections included 8 metres @ 5.9 grams/tonne which included 4 metres @ 8.8 grams/tonne gold, 4 metres @ 5.8 grams/tonne gold and 20 metres @ 2.29 grams/tonne. High levels of other metals were associated with the gold mineralization including 8 metres @ 26.6 grams/tonne silver, 0.4% copper and 0.2% zinc.
    The Anchor prospect is within an interpreted 10km x 10km cluster of dioritic intrusives prospective for intrusive related epithermal gold vein systems and polymetallic gold skarns.
    Gold mineralization at Anchor and the overall Snoul project area are associated with quartz/sulphide veins hosted in silicified metasediments and intrusive diorites.
    Southern Gold’s managing director Stephen Biggins says “The quality of the maiden RC results validates the company’s belief that its early mover advantage has enabled it to secure a highly prospective tenement package in an exciting and underexplored geologic region that I am confident will deliver significant mineral discoveries.
    “I am delighted with the results of this first-pass drill program and look forward to aggressively following-up these results with further drilling to better understand the potential of this area for a significant mineral discovery.”
    Southern Gold anticipates follow-up RC drilling and ground geophysics at Anchor and extending soil surveys over the large 200sqkm Snoul prospect with a view to better understanding the significant potential of the mineralisation discovered.
    Future work will target depth extensions to the newly identified mineralization and the discovery of additional intrusive gold mineralization within the Snoul area. Activity in Cambodia will resume when the next Cambodian field season begins in November 2009.
    The Snoul Project is 10km from the main sealed road linking the regional centre of Snoul to Kampong Cham and Kratie. Access to this area is generally good and the area typically has a mix of agricultural land uses.
    www.southerngold.com.au

     

     

     

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Andash adds to Kentor assets

    A DECISION by Kentor Gold to purchase an 80% stake in the Andash Gold-Copper Project in the Kyrgyz Republic provides it with the opportunity to become a significant gold producer within two years.
    The stake has been purchased from the former operator Aurum Mining and adds 540,000 ounces of gold and 63,000 tonnes of copper to Kentor’s Central Asian reserves.
    Andash is development-ready and a low-cost open pit operation is planned with an estimated average life of mine production of about 60,000 ounces of gold and 5000 tonnes of copper.
    A feasibility study has been completed by Aurum as well as an environmental and social impact assessment while a mining licence has been issued, and mining and construction fleets purchased.
    Kentor is conducting technical, financial and legal due diligence on the project. This work includes a full review of capital and operating costs to incorporate the changes that have taken place since the feasibility study was completed.
    Kentor’s managing director Simon Milroy says, “Kentor will be able to take advantage of its well established, local on-the-ground presence in the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as its mine development and operational expertise, to push forward at Andash and also at Savoyardy, where we are targeting first gold production in 2010.
    “The exploration licence contains numerous other areas of known mineralization in close proximity to the planned pit. These will be actively explored to increase the resource base for the project.”
    Andash is within the Tien Shan Gold Belt, one of the world’s largest gold provinces that stretches through Central Asia and into north-west China. It is in the Talas Valley, close to the north-western border with Kazakhstan and about 300km from the capital city of Bishkek.
    A bankable feasibility study in 2007 confirmed a measured and indicated resource base of 19.2 million tonnes @ 1.1 grams/tonne gold and 0.4% copper. It recommends that ore treatment will be flotation to produce a single copper-gold concentrate with a surface thickened tailings storage facility. The economic model was based on excavation of 16 million tonnes of ore over an 8 year mine life, with ore treatment for 9 years.
    www.kentorgold.com.au

  • CHINA - Yili coal-to-gas project

    A large-scale coal-to-natural gas project is to be build at Yili in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
    Based on rich coal and water resources, the Yili local government plans to build a large-scale coal chemical base that would produce 20-30 billion cubic metres of natural gas from coal.
    A number of coal enterprises including Xinwen Group, Zaozhuang Coal Mine, Lu'an Group, Yongcheng Coal and Electricity Group have also started preliminary work on coal-based natural gas production projects.
    It is also believed that a state level coal-to-natural gas project in Jmser has recently been passed by the National Development and Reform Commission.
    The project is estimated to use 4.6 million tonnes of coal, of which the raw material coal will be 3.76 million tonnes and the fuel coal will be 883,000 tonnes.
    With estimated investment totaling 68,458.5 billion yuan, it will produce 1.3 billion cubic metres of coal-based natural gas.
    The project will start in January next year and finish by 2013. An application has been submitted for an affiliated project involving the laying of 50km natural gas pipeline.
    - News courtesy of China Coal Monthly/China Coal Resource - en.sxcoal.com

