Archive for June, 2011

BULGARIA COPPER & GOLD MINE TO INVEST IN IMPROVEMENTS

Saturday, June 25th, 2011
Posted on June 22nd, 2011

World class underground

operating practice in Bulgaria

chelopech_mining_l.jpg

In less than a year from now Chelopech aims to break the mould in continuous improvement of underground mining bringing world-leading underground operating practice to Bulgaria. John Chadwick will report in detail in the magazine about the attention to detail, reliable and innovative communications, some of the latest trackless mining technology, commitment and passion that are all coming together at the Chelopech copper-gold mine in Bulgaria (IM, October 2006).The specific goals are to double ore production to 2 Mt/y and to reduce cost/tonne from $52.2/t in 2010 to $29.8/t after the expansion, all without any increase in personnel or the mining fleet. The concomitant benefits will be as reported by Dundee Precious Metals’ (DPM) Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Rick Howes, at the Mining Americas Summit in Denver in June:

OLD WAY                                                                            NEW WAY

Paper reporting at end of shift                                  Real time display of information

Supervisor interaction once or twice per shift   Supervisor dispatched to critical shift problems

Limited knowledge of shift delays                          Delays identified in real time

Slow response time to process interruptions     Problems identified immediately

Reactive maintenance                                                  Real time equipment health monitoring

Small picture view                                                          See activities in whole mine in real time

Poor co-ordination                                                         Co-ordination through CCR with big picture

Poor use of resources                                                    Resources used to optimize shift results

Lost time locating equipment/materials, etc.    Real time equipment and materials tracking

from shift to shift.

Howes describes what is being done at Chelopech as “taking the lid off,” i.e. making underground operations as visible and well-controlled as those of open-pit mines. He estimates the quantifiable benefits of this program to be 10-30% improvement. This will be achieved using an Integrated Mine Management approach with Continuous Improvement becoming a standard way of working within the operations.

This article will focus on the mine and the great work being done there, including new projects to install a Sandvik underground crusher and a new conveyor system and decline to haul ore to surface. A second part next month will examine the updated concentrator at Chelopech and the greater DPM world that is directed from Sofia, Bulgaria and currently has production or near-production facilities in Armenia and Namibia.

There is a strong partnership at Chelopech between Sandvik and the mine. The mining fleet is predominantly of Sandvik manufacture with seven 50 t trucks (Toro 50s and one TH550), seven LHDs three Axera D07 development drills and four Solo production drills.

For the trucks and LHDs Chelopech has implemented Sandvik’s OptiMineTM – real time monitoring of operating performance and equipment health, which will increase the safety and efficiency of operations and maintenance.  OptiMine has the  system elements required to assist in onboard data gathering that can serve as an enabler for fleet management. The unit monitoring includes onboard devices, which monitor mobile equipment health, status and production output and transmit this data to the central computer applications.

OptiMine Remote Monitoring System enables flow of data and information, stores the data, makes it accessible for other applications and offers some basic reporting capability. As part of the Integrated Mine Management System (IMMS), the OptiMine Process Control System is to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2012.

Howes has over 30 years experience in the mining industry, and has been closely associated with the practices that make for world class mining operations, including Inco’s North mine which won the 2006 Ryan Award as the safest mine in Canada. He has much experience with ‘preferred supplier’ agreements and the like and says this relationship with Sandvik “is the best example of a partnership I have seen. The collaboration is much closer than I have seen anywhere and there are none of the disagreements about machine performance that are so common, allowing us to move forward with achieving our common goals, unencumbered.”

The partnership has also fostered networking and exchange of ideas with other key Sandvik partners. Gemcom is the third, very important, member of this groundbreaking underground mine management team. Chelopech has selected Gemcom InSiteTM as its mine production management solution.

InSite is used as an integrated production management solution for shift reporting and analysis. It also acts as the central monitoring and control system for the mine and provides metals balancing and accounting for the site and its smelter in Namibia. “We selected InSite as our mine production management solution because of Gemcom’s partnership approach to understanding our goals and objectives as we seek to expand production,” said Howes. “InSite provides the tools that will help us improve efficiencies across the operation, including metal balance from the block model through to final product. This will create synergies between the mine and the mill, resulting in productivity gains such as improved equipment utilization and greater throughput.”

