• INDONESIA – Kangaroo gains coal rights

    Kangaroo Resources has secured the rights to four significant Indonesian coal projects to complement its existing portfolio of three coal projects in East Kalimantan.
    The deal is set to underpin the company’s transformation into a substantial mid-tier coal producer with first production scheduled for December 2009.
    The company has secured 100% rights to the Kubar Indah Coking Coal Project, Jawana Coking Coal Project and Borami Coking Coal Project, and has secured 45% rights to the Tanur Jaya Thermal Coal Project.
    It is targeting start-up production of up to 1-2 million tonnes in 2010 with staged ramp-up to 10 million tonnes-plus of coal a year within 2-3 years.
    Kubar Indah is a highly prospective 26,600 hectare concession about 100km from the Mahakam River in East Kalimantan. It has an exploration target of 100-140 million tonnes of coking coal with coal quality ranging between 7500–8500 Kcal/kg. Historical exploration works include more than 5000 metres of drilling.
    Annual production of up to 1 million tonnes is targeted to begin in 2012 with planned ramp-up to as much as 2 million tonnes in 2013, subject to securing appropriate funding and logistics.
    Tanur Jaya, which is part of the Pakar Thermal Coal Project, has an estimated mineable target of 75-100 million tonnes, with the coal quality ranging between 5000–5400 Kcal/kg.
    A drilling program is in progress with an exploration target of an additional 60–80 million tonnes of coal, with estimated coal quality of 5200–5400 Kcal/kg.
    It is a short distance to the north-east of Kangaroo’s existing GPK Project and all associated infrastructure and development are close to completion. Initial production is targeted to begin by March 2010 at a start-up monthly rate of up to 50,000 tonnes. Annual production is then planned to ramp up to 2 million tonnes in late-2010 and increase up to 4 million in 2011.
    The Jawana and Borami projects are greenfield exploration concessions targeting coking coal and very high quality thermal coal. They are adjacent to the Mamahak Project operated by South Gobi Energy Resources. The company is targeting production at these projects in 2012/2013.

  • INDONESIA – Phase 2 drilling at Miwah

    Planning has been completed for the phase 2 diamond drilling program at East Asia Minerals’ Main Miwah Gold Zone.
    The phase 2 program will begin upon completion of the final hole of the phase 1 program.
    Based on the strong and consistent gold mineralization encountered to date, the phase 2 program is designed to provide drill results required to complete a NI43-101 compliant resource estimate.
    A second rig is planned to arrive at Miwah before the end of the year with the intention to complete the NI43-101 resource estimate drilling by mid-year 2010.  The company is well funded to undertake much of the planned drilling.
    To date more than 700 metres of strike length have been drilled and assay validated by East Asia along the shallow, laterally extensive 1.2km-long Main Miwah zone.
    In addition the drill rig has been stepped out a further 140 metres to the east where one hole has been completed after drilling a wide intercept of visually altered and mineralized rock. The final phase 1 hole is progressing in similar visually altered and mineralized rock.
    The Miwah project demonstrates a robust gold system that continues to grow rapidly and that has provided a 100% hit rate of strong gold values. Drilling in the Main Miwah zone has also demonstrated a laterally extensive, higher grade near-horizontal layer, grading 2 to 5 grams/tonne gold in the upper levels of the mineralized system.
    Detailed mapping and sampling are continuing at the new South Miwah Bluff gold discovery and planning is under way for a grid-based soil sampling program in conjunction with ongoing rock sawn channel sampling of outcrop. The results will be used to generate targets for follow-up diamond drilling.

  • INDONESIA – Southern Arc acquisition

    Southern Arc Minerals has agreed to acquire a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indotan Inc and the name Indotan Inc.
    This agreement was prompted by the introduction of the new mining law in Indonesia, enacted earlier this year.
    Since March 2005 Southern Arc has been conducting exploration on two Indonesian properties, one on Lombok and one on Sumbawa, pursuant to powers of attorney granted by Indotan as holder of the related contract of work applications.
    The powers of attorney refer specifically to contracts of work which have been replaced with IUP mining licences by the new mining law. By acquiring the Indotan name and the subsidiary company Southern Arc will have direct control over the applications for the IUP's on Lombok and Sumbawa in Indonesia.
    In consideration for the assignment of the rights to the applications, the acquisition of the subsidiary and the name Indotan Inc, Southern Arc will issue 3.5 million common shares to the parent company subject to two options in favour of Southern Arc.
    The first option will entitle Southern Arc to acquire 1.5 million of these shares at a price of $0.90 per common share within a period of 18 months. The second will entitle Southern Arc to acquire 0.5 million of these shares at a price of $0.50 per common share within a period of 8 months.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – New seafloor systems

    Nautilus Minerals has discovered two new Seafloor Massive Sulphide (SMS) systems on its exploration licences in Papua New Guinea.
    Discovered during the first five days of Nautilus' 2009 target testing campaign, Solwara 12 returned handheld x-ray fluorescence (XRF) results up to a maximum of 23.4% copper and 36% zinc from 10 chimney samples collected from the new site.
    Solwara 13, discovered only four days later, returned XRF results from seven chimney samples up to a maximum of 19.3% copper and 38.5% zinc.
    The 42 days of target generation work conducted earlier this year from MV Fugro Solstice yielded a large number of SMS exploration targets.
    Due to this success and the high conversion in turning generated targets into new SMS discoveries, Nautilus has exercised an option for an additional 28 days of vessel time. The extra time will allow Nautilus to extend its target testing campaign to investigate other high ranking targets.
    Nautilus' CEO Stephen Rogers says, “Nautilus is fast-tracking the exploration and discovery of SMS systems to build an inventory for future drilling and appraisal.
    “This early double success in the MV Fugro Solstice target testing program confirms the prospectivity of Nautilus' Bismarck Sea tenements and our ability to quickly discover new SMS systems.”

  • PHILIPPINES – Zinc circuit under way

    TVI Pacific has begun construction of an additional flotation circuit to process zinc ore at TVIRD’s Canatuan Mine in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.
    The work is being undertaken by TVI’s Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils).
    Construction of the zinc circuit began on October 28, three months ahead of schedule, and is expected to be fully operational by late April 2010.
    Copper concentrate production will continue at a monthly rate of about 5000 tonnes while the zinc circuit is designed to produce about 1000 tonnes of zinc concentrate each month.
    Off-take arrangements for the zinc concentrate are being negotiated.
    TVI’s president and CEO Cliff James says, “As we mine through the copper-rich portion of the ore body and start getting into the copper-zinc zone as expected, the ability to separate and monetize the zinc will result in additional revenue.
    “This will allow us to further accelerate two key target areas of our growth strategy, which include exploration and development activities at Canatuan and Balabag, and exploration projects at Tamarok.”

  • PHILIPPINES – Eighth Canatuan shipment

    TVI Pacific’s Philippine operating affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils) (TVIRD), has completed its eighth shipment of copper concentrates produced at the Canatuan Mine.
    The concentrates were shipped from the TVIRD warehouse facility at Santa Maria Port in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, in accordance with the offtake arrangement previously entered into between TVIRD and MRI Trading AG.
    TVIRD expects to earn gross revenues of US$7.2 million from MRI for roughly 5138 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of copper concentrates, bringing total expected gross revenues to US$48.5 million, which includes price adjustments from previous shipments.
    This shipment occurred about four weeks after the previous shipment, reflecting consistent operating throughput and concentrate production achieved by the mine.
    It is anticipated that future shipments of around 5000 dmt each will occur every four weeks depending on specific shipping and marketing arrangements.
    The offtake agreement provides that MRI will purchase all of the copper concentrates produced at Canatuan over the anticipated life of the sulphide operation.
    To date, the Canatuan Mine has produced about 41,000 dmt of copper concentrate. Of that production, 40,059 dmt has been sold through the offtake agreement with MRI.
    Funds generated from the sale of the copper concentrates are expected to be allocated to budgeted capital and operations at Canatuan, exploration and development projects at Canatuan, Balabag and Tamarok, and debt service.

  • INVESTMENT – Funds for Extension Hill

    Funds from a 60% equity investment in Asia Iron Holdings valued at up to Aus$280 million will be used to develop the Extension Hill Magnetite Project in Western Australia.
    Asia Iron, a Hong Kong incorporated holding company and subsidiary of SINOM Investments, has signed a Heads of Term with Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development Investment (CCMD) and Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (Group) Co (CFTEC) for the equity investment.
    In addition, CCMD, SINOM and Asia Iron have also agreed on certain financing arrangements in relation to the transaction and future capital expenditures.
    Asia Iron’s subsidiaries hold mining assets in Australia, including iron ore assets at Extension Hill in the Mount Gibson Range, Koolanooka South and Wolla Wolla in the Mid West of Western Australia. Asia Iron also has coal resources in WA.
    The Extension Hill Magnetite Project is the most advanced of the projects. There are JORC inferred magnetite resources of 1.780 billion tonnes already defined, and about 6.4 billion tonnes of further potential magnetite resources in various stages of exploration.
    The project is well advanced in its pre-development preparation and all major Western Australian and Australian environmental approvals have been issued for the construction and operation of the project at an initial annual production rate of 10 million tonnes of magnetite concentrate with concentrate transported to Geraldton port by slurry pipeline.
    Extension Hill is a unique resources project given the exceptional tonnage and magnetite grade of the deposit and its potential ability to produce relatively high grade magnetite concentrate of about 68% iron with low impurities, particularly alumina and phosphorus.
    CCMD and SINOM will jointly develop Extension Hill and other projects of Asia Iron, and will be entitled to market and purchase the offtake from these projects in proportion to their shareholding.
    Based on estimates by third-party consultants, total capital expenditure for the development of Stage 1 of the Extension Hill project will be about US$2 billion. The current plan is for first production to begin in as early as 2012.
    In parallel, CCMD and SINOM will procure Asia Iron to undertake the necessary planning for the staged expansion of the Extension Hill Magnetite Project utilizing the future port of Oakajee.

  • KAZAKHSTAN – Chinese funds likely

    Two mining companies that operate in Kazakhstan may receive significant Chinese funding to advance promising mining projects.
    Kazakh state welfare fund Samruk-Kazyna says the funds are likely to boost major copper and aluminium projects.
    Samruk-Kaznya chief executive Kairat Kelimbetov says copper producer Kazakhmys may receive a loan of $1.5-$2 billion from China Development Bank for its Bozshakol copper project.
    This project in northern Kazakhstan could produce 12.5 million tonnes of copper ore annually.
    He says another Kazakh miner, ENRC, could get a $400 million loan from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional body in which both Kazakhstan and China participate.
    “ENRC would use the loan to finance its aluminium plant expansion, which is due to double annual capacity to 250,000 tonnes by 2011.”
    Samruk-Kazyna is a shareholder in both Kazakhmys and ENRC.
    “We are in talks with China in order to help ENRC and Kazakhmys finance their projects,” Kairat Kelimbetov says.