     

     


     

  • PHILIPPINES – New gold and copper corridor

    Drilling at Cadan Resources’ Comval porphyry copper-gold deposits has identified a corridor or continuous mineralization between the Tagpura and Maangob deposits.
    The scout drilling has taken place at bench two of the Tagpura deposit and towards the known Maangob target.
    A conservative extension of the corridor is 1500 metres long by 700 metres wide and, projected to a depth of 500 metres. This indicates a potential tonnage of some 1.7 billion tonnes.
    The deposit, at the western end of the corridor, is open to the northeast and southwest, while at the eastern end (bench two), it is open to the northeast and southwest.
    In addition, current drilling on bench five included the following results: 208.6 metres @ 0.45% copper and 0.17 grams/tonne gold and 162.6 metres @ 0.8% copper and 0.31 grams/tonne gold.
    At the west end of the corridor is the Maangob historical resource of 39.6 million tonnes @ 0.36% copper, 0.5 grams/tonne gold and 4 grams/tonne silver.
    At the east end of the corridor is the Tagpura historical resource of 17.3 million tonnes @ 0.68% copper, 0.5 grams/tonne gold and 4 grams/tonne silver.
    Until drilling and other detailed exploration is conducted over the target, these historical resources are highly speculative and should only be considered as indicative of mineralization potential.
    www.cadanresources.com

  • INDIA - Vedanta acquires Goa assets

    SESA GOA Limited, a majority-owned subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, has purchased the Goa iron ore assets of the Dempo Group for Rs 1750 crores (US$368 million).
    The assets include mining leases, rights and related infrastructure in Goa.
    Funding the transaction out of its existing cash resources, Sesa acquired VS Dempo and Co which holds 100% of Dempo Mining Corporation and 50% of Goa Maritime.
    VS Dempo owns or has the rights to mineable reserves and resources estimated at 70 million tonnes of iron ore in Goa. Its Goa mining assets also includes processing plants, barges, jetties, trans-shippers and loading capacities at Mormugoa port.
    It produced 3.94 million tonnes of iron ore and sold 4.36 million tonnes in the year ended March 31, 2009, and is one of the largest exporters of iron ore from Goa.
    Vedanta’s chairman Anil Agarwal says, “We are highly delighted with this opportunity to consolidate our iron ore business. The integration of Sesa and VS Dempo’s operations will achieve great synergy.”
    VS Dempo is a logical and strategic fit with Sesa’s existing iron ore business and is expected to create significant long term value for all shareholders through:
    • Leveraging Vedanta’s proven mining and project management skills to develop and optimize VSD’s mines and plants.
    • Access to attractive mining assets with long life.
    • Synergising with Sesa’s existing iron ore operations.
    Sesa Goa is a large iron ore exporter which has also diversified into the manufacture of pig iron and metallurgical coke in Goa. It also has mining operations in Karnataka and Orissa and exported about 8 million tonnes to China in 2008/09.
    The Dempo Group is based in Goa and has interests spanning mining, calcined petroleum, coke, pig iron, shipbuilding, food and travel.
    www.vedantaresources.com

  • INVESTMENT – WISCO magnetite agreement

    China’s third largest steel group, Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Co (WISCO), will invest up to Aus$186 million in South Australia’s burgeoning iron ore industry after signing a joint venture agreement with Adelaide-based Centrex Metals.
    The joint venture plans to develop two, 5 million tonnes/year magnetite iron ore projects from deposits north of Port Lincoln on the foot of the Eyre Peninsula.
    The Southern and South Central projects are between Port Lincoln, Tumby Bay and Port Neill, and are expected to come on line over the next five to seven years.
    WISCO will pay Centrex a total of up to Aus$186 million for 60% equity in the joint venture. It will sole fund the first Aus$75 million of work commitments to cover exploration and study costs.
    WISCO will pay four staged payments each of Aus$27 million to Centrex when the joint venture has defined magnetite banded iron JORC inferred resources of 1.25 billion tonnes, 1.5 billion tonnes, 1.75 billion tonnes and 2.0 billion tonnes respectively.
    The progressive cash injections into Centrex by WISCO will also fully fund the Australian company’s commitments to commission its wholly-owned and advanced Wilgerup hematite iron ore mine, further north of the Centrex-WISCO JV projects.
    The Wilgerup project already has mining approval and is awaiting South Australian Government development approval to export hematite from Port Lincoln, with mining expected to begin before year’s end.
    Centrex and WISCO have agreed to form a second joint venture on a 50:50 basis for the purpose of developing a deep water minerals and general export port facility at Sheep Hill, north of Port Lincoln.
    Centrex’s managing director Gerard Anderson says the joint venture has agreed to an aggressive exploration and study program. “An exploration camp will be established at our Orana Farm which sits over the Carrow magnetite deposit, with a major drilling campaign likely to begin in September.”
    www.centrexmetals.com.au

