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GBF secures lease of Burbanks Gold Processing Mill

Orminex Limited’s strategic partner, GBF Mining Limited has secured the right to enter into a 12-month lease with an attached option to buy 50 per cent of the Burbanks Gold Processing Mill. Located approximately 9 kilometres south-east of Coolgardie, Western Australia, the Burbanks Gold Processing Mill holds the capacity to process 200,000 tonnes per year and has already been used to process the first campaign from Orminex’s Comet Vale project and a recent second campaign of ore. The Mill features sufficient capacity to process all of Comet Vale’s ore once the mine reaches full production. The binding term sheet is subject to due diligence and final documentation and updates will continue to be provided by Orminex as the transaction progresses. Orminex Executive Chairman, Daryl Henthorn, said GBF’s acquisition of the Mill further progresses their Mineral Ventures mode... more

New block cave project approved for Northparkes

China Molybdenum Company (CMOC) and Sumitomo have approved a new block cave mine at Northparkes Mines (Northparkes), named E26 Lift 1 North. Northparkes is a copper and gold mine located approximately 27 kilometres north-west of Parkes, in the Central West of New South Wales. In 2015, Northparkes became the worlds most automated underground mine with 100 per cent of production from automated loaders and was also the first mine in Australia to use the highly efficient and now widely-used block cave mining method. CMOC and Sumitomo’s new investment will be more than $200 million over a three and half year period, with construction on track to commence this month. The project will deliver 11 kilometres of underground development, an underground primary crusher, conveying systems and associated infrastructure. The project is estimated to produce approximately 40 million tonn... more

Commercial production begins at WA gold mine

Dacian Gold Limited has commenced commercial production at its 100 per cent‐owned Mt Morgans Gold Operation (MMGO), 37 kilometres west-southwest of Laverton in Western Australia. With an initial Ore Reserve of 1.4 million ounces (Moz) and a Mineral Resource of 3.5 Moz (including Ore Reserves), Mt Morgans is considered to be the largest new gold mine to come on stream in Australia in the past six years. The declaration of commercial production follows combined mining rates across the MMGO, which achieved Feasibility Study design levels during the December quarter. Dacian has stated that gold production for the December quarter totalled 37,930 ounces, a significant increase on the prior quarter and in line with the company’s guidance of progressively increasing production through FY19. Gold poured for the December quarter also totalled 38,479 ounces. Underground mining h... more

Multiple lithium intercepts found at Youanmi

Venus Metals Corporation Limited and farm-in partner Lepidico Ltd have announced the assay results from the late 2018 reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the Youanmi Lepidolite Project in Western Australia. A preliminary review of the assay results discovered multiple lepidolite-bearing pegmatites at Youanmi with indications of stronger concentrations of lithium mineralisation than previously suggested by geological logging. The Central Zone was found to contain a complex cluster of over ten pegmatites ranging from 1 metre to 7 metres in width and averaging around 2 metres in thickness. Average grades over mineralised intercepts were found to range from around 0.4 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) to 0.7 per cent Li2O and often exceed 1.0 per cent Li2O. Further to this, the results highlighted that the main ‘Target 1’ pegmatite at the Northern Zone continues as a 3 ... more

Sheffield locks in LNG supply agreement for Thunderbird

Sheffield Resources Limited (Sheffield) has secured a 15-year agreement (Agreement) with Woodside Energy Limited (Woodside) and Energy Developments Pty Ltd (EDL) for the supply and delivery of 1,950 terajoules per annum of liquified natural gas (LNG) to the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project (Thunderbird), in northern Western Australia. As per the Agreement, LNG will be supplied from Woodside’s Pluto LNG Truck Loading Facility near Karratha and transported to Thunderbird’s LNG storage facility by a newly formed joint venture between Woodside and EDL. The Woodside-EDL joint venture will own and operate a purpose-built road tanker fleet to deliver the LNG to Thunderbird. Sheffield has stated that using LNG at Thunderbird provides them with a low cost, low emission, fuel source that is ideally suited to the ilmenite low-temperature roast process proposed for the Thunderbird proc... more

Alcoa secures BHP, Chevron and Woodside gas deals

Western Australia’s single largest user of natural gas, Alcoa of Australia Limited has secured three new gas supply agreements which in full will supply close to 25 per cent of the company’s gas requirements from 2020. The agreements with BHP, Woodside and Chevron coupled with other gas supply contracts, which were announced in 2015 (Quadrant Energy and Santos), complete Alcoa’s gas portfolio to fuel its Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup alumina refineries for the mid-term. The company consumes approximately 40 per cent of the gas supplied to the south west of Western Australia and about 25 per cent of the state’s total domestic gas supply. President of Alcoa Alumina and Managing Director of Alcoa of Australia, Michael Parker said in securing these new gas contracts Alcoa is demonstrating to employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where they operate that Alcoa is... more

