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    3rd Mining Operations and Economics conference – Jakarta, Indonesia
    Straits Asia CFO Graeme Tivey with Mining Associates chief geologist Graham Muggeridge. Rahul Sharma and Gaurav Kawatra of Advaita Capital and Pacmar Shipping ship broker Duski. Marcus of Pearl of ANZ global markets, Bayan Resources director and CFO Alistair McLeod, Siemens Indonesia general manager industry Greig Young and Siemens vice president for process mining and metals technology Norbert Becker.
    Star Emmsons Indonesia senior finance manager Usman and Adimitra Baratama Nusantara director Arthur Simatupang.  PT Jardine Lloyd Thompson energy and industry risks director Rainier Lehner, Runge Indonesia business executive Michael Trainor, PT Berau Coal deputy operations director Arief Wiedhartono and Thiess Indonesia operations manager Garry Zurich. Deloitte senior manager Niven Moodley, GTI Resources director Ian Cowden and Renoir Consulting advisory board member Bede Boyle.
    Mining Indonesia 2009 – Jakarta, Indonesia
    Linda Jaya Mandiri director Jeffry Alexander, Ulma Conveyor Company sales manager Karlos Alzola, Linda Jaya Mandiri sales manager Eddy Martono and Linda Jaya Mandiri technical services manager Jimmy Laurens.  The ITT team at Mining Indonesia are from left: regional sales manager Edmund Tian, operations director Adeline Choo, Wahyuti Endah Suwarmi and regional marketing manager Robin Wong.  The Bando team at Mining Indonesia are from left: conveyor belt sales administrator S. Kato, conveyor division sales manager Wahyono Wardiman, sales officer for government related projects Jhon Victor Sinaga and assistant sales engineer manager Karmedi H.D. Saragih
    The Terex team at Mining Indonesia are from left: drills sales manager Dominic Brown, product support manager Alan Pond, sales promoter Ezra Marsha, mining sales manager Darrell Wolf, sales promoter Amilia Shalihati, drills customer support manager Michael Headley, sales industrial manager M. Machdi and business development manager David Duffy. Australia’s Northern Territory companies showcased their skills and products at Mining Indonesia with an impressive display of services at Mining Indonesia. Pictured from left are Bullivants export manager Peter Morley, CSA Indonesia manager John Bishop, Darwin Bolt Supplies export supply manager Phil Wilson, Geotech Engineers principal and director Kevin Dugan, Bridge Toyota parts and accessories manager Stephen Thornton, Mining One business development manager Lyn Stribley, Wereabout Engineering director John Berry, St John of God contracts manager Tracy Watts and front, Mining One managing director Gary Davison. Hosting the Trade Queensland cocktail reception at the start of Mining Indonesia in Jakarta recently is Queensland Government Indonesia Project business development manager Oka Simanjutak  with Sebba business development manager David Ayscough, Terex business development manager David Duffy, The ASIA Miner editor Yolanda Torrisi and Kiroyan Partners president director Noke Kiroyan
    Excellence in Mining 2009 – Sydney, Australia
    Mining companies and supply companies met at Excellence in Mining in Sydney recently with hopes for a more positive year in 2010. Pictured from left are: Innov-X marketing manager Marcus Lake, Innov-X managing director Andrew Somers and Tectonic Resources executive director Andrew Czerw. The Runge team at Excellence in Mining 2009 are head of corporate finance Quentin Amos and executive general manager David Meldrum.


    CRU Strategies Australasia business development manager Philip Sewell, CRU Strategies regional director Allan Trench, Robust Resources project geologist Reade Freeman and Robust Resources technical director John Levings.


    Representing Azure Minerals at the Excellence in Mining Conference 2009 were company secretary Brett Dickson and executive chairman Tony Rovira.


    THTF Australia mining senior evaluations geologist Robert Gordon, PlatSearch NL exploration manager Peter Buckley, New South Wales Department of Industry and Investment assistant director John Watkins and PlatSearch NL senior geologist Greg MacRae. GRD Minproc general manager development Stuart Ratcliffe, Mincor Resources chief financial officer Brian Lynn and GRD Minproc strategy and development manager Stephen Beaumond.


    Integra Mining director Peter Ironside, Impact Minerals managing director Michael Jones and Integra Mining executive assistant Alice Hurlbatt. Xstract Resources managing director Mark Noppe, SRK Consultant Erich Heymann and Highland Pacific chief geologist Lawrence Queen. The ASIA Miner editor Yolanda Torrisi, Golden Cross Resources managing director Kim Stanton-Cook and Apollo Global managing director Genevieve Riviere at the Excellence in Mining Awards dinner.
      Ampella Mining CEO and managing director Dr Paul Kitto and Peter Wilfling of Melbourne Capital Ltd.  
    Mining Philippines 2009 conference and exhibition - Manila
    Attending the Mining Philippines 2009 conference and exhibition are from left: Newcrest chief property generation geologist Patrick Crenaune, MMG senior exploration geologist based at Sepon Laos Aaron McLeod, Golder Associates Asian operations principal and president Chris Swindells and Logantek director and geophysict Kieran Logan.


    The Intex Resources team showcased their Mindoro project with a booth at the Mining Philippines 2009 conference and exhibition. Pictured from left are: vice president corporate affairs and communications Jose P Ompoc, senior mining engineer Loi Castillo, country relations and development manager Andy O Pestano, mining tenements officer Raul P Ramirez and vice president project acquisitions and business development Andy Torres The Leighton Asia team are: senior estimating engineer Ricky Sevilleja, executive assistant Alice Capistrano, project manager Michael Finnegan and president Art Monge.



    Montemena Resources Corp president Ed Coronel, TVI Resources Development public affairs assistant Joana Tiglao and TVI Resources director public affairs Rocky Dimaculangan.


    Magotteaux office manager Jasmin Hernandez, Magotteaux area sales manager Kritsanatharit Promahant, Xstrata business development Craig Honig, Consulting geologist Roger Billington and Xstrata geologist Nick 6. The team from Rapu Rapu Minerals are from left: metallurgist Athena Dela Cruz, mine geologist Mark Lou Bolario, technical services manager Ronald Verceles and president Roger Corpus. The team from Rapu Rapu Minerals are from left: metallurgist Athena Dela Cruz, mine geologist Mark Lou Bolario, technical services manager Ronald Verceles and president Roger Corpus.


    Royalco CEO Peter Topham, XDM Resources CEO Mark Haywood, Anglogold exploration manager south east Asia and group manager specialist support Donna Sewell.


    Metal Exploration chief geologist Zaldy Palomaria, Metal Exploration senior vice president Ernesto Mendoza, Metal Exploration project engineer Craig Watkins and Royalco country manager Joey Nelson R Ayson. Standard Chartered director origination and client coverage, wholesale banking Omy Yaptinchay and Intex Resources vice president finance and controller Manuel Dumdum.
      Vale chief geologist copper and uranium exploration David Burrows talks with exhibitor Consep business development manager Barrie Watson at the Mining Philippines 2009 conference and exhibition.  
  • CONFERENCES & EXPOS – In the picture

    The ASIA Miner has attended the 3rd Mining Operations and Economics Conference in Jakarta held on October 12 and 13 and the Indonesian Mining Expo also held in Jakarta from October 14-17. Here we present a round up of delegates and exhibitors attending these two events.
    View Here

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – Positive Savoyardy results

    Kentor Gold has increased the potential of its Savoyardy Gold Project in the Kyrgyz Republic with high grades returned from drilling and a rock chip sample.
    The drilling was undertaken on Section 5, which is well outside the area included in the JORC compliant resource statement, lying some 150 metres along strike to the south.
    Shallow surface drilling has now yielded high grade intersections on both Section 5 and Section 6 at depths of less than 100 metres.
    The latest diamond drill hole was designed to test confidence in a single intersection of 1 metre @ 10.3 grams/tonne gold in last year’s drilling campaign.
    The new intersection of 3 metres @ 16.2 grams/tonne has confirmed the results and indicates that high grade intersections are repeatable.
    Meanwhile geological mapping on the north bank of the Rudny Stream identified massive sulphide mineralization on the steep slope above the stream. A chip sample from the mineralized area returned an assay grade of 11 grams/tonne. There is no record of any previous work in the same area.
    Savoyardy is one of two high grade, low cost gold mine developments being planned by Kentor in the Kyrgyz Republic.
    Savoyardy, proposed to begin in 2010 at an initial annual rate of 10,000 ounces for a minimum of three years, is subject to a final decision later this year, while Andash is targeted for production in 2011 at the annual rate of 60,000 ounces of gold and 5000 tonnes of copper for eight years, subject to current due diligence.
    Kentor’s managing director Simon Milroy says “The results from the drilling on section 5 improve our understanding of the mineralization along strike to the south. Assay results from the drilling on section 6 will be available soon.
    “The high grade rock chip sample to the north of the Rudny Creek gives us a strong indication that the mineralization may also be continuing to the north.”
    The Savoyardy project is about 145km south-east of the city of Osh. It is also adjacent to and along strike from the Sawayerdun Project in the Xinjiang Province of China where Majestic Gold announced a resource of 1.5 million ounces of gold from results to date and Canadian-listed GobiMin has recently announced its commitment to farm into the project.

  • CHINA – Jinshan to buy Jiama

    Jinshan Gold Mines will acquire the Jiama polymetallic deposit from China National Gold Corporation.
    The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese company and another partner, and the parties will now begin the negotiation and preparation of definitive agreements regarding the purchase and sale of the property.
    Jinshan has established a special committee of independent directors to review the transaction and has commenced the process of preparing a NI 43-101 independent technical report and an independent valuation of the property.
    Jiama is a significant polymetallic deposit consisting of copper, molybdenum, gold, silver and other minerals.
    It is in the development stage and the current owners have nearly completed construction of a first stage of mining and processing infrastructure that establishes an underground mining operation with a daily production capacity of 6000 tonnes.
    The operation will produce a copper concentrate with gold and silver credits, and a molybdenum concentrate.
    The property owners have also obtained relevant permits for initial mining operations on the property.
    Reserve and resource estimates are being converted to CIM standard in connection with the upcoming NI 43-101 technical report on the property, which is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009.
    Jinshan’s principal asset is the CSH Gold Mine in Inner Mongolia, China.



  • CHINA – Fuwan study advances

    A Chinese panel of experts has approved Minco Silver’s ongoing feasibility study for the Fuwan Silver Project.
    On September 9 and 10, Minco held a conference in Nanchang whereby the highlights of the feasibility study were presented to the panel of experts.
    The panel’s approval allows Minco to proceed with completion of the report and also enables the company by prepare a mine development plan, which is a key step to secure the mining licence.
    Since the first quarter of 2009, all key parameters of the project have been finalized. Wardrop Engineering and China Nerin Engineering have been progressing their aspects of the study while Environmental Resource Management has been advancing the EIA, which forms part of the feasibility study.
    The company anticipates releasing the feasibility study results in the very near future.
    All other permitting aspects are progressing well and most recently, the Water and Soil Conservation Plan has been approved by Guangdong provincial government.
    The company plans to secure debt financing from Chinese banks for construction of the project. Discussions have been initiated with positive responses.