     

     

  • CONFERENCES – Coal industry strategies

    Radically altered economic conditions offer a different set of challenges and opportunities for the coal industry and Coaltrans Australia 2009 will examine strategies to help stay ahead of the pack.
    Coaltrans Australia 2009 will be held at the Sofitel hotel in Brisbane on August 17 and 18 and offers networking opportunities as well as  advice on the most effective strategies for business.
    The global economic downturn appears to have hit many by surprise and the Australian coal industry is not immune to its effects. To remain ahead of global competitors, Australia will need to ensure that the necessary infrastructure capacity is developed in time for a resurgence of demand.
    When will demand pick up again? How much infrastructure capacity will be available in the medium-long term? And how much of a threat do Australia’s competitors pose? Coaltrans Australia has assembled its program to thoroughly examine each of these questions and many more.
    There is an impressive line-up of speakers, including Anglo Coal Australia chief executive officer Seamus French, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche, QR National Coal executive general manager Marcus McAuliffe and Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute chief executive officer Nick Otter.
    Buyers from China, India, Korea and Japan as well as competitors from Indonesia, Mongolia and Canada will give their perspectives on future demand/supply scenarios, equipping producers with advice on attracting buyers for years to come.
    Establishing adequate project financing and the development of effective risk strategy is now more important than ever. The conference has dedicated a full session to advice on attracting investment and taking advantage of funding opportunities.
    The conference will look at the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme that the Australian Government will bring into effect in one year. It will delve into the key ways in which this and other environmental legislation will impact business and offer management strategies.
    www.coaltrans.com/australia

     

     

  • CONFERENCES – Improving competitiveness

    The theme of next month’s Mining Philippines 2009 Conference and Exhibition will be ‘Strengthening Competitiveness’.
    This comes at an important time for the global mining industry as it suffers from the impacts of the global financial crisis.
    The conference and exhibition will be held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila from September 15-17 and is being organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.
    This year’s event will coincide with the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘The Future of Mining and Metals Scenarios Workshop’ on September 15.
    The workshop is being co-organized by the WEF Secretariat based in Geneva and the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, and will involve participation by pre-selected and specially invited industry experts and stakeholders in South East Asia.
    Mining Philippines 2009 Conference and Exhibition will bring together mining companies, investment and financial houses, commodity traders, and other industry stakeholders.
    It will address the outlook for mining in South East Asia, today’s market conditions, global investment and the capital raising landscape, as well as provide insights and updates on the various mining projects in the Philippines.
    Speakers at the conference will include industry experts, such as presidents and CEOs of mining companies from the region, and high level players in the global investment market.
    More than 500 local and international delegates are expected to attend.
    The conference will be on September 16 and 17 while the exhibition will run from September 15 to 17.
    For information call Worldexco on 632 8558342 or email [email protected]. On-line registration is available at www.chamberofmines.com.ph

     


     