The InSite deployment at Chelopech is also being integrated with technology developed in collaboration between Gemcom and Sandvik which provides a system and interface for monitoring underground mobile equipment. This will enable the tracking of production, equipment, and personnel metrics in a simple and effective manner and provide hard data from which to make informed business decisions for things like capital equipment expenditures.

With InSite, mining operations are able to link production data, costs, and planned versus actual production. The result is greater efficiency, lower costs, and the ability to continuously improve performance of all processes, activities, and equipment.

“Sandvik has developed an in-depth understanding of the demands of modern mining operations and how automation of loading and hauling processes in the mining cycle can contribute to the improvement of safety and efficiency of ore transportation,” explains Allen Vaughn, Executive Vice President of Gemcom. “Sandvik’s desire to provide customers with more in-depth knowledge on the condition of the equipment for maintenance purposes, as well as production monitoring to more effectively manage draw and production control, creates the opportunity to leverage InSite.”

Chelopech remains Bulgaria’s most mechanized underground mine. The deposit lies in the northern part of the Panagyurishte mining district hosting a number of copper-bearing massive sulphide and porphyry copper deposits. The Mining License covers an area of 266 ha and includes the area of the Chelopech mining operation and its immediate surroundings. The mine has operated since the early 1950s, was acquired by DPM in 2003 and is operated by DPM subsidiary Chelopech Mining.

The mine currently produces 75,000 oz of gold and 12,000 t of copper in a high arsenic concentrate grading about 16.5% Cu and 30 g/t Au. All concentrates produced are currently processed through DPM’s Tsumeb Smelter in Namibia.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

CAPITAL DRILLING NEW DRILLING CONTRACTS IN THREE LOCATIONS

Saturday, June 11th, 2011


Financial Services Online Leads

Capital Drilling wins more contracts in

Ethiopia, Ghana and Mauritania

capital.jpg

Capital Drilling, the emerging and developing drilling company, has recently been awarded another three new contracts. They are for BHP Billiton in Ethiopia, and two for Kinrtoss Gold, one in Ghana and the other in Mauritania. Commenting, Jamie Boyton, Executive Chairman, said: “I am very pleased to announce [these] contract wins, which follow closely on the heels of contracts recently awarded in Chile with BHP and the Solomon Islands with Allied Gold. The contracts represent the expansion of existing relationships with blue chip and major mining companies and further strengthens the long term visibility of our revenue profile. Having concluded successfully our first energy contract with Oil Search in Papua New Guinea we are looking forward to working in Ethiopia and continuing to grow the energy division.
ftse100trading.com

The contract with Kinross continues our drive in the significant market of West Africa.”Capital Drilling Energy has been awarded a contract with BHP Billiton, the second contract with the mining major this year, which will initially involve the deployment of one rig to carry out exploration drilling for potash in the Danakil Depression of the Afar National Regional State in northeast Ethiopia. The contract is expected to run until late 2011 and represents the group’s second energy contract. The rig required for the contract is currently in mobilisation and represents an addition to the group’s fleet.Capital Drilling Africa has been awarded a contract with Kinross Gold in Ghana where it recently acquired the Chirano gold mine through the takeover of Redback Mining. Capital Drilling Africa has been contracted to supply two diamond rigs for development drilling, with the contract expected to commence in early Q3 2011 for a minimum 12 month contract. The rigs required will be sourced from the existing fleet.
Survey Federation

Capital Drilling Africa has been awarded a further contract with Kinross Gold in Mauritania which represents an expansion of activity at the Tasiat gold mine, where the group currently has five diamond rigs operating. The new contract is for an additional air core rig to be utilised in exploration drilling, which has been sourced from within the existing fleet.

Capital Drilling, which has a Premium Listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, provides specialised drilling services to mineral exploration and mining companies in emerging and developing markets, for exploration, development and production stage projects. The Company currently owns and operates a fleet of 78 drilling rigs with established operations in Tanzania, Zambia, Egypt, Mauritania, Mozambique, PNG, Eritrea and Chile. The group’s corporate headquarters is in Singapore and it has its administrative offices for South America in Santiago, Chile.