  • INVESTMENT – Copper Hill offtake possible

    China National Automation Control System Corp (CACS) has indicated its interest in a copper offtake agreement at Golden Cross Resources’ Copper Hill copper and gold project in Central New South Wales.
    CACS has also indicated to Golden Cross that considerable savings in capital costs can be achieved by fabricating or sourcing all necessary plant and equipment from China and assembling it, in modular form, on site.
    This proposal has been put forward following a review of production requirements in Australia and subsequently in China.
    Access via the existing Copper Hill railway spur from the nearby town of Molong will be of great assistance if this proposal proceeds.
    CACS is also prepared to complete a bankable feasibility study, acceptable to Chinese banks, at a cost to Golden Cross of $5.8 million.
    The Copper Hill project remains Golden Cross’ most advanced project. With in-ground resources containing more than 421,000 tonnes of copper, 1.2 million ounces of gold and 3.3 million tonnes of sulphur, it is a valuable resource for the company, the Central West community and the state of New South Wales.
    Maximizing the return from the existing resource is possible if all sulphides can be floated, roasted and converted into acid soluble copper and free gold within an iron oxide-rich roaster calcine.
    Cathode copper can be produced by solvent extraction from the calcine followed by electro-winning (SX-EW) with the gold leached by cyanide, recovered by carbon-in-leach (CIL) and smelted to gold bullion. Roaster exhaust sulphur dioxide will be captured to produce sulphuric acid for copper leaching with the excess available for sale. The residual iron oxide calcine should find a ready market in the steel making industry.
    On this basis a complete review of the Copper Hill optimized pits has been undertaken by Australian Mine Design & Development (AMDAD) indicating a way forward for the project which delivers an estimated DCF for an operating mine of $360 million, a mine life of almost 20 years producing 335,000 tonnes of copper metal, more than 1.1 million ounces of gold bullion and 3 million tonnes of sulphur.

  • GOLD – Randalls production to double

    Integra Mining plans to progressively increase annual gold production at the Randalls Gold Project in Western Australia to more than 140,000 ounces.
    The company is in the final stages of securing project finance for development of phase 1 production at Randalls, which is about 60km south-east of Kalgoorlie.
    It envisages mining of two open pits, Salt Creek and Maxwells, with a production grade of 3.1 grams/tonne gold, resulting in initial annual production of 75,000 ounces and ore reserves of 320,000 ounces.
    However, recent drilling results have provided Integra with increased confidence of the gold mineralized depth potential of the Santa, Cock-Eyed Bob and Maxwells gold deposits and the revised production target of more than 140,000 ounces is underpinned by the potential for progressive introduction of underground production from these deposits.
    Drilling programs have shifted to delineation of gold mineralization at depth at the Maxwells, Santa and Cock-Eyed Bob banded iron formation (BIF) hosted deposits.
    The ore will be processed through a refurbished facility adjacent to the Salt Creek open pit with an annual throughput capacity of 800,000 tonnes.
    The phase 1 development has an estimated capital cost of Aus$64 million and provides strong financial returns.
    Integra has consistently advised that phase 1 is considered a ‘starter project’ and that the strong cash flow and established infrastructure from phase 1 will be employed to bring additional production opportunities into the profile.
    Recent very high-grade drilling results from Maxwells and ongoing drilling at some 250 metres depth at Santa have highlighted the underground production potential of the BIF hosted gold deposits.
    Recent drilling results from Maxwells include: 9.77 metres @ 34.07 grams/tonne gold, including 6.1 metres @ 53.11 grams/tonne; 12 metres @ 20.91 grams/tonne, including 5 metres @ 46.26 grams/tonne; 11 metres @ 12.85 grams/tonne, including 4 metres @ 31.73 grams/tonne; 16.2 metres @ 10.06 grams/tonne gold, including 1 metre @ 40.81 grams/tonne and 1.5 metres @ 54.90 grams/tonne; and 12.25 metres @ 8.80 grams/tonne.


  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – Leighton contract adjustment

    Leighton Asia has secured an Aus$195 million adjustment to its mining contract to increase production at the Ukhaa Khudag (UHG) Coal Mine in southern Mongolia.
    Energy Resources LLC has requested Leighton Asia to expand the production capacity at its UHG Coal Mine in the South Gobi region.
    The contract adjustment will ramp up annual production rates from the current 2.5 million tonnes to 5 million tonnes by December 2010.
    Leighton Asia was awarded the mining contract for the UHG mine in February 2009 and coal production began in March 2009 with the first million tonnes of metallurgical coal loaded on transport in October.
    The UHG Mine is the first large-scale coal mine in Mongolia developed and operated to international mining standards and practices. Coal from the mine is transported by road about 220km to the Chinese border for sale to China’s expanding steel industry.
    Energy Resources is developing a rail freight line to transport the coal to market at reduced costs and lower environmental impacts.
    It is also developing a 5 million tonnes/year capacity coal handling and processing plant, the first of its kind in Mongolia, to deliver value-added high quality premium hard coking coal.
    The ramp up in mine production will increase the value of Leighton Asia’s mining contract to Aus$480 million.
    Leighton Asia’s managing director Hamish Tyrwhitt says, “This request to expand capacity at UHG Mine is testament to the strong working relationship we have with Energy Resources.
    “Together with our client we have established a commercially competitive mining operation at UHG that meets international best practices in safety and environmental management.
    “Leighton Asia is now well positioned to play a significant role in the development of the Mongolian resources sector.”



  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – Metals consolidation


    Mining engineering service provider Sedgman Limited has consolidated its two metals sector brands under the Sedgman banner.
    The re-brand involves Perth-based minerals process engineering and management company Intermet and Townsville-based ore crushing and screening services provider Pac-Rim. They will now be collectively known as the Metals Division of Sedgman.
    Sedgman Limited manager director Mark Read says the re-brand is a significant milestone in the company’s diversification into the metalliferous sector.
    He says Sedgman is ideally placed in both coal and metals to take full advantage of growth opportunities in Australia and abroad as global economic conditions improve.
    “Sedgman has been recognized internationally for 30 years as a market leader in the design, construction and operation of coal handling and preparation plants.
    “The company’s move into metals was underpinned by the acquisition of Pac-Rim in 2006 and Intermet in 2007.
    “Using the expertise, skills and experience gained through the acquisitions, Sedgman is now able to provide seamless end-to-end minerals processing solutions to our clients across a wide range of mineral types.
    “Consolidation under the single brand, Sedgman, marks another significant step in amalgamating these acquisitions into a single enterprise.”
    Sedgman now comprises two core divisions – the Coal Division and the Metals Division – both with engineering services and operations business units.
    Mark Read says, “At Sedgman we are proud of our people, the projects we undertake and the awards we have won over the years for innovation and excellence.
    “Our commitment to the timely, on-budget delivery of simple, certain quality and a relentless focus on safety sets us apart from our competitors.”
    Sedgman recently undertook a $31 million capital raising to support growth initiatives, particularly in metals, and to improve financial flexibility.

  • The ASIA Miner's live website interview with Linatex

    Global rubber product manufacturer Linatex is focused on supplying quality products with the advantage of superior performance and ‘lowest cost of ownership’.
    In this interview The ASIA Miner’s editor-in-chief John Miller chats to Linatex Group of Companies’ CEO, Neil Macleod, about the launch of a range of Linatex process equipment in the Americas.

    Interview Here

  • LAOS – Sepon expansion proceeds

    MMG will proceed with the copper expansion project at its Sepon gold and copper operations in Laos.
    The company will spend US$60.4 million to expand production at the copper operations and will also spend US$3.7 million for design and construction of a flotation de-sliming circuit to improve pyrite recovery.
    The copper expansion project will increase annual copper cathode production from around 65,000 tonnes to a nameplate capacity of 80,500 tonnes.
    MMG’s chief executive officer Andrew Michelmore says, “We are very pleased to recommence this exciting project and believe that with continued operational improvements a stretch target of 83,000 tonnes is achievable.”
    Significant improvements in copper production capacity have already been achieved with the commissioning of the second autoclave this year which saw capacity increase from around 64,075 tonnes last year to a forecast of 67,500 this year.
    “Construction is under way on a second 115kv power line that will allow us to source Lao domestic hydroelectric power. This will address the risk associated with dependency upon mains power from the existing single transmission line from Thailand and will also provide the additional power support required to complete the expansion project.”
    The expansion project, which is expected to be completed in September 2010, will increase annual plant throughput from 1.35 million tonnes to 2 million tonnes. The project will include modifications to the current plant including increasing the size of the run of mine crusher, an additional surge tank, cooling tower, spiral heat exchangers, thickeners and electrowinning cells.
    About US$103 million was spent on the project prior to its suspension by the previous Sepon operator in late 2008.
    The flotation de-sliming circuit will allow improved pyrite recovery from the leach tails to maintain soluble iron levels in the copper processing circuit. This will result in a reduction in the amount of pyrite purchased annually to supplement the flotation concentrate production and the potential for acid formation in the tailings storage facility.
    Andrew Michelmore says, “The Villabouli district where we operate in Laos holds significant exploration potential and we recently committed an additional US$4 million to exploration in the region.
    “The support of the local community and the Savannakhet and Central governments since Sepon's initial development has been greatly appreciated. But with this support comes a duty and an obligation to ensure that we deliver not only revenue to the national budget but also real economic development to the communities in which we operate.
    “Importantly the expansion project will lead to an increase in local employment and grow the total workforce by more than 700 jobs during the construction peak.”


  • CHINA – Bu Dun Hua potential

    Ongoing exploration at King Solomon Mines’ Bu Dun Hua project has discovered porphyry-style alteration and copper-molybdenum-gold mineralization under sand cover.
    Study of core samples from 2008 drilling of the Lao Ping Tong prospect identified characteristics indicative of the presence of a nearby, but hidden, mineralized porphyry intrusive system.
    To follow this up the company has undertaken intensive surface prospecting, re-modelled the magnetic data covering the central project area, and started diamond drilling through sand and colluvium cover up to 35 metres thick and up to within a radius of 1km from the Lao Ping Tong prospect area.
    The likelihood of un-exposed intrusive stocks underlying the central part of the Bu Dun Hua tenement was reinforced by this further magnetic data modelling.
    Five diamond drill-holes were sited to investigate one potential intrusive centre, the Whitehorse area, about 1km north-east of Lao Ping Tong. Another tested a potential centre about 800 metres southwest of Lao Ping Tong.
    Some encouraging observations can be made from assay results received to date.
    Porphyry-style hydrothermal alteration has been found in every drill-hole while indications of base metal mineralization occur throughout. The style of the alteration and mineralization is typical of the mid to outer halo zone of a mineralized porphyry centre.
    A full data review and independent expert comment has been carried out on the alteration and mineralization encountered to date at the Marmot Ridge Copper-Molybdenum Project.
    A consequence of this was the realization that copper mineralization encountered in the central and southern parts of the main ridge is sourced from outside the low grade porphyry molybdenum-copper deposit discovered under the northern slopes.
    In light of this, the company re-modelled its magnetic geophysics data focusing in particular on a large magnetic anomaly on the south side of the ridge. This work yielded indications of a 1km x 0.6km underlying intrusive body with a cusp approaching to within about 200 metres of surface.
    Drilling at the project has encountered anomalous copper and gold intercepts.

  • INDONESIA – Straits to grow Sebuku

    A performance payment of US$115 million will enable Straits Asia Resources to expand coal operations at its Sebuku project.
    The payment is the result of the sale of Straits’ 60% interest in Straits Bulk and Industrial to the PTT Group of companies, which was completed in April 2009.
    It was paid as a result of the Indonesian government formally approving the re-zoning of land at Sebuku as production forest. The main rezoned area at Sebuku is directly adjacent to the north of the mining operations in the Tanah Putih pit.
    With this re-zoning Straits Asia is now in a position to uncover substantial additional resource potential and to execute plans to recover coal from this area and expand coal production at the Sebuku operations.
    The annual installed infrastructure capacity at Sebuku is 8 million tonnes of coal production and Straits Asia has stated its target to achieve this rate within 3 to 5 years.