  • CONFERENCES – Chinese platform for mining

    China is playing an increasingly important role in the global mining industry and this role will be examined in depth during the China Mining Congress and Expo 2009 in Tianjin from October 20-22.
    China’s continuing growth and its reliance on resources to drive this growth, the identification of opportunities in China and for Chinese companies looking abroad, and the impacts of the current economic situation on the mining industry and commodities, are all important issues that need to be discussed by mining industry stakeholders.
    The congress and expo will provide the appropriate platform for consideration and discussion of these and other issues affecting the mining industry.
    China Mining Congress and Expo promises to be one of the largest mining events in the world during 2009 and is hosted by the Ministry of Land & Resources, China and Tianjin Municipal Government, China.
    Chinese mining companies are a strong facet of China’s economy and have became an important pillar for foreign mining companies. The congress will play an important role in creating more communication and co-operation opportunities for domestic and international mining corporations.
    According to the organizing committee, there are nearly 200 confirmed exhibitors and the major mining countries will be represented, including Canada, Australia and South Africa. China itself will organize big country pavilion.
    The event’s trade show attracts foreign and domestic governments, associations and companies, including mining and exploration companies, mining technique and equipment suppliers, geologists as well as banks and legal consulting firms, etc.
    The three core features of China Mining are conference, exhibition and featured events which together create an overall experience. The event also provides a convenient channel for the purpose of economic and trading co-operation as well as communications between China and the world.
    For further information, please visit www.china-mining.com or email [email protected]

     

  • Baobab seeks iron ore investors for Tete project

    Baobab Resources is seeking investors in its highly prospective Tete iron ore and vanadium project in Mozambique.
    With exploration conducted on a small part of the company’s Tete tenement package there is plenty of evidence to suggest a large magnetite deposit with attractive vanadium credits.
    Tete also has very good access to infrastructure, including abundant hydro-electric power, coking coal resources and rail/port facilities, which places Baobab’s iron ore project at a significant advantage to most others on the continent. Mozambique is strategically located on the Indian Ocean seaboard, close to resource-hungry markets such as China, India and the Middle East.
    Baobab’s technical director Ben James says strategically the company has two long-term options for investment – a partnership with a mining major or an offtake agreement with an Asian end user that requires the resources.
    Baobab began exploration in 2008, completing an aeromagnetic survey, field mapping and sampling, and metallurgical test work. It has focused 2009 activities on the Massamba Group area where exploration has identified magnetite mineralization over more than 8km of strike.
    The company has received results from the first round of drilling and test work.
    Diamond drilling tested 500 metres of the 8km strike potential of Massamba. It intersected significant widths of shallow dipping magnetite mineralization from surface and this remains open down dip on all sections.
    Head and Davis Tube Recovery concentrate analytical results have been received from drill core sampling with iron and vanadium concentrate grades significantly higher than expected.
    Concentrate intercepts include 20.5 metres @ 65.8% iron and 0.74% vanadium pentoxide from 62.5 metres, 19.5 metres @ 64.6% iron and 0.69% vanadium pentoxide from 99.5 metres, and 30 metres @ 66.6% iron and 0.72% vanadium pentoxide from 130.5 metres.
    Ben James says, “It is hoped that the exploration success that we have had to date will attract the right strategic partner to assist in the future development of the project.
    “We have tested a fraction of the tenement and a resource estimate is due by quarter four this year. This will dictate the direction of the company’s exploration and development in 2010.
    “It is likely to include scout drilling along the strike length identified so far as well as desktop studies and scoping studies, which will help us to better define the broader resource potential and clarify mining, processing and end user market requirements.”
    Massamba is 55km north-northeast of the provincial capital of Tete while the largely untested Singore prospect is about 30km north of Tete.
    Tete is fast becoming an industrial and investment hub in Southern Africa with mining majors Vale and Riversdale/Tata Steel opening up the Moatize and Benga coal fields. The railway connecting Tete to the port of Beira is being refurbished as is the deep water port.
    Hydro-electric power is readily available from the 2075MW Cahora Bassa dam, with an additional 1500MW scheme at Mphanda N’kuwa, also on the Zambezi, in advanced planning stages. Coal fired power plants have also been proposed for Moatize and Benga.
    Baobab formed a strategic partnership with IFC (International Finance Corporation) in January 2009 whereby IFC purchased a 15% direct participation in the Tete project.
    Ben James says the IFC is supporting development of Tete as an emerging industrial hub of southern Africa and Baobab’s plans for the Tete project fit in with this aim. “They are interested in this project coming to fruition and it fits IFC guidelines in terms of transparency as well as community and social responsibilities.”
    For more information on this investment opportunity, please contact The ASIA Miner’s editor-in-chief John Miller on +61 2 417 651 844 or email [email protected]

