LAUNCESTON, Australia - While it's easy to point the finger of blame at Rio Tinto's former management and feel a tad smug about their downfall, the real lesson of the company's humiliating exit from its Mozambique coal assets is that the wheels of the next commodity boom are now in motion.

This may seem counterintuitive at first, as once all the arguments over Rio Tinto's wisdom of paying $4 billion to gain a foothold in Mozambique are stripped away, it comes down to the fact that weak coal prices made it uneconomic to spend any more to develop the mines and infrastructure.

Oversupply in the coal sector has been a chronic problem, and given the amount of mine capacity that is currently underutilized, it's likely that prices will struggle for some time to come even if optimistic demand projections are met.

When Rio bought Riversdale's Mozambique assets in 2011, thermal coal prices at Australia's Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark, had peaked at $136.30 a tonne in January of that year. Coking coal reached an eye-watering $330 a tonne at mid-year....
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 7:00:24 AM
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Renaissance Minerals has announced further positive results from its most recent diamond drilling program at the 1.2 million ounce Okvau Gold Project. Drilling was done outside the current resource envelope, where a zone of high grade mineralization has been well defined.

The drilling also targeted high grade zones within the existing resource envelope, to test the geological model in areas that lacked previous drilling.

Renaissance’s managing director Justin Tremain says, “The results support the company’s geological model of the Okvau deposit and demonstrate the predictability of high grade shoots.

“The grade of the intercepts on the western margin of Okvau and validity of the geological model indicate potential to enhance the current resource grade of the Okvau deposit. Furthermore, drilling outside of the Okvau resource has defined additional shallow mineralization with excellent grade.”...
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:56:57 AM
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Shares in Lynas Corporation have slumped, with investors disappointed by a fall in prices and the troubled rare earths miner's ongoing cash flow problems.

Lynas shares dropped 17 per cent in early trade on Thursday on news that the average selling price of its rare earths slipped more than $4 to $18.25 a kilogram in the June quarter.

Meanwhile, Lynas continued to lose money, with costs hitting $56 million while it collected just $26.5 million from the sale of goods.

The company carried out a $40 million capital raising during the quarter to help address liquidity concerns.

Lynas has had a troubled recent history, with chief executive Eric Noyrez quitting in June after just 14 months with the miner.

Lynas announced a $59 million first half loss in March after high costs linked to its Malaysian refinery, coupled with lower prices, dragged down its earnings.

Shares in Lynas were 2.5 cents, or 12 per cent, lower at 18 cents at 1106 AEST. The stock had fallen as low as 16.25 cents earlier in the session.
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:53:57 AM
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Heading into Kalgoorlie-Boulder's Diggers and Dealers this time last year, Northern Star Resources was a one-mine com- pany, though managing director Bill Beament had made no secret that he wanted new assets.

A year on and Northern Star is the second-biggest Australian gold miner by production, flagging output of up to 600,000 ounces this financial year. It follows the quick-fire acquisition of Barrick's Plutonic, Kanowna and Kundana mines, and most recently, Newmont Mining's Jundee operation.

The big question now is whether Mr Beament's management team can scale up their success at the Paulsens gold mine across a broader suite of assets.

That was partly answered a few weeks ago with strong production figures. Today's full quarterly report is likely to show whether it has also been able to keep costs under control....
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:43:47 AM
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Despite reporting a quarter-on-quarter decline in gold production during the three months to June, ASX-listed Doray Minerals' Andy Well mine, in Western Australia, has met its first year production and cost guidance.

The Andy Well mine produced 18 767 oz of gold during the quarter, compared with the 20 054 oz produced in the March quarter, bringing its full-year production to 76 785 oz.

Cash costs for the full year were recorded at A$522/oz.

Doray MD Allan Kelly said the figures confirmed the company’s position as one of Australia’s highest margin gold produces over the previous year....
The Mining Hub
Andy Well
August 1, 2014 6:40:41 AM
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ASX-listed junior WPG Resources on Thursday told shareholders that it would fast-track the development of its recently acquired Tarcoola gold project, in South Australia, with the aim of starting operations late next year.

WPG acquired the Tarcoola and Tunkillia gold operations from fellow-listed Mungana Goldmines in May. Previous scoping and feasibility studies had defined a total resource estimate of some 26.3-million tonnes at Tunkillia, grading 1.04 g/t gold for 878 000 oz of gold, as well as 2.5-million ounces of silver, at the 100% level.

WPG said a review of data has confirmed that the Tarcoola gold project could be developed into a 20 000 oz/y gold operation. The project could be developed into a conventional openpit operation with associated heap-leach processing....
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:34:12 AM
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Toronto-based IamGold Corp. declared commercial production at its Westwood underground gold mine 40 km east of Rouyn-Noranda. The mine hoisted an average of 1,075 t/d for the first 30 days of July 2014.

IamGold president and CEO Steve Letwin said that the Doyon division (Doyon and Westwood mines) is expected to produce between 100,000 and 120,000 oz of gold this year. As production continues to ramp up, cash costs at Westwood will fall during the second half of the year to between US$750 and $850 per oz.

Westwood ore is trucked 2 km to the existing Doyon CIP mill.
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:32:18 AM
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Hastings Deerings is reportedly set to cut 400 jobs across its Queensland operations.

In a statement released yesterday, the major mining machinery supplier and distributor announced it has carried out a review of its current situation and it is "anticipated this will result in approximately 400 redundancies across Hastings Deering's business," the ABC reports.

It is believed that the first round of redundancies will begin this month.

Only last month the company opened a new longwall shearer service facility to aid mining in Queensland.

Australian Mining has contacted Hastings Deering for additional comment.

Last year the company slashed approximately five per cent of its total workforce.
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:29:54 AM
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Panorama Synergy has demonstrated the viability of its laser-based Optical Readout System, the LumiMEMS Reader.

In partnership with the University of Western Australia (UWA), Panorama Synergy has developed a patented optical reader for Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) which enables the detection and measurement of previously undetectable substances.

As a result, the Company has commenced the development first generation systems for potential new end market applications.

All MEMS devices need a readout system to assess and communicate the data that is measured. Currently MEMS readers measure and communicate information electronically, which is subject to interference from electrical ‘noise’ from nearby devices and the environment. The only alternative technology, which is more sensitive and therefore more accurate, is an optical system using a laser directed at a MEMS sensor.....
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:27:33 AM
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Mining titan Glencore (LON:GLEN) and ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), the world’s No.1 steelmaker, are said to be seeking a stake in the southern portion of Guinea’s Simandou, the world’s largest untapped iron-ore deposit.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Thursday that ArcelorMittal is interested in the bidding process for two licenses covering the project.

Switzerland-based Glencore, which is also said to be in the race for Simandou, said in May it had a “key advantage” over the main iron ore producers. According to chief Ivan Glasenberg his firm has not been affected by the recent slump in the commodity prices, precisely because it is a small player in that market.

World number two miner Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) is developing the southern part of the vast mountain deposit with first production from the massive $20 billion project not expected until late 2018 at the earliest....
The Mining Hub
August 1, 2014 6:22:39 AM
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