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – Tulkubash mineralization

    Chaarat Gold Holdings have received encouraging results from channel sampling of an underground adit and a surface drilling program on the Tulkubash Zone at the 604sqkm Chaarat Gold Project.
    The best sampling result was 18 metres @ 4.60 grams/tonne gold, including 5.78 metres @ 9.09 grams/tonne and the best drilling result from the five surface holes was 24.6 metres @ 4.88 grams/tonne.
    This work was undertaken in the T0700 Project Area that targets the southern part of the Tulkubash Zone.
    This zone is one of three parallel striking mineralization trends at the Chaarat Project which also include the Main Zone and the Contact Zone where at the end of 2008 a JORC compliant resource estimate of 3.34 million ounces @ 4.3 grams/tonne gold was reported. 
    The Tulkubash zone has been delineated by soil anomalies over a strike of about 4km, of which only 500 metres of strike at the southern-most part of the zone has been explored by drilling. The gold mineralization within the Tulkubash zone is hosted by quartzites over wide zones at shallow depths.
    One of the objectives of the work conducted in the T0700 project has been to evaluate the potential for this mineralization to be included as a possible future open pit mining resource. These encouraging results will help direct future work towards these goals.
    Chaarat’s CEO Dekel Golan says, “Significant progress has been made to improve our understanding of the open pit potential of the Chaarat deposit.
    “Management believes that if this potential is identified and proves economic, it will have a significant impact on the economics of the project. These results are yet another step in achieving this important goal.
    We look forward to further drilling results and remain on track to announce a new resource update in the first quarter of 2010.”
    The Chaarat Project is within the Middle Tien Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan which form part of the Tien Shan gold belt.


  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – Uranium stake sold

    Monaro Mining has sold a 75% interest in its Kyrgyz Republic uranium assets to Hong Kong-based operation Gate Bridge Company.
    Under the terms of the sale agreement, the company will retain a free-carried 25% interest in the projects until such time as Gate Bridge generates a pre-feasibility study on any one of the licence areas covered by the agreement. It is obliged to generate a pre-feasibility study within five years.
    The agreement is subject to the completion of due diligence investigations by Gate Bridge. These are expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
    Upon executive of a share sale agreement, Gate Bridge will sole fund all exploration and administrative costs associated with the project.
    Gate Bridge is owned by a consortium of Hong Kong and Chinese investors and was formed by International Pacific Securities chairman Geoff Hill.
    The company proposes to focus on the development of uranium resources in Asia and elsewhere with a view to meeting future Chinese demand.
    Monaro’s chairman Jim Malone says, “We are extremely pleased with this agreement and the involvement of Geoff Hill in the project. Geoff is a highly regarded business identity in the resources sector and his exposure to China and Asia bodes extremely well for the Kyrgyz project.
    “At the same time it allows Monaro to continue down its path of consolidation and focus on its key uranium assets in the USA.”



  • MONGOLIA – Oyu Tolgoi funds boost

    Ivanhoe Mines has received US$388 million from Rio Tinto to advance the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex in southern Mongolia.
    The funds complete Rio’s tranche 2 private placement and its equity ownership in Ivanhoe has now increased to 19.7%.
    The additional funds will be used to help build and commission the open-pit mine and to advance development of the underground block-cave mine at Ivanhoe’s Oyu Tolgoi project.
    The terms of the private placement were negotiated as part of the original Ivanhoe-Rio Tinto strategic partnership established in October 2006 to develop the Oyu Tolgoi complex.
    With the receipt of these funds Ivanhoe’s consolidated cash balance has increased to about US$610 million. On a pro forma basis, including a financing by a subsidiary that is expected to close shortly, its cash position is expected to increase to US$1.1 billion.


  • FIJI – Exploration boosts Faddy’s

    Geopacific Resources continues to progress the Faddy’s Gold Project in Fiji with high gold values found in a variety of rock types while the potential for outcropping oxide mineralization has been identified at a nearby prospect.
    The potential exists in the north Mistry area, which is 1.8km south-west of Faddy’s and could add significant future processing alternatives to the Faddy’s oxide mineralization.
    The company has also found anomalous gold in outcrops of quartz breccia near Tau village in the southern portion of the Nabila Project.
    At Faddy’s Geopacific continues to review procession options while also assessing funding options to further explore and develop the prospect.
    Several mineralized drill core and surface rock samples were assayed with best results being 9.79 grams/tonne gold, 6.75 grams/tonne, 5.56 grams/tonne and 1.05 grams/tonne. The results show that mineralization is widespread throughout different host rock types.
    Electron microprobe assays of gold mineralized drill core were undertaken. Observed gold grains were generally around 1-10 micron across and have elevated silver contents ranging from 15.2-27.8%. Other elements associated with the gold include small amounts of iron, bismuth, sulphur and copper. Trace silver telluride was identified in one thin section.
    Many of the gold grains identified in the study occur as small individual grains marginal to clusters of pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite which are embedded in magnesium-manganese carbonate-quartz alteration. The pyrite grains associated with gold are commonly zoned, low in arsenic content and have no detectable gold content. Similarly, small grains of galena, chalcopyrite and sphalerite are gold poor.
    Field evaluation was undertaken at the Mistry North Prospect which is immediately north of the old Mistry Gold Mine. Exploration by other companies in the 1990s reported anomalous gold in numerous soil auger and rock chip channel samples along trend and directly north of the old workings.
    As follow-up, Geopacific plans to drill beneath the anomalous surface gold to determine the depth and width extent of the oxidized gold zone. About 150 metres north east of Mistry North and along trend towards the Faddy’s deposit rock chip samples of outcrop are reported to contain 22.3 grams/tonne gold and 19.1 grams/tonne gold.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – High grade Poi assays

    Stream geochemical sampling at MIL Resources’ Poi Gold Project has returned further high grade assays which have defined additional zones of gold anomalism.
    The sampling was designed to infill and step out from the known boundaries of the geochemical system developing within the Poi intrusive complex.
    Assay results from pan concentrates defined two additional gold zones within the Poi intrusive complex. The new zones, the Mogambos and Blue Rock, also extended the system to the north-west.
    There were 24 pan concentrate samples collected from drainages along the radiometric anomaly defined by the Poi syenite ridge and the Bona Fault.
    Peak pan concentrate assays from the sampling include Mogambos 12.15 grams/tonne gold, 11.90 grams/tonne and 7.36 grams/tonne; Wacheri 6.93 grams/tonnes; Morti 4.52 grams/tonne; Blue Rock 1.18 grams/tonne; Bona Flats 1.13 grams/tonne; and Poi 0.89 grams/tonne.
    The work in-filled an area where there had been limited sampling to date 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.
    Work to date indicates that Poi has characteristics typical of porphyry gold copper systems found in island arc settings such as PNG.
    Meanwhile at the Amazon Bay ironsands project the Amazon South exploration licence has been granted by the government. This licence covers 956sqkm of prospective offshore ironsands south of Amazon Bay where recent sampling returned encouraging values.
    Sampling and metallurgical studies continue on Amazon Bay ironsands.

  • GOLD – Melrose project interest

    Korab Resources has received a number of proposals and expressions of interest from China, India, Europe and the Middle East to jointly develop or to finance development of the Melrose gold project in Western Australia.
    Melrose, which is 160km north of Leonora in the Eastern Goldfields, comprises several deposits on three granted mining leases stretching over 7km.
    It contains a JORC code compliant resource base of 6.7 million tonnes grading an average of 1.43 grams/tonne for a total of 306,000 ounces in oxide and sulphide ores. The global average grade for sulphide mineralization is 4.1 grams/tonne gold.
    Veins contain visible gold and grade up to 266 grams/tonne gold. Mineralization extends from 10 metres to depths of 250 metres and remains open at depth. Drilling confirms potential for additional high grade shoots and bulk low grade mineralization.
    The project is in the heavily mineralized Wanganoo greenstone belt just east of the Yandal greenstone belt which contains numerous multi-million ounce gold deposits such as Bronzewing (3 million ounces), Darlot/Centenary (4 million), Mt. McClure (1 million), Thunderbox (2 million) and Jundee (3 million).
    Korab intends to complete the metallurgy testing, process design, mine design and the permitting process by the end of 2010. Mining is expected to start in late 2010 and gold production is planned to start in early 2011.
    It is planned that initially gold ore will be toll treated at one of the nearby plants. Korab is evaluating several equipment procurement options, including the use of refurbished second hand equipment.
    Korab intends to continue processing the ore on a toll treatment basis while its own processing plant is being constructed and commissioned. Once Korab’s plant has been completed, all ore will be treated at the Melrose mill.

  • INVESTMENT – Korean funds for Bandanna

    Queensland coal developer Bandanna Energy has finalized a $22.5 million equity investment and marketing agreement with leading Korean energy group SAMTAN Co.
    The funds and agreement will help Bandanna expedite development of its coal assets.
    The agreement gives SAMTAN a 10% stake in Bandanna through a $22.5 million share placement, together with rights to market Bandanna’s coal in Korea and right to negotiate purchase of 20% of Bandanna’s coal at market prices.
    A rapidly expanding Korean-based group, SAMTAN last year exported 22 million tonnes of coal from its Indonesian KIDECO mine and has now extended its business to Mongolia and Australia. The company has a 16-year coal production and marketing history, now exporting to more than 20 countries.
    SAMTAN’s energy and resources development division senior managing director Park Soon Il, who has joined the Bandanna board, said the Korean company was keen to extend its energy interests in Australia and was impressed with the quality of Bandanna’s Bowen Basin thermal coal assets.
    Proceeds of the placement will go toward continuing exploration, future development and appraisal, and future infrastructure requirements of Bandanna’s portfolio of thermal coal projects.
    The projects include Arcadia, Arcturus, Dingo West and Springsure Creek in the Bowen Basin ‘Golden Triangle’.
    Bandanna’s managing director Raymond Shaw says coal exploration drilling is continuing. Already, this has lifted Bandanna’s resource inventory to 1.145 billion tonnes of inferred and 102 million tonnes of indicated resources.
    Bandanna has completed a concept study for Dingo West as a potential open-cut and has started concept studies for a potential open cut at Arcturus and the potential underground longwall mine at Alpha, which is excluded from the SAMTAN off-take agreement). All are close to existing infrastructure.

  • INVESTMENT – Centrex deal approved

    Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has approved a Chinese-based investment worth up to Aus$271 million in South Australia iron ore developer Centrex Metals.
    The FIRB decision is unconditional and has cleared the way for China’s third largest steel group, Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Co (WISCO), to earn a 60% stake in the iron ore rights to five Centrex-owned tenements on South Australia’s southern Eyre Peninsula.
    WISCO has informed Centrex that China’s National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) has also approved its investment in the Australian iron group. WISCO is now gaining approval from the State Department of Commerce.
    WISCO will take a direct equity stake of 15% in the enlarged capital of the Adelaide-based iron group at a cost of about Aus$10.1 million.
    WISCO is also injecting up to Aus$186 million directly into Centrex, with staged payments based on achieving progressive JORC inferred resource milestones ranging up to 2 billion tonnes.
    It is also sole funding an additional and the first Aus$75 million injection into Eyre Iron, the formal 40:60 Centrex-WISCO joint venture which will undertake the initial exploration and study programs on the five tenements to develop as Stage 1, two x 5 million tonne magnetite concentrate operations.
    Outside of this total potential commitment, Centrex and WISCO will also form another joint venture on a 50:50 basis, to build a Cape size capable deep water export port north of Tumby Bay.
    Centrex’s chairman David Lindh says, “What this means is that Centrex will enter 2010 with a well funded iron ore growth strategy that under existing contracts and commitments, is already a minerals export business worth around $500 million in the next few years.
    “Significantly, all of the cornerstones are now in place to rapidly escalate our iron ore growth on Eyre Peninsula into a billion dollar business with further and considerable multi-project development opportunities.”
    WISCO is ranked third in its sector in China, with annual capacity of 30 million tonnes of steel. Its operations are predominately in Wuhan in the Hubei province of central China.