  • PNG – Five gold anomalies identified at Poi

    A geochemical sampling program at MIL Resources’ Poi Gold Project has returned excellent high-grade gold assays and defined five separate gold anomalies.
    A stream geochemistry and pan concentrate sampling program has covered a 27sqkm area around the Kebei Ridge area with the aim of confirming results from CRA’s work in 1984 where significant gold assays were obtained in streams draining this area.
    Peak pan concentrate assays from the five gold anomalies are:
    • Alusi – 35.6 grams/tonne, 28.4 grams/tonne and 10.25 grams/tonne.
    • Wacheri – 30.7 grams/tonne.
    • Bona Flats – 17.6 grams/tonne.
    • Upper Wacheri – 2.15 grams/tonne.
    • Kebei Ridge – 0.51 grams/tonne.
    The results from MIL’s recent work together with geophysical modeling, which defined an extensive radiometric anomaly striking over 10km long and 1.5km wide, has intensified the focus on the early identification of drill targets.
    This work will initially involve further stream geochemistry, geological mapping and sampling, gridding and trenching. It will be attempting to define boundaries of the gold anomalism.
    Results indicate that Poi represents a large porphyry gold copper exploration target defined by a prominent syenite ridge, strong geophysical radiometric anomalism and structures, and high grade gold anomalism in stream geochemistry.
    These characteristics are typical of porphyry gold copper systems found in island arc settings such as PNG.
    As well as Poi, MIL has the Amazon Bay ironsands prospect in PNG’s east. This is an exploration target of 3-4 billion tonnes of magnetite ironsands.
    MIL also has acquired a 50% interest in Titan Metals which has a portfolio of gold, copper, molybdenum and nickel prospects in PNG.
    www.mgil.com.au

  • PNG – Near-term mining hopes for Pigibo

    Allied Gold will undertake infill grade control drilling at Simberi Gold Project’s Pigibo prospect with a view to advancing mine planning to allow the start of near-term mining.
    This program follows the success of recent reverse circulation drilling that is likely to increase the size of the resource. Mineralization occurs over about 600 metres along strike and also remains open in several locations.
    The RC drilling has tested the area of the previous inferred resource of 2.1 million tonnes @ 1.1 grams/tonne gold for 74,000 contained ounces.
    Most recent gold assay results include 22 metres @ 3.40 grams/tonne gold from 98 metres, 47 metres @ 2.84 grams/tonne from 63 metres, 27 metres @ 4.64 grams/tonne from 93 metres, 28 metres @ 8.54 grams/tonne from 30 metres including 2 metres @ 60.1 grams/tonne from 43 metres, and 21 metres @ 3.43 grams/tonne from 71 metres.
    The intercepts are predominantly in oxide and transitional material types.
    This deposit is 800 metres west of the Pigiput prospect which is the subject of a sulphide resource-drill out program and scoping study.
    Previous intersections from the current Pigibo campaign include 36 metres @ 2.28 grams/tonne from 41 metres including 6 metres @ 4.21 grams/tonne from 689 metres, 15 metres @ 2.85 grams/tonne from 74 metres, and 15 metres @ 2.68 grams/tonne from 60 metres.
    The company hopes to define the extent of mineralization by the end of the third quarter.
    The Simberi project is on the northern-most island of the Tabar Islands Group in the New Ireland Province of eastern PNG, 60km north-west of the Lihir Gold Project, which hosts a plus 40 million ounce gold resource.
    Simberi currently hosts measured indicated and inferred mineral resources of about 4.7 million ounces of gold.
    www.alliedgold.com.au

  • PAKISTAN – Interest in power station at Thar project

    Oracle Coalfields has fielded expressions of interest from two Pakistan power generating companies interesting in setting up a mine-mouth power station in the Thar coalfield of Sindh Province, south-east Pakistan.
    Oracle has issued an invitation to build a 300MW mine-mouth power station fuelled by lignite coal produced from its planned 2.5 million tonnes/year open mine on its Block VI licence.
    During a recent visit to Pakistan, Oracle officials met with the companies which are both engaged in power production, have access to funding and are capable of building and operating the proposed power station.
    Block VI contains a JORC-compliant measured resource of 1.4 billion tonnes, including a proven reserve of 371 million tonnes. The proven reserve occurs in a single main seam, some 20-28 metres thick, which lies beneath about 150 metres of overburden comprising mainly unconsolidated sands and sediments that will not require blasting.
    Oracle’s chairman Shahrukh Khan says: “We are very pleased with the positive response of these two power companies to our plans for the Thar project. They already own power plants in Pakistan and view our plans as having a sound technical base.
    “In order to progress, however, they obviously require the comfort of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) with independent verification of the numbers. Work on the BFS is now in progress.
    “During the visit to Pakistan, we also met senior officials in the Government of Sindh Mines & Minerals Development Department and it was very apparent that the government’s support for our Thar project continues to grow.
    “It is giving active consideration to the building of a canal to provide water to the project area, undertake the groundwork necessary to link the site to the country’s railway system and to upgrade the existing grid to 500KV.”
    Oracle is a London-based resource exploration and development company with an 80% owned subsidiary, Sindh Carbon Energy, operating in Pakistan.
    The company also owns the Indus East coal project in Pakistan where a pre-feasibility study has confirmed a JORC-compliant inferred resource of 365 million tonnes.
    www.oraclecoalfields.com

