Northern Star’s risky rapid expansion

Bill Beament’s Northern Star Resources appears to be on the roll, and we just don’t know if it’s uphill or downhill. The Perth-based gold miner has been expanding their Australian mining operations by purchasing shares or assets of gold mining companies, gaining full control of their mining operations. Northern Star’s acquired assets The gold miner’s assets include established gold mining operations in Australia and Alaska. The gold miner operates Jundee, Kalgoorlie (including Kanowna Belle, Kundana, and South Kalgoorlie), Tanami, and Pogo Operations. Northern Star’s Assets Acquired from Month & Year…

Austmine announces 2019 award winners

Austmine 2019 has announced its award winners at the Industry Leaders’ Dinner and Awards in Brisbane this week. The event welcomed over 750 attendees who came together to celebrate the METS and mining companies’ export and innovation success. Metallurgical Systems took home the Craig Senger excellence in export award, with the judges remarking that the tech company is innovative and pioneering, with an impressive export strategy and overwhelming success in export markets. PanAust received the Austmine miners innovation award for its diesel fuel backloading system. The company’s commercial team designed…

SQM expects lithium industry to grow by 17 per cent in 2019

Chilean lithium major Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) has reported decreased sales in its March quarter but remains positive about the future of the lithium industry. Despite earnings dropping from $US113.8 million ($164.9 million) in the first quarter of 2018 to $US80.5 million in the same period this year, SQM chief executive officer Ricardo Ramos expects increased demand in lithium to drive improved results this year. “We believe the lithium demand could grow approximately 17 per cent in 2019 when compared to 2018, reaching at least 315,000 metric…

MacMines puts Galilee Basin coal project on hold

MacMines Austasia has decided it will not move forward with developing the China Stone thermal coal project in the Galilee Basin in Queensland at this stage. The Chinese company, a subsidiary of the Meijin Energy Group, did not provide a reason for the decision. China Stone, already backed through initial stages of approval by the Queensland Government, was forecast to be three times the size of Adani’s scaled down proposal for the Carmichael project in the Galilee Basin. MacMines has advised Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME)…

MCA appoints Helen Coonan as new chair

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has announced that former federal cabinet minister Helen Coonan will replace Vanessa Guthrie as the organisation’s new chair. Coonan has been appointed to the position for the next two years and will begin her role when Guthrie steps down following the MCA’s board meeting on June 18. Her selection follows an extensive process involving the company’s board and chief executive officer, which concluded in early May. Guthrie, who has been MCA chair for the past three years after joining the board in 2014, reflected…

Surprising fungi-gold interaction reveals potential for new deposits

Australian scientists have discovered gold-coated fungi near Boddington, Western Australia that may offer clues for finding gold deposits. The thread-like fungi attach gold to their strands by dissolving and precipitating particles from their surroundings, posting signs of gold presence. This finding highlights the possibility of using fungi as a bioremediation tool to recover gold from waste. Researchers are, however, yet to understand the reason for the interaction. “Fungi can oxidise tiny particles of gold and precipitate it on their strands – this cycling process may contribute to how gold and…

Kalium drives Beyondie construction with development contracts

Kalium Lakes has awarded four contracts for the development of the purification plant facilities for its Beyondie sulphate of potash project (BSOPP) in Western Australia. The $60 million worth of contracts will allow for early works to start, with the full scope of the project being subject to a final investment decision. Beyondie is being developed to produce sulphate of potash (SOP), a high yield, premium fertiliser, for both the domestic and international market. Ebtec, which is an arrangement between K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies and Ebner, will provide the engineering,…

Mincor sets up nickel portfolio for the Long haul

Independence Group (IGO) has sold its Long nickel operation in Western Australia’s Kambalda district to Mincor Resources for up to $9.5 million. The transaction will include $3.5 million in shares on completion of the deal and an additional $6 million in contingent payments, with completion of the transaction scheduled for this end of May. Long has been placed in care and maintenance since mid-2018 after over 16 years of continuous production, with the project having produced more than 135,000 tonnes of nickel in ore. IGO initially acquired the site in…

Peabody awards $126m contract in QLD, NSW to Ausdrill subsidiary

Ausdrill subsidiary, BTP has secured a further three year contract with Peabody Australia in its Hunter Valley and Bowen Basin coal mines, its second extension in two years. BTP and Peabody’s original contract was firstly extended two years ago, marking the companies’ working relationship since April 2015. Under the latest contract, Peabody has an option to extend by a further two years. The $126 million agreement will see BTP continue to rent mining and ancillary equipment to Peabody in the two coal mining regions. “We are delighted to have been…

Wesfarmers closes in on Kidman acquisition

Wesfarmers has secured a scheme implementation deed (SID) with Kidman Resources regarding a proposed takeover deal announced in early May. The SID confirms the terms of Wesfarmers’ proposal to acquire 100 per cent of the outstanding shares in Kidman at $1.90 cash per share by way of a scheme of arrangement. The price of $1.90 per share represents a premium of 47.3 per cent to Kidman’s last closing price on May 1, which was the day before Wesfarmers’ proposal to acquire Kidman — corresponding to a transaction value of approximately…