November's top stories: Barrick suspends construction, Bandanna Energy EIS
Barrick Gold decided to temporarily suspend construction activities at its $8.5bn Pascua-Lama mine project located in the Andes Mountains, on the Chilean-Argentine border. Bandanna Energy received the environmental impact statement (EIS) approval from the Queensland Government in Australia for its Spingsure Creek project. Mining-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2013.
Barrick Gold said that it has decided to temporarily suspend construction activities at its $8.5bn Pascua-Lama mine project located in the Andes Mountains, on the Chilean-Argentine border.
The company said the decision to restart will depend on improved project economics like go-forward costs, the outlook for metal prices, and reduced uncertainty associated with legal and other regulatory requirements.
Barrick Gold president and CEO Jamie Sokalsky said, "We have determined that the prudent course - at this stage - is to suspend the project, but naturally we will maintain our option to resume construction and finish the project when improvements to its current challenges have been attained."
Rio Tinto and Chinalco have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to join forces in the development of new mining technology.
As part of the MoU, both parties will focus on uaing their respective strengths to speed up the development of new technology, while also developing Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future scheme.
Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said: "Together with Chinalco, we have the potential to deliver even more value for shareholders, by fully realising our pipeline of technology and innovation projects and taking next generation technologies through to full commercialisation and deployment."
Bandanna Energy has received the environmental impact statement (EIS) approval from the Queensland Government in Australia for its Spingsure Creek underground thermal coal project.
The project is located around 40km south of Emerald and 60km south-west of Blackwater.
Reacting to the approval, Bandanna Energy managing director Michael Gray said the decision takes the company another step closer to final approval of the project.
Theiss, a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings, has won a $550m contract expansion from Jellinbah Resources to increase coal production at Lake Vermont Coal mine in Central Queensland, Australia.
The contract will see Theiss help increase the mine's production from six million tonnes to eight million tonnes of coal per annum over the remaining five years of the current deal.
The latest deal expands on the $2.3bn contract Theiss was awarded at the mine in 2012.
Mining firm Cliff Natural Resources has revealed plans to suspend its $3.3bn Chromite project in Canada by the end of 2013.
Located in the Ring of Fire area of Northern Ontario, the project is anticipated to produce 600,000t of ferrochrome per year.
The company said that it will not allocate additional capital for the project due to the uncertain timeline and risks associated with the development of the necessary infrastructure.
Cliffs suspended the environmental assessment activities in June 2013 due to delays in discussions with the provincial government and uncertainty over the review process.
Nevado Resources has signed a letter of agreement with Kunming Metallurgical Research Institute of China Yunnan Metallurgical (Kunming China) for a titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), and iron (Fe) process method at its La Blache deposit in Canada.
The company requested a programme to demonstrate the mineral processing strategy to separate, concentrate, and recover Ti, V, Fe minerals from the property, which is located some 150km north-west of Baie-Comeau in the Upper North Shore region of Quebec.
Kunming China has conducted preliminary mineralogy tests in October 2013 on a piece of selected Ti-V-Fe rich sample from the property.
South African thermal coal producer Continental Coal is planning to hand over one of its prospecting licences to the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources in Botswana to reduce costs.
The company said an assessment of low exploration prospectivity and the lack of farm-out or divestment opportunities have resulted in the relinquishment of prospecting licence 339.
Continental Coal is reviewing opportunities to further minimise future spend and still extract value from its remaining prospecting licences in Botswana.
Rail infrastructure is often crucial for mining operations to become effective and economically viable.
Kenya is hoping to fast-track its nascent mining industry with a regulatory overhaul and a concerted effort to attract investment.