     

  • PHILIPPINES – Tagpura tests return high recoveries

    Bacterial heap leach test work on samples from Cadan Resources’ Tagpura Project in East Mindanao has returned high copper-gold recoveries.
    Internal scoping studies are now under way for a proposed on-site bacterial heap leach operation annually processing up to 2 million tonnes.
    The tests were carried out on two representative samples of mineralized material from drill core and from channel samples from mining benches of the existing Tagpura open pit.
    After 47 days of testing based on residue assays the head grade results for the porphyry bench sample was 0.11ppm gold, 0.42% copper and 6.04% iron, and for the porphyry skarn sample was 0.66ppm gold, 1.96% copper and 19.20% iron. Recovery results for the bench sample were 90% gold, 97.4% copper and 27.3% iron, and for the skarn sample were 93.7% gold, 85.5% copper and 14.3% iron.
    These results indicate that the BioHeap leaching technology developed by Pacific Ore is suitable for the Tagpura porphyry copper-gold and porphyry skarn mineralized material.
    Cadan’s president and CEO Brett Taylor says, “The high copper recoveries from this initial leach test work are regarded as excellent.
    “The proposed processing approach offers the potential of early production and early cash flow with additional benefits being lower capital costs, lower operating costs, enhanced global long-term competitiveness in copper-gold production and supply, limited environmental footprint, technology transfer, and improved skill training for professional, technical and non-technical people.”
    The Tagpura deposit, which is part of the Comval prospects, has a conceptual order of magnitude potential tonnage of 1 billion to 1.7 billion tonnes with a grade range from 0.3% to 0.7% copper and 0.17 to 0.31 grams/tonne gold.
    A mine life of 5-7 or more years is envisaged, although additional exploration is required to delineate a resource. The porphyry skarn high grade target is within an existing open pit. This enables the box cut mining method to be considered the most appropriate approach, particularly as there is no overburden to remove, and thus, mining costs should be optimized.
    www.cadanresources.com

  • PHILIPPINES – Drilling to start at El Paso

    Initial drilling is due to begin next month at the El Paso copper-gold prospects in Batangas Province, the Philippines.
    El Paso is one of three projects comprising the Batangas joint ventures, which involve Mindoro Resources and Goldfields.
    The drilling is a follow-up to detailed surveying and geological mapping that has taken place at a number of copper-gold occurrences. The potential copper-gold mineralization occurs in dioritic and andesitic rocks which are capped and obscured by younger cover rocks.
    In the Talumpok area cuprite and native copper mineralization was identified over 30 metres in propylitized diorite in contact with sediments in Talumpok Creek while there is also copper carbonate and copper sulphide evidence at nearby Tilaga Creek.
    Follow-up at a copper-in-soil anomaly located silicified rock float in two different locations. This is open to the south.
    At El Paso Hill three historical adits were located within andesite with moderate to abundant malachite staining, strong silicification and moderate chloritization.
    There is also geological evidence of mineralization at Tinangisan Ridge and in the Takaran area.
    Along with the initial drilling, ongoing work at El Paso will include detailed geological, geochemical and geophysical surveys in order to extend anomalies which are still open.
    The El Paso Project is 11km southeast of Freeport McMoRan's Taysan porphyry copper-gold deposit and 7km northeast of Mindoro's Pica porphyry copper-gold prospect.
    Mindoro is focused on copper-gold and nickel exploration in the Philippines with a strategy of advancing early stage opportunities to production or joint venture. It has NI 43-101 resource estimates on its Agata North nickel-cobalt project and on both its Lobo (SWB) and Archangel (Kay Tanda) gold-silver projects. It has identified 22 porphyry copper-gold prospects and has MOUs with Avocet Mining on its Archangel Project and with Gold Fields covering its Batangas projects.
    www.mindoro.com