  • PHILIPPINES – El Paso drilling starts

    Gold Fields has started drilling on Mindoro Resources’ El Paso copper-gold project, one of three projects comprising the Batangas joint ventures in the Philippines, while a helicopter-borne magnetic survey is expected to begin this month.
    Eight diamond holes, with depths ranging from 200 to 300 metres each, are initially proposed for El Paso. Four of these will test El Paso Hill targets with one hole each on the Kay Tabla, Talumpok, Carmona and Takaran targets.
    The holes will test surface copper and gold mineralization as well as magnetic anomalies.
    Gold Fields has also reported results from ongoing detailed geological, ground magnetic and geochemical surveying over areas of copper-gold occurrences which are being evaluated for their porphyry copper-gold potential on the El Paso and Lobo projects.
    Gold Fields may earn up to 75% interest in each of Mindoro's El Paso, Lobo and Talahib projects by sole funding exploration and a feasibility study on each project, subject to certain expenditure limits.
    At the El Paso Project geological mapping on the Talumpok and Kay Tabla Creek prospects has identified copper mineralization in diorite.
    Sampling of one showing returned 15 metres at 0.51% copper and 0.075 grams/tonne gold and on a second showing, 25 metres at 0.40% copper and 0.034 grams/tonne gold.
    Prospecting 1km south-southeast of the Talumpok prospect has identified a window of copper-mineralized quartz diorite in a tributary of lower Calantas Creek. Mapping and channel sampling is under way to evaluate the potential of the area.
    Three diorite float samples taken from a tributary of Bangin Creek returned assays in the range 4.15 to 5.58% copper, 0.231 to 0.710 grams/tonne gold and 259 to 1520 parts per million zinc.
    At the Lobo Project initial reconnaissance mapping and sampling has ranked the following priority targets for detailed follow-up - Pica-Calumpang, SW Breccia-Camo-Balisong, Nagtoctoc, Ulupong, Old Lobo-Far NE, Haliging Bato and Ligwayen-Cupang Creek. The latter will be prioritized based on outcropping indications of porphyry mineralization.
    Detailed geological fact mapping work will continue to target the porphyry and epithermal style mineralization at Pica, Ulopong, Camo, Old Lobo Mine and SW Breccia with the aim of defining drill targets.


  • PHILIPPINES – Acoje trial to start

    Trial leaching of nickel laterite ore at Rusina Mining’s Acoje Project is expected to begin shortly before Christmas.
    The heap leach pad and pilot plant is now completed and the rolls crusher, which has been transferred from joint venture partner European Nickel’s Caldag operation in Turkey, is being constructed.
    Once the crusher has been erected and commissioned approximately 3000 tonnes of laterite ore will be crushed, agglomerated and stacked on the trial leach pad. The irrigation pipes will be placed and a HDPE raincoat will cover both the pad and the ponds before leaching begins.
    The trial heap will be constructed at the same height as the full commercial operation and is designed to prove the heap percolation and leach rates on a full scale basis as well as demonstrating the rain control methodologies.
    In addition the trial facility will showcase the clean, safe and environmentally friendly nature of the process to the government and local stakeholders.
    The Acoje Test Centre. A full-scale laboratory that has been in operation since the beginning of the year continues to make significant inroads into further enhancing the economics of the project.

  • PHILIPPINES – Farm-in discussions

    Royalco Resources is progressing farm-in negotiations with a number of parties in respect to its Gambang tenement in the Philippines.
    Gambang is an advanced exploration play that will require considerable time and expenditure before any development can be considered.
    The initial exploration phase at Gambang was granted by government authorities in early 2008 and once access was achieved later in the year, Royalco confirmed the high prospectivity of the tenement.
    Diamond drilling was undertaken with encouraging results received, including 216 metres at 0.45% copper.
    The encouraging results of these exploration efforts have been the catalyst for a number of enquiries from major mining houses as to farm-in opportunities and the company is now progressing discussions through the due diligence process with several groups.
    Royalco maintains an exploration team of nationals in the Philippines and is one of the few companies in that country whose primary focus is on mineral exploration.
    The prospectus which led to the company’s listing in 2006 ranked the Gambang and Pao tenements as being the most promising and this has proved the case. The four lesser ranked tenement areas from that time have been relinquished after further exploration/assessment in each instance.
    At Pao, a substantial community relations effort has been undertaken by the company to assist in overcoming access issues.
    The exploration emphasis is on advanced gold targets, particularly the Manidyo enargite vein system, where drilling is anticipated to begin in the near future. The initial drill target 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.
    An additional tenement, Yabbe, is expected to be granted adjoining Pao in coming months.
    Royalco takes its corporate social licence seriously and Operation Rainbow remains one of the company’s principal charities in the Philippines. This organization is of high repute, utilizing Australian medical teams providing various surgical procedures to rectify facial disfigurements.

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Andash ‘robust’ project

    The due diligence process being undertaken by Kentor Gold prior to a possible purchase of the Andash Gold Project in the Kyrgyz Republic has shown the project to be economically robust and technically feasible.
    Although there are still some items of the due diligence to be addressed, Kentor has completed the financial, technical and legal aspects.
    Kentor now plans to update and optimize the previous feasibility study with this process to be completed by March 2010.
    The Kentor board and Aurum Mining, which is selling the project, have agreed to extend the option agreement by a further three months. This will result in Kentor paying US$300,000 to Aurum, of which US$150,000 will offset the final purchase price of US$10 million for the project and US$5 million for the mining fleet.
    The Kentor board has also given approval for conditional exercise of the option to purchase the project. The conditions are that suitable funding is arranged, confirmation from the Kyrgyz government that they do not wish to take up their pre-emptive right to acquire the project, and approval is obtained from both the Aurum and Kentor shareholders.
    Kentor expects the formal notification from the Kyrgyz government to be received imminently.
    Kentor is considering the development of two gold mines in the Kyrgyz Republic:
    • Andash, targeted for production in 2011 at the annual rate of 60,000 ounces of gold and 5000 tonnes of copper for eight years.
    • Savoyardy, currently proposed to commence in 2010 at the initial annual rate of 10,000 ounces of gold for a minimum three years subject to final decision later this year.


  • YEMEN – Jabali on track

    First production from ZincOx Resources’ Jabali zinc mine and refinery in Yemen is scheduled for mid-2010.
    The UK-based company says construction at the plant is progressing well with levelling and preparation complete and foundations being poured. Erection of the first equipment, the crusher, is expected in late October.
    Mining began in February while drilling and blasting operations began in June. Ore is being stockpiled according to its zinc grade and a substantial stockpile of material is expected for delivery to the plant next year.
    ZincOx’s chairman Andrew Woollett says Jabali is one of the largest projects to be developed in Yemen and there is little local expertise in the development of such projects. “In addition the remote location, supply lines through the Gulf of Aden and availability of contracting labour and supplies has made development, and especially scheduling, very challenging.
    “Over the course of the past six months we have reviewed our sales and marketing plan for the Jabali products. We had always planned to produce two grades of zinc oxide - a standard grade suitable for most industrial applications and a higher grade product suitable for use by the rubber industry. The latter is a refinement of the standard product.
    “In order to have the greatest marketing advantage for the rubber grade product, we have decided to relocate the final upgrading part of the process to a site near Liege in Belgium. This facility will also act as a base for our marketing and technical support activities.
    “The bulk shipment of material to Liege will provide transport savings that will offset the additional cost of processing occurring on two sites. However, ZincOx will be required to pay its share (52%) of the US$8.3 million additional capital cost of this facility. The total cost for the project, excluding the rubber grade plant, remains within the contingency and overrun facility originally budgeted.”
    ZincOx specializes in technology to recover zinc from various unconventional feed materials including non-sulphide ore deposits and waste materials such as electric arc furnace dust.
    As well as the Jabali project, it is planning the development of its first waste recycling plant and is also entitled to ongoing zinc price related payments from the Shaimerden zinc deposit in Kazakhstan.
    Andrew Woollett says, “Due to the considerable uncertainty resulting from the global economic crisis we decided earlier this year to defer the development of our first recycling project. However we continue to investigate ways of reducing the capital cost and to expand our strategy globally.
    “The mining of the full 200,000 tonnes of zinc on which deferred payments are due has now been confirmed by Kazzinc, the owners of the Shaimerden zinc mine. 
    “The last two deferred payments will be made in January 2010 and 2011, on the basis of 60,000 and 9826 tonnes of zinc respectively. The amount of the payments will depend on the zinc price for the preceding year.  The average price of zinc in 2009 to date has been US$1368 per tonne.  If this were to be the average for the entire year then the payment in January 2010 would amount to US$8.1 million.”


  • CONFERENCES – Mission to India

    Austrade invites Australian mining equipment, technology and services companies to join the Australian National Pavilion at the International Mining Mission (IME) 2010 in India next January.
    Participation will provide participants with the opportunity to reach out to India’s fast growing mining industry.
    IME 2010 and the third Asian Mining congress will be held in Kolkata from January 22-28, 2010 and is expected to attract 10,000 trade visitors and 25 participating countries.
    IME 2010 and the congress are organized every two years by the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India and TAFCON, and are held in association with Coal India Limited.
    Austrade is also hosting the Australian Mining Mission to India during this period when participants can benefit from an open cut coal mine visit in Nagpur and networking opportunities in Kolkata and New Delhi.
    Participants can be involved in both or just one of these activities which will provide the following benefits:
    • Showcase your capabilities to a wide cross section of mining interests in India.
    • During the mission network with Indian mining company executives, consultants, government officials, agents and distributors.
    • Gain direct insights into local market conditions and access a wide range of opportunities for mining equipment, technologies and services in India.
    • Capitalize on Australia’s reputation for expertise in the mining industry.
    Austrade also provides financial assistance under the Export Market Development Grants scheme for Australian businesses involved in export.
    For more information and to apply for the mining mission or pavilion participation visit www.austrade.gov.au/MiningIndia.
    Applications must be received before November 16.


