MAY 23: Emerging producer Primary Gold has further good news as it completes the feasibility study, due this quarter, for its Toms Gully underground mine about 100km SE of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.
MAY 23: Struggling Australian technology firm Vortex Pipes has announced an ambitious leap into the mining sector, via an iron ore project in Canada’s Labrador Trough.
MAY 23: Growing Australian mining service business SubZero has been awarded a $A2M contract for dozer push works at the Mt Arthur coal mine, the newly listed company’s second substantial success at BHP Billiton’s thermal coal mine in its home territory in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.
MAY 23: Australian explorer Sirius Resources, aiming for a maiden resource figure in early July, has released more drilling results showing significant widths of sulphide mineralisation at its Bollinger nickel-copper deposit at its Fraser Range joint venture in the south of Western Australia.
MAY 20: In the aftermath of the late 2012 shutdown of its Chinese lithium plant and consequent loss of a $A66M investment, Galaxy Resources has launched an ambitious $47M capital raising and instigated a wide-ranging cost cutting strategic review to address its mounting debt burden.
MAY 20: Fortescue Metals has awarded a tailings storage facility construction contract for its Solomon project in Australia’s Pilbara iron ore province to mining services company Viento Contracting Services.
MAY 20: Australian-based professional services consultancy Coffey International has been forced to reassure a nervous market that it’s not in trouble with its bankers after slashing its profit forecasts a week ago.
MAY 20: Australian explorer Potash Minerals believes it’s sitting on one of the largest and best quality potash resources in the USA after releasing a maiden mineral resource of over 900,000t at its 90%-owned Hatch Point project in the Paradox Basin of SE Utah.
MAY 20: Australian rare metals explorer Globe Metals & Mining has named former Arafura Resources chief Alistair Stephens its new CEO as it moves towards the transition from explorer to developer at its Kanyika niobium project in Malawi.
MAY 20: The Australian government will provide new educational and research aid to support the growth of the mineral and energy sector in Mozambique.
MAY 19: Global mining giant Rio Tinto is the only Australian-domiciled miner to escape censure in a new report tracking the mining sector’s worldwide recognition of the rights of indigenous people.
MAY 20: Australian mining technology and services firm RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has released the latest version of its TALPAC mine modelling software, TALPAC 10.2.1, and says it is committed to ongoing development of the product.
MAY 20: Presentations by Mintec’s Toronto-branch manager, Richard Moffett at the CIM mining conference earlier this month have helped boost interest in the software developer’s MineSight Implicit Modeler product.
THE mining industry in countries such as Australia and Canada has gone a long way to ticking the risk management box around challenges presented by dynamic ground movement and in particular rock-burst activity. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still “plagued by uncertainty and lack of knowledge” when it comes to the science underpinning ground support strategies.
MAY 17: AIMEX organiser Reed Mining Events’ switch from quadrennial to biannual staging of the Asia Pacific region’s major mining expo has landed the event in a subdued year for the industry as commodity prices sag and investment stalls. But exhibition director Paul Baker sees good reasons for optimism.
MAY 17: CANADIAN simulator training technology giant CAE booked $C2104.5 million of revenue for the year ended March 31, 2013, up 16% from $1821.2 million in FY12, with the ‘core new markets’ division (including mining software) contributing more than the $100 million targeted for the year.
MAY 16: Russian-focused mid-tier gold producer Petropavlovsk will push back the development period for its pressure oxidisation (POX) hub by up to 18 months as part of cost saving measures designed to save $US160 million this year.
MAY 16: Number one global gold producer Barrick Gold Corporation has agreed to sponsor the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) for two years in a boost for the Australian-based organisation seeking to increase awareness of comminution and energy efficiency opportunities.
MAY 16: Shareholders in Australian explorer Albidon have accepted the inevitable, voting overwhelmingly to accept the takeover offer of just $US0.0025 per share from major shareholder Jinchuan Group (Hong Kong) Resources Holdings.
MAY 16: Australia’s No 3 iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group is being challenged to allow third party access to its private Pilbara region rail system.
MAY 16: Laboratory gas testing firm GeoGAS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RungePincockMinarco (RPM) has attained accreditation in gas chromatography testing at its Mackay and Wollongong laboratories in eastern Australia.
MAY 16: UK-based African Eagle Resources has drastically cut back on its operations in Tanzania after failing to find a strategic funding partner for its Dutwa lateritic nickel project.
MAY 15: South African copper producer Palabora Mining says the north hoisting winder at its Limpopo province mine will be out of action until at least the middle of next week due to tangled tail ropes.
MAY 15: It’s tough out there, even with a couple of Brazilian gold and iron projects getting a little traction.
MAY 15: Australian-based global engineering and project management firm Ausenco has forecast a surge in asset optimisation projects for the resources and energy industry as interest in capital-intensive greenfield developments dries up.
MAY 15: Centamin’s Sukari Gold Mine in Egypt has followed a record 2012 financial year with a second successive qtr of record gold production, with Q1 (Mar) 2013 up 2% on the previous qtr to 87,016oz.
MAY 15: The first quarter of 2013 has been extremely challenging for the international mining industry, with the problematic combination of rising operating costs, falling metals prices, lower ore grades and a continued scarcity in the availability of funds, according to the latest IntierraRMG snapshot of the industry.
MAY 15: American specialty metals and steel products manufacturer Kennametal has moved upstream in buying a Bolivian tungsten supplier in a deal expected to be completed in July this year.
MORE than 400 people are expected to attend next week’s major event focused on the $A70 billion-plus Australian mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector, Austmine 2013, which will include a discussion about what the mine of the future – the future circa 2053 – will look like.
