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The Monthly Mining News Roundup - February

29 February 2020


Lynas mounds government backing for Kalgoorlie plant construction

The Australian Government has awarded Lynas major project status to establish its rare earths processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The major project status provides a single entry point for commonwealth government approvals along with assistance with state government approvals. The Lynas Kalgoorlie plant will undertake cracking and leaching of rare earth concentrate from Lynas’ Mt Weld mine in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

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NRW secures contract with Fortescue

NRW has secured a bulk earthworks contract for Fortescue Metals Group’s Iron Bridge magnetite joint venture (JV) project in Western Australia. The contractor received a green light to commence mobilisation despite a number of outstanding contractual items that need to be finalised. NRW will be responsible for the bulk earthworks and roads drainage, processing plant and infrastructure for the mine site development, attracting around 200 site-based workers during its peak.

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Newmont achieves highest gold reserves

Newmont has achieved the largest gold mineral reserves in the company's history, thanks to expansion at its Australian operations. The company boasts gold reserves of 100.2 million attributable ounces for 2019, a 53 per cent increase from 65.4 million ounces in 2018. Eighty eight per cent of these are located in America and Australia, which is underpinned by a strong base at the Boddington and Tanami mines in Western Australia.

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Fortescue reaches record ore shipments

Fortescue Metals Group has welcomed a record number of ore shipments in its latest half yearly report. The company shipped 88.6 million tonnes of ore during the December 2019 half year, which helped contribute to its $US2.5 billion ($3.7 billion) net profits after tax. The shipment represents a 7 per cent increase on the previous period. 

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Newmont to automate Boddington trucks in world first

Newmont has approved a $US150 million ($227 million) investment in a Caterpillar autonomous haulage system (AHS) at the Boddington gold mine in Western Australia. Boddington will become the world's first open pit gold mine with an autonomous haul truck fleet when the Minestar Command for hauling system is operational in 2021. Newmont expects the project will extend Boddington's mine life by at least two years through the improved efficiencies provided by the AHS.

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BHP and Austmine partner up to strengthen competitiveness of the Australian METS and mining sectors

Austmine and BHP have partnered to further strengthen the competitiveness of the Australian mining equipment, technology and services (METS) and mining sectors. The three-year partnership will see BHP actively involved with Austmine through nationwide industry events and opening visits to BHP operations and innovation projects. BHP group procurement officer Sundeep Singh said the partnership was about breaking downs barriers to access. 

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WA tops world as place for mining investment

Western Australia has become the top mining jurisdiction for investment, according to Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining company rankings. The state leads the way for the first time since 2015 after being rated the second most attractive jurisdiction in the world by the Canadian think-tank last year. Western Australia’s standing comes after Australia reported a record $290 billion in resource exports in 2019, according to recent trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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Paterson province gains further attention for mineral deposits

St George Mining is adding further attention to the Paterson province in Western Australia, joining Rio Tinto and Newcrest Mining as companies searching for resources in the area. Rio Tinto’s Winu project and Greatland Gold and Newcrest’s Havieron gold-copper joint venture have already shown promising results. St George Mining is the latest to commence field exploration in the region after it was granted an exploration licence in November last year.

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