Archive | Australia/New Caledonia/Papua New Guinea Mining

Copper Mountain bids $70M for Altona Mining – Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – November 21, 2017)

Copper Mountain Mining (TSX: CMMC) announced that it has tabled a $70-million, all-share bid for Australia-based Altona Mining (ASX:AOH) and its district-scale Cloncurry copper-gold property, located 95 km northeast of Mount Isa in Queensland.

According to Altona’s updated feasibility study, Cloncurry is a 19,200-tonnes-per-day open pit mine comprised of four copper-gold deposits that would produce 86 million lbs. copper and 17,200 oz. gold annually over a 14-year mine life at cash costs of $1.92 per lb.

In an official statement, Copper Mountain said that if the acquisition comes to fruition, it would be targeting production by 2020 and would likely fund the $217 million capital expenditure requirements of the mine via debt facilities and treasury. Continue Reading →

Great Barrier Reef Pitted Against Coal Jobs in Australia Vote – by Jason Scott and Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – November 21, 2017)

The fate of Adani Group’s A$16.5 billion ($12.4 billion) Australian coal mine hinges on weekend elections in Queensland state, as voters weigh the promise of new jobs against a potential environmental threat to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Labor government has vowed to reject A$900 million in federal funding for a new rail link, which is needed to carry coal to the coast for export. The opposition Liberal National Party, vying to win office in Saturday’s ballot, says that threatens the viability of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s project, and with it the economic future of the resource-rich state.

As the world grapples with the fossil fuel’s role in the future energy mix, the proposed Carmichael mine has become a defining issue in the election. Opinion polls indicate the result is too close to call. Continue Reading →

China is winning electric cars ‘arms race’: The global scramble for lithium – by Daniel Shane (NBC Montana – November 20, 2017)

HONG KONG (CNNMoney) – China is outmaneuvering the U.S. and other countries in the global scramble for a vital element for electric cars.

As demand for the vehicles surges, Chinese companies have been doing deals around the world to secure supplies of lithium, a silvery-white metal mined from rocks in Australia and brine pools in South America.

China is the top market for electric and hybrid cars, accounting for roughly half of global sales, and the government is pushing the development of the industry within its borders. That calls for a lot of lithium, a key component of the vehicles’ batteries. Continue Reading →

BHP to exit shale within two years, sell nickel assets – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 17, 2017)

World’s largest miner BHP (ASX, NYSE:BHP) (LON:BLT) expects to fully divest its US oil and gas business, which it acquired in a $20 billion deals spree in 2011, and is also seeking a buyer for its nickel business in Australia.

The announcements, made by chief executive Andrew Mackenzie during a conference call with investors and media on Thursday, come on the heels of global fund manager Aberdeen Standard Investments decision to fully support activist investor Elliott Management’s push for widespread structural changes at BHP.

Aberdeen is the third-biggest shareholder in BHP, with a 4.9% holding, just behind Elliott, which has a 5.04% stake in the group. The Anglo-Australian mining giant has been under pressure from Elliott Management to rethink its investment in oil and boost shareholder returns. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Zinc market focus turns to new supply, but don’t forget Quebec – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – November 15, 2017)

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The Dugald River zinc mine in the Australian state of Queensland made its maiden shipment of concentrates earlier this month. Once ramped up to full speed, the mine will produce around 170,000 tonnes per year of contained metal.

It is the most tangible sign yet of the coming wave of new zinc supply, timed to capitalise on decade-high prices and a structural shortfall of raw materials. All over the world, it seems, geologists are revisiting old mine plans in a collective new zinc rush.

They’re even looking to revive the giant Century mine in Australia. Once operated by Dugald River’s owner MMG, Century’s closure in 2015 was a symbolic milestone on the road to global market deficit. Continue Reading →

How Rio Tinto chief Jean-Sébastien Jacques learnt the power of social media – by Pilita Clark (Australian Financial Review – November 13, 2017)

Of all the chief executives at a FTSE 100 company, the one I am coming to know best is Jean-Sébastien Jacques, the 46-year-old Frenchman appointed to run the Rio Tinto mining group last year.

Mr Jacques has lived in London for more than a decade and was “insanely happy” when he became a British citizen in 2013. He loves rugby. He travels constantly. His wife nicks his socks and he lives around the corner from a French bakery selling bread as good as any you can get in Paris.

I learnt all this from French Yummy Mummy, a blog by a gabby London-based Parisian engineer named Muriel Demarcus who is, I recently discovered, also Mr Jacques’ wife. Continue Reading →

The Museum of Mining WA: $100 million plan unveiled – by Kent Acott (Perth Now – November 13, 2017)

A BOLD plan to create the world’s biggest and most interactive mining museum — including an actual mine shaft — has been unveiled. It is former State architect Steve Woodland’s $100 million vision to attract international and interstate tourists to WA and help build on Perth’s personality and uniqueness.

Mr Woodland, who has been an architect for more than 40 years, believes the museum could be built from public and private funds, be housed in the old East Perth power station or on the Burswood Peninsula and be built in time for WA’s bicentenary in 2029.