MAY 15: MINNG technology and services company Maptek has committed to Gold level sponsorship of the 36th APCOM symposium, the major biannual mineral industry computing and operational research event, to be held in Brazil for the first time in November this year.
QUEENSLAND companies Reynolds Soil Technologies and Proof Engineers have launched a new Geopolymer range of engineered “super absorbent” products and they see opening up multi-million dollar markets in mining, oil and gas, and civil engineering.
“A POSITIVE attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Herm Albright.
PLUTON Resources claims to be coming back in better shape than ever: better funded, producing for the first time, growing and highly competitive. It edged excruciatingly close to trading again on Friday but, after raising hopes, announced another delay, this time until Tuesday. The balance between value and credibility will be tested this week.
THE prospect of slightly stronger platinum prices this year is unlikely to do much for South Africa’s struggling PGM producers, who will continue to cop it from every angle.
SLIGHTLY lower demand for platinum was outpaced by a significant drop in supply from South African miners to push the platinum market into deficit last year, according to Johnson Matthey’s annual platinum review.
AS THE fare was being paid, the question asked of the fund manager by the humble cabbie was remarkably simple: “Do you have any great investments I should be considering? You know the type ... massive asset potential, great management, cashed up to the eyeballs, and about to make a company transformational discovery or deal!”
ASSET management consultancy ScottMadden defines analytics as “the process by which we attempt to bridge the gap between knowledge (data) and action, and how we seek to ensure future actions reflect these data-driven insights.” Some mines have used analytics for amazing results but many haven’t.
WHEN he was a young 24-year-old mining contractor Bill Beament had the unenviable task of standing in front of a bunch of miners to inform them they were facing a significant pay cut. Fast forward to 2013 and the now managing director of successful gold miner Northern Star Resources is seeing the distinct possibility of industry-wide wage cuts for those in the gold sector. The straight talking executive can see other significant changes on the way too.
WHILE the reverse circulation drilling currently underway will be the definitive judge of whether the market sizzle is warranted – at least in this first instance – greenfields gold explorer Breaker Resources has been one of the few market success stories of the past year.
TWO words can mean the difference between lengthy permitting delays and uninterrupted advantages when it comes to staking out a mining patch in the US. Those two words are patented claims.
WHAT exactly complete market capitulation looks like is a tough question to answer but clues can be seen in the treatment being savagely meted out to Gryphon Minerals (ASX: GRY).
URANIUM and vanadium junior Stonehenge Metals may be just another microcap languishing among the train wreck that is the junior resources sector at the moment, but it may also have some big announcements in the coming weeks that could prove very significant for the company’s future.
THE haves and have-nots of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed junior exploration company space are likely to become much more visible, one way or another, over the next few months. Kyrgyz Republic-focused Celsius Coal does have cash and a seemingly sound strategy. And its new CFO thinks it could have a lot more going for it too in the “near term”.
A SIGNIFICANT body of outstanding research and development results has helped turn Western Australia over the past 15 or so years from something of a “cowboy mining state” into a global centre of excellence for both mine ground support knowledge, and application of that know-how to achieve world-class mine safety. The cost of that transition has been high.
WITH ore grading up to 30% zinc, it’s not surprising the owner of the Lisheen mine in Ireland has chased its base metal lodes through some of the worst ground any geotechnical engineer has laid eyes on. It’s also no surprise Lisheen continues to be a source of deep interest for the geomechanics fraternity.
FREDERIC Mercier-Langevin set the bar high in the opening ‘squeezing ground’ segment of Ground Support 2013 with descriptions of rock-burst conditions at the Lapa mine in eastern Canada that certainly fitted the ‘extreme’ promotional tag. The images shown were also a far cry from the pristine underground tunnels usually seen in company annual reports.
IF WATTLE Dam’s riches had of persisted at depth the mine’s successful ground support strategy might have faced a stiffer test, according to consultant Peter Mikula from Mikula Geotechnics.
JOANNA Graaf was at the Cosmos nickel mine in Western Australia for nearly two years before it was shut down last September, resulting in about 150 people losing their job. She was lucky enough to land a new role as senior rock mechanics engineer at Golder Associates at a time when the consulting sector is also doing it tough. But Graaf had even more luck at Cosmos.
LESSONS – and more – from the Beaconsfield underground mine collapse in 2006 are being applied more widely by the key people involved in responding to the incident and mapping a safe path back to production. They are lessons that are becoming more valuable as more mines head into deeper, higher-stress environments, according to Peter Hills.
RESPECTED rock mechanics engineer Peter Mikula welcomed aerospace engineering PhD Charles Lilley to the Ground Support 2013 stage with an optimistic aside. “Maybe we’ll get the fastest [rock] bolt we’ve ever seen”. Lilley suggested he and the team at Beck Engineering had something more valuable.
QUALITY data is still the key to valuable predictive studies, but current numerical modelling technology and methodology is proving accurate and more than useful in critical ground support validation and assessment work, as shown again by Itasca at the Henderson molybdenum mine in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
IT’S so far, so good for the Expanding Stiff Split Set, “quite a new concept” in mine ground support, according to respected geotechnical engineer Peter Fuller, who is working with the concept’s creator at mining consultancy, Mining One.
WE ARE moving ever closer to a totally connected world, a state that some are calling “the Internet of Things”. It’s a world in which more and more inanimate objects are fitted with sensors that feed data onto networks. This rising flood of data is part of the Big Data phenomenon, and it’s increasingly being seen as a source of vital information that will enable companies to gain new insights into the way their businesses work, so improving performance through better decision-making.