AUSTRALIA – Columboola coal JV

MetroCoal Limited has signed a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with China Coal Import & Export Company (CCIEC), covering the Columboola coal tenement in Queensland’s Surat Basin.
Under the terms of the agreement, CCIEC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China National Coal Group, has acquired a 51% interest in Columboola for an agreed expenditure commitment of Aus$30 million.
The funds will be used for exploring and evaluating the potential for future commercialization options within the Columboola tenement and also opens up the opportunity for participation in MetroCoal’s other tenements.
The Columboola JVA requires a minimum expenditure of $4 million within the first two years of the agreement.
MetroCoal’s chairman David Barwick says, “Bringing CCIEC in as a joint venture partner is a significant milestone for the company, meeting its stated strategic objective of developing projects with substantial partners as well as complementing its overall strategy to confirm its exploration target of between 2.5 and 3.5 billion tonnes.”
MetroCoal’s CEO Mike O’Brien says, “China Coal is a substantial company producing in excess of 100 million tonnes of coal a year. With access to this strong mining base, CCIEC will bring valuable technical skill and expertise into the joint venture, particularly in underground coal mining.
“Discussions have been ongoing for some time and during this period we have developed a good relationship with CCIEC executives that will provide a constructive base for our future relationship.
“In terms of the work program, the Columboola JVA will continue the initial exploration activities and subject to the success of this program, advance the development plans to exploit significant underground coal assets.”
MetroCoal holds extensive coal tenements covering about 4000sqkm throughout the Surat Basin which it plans to commercialize through conventional coal mining and underground coal gasification (UCG).


AUSTRALIA – Karara hematite off-take

Gindalbie Metals has finalized a second long-term off-take contract with joint venture partner Ansteel covering the life-of-mine production from the Karara Iron Ore Project in Western Australia.
The contract, between joint venture company Karara Mining Limited (KML) and Angang Group International Trade Corporation, covers the total hematite production from Karara, which is scheduled to start in mid-2011. It allows for annual sale of hematite volumes up to 3 million tonnes.
The pricing structure for hematite will be based on the Hamersley Iron Pilbara lump and fines (FOB) benchmark price.
Gindalbie’s managing director Garret Dixon says, “We are very pleased to conclude all the off-take agreements from the Karara Project. The hematite in particular provides KML early cashflow while we commission the magnetite operations.
“This agreement further demonstrates the significant progress we are making at Karara and the value of having a quality partner in Ansteel.”
The signing of the hematite off-take contract follows the execution of a landmark life-of-mine agreement covering the total magnetite concentrate production from the Karara operations, valued at more than $US65 billion.
The first shipment under the new magnetite off-take agreement is expected to occur in the second half of 2011 with commissioning of the Karara Project.
The initial focus of Gindalbie’s growth strategy is Karara, 225km east of Geraldton, where it will deliver initial production of direct shipping ore hematite in mid-2011 to be followed by production of high grade magnetite concentrate and blast furnace quality pellets in the second half of 2011. Karara is being developed through a 50:50 Joint Venture with Ansteel, one of China’s leading steel and iron ore producers.

AUSTRALIA – Oakajee BFS submitted

Oakajee Port & Rail (OPR) submitted a draft bankable feasibility study (BFS) to the Western Australian Government on March 30, 2010, regarding its proposed 546km rail line and 45 million tonne/year port facility at Oakajee, Western Australia.
The draft BFS indicated that the Oakajee Project is both technically and operationally feasible, paving the way for a commercial feasibility study to be completed later this year. The draft BFS will allow:
• OPR to engage more fully with the WA State Government and potential foundation customers in order to finalize the initial configuration of the supply chain in the second half of this year; and
• The WA State and Australian Federal Governments to undertake due diligence in relation to their funding commitments.
The draft BFS will also allow OPR and the governments to advance discussions with potential financiers and to assist in determining early long lead procurement strategies.
The Oakajee Project is a proposed new open access deepwater port and a rail system aimed at transporting iron ore from mines across the Mid-West region of WA to international export markets.
The project will provide opportunities for international suppliers and businesses to participate in and benefit from the infrastructure development. OPR’s customers and their associates have been invited to participate in the construction, operation and financing of the project. To date, total project costs are estimated to be about Aus$4.373 billion comprising Aus$2.227 billion relating to the rail; Aus$1.743 billion relating to the port, including about Aus$800 million for the marine works and Aus$800 million for land-based materials handling and port related rail works; and a contingency of Aus$403 million.
The WA State and Australian Federal Governments have committed a total of Aus$678 million towards the construction of the common user port infrastructure. This infrastructure will be government-owned and port users will be charged for its use on a commercial basis.
The Oakajee Project will include construction of a port at Oakajee, 25km north of Geraldton in WA, linked to regional mines by about 570km of rail, and initially will be comprised of:
• A deepwater port with two cape-sized berths and a start-up handling capacity of 45mtpa (more than 380 cape size ships per year), comprising a Pilbara-style car dumper, stacker, reclaimer, conveyors, stockpiles and 10,000 tonne/hour ship loader; and
• Rail infrastructure consisting of a 546km standard gauge, heavy haul rail line extending from the Jack Hills Iron Ore Project (a JV between Mitsubishi Development and Murchison Metals) and rail spurs connecting foundation customers to the line to allow operations up to 80-100mtpa (more than 4000 trains per year) with single track and passing loops, and system and train control in Oakajee.
Due to the higher than expected demand from potential customers, OPR recently announced an increase in the planned initial port capacity from 35mtpa to 45mtpa, with the potential to expand as demand for capacity increases.
The rail network will integrate effectively with existing and future rail infrastructures. A 4km wide rail feasibility corridor has been defined with a final operational rail corridor of 80 to 100 metres wide, likely to be located within the feasibility corridor.
To date, more than Aus$70million has been invested on the Oakajee Project, with feasibility costs contributing to the majority of expenditure.
Current key operational activities include port modelling, drilling investigations over the port dredge area, train performance simulation and system modelling and environmental studies and plans.
During the balance of 2010, OPR is expected to focus on finalizing supply chain agreements with mines (for access to the port and railway) and the completion of feasibility studies. OPR is also expected to develop a port configuration.
Completing the more detailed capacity studies and finalizing the project parameters is dependent on the mines finalizing their projects’ feasibilities. OPR anticipates financial close and construction of the OPR Project to begin by early 2011. Commercial operations are expected to begin in late 2013 or early 2014.