  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – Kalimantan Gold chair

    Peter Bojtos has been appointed as non-executive chairman of Kalimantan Gold’s board following the resignation of Murray Clapham as chairman and director owing to person reasons.
    The company has also announced the appointment of Faldi Ismail as a non-executive director.
    Peter Botjos has been a director of Kalimantan Gold since August 2002 and holds directorships of a number of other junior mining companies.
    He is a mining executive with entrepreneurial, commercial and public company management skills, coupled with a background in all facets of the industry, from exploration and acquisitions through production, financing and investor relations.
    Peter Botjos is a geologist and professional engineer with more than 36 years of worldwide experience in the mining industry, including production experience in Indonesia.
    Faldi Ismail has extensive experience of the coal sector in Kalimantan, Indonesia, where Kalimantan Gold is active. Prior to this he worked as a corporate consultant specializing in the restructure and recapitalization of a range of ASX-listed companies.
    Faldi Ismail is a director of Kangaroo Resources, Coventry Resources and Cape Range Wireless, and is also a director of Kalimantan Investment Corporation a significant Kalimantan Gold shareholder.
    The company thanks Murray Clapham for his contribution through his investor and industry contacts. During his period as chairman, he provided strong moral support to the management team but will perhaps best be remembered for his belief and specific actions towards the goal of ensuring that mining benefits local people along with shareholders and other stakeholders - something which is now widely appreciated by investors and potential partners alike.


  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – Shiploading solutions

    Port mobile plant specialist B&W Mechanical Handling has secured two South American contracts for its flexible Shiploading solution.
    One of the world’s largest mining operators, Gold Fields, has commissioned a new ‘narrow quay’ installation to load copper and gold ores from its facility at Port of Salaverry in Peru using B&W equipment.
    The heavy duty 900 tonnes/hour unit has an integrated 180 degree slewing Samson feeder enabling it to discharge off either side of the quay. Mounted on a single chassis, the Shiploader is equipped with the B&W ‘New Generation’ travel system allowing both powered in-line and parallel movement. This high level of mobility makes the unit ideal for operations on narrow quays and finger jetties with widths as small as 15 metres.
    Such situations prove impossible for more cumbersome traditional fixed or rail mounted shiploader installations and the flexibility offered by B&W does not compromise on quality in any way. These machines are built with a design life of 25 years and a normal duty cycle of 24 hours per day continual use. The installation includes a full dust containment and extraction system.
    At Port of Salaverry copper and gold ore is transported to the 25 metre wide by 225 metre long quay area by 30 tonne trucks, arriving every 2 to 3 minutes. The 36 metre long hydraulically adjustable Shiploader boom is equipped with a 360 degree rotational trimming chute and loads into 25,000 DWT vessels with a maximum Freeboard height of 10.5 metres above the quay and a Beam width of up to 22.9 metres.
    Following the success of this contract, a second South American order has been placed for shiploading from a fixed conveyor delivery point.
    This order is for Chilean copper mining company Compañía Minera Carmen de Andacollo operating out of the Port of Coquimbo. Designed to load copper concentrate at rates of up to 1000 tonnes/hour, this system comprises three main equipment types - a 36 metre boom rubber tyred Mobile Shiploader, a Mobile Telescopic Link Conveyor with radial travel having a closed length of 26 metres and extendable to 41 metres, and a fixed length Link Conveyor 20 metres long.
    The UK-based B&W is fully integrated into the substantial International Aumund Group with strategically placed offices in more than 10 countries and representatives in more than 40.

  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – Human Logistics added

    Gemcom Software International has incorporated a new Human Logistics product into its Gemcom InSite operational performance management product line.
    The Human Logistics product is based on a solution that has been deployed for almost 10 years and which the company added to its portfolio through the acquisition of the Australian-based TeamTech business in January 2009.
    Gemcom InSite Human Logistics is an accommodation, travel management and site access product designed to support the administration of geographically distributed fly-in fly-out operations, and personnel movements to and from them.
    By deploying the solution, remote operations can lower costs, boost productivity and increase efficiency. They achieve this by maximizing their utilization of flight and camp infrastructure, by eliminating and streamlining clerical and accounting tasks, and by improving access to logistics information worldwide.
    The benefits of this package include:
    • Improved safety information with up-to-the-minute knowledge of personnel onsite.
    • Better responsiveness to plant breakdowns or planned shutdowns by using real-time views of accommodation and transport availability in the weeks and months ahead.
    • Decreased carrier costs with improved visibility of aircraft and bus loadings to better use existing carrier capacity, or change aircraft sizes and frequency for best economy.
    • Lower capital investment in camp infrastructure through better planning and utilization.
    • Improved control over labour request and personnel mobilization checks and processes.
    • Increased forecast accuracy for demand for services, improving planning, resource utilization and procurement outcomes.
    • Lowered clerical and accounting costs by automating routine personnel movement booking and billing cycles.
    • Reduced telephone inquiry costs through real-time online system access and reporting.
    The Human Logistics product can be implemented as part of a larger InSite implementation or as a standalone solution, and optionally integrated with Enterprise Asset Management and Enterprise Resource Planning packages such as SAP, Oracle and Ellipse.

  • MONGOLIA – Oyu Tolgoi agreement

    Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto last week signed a long-term Investment Agreement with the Government of Mongolia that establishes a comprehensive framework for construction and operation of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex in Mongolia’s South Gobi region.
    The signing took place at a state ceremony in Ulaanbaatar, which was attended by hundreds of invited guests, including the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet members, the Speaker and members of Mongolia’s parliament, the State Great Khural, and representatives of the international diplomatic community.
    The ceremony culminated nine years of exploration successes that have established Oyu Tolgoi as the world’s largest, undeveloped copper-gold porphyry project.
    The Investment Agreement creates a partnership between the Mongolian Government, which will acquire a 34% interest in Oyu Tolgoi’s licence holder, Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia, and Ivanhoe Mines, which will retain a controlling 66% interest.
    Rio Tinto, which joined Ivanhoe as a strategic partner three years ago, holds a 9.9% interest in Ivanhoe. Under a financing agreement with Ivanhoe, Rio Tinto may increase its stake to up to 43.1% with a right to go to 46.6% through purchases on the open market during the next two years.
    Speaking at the ceremony, Rio Tinto Copper and Diamond Group’s chief executive Bret Clayton said that Rio Tinto was excited by the significant exploration upside potential that remains at Oyu Tolgoi. “While Oyu Tolgoi is clearly a world-class asset, we believe that the area has the potential, over time, to become a world-class mining district.
    “We see strong parallels between Oyu Tolgoi today and our initial investment in the Escondida copper mine in Chile over 20 years ago and our recent project in Madagascar. These mines have helped develop strong, sustainable mineral industries in Chile and Madagascar.”
    The Mongolian Parliament authorized the government to finalize the Investment Agreement through a special resolution approved on July 16, 2009.
    Based on Ivanhoe Mines’ discoveries at Oyu Tolgoi, independently verified estimates indicate that it contains about 79 billion pounds of copper and 45 million ounces of gold in measured, indicated and inferred resources.
    While Ivanhoe will update its mine plan with a revised integrated development plan in coming weeks, initial indications are that the current resources will support planned open-pit and underground mining at Oyu Tolgoi for 60 years.
    Current planning indicates that initial production can be achieved at Oyu Tolgoi in mid to late 2013.


  • MONGOLIA – Emerging uranium industry

    By Marino Pieterse,
    Uraniumletter International editor

    In March 2009, Mongolia signed a cooperation agreement with Russia designed to ramp-up development of nuclear energy in both countries.
    The agreement opens the door to potential smaller nuclear plants in Mongolia as well as joint venture exploration and development of uraniumprojects in Mongolia, Russia or other states.

    In July 2009, Mongolia’s legislature passed a law that gave it the right of 51% of any strategic uranium deposit.
    As more and more nuclear reactors come online or are slated for construction, Mongolia is quickly becoming a strategically important region in the battle over control of the uranium market and the nuclear industry as Russia and China seek to establish dominance.
    China is seeking to secure uranium supplies for its growing energy needs and wants to increase its 2020 target for nuclear power capacity by 10 times its current to 86,000 megawatts.

    Russia first turned its attention to Mongolia’s uranium resources in the early 1980s before the fall of the Soviet Union. At that time, Mongolian-Soviet geological teams concluded that 6 uranium strata and over 100 uranium deposits exist in the Central Asian nation.
    With about 65,000 tonnes of proven uranium resources in the ground and the possibility of much more, Mongolia has the potential to become one of the world’s largest uranium producing nations.

    The new law has caused a legal conflict of interest since Canada’s Khan Resources is holding a mining licence for Dornod, one of Mongolia’s largest uranium deposits, through a 58% owned subsidiary with the remaining shares equally split between the Mongolian Government and Russian state- controlled Priargunsk, which is 80% held by state-controlled TVEL, and which produces 17% of the world’s nuclear fuel.
    To find an excuse for the introduction of the new law, Khan and Western Prospector, the other significant western-based company with uranium assets in Mongolia, saw their uranium licences suspended for three months because of unspecified intractions on the site.
    This questionable move was followed by a uranium deal sealed on August 25, 2009 between Russia and Mongolia, after a visit from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, on setting up a joint venture to develop the Dornod deposit as part of a wider pact to boost cooperation in infrastructure and Russia granting Mongolia a US$300 million loan to put towards agriculture and railroad construction.
    The Dornod deposit is supposed to hold seven times as much uranium as Russia produced last year.
    Khan finished a feasibility study on the project in March of this year and pegged annual production at 3 million pounds of U3O8 over a mine life of over 15 years and put probable mineral reserves at 18 million pounds of U3O8 out of the 64.4 million pounds of indicted mineral resources (NI 43-101 compliant). 

    Khan’s initial projected capital cost of the project is about US$333 million.
    Khan signed a Letter of Intent with Japan’s Marubeni in October 2008 to discuss joining forces on Dornod.
    While Khan’s future has become insecure for the time being, state-owned Rosatom, which owns all of Russia’s nuclear assets, has said that the joint venture is open for companies from other countries to join as shareholders, which should secure Khan’s legitimate interest in Dornod with the support of Marubeni.
    In the meantime, in June 2009, First Development Holdings, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of CNNC International, China’s leading uranium and nuclear fuel company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, made a successful takeover bid on Western Prospector.
    The most convenient solution for the conflict of interest with Khan, without Mongolia losing face with the international investment community, particularly since having restored a lot of confidence as a result of the Investment Agreement on Ivanhoe’s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project, would be the Mongolian and Russian joint venture partners to offer Khan shareholders a fair exit-premium of at least 50%, comparable with the premium of 51% First Development offered to Western Prospector shareholders.
    - Khan is featured as a Special Situation by Uraniumletter International and is included in its short-list of favourite investment opportunities within the worldwide uranium industry.