  • INVESTMENT – Alliances vital for FerrAus

    ALLIANCES with two Chinese investors are an important component for FerrAus as it attempts to unlock the iron ore potential of the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia.
    FerrAus’ chairman John Nyvlt says, “The economic disruption over the last year has underscored the global shift in economic and financial influence to China, as well as to other parts of East Asia, the Middle East, India and Russia.
    “Each of these regions has a long-term need for economic development and infrastructure building and consequently, increasing consumption of iron and steel, based on increasing urbanization and growing populations.
    “Supporting this is a trend for the steel mills of the world to increase the diversity of supply for steel making raw materials.
    “Several regions of the world and Australia in particular, have been the target of a number of significant multinational investments in new iron ore projects that are seen to be independent of the resource majors.”
    He cited relationships with two Chinese companies as being important for the company’s growth prospects.
    “Western Mining Co (WMC), became a major shareholder in July 2008. WMC is a top tier Chinese integrated base metals mining and smelting company that has assisted FerrAus with its relationships in China.
    “In September 2009, FerrAus reached a strategic cooperation agreement and proposed share placement with a subsidiary of China Railway Materials Commercial Corporation (CRM), a large-scale Chinese state-owned enterprise. Its major business is to provide materials for the construction and operation of China’s railway systems, and it has substantial business in international trade, particularly in steel and logistics.
    “Subject to approval, FerrAus will make a placement to CRM’s subsidiary to take a 12% holding in the company. The placement consideration will be about $12.6 million.
    “The Board considers that the strategic co-operation with CRM 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 and potentially, those of other East Pilbara iron ore juniors.”


  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New East Asia director

    East Asia Minerals has appointed Robert Parsons to the company's board of directors.
    Robert Parsons has more than 40 years of experience with mining corporations of all sizes with respect to taxation, economic feasibility, financing and tax strategies, dispute resolution and related matters.
    The company believes his extensive background and experience as an international mining professional will add further depth to the board and will create the synergies needed as the company's international projects continue to receive progressive exploration and advancement.
    Robert Parsons is a chartered accountant and retired partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers. He serves as vice president of the World Mines Ministries Forum and on the International Affairs Committee of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.
    He has served on the board of the PDAC from 1985 to 2003, executive council of the Minerals Industry Federation, the advisory council of the Centre for Resource Studies at Queens University, the professional advisory board of the Government of Canada's Petroleum Monitoring Board, and as a member of the board of both the Indonesian Mining Association and the Canada-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce.
    He has also served on the boards of a number of listed companies with mineral interests in Indonesia and Latin America, and he lives in Indonesia.


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  • INDONESIA – Initial East Kutai reserve

    An initial JORC probable in-situ reserve of 956 million tonnes of thermal coal has been defined at Churchill Mining’s East Kutai Coal Project.
    The reserve report, compiled by independent coal geology and mining specialists SMG Consultants, follows a resource upgrade in August of 1.33 billion tonnes of coal into the JORC categories of measured and indicated from a total global resource of more than 3 billion tonnes.
    The report also describes a comparatively low cumulative average strip ratio of 3.6:1, which should result in excellent project economics.
    Churchill, which has a 75% interest in East Kutai, continues to progress the feasibility study and other work associated with the project.
    Tenders have been issued for all the main components of the project including the port and its facilities, the conveyor system, service road and power plant, along with all the relevant requirements at the mine site.
    All bids are expected to be in and reviewed before the end of 2009 so that the feasibility can be completed and the JORC Proven Reserve defined.
    Churchill’s CEO Paul Mazak says, “We are extremely pleased to report the initial reserve statement for the project. This is a significant milestone for Churchill and its Indonesian partners. The size of the initial reserve demonstrates the world-class size of the project.
    “The company believes that a project of this scale and magnitude is extremely attractive to end-users of thermal coal, particularly in India and China.
    “With the value of East Kutai being enhanced by the strategic location in relation to the ever-growing Asian coal markets and combined with the steady progress that has been made technically on the project, it is likely that the interest in the project will increase.”


  • INDONESIA – Long Miwah intersection

    Continued diamond drilling at East Asia Minerals’ Miwah Gold Project in Aceh Province has returned a 107.3 metre intersection grading 1.05 grams/tonne gold.
    The intersection north of a previous hole at the Main Miwah Gold Zone also included 1.61 grams/tonne gold over 25.5 metres and 1.25 grams/tonne over 21 metres. Gold mineralization was encountered from 93 to 200.3 metres downhole depth.
    This hole was designed to test for extensions north of the previous hole and north-east of high grade surface channel samples.
    Mineralization in the hole is open in all directions and at depth, and is interpreted to be contiguous upwards to the south-west towards surface gold mineralization and to the south.
    Due to gold-bearing alteration textures, the mineralized interval contained minor cavities that were attributed a zero gold value in the composite calculation.
    The intersection further demonstrates the veracity of the shallow, laterally extensive 1.2km long Main Miwah Gold Zone.
    To date more than 600 metres of strike length has been drill validated by East Asia Minerals, and the drill rig has been moved a further 200 metres to the east.
    The Miwah Gold Prospect was partially defined by about 3000 metres of drilling in 11 holes by a previous explorer in 1997.  The previous explorer suggested potential for 100 million tonnes @ 1.1 to 1.2 grams/tonne gold, however a review of the historical data indicates that early drilling was parallel to higher grade structures at surface.
    Hence, in addition to greater mineralized tonnage, significantly higher overall grades are anticipated from better geological understanding, results of the company's detailed sampling, and properly oriented drill holes.


  • MONGOLIA – Entrée receives licences

    Entrée Gold’s application for conversion of the Shivee Tolgoi and Javhlant exploration concessions to mining licences has been approved.
    The licence areas surround Ivanhoe Mines’ Oyu Tolgoi Copper-Gold Project in southern Mongolia.
    The eastern portion of the Shivee Tolgoi licence and the entire Javhlant licence are subject to a joint venture with Ivanhoe. Mining licences have a 30 year term with two renewals of 20 years each possible.
    Entrée’s president and CEO Greg Crowe says, “The granting of the mining licences provides the long term security necessary for Entrée and its joint venture partner, Ivanhoe Mines, to advance the known deposits at Oyu Tolgoi through development to production.
    “It also provides sufficient time for testing the potential along strike extensions to Entrée’s Hugo North Extension and Heruga deposits and for the diligent and systematic exploration of other copper, gold and molybdenum prospects.
    “The granting of these mining licenses represents a pivotal moment in the advancement of our Mongolian assets.”
    Title to the portion of the Shivee Tolgoi licence outside of the joint venture, Shivee Tolgoi West, is owned by Entrée LLC, the company’s Mongolian subsidiary.
    The company believes further exploration is warranted on Shivee Tolgoi West, which covers more than 35,000 hectares, to identify additional mineralization which could be processed through the Oyu Tolgoi facilities.
    Successful conversion of the exploration licences to mining licences was a condition precedent to the Investment Agreement signed between Ivanhoe Mines, Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government on October 6.
    Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto are major shareholders of Entrée, holding about 15% and 16% respectively.




  • PHILIPPINES – Tampakan resource upgrade

    An upgraded mineral resource estimate for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in the southern Philippines has affirmed the project’s importance as a future global copper supplier.
    The estimate has increased the overall mineral resource by 8% to 2.4 billion tonnes, has increased measured tonnes by 25% to 780 million tonnes, and has increased contained copper from 12.8 million tonnes to 13.5 million tonnes and contained gold from 15.2 million ounces to 15.8 million.
    Indophil Resources holds a 34.23% interest in the project, with Xstrata holding a 62.5% stake as well as project management responsibilities. Philippine firm Alsons Corporation holds a 3.27% interest in the project and has arrangements in place so that Indophil may acquire that interest.
    Indophil’s CEO Richard Laufmann says, “This new and significantly higher Tampakan mineral resource comes at a time when the vast body of research points to an emerging global supply shortfall in copper over the medium term, underpinned by an overhang of ageing mines and a clear lack of new near-term, low-cost and large copper projects.
    “The sheer quality and scale of the Tampakan deposit together with its production profile could not be more relevant and timely.
    “Tampakan stands out as one of the world’s best near-term undeveloped copper deposits, and as it moves closer to finalization of approvals and first production, the Tampakan deposit is being rated accordingly.”
    The upgraded estimate also says there is significant upside for growth and new discovery in the project area. The previous mineral resource estimate was issued in December 2007.
    The new estimate, calculated under the 2004 JORC Code guidelines, has been delivered as part of the US$74 million final feasibility study which is due for completion in the second quarter of 2010.
    Studies to date have targeted an initial 20 years of operation at an average annual production of
    340,000 tonnes of copper and 350,000 ounces of gold with a cash cost estimate of less than US46 cents per pound of copper after gold credits and before molybdenum credits. First production is slated for early 2016.
    The Tampakan project is on the southern island of Mindanao, about 65km north of General Santos City.


  • PHILIPPINES – Initial drilling success

    Initial drilling results from Mindoro Resources’ American Tunnels prospect confirm gold and porphyry copper-gold mineralization potential.
    The company has received results from the first four reconnaissance drill holes at the prospect, which is in the Agata Project, Surigao Gold District.
    Significant intrusive-related gold mineralization was intersected in hole three, confirming the gold potential of the project.
    In addition, two holes intersected strongly anomalous copper with porphyry-mineralization characteristics, interpreted to be on the fringes of a porphyry copper-gold system.
    Ongoing drilling is targeting the interpreted mineralized intrusive source.
    The initial test of 1200-1500 metres of drilling at American Tunnels was designed to test gold mineralization and an underlying porphyry copper-gold target.
    The drilling is focused on an erosional window through ultra-mafic cap rocks, where mineralized intrusives are exposed and where artisanal miners are carrying out near-surface, small-scale gold and copper mining.
    Although the best mineralization is anticipated to be associated with sulphides, and therefore the chargeability anomaly to the immediate south, initial drilling is focused on the area of exposed intrusives instead. Objectives are to confirm the mineralization models and their significance as a prelude to a more intensive drill program along the rest of 6km mineralized trend.
    Hole three intersected 15 metres @ 2.32 grams/tonne gold from 9.30 metres. Hole four, scissored in the opposite direction, hit three unrecorded historical artisanal mine stopes, and therefore did not encounter significant gold grades.
    The drill and underground sample results, combined with the extensive distribution of shallow artisanal gold workings, indicate the area has excellent gold potential.
    Holes one and two targeted the high-grade copper veins. They were terminated at shallow depths on encountering ultra-mafics following thin intercepts of altered monzonite. Hole one intersected 8.40 metres of 0.22% copper and hole two intersected 23.5 metres of 417 ppm copper.
    Holes three and four both encountered thick sections of anomalous copper, as well as copper-mineralized veins, both associated with porphyry-style alteration. Hole three encountered 44.4 metres of 272 ppm copper. Hole four intersected 83.5 metres of 367 ppm copper, including 1.9 metres of 0.28% copper associated with rose quartz veins typical of porphyry systems.



  • PHILIPPINES – Manidyo drilling to start

    More detailed exploration, including drilling, is expected to start shortly at the Manidyo prospect on Royalco Resources’ Pao/Yabbe Gold Project.
    Manidyo, a high-sulphidation epithermal vein comprising several sub-parallel veins and enargite-cemented vein breccias, is the main prospect on the Pao tenement.
    A sample from this vein assayed 49 grams/tonne gold, 348 grams/tonne silver and 3.94% copper.
    Community support programs, including road rehabilitation, educational supplements, employment and medical missions, have been ongoing.
    The presence of a tropical depression and two typhoons in the past month have had minimal impact in the plan to start more detailed exploration.
    The tenement application for Yabbe has achieved FPIC approval and the next stage is approval by the relevant regional director of the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB), which is expected shortly.
    An informal joint venture with the Bugkalot indigenous community over possible exploration in their ancestral domain is progressing at a slow rate while executive activities are focused on Pao and Yabbe in the immediate term. This region lies to the east and south east of the Pao/Yabbe tenements.
    Meanwhile at the Gambang Copper Project approvals to proceed with the second phase exploration area, including the Manga prospect, and the third phase, including the Cableway Prospect, have been approved by the NCIP and are awaiting final confirmation by the MGB.
    A significant level of interest has been received from a number of international mining groups to farm into this tenement. The extent of this interest will be quantified this month as final due diligence reviews are being completed by each party involved.


