• MONGOLIA – New Entrée coal licence

    Entrée Gold has received a mining licence covering the Nomkhon Bohr coal discovery, which was outlined through exploration efforts in 2008-2009.

    The new mining licence comprises about 14,030 hectares and covers the north-west corner of the former Togoot exploration licence.

    The portion of the property included in the mining licence is mainly underlain by Permian sediments which are known to host rich coal deposits in this part of the Gobi Desert.

    Entrée’s president and CEO Greg Crowe says, "We have worked closely with our Mongolian resource consultants and the Minerals Council over the last several months to meet the criteria for a mining licence over our Nomkhon Bohr coal discovery.

    “Our 100%-ownership of the property and 30 year initial term of the licence gives us many strategic options."

    The Nomkhon Bohr thermal coal occurrences lie within Permian sedimentary rocks thought to be of similar age to those hosting the multi-billion tonne Tavan Tolgoi thermal and metallurgical coal deposits, about 80km to the north-west.

    Two groups are mining and trucking coal to China along an improved dirt road that passes immediately north of Nomkhon Bohr. This road is being paved while a railway, which will follow a similar route to the current road, is planned to service both Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi and provide greater access to markets in China.

    Entrée Gold is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the worldwide exploration and development of copper and gold prospects. Its Lookout Hill property in Mongolia completely surrounds the 8500-hectare Oyu Tolgoi project of Ivanhoe Mines.

    The company continues to explore its landholdings in Mongolia while also evaluating new opportunities throughout eastern Asia.


  • KAZAKHSTAN – Kyzyl viability confirmed

    A new, independent pre-feasibility study (PFS) has confirmed the economic viability of Ivanhoe Mines’ Kyzyl Gold Project in north-eastern Kazakhstan.

    The PFS estimates initial mineral reserves of 3.78 million ounces of gold and also estimates average annual gold production of 368,000 ounces during an iniial mine life of up to 10 years.

    Ivanhoe owns 50% of Altynalmas Gold, which owns the Kyzyl project.

    The current drilling program converting mineral resources to reserves has been very successful, ensuring confidence in the Life-of-Mine Sensitivity Case, with a potential, extended mine life of up to 16 years with the presently estimated indicated and inferred resources.

    Inferred resources are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would allow them to be categorized as reserves, and there is no certainty that the Life-of-Mine Sensitivity Case will be realized.

    Ivanhoe’s executive chairman Robert Friedland says there is a high probability of increasing the current reserves and resources through the ongoing infill and exploration drilling program.

    “We believe that the current, projected 10-year mine life based only on initial probable reserves will prove to be very conservative. We have been highly successful in upgrading Soviet-era resources to modern NI 43-101 standards.

    “In addition to the ongoing program of re-drilling and upgrading the former Soviet-era gold resources, there is excellent potential to discover new high-grade gold mineralization along strike and to depth.”

    Altynalmas Gold’s chief executive officer David Woodall says, “The PFS provides independent verification that the Kyzyl Project is the foundation for Altynalmas Gold to become a significant gold producer.

    “The study verifies the quality of the mineral resources and with the proprietary metallurgical processes that have been developed allows us to proceed with development of the project as quickly as possible.”


  • INDONESIA – East Kutai production boost

    Churchill Mining intends to increase annual production at the East Kutai Coal Project in East Kalimantan by up to 10 million tonnes to about 35 million tonnes.

    Churchill and Its Indonesian partners, the Ridlatama Group, jointly own the project with 75% and 25% respectively.

    The company says annual coal production from the Northern Pit would increase from 20 million tonnes to 25-30 million tonnes while production from the Southern Pit would remain at 5mtpa.

    Feasibility and development work has identified that planned mine facilities at the Northern Pit have the capacity to support an annual mining production rate of 40-45 million tonnes. In this context, Churchill has executed project optimization studies which show that the overland conveyor, which will transport coal from the Northern Pit, has an enhanced capacity of 25-30 million tonnes, an increase of 5-10 million tonnes.