  • CHINA – New CSH crusher

    Installation of a crusher facility at Jinshan Gold Mines’ CSH Gold Mine in Inner Mongolia is expected to result in a substantial increase in gold production.
    The crusher has been operating on a testing and start-up basis since mid-August with about 5000 tonnes of ore each day being crushed to 80% passing 9mm. Throughput is gradually being ramped up as testing and adjustment of the various circuits is completed.
    Jinshan expects the crushing plant throughput to reach daily design capacity of 30,000 tonnes during the early part of this quarter.
    The company has also been steadily increasing production this year. During August it poured 8525 ounces of gold, which was a record high since it started production in July 2007 and within 5% of monthly design expectations of 9000 ounces.
    The increase has been made possible by better control on mining to improve the ore grade and ore size placed on the leach pad, as well as increasing the area under leach and leach solution pumping capacity.
    A total of 43,200 ounces of gold were produced in the first eight months of 2009 compared to around 35,500 ounces for the same period in 2008.
    China National Gold Corporation, a Chinese state-owned enterprise and the largest gold producer in China, owns about 41% of Jinshan’s shares.


  • CHINA – Jinshan secures loan

    Jinshan Gold Mines’ subsidiary Inner Mongolia Pacific Mining has secured a five-year Renminbi 290 million (US$42 million) term loan from the Agricultural Bank of China to help complete a capital expansion project at the CSH Gold Mine.
    The purpose of the term loan is to satisfy the outstanding funding requirements for the capital expansion project at CSH, which includes replacing all funds advanced under the temporary capital expansion loan provided by China National Gold Corporation in June 2009.
    The term loan is supported by a guarantee from CNG and matures in 5 years. The annual interest rate for the loan is currently 5.184%, which is set at 10% below the floating benchmark rate set by The People’s Bank of China and interest is payable monthly.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – High-grade assays

    Allied Gold has received high-grade gold assays from core holes drilled at the Pigiput and Pigibo gold prospects on Simberi Island which underpin confidence in the sulphide expansion project.
    The latest drilling and assay results continue to define and confirm the gold grades and extent of the Pigiput and Pigibo mineralization with an update on the Pigibo resource statement expected in the first quarter of 2010.
    At Pigiput gold assays have been received from 8 diamond core holes which are part of an ongoing in-fill and step-out program. These will be incorporated into the Aus$10 million sulphide and oxide expansion studies aimed at increasing total annual oxide and sulphide production to more than 200,000 ounces by 2012.
    Significant down-hole intercepts include 31.5 metres @ 5.63 grams/tonne gold from 93.0 metres, 6.3 metres @ 4.57 grams/tonne from 126.7 metres, 60.0 metres @ 3.79 grams/tonne from 118 metres, 12.4 metres @ 4.15 grams/tonne from 151 metres, and 25 metres @ 2.59 grams/tonne from 188 metres.
    Assays from 3 cored holes continue to define and confirm mineralization at the Pigibo deposit, about 300 metres west of Pigiput. Notable intercepts include 13.9 metres @ 2.32 grams/tonne gold from 11 metres, 8.9 metres @ 1.85 grams/tonne from 34.2 metres and 55 metres @ 3.30 grams/tonne from 78 metres.
    The Pigiput deposit is the subject of a sulphide resource drill-out program and pre-feasibility study. Core drilling is being used to in-fill the current drilling density and extend drilling coverage with the objective of increasing the resources in sulphide classified as indicated and inferred to a higher level of confidence.
    The drilling to date and results have confirmed the grade and extent of the mineralization in those areas that have been under drilled. Mineralization is associated with a moderately north dipping, east-west striking surface that can be interpreted across the entire extent of the deposit. Gold grades are generally highest at the main surface and significant mineralization may occur in subsidiary structures above and to a lesser extent below it.
    Gold mineralization at Pigibo is associated with arsenian pyrite, slightly elevated copper values (average 170ppm) and otherwise low base metals levels, similar to the upper parts of the Pigiput Deposit.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Kombruku drilling starts

    Marengo Mining has started a diamond drilling program at the Kombruku Prospect, which is part of the Yandera copper-molybdenum-gold project.
    Kombruku was discovered earlier this year and encompasses a large area containing copper mineralization.
    Some outcropping samples have contained high concentrations of copper sulphides grading up to 36.9%. Outcrop in the area is generally confined to deeply incised stream beds.

    Two diamond drilling rigs are now operating at Kombruku and are testing priority targets confirmed by a program of ground geophysics. This induced polarization program has been completed over about 40% of the prospect area and is continuing.
    Five drill holes have been selected and additional holes will be added, as the program proceeds and additional information is to hand.
    Mapping and surface sampling completed earlier this year at Kombruku established that the prospect covers 8sqkm, and appears to be related to north-west trending structures, northerly trending extensional structures, porphyry intrusives and related skarns, within a granodiorite host.
    The discovery of mineralization at Kombruku represents a significant strategic development for the Yandera project, opening up an important new exploration front for the company outside of the Yandera Central Porphyry, which is the focus of a definitive feasibility study.
    The significance of the discovery is further enhanced by its location less than 4km from the Yandera Central Porphyry Deposit, where Marengo has defined indicated resources of 314 million tonnes grading 0.48% copper equivalent and inferred resources of 352 million tonnes grading 0.43% copper equivalent.

    Marengo’s managing director Les Emery says, “This is the first time drilling has been undertaken in the Yandera region outside of the Yandera Central Porphyry and marks the beginning of an exciting new phase of exploration, targeting the largely untapped exploration potential of this region.”
    The Yandera Definitive Feasibility Study, which is scheduled for completion by December 2010, is based on an open pit mining operation, initially processing 25 million tonnes annually with the potential to increase to a long-term rate of 50 million tonnes.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – New seafloor targets

    The first two weeks of Nautilus Minerals’ exploration campaign utilizing the MV Fugro Solstice has resulted in the discovery of seven highly prospective seafloor areas in the Bismarck Sea. The areas in Nautilus’ exploration licences were identified using enhanced target generation techniques and technology developed by Nautilus' exploration team over the last two years. The areas will be followed up later this year when a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will be used to test for seafloor massive sulphide (SMS) systems and then to delineate and sample from these prospective locations. Nautilus' CEO Stephen Rogers says, “Through innovation we are driving down our costs and improving our success rates in SMS exploration. “Using improved, proprietary exploration techniques we are now recording one new prospective site every two or three days which we will follow up by ROV in October. We have chosen to announce target generation work because of Nautilus' recent success in converting similar prospective areas to SMS prospects.”

    In the first two weeks, the exploration team reported seven anomalies that are considered likely to have a hydrothermal source. Four of these have sufficient attributes to be considered targets for SMS testing by ROV. Nautilus' enhanced techniques involve adapting the deep towed sensor package to enable turbidity, oxidation reduction potential, water sampling and multibeam back scatter responses through the water column to be recorded at significantly faster survey speeds than comparable equipment packages.

    These datasets enable rapid assessment of large exploration tenements in the search for SMS systems. Combined with a commercial laboratory approach to geochemical assaying of water samples these improved techniques enable a shortened target testing cycle with greater chance of success. The net result is improved target quality and reduction in targeting costs. MV Fugro Solstice was successfully mobilized from Singapore and arrived in Madang on August 21. The exploration systems on the vessel were successfully commissioned and have been applied over exploration licenses in the Bismarck Sea.

  • UZBEKISTAN – Plant to be converted

    Oxus Gold’s carbon-in-pulp (CIP) plant in Uzbekistan will be converted into a bio-ozidization plant in order to treat underground sulphide ore. The plant forms part of the joint venture operations in Uzbekistan with Amantaytau Goldfields and operated until January 2009. The joint venture decided not to process open pit oxide ore from Sarybatyr at the plant after metallurgical test work and an economic analysis showed that the deposit will be more profitably processed by heap leaching. In order to reduce costs, the associated labour force at the CIL plant, other than that required to carry out care and maintenance, has been retrenched on a temporary basis. Stacking at the joint venture’s Vysokovoltnoye heap leach operation has also been halted due to delays being experienced with the in-country Almalyk refinery, which was unable to refine the required tonnage in accordance with its contractual commitments. A new refining contract, with improved commercial terms, has now been signed with the Almalyk refinery and the first four tonnes of stockpiled silver doré have been refined and sold. Almalyk has committed to refine and return for sale the rest of the stockpile over the period to December 31, 2009, and also to refine and return for sale 56,750 ounces of silver and 3860 ounces of gold which has been locked-up in the refinery’s furnace since the end of 2007. The joint venture also plans to recommence open pit oxide mining in early 2010 and to continue heap leaching until 2022, producing an estimated 590,000 ounces of gold equivalent over this period, excluding any expansions arising as a result of exploration activities. Initially the Vysokovoltnoye plant will process the Sarybatyr ore, followed by the balance of the Vysokovoltnoye deposit, and then a further six deposits in the immediate vicinity. The feasibility study for the Sarybatyr deposit has been approved by the State Committee for Geology and submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers in order to obtain the appropriate mining permit. This operation is expected to produce a total of 340,000 ounces of gold equivalent over the 12 year period.

    In parallel to the Vysokovoltnoye operation, a second heap leach plant is planned to be commissioned at Asaukak in the fourth quarter of 2010 to recover a further 250,000 ounces of gold over a 10 year period from the existing stockpile of Asaukak ore and subsequent mining of surrounding deposits.
    Consultants Wardell Armstrong International (WAI) completed a bankable feasibility study in June 2008 in respect of the joint venture’s underground sulphide reserves at Severny and Centralny. This was subsequently updated in November 2008 to include additional reserve ounces and envisaged a 750,000 tonnes/year operation (increasing to 1.2 million tonnes) over an initial mine life of eight years, at a capital cost of about $170 million, and producing an average of 230,000 ounces of gold per annum. In May 2009, WAI completed an addendum to the study in respect of a lower capital cost first phase of the underground sulphide project, which also includes sulphide tailings arising from transitional and sulphide ore previously processed through the CIP plant as part of the open pit oxide operation. This study envisages an initial annual 450,000 tonnes operation at a capital cost of about $73 million and producing an annual average of 100,000 ounces of gold, until expanded to process a larger tonnage. www.oxusgold.co.uk

  • PHILIPPINES – Canatuan record

    TVI Pacific’s Canatuan sulphide copper-zinc project in Zamboanga del Norte achieved record copper concentrate output during August with declining production costs.
    Canatuan, which is operated by TVI’s Philippine affiliate TVI Resource Development Philippines (TVIRD), processed 55,932 tonnes during August fora daily throughput average of 1804 tonnes, average daily copper concentrate production of 198 tonnes,  copper recovery of 91.5% and an average cash cost of US$0.47 per copper pound equivalent.
    TVIRD made its sixth shipment of concentrates during August, increasing total exports to 29,705 dry metric tonnes (dmt) since March 2009.
    The sixth shipment brings the company’s total estimated gross revenue for copper concentrates to US$34.33 million for 2009.
    In accordance with the offtake arrangement with MRI Trading AG, TVIRD receives an initial payment for each completed concentrate shipment representing approximately 90% of the estimated value of the total shipment.
    Final payment for the remaining sale price of the concentrates (approximately 10%) is due once final details relating to weight, assays and prices are determined.
    The seventh shipment was expected to occur during the last week of September, in keeping with TVIRD's four to five week shipping schedule.
    TVI Pacific’s president and chief executive officer Cliff James says, “TVIRD’s improved cash position, resulting from our operational successes, provides it with the financial resources to execute a portion of its growth plan.
    "For instance, TVIRD has accelerated budgeted capital expenditures for the Sulphide Project’s Zinc Circuit and Power Line components by six months, with construction expected to begin in the fourth quarter. We have also accelerated exploration on near-mine tenements and other projects identified for priority follow-up by management.”
    TVIRD expects to reduce its power costs by up to 40% after the installation of a dedicated power line.  The line will tap into the Philippine national power grid and make available 5-megawatts of power – which is estimated to be sufficient to service the power requirements for the duration of the life of the mine. 

