Latest issue of International Mining Project News available (25th November)

This issue of IMPN includes news from two companies working in Sierra Leone – Titanium Resources Group and Cluff Gold. Both comment on the new government and their hopes for the future of democracy in that area – a country with much mining potential still to be realised.

Corriente Resources has announced a preliminary assessment of its Panantza–San Carlos copper project in Ecuador and is moving towards construction of a starter operation at its Mirador copper-gold operation. Mirador is one of the few new, sizeable copper projects available for near-term production. Corriente looks very interesting, controlling a 100% interest in over 50,000 ha located within the Corriente Copper Belt, Ecuador. The Belt currently contains four copper and copper-gold porphyry deposits: Mirador, Mirador Norte, Panantza and San Carlos. Additional exploration activities are ongoing, as six additional copper and copper-gold exploration targets have been identified in the Corriente Copper Belt to date.

This week has seen a number of announcements from ArcelorMittal confirming a greater involvement of the world’s largest steel company in mining projects. These developments are in molybdenum in the US, manganese in South Africa and coal in Mozambique. ArcelorMittal is flexing is muscles in lining up raw material supplies. It is acquiring a stake in General Moly (and has an offtake agreement). General Moly’s primary asset is the Mt Hope project along with a second molybdenum property, the Hall-Tonopah project.

Also, ArcelorMittal and Kalagadi Manganese have announced a strategic equity partnership in respect of the development of Kalagadi’s manganese resources. The 50/50 joint venture will see the development in South Africa of a manganese mine, beneficiation plant and sinter complex in the Northern Cape Province and a smelter complex in Coega.

The famous Rio Tinto mine in Spain could come back into production next year. And, also in copper, China Metallurgical Group Corp and Jiangxi Copper Co plan to invest some $3.7 billion to develop a large copper mine at Aynak in Afghanistan.

Mines going into production include View Resources Bronzewing gold project, with production targeted at 30,000 oz. October’s production of 8,830 oz represents a 50% increase over the previous quarter’s monthly average, providing further evidence of the production ramp-up on site. This performance takes Bronzewing another significant step closer to achieving its average annualised forecast of 120,000 oz.

Atlantic Coal (formerly Summit Resources), has commenced trading on AIM following the acquisition of the Stockton Coal Group (SCG) in Pennsylvania, USA, which was approved by its shareholders on November 13. Atlantic Coal is an open-pit production and processing business focussing on incremental reserves of high grade coal for immediate and near term production.

VANE Minerals and its 100% owned Mexican subsidiary, Minerales VANE have achieved start-up at the 120 t/d mill/flotation plant located at San Dieguito de Arriba, some 30 km from the company’s underground Diablito silver/gold mine.

Lynas owns the richest known deposit of rare earths (lanthanides), in the world at Mt Weld, near Laverton in Western Australia. This deposit underpins Lynas’ strategy to create a reliable, fully integrated source of rare earths supply from the mine. The mining contractor is currently on site and mining has commenced.

Titanium Resources Group (TRG) has commissioned the second dredge (Dredge D2) at its Sierra Rutile mine in Sierra Leone.  Dredge D2, which will double rutile production capacity to 200,000 t/y was officially commissioned by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma. The dredge is expected to start commercial production in December and TRG expects to begin shipping the material produced by Dredge D2 in the first quarter of 2008.

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