31 March 2020
The Monthly Mining News Roundup - March
Aussie miners hit record gold production
Australian gold production reached an all-time of 325 tonnes last year, with a particularly outstandinging December quarter, according to Surbiton Associates. Gold production during the December period hit a record quarterly output of 87 tonnes, exceeding the previous record of 82 tonnes in the June quarter last year. The record quatrters were responsible for the yearly all-time high, with eight tonnes more than the previous recrod of 317 tonnes in 2018.
WA's batter minerals has contributed $6 bilion in export revenue in 2018-19 financial year
Western Australia's battery minerals have contributed $6 billion in export revenue in the 2018-19 financial year, according to a state government report. Rare earths export was valued at over $335 million during the year. The Implementation Progress Report released by the state's Mines and Petroleum Minster Bill Johnston last week also shows a 21 per cent increase in employment within the state's battery industry in 2018-19.
BHP rolling out autonomous trucks at Newman
BHP is introducing 20 autonomous trucks to its fleet at the Newman East (Eastern Ridge) iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region by the end of this year. The company made the decision to go autonomous at the Pilbara iron ore site for the significant safety benefits and to complement the mine’s design, culture and existing infrastructure. “Newman East is home to our innovation centre, so we’re already using technology there that helps us to be safer and more efficient,” Newman operations general manager Marie Bourgoin said.
WA to halve exploration applications processing time
The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) plans to halve processing timeframes for exploration applications. The new timeframe will reduce programme of work (PoW) applications from 30 to 15 business days starting July. The shorter assessment times will support the state government’s commitment to improve regulatory efficiency through its Diversify Western Australian Economic Development Framework, according to DMIRS director general David Smith.
Large scale gold system discovered at Hemi prospect
De Grey Mining has discovered a large scale gold system at the Hemi prospect in Western Australia, which qualifies as “some of the best discovery intersections” ever seen. The company’s reverse circulation (RC) drilling confirmed strong mineralisation at depth, with sulphide zone expanding to 200 metres wide and potential for more than 320 metres of strike. Results include 93 metres at 3.3 grams per tonne from 39 metres, where a tail was drilled with a diamond rig and sulphide rich alteration immediately encountered as expected.
Australian dollar gold price reaches seven-year high
The Australian dollar gold price has reached a seven-year high in the wake of a crash in crude oil prices. Tension between oil producing countries Russia and Saudi Arabia has sent investors flocking to the safe haven asset. Gold peaked at $2548.23 an ounce in the Australian dollar currency yesterday after tracking upward from $2528.96 the previous day, according to data on the ABC Bullion website.
BHP retains position as the world's most valuable mining brand
BHP has retained its position as the world’s most valuable mining, iron and steel brand, according to the latest report by Brand Finance. It defied a 3 per cent drop in brand value to $US5.8 billion ($8.9 billion) due to an unstable 2019. BHP faced a $US5 billion lawsuit related to the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil and a 13 per cent fall in coal output towards the end of last year following Australia’s bushfire devastation.
Saracen awards SRG Global with significant 5 year contract
Saracen Mineral Holdings has awarded SRG Global a drill and blast contract worth $70 million at the Thunderbox and Carosue Dam gold operations in Western Australia. Under the contract, SRG Global will complete production and grade control drilling, and supply and manage explosives at the Goldfields sites.
Export earnings are forecast to hit a record of $299 billion
Australia's resource and energy export earnings are forecast to hit a record of $299 billion in 2019-2020 despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The new estimate, put forth by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) indicates an increase of $18 billion in the commodity export value on 2018-2019.
BHP to recruit 1500 people to support operations
BHP plans to recruit 1500 people to support the company's operations in the short term amid a "difficult" time. The jobs will be offered as six-month contracts, with roles spanning from machinery and production operators, truck and ancillary equipment drivers, excavator operators, diesel mechanics boilermakers, to trade assistants.