  • PHILIPPINES –Kay Tanda partner withdraws

    Mindoro Resources is exploring new opportunities to joint venture or sell the Kay Tanda gold resource in Batangas province of southern Luzon after Avocet Mining advised that it will not be proceeding with further investment in the project. Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed on September 22, 2008, Avocet undertook to drill a minimum 1500 metres of diamond drilling as part of a six month due diligence program. The due diligence period was twice extended in order to accommodate Avocet drilling 2100 metres, in 14 holes, well in excess of its required minimum.
    Mindoro has not yet received assay results from the last seven drill holes or the revised resource estimate, therefore, the company is unable to comment specifically on the final results of the drill program.
    Avocet has specialized in open-pit gold mining in South East Asia. In its due diligence evaluation, Avocet took the pragmatic approach of shallow infill drill testing of projected up-dip extensions of high-grade gold vein sets, previously intersected at deeper levels by Mindoro, into a conceptual open-pit. The conceptual pit was centred on the near-surface low grade stockwork mineralization. The first seven holes did confirm continuity of near-surface low grade gold-sliver mineralization. The high-grade vein sets, which are probably feeder zones to the gold system, do not extend into such shallow levels. The resource remains open to the north, west and to depth. In addition, interpreted porphyry copper-gold related mineralization has previously been intersected by Mindoro at depth in Kay Tanda. While Mindoro appreciates the time and expense Avocet has invested in the Kay Tanda project over the past year, it also notes that interest in gold and base metals projects in the Philippines has increased considerably since the MoU was signed in 2008. In particular, various agencies from China have been aggressively seeking to acquire resources in the Philippines.
    Mindoro has been contacted by several parties in recent months interested in acquiring the Kay Tanda gold resource, however, it did not advance discussions due to Avocet's ongoing due diligence. With Avocet's withdrawal, Mindoro will be immediately exploring new opportunities to joint venture or sell the Kay Tanda gold resource.
    Mindoro has also granted a right of first refusal to Gold Fields over the Archangel Project, which includes Kay Tanda. However, Mindoro's CEO Tony Climie says, “We are not rushing into a new deal on the project. With the price of gold at US$1000 per ounce, this is a significant asset and we want to ensure any new arrangement achieves maximum value for our shareholders.” www.mindoro.com

  • MINING SERVICES – CSR is vital

    Community social responsibility (CSR) plays a major role in the mining industry as it helps ensure that mining projects are accepted by local communities.

    The benefits of being accepted locally are far reaching but creating a negative impression can be difficult and costly to overcome.
    Watts, Griffis and McOuat Limited (WGM) president Joe Hinzer says, “The days when exploration and mining companies could develop the mineral wealth of remote regions with minimal corporate governance are long gone. “It is no longer sufficient for companies - private or public - to simply obtain permits and commence exploration or mining activities. “Local residents, nearby communities and other stakeholders including all levels of government and indigenous populations expect to be consulted, receive lasting benefits and be assured there are no inherent dangers.” He says, “Most major public companies, the most visible in the public eye, are doing a good job of CSR in most aspects of their work. Many mid size companies have also implemented fairly reasonable CSR programs. The biggest challenge is for the smaller companies, especially junior explorers and small private enterprises, to implement such programs. “It would be prudent for everyone, especially this latter group, to avail themselves of knowledgeable advisors to help them bring their operations in line with generally accepted CSR principles – which in the long run will be most beneficial to these companies.” CSR will be the topic of a presentation by Joe Hinzer at the 6th annual China Mining Congress and Expo to be held in Tianjin, China, later this month.

    On October 22 his presentation, titled ‘The ABC’s of CSR in Exploration and Mining’, will explore the principles behind corporate social responsibility and the methodologies for integrating these principles into company business plans. WGM is an independent firm of consulting geologists and engineers that provides value-added professional services of the highest standards to the global mineral resource industry. www.wgm.ca

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New Medusa director

    Medusa Mining has appointed Peter Hepburn-Brown as a non-executive director of the company.

    Peter Hepburn-Brown is a mining engineer with 28 years of experience in a wide range of mining situations, commodities and overseas jurisdictions.
    He has held senior management positions such as executive director operations for Harmony Gold Australia, general manager operations for Great Central Mines, as well as other executive, operational and consulting positions.

    His experience includes hands-on shaft sinking and airleg mining in narrow vein mines, experience that is well suited to the company’s current operations in the Philippines, as well as mining large open pit, disseminated ore bodies.

    Medusa’s managing director Geoff Davis says, “The company has grown significantly over the last year and the appointment of Peter Hepburn-Brown reinforces the company’s quest of becoming a mid-tier gold producer.

    “Mr Hepburn-Brown has a proven track record at operational levels and his skills and experience will complement those of my fellow Board members.
    “The company is undergoing steady growth and looks forward to Peter’s valuable contribution as Medusa heads towards an exciting phase of further expansion and growth.

  • COMPANY & PRODUCT - Weir Minerals Multiflo expands

    Weir Minerals Multiflo is putting the final touches on plans for a new purpose-built facility in Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast which will help service the company’s clients in Australia and throughout South East Asia.

    Weir Minerals Multiflo, which manufactures high-quality mine pumping equipment, says work on the new $9 million complex is expected to finish in April next year.

    The company’s managing director Paul Avey says, “Despite the global financial crisis, we’re experiencing significant growth in Australia and around the world so the decision to move to a greenfield site in Coolum made good economic sense.

    “We’ve been on the Sunshine Coast for more than 20 years and the expansion plans mean we are here for the long haul.”

    The company’s growth has been spectacular with annual turnover increasing two-fold over the last two years. The company’s products can be found in mines in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, the Philippines, Laos, North and South America, and South Africa.

    Demand for the products in Indonesia resulted in the company establishing a dedicated subsidiary at Balikpapan in 2005.

    Paul Avey says, “Over the years, demand for our products forced us to expand to two other factories close to our original site in Caloundra and then we leased a fourth industrial site nearby in the Latcham Drive industrial zone.

    “When considering a move to new premises, we were keen to maintain our footprint in this part of the world – the Sunshine Coast is growing quickly and has the communications, transport and education infrastructure base required by growing companies like Weir Minerals Multiflo.”

    Weir Minerals Multiflo began as a one-man operation in Mackay in 1978. The company was purchased by giant 180-year-old Scotland-based engineering firm, the Weir Group, in 2007. Weir Minerals Multiflo is now part of a worldwide organization with more than 9000 employees servicing clients on every continent.

    The company’s purpose-built open-cut dewatering pumping systems, dewatering pontoons and machinery fuel filling valves are highly sought after in the mining industry, particularly the coal mining industry.

    Weir Minerals Multiflo’s Peter Smit, general manager (sales and engineering) Peter Smit says the company has developed a reputation for manufacturing highly customized pumps.

    “As mine depths have increased, Weir Minerals Multiflo has researched and developed new pump models to accommodate the need for high head and high flow pumping in both diesel and electric powered pump units.”

    Weir Minerals Multiflo pumps are built specifically for the open-cut mining environment. Unlike clean-water pumps, Multiflo pumps are capable of pumping water, slurry and even gravel.

    For more information visit www.weirminerals.com

  • KAZAKHSTAN – Additional Dalabai mineralization

    Exploration at Central Asia Resources’ Dalabai prospect in Kazakhstan has revealed significant additional mineralization.
    Trench sampling has identified numerous areas of substantial surface mineralization with intervals including 3 metres @ 19.5 grams/tonne gold, 4 metres @ 2.69 grams/tonne gold, 10 metres @ 2.93 grams/tonne gold and 26.8 grams/tonne silver, and 13 metres @ 3.06 grams/tonne gold and 6.01 grams/tonne silver.
    The program of 30 trenches for 350 metres was conducted across numerous areas of interest at Dalabai. More than 420 samples were collected and many contained exciting grades that merit significant additional investigation.
    Central Asia’s managing director Jason Stirbinskis says, “It is the results from new zones that are particularly encouraging, especially zone 3.
    “Almost all of the 15 trenches across zone 3 revealed mineralization for a strike length of more than 430 metres on the surface. This incorporates a previously unknown offshoot of zone 3.”
    Drilling has continued to produce impressive results, with the best being 5.5 metres from 54 metres @ 6.11 grams/tonne gold, 12 metres from 15.5 metres @ 5.57 grams/tonne gold including 6 metres @ 9.71 grams/tonne, 8.1 metres from 23.8 metres @ 1.59 grams/tonne including 4.3 metres @ 2.28 grams/tonne, 9 metres from surface @ 2.74 grams/tonne including 4 metres @ 3.74 grams/tonne, 4.9 metres from 58.6 metres @ 2.09 grams/tonne including 3 metres @ 3.06 grams/tonne, and 4.4 metres from 3.2 metres @ 3.63 grams/tonne.
    The company has 3 diamond rigs on site and the program has primarily focused on extension and infill drilling at known zones of mineralization to secure sufficient gold ounces to justify development.
    Many of the impressive result come from the previously establishes zones 4 and 5 which will form the first production pits. Attention will now shift to exploring other highly prospective areas identified by trenching and soil sampling.
    Jason Stirbinskis says, “The drill results have some spectacular hits and we believe that the average gold grade across all areas of interest will be around 2 grams/tonne, which is a good head grade for the Dalabai heap leach operation.”
    Dalabai continues to present an attractive first production strategy for the company and is on track to begin development of the mines and 0.5 million tonnes/year hea[p leach facility this year, targeting gold production in mid-2010.