“The Museum of Mining WA could offer experiences like no other in the world,” Mr Woodland said. “Immersive technologies can transport the visitor into the mining arena, where they can witness the sounds and shocks of a mining explosion, ride a subterranean train into the depths of the earth, be submersed below an oil rig rich in marine life and drive a Haulpak truck by remote control. Continue Reading →

One of the World’s Biggest Miners Is About to Go Coal-Free – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – November 10, 2017)

Just five years ago it would have been almost unthinkable that one of the world’s biggest mining companies would not dig any coal. It’s now likely to become a reality.

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-largest miner, has been steadily backtracking from coal to focus on better assets. It’s now looking for buyers for its remaining coal mines in Australia, and a sale will mark a complete exit from the fuel.

Rio’s potential coal-free future is in stark contrast with many of its rivals. Glencore Plc, the world’s top coal shipper, this year increased its exposure by agreeing to pay $1.1 billion plus royalties for a large stake in Australian assets sold by Rio. Continue Reading →

[Australia Coal] Even Conservative Queenslanders Hate The Idea Of Adani Getting Government Handouts Anthony Sharwoord (HuffPost Australia – November 8,  2017)

Pay your own way, please. These, as far as we know, were not the exact words Queenslanders used when asked how they feel about $1 billion in taxpayer funds being funnelled to Adani to help the Indian resources giant build its proposed Carmichael coal mine.

But they seem a pretty close approximation of the vibe, if a new poll released this week is anything to go by. And interestingly, coal miners are among those who are most strongly opposed.

The ReachTEL poll, commissioned by the Stop Adani movement, showed that approximately seven out of 10 Queenslanders believe Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk did the right thing last weekend when she announced her Labor Government would have “no role in the future” of an assessment of the $1 billion loan to Adani. Continue Reading →

Spare a Nickel for Vale? – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – November 8, 2017)

Here’s a sign that 2017’s nickel boom is in full swing: Vale SA is looking to sell a slice of its New Caledonian unit, and seems to be attracting bidders.

The interest in Vale New Caledonia, or VNC, is surprising because the division — on a French-ruled island in the Pacific that’s due to hold a vote on independence next year — is one of the highest-cost mines in an industry that’s spent years losing money.

The existence of willing buyers is as strong a signal as you could want that the prospect of fresh demand from electric vehicle batteries is leading many to bet on a recovery from nickel’s three-year slump. Continue Reading →

Biggest Miner Tracking Trucker Brain Waves in Technology Race – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – November 1, 2017)

Truck drivers employed by the world’s biggest mining company are wearing baseball caps and hard helmets with sensors mounted inside to track their brain waves so they can get early warnings of fatigue and cut accidents.

BHP Billiton Ltd. has deployed the technology for 150 trucks at the Escondida copper mine it operates in Chile as part of efforts to boost safety, Chief Technology Officer Diane Jurgens told reporters Wednesday on the sidelines of a mining forum in Melbourne.

The company intends to adopt the method at other sites globally, including its giant iron ore mines in Australia, she said. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto adds alumina refineries to aluminum smelters sale: sources – by James Regan (Reuters U.S. – October 31, 2017)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Rio Tinto is attracting renewed interest in selling its Pacific Aluminium smelting unit by adding two alumina refineries in Australia to the portfolio, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Rio Tinto had tried to sell the division minus the refineries in 2011 and again in 2015 without success. Switzerland-headquartered Glencore, Liberty House of Britain, and Russia’s Rusal have all expressed interest, according to the sources, who declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak to media.

By including the refineries, Rio could potentially double the original $1 billion price tag for Pacific Aluminium, the sources said. Continue Reading →

Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore mine to introduce driverless mining trucks – by Matt Chambers (The Australian – October 31, 2017)

Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore mine plans to roll out driverless mining trucks in the second half of next year and will look to increase capacity beyond current plans of 55 million tonnes per year, once the new operations are running smoothly.

The move to implement autonomous mining trucks sees Roy Hill join its three bigger rivals Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group in the Pilbara mining region of Western Australia in moving that way and follows a program to install autonomous drilling.

“We are looking at the phased implementation (of autonomous trucks) in the second half of next year,” Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said today on the sidelines of the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne. Continue Reading →

Catholic, Anglican bishops unite in opposition to Adani mega-mine – by Nicole Hasham (Sydney Morning Herald – October 30, 2017)

It may have the Turnbull and Palaszczuk governments firmly in its corner, but the Adani super-mine is facing a formidable new opponent: the Christian faith.

The Catholic and Anglican bishops of Townsville have issued a joint statement to their followers criticising “projected mega-mining developments across Queensland, especially the Galilee Basin”, and accusing politicians and big business of failing to protect the common good.

The bishops’ message puts them head-to-head with Adani, the Indian mining behemoth behind the $16.5 billion Carmichael mine proposed for the Galilee Basin. It also puts them at odds with the local council and state and federal governments, which resoundingly support the project. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Old King Coal is not dead – by Rom Owen (The Gympie Times – October 29, 2017)

STEVE Hall’s prediction that “Coal is Dead” and claims that coal “will become a stranded asset” due to “renewable energy” is just a dream.

Thermal coal fuels 41 per cent of global electricity generation because it is reliable and affordable. Safer than nuclear and less worrisome for those who live below the walls of hydro-electric dams.

Coal is affordable as it is the most abundant fossil fuel on Earth. The total amount of coal in the world is so large (equivalent to about 150,000 quadrillion BTU) that the possession of even a small fraction represents a major economic benefit. Continue Reading →