Home Equity Club: Homeowner Survey

Sourced & Published by Henry Sapiecha

Free Commodity Charts

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

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JAPAN TO INVEST HEAVILY IN SOUTH AFRICAN PLATINUM MINE

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Itochu to Invest 22 Billion Yen

in Ivanhoe Platinum Mine

June 03, 2011, 1:29 AM EDT

More From Businessweek

  • Gold May Extend Two-Week Advance on Slowing Growth, Europe Woes
  • Sylvania, Aquarius Search for Platinum Group Metals in S. Africa
  • Gold Declines as Euro’s Rebound Erodes Demand for Metal Haven
  • Aquarius Platinum May Idle Blue Ridge Mine, Expand Everest
  • Gold May Decline in New York on Greece Debt Resolution Outlook

June 3 (Bloomberg) — Itochu Corp. said it has agreed to acquire an 8 percent stake from Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum Ltd. in a mine project in South Africa for exploration and development of nickel and platinum-group metals.

The Tokyo-based company will invest 22.4 billion yen ($277 million) for the stake, it said in a statement today. The company now holds an aggregated stake of 10 percent in the Platreef project after it invested $10 million to buy 2 percent in September 2010.

Mining at the project located in the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex is expected to start in 2017, Itochu spokesman Yasuhiro Terashita said earlier by phone. Platinum-group metals, which include palladium and rhodium, are used as catalysts to clean exhaust gas from automobiles.

The project is expected to produce 20 metric tons of platinum-group metals each year, Satoshi Kondo, president of Itochu Mineral Resources Development Corp., a unit of Itochu, told reporters today.

–Editors: Jarrett Banks, Matthew Oakley

To contact the reporters on this story: Jae Hur in Tokyo at jhur1@bloomberg.net; Ichiro Suzuki in Tokyo at isuzuki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net; Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

WORLD EVENTS HELP RUSSIAN ECONOMY

Saturday, June 4th, 2011
OIL PRICE MOVEMENT AND JAPANESE TSUNAMI HAVE EFFECT

SENTAKU MAGAZINE

From Russia with leverage

Spiraling oil prices and the serious accidents at a major Japanese nuclear power station caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami are helping strengthen the position of Russia in the international community.

The prediction by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that the oil price will soon go up to $120 a barrel is good news for Russia, which has based its national budget on the assumption that it would export crude oil at $75 per barrel. Any price above that level would be a windfall profit for one of the world’s major oil exporting nations.

Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has stated that high oil prices will enable the Russian economy to grow by more than 4 percent this year, allowing more than a one-third reduction in the amount of issued bonds.

One indicator of an economic boom prevailing in Russia is the way its currency, the ruble, has appreciated against the dollar — greater than the currencies of the three other “BRIC” countries, Brazil, India and China.

Many Russian government officials hope for a prolonged political instability in the Middle East, which is the cause of the recent oil price spiral. There has been a correlation between Moscow’s basic diplomatic stance and oil prices. In June 2008, for example, Russia launched a military invasion of Georgia at a time when crude hit a record $134 a barrel. Months later, the Kremlin shifted to a policy of reconciliation with the U.S. and Western Europe when the oil price plummeted to less than $50 amid the financial crisis triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

Russia holds a strong card against its neighbors to the west, as Finland and the three Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania rely on Russia for 100 percent of their natural gas needs. The European Union as a whole relies on Russia for 42 percent of what it pays for gas.

A Russian diplomatic source has confided that the Kremlin’s strategy is ultimately aimed at “decoupling” Western European countries on the strength of its abundant natural resources. In April last year, Russia resolved the long-standing territorial dispute with Norway by equally dividing the disputed continental shelf, and the two countries agreed to develop resources in the Arctic Sea jointly.

This is one example of Moscow’s attempt to create discord among NATO member countries and block any further expansion of NATO by promoting friendly bilateral ties with NATO signatories.

The EU member countries are countering these Russian initiatives by various means. One is to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly from countries like Qatar, Algeria and Nigeria using oceangoing tankers, a much less costly means than transporting Russian gas through long pipelines.

As of 2009, LNG sourced from the Middle East and Africa accounted for 14 percent of total European gas imports. An analyst said European imports of such LNG is believed to have increased further last year and that this trend could pose a threat to Russia.

In another bid to curtail Moscow’s power, he adds, the EU in March adopted a new policy of banning the same business entity from engaging in both gas production and pipeline transport. This policy, due to come into effect after a two-year grace period, is aimed at liberalizing the market and lowering gas prices. Clearly the policy targets Gazprom, Russia’s semi-national monopoly of gas production and transport. The analyst says this policy is a big business headache for Moscow.