    Churchill is now incorporating this additional coal production into the project feasibility study, which it expects to release during the third quarter of 2010.

    In addition to the Northern Pit production, and further to the MOU signed with PT Perusahaan Listrik

    Negara (PLN), the Indonesian state electricity firm, in April 2010, Churchill continues to work on plans for the annual purchase of 5 million tonnes of coal from the Southern Pit, which would fulfill Churchill’s Indonesian Domestic Market Obligation (DMO).

    PLN is reviewing the potential to utilize its coal drying and enhancement technology on the project’s coal, which, in testing, upgraded the coal from sub-bituminous to bituminous, considerably increasing its value.


  • INDONESIA – Funds for coal projects

    Kangaroo Resources intends to use the US$14 million raised through a convertible note instrument to further develop its coal projects in Indonesia.

    In particular it will focus on ramping up production and continuing exploration at the Mamahak Coking Coal project.

    At Mamahak the funds will be used to lease additional mining equipment and infrastructure to expand the mineable tonnes currently achievable on existing reserves, to secure contracts for additional barges to ship coal down the Mahakam River to coal terminals for sale, and to progress further drilling as required in a bid to expand the existing JORC resource inventory and ore reserves within the concession area.

    The funds will also provide Kangaroo with additional working capital to enable the it to deliver on its overall production objectives.

    Kangaroo is shipping the initial 50,000 tonnes of coal from Mamahak to the coal terminal for delivery into existing coal sales agreements.  The company intends to secure additional barges to expedite this delivery and standardize its logistics. 

    Kangaroo’s managing director Mark O’Keeffe says, “The completion of this funding represents a tremendous result for the company, which has been achieved in a very challenging market environment.

    “We have a great portfolio of coal assets in Indonesia and these additional funds will enable the company to build on the production base it has already established.”

    Kangaroo Resources has interests in eight advanced coal projects in the East Kalimantan region of Indonesia.

    The projects host significant coking and thermal coal resources which will see Kangaroo emerge as a significant Indonesian coal producer, with first production achieved in December 2009.


  • INDONESIA – IUP for Taliwang

    Southern Arc Minerals has been granted a mining business licence (IUP) for its Taliwang property on the west coast of Sumbawa Island in the province of West Nusa Tenggara.

    Issued by the Regent of West Sumbawa, this IUP comprises two stages with potential extensions.

    Over a period of 6 years, the exploration stage permits the company to pursue exploration activities through to the conclusion of a feasibility study.

    Upon conclusion of the exploration stage, the IUP automatically converts to a second stage, permitting the company to conduct commercial production on this property for a minimum of 20 years, with the potential for two further 10 year extension periods.

    Southern Arc holds 85% of the Taliwang property with 10% held by the West Sumbawa Regency and 5% by local company PT Puri Permata Mega.

    Covering 31,204 hectares, Taliwang contains epithermal gold-silver-bearing quartz veins, high-level hydrothermal breccias, sedimentary-hosted gold and porphyry copper-gold targets, all of which have been the subject of company exploration since 2005.

    The property is 15km north of Newmont's Batu Hijau mine, along proven secondary NNE to NE and NW trending mineralized structures.

    Taliwang comprises the Lemonga, J3, Raboya and Semoan prospects.

    Upcoming exploration programs will focus primarily on diamond drilling campaigns where justified, bringing prospect areas up to resource status.


  • PHILIPPINES – Agata drilling success

    Further infill drilling at Mindoro Resources’ Agata Nickel Project in the Philippines has returned grades and thickness of potential economic interest.

    The results include limonite intersections averaging 4.67 metres @ 1.28% nickel, 0.13% cobalt and 48% iron, and saprolite intersections averaging 8.0 metres @1.28% nickel including one hold that intersected 16.9 metres @ 1.81% nickel from 4.65 metres depth.

    The program is nearing completion with a total of 158 holes for 3003 metres completed.

     The results to date include grades and thicknesses consistent with those previously reported.

    These continue to be of potential economic interest as potential Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) nickel-iron limonite for the Chinese nickel-pig iron market and high grade transition to saprolite ore for Chinese Electric Arc Furnace and/or other acid leach or ferronickel processing facilities in Australasia.

