Latest issue of International Mining Project News available (4th January ‘08′)

This edition of International Mining Project News is dominated by companies that have started, or are continuing, development works in the hope of 2008 becoming a production year in many cases. Of significance, the massive Ban Phuc nickel project in Vietnam has received its mining licence. Development of the project will continue throughout 2008 as the operation prepares to produce at a rate of 200,000 t/y starting late this year.

There is a great deal of feasibility work being carried out on copper plays and to a lesser extent nickel projects, seemingly in the face of poorer forecasts for 2008 for base metal prices by several analysts. The smattering of gold projects in their early stages are probably more likely to be charging through the development stages to take advantage of a bullion price tipped to nudge the $1,000/oz-mark this year. The Focus Minerals and Committee Bay Resources joint venture at the Redemption gold project in Australia and Greystar Resources’ Agnostura gold play in Columbia are two to watch.

Meanwhile, the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania, which suspended operations after two miners were trapped and another was killed by a rock-fall in April 2006, has completed the full recommissioning of mining activities. Katanga Mining has also achieved a major milestone by producing copper from its Kamoto joint venture in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Of the handful of companies that decided to grow already producing projects in the past two weeks, mining giant and takeover target Rio Tinto had a hand in two. Is this part of an existing strategy or is there an element of flagwaving going on from the UK-based mining icon as it attempts to ward off rival BHP Billiton’s advances? Rio is spending big bucks to review the expansion possibilities at both the Kestrel coal mine and the Hope Downs iron ore project, both in Australia.

And there is much, much more in 25 pages of project news released within the past two weeks.

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