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – Strong Chaarat results

    Encouraging results have been achieved from an underground cross-cut and underground drilling at Chaarat Gold Holdings’ Chaarat Gold Project in the Kyrgyz Republic.
    The cross-cut and drill holes intersected the mineralized ore body at the C5300 Project Area on the Contact Zone at the 604sqkm Chaarat property.
    Key results included 21 metres @ 4.95 grams/tonne gold from the cross-cut while the drill holes returned 11.2 metres @ 3.64 grams/tonne, 5 metres @ 5.37 grams/tonne, 11.67 metres @ 4.17 grams/tonne, 7 metres @ 5.1 grams/tonne and 9.25 metres @ 4.01 grams/tonne.
    The C5300 Project Area is the northern-most of three project areas along the Contact Zone ore body.
    The Contact Zone is one of three major mineralization trends where resources have been defined and calculated based on drilling results from the 2008 exploration season. It has a 1.42 million ounce JORC compliant, indicated and inferred gold resource at an average grade of 4.21 grams/tonne gold over a cumulative strike length of 1260 metres.
    Most of the resource associated with this strike has been defined to a shallow depth of 300 metres below surface.
    The C5300 resource is included within the overall Chaarat property resource of 3.34 million ounces of gold @ 4.30 grams/tonne.
    The results demonstrate the continuity of thickness and grade of mineralization between the C5300 project area and the other two projects in the Contact Zone along strike to the south.
    Chaarat’s CEO Dekel Golan says, “These results confirm management's view of the significant potential of the Chaarat deposit, which continues to demonstrate excellent continuity, and sustained wide intersections that will allow the company to pursue, with increased confidence, our intention to establish a low cost bulk mining operation.”
    The Chaarat Project is within the Middle Tien Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan which form part of the Tien Shan gold belt. Resources have been defined in three sub-parallel zones including the Main Zone, Contact Zone and Tulkubash Zone.

  • MONGOLIA – Mining industry to advance

    By Marino Pieterse,
    Goldletter International editor

    The Mongolian Parliament voted on July 16, 2009 to authorize the Government to conclude a long-term, definitive Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement with Ivanhoe Mines and its strategic partner Rio Tinto.
    This decision and subsequent developments provide the Mongolian mining industry with the certainty needed to progress as the changes made by the Parliament are also to be applied to other future Mongolian mining projects.
    In early August negotiations led to the companies and the government settling on terms of a revised agreement that was endorsed by the Government’s Cabinet and the National Security Council, consisting of the Prime Minister, the President, and Speaker of the State Great Khural (the national Parliament).
    The Government then requested a special session of Parliament to consider changes proposed by the Government to four laws, with annulment of Mongolia’s 3-year old 68% windfall profit tax with effect from January 1, 2011, remaining the most contentious, to support and facilitate the finalization of the draft Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement.
    These changes were fully approved on August 25 and to be signed within two weeks to facilitate the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement. Other changes include giving the Mongolian Government a 34% equity interest in the project.
    With the approval for Oyu Tolgoi already expected earlier, Ivanhoe’s share price jumped 24% to Can$8.00 on July 2 and reached an interim high of $10.32 on July 15, but then plunged to an interim low of $7.73 on July 29, as a result of further delaying the final decision on the agreement.
    Since then, with finalization of the agreement in sight, the company’s share price enjoyed a strong boost, reaching a 12 month high of $12.50 on August 28.
    Discoveries reported since 2001 at Oyu Tolgoi now total estimated (NI 43-101 compliant) measured and indicated resources of 20.9 million ounces of gold, plus a further inferred resource of 24.2 million ounces of gold and 40.6 billion measured and indicated pounds of copper, plus a further inferred 38.2 billion pounds of copper based on a 0.06% copper equivalent cut-off.
    In 2006, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto formed a strategic partnership and form a joint Ivanhoe Mines-Rio Tinto Technical Committee to engineer, construct and operate the Oyu Tolgoi Project.
    The agreement provides for Rio Tinto to make investments in the equity of Ivanhoe Mines under defined conditions, totaling around US$1.5 billion.
    Mongolia was for 70 years from 1921 dominated by the former Soviet Union. Having achieved independence in 1991, the country has been a fledging democracy since that time with a president elected every four years.
    The MPRP Party (formerly Communist Party) holds a slim majority in the national Parliament, the State Great Khural, the country’s main legislative body and highest authority, on a coalition basis with the Liberal Party. An agreement was signed to share power until the parliamentary election of 2012.
    The current Prime Minister Sanjaa Bayar was elected in December 2007, after winning chairmanship in his party, the MPRP. After the Parliamentary election held in June this year, as his party won the majority, he was re-elected as the PM and now leads a Coalition government.
    Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture, but the country also has some of Asia’s richest deposits of minerals and the Chinese demand for minerals fuels its current mining boom.
    The country lies within a major intracontinental mobile belt that separates the Siberian and Chinese cratons. This belt hosts the Kazakhstan and Mongolian metallurgical belt.
    Prior to 1991, Mongolia had been dependent on the Russian government for financial and technical assistance to develop its resources. However, foreign aid was cut off almost overnight with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although there was widespread opposition to extensive privatization of the formerly state-run economy, the government passed a number of economic reforms that encouraged foreign investment, especially in the mining sector.
    The investment climate started to improve with the passage of the Minerals Law in 1997. Amendments to the Minerals Law in 2006, however, created concern among the international mining community because it allows the government to invest in strategic properties discovered in the private sector.
    The law before the current amendments gave the State either a 34% stake or a controlling interest of up to 50% in a deposit if the deposit has been defined by exploration activities funded by the State budget.
    The initial version of detailing the public-private partnership to be approved by the Parliament applying to
    Ivanhoe’s Oyu Tolgoi Project, called for 34% Mongolian ownership, no tax waiver, and an advance payment of US$225 million with lower interest rates.
    In a presentation earlier this year, senior mining specialist of the World Bank’s Oil, Gas and Mining Policy Division, Dr Graeme Hancock, said that the Mongolian mining sector has the potential to significantly contribute to the nation’s economic growth, but its development will depend on the government’s ability to establish and maintain the following:
    • A clear mining policy
    • A competitive stable and predictable fiscal regime for mining, and a stable and transparent legal and regulatory framework to manage mining development, protect the environment and ensure good corporation governance
    • Policies and procedures to attract and retain world class investors who have the resources, management and technology to locate and exploit mineral deposits in a sustainable way
    • Efficient mining sector institutions and strong administrative capacity for oversight
    • Appropriate policy responses to and transparent management of expected increases in mineral revenues and ensure lasting benefits.
    On September 17, 2008, the Mongolian Parliament approved the structure of its new coalition government with 15 ministries and 11 ministers, including the new Ministry of Mining and Energy.
    Prime Minister Sanjaa Bayar said the country was recognizing the vast potential wealth available to Mongolia through development of the mining industry, estimated by the World Bank to account for about 20% of real GDP, 56% of gross industrial output, 69% of exports and 37% of revenue for Mongolia in 2007.
    The government also planned to distribute mining revenue made from strategic deposits with a minimum of Mongolian Tugrik 1.5 million (US$1034) awarded to each eligible citizen in the country.
    While government ownership questions and debate over new mining laws have stalled the development of new projects, optimism exists that the new coalition government will work.
    If so, this would have a drastic positive impact on the valuation of mining companies active in Mongolia, having been severely under pressure as a result of a notice of August 14, 2007, given by the Cadastral centre of the Mineral Resource and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (MRPAM) to 18 international and national companies about invalidation of their exploration licences.
    The notice was given following the recommendations of the State Audit Board, which discovered that the area covered by the 34 licences out of more than 6000 currently effective licences, had been explored by
    State budget in the past and according to law, passed by parliament on July 8, 2006, the exploration licences had to be revoked because they were covering deposits ready for mining development.
    However, in a statement by the chairman of the MRPAM on September 10, 2007, it was said that so far not a single licence out of the 34 had been invalidated, assuming that the MRPAM is fully committed to strictly following the Mineral Law, which protects interests of both foreign and domestic investors.
    On October 1, 2008, former President Nambaryn Enkhbayar in his opening speech to the Mongolian Parliament said that it is the reality that Mongolia cannot invest in its deposits independently, introduce advanced technology and provide qualified experts and therefore there is no other way than attracting major investors aspiring to recover their investment and make profits.
    By saying so, there is no other way than for all parties concerned to accept market principles of allowing investors to own more than 51% of their deposits.
    In the second week of November 2008, a parliamentary working group prepared a draft resolution that would compel Mongolia’s Government to speed up passage of major mining deals for the high-grade coal mine Tavan Tolgoi and the world-class copper gold Oyu Tolgoi Project, both in Omnogobi Province.
    On December 4, 2008, the Parliament voted to adopt a resolution that authorizes the Mongolian Government, led by Premier Minister Sanjaa Bayar, to negotiate a draft Investment Agreement for Oyu Tolgoi and present it to Parliament before February 1, 2009.
    On March 13, 2009, Mongolia’s national Parliament gave the assurance that compilation of an Investment
    Agreement for the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex will continue to be a principal property for Mongolia’s coalition government when the Parliament reconvenes during the first week of April on its 2009 spring session.
    However, until June 18, 2009, when Ts Elbegdorj was sworn in as Mongolia’s new President, no further progress had been made.
    The new President said that after years of discussion and debate final proposals are taking shape detailing the public-private partnership that will be created to begin mining at Ivanhoe’s vast Oyu Tolgoi Project to be followed by the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposits.
    The final version of the Mongolian version to be submitted to national Parliament, calls for 34% Mongolian ownership of the Oyu Tolgoi Project, no tax waver, and an advance payment of US$225 million with lower interest rates.
    The demand for a 55% share of the profits has not been decided.
    - Information courtesy of Goldletter International, the international independent information and advice bulletin f or gold and related investments






  • OUT NOW - new edition of The ASIA Miner

    A PDF version of The ASIA Miner can be downloaded here
    Volume 6 Fourth quarter October - December 2009  Link

    Hard Copy
    The ASIA Miner magazine is a must for your business library; it brings to you a source of information valuable to your company and not attainable elsewhere. Ensure delivery, subscribe to the hard copy of The ASIA Miner at [email protected]

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – New Poi gold zones

    Continued geochemical sampling at MIL Resources’ Poi prospect has returned further high grade gold assays defining additional gold anomalies.
    This sampling was designed to infill and step out from the known boundaries of the geochemical system developing within the Poi intrusive complex.
    A stream geochemistry sampling program saw 24 pan concentrate samples collected from drainages along the radiometric anomaly defined by the Poi syenite ridge and the Bona Fault.
    This work in-filled an area where there had been limited sampling and the assay results confirm the apparent continuous nature of the gold anomalous system. This system is coincident with an extensive radiometric anomaly striking over 10km long and 1.5km wide.
    The new anomalies, Mogambos and Blue Rock, have expanded the system to the north-west.
    Peak pan concentrate assays from the sampling are: Mogambos 12.15 grams/tonne gold, 11.90 grams/tonne and 7.36 grams/tonne; Wacheri 6.93 grams/tonne; Morti 4.52 grams/tonne; Blue Rock 1.18 grams/tonne; Bona Flats 1.13 grams/tonne; and Poi 0.89 grams/tonne.
    Further work is ongoing and includes stream geochemistry, geological mapping, sampling and gridding.
    Work to date indicates that Poi has characteristics typical of porphyry gold copper systems found in island arc settings such as PNG.

