Kompania Weglowa SA, the European Union’s largest coal producer, faces massive job cuts to survive unless Poland quickens the state-owned industry’s revamp, which may include help from power utilities.

“If we want to quickly heal Kompania, we should shut five mines and fire 15,000 people,” Chief Executive Officer Miroslaw Taras said at an industry summit in Katowice, Poland today. “But if we want to avoid social unrest, we should probably think about somehow combining coal mining with power generation either by means of agreed prices or takeovers of some mines.”

Poland, which relies on coal for 90 percent of its electricity production, is under growing pressure to overhaul the cash-burning industry after its two biggest producers this month failed to sell bonds abroad to finance operations. The government of new Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz yesterday appointed Wojciech Kowalczyk, a former banker, to oversee the mining restructuring....
The Mining Hub
November 21, 2014 7:02:11 AM
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Commodities analysts say time is running out for a seasonal bounce in iron ore prices before the end of the year.

Chinese steel mills are typically keen to build up stocks of their key ingredient ahead of winter and the disruption of the Chinese lunar new year holidays, which fall in mid-February this year.

This restock has caused prices to bounce back from September or October lows over the last few years, typically reaching a peak in the first quarter of each year before dropping back.

However, the benchmark Chinese spot price has so far showed no sign of ending its fall so far this November, plunging around 4 per cent on Tuesday before declining again yesterday to a new five-and-a-half-year low of $US70.00 a tonne.

UBS global commodity analyst Daniel Morgan has just returned from a research trip to China last week and told ABC News Online that steelmakers he visited did not have large stocks of iron ore....
The Mining Hub
November 21, 2014 6:59:13 AM
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Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. (KIO) started moving more than 500 households as part of plans to raise output at Africa’s largest mine for the steelmaking ingredient as the Anglo American Plc (AAL) unit announced a business review.

Kumba will move some homes from the west of the Sishen mine to a new precinct in the nearby town of Kathu in South Africa’s Northern Cape province by year-end, Public Affairs Head Yvonne Mfolo said today. The rest, as well as businesses, schools, clinics and churches, will be moved by the end of 2016 in the 4.2 billion-rand ($382 million) project. It’s reviewing all operations, spending plans and product portfolios after prices fell to a five-year low, spokesman Gert Schoeman said.

Kumba is expanding the Sishen pit as the price of iron ore, which has fallen 47 percent this year, dwindles, partly on concern China’s economic slowdown will weaken demand for the material. At the same time, BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Plc and Vale SA have increased production to bolster their market shares, creating a glut and preventing a price rebound....
The Mining Hub
Sishen
November 21, 2014 6:56:33 AM
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Gold miners’ costs are mostly higher than current spot prices, increasing the likelihood of writedowns next year, according to Nick Holland, chief executive officer of Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI)

Across the industry, costs are about $1,300 an ounce including debt repayments, Holland said by phone from Johannesburg today, citing analysts’ research. Gold dropped 0.1 percent to $1,182 an ounce, bringing the decline since the beginning of 2013 to 29 percent.

“The industry by and large is under water,” Holland said. “I would expect further writedowns. Production I think will be curtailed but it will take some time to filter through the system.”

Gold producers are struggling to adapt to a lower bullion price after a decade of debt-fueled expansion, acquisitions and cost inflation during the boom years that saw bullion peak at $1,921.17 an ounce in September 2011. The spot price has tumbled in the past 18 months as investors speculate the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates due to an improving U.S. economy, lowering demand for the safe-haven metal....
The Mining Hub
November 21, 2014 6:53:53 AM
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BHP Billiton confronted its own disgruntled employees along with environmental protesters at its annual shareholder meeting.

The use of compulsory fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers at two new coal mines in central Queensland prompted workers from around the country to accuse BHP of destroying families.

The increasing casualisation of the workforce, through the use of contractors on weaker pay and conditions, was also a key focus for miners from Western Australia, NSW and Queensland.

People living in towns near the Caval Ridge and Daunia mines were discriminated against and refused a job, 20-year BHP coal miner and local resident Kev Adams told the meeting.

"I know you have a big job Andrew, but you are damaging our mine and damaging our community," he told chief executive Andrew Mackenzie.....
The Mining Hub
Caval Ridge
November 21, 2014 6:50:20 AM
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The last veil of secrecy over the multibillion-dollar Hancock feud lifted yesterday when Gina Rinehart lost her battle to keep private extraordinary allegations that question the source of more than 75 per cent of her wealth.

The Federal Court decision to lift a suppression order came despite her plea that key projects could be harmed.

After the decision, Hancock Prospecting called the court case an abuse of process and an attempt to air baseless allegations.

The company had to "waste precious time defending these extremely irresponsible, selfish and inconsiderate claims". "I feel parents everywhere cringe at this scene, watching extremely privileged children suing to get even more money unearned by them after their mother's lifetime of hard work," it said.

The move exposes key claims central to the decade-long series of battles with her children: that they believe her wealth was built on assets meant for them.....
The Mining Hub
November 21, 2014 6:46:49 AM
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Imperial Metals (TSX: III) has estimated cleanup costs related to the early August tailings dam failure at its Mount Polley mine at $67.4 million –significantly less than many analysts had been expecting.

The company revealed in its third quarter results that it had spent $20.3 million on the initial response to the tailings spill at the copper-gold mine, located 100 km northeast of Williams Lake, BC, with another $47.1 million recorded for expected rehabilitation and restoration costs, primarily over the next nine months....
The Mining Hub
Mount Polley
November 21, 2014 6:43:51 AM
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The Peruvian government has sent 1,000 police to dismantle illegal gold mining camps in an area known as La Pampa, where over 50,000 hectares of rainforest have been destroyed in the past six years.

The move, one of the latest crackdowns on the activity that has cost the country millions of dollars in lost fees and severely damaged the environment, comes just weeks before the country hosts U.N.-sponsored climate talks, scheduled to start on Dec. 1.

Associated Press (in Spanish), which visually documented the action, reports the troops dynamited a dozen motorcycles as they tore down dwellings that included at least one bordello. They didn’t confiscate as much equipment as expected, as the illegal miners had already removed and hidden some machinery, according to AP.

Peru’s government began legalizing tens of thousands of informal gold miners in 2012, giving them two years to sign up for a six-step formalization process, before criminalizing the activity....
The Mining Hub
November 21, 2014 6:41:03 AM
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Gina Rinehart's bank account through her holdings in unlisted Hancock Prospecting are in the region of $17 billion.

While the slump in coal and iron ore prices would have certainly hurt her bank balance this year, a new lawsuit launched by her estranged children has the potential to do even more damage.

In the new federal court suit which is separate from the ongoing bitter battle over the family trust, Bianca Rinehart and John Hancock are challenging the ownership of mother Gina's most prized assets Hope Downs and Roy Hill.

Hope Downs is jointly owned with Rio Tinto and completed a 15 million tonnes per year expansion a year ago, but Roy Hill – a close to $10 billion project – is the real money spinner.

Roy Hill will start shipping 55-million tonnes-a-year as early as September 2015 and after securing the necessary debt package, Rinehart still holds 70% of the venture....
The Mining Hub
Roy Hill
November 21, 2014 6:34:07 AM
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