    Results of the drilling, combined with mine planning information, will allow preparation of an NI 43-101 mineral reserve statement. DSO mine design and feasibility studies are also in progress to be submitted to the Philippines Mines and Geosciences Bureau for final development approval.

    Following the DSO detailed definition program Mindoro will start drilling the regional nickel laterite exploration target in order to convert a significant proportion of the 50 million to 70 million DMT @ 0.9% to 1.2% nickel exploration target to NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource.


  • PHILIPPINES – T’Boli development work

    Underground development of Cadan Resources’ T’Boli Gold-Silver Project in southern Mindanao is continuing.

    Lateral driving on the Centre Vein Lode structure has proceeded 28 metres west and 19 metres east from the access decline. Installation of three phase power to allow upgrading of the mine pumping and ventilation systems is advanced.

    Assay results from the initial 14 metres of driving have returned 9.9 grams/tonne gold over the 2.99 metre width of the development headings. Values over a narrower stoping width adjacent to the hanging wall structure will be proportionately higher.

    The west Central Vein face is 10 metres short of a diamond drill intersection of 24.1 grams/tonne gold over 1 metre. At a point 10 metres past this intersection a north crosscut will be initiated to intersect the North Vein B Lode structure adjacent to a diamond drill intercept of 15.3 grams/tonne over one metre.

    Development of both lode structures will then be contemporaneous.

    Sampling from shallow surface workings indicate that gold values continue for a further 300 metres to the west. A third parallel structure (North Vein A) 50 metres to the south, also shows surface gold values extending 300 metres to the west.

    The results achieved support the NI 43-101 compliant technical report on the T’Boli operation that has upgraded the historic inferred mineral resource to both indicated and inferred categories, for gold only, and outlined the potentially significant, additional gold-silver mineralization.

    The resource contains 886,000 indicated tonnes @ 8.6 grams/tonne gold and 434,000 inferred tonnes @ 8.6 grams/tonne.


  • IRON ORE – New port infrastructure

    As part of a long-term plan to boost its annual iron ore capacity from 225 million to 330 million tonnes, Rio Tinto will spend US$790 million on port infrastructure at Cape Lambert in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

    This stage of the proposed US$10 billion-plus Pilbara 330 expansion centres on increasing port capacity at Cape Lambert from an annual rate of 80 million tonnes to 180 million by 2016. It will be achieved through construction of a 1.8km-long jetty and four-berth wharf to run parallel to the existing jetty and four-berth wharf.

    The new investment follows an announcement by Rio in July that it will spend US$200 million on dredging works for the Cape Lambert expansion. The investment comprises US$375 million for marine works related to the construction of the new wharf and US$415 million for the procurement of long lead items such as pile and marine structure, and on-shore earthworks and machines.

    Rio Tinto’s chief executive iron ore and Australia Sam Walsh says the new investment highlights Rio Tinto’s intention to forge ahead with the expansion.

    "Rio Tinto has a proven track record of managing large-scale iron ore development projects, and has successfully implemented three significant increases in port capacity in the past seven years - Dampier to 140 million tonnes and Cape Lambert to 80 million tonnes.”


  • INVESTMENT – Funds for iron ore projects

    Centrex Metals will use the Aus$102 million received as part of its joint venture with Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Co (WISCO) to advance two iron ore projects on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

    WISCO has acquired a 60% interest in the iron ore rights over five of Centrex’s exploration licences on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula that make up the joint venture. Centrex holds the remaining 40% of the joint venture.

    In order to maintain its 60% interest, WISCO must make further unconditional payments in 12 months with another Aus$26 million to be paid directly to Centrex and an additional Aus$25 million into exploration for the joint venture.

    WISCO and Centrex have established a joint venture management company, Eyre Iron Pty Ltd, to begin exploration and development studies on the projects immediately.

    The joint venture aims to establish two magnetite iron ore operations within 4-5 years on the southern Eyre Peninsula, each annually producing 5 million tonnes.

