30 June 2020
The Monthly Mining News Roundup - June
Figures highlight mining industry strength
Data released this week shows the scale recent mining industry growth in Australia. Mining earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2018-19 year increased by 32.2 per cent or $33.7 billiion compared to the previous year, the ABS figures show. Within that total figure, coal mining performed less impressively - with the EBITDA growing 12.8 per cent ($3.4b) compared to 41.9 per cent ($7.8b) in 2017-18.
Kimberly miners set to benefit from eased WA travel restrictions
Projects in the Kimberley region of Western Australia are set to benefit from the state government's lift on interstate travel restrictions. Certain parts of Western Australia, including Kimberley, Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and parts of the East Pilbara, are declared as biosecurity areas under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015. These areas had strict travel restrictions in place since March 26 to help protect the 274 remote Aboriginal communities in the area from the coronavirus.
Australia's iron ore miners set to cash in on surging iron ore prices
Australia's big iron ore miners are set to cash in on surging iron ore prices as Brazil's Vale has been hit with coronavirus-related troubles. The Brazilian court ordered Vale to shut down the Conceição, Cauê and Periquito mines at the Itabira complex south-east of the country after 188 workers had tested positive for COVID-19. The ruling will remain in effect until control measures have been implemented to protect workers from COVID-19.
Increased Port Hedland activity to create thousands of WA jobs
The port of Port Hedland in Western Australia has contributed a whopping $64.1 billion to the Australian economy in 2018-19, but this is set to increase even further over the next decade. In a report backed by figures from BHP, Fortescue Metals Group, Roy Hill, Rio Tinto, Sandfire Resources, Pilbara Minerals and Mineral Resources, the port's activities are estimated to pump an extra $26.2 billion to the economy by 2028-29.
AngloGold hits three million ounce milestone at Tropicana
AngloGold Ashanity has recorded a solid operational start to 2020 and surpassed a significant milestone at the Tropicana mine in Western Australia. The company produced 73,000 ounces at the Tropicana mine in the first quarter, which helped it reach its three million ounce milestone seven years after AngloGold first poured gold at the site. This also reflected a drop from the 86,000 ounces produced in first quarter of 2019 due to the completion of grade streaming in 2019.
Hastings awarded permit for Yangibana rare earths process plant
The Western Australian Government has awarded Hastings Technology Metals with a works permit for the Yangibana rare earths process plant in the Upper Gascoyne region. The facilities include process or benefaction of metallic or non-metallic ore; mine dewatering; electric power generation; Class II or III putrescible landfill site; bulk storage of chemicals; and a sewage facillity. The state's Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has introduced a range of conditions for the facilities under its works permit.
Alcoa propeses mutiple expansion plans
Alcoa of Australia has proposed multiple expansion plans for its Pinjarra alumina refinery and Huntly bauxite mine in Western Australia. The company has applied to the state's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to increase alumina production at Pinjarra by five per cent, from 5 million tonnes a year to 5.25 million tonnes a year. It is also looking to increase Huntly's rate of mining supply up to 2.5 million tonnes a year of bauxite for export.
Horizon Minerals on track to produce first gold next month
Horizon Minerals is on track to produce first gold at the Boorara mine in Western Australia next month, with mining and ore haulae progressing ahead of schedule. A total of 232,000 bank cubic metres has been moved, 22 per cent above plan with the proportion of free dig material contained in both the Regal East and Regal West pits exceeding expectations. Mining of both Regal east and west pits will enable cycling of mining production and drill and blast activities.
Gold prices expected to rise with no end in sight
Edison Investment Reseach director Charles Gibson has said there is no end in sight for the gold rush, with prices expected to rise to $US1900 ($2730) per ounce and potentially as high as $US3000 ($4312) per ounce. Gibson outlines this in Edison's latest mining report, A Golden Future: The Outlook for Gold and Gold Equities, which examines the relationship between gold prices and historic monetary conditions. According to Gibson, with uncertainty in the United States, low interest rates and global markets spooked, there is much to support high gold prices for the foreseeable future.