  • INDONESIA – Samples expose additional Miwah gold

    Ongoing exploration of East Asia Minerals’ recently discovered South Miwah Bluff Gold Zone has exposed additional high-grade gold.
    The exploration continues to expand the company’s Miwah Gold Project in Aceh Province, Northern Sumatra.
    Results have been received for 154 rock sawn channel samples from South Miwah Bluff and include 83.59 grams/tonne gold over 24 metres, 20.14 grams/tonne over 12 metres and 9.21 grams/tonne over 7 metres.
    Detailed follow-up is ongoing to the north and south along strike of the high-grade exposure where several gold-rich channels including 125.9 grams/tonne gold over 23 metres and 19.15 grams/tonne over 8 metres were recently discovered.
    These efforts are designed to establish the connection between the main Miwah Gold Zone and this new discovery, and to determine the mineralization boundaries. Additional coherent and detached altered/mineralized bodies have been outlined between the main zone and the new high-grade gold discovery.
    Drilling is now under way to test the full strike length of the main Miwah Gold Zone, having started at the western extreme.
    Simultaneous to this program, geological teams are continuing with sampling of the main zone, regionally in areas such as the highly prospective Sipopok Gold Zone 1.5km to the NNE, and in areas where mapping and sampling have defined direct extensions to the zone.
    The discovery of South Miwah Bluff has opened up the southwest portion of Miwah Gold Zone and expanded the potential of this large gold system. In addition to drilling of the main zone, ongoing exploration will define drill targets within the new discovery for testing.
    www.EAminerals.com

  • NICKEL – Jinchuan obtains Forrestania supply

    Western Areas has signed an offtake agreement with China’s Jinchuan Group for the supply of nickel from its Forrestania Project in Western Australia.
    The agreement will see Western Areas sell up to 25,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate over a two year period starting in early 2010.
    Western Areas’ managing director Julian Hanna says, “The two year contract with Jinchuan is consistent with Western Areas' plan to sell concentrate to major smelters within and outside Australia.
    “We expect the agreement with China's largest nickel company will also provide Western Areas with exposure to one of the world's fastest growing markets.”
    The first 10,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate from Forrestania is being sold to BHP Billiton under an offtake agreement signed in March 2009, which provides up to a limit of 75,000 tonnes. This high-grade nickel concentrate from Flying Fox mine is processed at BHP Billiton's smelter at Kalgoorlie, 300km from Forrestania.
    Western Areas expects to double annual nickel production from an estimated 10,000 tonnes in 2009 to 20,000 tonnes in 2010 and 25,000 tonnes from 2011. The balance of nickel not sold to BHP Billiton during 2010 and 2011 will be sold to Jinchuan under the new contract. Concentrate is planned to be exported to Jinchuan from Esperance port.
    The company’s Flying Fox mine and Cosmic Boy concentrate plant are meeting all expectations in terms of tonnes and grade mined, concentrate specifications and metallurgical recoveries. In addition to concentrate sold to BHP Billiton since May 2009, current stockpiles of ore and concentrate at Forrestania contain about 3430 tonnes of nickel with an in situ nickel value of around US$55 million.
    Final permitting is also under way for the high grade Spotted Quoll open pit mine. First production should overlap production from the high grade Lewinsky Lode at the top of the Flying Fox T5 ore body, starting in early 2010.
    www.westernareas.com.au

  • GOLD – Price tipped to reach new record

    The gold price will reach a new record high later in the year as the threat of inflation drives a new wave of investment, according to precious metals consultancy GFMS.
    In launching the 13th Chinese language version of its annual Gold Survey, GFMS chairman Philip Klapwijk commented on some of the major supply/demand trends unfolding this year and noted that GFMS expected some increase in overall supply in 2009.
    This is because an expected further drop in net official sector sales could be offset by a modest increase in mine production and, especially, a record high in the recycling of fabricated products.
    Moving to the demand side, GFMS says fabrication demand, which is dominated by jewellery, is forecast to fall considerably in 2009, due to high and volatile gold prices coupled with the slowdown in the global economy.
    As a result, the market will move into substantial surplus this year and much of the gap is expected to be filled by investors.
    The consultancy believes that sustained concerns over the global economy and the health of the financial system will continue to fuel safe haven interest in the yellow metal. Moreover, investors will increasingly focus on a newer worry, namely the probable longer run inflationary consequences of governments’ and central banks’ ultra-loose fiscal and monetary policies.
    GFMS, however, cautioned that it may well not be a straight line rally as a summer lull or the need for inflationary pressures to build could result in a period of sub-$900 prices in the short term.
    Philip Klapwijk said, “The price may have pulled back a fair bit from the February highs but that was largely just the market’s reaction to jewellery demand crumbling and scrap booming.
    “We believe that it’s far from game over for investors. The gold price in the coming months could easily re-attain the $1000 mark and is likely to push up towards a fresh record high before the end of the year.”
    www.gfms.co.uk