  • LAOS – New Sepon focus

    The Minerals and Metals Group (MMG) has resumed exploration of the oxide gold and copper potential surrounding the Sepon mining operations in Laos.
    This program had been deferred by Sepon’s previous operators OZ Minerals before MMG’s parent group China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals purchased a number of the company’s assets.
    MMG has also resumed construction of a second power line into the Sepon copper and gold operations in Laos at a cost of US$12 million.
    It will also review the decision by OZ Minerals to put on hold the expansion of the copper processing capacity at Sepon from its current annual capacity of around 65,000 tonnes to 80,000 tonnes.
    MMG’s chief executive officer Andrew Michelmore says that the formation of MMG has created the opportunity to establish a leading minerals and metals business with operations in Australia and Laos, and exploration and development projects in Australia, South-East Asia and North America.
    "We've set a vision for MMG to build the next generation's leading global, diversified minerals and metals business through an initial focus on growing the value of our assets and longer term focus on sustainably operating resources projects around the world.
    "Our initial challenge has been to focus on the business fundamentals, manage the decoupling from OZ Minerals and deliver on the cost efficiencies identified earlier in the year. Now, the challenge lies in developing the substantial future potential of the business."
    China Minmetals has given the senior management team a remit to grow MMG into a major mid-tier resource business. The team has developed a strategic plan to determine the long-term focus of the business.



  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – Mineralization at depth

    Kentor Gold continues to increase the Savoyardy Gold Project’s potential with drilling resulting in high grade intersections some 70 metres below the level of the existing mining drive.
    The underground drilling is taking place on Section 2a and one diamond drill hole returned an intersection of 3.1 metres @ 9.83 grams/tonne gold at a depth of 70 metres down hole. This is consistent with another intersection of 2.95 metres @ 7.5 grams/tonne at a depth of 82 metres down hole from a different hole on Section 2a.
    The surface and underground diamond drilling program started in July with the aim of extending and upgrading the existing resource. Extensive underground access is available from exploration work carried out in the 1970s.
    The drill rigs on site have now completed the 9-hole surface drilling program, the 7-hole underground drilling program, and a follow-up surface drilling program of 6 drill holes.
    Kentor’s managing director Simon Milroy says: “The underground drilling program has been successful in providing evidence that the high grade mineralization at Savoyardy’s Rudny Prospect continues with depth, increasing expectations that a substantial mining operation can be supported.”
    Savoyardy is about 145km south-east of the city of Osh in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project is also adjacent to and along strike from the Sawayerdun Project in the Xinjiang Province of China. Majestic Gold has announced a resource of 1.5 million ounces of gold from the results to date and Canadian listed GobiMin has recently announced its commitment to farm into the project.
    Exploration trenches and adits constructed at Savoyardy in the 1970s show the presence of high grade gold and antimony contained in a number of structures with widths of up to 27 metres. The mineralized structures can be traced for more than 7km to the south-west along strike where it meets the Savoyardy exploration licence at the Chinese border.




  • SILVER – Promising drilling results

    ARGENT Minerals has received promising results from a drilling program aimed to test for extensions to existing resources at its Kempfield Silver Project in New South Wales.
    The results from 26 short RC holes open up new areas for detailed follow-up aimed at increasing open pittable material.
    Best results include 8 metres from 34 metres @ 13.9 grams/tonne silver, 0.17 grams/tonne gold, 1.70% lead and 0.61% zinc, including 4 metres @ 204.0 grams/tonne silver, 0.29 grams/tonne gold, 2.77% lead and 0.35% zinc; 12 metres from 28 metres @ 109.7 grams/tonne silver, 0.27 grams/tonne gold, 0.35% lead and 0.12% zinc; 4 metres from 26 metres @ 141.7 grams/tonne silver, 0.40 grams/tonne gold, 1.46% lead and 0.02% zinc; and 4 metres from 30 metres @ 143.0 grams/tonne silver, 0.18% lead and 0.85% zinc.
    The company’s major focus is the Kempfield silver heap leach project and its near-term objective is to be producing silver in 2011.
    The aim is then to use cashflow from the silver project to become a self-funded mineral exploration and development company.
    Kempfield is south of the town of Blayney in Central New South Wales and south-east of Newcrest’s Cadia Valley gold and copper mines.
    A 3km long silver-rich barite horizon has been identified with six zones of mineralization.
    The company has identified a resource of 13 million ounces of silver, 9 million of which lies within 70 metres of the surface. More than 80% of the resource is in the measured or indicated categories.
    A scoping study is under way into a silver heap leach project while there is also gold potential at the nearby Mt Dudley and Trunkey Creek tenements.
    An additional program of short RC holes targeting near-surface open pittable material is due to start shortly.



  • INVESTMENT – Chinese funding boost

    Moly Mines has secured substantial Chinese funding which will enable it to advance its Spinifex Ridge Molybdenum/Copper Project.
    The company has signed a subscription agreement with Hanlong Mining Investment, a subsidiary of the China-based, privately-owned, Sichuan Hanlong Group.
    Hanlong will provide Moly with US$200 million in equity and debt funding and has committed to provide or arrange US$500 million debt funding for Spinifex Ridge.
    The US$200 million equity and debt funding is in addition to the recent institutional placement and share purchase plan.
    The total funding will enable Moly to repay all amounts outstanding on an interim financing facility by February 2010 and could allow development to start at Spinifex Ridge as early as mid-2010.
    Moly Mines’ CEO Derek Fisher says, “This agreement represents a wonderful opportunity for Moly Mines to clear existing debt and build the Spinifex Ridge Molybdenum/Copper Project significantly ahead of the point at which funding from the traditional debt and equity markets becomes available.
    “The company could be in the envious position of having constructed the molybdenum/copper mine at the beginning of the next metals cycle, benefitting from higher metal prices in the mine’s early production years.”
    Hanlong’s managing director Hui Xiao says, “We are delighted to be entering into this agreement with Moly Mines and are very excited about the future, working together to build the Spinifex Ridge project.
    “This agreement represents a major step in the international expansion of Hanlong Group and Moly Mines is the ideal partner for that expansion. We believe that as a privately held Chinese company we can offer enormous value to Moly shareholders as well as the Australian people.
    “We will not only be working to build a world class molybdenum mine in Western Australia but also to building Moly Mines into one of the world’s strongest molybdenum companies.”




  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – New scheduling software

    Gemcom Software International has released Gemcom MineSched 6.1, a new version of its next generation scheduling software for surface and underground mines of all sizes and types.
    MineSched 6.1 improves productivity and profits beyond what could be achieved by manual scheduling. It incorporates a unique four-step scheduling workflow and visual scheduling canvas to enable mine planners to create better schedules more quickly compared to other software.
    It offers an unprecedented ability to accommodate for the unique planning characteristics found in every mining project and includes customer-driven enhancements such as linking to external Microsoft Excel workbooks for easy integration to existing planning processes.
    Combined with new features to allow mine planners to more intuitively manipulate, analye and report their scheduling scenarios, MineSched 6.1 helps produce practical schedules for any mine planning situation.
    Mining engineer at Golden Star Resources’ Bogosa/Prestea Gold Mine, Ruth Menz, says, “We use MineSched for weekly, mid-range and long-term scheduling. It is a user-friendly software product that is easy to set up and learn. In fact, it’s so easy to use that it has increased my confidence and passion for scheduling.
    “With the software we are able to set realistic targets for the company and we know the life-of-mine at any point in time in just a few clicks.
    “MineSched has also helped increase our efficiency, saving costs and reducing scheduling time, enabling us to spend more time using the end results it outputs. In addition, the software’s seamless workflows have reduced errors as there is no longer a need to manually input block model attributes.”
    Gemcom’s product line manager, scheduling and optimisation Eli Alston says, “At Gemcom, we engage with our customers and others in the industry to learn about their needs and objectives, both from a business and user perspective, and how software can better support them.
    “This has led us to focus on ensuring we deliver the best software user-experience possible by providing solutions which are easy to use.
    “By doing so, both the software user and their organization benefit because the user becomes more proficient with the product faster and has the intuitive tools needed to develop mine plans that lower the cost of mining and processing.”
    MineSched 6.1 benefits include:
    • Integration with other Gemcom systems including Gemcom Surpac, Gemcom GEMS, and Gemcom Minex, creates a complete mine planning solution, through which many manual and routine tasks can be automated;
    • Decreased implementation and ongoing support costs due to reduced reliance on vendor setup services compared to other scheduling systems;
    • More powerful scheduling scenario manipulation;
    • Fine-tuned underground development scheduling; and
    • Enhanced visualization and analysis of scheduling scenarios.
    • Established in 1985, Gemcom has a global reach, delivering comprehensive solutions in all major mining centres in more than 90 countries.


  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New Jinshan CEO

    Jinshan Gold Mines has appointed Xin Song as chief executive officer and company director.
    Xin Song is currently vice president of China National Gold Group, in charge of technology management and resource development.
    The appointment follows the resignation of Zhaoxue Sun as CEO. He has, however, remained as chairman of the board and says, “Mr Song has extensive experience in the mining industry, leading exploration and resource development.
    “He will provide strong leadership for the company as it expands its platform for growth and pursues its strategy to become a leading global mining company.
    Jinshan has also appointed Gregory Hall to the board of directors. He is a seasoned geologist with more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry and extensive experience working with global mining companies.
    In his career, Gregory Hall has been involved in the discoveries of Barrick Gold’s Granny Smith mine, Rio Tinto’s Yandi iron ore mine and the Keringal mine in Australia.
    Zhaoxue Sun says, “Mr Hall’s expertise will be a tremendous asset to Jinshan as the company identifies new acquisition opportunities and pursues its growth strategy.”

  • INDONESIA - Trenggalek drilling to start

    Arc Exploration intends to start drilling at its high-grade epithermal Trenggalek Gold Project in East Java, Indonesia, early in 2010.
    The company has entered into a strategic alliance with a leading drilling contractor in Indonesia to undertake a 5000 metre diamond core drilling program with the contract valued at US$825,000.
    The alliance means that the cost of the drilling will be paid by the issue of fully paid ordinary shares and options.
    The company hopes to raise more than $400,000 through a share placement and about $3.1 million from a rights issue.
    Arc is an Australian listed gold company focused on exploration in Indonesia. It aims to generate value through exploration and the discovery of high-grade gold, silver and associated base metal deposits within Indonesia’s highly prospective magmatic arcs and associated terranes.
    The company has a 95% joint venture interest with PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara in the Trenggalek tenement and a 95% interest in the Bima tenement in East Sumbawa of West Nusa Tenggara Province.
    In association with Anglo American Group, the company is also exploring for large porphyry copper-gold deposits in Papua.
    The company’s senior management have a proven track record in Indonesia. Managing director John Carlile established and led the exploration team at Newcrest Mining that discovered high-grade epithermal gold in the Gosowong District on Halmahera and the exploration manager Brad Wake led the exploration team at Aurora Gold that discovered the epithermal gold project at Toka Tindung in North Sulawesi.
    Trenggalek, which covers 30,044 hectares, contains several outcropping gold mineralized veins and locally high-grade vein float. It has the potential to become a major new gold district containing multiple deposits.
    Work already completed by Arc has confirmed the presence of three previously defined gold-bearing vein systems and has also identified several new outcropping gold-bearing veins and areas of high-grade vein float.

