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February 13 - 19, 2014 edition Fri 22/08/2014

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EVENTS

Mining Journal and HighGrade

HighGrade.net is now part of Mining Journal, the world's leading weekly mining business journal. For all the latest HighGrade and Mining Journal columns, indepth Australian and global exploration, finance and investment news and features, and technology insights, go to www.mining-journal.com.

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News Desk

Fresh eyes, fresh rocks

Kefi Minerals plc’s recent entry into Ethiopia shows an excellent feel for market appetite. It also demonstrates management’s ability to identify burgeoning mining nations and its preparedness to take on their challenges.

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Gem Diamonds shows its two big stones

An understated, five-line regulatory announcement from Gem Diamonds Ltd this week told the market of another two, large, plus-160 carat diamonds that could add around US$20 million to the March quarterly bottom line.

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African hot spot

Which is far and away the best gold exploration destination in West Africa? According to one very experienced gold miner, the answer is Ivory Coast.

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Willis advises miners to treat risk seriously

Mining companies must resist the temptation to achieve cost reductions by cutting expenditure on risk management, Willis Group Holdings has said.

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Big resource, missing value

Iron ore developers that came to the market several years ago bragging about the size of their resource may need to revisit the style of their projects if they’re to win back the approval of London investment bank SP Angel, which this week cited infrastructure headaches and a falling price as reasons to avoid several West African iron ore companies.

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ABG looks ahead after grisly 2013

African Barrick Gold plc (ABG) has unveiled a programme to generate positive cash flow in 2014 after reporting a net loss of US$781 million last year.

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Anglo in the red again

Anglo American has failed to haul itself back into the black in 2013 after reporting hefty write-downs and rocketing debt, while labour unrest continues to disrupt production at its South African platinum business.

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Burgess heads for OZ exit door

OZ Minerals chief executive Terry Burgess is to step down after the company reported a loss last year of A$294.4 million (US$267 million).

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On both sides of the deal

HudBay Minerals Inc has been looking for that elusive project, mine or company for quite some time. Its criteria has been simple: it had to be in the Americas, contain substantial volumes of copper or zinc, fit into the company’s project schedule and cost no more than 20% of its market capitalisation.

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Miners to look on in envy at global IPO recovery

Junior miners could be forced to fight over the world’s financial scraps for a while yet, despite signs of a global economic recovery, after enduring a disastrous couple of years on equity markets.

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Barrick Gold cuts reserves by a quarter

Barrick Gold Corp has cut its overall reserves by a quarter to 104.1Moz after applying a lower gold price of US$1,100/oz to its estimates and removing ounces that do not meet hurdle rates.

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Hard times at Asia Resource Minerals

Indonesian coal miner Asia Resource Minerals plc (ARMs), formerly known as Bumi, has said its production costs rose 15% in the December quarter, while the price it received for its products fell 8%.

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QKR kicks-off private funds investment drive

Private mining investment group, UK-based QKR Corp, has agreed to purchase the Navachab gold mine in Namibia from AngloGold Ashanti.

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Nationalism worries fade

At a time when commodity prices are weak and capital expenditure is being cut, resource nationalism has been rearing its ugly head.

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Peru: the place to build a mining company

Aim-listed Minera IRL Ltd has benefited from the rise of the Andean country. It has more than five years of profitable operations under its belt from its Corihuami gold mine in Peru, which has given it the confidence to launch another US$178 million project there.

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VIEW FROM THE WEST END

Secret miners’ business

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“A career is born in public; talent in privacy.” – Marilyn Monroe
There are many activities that are best carried out in private – reality TV and the sad titillating obsession that the great unwashed have with the mundane goings on of the mediocre are two examples that come to mind.

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FROM THE CAPITAL

Noble objective

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Integrity is one of the most highly cherished business characteristics, but one rarely discussed in polite company – let alone measured by analysts. A paper presented at last month’s annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia stakes out new ground by offering a way to quantify its presence.

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GOLD

Gold miner wins rare kudos

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Management at the Mick Wilkes-led gold miner OceanaGold Ltd is winning a good reputation for its strategic and operational performance in recent times.

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SOUTH AMERICA

Outstanding, but low-key till now

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The most outstanding story in the junior resources sector is how Cygnet Capital’s corporate finance executive Dan Fraser describes an emerging copper play in Chile in which his firm is involved.

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EVENTS

Roll up, roll out, or roll over

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Ahead of a major exploration sector get together this week in Perth (or more specifically Fremantle), Western Australia, there have again been calls for consolidation in the beleaguered sector. But that is only surely part of the solution, given it will bypass most.

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FINANCE

Fight or flight for private equity

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‘Coming to a screen near you…private equity (PE) investment’. Or so the market thought.

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AFRICA

Kaoko promise

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Mid-tier diversified miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd has made another investment at the very junior end of the resources sector, this time agreeing to farm into a promising copper project in northern Namibia near the border with Angola.

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AFRICA

Grade changes gold junior’s orbit

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Orbis Gold Ltd continues to emerge as one of the more promising juniors in West Africa with Macquarie’s initiation of coverage of the stock testament to both its perceived equity prospects and it future debt requirements.

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GOLD

Positives can lift Phoenix

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Attracting about A$30-40 million of equity is too much to ask in the current market and has led Phoenix Gold Ltd to adopt a staged project development strategy at its gold deposits near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

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EVENTS

Where were the miners at Indaba?

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For the uninitiated, Where’s Wally is one of those delightful children’s puzzles that involves trying to spot a cartoon character wearing a candy-striped top in a large crowd. While that might not seem to have a lot to do with mining, it does if you were trying to find a genuine miner at last week’s Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

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CONSULTING

Consulting outlook 2014: End of the big freeze?

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A key mining-service growth area of the past decade or so, the billion-dollar-a-year technical consulting sector had its annus horribilus last year. Company chiefs are sounding reasonably confident that 2014 will not be a repeat. They are, like their clients, geoscientists and miners – in other words, born optimists.

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CONSULTING

Consulting outlook 2014: Markets run hot...and cold

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The eyes of the football world are on Brazil in this World Cup year. Fair to say the world’s mining consultants have been lining up goals in Latin America, too, in recent years and have decided being close is best after some longer-range misses. Many see the region as the key to their growth this decade.

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CONSULTING

Consulting outlook 2014: Innovation to the fore

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Key technical and financial trends in mining have elicited a range of responses from the best consulting firms. Several are seeing opportunities where none existed five years ago.

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MINING IT

Sandvik's good spatial awareness

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It was a smart move by Sandvik to link up with Australia’s Maptek on integrated planning and execution technology enablers between machines and the industry’s increasingly sophisticated planning and data management software. Maptek has been, and is, extremely busy developing new capabilities.

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MINING IT

Right on schedule

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Yikai Ren has done it again.

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TECHNOLOGY

IIT sizes up China market

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A British firm that has established a beachhead in China for its innovative fine-grinding equipment is hoping to use the connection to bring more of its technology to that country’s vast industrial base, and potentially build exposure to other mineral processing market segments.

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INSIGHT

Toronto welcomes Latin flavour

Could there be a better inaugural ‘country sponsor’ for this year’s PDAC conference than Peru?

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Seeking a time in the sun; METS meet roadblocks

NEW political horizons for Iran are opening a door ever so slightly to outside mining investment and the prospects within seem abundant.

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