GOLD’s gradual decline from the beginning of the year followed by spectacular losses in mid-April have prompted gold bulls into a fighting withdrawal and seen the bears firing from the hip. Most shots have been taken from the safety of the trenches but London’s Association of Mining Analysts last month established a frontline for the battle, pitting three of gold’s most bullish bulls against three ardent grizzly bears in a debate at Burlington House, London.
JUNE 20: Between the jigs and the reels, comparing copper miner PanAust and copper hopeful Rex Minerals makes for an interesting investment exercise for red metal bulls on the lookout for copper opportunities.
JUNE 20: IT IS not a silver bullet and it is not a rebadged flow through share scheme rejected by both sides of politics in Australia for many years, but it is a proposal aimed at boosting greenfield exploration in Australia and the discovery of a new generation of mines under cover. Its name is Minerals Exploration Tax Credit (METC).
JUNE 20: Canadian explorer Seafield Resources is moving closer to its goal of becoming a gold producer in Colombia with the release of a positive preliminary economic assessment at its 100%-owned Miraflores deposit in the Quinchía district.
JUNE 19: Coalspur Mines has put a $C458M capex on the first stage of its $1.24B Vista project in Alberta, Canada, with plans to deliver first thermal coal production in mid-2015.
JUNE 19: Miner Coal of Africa will move on to funding negotiations after completing a definitive feasibility study that promises robust economic returns from the development of its flagship Makhado coking coal project in South Africa’s Soutpansberg coalfield.
MEASUREMENT Devices (MDL) will use the upcoming Australian Institute of Mine Surveyors Conference in South Australia to introduce the Void Scanner Mk3, which it says is the latest development of its robotic underground mine laser scanner.
EXPERIENCED mining executive and underground miner Mike Spreadborough will become chief operating officer at Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) in August.
A BREAKTHROUGH said to bring the computer science world closer to solving problems more complex than any current supercomputer can address, in codebreaking, physics, and clean energy, has been achieved by researchers from the University of Sydney and Dartmouth College in the US.
GLOBAL mining equipment simulator training leader Immersive Technologies has renewed its third information exchange agreement with a major equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the past few years, giving it access to the OEM’s proprietary engineering data.
MORE than half a million dollars worth of Komatsu machinery damaged in the 2011 Queensland floods has been remediated and donated to training organisations as a learning tool for Australian apprentices.
FORMER Newcrest Mining geotechnical engineer Michael Pfitzner has joined pitt&sherry as principal consultant – mining geomechanics in the consulting firm’s mining division.
DIRECTORS of Aguia Resources decided recently to rewrite a 2011 deal they had used to purchase potash assets located in Brazil. Perversely, they opted to make the terms more generous for the vendors of assets that had since proved worthless. They said the move would attract new investors at a higher share price.
SELFISHNESS is a reasonably universal human failing, if indeed you want to call it a failing. As dear old Gordon Gekko said, “greed is good … greed works”. Self-obsession to a large degree is genetically hardwired – looking after number one is the way that most animals, other than ants, managed to get on in the world and so who are we to argue with evolution?
GIVEN the Catch-22 elements of getting financing for projects featuring non-market traded commodities, Humphrey Hale and the team at Wolf Minerals seem to have done an absolutely sterling job finding the funds for the Hemerdon tungsten and tin project in south-west England. As always shareholders will now be hoping for some market acknowledgement to kick-in, though the market may be keen to see one issue resolved before getting too carried away.
THE central plank of the argument for the negative is that quantitative easing has not worked and political and financial systems are broken. In such an uncertain environment, gold’s proven performance as a safe haven asset and the lack of a reasonable investment alternative makes it a necessary component of any portfolio.
I ANALYSED some loading unit (rope shovels and hydraulic excavator) data a few days ago to try to understand why the average annual output seems so low. The results are interesting so I thought I would share them. The key messages may help people in some small way to close the chasm between average performance and best practice (what the best are actually achieving).
URANIUM hopeful Energy and Minerals Australia (ASX: EMA) to be the next BC Iron! That’s the call from BC Iron’s founder Mike Young, with Young also backing a forecast that claims the commodity is ultimately set to enjoy a price performance equivalent to “iron ore on steroids”.
MINE geomechanics has been big news in 2013, though the average mining industry observer would hardly know it. For while the giant ground movements at Bingham Canyon and Grasberg have reinforced the magnitude of the challenges the industry faces in the ‘mass mining’ era, news headlines have focused on supply disruptions and, far more poignantly, the significant loss of life at Grasberg.
QUITE when the long awaited change in fortune for those leveraged to zinc will occur can’t be known, but what is as near certain as certain can be is that the zinc price has to significantly improve if the world still wants zinc. And soon! That’s the situation, according to the folk at Ironbark Zinc, and no juniors are as leveraged as they are.
MINOTAUR, as the “part man, part bull” name suggests, is an accurate depiction of a new alliance, which now has the “head” of a bullish investor eager to develop copper-gold mineral deposits in Australia, and is “armed” with the experienced hands of previous discovery success.
THE University of Western Australia’s Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET) believes a new partnership with a WA seismic technology and consulting company could help accelerate the uptake of seismic techniques in minerals exploration.
EIGHT-year-old Orelogy is teaching the grown-ups a thing or two about optimisation, a term the company’s founding managing director Steve Craig describes as one of the most abused in the mine scheduling space.
AUSTRALIAN mining technology services firm COSOL has continued its offshore expansion, establishing a permanent office in Mongolia on the back of its involvement at the major new Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project and what it sees as continuing strong growth prospects in the region.
VENTYX World 2013 in San Francisco has seen the unveiling this week of what ABB Ventyx is calling an “innovative new solution for managing the health of mission-critical assets underpinning the operations of companies in asset-intensive industries such as energy and mining”.