  • PHILIPPINES – UK funds for Acoje

    Rusina Mining’s plans to develop the Acoje nickel-chromite mine in the Philippines have been boosted by an Aus$7.5 million injection from institutional investors in the United Kingdom.
    The funds from clients of Mirabaud Securities, come from a placement of shares in the Perth-based emerging nickel developer.
    Rusina is developing the 24,500 tonnes/year of contained nickel Acoje nickel laterite heap leach project on Luzon Island.
    Rusina’s managing director Robert Gregory says, “Northern hemisphere equities markets understand specialist commodities like nickel very well. As we have not made a placement for more than two years, this current day support from the UK is a great vote of confidence in Acoje and our strategy to achieve there an eventual transition to full-scale mining.
    “So this in our view, is a sophisticated market experienced in nickel investment, making a decision based around long-term fundamentals, about our upside as a low-cost nickel supplier from Acoje into the Asian markets.”
    Proceeds from the UK capital raising will be used primarily for working capital for Rusina and any contingencies arising from European Nickel’s current 40% farm-in to the Acoje project.
    European Nickel has earned to date a 20% interest in the project under a broader farm-in commitment to earn a 40% project interest by fully funding the current US$10 million definitive feasibility study (DFS), including a trial nickel heap leach operation, at Acoje. The DFS is due for completion in the second half of next year.
    A local Philippines company, Montemina Resources Corporation, is in the process of acquiring a 20% project interest.
    China Tianchen Engineering Corporation will shortly begin an expected 8-9 month engineering study on Acoje while all permitting approvals for the full project development are expected to be granted by the end of 2009. A total of 3000 tonnes of ore will be put through the test schedule.
    Acoje has a current JORC compliant inferred and indicated resource of 50.1 million tonnes grading 1.09% nickel at a cut-off grade of 0.08% nickel.

  • INDONESIA – Miwah gold zone continuity

    Results for a fifth diamond drill hole provide compelling support for the interpretation
    of shallow out-flowed, laterally extensive gold mineralization along the 1.2km Main Miwah Gold Zone at East Asia Minerals’ Miwah Gold Project in Aceh Province.
    The drill core intersection of 2.11 grams/tonne gold over 100 metres from 85 metres, including 4.81 grams/tonne over 30 metres, is 400 metres east of the exceptional gold assays encountered in three other holes. The 30 metres included silver grades of 6.31 grams/tonne, providing a 4.92 grams/tonne gold equivalent.
    The hole is the company's first in the eastern part of the laterally extensive gold system and was designed to test an area where rock sawn channel sampling returned consistently strong gold mineralization averaging 4.11 grams/tonne gold across a 200 metre long, semi-continuous channel.
    The mineralization is open in all directions and at depth, and is interpreted to be contiguous to the strong surface gold mineralization.
    East Asia’s president and CEO Michael Hawkins says, “We are extremely encouraged by the continuity, width and tenor of mineralization at the Main Miwah Gold Zone.
    “The gold mineralization intersected to date provides drill validation of more than 500 metres strike length along the known 1200 metre long Main Miwah gold-bearing silica zone.  This zone has been defined by more than 2km of rock sawn gold-bearing channel samples. The remainder of the phase one program intends to extend the drill validated strike to 1200 metres.
    “Not only have we achieved 3D validation of the potential for a large and laterally extensive gold deposit at the Main Miwah Gold Zone, we have also demonstrated the potential for significantly higher overall grades due to the presence of a 3 to 4 grams/tonne gold layer in the higher levels of the system.”




  • INDONESIA – Wetar DFS progress

    The definitive feasibility study (DFS) into Finders Resources’ Wetar Copper Project is substantially complete, with all project planning concepts and design criteria covering infrastructure, mining and process finalized.
    One of the key design criteria for the project has been the decision to incorporate the 18,500 tonnes/year Whim Creek plant, which Finders has an option to purchase for Aus$5 million, with an expansion of the existing demonstration plant to 4500 tonnes/year.
    In this regard the company has carried out further engineering design work than originally planned to ensure the successful integration of the two plants to annually produce the planned 23,000 tonnes of copper cathode.
    A review of capital and operating costs generated by the DFS manager, Ausenco, is under way. Part of this process includes analysis of contractor pricing, and some delays are being experienced in receiving responses from participating contractors.
    In addition, ongoing operational results from the demonstration plant have been a key component of the DFS, providing vital information to substantially de-risk the full-scale project.
    The company is pleased that the ongoing copper leaching characteristics of the demonstration ore heaps, after making appropriate allowances for the different operating conditions between a demonstration plant and a full-scale project, are consistent with the design criteria adopted in the DFS.
    However, the demonstration plant leach pads have seen higher levels of acid generation than those estimated during the laboratory test work phase and an acid neutralization plant has been constructed and commissioned at the demonstration plant. This has also led to extra test work in the DFS to determine the acid neutralization criteria required for the full-scale project.
    Adequate limestone resources for the acid neutralization required for the full-scale operation are available from within the immediate project area, which will substantially mitigate the additional costs of an acid neutralization circuit to the full scale development.
    The company now expects that with responses from contractors expected in the next few weeks, and the additional neutralization test work being performed, the DFS results will be ready for distribution to the market in about a month.

  • INDONESIA – Strong Sumba gold samples

    Recent field work has confirmed the presence of additional high grade gold and silver mineralization at Hillgrove Resources’ Sumba gold prospect, which is highly prospective for epithermal and porphyry-style mineralization.
    The field program was aimed at sampling BHP’s previously identified outcropping high grade veins about 400 metres west of Hillgrove’s 200 metre x 200 metre gold in soil anomaly.
    Results from rock chip sampling from this program have been received with samples returning results up to 164 grams/tonne gold.
    Hillgrove’s managing director David Archer says the company has completed due diligence work for Sumba and has confirmed that there is a significant zone of epithermal gold mineralization in the Masu Project area.
    “The gold mineralization at Pahandanjal Prospect warrants detailed mapping and trenching programs, and we have also confirmed the presence of in situ gold mineralization in quartz reefs as far as 10km north of the prospect.
    “Our plans at this stage are to conduct trenching and mapping programs for the rest of the year and begin drilling in 2010.
    The Sumba licence area is split into three project areas that coincide with the volcanic basement. These areas were originally defined through exploration conducted by PT BHP Sumba Minerals as a joint venture between BHP Minerals International Exploration and PT Sansaporindo Mandiri, in which BHP was the operator.
    Hillgrove intends fast-tracking exploration work in the area, including undertaking more detailed mapping and trenching in the latter part of 2009, prior to potential drill testing in early 2010. Hillgrove will also selectively follow up specific zones already identified with additional soil sampling.
    Hillgrove’s Indonesian partner, PT Fathi Resources holds a permit for General Survey activities under its Sumba Exploration Licence.


  • INDONESIA - Desa Mirah negotiations

    The joint venture developing the Desa Mirah Iron Ore Project in Indonesia plans to begin stage one mining as soon as negotiations are completed with landowners and equipment can be mobilized on site.
    Desa Mirah is being developed jointly by Lincoln Minerals and Samusa Corp through an Indonesian mining company, PT Samusa Bintang Mandiri, jointly owned by Lincoln Minerals (45%) and Samusa Corp (55%).
    The initial shipment of stockpiled ore at the 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.
    A drilling program and further trenching were undertaken within the mining exploitation concession during August to define the extent, depth, thickness and iron grade of the resource.
    The exploration target for high grade lump iron ore within the immediate vicinity of the trial mine has subsequently been downgraded to 27,000-47,000 tonnes at 60-66% iron. Mineralization covers an area of about 1 hectare at an average thickness of 0.6-1.2 metres.
    In addition to the above resources, it is estimated that there is an additional 50,000 to 150,000 tonnes of iron ore (60-66% iron) defined as an exploration target in the exploration concession west of the mining concession.
    Drilling and trenching failed to substantiate the exploration targets previously identified from interpretation of ground magnetic data and the operation will be much smaller than the joint venture previously envisaged. This is mainly due to identification of a deeper, lower grade magnetic source rock.
    Below the surface gravel, iron-rich caprock and weathered bedrock, drilling intersected magnetite- and pyrite/pyrrhotite-bearing diorite with up to 30-40% iron associated with minor copper (up to 0.3% copper) and trace gold based on field XRF analyses.
    This mineralization is of iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) style and the joint venture is now seeking to extend its mining rights to include all minerals. Detailed sampling and laboratory assays are pending.
    In conjunction with Samusa Corp, Lincoln Minerals is evaluating several other promising iron ore, manganese and copper-gold projects in Indonesia.