Woodside signs gas supply agreement with urea plant

Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd and Woodside Energy Limited have signed a historic Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) for the supply of pipeline gas to the proposed Perdaman Urea Plant on the Burrup Peninsula in Karratha for a period of 20 years, with the option to extend to 25 years. The 2 million tonnes per annum (tpa) Urea Plant will be Australia’s first urea export project supplying the demand in the growing Asia Pacific region. It is expected to create in excess of 2,000 direct jobs during the project’s three-year construction phase and hold a permanent staff of 200 to operate the plant on a non-FIFO basis in Karratha. The GSPA is for a quantity of approximately 125 terajoules (TJ) of gas per day for use in the proposed urea plant. Gas will be supplied from Woodside’s portfolio and primarily sourced from the company’s proposed Scarborough development. ... more

Production commences at Ichthys LNG Project

INPEX has just announced that they have officially commenced operations at the Ichthys LNG Project, which is located in the Ichthys Gas-condensate Field, offshore of Western Australia. The large-scale project is expected to be operational for over 40 years. The project is set to produce and ship approximately 8.9 million tons of LNG, along with approximately 1.65 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per year. Aside from this, it is predicted that the project will further produce approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day during its peak. The produced gas will be gathered within the Central Processing Facility (Ichthys Explorer) where it will be separated into gases and liquids. Thereafter, the liquids will be piped to the nearby Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Facility (called the Ichthys Venturer), whereas the gases will be transported via the... more

New grid-scale battery to increase Yorke Peninsula energy reliability

The Australian Government has announced the completion of a grid-scale battery at Dalrymple substation on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula. The Dalrymple ESCRI ElectraNet 30 megawatt (MW) / 8 MWh grid-scale battery will improve energy reliability for 4,500 local households and businesses by working together with the existing 90 MW Wattle Point Wind Farm and rooftop solar photovoltaic panels to provide back-up power supply to the region. In the event of a supply interruption from the electricity grid, the Dalrymple battery can provide 2-3 hours of electricity while connection to the grid is restored. Local federal MP Rowan Ramsey said the Dalrymple battery would provide more reliable power for customers at the fringe of the South Australian grid. “The Dalrymple battery is strategically located to instantly respond to the intermittency and variability of power generated fro... more

Two new wind projects completed in Australia

Less than a year after construction began, global renewable energy company, BayWa r.e., have completed two new wind farms in Victoria.  Located at Timboon West and Yawong, the two farms each consist of two Vestas V126 3.6 megawatt (MW) turbines, spanning up to 150 metres tall at the tip of the blade. The two wind farms have the capacity to produce enough clean energy to power 9,000 Australian homes. Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Wind Pty Ltd, David Shapero, said the company is thrilled to have the first wind farms in their Australian project pipeline fully operational and generating renewable energy in such a short space of time. BayWa r.e. will sell the wind farms together with 15-year Operation and Maintenance contracts with Vestas in place and have secured a Power Purchase Agreement to sell 100 per cent of Timboon West and Yawong Wind Farm's power to Alinta Energy. T... more

NT to boost renewable energy use in 2019

The Northern Territory is set to be powered by 10 per cent renewable energy before the end of 2019, thanks to a new $43 million solar project announced by the NT Government today. Australian renewables developer, Tetris Energy, will soon advance to construction on two 10 megawatt (MW) solar farms at Batchelor and Manton Dam, which are estimated to generate enough energy to power 5000 homes once they are completed in the second half of the year. The project, in combination with Epuron and Island Green Power’s previously announced 25MW Katherine Solar Farm, is set to increase the share of renewable energy use in NT’s major centres from the current 3 per cent to 10 per cent. Up to 70 local jobs are expected to be supported during the construction phase of the two new solar farms, in addition to several ongoing service and maintenance roles. Minister for Renewables and Essen... more

University of Newcastle seals renewable ESA with Red Energy

The University of Newcastle has signed a seven year contract with Red Energy to buy 100 per cent renewable electricity across its Newcastle and Central Coast campuses. The move is in response to feedback from students, staff and stakeholders who want to see the University do its bit to tackle climate change through increased investment in renewable energy. The University of Newcastle is also the first university in Australia to sign up to Red Energy’s new 100 per cent renewable product. Its contract commences 1 January 2019, with 100 per cent renewable electricity provided from 1 January 2020 (once Red Energy has finished building its solar, wind and hydro capacity). University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said social and environmental responsibility is at the core of their operations. “Our students, staff and community told us th... more

Sandy Ridge Facility gains Government approval

The Department of Environment and Energy have approved Tellus Holdings Ltd’s Sandy Ridge Facility, which is set to reside within the Goldfields Region of Western Australia. Tellus is proposing to construct and operate Australia’s first dual open-cut kaolin (clay) mine and arid near-surface geological waste repository, the Sandy Ridge Facility, approximately 75 kilometres north-east of Koolyanobbing. There are two key aspects of Tellus' proposal. The first involves mining kaolin primarily for export to Asia or the domestic ceramic clay market, with the second aspect involving storing hazardous, intractable and low-level radioactive wastes within the void spaces left from mining operations. Western Australia holds several world-class kaolin deposits, however to this day none of these deposits have been developed on a commercial scale due to issues with development and operati... more

