Pit extension project approved for Hunter Valley coal mine

Close to two million tonnes more coal will be extracted from a Hunter Valley mine following an approval to modify an existing development consent with conditions by the NSW Independent Planning Commission. Mt Owen Pty Ltd sought approval to extend the Barrett Pit at its Glendell Coal Mine, 20km northwest of Singleton, to recover an additional 1.97 million tonnes of run-of-mine (ROM) coal. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s whole-of-government assessment report found the proposed modification would result in: a net increase in disturbance area of 4.3 hectares a net 0.4-hectare ... more

Newmont sells stake in Continental Gold for $260M

Newmont Corporation has successfully completed the sale of its 19.9 per cent equity stake and convertible bond in Continental Gold Inc. for $260 million in cash. The sale was part of a contractual arrangement to support Zijin Mining Group’s acquisition of Continental. Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer said selling the Continental stake into a strong bid allowed the company to generate $260 million in cash that will support its disciplined approach to capital allocation, including strengthening the company’s investment grade balance sheet, investing in the highest returning projects, and re... more

Carrapateena achieves nameplate milling rate

OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena mine in South Australia has now achieved nameplate mill throughput rate, with stable operational periods at 500 tonnes per hour and in excess of 90 per cent runtime achieved for 24-hour periods. Flotation recovery for several shifts has reportedly already exceeded 90 per cent, with concentrate grades in excess of 40 per cent copper. In commenting on the milestone, OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole, said while the mine produced first concentrate in December, the minerals processing plant was subject to further work by the construction contractors to complete final ... more

Major quartz vein gold system found at Yandal Gold Project

Toro Energy Limited has announced that assay results from the 2019 maiden RC drilling programme, at the company’s 100 per cent owned Yandal Gold Project in Western Australia, along with detailed surface mapping, have confirmed that a major quartz vein gold system has been intersected in Toro’s first drill holes in the Golden Ways Target Area. Four reverse circulation (RC) drill holes were completed for a total of 792m in Toro’s maiden drill programme at Golden Ways. Drill holes TERC09, TERC10 and TERC11 aimed to test anomalies and alteration from historical drilling, while TERC12 aimed to test a large o... more

BP and Chevron to fund new exploration initiatives in South Australia

BP and Chevron have committed to investing a total of $116.5 million in oil and gas exploration activities, with at least half directed to projects in South Australia with a view to increasing energy supplies in the state and south-eastern Australia. BP and Chevron ceased their programs of exploration in the Great Australian Bight in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The commitments were announced following the conclusion of Good Standing Agreement negotiations with both parties after their decisions to cease petroleum exploration in the Great Australian Bight. Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Ma... more

Atlas Gas Pipeline commences operations

Commercial operations have commenced on the $140 million Atlas Gas Pipeline, which will transport gas from Senex Energy’s Atlas gas acreage - located near Wandoan in south-west Queensland - to the east-coast gas market via the Wallumbilla Gas Hub. In June 2018, energy infrastructure company, Jemena, signed an agreement with Senex Energy to build, own, and operate a 15 petajoule per annum (40 TJ/day) gas processing facility and 60km buried pipeline (Atlas Gas Pipeline) in order to fast-track new gas supply to the domestic market. Jemena’s Managing Director, Frank Tudor, said the Senex-Jemena partnership... more

Construction contract awarded for gas terminal

Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) has announced another important milestone in the development of its Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT) with the award of the key wharf facility and pipeline construction contract for the LNG import facility. New South Wales currently imports over 95 per cent of its domestic gas from other states. This means that local industries, business and households can be impacted by supply or price shifts occurring in other states. AIE states that LNG will be sourced from international suppliers and transported by LNG carriers to Port Kembla, where it will be transferred to a floating,... more

Tanami Natural Gas Pipeline opens to power gold mine

The 440-kilometre Tanami Natural Gas Pipeline, which will transport gas to Newmont Mining’s Granites gold mine, located approximately 540 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs in the Tanami Desert, has been completed. The pipeline is part of Newmont’s $346 million Tanami power project which is expected to provide the mine with a safe and reliable energy source that lowers power costs and carbon emissions by 20 per cent. The power project involved the installation of two power stations, a 66 kilovolt interconnected power line and the approval to operate the natural gas pipeline. Historically, mining op... more

Renewable energy boost for Queensland

Construction of the $360 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Walkamin is on track to start before the end of the year after Ergon Energy announced today it had entered into an agreement to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030. The wind farm, a joint development between Ratch-Australia (Ratch) and Port Bajool, was chosen ahead of six other renewable energy projects shortlisted by Ergon in November last year as part of their green energy tender process. Power producer Ratch owns a number of wind farms around Australia including the Windy Hill wind farm near R... more

Callide B Power Station gets $31 million overhaul

A massive $31 million overhaul of the Callide B Power Station, approved by the Queensland Government, will see 350 direct jobs created in the region. Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the $31 million investment would bring enormous flow-on economic benefits to Central Queensland. “In July this year state-owned electricity generator CS Energy Limited will commence a major service of Unit 1 of the Callide B Power Station. This $31 million overhaul will create and sustain around 350 direct jobs, this is in addition to the power station’s permanent workforce of around 205 employees." The works are expected to ... more

NSW solar farms shortlisted for $100 million funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced shortlisted projects under its $100 million competitive funding round for large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV). From the 22 shortlisted projects, eight are located in NSW – totalling 242 megawatts of capacity and worth an estimated $500 million of investment for the State. The Renewable Energy Advocate and NSW Industry Investment teams have been working closely with the project developers to help them navigate planning processes, network connections and leverage Commonwealth funding. Neoen, the developer of three shortlisted projects in Griff... more

New era for solar power in NSW

The Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts has marked the official completion of Australia’s two largest solar plants at Nyngan and Broken Hill. “This is a legacy that will last for generations and will greatly benefit the local and wider communities by providing a reliable and cost-effective energy source,” Mr Roberts said. “The NSW Government provided almost $65 million dollars towards the Solar Flagship projects at Nyngan and Broken Hill, which have collectively supported over 450 regional jobs and driven $440 million of investment into the State.” The Nyngan Solar pla... more

$1B transmission line project declared a coordinated project

The Queensland Government has ticked off a major milestone on a proposed $1 billion overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line which would connect major energy users and North West Queensland’s public to the national electricity grid. Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General declared CuString Pty Ltd’s CopperString Project a ‘coordinated project’ on 27 April. The proposed project is a 1,100-kilometre 275-kilovolt overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line connecting the North West Minerals Provence and Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market grid south of Townsville. ... more

QLD provides $100m to keep Haughton pipeline moving

The Queensland Government has fast-tracked $100 million, as part of its $225 million commitment to Townsville’s water security, to keep construction of the Haughton 36.5 kilometre water pipeline moving. Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart said the $100 million payment (paid last week) would go towards supporting up to 1000 jobs over the life of the project. “We all know Townsville has been doing it tough and is currently recovering from an unprecedented flooding event. The jobs that flow from the Haughton pipeline are a shot in the arm during the rebuilding period,” Mr Stewart said. There are mo... more

Construction begins on Australia’s biggest lithium processing plant

Construction of the $1 billion Albemarle Kemerton Plant in Western Australia, Australia’s largest lithium processing plant, has commenced. The plant will become Australia's largest lithium hydroxide plant, with approval to produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of premium battery grade lithium hydroxide. Western Australia is currently the number one global producer of lithium, the second largest global producer of rare earths, the third largest global producer of cobalt and the fourth largest global producer of nickel. The Government of Western Australia is working with Albemarle to ensure job opportu... more

Construction commences on Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility

Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan, and Federal Minister for the Environment Melissa Price, have officially ‘turned the sod’ at Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility in Kwinana, Western Australia. The facility, named Avertas Energy, will use state-of-the-art technology to process 400,000 tonnes of household, commercial and industrial waste each year to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 400,000 tonnes (equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off Perth’s roads). Once operational in 2021, the facility will generate and export 36 megawatts of baseload electricity t... more

AngloGold Ashanti agrees to sell South African assets

AngloGold Ashanti has reached an agreement to sell its remaining South African producing assets and related liabilities to Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited. Consideration for the transaction is in cash and deferred payments with expected proceeds of around $300 million, subject to subsequent performance, and with additional proceeds if the West Wits assets are developed below current infrastructure. AngloGold Ashanti announced in May 2019 that it was undertaking a process to review sale options for the portfolio of assets, principally comprising the Mponeng underground mine, where further capital, neces... more

Rio Tinto to review future of smelter in Iceland

Rio Tinto has announced the company will conduct a strategic review of the ISAL smelter in Iceland, to determine the operation’s ongoing viability and explore options to improve its competitive position. ISAL is expected to remain unprofitable in the short to medium term in the challenging conditions facing the aluminium industry, due to the smelter’s uncompetitive energy costs and historically low aluminium prices. Rio Tinto will continue discussions with the Government of Iceland and power provider Landsvirkjun on how the smelter can return to profitability and become competitive in the global market... more

Glencore lands five-year deal to supply cobalt hydroxide

Glencore has signed a five-year agreement for the supply of cobalt hydroxide for use in lithium-ion batteries. Under the terms of the new supply contract, Glencore will provide up to 21,000 tonnes of cobalt contained in cobalt hydroxide between 2020 and 2024 to Samsung SDI . Glencore produced 42.2 kilotonnes of cobalt in 2018, mainly as a by-product of copper mining. The cobalt will be sourced from Glencore's Katanga and Mutanda operations which are located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Glencore and Samsung SDI state that they are committed to ensuring the ethical and responsible prod... more

Rio Tinto to curtail operations at Richards Bay Minerals

Rio Tinto has decided to curtail operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa to ensure the safety and security of its employees due to an escalation in violence in the communities surrounding the operations. RBM is South Africa’s largest mineral sands producer and beneficiation company. It produces predominantly rutile, zircon, titania slag and high purity iron. Rio Tinto noted that there has been an escalation of criminal activity towards RBM employees and one was shot and seriously injured in the last few days. As a result, all mining operations at RBM have been halted and the smelters... more