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    [ 6/2/2011 9:27:31 AM ]
The demand for coal in southern China’s Guangdong province gained 19.1% on year to 14.11 million tonnes in Apr, hitting a new record, impacted by the continuously high temperature, the nation’s top economic planner said at its website.
Specifically, some 9.3 million tonnes coal was carried to the province’s power plants, surging 30.8% versus the month last year, the National Development and Reform Commission said.
In terms of transporting mode, the volume shipped through ports jumped 21.9% on year to 12.21 million tonnes, and that hauled via railway and trucked via road each to 650,000 tonnes gaining 3.2% and 8.3% on year respectively.


    [ 5/20/2011 10:44:59 AM ]
More than half of the total new precious- and base-metal mineral discoveries and new zones in 2010 were in North and South America, according to Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Metals Economics Group (MEG).
In fact, the Americas have dominated potential new discoveries for the last three years, the group said.
MEG tracks drilling activity reports of significant new intercepts and defines a discovery as a significant deposit that has progressed to the point of a positive prefeasibility study or has obvious commercial value to be tracked from development to production.
The discovery year is generally the year when the first hole was drilled in the deposit, which is why the initial drill results are referred to as “potential discoveries”.
The group commented that there is a “clear decline” n both initial resource announcements and the overall value of new resources over the last three years, which it attributed to the lack of exploration activity during the industry downturn in late 2008 and 2009.
“With the rise in drilling activity reported over the past year, and anticipated increases in 2011, MEG expects to see this trend turn upwards, possibly later this year,” the firm said in a statement.


    [ 4/29/2011 3:44:33 PM ]
Australia-based Gindalbie Metals' joint venture Karara Mining has secured a loan of $336m for the next phase of the Karara iron ore project in Western Australia.
The loan was provided by a Chinese banking syndicate, led by China Development Bank and Bank of China, which earlier provided a $1.2bn project loan facility.
The firm has also received $300m in bank guarantees from the China Development Bank.
Gindalbie's managing director Tim Netscher said the increased project loan facility will support the previously announced $430m working capital requirements for the Karara project, for which Gindalbie raised equity contribution funds last year.
"The $300 million bank guarantee facility is being put in place to support the upgrade of rail infrastructure between Morawa and Geraldton Port by the line's owner WestNet Rail," Netscher said.


    [ 4/22/2011 5:02:42 PM ]
Capstone Mining has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Far West Mining for a total value of C$725m ($755m).
Far West owns the Santo Domingo copper-iron-gold project in Chile, with an estimated annual production of 65,000 tons of copper and 4 million tons of iron concentrate.
Capstone has also entered into agreements with Korea Resources Corporation (KORES) to form a long-term strategic partnership to develop the Santo Domingo project.
Under the terms of agreement, KORES will acquire a 30% interest in Santo Domingo for cash value of about $218m from Capstone, after Capstone completes the Far West acquisition.
KORES will also enter into an off-take agreement for 50% of all copper concentrate and iron concentrate produced from the project over the life of the Santo Domingo mine.


    [ 4/12/2011 5:12:16 PM ]

Northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region would construct a batch of coal-power-coal chemical projects in Yili during the 12th Five-Year plan period, Xinjiang Television reported.

With 600 billion tonnes predicted coal reserves, Yili is one of the region’s four largest coal bases.

In 2011, there will be 12 coal-based projects to start construction in the area, including coal-to-natural gas, coal-to-methanol, coal-to-oil, etc.

Specifically, Inner Mongolia Pingzhuang Coal Group Ltd, owned by Guodian Corporation, will commence construction of the first phase of coal-to-natural gas project in May, with annual production of 10 billion cubic meters natural gas.

Meanwhile, China National Coal Group Corp will also start building a 1.8-million-tonne methanol-to-600,000-tonne olefin project in May.

Since 2008, Xinjiang Qinghua Coal Chemical Ltd has invested 5 billion yuan into the first phase of a coal-to-natural gas project, which is designed to have annual output of 11 billion cubic meters.

Upon completion of these projects, a total of 160 million tonnes coal will be converted, 32 times of the current Yili’s coal output, said Wu Jiangsen, vice director of Yili Development and Reform Commission.


    [ 3/23/2011 5:04:39 PM ]
Two major copper smelters in Japan have been shut down due to power cuts, following the recent earthquake.
Pan Pacific Copper, which is partially owned by JX Nippon Mining & Metals, has halted operations at its Hitachi refinery works.
Mitsubishi Materials has also ceased its smelter operations at the Onahama copper smelter that produces 30,0000t of copper annually, due to a lack of electricity.
The earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit north-eastern Japan on Friday 11 March.
Japan's refined copper output stood at about 1.52 million tons in 2010, which was about 7% of the global output.

    [ 3/9/2011 10:42:49 AM ]
After three steel giants in China join a wave to raise Mar delivery steel prices, market participants are expecting the price hike in coking coal, another important steelmaking ingredient and drawing great attention amid Chinese markets, sources reported.
In spite of steel overcapacity, steel mills this year raise steel prices so as to pass on their high production cost. The move hint that steel downstream industries perform robust, one marketer said.
Due to the flood, Australia ’s coal shipments diminish, and coking coal price ever spurred up to US$ 340 per tonne.
Now the prevailing quotation is US$ 310 per tonne. On the recovery of global steel market, coking coal demand will continue increasing and the price growth is inventible.
In 2010, China reported 47.27 million tonnes of coking coal imports.
China 's coking coal imports will continue growing up in the future years, industry experts predict.


    [ 12/30/2010 11:34:44 AM ]
China cut its first batch of rare earth export quotas for next year by more than one-tenth, in the face of a threat by the United States to complain to the World Trade Organisation over the export limits.
China's Commerce Ministry allotted 14 446 tonnes of quotas to 31 companies, which was 11,4 percent less than the 16 304 tonnes it allocated to 22 companies in the first batch of 2010 quotas a year ago.
The Ministry said in a short statement on its website (www.mofcom.gov.cn) that it had added more producer companies to the quota list, but has cut volumes allocated to trading companies for the metals used in high-tech goods.
The export quotas were based on export volumes from the beginning of 2008 to October 2010, it added, without giving details.
China produces about 97 percent of rare earth elements, which are used worldwide in high-technology, clean energy and other products that exploit their special properties for magnetism, luminescence and strength.
The decision to cut export quotas and raise tariffs has inflamed trade ties with the United States, European Union and Japan in particular.
Last week, the U.S. Trade Representative office said China had refused U.S. requests to end export restraints on rare earths that have alarmed trade partners, and that Washington could complain to the WTO, which judges international trade disputes.
China's Commerce Ministry has yet to respond to that threat.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about it at a regular news briefing, referring the question to "relevant departments". She did not elaborate.
The issue will add to already strained Sino-U.S. ties, which have been battered this year by arguments over everything from Tibet and Taiwan to the value of the Chinese currency. Chinese President Hu Jintao visits the United States next month.
Japan has been hard hit by the export curbs. Japanese imports of rare earths shrank further in November, reflecting the impact from China's de-facto ban on shipments of the minerals which was lifted late last month.
Japanese companies had complained of restrictions on shipments of the metals, vital for making auto parts and high-tech products, by Chinese customs officials following a spat over disputed islands in the East China Sea which led to a de-facto suspension by Beijing on exports from late September.
China is still exporting small volumes of rare earth to Japan. Analysts have suggested the de facto ban was probably because of differences in the way rare earths are categorised by each country, as well as a dribble of imports that had previously been delayed.
The European Union has also expressed concern at China's limiting of rare earths' exports, though the bloc's trade commissioner said earlier this month China had reiterated that rare earth supplies would be sustained.
China says its curbs are for environmental reasons and to guarantee supplies to domestic industrial consumers, but it has also insisted its dominance as a producer should give it more control over global prices.
Beijing has been trying hard to impose discipline on its chaotic rare earth sector and is expected to establish a rare earth industry association by May next year, said Wang Caifeng, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, speaking at a conference on Tuesday.
Wang said he hoped the body would perform the same function as the China Iron and Steel Association by ensuring the "orderly development" of the sector through pricing and export quotas. Tougher environmental regulations for the rare earth sector are also expected to be unveiled next year, the China Business News reported on Tuesday.
Source: Reuters

    [ 11/1/2010 10:21:30 AM ]
Hohhot, located in north China’s Inner Mongolia, imported a total of 11.39 million tonnes of coal from Mongolia in the first nine months this year, with US$678 million in value, rising 152.01% and 185.11% from the same period last year, Customs data show.

Of that, coal imports from Mongolia into Hohhot through Erenhot border crossing via railways totaled 6209 tonnes in Jan-Sep, while imports by road hit 20,600 tonnes, valuing US$248,000 and US$1.28 million, respectively.

Coal imports from Mongolia through Ceke border crossing rose to 5.77 million tonnes in the thirst three quarters of the current year, with US$258.16 million in value.

And Hohhot imported 5.59 million tonnes of coal from Mongolia between Jan and Sep this year, valued at US$418.41 million, shows data.


    [ 9/14/2010 2:56:38 PM ]
The ferrochrome and manganese mining industry is primarily driven by the global demand for steel, which is the largest end user sector for the alloy. Furthermore, the rapid industrialization of China and India has boosted the demand for steel along with a greater demand for ferrochrome.
Mr Wonder Nyanjowa analyst at Frost & Sullivan metals & mining said that "The outlook for ferrochrome and steel is expected to remain bullish, with rising demand for the metal on the one hand and constrained supply sources on the other. These global demand and supply imbalances have triggered significant investor interest in South Africa's ferrochrome and manganese mining industry."
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, A Strategic Analysis of South Africa's Ferrochrome and Manganese Mining Industry, finds that South Africa has been a leading participant in the world ferrochrome industry for more than a century owing to the abundance of chromium and manganese ore and relatively low cost electricity.
Mr Nyanjowa said that "The global steel industry registered a phenomenal growth rate of approximately 7% between 2000 and 2007 as compared to an average of 1.9% between 1990 and 1999. The demand for steel in the infrastructure, automotive and construction industries worldwide has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for ferrochrome, the metal used to improve the quality and resistance to corrosion properties of steel."
South Africa will remain the world's largest ferrochrome producer, with over 72% of global chrome deposits concentrated on the Bushveld Igneous Complex. The country also boasts the world's highest smelting capacity through it's over 50 smelters.
However, the South African ferrochrome and manganese mining industry continues to be vulnerable to the adverse effects of economic cycles as well as electricity and skills shortages. The global economic downturn caused a significant reduction in the demand for steel and ferrochrome.
"Although South Africa has the most developed and modern infrastructure network in the African continent, the country's road, ports and rail systems are fraught with inefficiencies that have resulted in huge transportation and logistical costs for ferrochrome producers," explains Nyanjowa. "There is a dearth of wagons and capacity to swiftly transport ferrochrome to the country's ports, whilst delays have also become a problem at the ports of exit."
A Strategic Analysis of South Africa's Ferrochrome and Manganese Mining Industry is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: South Africa's Gold Mining Industry, South Africa's Coal Mining Industry, South Africa's Platinum Group Metals Mining Industry, and Diamond Mining Industry in Central and Southern Africa. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.


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