  • INDONESIA – Martabe reserves increase

    Gold reserves at G-Resources Group’s Martabe Gold-Silver Project in North Sumatra have increased by 12% to 2.49 million JORC compliant ounces and the gold grade has increased from 1.9 grams/tonne to 2.2 grams/tonne.
    As well as gold, the ore reserves contained entirely within the Pit 1 deposit at Martabe are estimated to contain 32.41 million ounces of silver with a grade of 28.8 grams/tonne.
    The recent upgrade to the Pit 1 mineral resources, combined with additional metallurgical and mining studies, and revised price assumptions, has allowed a re-estimation of the Pit 1 ore reserve.
    Gold was up by 275,000 ounces, or 12%, and silver by 2.7 million ounces, or 9%, since the last reserve reported for Martabe in June 2008.
    The new statement does not include the Barani, Ramba Joring or Uluala Hulu deposits which contain a total of 1.9 million ounces of gold and 7.9 million ounces of silver in JORC compliant mineral resources.
    Drilling continues at Martabe with three rigs on site continuing to report positive results. A fourth rig will be mobilized to accelerate exploration in the immediate vicinity of the known resource and elsewhere on the Martabe tenement area of 1639sqkm.
    G-Resources CEO Peter Albert says, “The figures in the new ore reserve statement are excellent which once again reinforce the company’s belief that the Martabe project represents one of the world’s outstanding gold projects under development and highlights the potential for extensions to the current proposed mine production schedule.”
    Production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2011 with an annual production capacity of around 250,000 ounces of gold and 3 million ounces of silver.

  • MONGOLIA – Entrée’s interests covered

    The recently signed Investment Agreement for the massive Oyu Tolgoi project includes provisions for the adjacent assets of Entrée Gold.
    Entrée Gold has reviewed the agreement signed by Ivanhoe Mines, its subsidiary Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia, Entrée’s largest shareholder Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government, and found a number of beneficial impacts.  
    As well as providing long-term stability for Oyu Tolgoi and enabling the companies involved to operate within parameters approved by the government of Mongolia, the agreement paves the way for finalizing feasibility, development and mining studies of the many Oyu Tolgoi deposits, including Entrée’s Hugo North Extension and Heruga deposits.
    It gives greater certainty to all stakeholders by providing fiscal stability and reliable access to water, power, transportation and labour. The Investment Agreement has an initial term of 30 years with the option to renew for an additional 20 years.
    The Entrée-Ivanhoe Mines exploration licences of Shivee Tolgoi and Javhlant, which are subject to the joint venture, are contained within the contract area covered by the agreement and conversion of the licences from exploration to mining licences is a condition precedent to the agreement.
    Ivanhoe is working on an updated Integrated Development Plan which will expand on the original plan issued in 2005 and further clarify the next phases of development and eventual mining that is anticipated to begin in 2013.
    Current resources are expected to support open-pit and underground mining for at least 60 years and potential exists to expand the available resources, particularly on Entrée’s Lookout Hill property, which includes the joint venture ground.
    By converting Entrée’s exploration licences to mining licences, exploration on this ground will no longer be controlled by the date of exploration licence expiration and the risk of licence forfeiture is removed. Mining licences have a 30 year term with two renewals of 20 years each possible.
    Entrée Gold is a Canadian company focused on the worldwide exploration and development of gold and copper prospects. Its flagship property is in Mongolia, where it holds three exploration licences comprising the 179,590 hectare Lookout Hill property. Lookout Hill surrounds the 8500-hectare Oyu Tolgoi project and hosts the Hugo North Extension of the Hugo Dummett copper-gold deposit and the Heruga copper-gold-molybdenum deposit.

  • CHINA – Record CSH production

    Jinshan Gold Mines achieved record monthly production of gold during September at its CSH Gold Mine in Inner Mongolia, China.
    The company poured 11,388 ounces of gold in September, the highest monthly total since CSH operations began in July 2007. It exceeds the previous record of 8525 ounces in August 2009 and exceeds the monthly design expectations of 9000 ounces.
    Production has been steadily increasing from about 6900 ounces in April 2009. This is due to increased mining output, better control on the ROM ore grade, reduced ROM ore particle size placed on leach pad exposing more surface area to leaching, and increased leach solution irrigation flow rate.
    Jinshan has also completed installation of a 30,000 tonne/day crushing facility and has been test running this since mid-August. The throughput is gradually ramping up and Jinshan expects the crushing plant to reach the designed capacity in the first quarter of 2010. This is expected to substantially increase the gold production from current levels.
    A total of 60,063 ounces of gold were poured in the first nine months of 2009 compared to about 42,160 ounces for the same period in 2008.

  • PHILIPPINES – Mindoro ECC granted

    Intex Resources has received an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for its Mindoro Nickel Project in the Philippines.
    Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ secretary Jose L. Atienza recently signed the ECC, marking the conclusion of an extensive process.
    The Mindoro project is Intex’s main asset and is in the central part of Mindoro Island, about 200km south of Manila.
    The company proposes to construct the largest nickel plant in the Philippines as well as one of the largest fertilizer plants. It is targeting annual production of 50,000 tonnes of nickel, 175,000 tonnes of fertilizer, 200,000 tonnes of metallurgical chromite and 15,000 tonnes of cobalt-salts in stage 1.
    A definitive feasibility study is due for completion by the end of 2009 with engineering details scheduled to start in 2010 for stage 1 high pressure acid leach processing in 2012-13 with stage 2 to follow about two years later.
    Intex’s CEO Erlend Grimstad says, “The process leading to the issuance of the ECC has been long, detailed and extensive.
    “The process has taken more than a year and has consisted of baseline studies identifying all background values for flora, fauna, water and air, as well as the possible effects of the project to the environment, including mitigating measures.
    “In addition, social effects to the stakeholder communities have been analyzed. A series of public hearings and consultations have also been held to give all stakeholders an opportunity to discuss and air concerns and opinions. All of these inputs have been evaluated.
    “We are very pleased that this long and thorough process has finally led to the issuance of the ECC for Mindoro Nickel by Secretary Atienza. One of the most important milestones for this project has now been achieved.”

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Further Pigiput intercepts

    Allied Gold has received further high-grade gold assays from diamond drill core at the Pigiput and Pigibo gold prospects on Simberi Island in Papua New Guinea.
    The latest drilling and assay results continue to define the continuity of gold grade and width of mineralization at and between the Pigiput and Pigibo prospects.
    Assays received from seven diamond core holes drilled at Pigiput are part of an ongoing in-fill and step-out program which will be incorporated into the Aus$10 million sulphide and oxide expansion studies that targets increasing annual total oxide and sulphide production to more than 200,000 ounces by 2012.
    The best gold intercepts in sulphide in each hole were 15 metres @ 5.80 grams/tonne from 83 metres, 46 metres @ 1.01 grams/tonnes from 135 metres, 78 metres @ 2.25 grams/tonne from 150 metres, 85 metres @ 3.98 grams/tonne from 157 metres, 103.4 metres @ 2.07 grams/tonne from 144.6 metres, 34 metres @ 2.18 grams/tonne from 117 metres and 24 metres @ 1.38 grams/tonne from 220 metres.
    Assays received from five RC holes, drilled to define the eastern and western limits of the Pigiput and Pigibo deposits respectively, also located oxide transitional sulphide mineralization.
    Mineralized down-hole intercepts were found in four holes including 17 metres @ 1.07 grams/tonne from 91 metres, 9 metres @ 1.71 grams/tonne from 80 metres,  14 metres @ 1.09 grams/tonne from 46 metres and 7 metres @ 1.69 grams/tonne from 62 metres.
    Allied Gold is undertaking in-fill diamond core drilling at Pigiput and Pigibo which are 800 metres apart in the central part of its mining lease. RC drilling is also being carried out between the two prospects and at Pigibo itself.
    The Pigiput deposit is the subject of a sulphide resource drill-out program and a pre-feasibility study. Three diamond core drill rigs are dedicated to the task with the programs scheduled for completion in early 2010.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – New Gold Aura asset

    The completion of the acquisition of Anomaly Resources by Gold Aura adds the important Crater Mountain gold deposit in Papua New Guinea to Gold Aura’s portfolio.
    Crater Mountain, which is potentially a world-class deposit, provides Gold Aura with another PNG project to add to its Fergusson Island Gold Project joint venture with BacTech Mining Corporation.
    This is a major milestone in the development of Gold Aura as the acquisition brings in Anomaly’s Crater Mountain Project which is potentially a world class gold deposit.

    Funds raised during a successful recent convertible note funding will enable Gold Aura to undertake pre-exploration work at Crater Mountain as well as advance its San Chico Gold Project in Brazil where development is due to begin shortly.
    There have been some delays in completing the Fergusson Island joint venture with BacTech but Gold Aura is working with Yamana Gold and BacTech to settle this in the near term. Completion of this arrangement will lead to further advancing the Fergusson Island Gold Project.
    Gold Aura also has the Croydon Gold and Polymetallic Project in North Queensland, and is seeking joint venture partners in order to maximize value from the project.
    Gold Aura’s chairman Greg Starr says, “I am confident we are just at the beginning of the development of Gold Aura into a new gold producer with world class exploration potential.”

  • URANIUM – Drilling at Elaine Dorothy

    China Yunnan Copper Australia and joint venture partner Goldsearch have started drilling on a north-west Queensland prospect called Elaine Dorothy that is considered prospective for uranium and rare earth elements.
    The prospect is within an area that hosted the Mary Kathleen uranium mine and occurs within the Mount Isa Inlier. The mined out deposit yielded 9.2 million tonnes at a grade of 1.20 kg/tonne uranium oxide (U3O8).
    At Elaine Dorothy previous exploration by Mary Kathleen Uranium, formerly operators of the Mary Kathleen Mine, and Goldsearch has highlighted significant Mary Kathleen-style uranium mineralization as well as rare earth elements.
    An exploration target for the Elaine One Anomaly is assessed at between 150,000 and 250,000 tonnes of mineralization with grades between 0.34 and 0.56 kg/tonne U3O8 and will be tested by twinning previous high grade intercepts returned in 1955 and 1980.
    This target is based on historical data from nine diamond core holes with chemical assays of unknown method and surface outcrops with scintillometer readings. This data has been reviewed and assessed by an independent consultant.
    The purpose of the twinned holes is to confirm and validate the historical drilling results with a view to convert at least part of the exploration target to an inferred resource.
    Further drilling is required to adequately test mineralization defined to date, including 2.3 metres at 2.62 kg/tonne U3O8 from 26 metres, 9.5 metres at 0.36 kg/tonne U3O8 from 13.5 metres and 2 metres at 1.34 kg/tonne U3O8 from 100 metres down hole depth.
    Under the terms of the Mary Kathleen Joint Venture, China Yunnan is obligated to carry out exploration programs to investigate a number of high priority targets identified by Goldsearch and previous tenement holders within a period of three years. After sole funding expenditure of $750,000, China Yunnan will have gained the right to earn an initial 49% participating interest in the tenements.
    By contributing additional expenditure to a cumulative amount of $1.5 million within a three year period from the start of the farm-in and joint venture agreements, China Yunnan will have gained the right to earn a 70% participating interest in the tenements.
    China Yunnan is an Australian company formed to explore for and develop minerals in Australia and overseas. Cornerstone investor, Yunnan Copper Industry (Group), is one of China’s largest copper producers.


  • INVESTMENT – Boost for Malachite

    Malachite Resources has formed a strategic alliance with a private Chinese/Australian investment group, Nanyang Mining Resources Investment, which will help advance its portfolio of silver, tin, gold, copper and associated base metal projects in eastern Australia.
    Nanyang will become Malachite’s largest shareholder through an Aus$1,282,500 equity injection in the short term, and, plans to become a joint venture partner at the Conrad Silver Project.
    Subject to completion of formal legal documentation and mutual due diligence in coming weeks, a joint venture between Malachite and Nanyang should soon be established at Conrad.
    Pursuant to the proposed new joint venture, resource drilling at Conrad is expected to resume by early 2010, fully funded by Nanyang and with the objective of taking the project through to feasibility.
    Conrad is 25km south of Inverell in northern New South Wales. Malachite is evaluating the scope to reopen the old mine, which has had two previous periods of production but has not operated for more than 50 years.
    Drilling has intersected narrow high grade, massive sulphide, silver-rich base metal veins, like those mined in the past, and wide zones of lower grade, disseminated and stockwork veined, polymetallic mineralization. The currently defined mineral resource contains about 10 million ounces of silver or 19 million ounces of silver equivalent. This resource remains open along strike and at depth.
    Nanyang was first introduced to Malachite by the NSW Department of State and Regional Development and Malachite acknowledges the contribution of officers of that department. Nanyang is a private Australian company whose major shareholder is YK Wong, who was born in Guangdong, China, but migrated to Australia in 1995. He has extensive property development interests in Guangdong and other businesses in China, Hong Kong and Australia.
    Malachite also has excellent exposure to tin, through its Elsmore Project, 20km east of Inverell, while encouraging tin results have also emerged from the Standon Tin Prospect at the Delungra Project, west of Inverell.
    The Tooloom Gold Project, also in north-eastern NSW, is based on a forgotten goldfield rediscovered by Malachite. Drill-ready targets have been identified at four prospects within the project area and a new diamond drilling program will start shortly.





  • INVESTMENT – Guinea deal with China

    The military government of mineral-rich West African country of Guinea has signed a $7 billion mining agreement with a Chinese company.
    Guinea’s Mines Minister Mahmoud Thiam did not name the company involved but said the Chinese firm “will be a strategic partner in all mining projects” in the West African country.
    Guinea is the world's largest producer of bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminum, and also produces diamonds and gold.

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – Dual SouthGobi role

    SouthGobi Energy Resources has appointed its president Alexander Molyneux to the joint role of president and chief executive officer.
    Alexander Molyneux joined SouthGobi as president in April this year and was formerly managing director, head of Metals and Mining Investment Banking, Asia Pacific, with Citigroup. He succeeds Peter Meredith, who will assume the position of chairman of the Board. John Macken, who has been chairman since 2007, will remain a director of the company.
    Peter Meredith says, “Alex has demonstrated that he is the right person to take over as chief executive and guide our company into the next phase of growth.
    “Alex will lead the management team tasked with the expansion of the company's flagship Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine, as well as the ongoing development of the company's other coal projects in southern Mongolia and Indonesia.”
    The company has also appointed Dave Bartell as vice president, director of SouthGobi's Mongolian operations. He has been the general manager of SouthGobi Sands LLC, the company's Mongolian subsidiary, since November 2007 and manager of engineering since joining the company in January 2007. He has more than 30 years' experience in the mineral resources industry and was formerly an independent coal-industry consultant.
    In September, SouthGobi appointed Gavin May, a veteran coal industry executive, as chief operating officer. Gavin May is managing the company's coal mining and exploration operations in Mongolia. He has more than 25 years' experience in the industry and was formerly chief executive officer and managing director of Gloucester Coal.



  • COMPANY & PRODUCT – New Niton series

    Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched the Niton XL2 Series hand-held x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer which is particularly suitable for mine mapping, development and grade control where accurate elemental composition data is required across a large number of samples.
    The Niton XL2 Series is the newest member of the company’s family of Thermo Scientific Niton analyzers for mining and exploration and replaces the award-winning Niton XLt analyzers.
    Niton XL2 analyzers are lightweight yet ruggedly built to withstand severe environments. Ergonomically designed and featuring daylight readable icons, the Niton XL2 incorporates customizable menus for ease of use, multi-language options and a standard analytical range of more than 25 elements from sulfur to uranium.
    Thermo Fisher Scientific is the world’s leading manufacturer of handheld x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers. More than 2000 Niton XRF analyzers are already deployed in the global mining industry.
    Thermo Scientific Niton Analyzers’ director of marketing and business development Bob Wopperer says, “With the launch of the Niton XL2 mining companies of any size can access a range of products that are engineered from the ground up to withstand harsh mining environments, reduce laboratory costs and improve efficiency.
    “What’s more, we now offer users the choice of an out-of-the-box field mapping option or the flexibility of seamless integration with their existing mapping packages.
    “Either way, our analyzers excel at storing results that are matched to GPS coordinates. These results can then simply be downloaded to existing GIS and data analysis packages.”
    Hand-held Niton XL2 and Niton XL3 Series XRF analyzers are purpose-built for taking measurements anywhere, anytime, with accurate results available in seconds, saving significant expense in comparison to traditional laboratory testing.
    These instruments provide integral storage of all test results, which are completely tamperproof. Multiple communication options are incorporated, including Bluetooth wireless, USB and RS-232 serial communication ports.
    They also come standard with Thermo Scientific Niton Data Transfer software, a suite of data management utilities that allows users to set operator permissions, print certificates of analysis to document results or operate the analyzer remotely from a PC. The NDT file format preserves and protects the data from each sample analysis, ensuring that this data is not unintentionally or intentionally compromised.

  • The October MineMap winner is David Nye, PT Britmindo Indonesia

    The October MineMap winner is David Nye, PT Britmindo Indonesia

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

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – All clear on Andash

    The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic has declined to take up its pre-emptive right to acquire the Andash gold copper project which clears the way for Kentor Gold to purchase 80% of the project from Aurum Mining.
    The high grade, low cost project is targeted for production in 2011 at the average annual rate of 60,000 ounces of gold and 5000 tonnes of copper for eight years.
    Andash is in the Tien Shan Gold Belt, one of the world’s major gold provinces spanning central Asia.
    As a result of extensive financial, technical and legal due diligence, the Kentor Board has decided to exercise the option, due by December 2009, subject to the approval of shareholders of Kentor and Aurum, and the arrangement of suitable funding.
    A mining licence has already been issued for the project and environmental studies completed.
    The purchase price of US$10 million for the project under the option equates to about US$10/ounce gold equivalent. A separate option has been secured to purchase an already assembled mining and construction fleet for US$5 million.
    Encouraging results from initial exploration near the current resource indicate the potential for considerable expansion and mine life extension.
    Situated in the gold-rich Talas region, the Andash project will benefit from extensive existing infrastructure, including low cost power and an available workforce. The near-surface deposit has a proposed strip ratio of 0.8:1, and the ore is metallurgically simple to process. A bankable feasibility study completed in 2007 estimated the cash cost of production at a low US$223 per ounce gold equivalent.
    Kentor’s managing director Simon Milroy says: “This decision of the Kyrgyz Government is a crucial step in the development of the Andash Gold-Copper Project and the progress of Kentor Gold from explorer to producer.
    “For the Kyrgyz Republic, it is an important advance in the growth of the Kyrgyz mining industry and the expansion of the Kyrgyz Republic’s economy.”

  • CONFERENCES & EXPOS – In the picture

    The ASIA Miner™ attended the China Mining conference held in Tianjin  and China Coal Expo in Beijing. Both events attracted a national and international crowd. Here we present a round up of delegates and exhibitors attending these two events.
    To view photos click here Link

  • KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – DFS for Andash

    Kentor Gold has engaged Australian-based engineering company GRD Minproc to undertake a definitive feasibility study into the Andash gold-copper project.
    Andash is targeted for production in 2011 at the average annual rate of 60,000 ounces of gold and 5000 tonnes of copper, based on a bankable feasibility study completed in 2007.
    GRD/Minproc will update and optimize the study by March 2010 with the aim of improving gold recovery and concentrate grades.
    Kentor’s managing director Simon Milroy says, “Kentor’s financial, technical and legal due diligence on Andash has shown the project to be economically robust and technically feasible.
    “The previous study points to low costs and high margins. However, we need to refresh the capital and operating cost estimates and believe that there is potential to improve the metallurgical performance through finer grinding and the use of different reagents.”

  • MONGOLIA – Xanadu accelerates program

    Xanadu Mines intends to take immediate advantage of the renewed investment interest now evident in Mongolia following the recent signing of the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement.
    The unlisted Australian-based explorer intends to accelerate exploration on its coal, copper and gold projects in Mongolia.
    Xanadu’s chairman Brian Thornton says, “With four projects under way, including drilling on three, a successful recent capital raising and a rising gold and copper price, Xanadu’s exposure to one of the last great frontiers of mining and the adjacent powerhouse that is China, presents an unrivalled opportunity.”
    The signing of the long-term Oyu Tolgoi agreement was the result of more than four years of negotiation between the government and the project’s owners, Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto, which will bring to fruition, what is potentially the world’s largest copper gold project.
    It is also expected to be a catalyst for further development of Mongolia’s mineral resources.
    Brian Thornton says beside the major mining houses, Xanadu is one of the very few Mongolian focused explorers who will take immediate advantage of the new ‘minerals blueprint’ in Mongolia, which includes the removal of the windfall tax on copper and gold.
    Xanadu has four major exploration and development initiatives in train:
    • At the Khar Tarvaga thermal coal project in the main Trans-Mongolian railway corridor, Nexant Inc is undertaking a Coal to Liquids (CTL) technical scoping study on Xanadu’s 327 million tonnes JORC resource.
    • It is evaluating and drilling two new coal projects in Southern Mongolia near China which, if concluded, would potentially take Xanadu’s total coal resources to in excess of 500 million tonne.
    • Further diamond drilling is taking place at the Hutag Uul porphyry copper project in the South East Gobi near China.
    • Drilling at the Elgen-Zos gold exploration joint venture, also in the South East Gobi, is targeting a large sediment hosted gold system with widespread anomalous gold in rock chips up to 5.5 grams/tonne gold.

  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Port capacity secured

    Nautilus Minerals has secured port handling capacity at Rabaul for 1.5 million tonnes of ore per year for three years with an option to begin operations as early as January 1, 2012.
    The company has signed a Port Upgrade and Operations Deed with PNG Ports Corporation (PNGPC) that will cover ore from its seafloor Solwara 1 Project.
    The deed also provides Nautilus with the exclusive right to enter into a licence agreement to use the hardstand area of the Rabaul port for the Solwara 1 ore stockpiles.
    When it begins production from its Solwara 1 project, recovered ore will be shipped from the offshore site to Rabaul for temporary stockpiling prior to shipment for treatment overseas.
    Nautilus' CEO Stephen Rogers says, “We have found PNGPC to be a responsive and responsible port operator. We are looking forward to working with them to deliver an operation that meets Nautilus' operational requirements and provides the opportunity to maximize local content.”
    Nautilus and PNGPC entered into discussions in early 2008 and later began joint studies into the port's capability to unload the incoming barges, store the ore securely and re-load the ore onto outgoing export ships, while maintaining quality and environmental standards.
    These studies included an analysis of existing and future port usage, shoreline geotechical studies, port berth strength capabilities, and risk analysis.
    The deed provides for a methodology to jointly define the scope and contracting strategy required to deliver the required port upgrades to the stockpile hardstand areas, support infrastructure, mobile stacking and shiploading equipment. Operations covering ore unloading, stevedoring services, ore stacking, reclaiming and ship loading will be managed by PNGPC.

  • PHILIPPINES – Lingig drilling success

    Drilling at Medusa Mining’s Lingig prospect continues to locate copper mineralization at potentially economic grades within a very large copper-anomalous envelope.
    Intersections at a 0.1% copper cut-off include 209.1 metres @ 0.25% copper and 0.07 grams/tonne gold, 44.5 metres @ 0.345 copper and 0.09 grams/tonne gold, 159.7 metres @ 0.40% copper and 0.04 grams/tonne gold, and 38 metres @ 0.20% copper and 0.02 grams/tonne gold.
    Lingig is to the east of the company’s operating Co-O mine and mill site, which is operated by Medusa’s Philippines subsidiary Philsaga Mining Corporation.
    Mineralization has now been located in two distinct geological settings – thrust-hosted mineralization (zone 1) and porphyry associated mineralization (zone 2).
    Zone 1 mineralization is open along the projected strike in both directions.
    In zone 2 nearly all holes have visible copper mineralization thus defining a large copper-anomalous zone. The structural complexity of the area supports the potential for repeats of structurally controlled mineralized zones. Mineralization vectors are being defined which are anticipated to lead to a fertile porphyry source.
    Medusa’s managing director Geoff Davis says, “We continue to intersect extensive mineralization in increasingly favourable structural and magmatic settings. The discovery of significant new intersections in a high energy/high fluid flow dioritic hydrothermal breccia environment is interpreted to be vectoring closer to the porphyry mineralization source.
    “The copper grades intersected to date are comparable to many other porphyry deposits around the world.
    “Drilling will continue using three rigs to extend the mineralization, to refine the geological models and unravel the mineralization controls.”

  • INDONESIA – More Miwah mineralization

    East Asia Minerals has received encouraging assays from an additional two diamond drill holes at the Main Miwah Gold Zone in Aceh Province, Northern Sumatra.
    The gold mineralized intersections are located west and south of a previous drill hole which encountered 2.11 grams/tonne gold over 100 metres, including 4.81 grams/tonne over 30 metres.
    One of the new holes encountered 1.16 grams/tonne over 88.0 metres, including 2.06 grams/tonne over 21.2 metres. Gold mineralization was encountered from 86.0 to 174.0 metres downhole depths.
    It is the company’s second drill hole in the eastern part of the laterally extensive gold system and was designed to test the extension of favourable mineralization and alteration to the west of the previous hole. The mineralization is open in all directions and at depth.
    The other new hole ended in mineralization and encountered 1.42 grams/tonne over 116.9 metres, including 3.14 grams/tonne over 28 metres. Gold mineralization was encountered from 83 to 199.9 metres and the hole confirmed the sub-horizontal gold mineralized layer in the area is open at depth.
    The results continue to support the interpretation of shallow, laterally extensive gold
    mineralization along the 1.2km Main Miwah Gold Zone. More than 600 metres of strike length have been drill validated by East Asia to date.
    Drilling about 200 metres further to the east of these holes is continuing.

  • COPPER-GOLD – Gem drilling success

    Encouraging results have been received from a follow-up exploration drilling program at China Yunnan Copper Australia’s Gem Prospect at the Cloncurry North Project in Queensland.
    Following the success and information generated from the previous drilling campaigns, Chine Yunnan has completed a four hole RC drill program totalling 468 metres, designed to delineate the strike extent and geometry of the zone of mineralization under cover of the northern workings.
    One hole returned intersections of 15 metres @ 0.68% copper and 0.08 grams/tonne gold from 44 metres including 6 metres @ 1.57% copper and 0.19 grams/tonne gold from 53 metres, and 11 metres @ 0.24% copper and 0.11 grams/tonne gold from 121 metres (open at depth).
    The holes were drilled along two section lines targeting surface workings and along strike from previously reported results, including 21 metres @ 0.12% copper and 0.05 grams/tonne gold from 55 metres and 8 metres @ 0.89% copper and 0.25 grams/tonne gold from 183 metres.
    Based on the presence of visible mineralization and utilizing a Niton handheld XRF analyzer during drilling, analytical results from one hole were prioritized and returned the two intercepts recorded above. Assay results are pending for the remaining holes.
    A large scale 1.2km by 700 metre TEM ground geophysical survey utilizing a fixed loop configuration on 100 metre line spacing and 50 metre stations was contracted to Quantec Geophysics Worldwide and was scheduled for mid-October.
    Results from the survey, in conjunction with all drilling results will assist in planning a more definitive drilling program leading to a maiden resource in 2010 for the Gem Prospect.
    China Yunnan’s managing director Jason Beckton says, “The near surface location, widths and strike length of the intercepted mineralization at Gem indicate it is a straight forward process to drill define a new intrusive related copper gold deposit. These results trigger an inferred resource drillout for the remainder of 2009.”
    China Yunnan is an Australian company formed to explore for and develop minerals in Australia and overseas, and it is targeting high quality copper, gold and uranium projects with 11 wholly-owned Exploration Permit for Minerals in the Mt Isa Inlier, Ravenswood-Pentland Province and the Clermont Inlier in Queensland. Cornerstone investor Yunnan Copper Industry (Group) is one of China’s largest copper producers.

  • INVESTMENT – Bauxite DSO agreement

    Bauxite Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JFE Shoji Trade Corporation (JFEST) for bauxite direct shipping ore (DSO) supplies to Asia.
    JFEST is a Japanese trading house and will re-sell the bauxite to certain end users in Asia. The identity of the end users is commercially sensitive and will not be disclosed pursuant to the confidentiality clauses in the MOU.
    The MOU is non binding and the parties will later sign a Sale and Purchase Agreement.
    The target quantity in the MOU is 500,000 tonnes of bauxite by the end of 2010. The bauxite to be exported will be high total alumina content (48-49%) and low reactive silica content (1-2%).
    Perth-based Bauxite Resources is pleased to be shipping high grade bauxite which it expects to be well received by the refinery end users.
    The high quality bauxite is expected to substantially reduce the end user refinery reagent costs and other operating costs.
    The company expects that the these initial shipments will demonstrate the superior attributes of its bauxite and provide an excellent marketing opportunity and pave the way for long term off-take agreements for its DSO bauxite.

  • INVESTMENT – Dikoloti joint venture

    The Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) has continued its global quest for resources by forming a joint venture with Discovery Metals for the Dikoloti Nickel project in Botswana.
    Dikoloti comprises four prospecting licences covering 600sqkm surrounding the three nickel deposits of BCL Limited in the Selebi-Phikwe region of north-east Botswana.
    Discovery Metals has earned an 85% interest from Xstrata and on completion of the contemplated exploration program for Dikoloti, the remaining Xstrata interest will convert to a royalty on future production.
    An inferred mineral resource of 4.1 million tonnes @ 0.7% nickel, 0.5% copper and 1.2 grams/tonne PGE’s at a cut-off of 0.5% nickel for 28,700 tonnes of contained nickel has been reported in accordance with the guidelines of the JORC code. A number of highly prospective exploration targets have been identified adjacent to the existing inferred resource.
    The joint venture agreement provides for funding by JOGMEC of Aus$3 million for exploration on the Dikoloti prospecting areas. The joint venture will be controlled by a joint operating committee, with representation of both JOGMEC and Discovery Metals.
    Discovery Metals will remain operator of the joint venture during the farm-in exploration period and for any future projects or operating phases.
    JOGMEC has the right to earn-in a joint venture interest of up to 60% and should the exploration program prove successful, it would be expected that JOGMEC would assign its interest to another Japanese entity for the development and operating phases.
    Discovery Metals’ managing director Brad Sampson says: “The agreement with JOGMEC underscores the potential value of the Dikoloti nickel project.
    “Dikoloti was the company’s first project in Botswana and, while our main focus has changed to the Boseto Copper Project, Dikoloti remains a very interesting nickel sulphide resource with significant upside potential.  We are delighted to work with such a highly credentialed joint venture partner in JOGMEC.”
    The four Dikoloti prospecting licences were renewed in August 2009 and are subject to the next renewal in mid-2011.

  • COMPANY NEWS - Intertek services Philippines

    10 b COMPANY NEWS - Intertek services Philippines
    In 2008 Intertek Minerals Division expanded its capability in the Philippines to offer mineral analytical testing services to mining and exploration companies with the acquisition of McPhar Geoservices (Phil).
    McPhar Geoservices began operations in Manila in 1971 and presently has about 100 employees working in three divisions. The company operates the oldest and one of the largest commercial assay laboratories in the Philippines and the facility is located in Makati City.
    In March 1996 it was one of the first commercial labs in Asia to achieve ISO 9002 accreditation and has since been upgraded to ISO 9001:2000. Intertek looks forward to being accredited with ISO 17025 before the end of 2009.
    The laboratory offers sample preparation, fire assay, base metal analysis by both AAS and ICP as well as classical wet analyses of commercial shipment samples.
    Intertek McPhar also operates a remote sample preparation facility in the southern Philippines in General Santos City on the island of Mindanao.
    McPhar’s Geophysics Division offers ground geophysical surveys such as induced polarization, resistivity, electromagnetic and magnetometer surveys.
    The company also has an inspection division which has surveyors regularly attending mineral shipments (loading/unloading) of copper concentrates, chromite and nickel laterite in the Philippines. This division has an office in the central Philippines at Isabel, Leyte, adjacent to the PASAR copper smelter.
    Intertek’s vice president minerals, Asia Pacific and Africa, John Fowler, says, “The acquisition had broadened Intertek’s regional coverage in Asia and McPhar's Geoservice business complements the Intertek Minerals facilities in Asia. We are confident that our customers can benefit greatly from this additional capability in another strategic location.”

  • CONFERENCES – Mining industry platform

    IME 2010 in Kolkata, India, in January will provide an ideal platform for the display and launch of new mining initiatives, products and technologies, and will provide participants with the opportunity to develop international and regional contacts.
    It will be the third biennial International Mining Exploration Mineral Processing and Machinery Exhibition and is being held concurrently with the third Asian Mining Congress.
    IME 2010 will be held from January 22-25 at Netaji Stadium and Khudiram Hall Complex in Kolkata.
    The events 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. They are supported by many ministries of the Government of India, mineral rich state governments, PSUs, corporates and the mining industry as a whole.
    IME 2010 is expected to attract more than 250 exhibitors, 500 delegates and 15,000 trade visitors with around 20 countries expected to participate.
    It offers unparalleled business opportunities for the mining and minerals industry. There will be an impressive display of mineral and mining technology, machinery and equipment, mineral processing procedures, R&D, communication, safety and health, and innovative applications. A buyer-seller meet is also planned concurrent to the exhibition.
    The theme of the Asian Mining Congress at the Hotel Taj Bangal in Kolkata from January 22-24 is ‘Resurgence of mining in Asia: prospects and challenges’. The hotel is about 10 minutes away from the IME 2010 venue.
    About 70 eminent speakers from India and abroad will debate, deliberate and exchange views on the key issues affecting the mining and allied sectors in Asia.

  • MOVERS & SHAKERS – New Nautilus director

    Nautilus Minerals has appointed Matthew Hammond as a non-executive director following the resignation from the Board of Farhad Moshiri.
    Matthew Hammond is the group strategist at Metalloinvest Holdings, where he has responsibility for part of the non-core asset portfolio. He advises the Metalloinvest Board on strategic acquisitions and investments. Metalloinvest holds about 21% of Nautilus through Gazmetall Holding (Cyprus) Limited.
    Before joining Metalloinvest, Matthew Hammond was a director at Credit Suisse, where he worked for 12 years. He has a BA (Hons) from Bristol University. Metalloinvest is one of the largest and fastest growing mining and metallurgical holding companies in Russia.
    Nautilus' Chairman Geoff Loudon says, “We would like to thank Mr Moshiri for his valuable contribution to the Board. We now look forward to working with Mr Hammond in his capacity as non-executive director.”
    Nautilus is the first company to commercially explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is developing its first project. The company's main focus is the Solwara 1 Project, which is in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea.