Aside from all the news of new appointments of people to work on the projects, the highlights include Aurelian Resources announcing the first NI 43-101-compliant, Inferred mineral resource estimate for Fruta Del Norte (FDN), a buried epithermal gold-silver discovery on its wholly-owned Condor project in southeast Ecuador, which looks very interesting. At Pebble (billion of tonnes of Inferred mineral resources) Northern Dynasty Minerals’ and Anglo American are targeting completion of a pre-feasibility study in December 2008, a feasibility study by 2011 and commencement of commercial production by 2015. MMC Corp Berhad and the Saudi Binladin Group signed a Memorandum of Understandingwith Aluminum Corp of China (CHALCO) to establish a second aluminium smelter at Jazan Economic City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. European Goldfields announced a 20% increase in gold reserves for the Certej gold project in Romania, which is likely to use the Albion Process. Nikanor has mandated Citi and Standard Chartered Bank to jointly structure and arrange approximately $800 million of project financing for the development of its KOV Project. The project involves rehabilitating the KOV mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and building the world’s largest copper and cobalt refinery of its type.
NovaGold Resources has started testing of the crushing circuit at its Rock Creek mine near Nome, Alaska. Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, President & CEO of NovaGold: "The start of testing at Rock Creek is an important milestone as NovaGold transitions from explorer to producer. With first production by year end at an estimated 100,000 oz of annual production when fully operational." Construction at Etruscan Resources’ Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso is nearing completion with commissioning of the main plant circuits scheduled to be completed in November and first gold production in December.
The African Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million senior loan under its private sector window to the Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt Project in the DRC. Weatherly International has commenced full production at the Tschudi underground copper mine in Namibia on schedule and within budget. Sherwood Copper has completed the commissioning process for its high grade Minto copper-gold mine in the Yukon and will declare commercial production as at October 1, 2007. At the expansion of Codelco Andina Divisions’ Los Andes project, start-up for the crushers is scheduled for the second quarter of 2009. Once in full operation, the project will be able to process approximately 9,125,000 t/y of ore.
Eland Platinum Holdings celebrated the first production at its Elandsfontein mine near Brits, South Africa. Lundin Mining has approved major expansion programmes at the Neves-Corvo copper-zinc mine in southern Portugal and at the Zinkgruvan mine, in central Sweden. Production of zinc in concentrate from the recently discovered Lombador massive sulphide zone at Neves-Corvo is scheduled to start in 2011. At Zinkgruvan, ore production is planned to increase by 33% to 1.2 Mt/y by 2010 with the commencement of copper concentrate production. Sweden’s Environmental Court announced that Boliden has been granted a permit to commence expansion of the Aitik mine, from current annual production of 18 Mt to 36 Mt/y.
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