2010年3月30日,Oakajee港口及铁路控股有限公司(下称OPR)就其策划的Oakajee (又译:欧克基)港口及铁路基础设施项目(下称Oakajee项目)向西澳政府递交了初步项目可行性研究方案(下称BFS初步方案)。该项目拟在西澳州建设一个年运能达 4500吨的港口和长达546公里的铁路。该BFS初步方案的结论是Oakajee项目在技术上和运作上皆是可行的,并为下半年其商业可行性研究铺平了道路,打好了基础。这份方案可以促成如下进展:
• OPR得以更充分的与州政府以及潜在基础客户接洽,以在今年下半年最终确定供应 链的 初始设置;
• 西澳州州政府和澳大利亚联邦政府能够就其经费资助承诺进行相关的调查。
OPR将为国际性供应商和其他企业提供参与并从中获益的机会。OPR的客户及其合伙伴也被邀请参与该工程项目的建设、运营及融资。截至目前,整个项目成本预计约为 43.73亿澳元,其中包括:
• 22.27亿澳元的铁路建设,
• 17.43亿澳元的港口建设,其中包括大约8亿澳元的海事工程以及8亿澳元的以陆地为 基础的材料运输及与港口相关的铁路建设,以及
• 4.03亿澳元的应急资金。
Oakajee项目将包括建设一个位于西澳州Geraldton北部25公里的港口,并通过大约 570公里的重载铁路线与该地区各个矿区相连接,起初将具体包括以下几个部分:
• 建有一个具有两个好望角型码头,初始承载能力为每年4500万吨的深水港(每年运 行好望角型干货船达380艘以上),港口设有Pilbara形式的翻车机、堆垛机、堆场装 载运输 机、传送机、货堆以及每小时10,000吨处理能力的装船机;以及
• 修建一条546公里长的标准轨距重载铁路,从Jack Hills项目区域(三菱集团三菱发 展 控股有限公司 [Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd] 与Murchison Metals 有限公司 的合资 项目)一直延伸至Oakajee港口,并带有铁路调车线让基础客户与该线接 驳。该铁路网络拥有单轨和错车环道,其运输能力为每年 8000 万到1亿吨(每年承 运4000多车次),操作系统和控制台将位于Oakajee。
由于潜在客户需求超出最初预算,OPR最近宣布将Oakajee港口初始承载量从每年的 3500万吨提高到4500万吨,并可根据基础客户的需求进一步提高其承载能力。
目前,7000多万澳元已经投入Oakajee项目的开发--- 该费用主要为可行性研究的成 本。 当前主要的运作包括港口模型设计、港口疏浚区的钻探调查、列车运行性能模拟及系统模型设计, 以及环境研究和计划。 OPR在2010年将致力于与各矿主达成供应链协议(关于港口和铁路的准入及使用)并完成最终可行性研究。预计OPR将设计港口构造。更详细的运能研究及项目规格将取决于各矿完成其项目可行性研究的进度。


CAMBODIA – Encouraging assays

Southern Gold has received new assay results from a drilling program at the Preak Khlong NW prospect which confirm gold mineralization.
The drilling is part of aggressive exploration programs progressing at the company’s Cambodian tenements.
The best result from Preak Khlong NW was 3 metres @ 5.54 grams/tonne gold, including 1 metre @ 16.12 grams/tonne.
The initial result from the first drill hole at the Anchor prospect is 1 metre @ 9.09 grams/tonne gold and 307 grams/tonne silver. Assay results for the remaining 16 holes demonstrate alteration, vein and sulphides.
Diamond core and RC drilling has been carried out on the Kratie North and Kratie South joint ventures with JOGMEC as well as Southern Gold’s 100%-owned Snoul tenement.
To date 4050 metres of diamond core and 3400 metres of reverse circulation drilling has been completed while trenching of 4900 metres has also been completed.
A continuous flow of drilling, soil sampling and trenching assay results is expected in the next few months with the best results to be followed-up immediately with trenching and/or drill testing.
At the Preak Khlong NW prospect which is part of the Kratie South JV seven RC and one diamond core drill holes have been completed. A 100 metre wide alteration zone hosts a consistent gold mineralized corridor with a thickness of 10 metres to 30 metres.
Soil sampling programs have been completed on the Preak Khlong and O’Khtung tenements within Kratie South with 479 and 912 samples collected on each tenement respectively and these samples have been dispatched for analysis.
Soil sampling programs have also been completed on Southern Gold’s 100%-owned Snoul and Phnum Khnach tenements.
These programs were completed to identify new gold and base metal anomalies which will be prioritized for trenching and/or drill testing.

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