Archive for June, 2010


Monday, June 21st, 2010

Afghanistan’s Rich Mineral Deposits:

Aerogeophysical Survey Provides

Promising Prospects

of Economic Development

(Magnetic anomaly map) The magnetic data are useful for calculating bulk estimates of the magnetic properties of the local rocks and the depth to the magnetic source material, both useful in oil, gas, and mineral exploration. (Credit: USGS)

Science (June 18, 2010) — Analyzing nearly 20 terabytes of data collected from 220 mission flight-hours covering more than half of Afghanistan, Naval Research Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey investigators reveal several potential major oil and gas sedimentary basins, mineral-rich regions, and hydrologic resources for agriculture and economic development as recently reported by Department of Defense.

Flights administered by Naval Research Laboratory Scientific Development Squadron One (VXS-1) were flown using NP-3D Orion turboprop aircraft specially equipped with a suite of unique state of the art remote sensing technology that included dual gravimeters, scalar and vector magnetometers, a digital photogrammetric camera, hyperspectral imager and an L-band polarimetric synthetic aperture radar.

Photogrammetric mosaics and other imagery processed by USGS have also been provided to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for incorporation into Department of Defense image libraries and are being used for economic analysis projects by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for construction and development projects and to the government of Afghanistan for a myriad of uses to include geologic exploration, hydrologic resource management and earthquake hazard analysis.

“This imagery will be enormously important for seismic and flood hazard analysis, development of roads, pipelines and property boundaries, and other civil infrastructure projects and agriculture resource management,” states NRL Chief Scientist, Dr. John Brozena. “The data we have amassed and are analyzing today could prove invaluable to the future economic redevelopment of Afghanistan,” added Brozena.

The country faces dual challenges of suppressing Taliban and al-Qaeda operations and developing the basis of a legal and sustainable economy that minimizes popular support for terrorist activity. The combined efforts of NRL, USGS, and the crew of VXS-1 to conduct a major airborne remote sensing and mapping project contribute greatly to both these objectives.

The aerogeophysical project Rampant Lion (2006), sponsored by the government of Afghanistan, Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NGA, marked a technological milestone in the integration and successful operation of the largest set of diverse airborne geophysical sensors ever flown and the first deployment of NRL scientists into a combat theater since World War II.

Published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Gold hits new record


LONDON – Gold rallied on Friday to an all-time record above $US1,260 an ounce, as investors looked to precious metals for an alternative to equity or debt investments given renewed uncertainty about the economic recovery.

Several surprisingly weak US economic readings released a day earlier renewed investors worries, driving them to seek the safety of a tangible asset like gold.

Spot gold hit an all-time high of $US1,261.90 an ounce, but was bid at $US1,256.65 an ounce at 15:20 EDT, against $US1,243.40 late on Thursday. US gold futures for August delivery also climbed to a record at $US1,263.70, and settled up $US9.60 at $US1,258.30, its highest ever close.

“I think it is a case of gold’s ability to compete with both credit and equity markets for investments. Competing with credit markets has been in play for a long time, because of low interest rates and low opportunity cost of holding gold,” MF Global precious metals analyst Tom Pawlicki said in Chicago.

“The data yesterday from initial claims and Philadelphia Fed was another thing indicating to investors that the economic recovery will be sub-par compared with other recession recoveries. That makes gold more attractive,” he added.

The precious metal has risen nearly 15 per cent since the end of 2009, fueled by sovereign risk in the euro zone, historically low interest rates, and concern over the stability of paper currencies.

“Sovereign debt worries, central banks raising their holdings and record low interest rates keep attracting new buyers to gold,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

“The Goldilocks scenario continues. Risk-off helps gold through safe haven (buying), risk-on helps it as well through a weaker dollar.”

The euro, along with gold, was strengthened as well by the US Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s plummeting June factory index and a rise in first-time filings by unemployed US workers last week, which pushed US Treasury yields to their lowest in a week.

The dollar’s decline to three-week lows against the euro, headed for its best weekly gain in over a year as European leaders said they would publish details about the health of European banks.

Lingering fears over European sovereign debt levels are also burnishing the metal’s safe-haven appeal.

“We expect gold to continue to perform well given continued fiscal/debt challenges in Europe and the potential for this to spread to other regions,” Deutsche Bank said in a note.

SPDR ETF hits record

Holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, hit record highs at 1,307.963 tonnes on Thursday as investors continued to turn to physical bullion as a haven from risk.

Silver tracked gold higher to a four-week peak of $US19.24 an ounce. Late in the session it pulled off the highs to trade around $US19.16 an ounce against $US18.67 late Thursday, slightly outperforming the yellow metal.

Some investors said silver had lately under-performed gold’s gains and was due for a greater percentage rise.

The gold:silver ratio fell to its lowest since late May on a day-to-day basis, with one ounce of gold now buying 66 ounces of silver. The silver market, smaller and less liquid than gold, tends generally to outperform when prices are rising.

“If both gold and silver continue to improve, we expect silver to outperform, thus moving the gold-silver ratio lower,” ScotiaMocatta said in a note.

Platinum advanced to $US1,588 an ounce from $US1,574, and palladium was higher at $US487 than $US479.50 late Thursday. Both hit a one-month highs during the session.

The world’s biggest palladium producer, Norilsk Nickel, said it had received an offer for some of its Australian assets, and that it planned to proceed with plans to divest them.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Connecting the resources industry with the investment community

Symposium exists to connect the Australian resources industry with the investment community at both a domestic and international level.

We provide a range of opportunities for mining, coal, oil, gas and other energy-related businesses to present to and engage with potential investors.

Our events, from monthly roadshows to annual conferences are all specifically designed to showcase the resources industry, raise awareness and create mutually beneficial business partnerships.

For more details email or call 02 9279 0563


Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha