January’s top stories: Petra finds 29.6ct rare blue diamond, First Quantum to invest $6.4bn

2 February 2014 (Last Updated February 2nd, 2014 18:30)

Petra Diamonds discovered a 29.6ct blue diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. First Quantum Minerals announced investing $6.4bn at the Cobre Panama project, as the company unveiled its revised capital cost estimate for the development. Mining-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from January 2014.

January’s top stories: Petra finds 29.6ct rare blue diamond, First Quantum to invest $6.4bn

mining

Petra finds 29.6ct rare blue diamond at South African mine

Dimond

Petra Diamonds discovered a 29.6ct blue diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

Cullinan mine is located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, 37km north-east of Pretoria in South Africa.

Petra Diamonds acquired the Cullinan mine in 2008 and also operates in Botswana and Tanzania. 

First Quantum expects to invest $6.4bn on Cobre Panama

Quantum

First Quantum Minerals said it expects to invest $6.4bn at the Cobre Panama project, as the company unveiled its revised capital cost estimate for the development.

The newly proposed capital cost is higher than the earlier estimate of $6.2bn, by Inmet Mining.

The company said the revised project will have an installed capacity of an estimated 70 million tonnes per year for the first ten years, which is 17% higher than the Inmet plan. It will produce an average of about 320,000t of copper annually over the life of the mine, which is up around 20% from previous figures.

The project can further expand to 100 million tonnes per year beyond the tenth year and the mine life is estimated at 34 years. 

Osisko rejects Goldcorp's $2.6bn takeover offer

Goldcrop

Canadian mining company Osisko Mining rejected Goldcorp's C$2.6bn ($2.4bn) takeover offer, claiming that the offer was financially inadequate and not in the best interests of shareholders.

Osisko is the owner of Canadian Malartic mine in northern Québec and said that after thorough consideration and discussion, its board dismissed the hostile bid, saying it significantly undervalues the world-class mine and the company's portfolio of high-potential projects in North America.

Goldcorp's premium offer and the transaction multiples implied by it are both below the relevant precedents. It implies a multiple of 1.0x versus previous multiples of 1.8x for large-scale producers.

Osisko stated that the current offer implied a 15% premium at the time of announcement and is significantly less today. 

Rio Tinto inaugurates $1.1bn AP60 aluminium smelter in Québec

Rio Tinto

Global mining company Rio Tinto's Canadian subsidiary, Rio Tinto Alcan opened the $1.1bn Arvida aluminium smelter, the AP60 Technology Centre, in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Québec.

The new plant has an installed capacity of 60,000t of aluminium and is the most technologically advanced aluminium smelter in the world, the company said.

It will produce 40% more aluminium per cell than the previous generation of AP technology.

The 60,000t plant employs nearly 135 people and reached full capacity in December 2013.

Anglo American expects to lose 4,000oz of platinum a day during strikes

Anglo American Platinum said it will lose 4,000oz of platinum production per day as a result of industrial action at its Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult operations in South Africa.

The company also estimates that it will incur a daily revenue loss of R100m ($9.14m) at current market prices because of the industrial action.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) started its strike for an entry level salary of R12,500 at Amplats, Lonmin and Impala Platinum (Implats).

Kogi Iron completes ESIA for Agbaja iron-ore project in Nigeria

Kogi

Kogi Iron completed an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for its Agbaja iron ore project in Nigeria.

Greenwater Environmental Services conducted the ESIA, which began in January 2013, and found no environmental or social impediments for the development of the project.

Kogi Iron said the ESIA evaluates the technical and economic viability of a five million tonnes per year iron ore operation at Agbajaan and is an important component of the preliminary feasibility study (PFS).

The ESIA, which was supported by the Nigerian Government and local communities, also found that the project would positively impact the local economy, Kogi State and Nigeria.

New Colombia Resources wins work plan approval for coal mine

coal

New Colombia Resources secured work plan approval from the Agencia Nacional de Mineria (ANM) of Argentina for its metallurgical coal mine.

The company will now work with local environment authorities to progress towards production stages.

Over next few weeks, New Columbia will submit the permit application for the extraction of raw building materials and an environmental permit for coal production.

New Colombia is also in talks with major international coal and energy companies that have an interest in entering the Colombian coal sector. 

Rare Earth finds lithium values at Fleur-El Sauz holes in Mexico

Lithium

Rare Earth Minerals (REM) said that the current drilling programme at its Fleur-El Sauz lithium project in Northern Mexico has significantly increased the size of the deposit.

The company, along with its joint venture partner Bacanora Mineral, has also started construction of a bulk-testing pilot plant.

The plant will be built at Bacanora's laboratory in Hermosillo and will produce lithium carbonate from the roast leach process.