    If the joint venture moves to construction on the projects, WISCO has agreed to assist Centrex with arranging financing.

    The companies are also committed to a separate 50/50 incorporated joint venture to develop a deep water Cape-vessel capable port on the eastern Eyre Peninsula.

    Centrex’s chairman David Klingberg says, “The WISCO joint venture is a company making deal for Centrex and is significant news for the economy of the Eyre Peninsula and South Australia.”

    WISCO is ranked third in its sector in China, with current annual capacity of 30 million tonnes of steel making and rolling operations. Its operations are predominately in Wuhan in the Hubei province of central China.


  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – India imagery available

    Geospatial professional services company AAM Pty Ltd now has RapidEye satellite imagery available for more than 3 million square kilometres, or in excess of 95%, of India.

    AAM, which works in Asia and Australia, says the 5m orthoimagery is now available to agencies and can be used for a variety of purposes, including mining.

    Using the RapidEye constellation of 5 satellites, much of India has been collected cloud-free, with the remainder containing less than 10% cloud cover.

    The image capture campaign began early this year but the majority of the imagery was collected within a short period of about eight weeks.

    RapidEye’s CEO Wolfgang G Biedermann says, “Having virtually the entire country of India available is another testimonial to how quickly our RapidEye satellites can cover large contiguous areas.

    “The other milestone that we had collected our one billionth square kilometre of imagery ensures many agencies can now access this valuable and recent imagery.”

    In addition to imagery over India, the RapidEye system has also successfully completed full coverage campaigns over China, with acquisition now continuing over the rest of Asia.    

    The RapidEye 5 band imagery is targeted at improved vegetation discrimination and enhanced condition mapping and monitoring applications. Applications for RapidEye satellite imagery include monitoring of agricultural areas, damage assessment, disaster management, security services and infrastructure monitoring.   


  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – New survey software

    Reflex has developed new operating and post survey processing software, which enhances usability, speed and accuracy.

    The new software, known as GMIT 5, controls the advanced Reflex Gyro and High Temperature Gyro Smart instruments, offering significant time and cost saving benefits to customers.

    Reflex’s GMIT 5 software supersedes Reflex’s MeasureIT software and was specifically developed to enhance usability, making Reflex’s advanced gyro survey instruments accessible to all customers.

    This new version of software offers three dimensional (3D) displays. Operators can analyze post survey data in tabular and graphical formats, and view multiple borehole paths in 3D coordinates.

    Reflex’s global product manager Kelvin Brown says, “Operators no longer need to switch between plan and section views. GMIT 5’s 3D capabilities allow users to quickly analyze the drill hole from any direction and they can plot any of the available parameters immediately after the survey at the drill site.

    He says that ease of navigation and GMIT 5’s faster data processing speed, also reduces down time involved with the survey process.

    Another key feature of Reflex’s GMIT 5 software is its improved diagnostic function, which alerts operators to survey errors by providing an error number and a description of the error. Customers know immediately if post survey data is accurate and no longer need to submit raw data for external analysis.

    “GMIT 5’s intuitive graphical displays, improved navigation and diagnostic functions, allow gyro technology to be placed directly in the hands of drilling contractors, who are often under significant time constraints and may not be accustomed to gyro technology. This can be a point of differentiation for drilling contractors as it saves the resource companies money.

    “The improved processing power of GMIT5 also allows the Reflex Gyro to be easily used in a variety of drilling applications including underground conventional, horizontal and drop tool,” Kelvin Brown says.

    GMIT 5 is Windows-based software that is run on field computers and controls Reflex’s gyro survey instruments via Bluetooth. The Reflex Gyro and High Temperature Gyro Smart utilize orthogonally mounted digital MEMS-gyros and mounted accelerometers that continuously sample and record data, obtaining over 7000 data samples per minute.

    Reflex’s GMIT 5 software can be fully integrated with the Reflex Azimuth Pointing System (APS), a GPS-based compass capable of providing a true north azimuth coordinates in magnetic and non-magnetic environments.


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