Work commences on new lithium hydroxide facility

Albemarle Corporation has commenced earthworks for its new lithium hydroxide manufacturing plant in the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area, which is located approximately 17 kilometres north-east of Bunbury. The Albemarle Kemerton Plant will process spodumene ore concentrate from the Talison Lithium Greenbushes mine, which is the largest source of spodumene ore concentrate in the southern hemisphere (Environmental Protection Authority 2018), through five process trains. The plant is expected to produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of lithium hydroxide and has the potential to expand to 100,000 metric tonnes. Further to this, the plant is expected to generate over 500 construction jobs and an initial 100 operational jobs, increasing to 500 at full operational capacity. Western Australia's Acting Premier Roger Cook said the commencement of construction by Albemarle demonstra... more

Sanjeev Gupta unveils ambitious new project for Whyalla

GFG Alliance Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, has revealed plans for a  mega steel plant for the South Australian City Whyalla, signing an engineering contract with CISDI for the ambitious project. Mr Gupta said GFG Alliance’s cutting‐edge transformation plans for the existing steel plant are just the beginning of what they have in store for the region. “Utilising almost perfect local conditions – our own infrastructure including a deep‐sea port; rich local resources; and unrivalled community passion – we now plan to build a new steel plant, one of the world’s largest, right here in Whyalla,” he shared. Liberty Next-Gen Steel is set to become the largest of its kind in the Western world, capable of producing 10 million tonnes per year, with the ability and infrastructure to double capacity in time. Plans indicate that the roughly $600 million project will ... more

New asphalt facility opens in Sydney

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, has launched a new asphalt plant in Sydney, expected to bring 50 permanent jobs to the area. At the ceremony yesterday, Mr Roberts said that State Asphalts NSW’s $20 million facility in St Marys is set to produce both transport material and asphalt, and in doing so is significant for Western Sydney. “State Asphalts NSW has delivered thousands of tonnes of asphalt for thousands of kilometres of road throughout NSW, including the Hume Highway, the Great Western Highway, Camden Valley Way, and even through Centennial Parklands,” Mr Roberts announced. “It’s an unsung hero of the infrastructure revolution we’ve been driving throughout this state in recent years. Without high-quality asphalt to cover the roads we’re building, our progress would be stalled,” he added. The new plant (a Marini Top Tower 4000S asphalt... more

Syrah Resources kicks off commercial production at Balama

Australian-based industrial minerals and technology company, Syrah Resources Limited has commenced commercial production at the Balama Graphite Operation in Mozambique.  The Balama mine in Mozambique is a high grade (17 per cent), long life (50 years) asset and is considered to be one of the largest graphite mines in the world. Operations at Balama commenced at the start of 2018 with Syrah ramping up production to nameplate capacity of 350 kilotonnes (kt) per annum. The company expects natural graphite production to reach 33 kt in Q4, to a full year natural graphite production of 104 kt. Syrah achieved average graphite recovery of 70 per cent in Q4 2018, which is a considerable increase on the 53 per cent average graphite recovery recorded in Q3. Managing Director and CEO, Shaun Verner, said the declaration of commercial production represents a key milestone for the compa... more

Lulo diamonds on offer in historic competitive bid sale

Perth-based Lucapa Diamond Company Limited has announced an international competitive process for the sale of diamonds from the Lulo mine in Angola – closing on 31 January 2019. Lucapa’s Lulo Diamond Project is located approximately 630 kilometres east of the Angolan capital of Luanda and is the highest US$ per carat alluvial diamond production in the world. The Lulo Diamond Mine has produced 11 +100 carat diamonds in the past, including Angola’s two biggest recorded diamonds which weighed 404 carats and 227 carats. The sale is set to mark a significant milestone for the Angolan diamond mining industry, as the event marks the first diamonds offered for sale in a competitive process under the new diamond marketing policy enacted by President of Angola H.E João Lourenço and the Angolan Council of Ministers in August 2018. The new laws aim to double the country’s diam... more

MOU confirms PNG project can proceed

On Tuesday 11 December, Newcrest Mining Limited and Joint Venture Partner Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a confirmation to proceed with the Wafi-Golpu project. The MOU establishes a framework for the parties to progress with the project as quickly as possible in accordance with applicable regulatory processes and provides a framework of key terms to be included in the Mining Development Contract and other related agreements with the State. The MOU also re-affirms the parties’ intent to complete the permitting process and achieve grant of a Special Mining Lease by 30 June 2019. Newcrest Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sandeep Biswas, said they have been working constructively with the Government of PNG to progress the exploration project and recently achieved key ... more

First shipment from Nigerian zinc mine underway

ASX-Listed metals explorer, Symbol Mining Limited, has announced that its maiden shipment of 250 tonnes of Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) of zinc concentrate from the Macy Mine in Nigeria is locked and loaded for transport.  The 250-tonne shipment consists of 10 containers that will be transported by truck to Lagos Port for export to China and is expected to depart in early December 2018. The first shipment represents a great achievement for the Symbol and Imperial Joint Venture team, who proved that they could deliver the Macy Mine project in a short start-up period, just five months after the commencement of mining and one month after the commissioning of the processing plant. Symbol Mining CEO, Tim Wither, said that although a modest maiden shipment, ramp up to a steady state should come with relative ease as the mine deepens into more consistent high-grade material and the proc... more