  • INDONESIA – New law affects service providers

    Indonesia’s New Mining Law will impact in one way or another on all aspects of the country’s mining industry and those that deal with it, including mining service providers.
    In August, the Indonesian Government published, for comment and discussion, four additional draft implementing regulations in respect of the New Mining Law dealing with Mining Area Determination; Direction and Supervision of Mining Business Activities; Reclamation and Post Mining Activities; and Mining Services.
    The matters dealt with in the four additional draft implementing regulations are of considerable importance and interest to everyone involved in the Indonesian mining sector and provide a lot of supplementary context for matters which are less than adequately covered in the New Mining Law (promulgated in January 2009) and the Second Draft Implementing Regulations (circulated, for discussion, in July 2009).
    This summary and analysis provided by Indonesian law firm Christian Teo and Associates indicates how the draft implementing regulations affect the supply of mining services to Indonesia. The firm says the new draft implementing regulation on Mining Services is essential reading for foreign mining services contractors.
    D. Mining Services for Minerals and Coal
    1. The Indonesian Government has circulated a first draft of Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation re Mining Services for Minerals and Coal (‘Draft Mining Services Regulation’) as part of the implementation of Article 127 of the New Mining Law.
    2. Pursuant to the Draft Mining Services Regulation, a Mining Services Provider can be (i) a Business Entity, (ii) a Cooperative or (iii) an individual.
    3. Having regard to the relevant operational area, Mining Services Providers are to be classified as (i) Local Mining Services Companies, (ii) National Mining Services Companies and (iii) Other Mining Services Companies (ie PMA companies).
    4. The Draft Mining Services Regulation divides mining services activities into (i) Mining Services Business Activities and (ii) Other Services Business Activities.
    5. An IUP/IUPK holder is allowed to choose, by way of tender, the Mining Services Provider it wants to engage.
    6. Where the IUP/IUPK holder chooses an Other Mining Services Company, the Other Mining Services Company is obliged, among other things, to utilize the services of Local Mining Companies/National Services Companies for the purpose of carry out 30% of the overburden removal work.
    7. The IUP/IUPK holder is prohibited from co-operating with a Mining Services Provider affiliated with the IUP/IUPK holder without prior approval from the Director General on behalf of MoEMR, which approved will only be granted under certain conditions.
    8. A Mining Services Provider is obliged to obtain, from an independent institution, a certificate stating the Mining Services Provider’s classification and supporting qualifications. In the event this independent institution has not been established, the certificate of classification and qualification will be granted by the Relevant Government Authority.
    9. A Mining Services Provider may only carry out its business activities once it has obtained an IUJP from the Relevant Government Authority whilst a Mining Services Provider engaging in Other Services Business Activities is obliged to first obtain an SKT from the Relevant Government Authority.
    10. The Draft Mining Services Regulation specifies a number of obligations that need to be fulfilled by the IUJP/SKT holder.
    11. The Relevant Government Authority is entitled to impose administrative sanctions on the holder of a IUJP or SKT which/who (i) carries out activities which are not in line with its IUJP or SKT and/or (ii) fails to submit the required quarterly and/or annual reports.
    12. The holders of KPs, KKs and PKP2Bs, which have already engaged a Mining Services Provider before the enactment of the Draft Mining Services Regulation, are obliged to bring their mining business activities into compliance with Draft Mining Services Regulation not later than 3 years from the date of enactment of the Draft Mining Services Regulation.
    - Christian Teo & Associates, Law Offices,
    The Indonesia Stock Exchange Building
    Tower II Floor 14 Suite 1405
    Sudirman Central Business District
    Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 52-53
    Jakarta 12190, INDONESIA
    TEL: [62-21] 515 0280 FAX: [62-21] 515 0281


  • CHINA - Leading the way in recovery

    By Marino Pieterse,
    Editor, Goldletter International
    - the international independent information and advice bulletin for gold and related investments
    China’s stimulus package of $586 billion was focused on a fall in economic growth of above 10% in preceding years to 6.1% in the first quarter of 2009 and appears to be successful considering a growth of 7.9% in the second quarter and estimates of a minimum growth of 8% for the full year.
    Actually, the credit crisis has accelerated the shift of economic wealth from the Western world to Asia and more specifically China, supported by China having built up its monetary reserves of more than $2000 billion within eight years of becoming a member of the World Trade Organization in November 2001.
    In addition, Asian and Arabic Sovereign Wealth Funds collected more than $3000 billion before being hurt by the crisis on the financial markets.
    Consequently, the losses suffered by Western financial institutes were less than dollar surpluses created in Asia and the Arabic world.
    In summary, the stimulus packages to the aggregate amount of about $2500 billion compared to the real economy related global equity market losses of about $31,500 billion, including losses of about $6500 in January and February 2009, could only be hoped to have a positive effect on the investment sentiment as a driver for turning around the depressed economic sentiment.
    This is what actually has happened at an unprecedented pace since March of this year, led by the stock markets in emerging countries, particularly China (+70%), and also being followed by the commodity markets, thereby showing increasing confidence in the course of the world economy in the second half of the year.
    Up to date global equity markets have recuperated 17% or about $7500 billion of their losses based on the worldwide stock market valuation of US$36,000 billion as per year-end 2008 and about $14,000 billion including further losses of about $6500 billion in the first two months of 2009.
    The result is a boost to the worldwide economy, including funding facilities having improved to restore growth.
    As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the period of recession had a shorter life than widely expected, and modest positive economic growth figures being expected from the second half of the year.
    Within this new economic scenario, gold has been one of the poorest market performers in 2009, not only compared to the equity markets and interest related investments, but also to the commodity markets.
    While oil and copper showed a strong price performance of 76% and 193%, respectively, gold lost its lustre with a modest price increase of 10% to date.
    With the economic climate expected to further improve, the course of the gold price will be determined more by fundamental factors based on supply and demand, rather than on external factors related to the credit crisis.
    By saying so, it is also to be expected that the gold price will be significantly less volatile as it had been since the beginning of the crisis in August 2007 until March of this year.
    - Information courtesy of Goldletter International, the international independent information and advice bulletin f or gold and related investments


  • INVESTMENT – Iron ore agreement

    Western Australian iron ore developer FerrAus Limited and China Railway Materials (CRM) have signed agreements regarding the supply of iron ore and steel which will benefit both companies and both nations.
    The arrangements include a share subscription agreement valued at about $12.6 million that will give CRM’s wholly-owned subsidiary Union Park Company (UPC) a 12% stake in Ferraus, a co-operation and support agreement, and a non-binding strategic alliance agreement.
    The companies have agreed on strategic iron ore focused cooperation regarding the resources of FerrAus and have agreed to cooperate in respect of other potential iron ore resource opportunities in the eastern Pilbara region that, together with FerrAus’ resources, can be used to support the financing and construction of rail and port infrastructure necessary for the development of the iron ore resources assembled.
    On a non binding basis, CRM intends to assist FerrAus with sourcing finance for the construction of Pilbara rail infrastructure for iron ore exports.
    The parties are to discuss terms on which, in return for securing substantial funding for the construction of suitable rail infrastructure, CRM will receive a substantial entitlement, at market terms to be negotiated, for iron ore offtake.
    CRM is a large-scale Chinese state-owned enterprise whose major businesses are providing all materials for the operation of railway systems and trading steel. Steel trade is a main business for CRM, with more than 10 million tonnes of steel materials sold in 2008, ranking it as one of China's top three steel traders. It ranks number 60 in China’s top 500 companies.
    FerrAus’ non executive chairman John Nyvlt says, “The company is pleased to welcome China Railway Materials (CRM) as a second major Chinese investor following the placement of 9.9% of our shares to China Western Mining in mid-2008.
    “Investment in FerrAus by a major Chinese mining and smelting group and now agreement on investment by a major Chinese infrastructure and trading group emphasizes the value of the company and its Pilbara iron ore assets.
    “The strategic co-operation with China Railway Materials is a landmark step towards the objective of establishing local infrastructure to transport FerrAus iron ore to market. This infrastructure would unlock the immense value contained in the substantial direct-shipping hematite resources owned by FerrAus from multiple sites and potentially, those of other east Pilbara iron ore juniors.”
    www.crmsc.com.cn or www.ferraus.com

  • INVESTMENT – Iron ore supply contract

    Hyundai Steel and BHP Billiton have signed an eight year supply contract to deliver 22 million tonnes of iron ore from 2009.
    Hyundai Steel is the world’s second largest electric arc furnace steelmaker and is building an integrated steel works at Dangjin, South Korea, with annual capacity of 8 million tonnes of crude steel. It will operate the first blast furnace plant from January 2010.
    BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified natural resources company and the third largest seaborne iron ore supplier.
    Hyundai Steel president YC Woo says that following the long-term coking coal supply contract last year, the new contract is a further confirmation of the strong relationship with BHP Billiton.
    “Hyundai Steel now has secured a total of 13.6 million tonnes of iron ore, which is enough to operate the integrated steel works with 8 million tonnes of annual crude steel production capacity by signing with BHP Billiton.”
    BHP Billiton’s president marketing Tom Schutte says, “I am pleased that we continue to strengthen our relationship with Hyundai Steel following the long-term coking coal supply contract last year.”

  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – Mine plan software update

    Gemcom Software International, a supplier of specialized mining productivity solutions, has released Gemcom Whittle 4.3, the latest version of its strategic mine planning software for open pit mines.
    When exploration and mining companies need to evaluate the financial viability and the optimal mine strategy for a deposit, Whittle enables them to determine their investment strategy and to deliver robust mine plans that maximize profitability by taking into account real mining constraints.
    Gemcom’s technical product manager - scheduling and optimization Cindy Tonkin says, “The development of robust mine plans that withstand the volatility of prices, costs and demand is more important than ever and the re-evaluation of mine plans in today’s market is a necessity.
    “For sound decision-making, straightforward tools are needed that allow users to analyze different alternatives and which produce trusted results. This means that all physical and economic information must be available for easy review and that users must have the ability to ask questions about their input sensitivities and carry out what-if or scenario analyses.
    “Whittle allows such analyses to be run easily and quickly, which helps save costs and drive mine value through the selection of a good planning strategy.”
    To assist mine planners in producing robust mine plans, Whittle has been designed for mine optimization, which enables significant increases in project value over and above pit optimization. The software incorporates the strategic mine planning capabilities needed to achieve mine optimization: strategic scheduling; detailed cost, price and recovery modelling; stockpiles; multiple mines; blending; and cut-off optimisation.
    New for Whittle 4.3 is the NPV Practical Push Backs module which provides a single-step process for creating push backs that address both maximum NPV and minimum mining width requirements.
    For all deposits where minimum mining width needs to be maintained, or the creation of push backs is an option, NPV Practical Push Backs is recommended to add value to the decision making process by providing a more accurate NPV for each project.
    NPV Practical Push Backs provides new methods for fast, effective push back creation that enable practical schedules to become a standard part of the mine planning decision-making process, allowing the full potential value of the deposit to be realized.
    Established in 1985, Gemcom has a global reach delivering comprehensive solutions in all major mining centres in more than 90 countries.


  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – Accreditation close

    Techenomics International is well on the way to achieving ISO 17025 accreditation for its Balikpapan and Sangatta oil analysis laboratories in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
    These laboratories are operated by its wholly-owned subsidiary PT Tekenomiks Indonesia and predominantly service the coal mining regions of Kalimantan. The original audit for the accreditation was completed in December 2008 and the required improvements are nearly complete.
    Once opened the laboratories will join Techenomics other Accredited ISO 9001 and ISO 17025 laboratories in Australia and Bangkok which service the coal mining regions of the Bowen Basin in Queensland and the Hunter Valley in NSW of Australia, together with precious metal mines in South East Asia.
    Techenomics is the only company in the world that operates a string of laboratories servicing a group of companies that operate across many geographical regions yet provides a seamless service where the product is available online with no differentiation from laboratory to laboratory.
    Other major operators may service a similar customer base but provide services through a suite of individually owned laboratories where methods of operation, controls and management differ from laboratory to laboratory.
    The accreditation will mark a milestone in Techenomics efforts to improve the services related to oil analysis and associated contamination control disciplines so that the asset owner will receive a tailored service to suit the life of equipment bottom line.

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