  • COMPANY NEWS – Contracts boost mine safety

    Australian-based company Industrea Limited has secured two new contracts from China’s Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group worth a total of $5 million.
    The first contract is a $2.4 million order for an AMT directional drilling and methane gas drainage system, associated training and equipment, for use at the group’s Sihe Coal Mine in Shanxi Province, northern China.
    The second is for two Industrea Mining Equipment (IME) 50 tonne longwall roof support carriers for use at Zhaozhuang Coal Mine, also in Shanxi. The contract value of the carriers plus spares and tools is $2.6 million.
    The Jincheng Group, based in Shanxi, produces high quality anthracite coal which has high volumes of in-seam gas associated with the mining process.
    Industrea’s equipment will ensure the safe removal of methane gas, helping maintain Jincheng Group’s high safety standards.
    Industrea managing director and CEO Robin Levison says the new contracts enhance an already successful relationship that began in 2003.
    “Jincheng Group is one of China’s leading mining groups and like other major miners in the country it places a high value on safety.
    “China’s economy is showing stronger growth, while efforts by authorities to improve safety at underground coal mines have boosted sales of Industrea’s directional drilling and methane gas drainage systems.”
    In April, Chinese authorities announced a gas safety campaign for coal operations producing more than 300,000 tonnes annually, with any smaller mines that fail to meet the new safety standards to be closed.
    “The state-of-the-art directional drilling system and roof support carriers will be built at AMT’s and IME’s separate manufacturing facilities located on the Central Coast and in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
    “With this AMT system, along with an earlier order in June 2008, Jincheng Group will now be operating 11 of AMT’s directional drilling and methane gas drainage systems throughout China,” Robin Levison says.
    Jincheng Group annually produces around 40 million tonnes of coal, with the Sihe mine accounting for 10 million tonnes and the Zhaozhuang mine around 8 million tonnes.
    www.industrea.com.au

  • PRODUCT NEWS – Taking automation to new levels

    Since pioneering state-based automation (SBA) on its shearers in 2004 to achieve consistent production, Bucyrus has continued to advance in the technology stakes by offering SBA on longwall systems.
    Bucyrus provides automation that achieves optimal operation under all mining conditions by taking coal clearance and roof support into account.
    Competitors last year released what they refer to as state-based automation to supplement their rudimentary 'memory cut' repetition automation and 'copy-cat automation' in which one ranging arm is controlled based on the motions of a manually controlled ranging arm.
    However, optimizing the shearer cut cycle alone is only one of three key aspects. Such a system cannot take coal clearance and roof support into account.
    The Programmable Mining Control family and its network allows the Bucyrus shearer automation to adjust the cut cycle based on other factors. For example, if the pump system for roof supports is improved and the snake pushes faster, customers automatically achieve a better shear cycle, which is not the case with state-based shearer automation alone.
    SBA was introduced in a mine in Australia’s Hunter Valley in March 2004. Success was immediate and in the first calendar month after introduction, productivity increased more than 20%.
    Pre-SBA production averaged 1892 tonnes/hour and since the introduction of SBA the average production rate has been 2315 tonnes per hour.
    Since installation of SBA, the Bucyrus EL3000 has been the highest producing shearer in Australia. In 2008, four of the top five producers in Australia were using Bucyrus EL3000 shearers with state-based shearer automation.
    State-based longwall automation was also introduced in another highly productive mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, Australia, which has consistently ranked among the top 10 producers. All current Bucyrus EL3000 and EL2000 models equipped with the COMPACT control system are SBA-capable.
    Since launching SBA five years ago, Bucyrus has continued to lead in this technology to achieve a significant improvement in mine productivity.
    www.bucyrus.com

     

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