As if to mitigate unfavorable consequences that might arise in Europe, Russia has lost no time trying to gain what it can. It offered assistance to Japan immediately after the devastating quake and tsunami March 11. On March 12, the day when a hydrogen explosion occurred in the containment building of the No. 1 reactor Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered his deputy, Igor Sechin, to work toward increasing LNG exports to Japan.

Putin’s ulterior motive is to raise Japan’s reliance on Russian natural resources by selling fossil fuel to Tepco, which will inevitably be in dire need to boost thermal-power generation. Sechin is quoted as saying that Russia will double its combined exports of crude oil and LNG to Japan this year from last year’s level.

Moscow’s determination to sell more energy sources to Japan is reflected in its stepped-up pace of constructing East Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipelines. Russia now plans to complete the pipelines by the end of next year, two years ahead of schedule. Moreover, the Russians are trying to use Japan as a steppingstone for boosting exports of natural resources to other Asian countries. Their exports are now heavily concentrated on China. Diversification of export destinations is indispensable for setting export prices at levels advantageous to Russia.

An expert in Russian affairs has warned, however, that Japan would enter dangerous territory if it started buying more than 10 percent of its energy needs from Russia.

Even though Russia has sent a 161-man rescue team to the quake-devastated region, the same expert warns of what he calls the traditional Russian tactic of fishing in troubled waters by first assisting those in need of help. Unfortunately, nobody in the Japanese political arena or bureaucracy is aware of this danger, he adds.

A Kremlin insider even suggested that Russia is thinking of building a nuclear power plant on Kunashiri, one of the four islands or island groups northwest of Hokkaido that are claimed by both Japan and Russia but held by the Russians since the end of World War II, and supplying Japan with electric power from there.

Russia speculated that the present Japanese government, which has been troubled by the nuclear power plant crisis in past weeks, could very well jump on a plan to obtain electricity from the Kunashiri plant while giving up its claim to the Northern Territories.

The day could come when Gazprom, if equipped with enough financial resources, buys up Tepco. Such a scenario may well prove to be more than fantasy because, unlike broadcasting stations and news agencies, utility companies are not protected by regulations against foreign ownership.

This is an abridged translation of an article from the April issue of Sentaku, a monthly magazine covering Japanese political, social and economic issues.
Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

SOUTH AFRICA IN PROSPECTING RIGHTS FEVER

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

South Africa Granted

627 Prospecting Rights

Since April 18

June 01, 2011, 12:18 PM EDT

More From Businessweek

  • Merafe to Join Xstrata to Expand Ferrochrome Plant, Use Debt
  • Sylvania, Aquarius Search for Platinum Group Metals in S. Africa
  • Itochu to Invest 22 Billion Yen in Ivanhoe Platinum Mine
  • South African Power Consumption Increased by 2.4% in April
  • Aquarius Platinum May Idle Blue Ridge Mine, Expand Everest

June 1 (Bloomberg) — South Africa, the nation with the biggest mineral wealth, granted at least 627 mineral prospecting rights since April 18, when it lifted a moratorium on applications, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said.

The Department of Mineral Resources stopped awarding prospecting rights on Sept. 1 after errors in the award of some permits were uncovered. Applications are now only accepted electronically via the department’s website, a measure the government hopes will eliminate the mistakes.

“What we want to achieve with the system is what is happening,” Shabangu told reporters in Cape Town today. “It’s working well” and complaints that the system is too slow are being addressed.

BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc are among companies that mine coal, platinum and diamonds in South Africa, which Citigroup Inc. last year said has mineral resources worth about $2.5 trillion.

A planned review of South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act is under way that aims to further streamline the licensing process and should be submitted to Parliament by the end of July, Shabangu said. Mine safety laws are also being reviewed to strengthen enforcement and increase penalties for infractions, she said.

Miner Deaths

Fifty-three miners have died in South Africa’s mines so far this year, up from 49 over the same period last year, according to government data.

Shabangu said the Cabinet is evaluating a plan that aims to ensure companies process more of the mineral they extract within the country, without compelling them to do so.

Shabangu also said a task team has been appointed to consider the merits of allowing the extraction of shale gas. A report is due by the end of July.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has applied to start shale-gas exploration in South Africa’s Karoo region. Its plans to drill about 24 wells in an area of about 90,000 square kilometers (34,749 square miles) faces opposition from the Treasure the Karoo Action Group on the grounds that it may have adverse environmental consequences.

–Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at mcohen21@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

RAPE OF WOMEN BY POLICE IN TANZANIA GOLD MINES

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Rape Allegations at Barrick Mine

Face Tanzanian Police Probe

June 03, 2011, 2:26 PM EDT

More From Businessweek

  • Merafe to Join Xstrata to Expand Ferrochrome Plant, Use Debt
  • Sylvania, Aquarius Search for Platinum Group Metals in S. Africa
  • Itochu to Invest 22 Billion Yen in Ivanhoe Platinum Mine
  • Harmony Gold Digging Third-Richest Mine Emerges as Target
  • South Africa Granted 627 Prospecting Rights Since April 18

By David Malingha Doya and Colin McClelland

June 3 (Bloomberg) — Tanzanian police said they are investigating allegations of sexual assault by its officers and security forces at the North Mara mine owned by a subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer of the metal.

“We expect Barrick, who wrote to us, to lead us to the victims as the starting point of the investigation,” Constantine Massawe, regional police commander in Tarime, where the mine is located, said today in a telephone interview. “We have never received complaints of sexual assault at the mine before.”

Barrick will make public the results of its own investigation into the “highly disturbing” sexual-assault allegations, the company said in a May 30 statement. The rape claims follow a confrontation on May 16 in which Barrick said hundreds of “armed intruders” stormed the mine to loot ore, leading to five deaths.

The alleged sexual attacks were reported to have occurred over the past two years, Andy Lloyd, a Barrick Gold spokesman, said today in a telephone interview.

“We provided this information to police and requested that they conduct an investigation,” he said.

The North Mara mine is operated by London-listed African Barrick Gold Ltd., which was created last year when Toronto- based Barrick spun off its African operations. Barrick shares have declined 15 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange since April 21, the last trading day before the company announced it agreed to the C$7.3 billion ($7.5 billion) purchase of Equinox Minerals Ltd., which owns the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia.

NGO Investigation

The Legal and Human Rights Center, a Dar es Salaam-based nongovernmental organization looking into the claims, said the alleged victims are afraid to go to police.

“Victims claim to have been raped by police officers and company security guards,” Flavian Charles, program officer at the Legal and Human Rights Center, said in an interview yesterday. “They also fear divorce when their husbands find out they were raped.”

–Editors: Steven Frank, Amanda Jordan.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Malingha Doya in Dar es Salaam at dmalingha@bloomberg.net; Colin McClelland in Toronto at cmcclelland1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

INDIAN FARMERS GET CHEAP BANK LOANS USING GOLD AS SECURITY

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Farmers in India do deals

with banks and

get cheap loans against gold

Indian farmers are queuing up to get farm loans from banks at interest rates as low as 4% using gold as security, as against the 30% interest rates offered by local money lenders.

Author: Shivom Seth
Posted:  Friday , 03 Jun 2011

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MUMBAI

Farmers in India have a new trick up their sleeve, especially those in the southern states of India. Many farmers have found to their amazement that banks are ready to extend loans to the farmer if they tender gold jewellery as collateral. Though the custom is an old and tried one and harboured for several years by local money lenders and non banking financial institutions in smaller villages, what has now got farmers flocking to the nearby bank is the low rate of interest.
“Most farmers have woken up to the fact that they can get a loan, using gold as security, for a low interest rate of just 4%. Farmers currently pay 7% on crop loan. There is an interest subvention clause that most farmers are drawing on these days, ostensibly under the category of farm loan.,” said Chaitanya Shellar of Sonamull Traders, a bullion investment firm.
Several years ago, India’s central bank the Reserve Bank of India asked its member banks to introduce short-term farm loans at an interest outgo of 7%. The idea was to encourage farmers to build on the agricultural acerage.
In 2009, Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech announced that the government would pay additional subsidy of 1%, as an incentive to those farmers who repaid their short-term crop loans on schedule. The interest rate for these farmers then had come down to 6%.
This year, in his budget speech, Pranab Mukherjee announced that those farmers who repaid their dues in time would get an interest subsidy of 3%. This has effectively brought down the interest rate of crop loans to 4%.
“Several public and private sector banks are intent on doubling their gold-backed loan portfolio, by extending their lending activity to small and marginal farmers. Some schemes enable the farmers to access loans backed by ornamental gold for a maximum tenure of two years, following which the gold assets of the customer can be rolled over,” said a banking official.
Added another official of Andhra Bank: “These types of loans are beneficial to the customers, who can unlock the value of the gold. And to us, too, because gold always appreciates in value.”
The banking officials pointed out that the interest earnings from farm-lending against gold was modest. Against this, loans against gold to non-farm retail segment are considered to have higher return rates and are associated with less risk of turning into Non-Performing Assets.

Risk averse

It is not a recent phenomenon. Players in the gold loan business have been regularly urging poor families in India to leverage their gold holdings instead of keeping their valuables idle. Analysts insist that the sizeable spread that the company can earn and the low non-performing loans make the business lucrative.
Rather than rely on the local pawn broker or money lender, banks are enticing farmers to a highly secure and trusted lending institution. “Even affluent farmers have a means of accessing short-term cash on personal valuables. Many farmers with significant amounts of gold have a new way to access emergency cash,” said a banker.
The main institutions to provide credit are the state cooperative banks, central cooperative banks, primary agricultural credit societies, land development banks and scheduled commercial banks including regional rural banks.
This has ensured that poor farmers in the remotest corner of India can access farm loans. And can hawk old items of gold as security.
“Many farmers are now using their household gold jewellery as collateral,” confirmed Venugopal Shastri, bullion analyst with a foreign brokerage house. He added that for the bank, shelling out a loan against gold was practically risk-free since banks ensure a significant margin between the loan amount and the value of gold.
Bankers said that most households in the southern states of India have at least some gold holdings, and have been regularly indulging in refinancing of loans against gold. While the banks provide short to medium term loans to farmers, some are even open to converting short-term loans into medium-term ones, when there are problems of recovery due to crop failures or natural calamities.
“Gold, gems and jewellery are allowed as collateral, so the banks can loan more money. Loans allow people to start or expand their businesses, which expands the economy and creates more jobs,” said bullion analyst Ashwin Thanedar.
He added that allowing gold to be used as collateral made sense because many people already buy gold as their savings, preferring it to hard currency or bank savings.
“Since farmers can put their gold down as collateral to obtain loans, they would not need to borrow from local money lenders or pawn shops that charge outrageously high interest. Even J P Morgan Chase allows some of its clients to use the precious metal as collateral,” said another banker, adding that gold was re-establishing its role as a monetary and financial asset in this way.
In the international market, gold rose for the second consecutive day on Thursday, nearing a one-month high, with reports indicating that output in the manufacturing sector in the US hit its lowest level since 2009. Spot gold rose to $1,542.89 an ounce.
In India, at the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold for delivery in August declined by 0.25%, with a business turnover of 1,096 lots. The metal for June delivery lost 0.20% with a business volume of 113 lots.

More competition

Analysts maintain that the gold loans market in India is set to witness more competition with financial institutions and banks entering the lucrative business. Kerala-based Federal Bank is to widen its network of exclusive gold loan branches in various parts of the country. It already has 60 branches in Tamilnadu and Karnataka and is planning to increase its gold loan branches to 350 by the end of the year, said Shyam Srinivasan, managing director of Federal Bank.
Bankers point out that the default rate is much lower for gold loans because Indians do not want to risk losing their family jewellery.
Trading gold for immediate cash is viewed in India as the equivalent of taking out a home equity loan to expand a business or simply to buy more farm machinery. Earlier, local money lenders offered loans against jewellery at interest rates of 30% or more. Gold loans by banks are vastly different, interest rates are lower and the business is regulated.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

MAJOR MINE COMPANIES TO SEE PROFITS LEVELLING OUT SOON

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Mining giants’ earnings to flatten out

Daily Telegraph Australia, 2 Jun 2011

The blockbuster earnings growth of mining titans BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto is expected to flatten over the next five years. This is due to Australia’s top export — iron ore — being tipped as “the biggest drag” as prices plunge.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

CHINA INVESTS IN IRON ORE SUPPLY COMPANY

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Chinese iron and steel producer

pays $17.4m for 10% of Noront

Prince Edward Island Guardian, 2 Jun 2011

A subsidiary of Chinese iron and steel producer Baosteel has invested $17.4 million to acquire around 10 per cent of Noront Resources Ltd., a Canadian Ontario-based mineral exploration company.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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