Archive for the ‘EXPLORATION’ Category


Friday, November 22nd, 2013



Profiting from the riches that asteroids, stars and even planets have to offer is closer than ever, with two companies launching missions within three years. But experts say before going for the gold, platinum and diamonds that may be up there, they need to find the most precious of all: water.

Investors eager to get the new industry off the ground know this. That is why new ventures that have backing from some loaded business figures, and even the NASA, have decided to focus on using space minerals in interplanetary “gas stations.” According to Reuters, the other alternative for them is to build, support and fuel colonies on Mars.

Geologists believe that asteroids hold iron ore, nickel and precious metals at much higher concentrations than those found on Earth. In fact, an asteroid that flew by the earth earlier this year had an estimated value of $195 billion in metal and fuel.

Scientists have said asteroid mining is a necessity as many metals that underpin our modern economy are quickly being depleted. Without any new technological advances, metals like zinc and gold are expected to run out in 100 years, they claim.

So far there are at least two asteroid mining companies —Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries —and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)looking into the feasibility of the extraterrestrial endeavour.

Not a competition

Experts say that while viable, asteroid mining is not and will probably never be a completion for our planet’s industry. The real value in space mineral extraction, they say, is for further space travel – and so hydrogen and oxygen reserves are as attractive as any metal.

“It’s ridiculous to believe that asteroid resources will ever compete with terrestrial alternatives and Earth markets,” Brad Blair, a mining engineer and economist, told Reuters.

When asked about the planned city-sized settlements on Mars, he noted the reason asteroid mining makes sense is because people might be some day where those resources actually are.

“You can’t put an 80,000-person colony on Mars without using the local ‘timber’ (…) and if you’re going to use chemical propulsion, it’s going to take a lot of water to get them there,” he was quoted as saying.

No everyone shares his opinion, in March this year the head of the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA), Arny Sokoloff, said he had “no doubts” that space mining will go farther than earth mining one day. He added governments should encourage the industry by offering tax benefits similar to those given to mining companies


Henry Sapiecha

fine gold line


Tuesday, November 29th, 2011


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Anadarko Petroleum, the US oil and gas independent, has more than doubled the estimated size of its biggest natural gas discovery, located off the coast of Mozambique.

“This could be one of the most important natural gasfields discovered in the last 10 years,’’ Jim Hackett, Anadarko’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.

Mr Hackett said the Barquentine-3 appraisal well encountered more than 662 net feet of natural gas pay. That expanded the estimated recoverable resource range to 15 to 30 plus trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, with an estimated 30 to 50 plus Tcf of natural gas in place.

Anadarko has not released how much it plans to invest but the size of the find indicates it could easily surpass $10bn over the life of the field. “There is no question this will be a commercial project,’’ Mr Hackett said.

The well is in the same offshore Mozambique deepwater in which Eni, the Italian oil group, said in late October it had made an extensive gas discovery. Eni estimated the size of its find at 15,000bn-20,000bn cubic feet. The well was then deepened, and Eni put the size at 22,500bn cubic feet.

Anadarko, which has drilled six successful wells in the area, has a working interest of 36.6 per cent in 2.6m-acre field known as Offshore Area 1. It has five junior partners with Mitsui E&P Mozambique holding 20 per cent.

Anadarko said it will be accelerating its drilling programme with two dedicated rigs. “We will be advancing this very aggressively,’’ Mr Hackett said.

The exploration and appraisal will determine the ultimate size of recoverable resources but Mr Hackett said the target was to begin construction in 2013 with a goal to bring the resources to market in 2018.

Anadarko is planning a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) development to support the field. It is being designed to consist of at least two trains – facilities to liquefy the gas – with the flexibility to expand to six.

The announcement follows Anadarko’s agreement last month to pay $4bn to BP to settle claims related to the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an attempt to draw a line under the disaster. The spill had weighed on the company, which was a junior partner in that well.

While Anadarko had compartmentalised the risk and continued a strong exploration programme that has yielded significant finds in recent years, ranging from west Africa to Brazil to the US, the uncertainty over how much it would be forced to commit to Macondo claims had kept investors from fully valuing its pipeline of development projects.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Sunday, November 27th, 2011

The Pebble Project is a mineral exploration and development project owned by the Pebble Limited Partnership, an Alaska limited partnership formed between a wholly owned US subsidiary of Anglo American PLC and a wholly owned entity of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. Based in Anchorage, Alaska, the Pebble Partnership is focused exclusively on the responsible development of the Pebble Project in a way that will optimize benefits for local communities while protecting important environmental values and traditional ways of life. The partnership was formed to advance the Pebble Project, one of the most important concentrations of copper, gold, molybdenum and silver in the world, toward permitting, construction and operations

Sourced & posted by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Gem Rock Auctions

Diamcor Expands Drilling operations and Advances Preparations
for Bulk Sampling at Krone-Endora at Venetia

KELOWNA, August 17, 2011 – Diamcor Mining Inc. (TSX-V.DMI / OTCQX-DMIFF) (the “Company”), is pleased to announce that it is continuing to make strong advances in the completion of the recommended drilling programme and site preparations for the Company’s planned transition to recommended bulk sampling at its Krone-Endora at Venetia project (the “Project”).  In addition to the drilling efforts, which are now in their final stages, approximately +/- 20 employees, consultants and contractors, including heavy equipment, are preparing for the Company’s starting of the recommended bulk sampling program.  Preparations include the establishment and upgrade of access roads throughout the Project, preparations for the installation of an initial water pipeline, preparation of the area selected for the anticipated delivery of the bulk sampling plant, preparation of areas which have been selected for bulk sampling, establishment of operational offices and infrastructure on-site, procurement of equipment necessary for bulk sampling, and the procurement of the bulk sampling plant for delivery to the Project.  Further details regarding Company efforts to support the transition to bulk sampling will be released by the Company in the next few  weeks.
El Paso Saddleblanket

Drilling Programme Extended:

The Company initially planned to drill around 390 targets on the K1, K3, Confluence, and areas of interest immediately adjacent to these areas of the Project as part of the recommended drilling programme.  Due to the encouraging results of the ongoing drilling efforts in identifying additional gravel bearing areas, and the desire to further extend drilling into new areas, the Company expanded the total number of drilling targets and has now successfully completed the drilling of 469 targets.  In addition to the drilling completed to date, the Company plans to further extend drilling to include an additional +/- 50 targets in new areas to the north east of the K3 and Confluence areas.  All targets drilled to date have been in areas outside of the current fence-line of Venetia.  In conjunction with the drilling of these extended targets outside the current fence line of Venetia, the Company also plans to complete the drilling of various targets inside the fence-line of Venetia in the next few weeks.  The drilling of targets inside the fence-line of Venetia is aimed at aiding in the identification of potential extensions of the known deposits from the K1 area through the areas to the East of K1 where drilling has now been completed up to the Venetia fence-line.  The Company is targeting the completion for all remaining drilling prior to the end of the third calendar quarter.


Data gained from the combined drilling efforts is designed to aid the Company, and consultant geologists, in determining the depths of the underlying bedrock throughout the various initial areas of the Project being drilled, to provide additional information on both the known lower-grade upper gravels and higher-grade basal deposits in the areas of the Project which were previously identified by De Beers, and to identify potential extensions and the directions of any additional deposits into new areas from the proposed source of the deposits, the adjacent Venetia kimberlites.  Data is also being used to identify the target areas for the Company’s recommended bulk sampling programme.

The combined results of the recommended drilling and bulk sampling programmes are designed to support the filing of a new updated NI 43-101 Technical Report (the “NI 43-101 Report”) for the Project in the coming months.  These programmes will also be used to aid in the recommended advancement of the Project to trial mining exercises in the near-term, and to assist the Company in assessing a production strategy for the Project over the long-term.  The current NI 43-101 Technical Report as filed by the Company on July 30, 2009 was based solely on the areas of the Project on which De Beers previously performed initial work, with the average diamond dollar per carat price estimate in that report dating from 2005.  In addition to further establishing grades and other relevant information in areas being targeted for bulk sampling, the Company anticipates that the rough diamonds recovered during bulk sampling will allow the Company and independent geologists to establish the current rough diamond dollar per carat average for the Project.

Good Reading Magazine

About Krone-Endora at Venetia:

On February 28, 2011, Diamcor successfully completed the acquisition of the Krone-Endora at Venetia Project from De Beers. The Project consists of the prospecting rights over the farms Krone 104 and Endora 66, which represent a combined surface area of approximately 5,888 hectares directly adjacent to De Beers’ flagship Venetia Diamond Mine in South Africa.  De Beers previously completed various exploration efforts on initial areas of interest comprised of approximately 310 hectares, a summary of which has been reported in an initial Independent NI 43-101 Technical Report filed by the Company on July 30, 2009.  The deposits which occur on the properties of Krone and Endora have been identified as a rare, higher-grade lower “Eluvial” basal deposit which is covered by a lower-grade upper “Alluvial” deposit.  The deposits are proposed to be the result of the direct-shift (in respect of the “Eluvial” deposit) and erosion (in respect of the “Alluvial” deposit) of an estimated combined 1,000m (1 km) of material from the higher grounds of the adjacent Venetia kimberlite areas.  Based solely on the work completed to date, the current NI 43-101 Technical Report filed provided an inferred resource estimate of 54,258,600 tonnes of diamond-bearing gravels and 1.3 million carats of diamonds for the initial areas of interest alone.  The deposits on Krone-Endora occur in two layers with an average total depth of only 15.0 metres from surface to bedrock, allowing for a very low-cost mining operation to be employed, and the potential for near-term diamond production from a known high-quality source.  Krone-Endora also benefits from the significant development of infrastructure and services already in place due to its location directly adjacent to the Venetia Mine.

About Diamcor Mining Inc:

Diamcor Mining Inc. is a fully reporting publically traded junior diamond mining company which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol V.DMI, and on the OTC QX International under the symbol DMIFF.  The Company has a well-established operational and production history in South Africa, and extensive experience supplying rough diamonds to the world market.  Rather than exposing itself to the high risks and costs associated with exploration, the Company’s focus is on the identification, acquisition, and operation of quality near-term production based diamond projects such as the Krone-Endora at Venetia Project.  For additional information on Diamcor, please visit our website at

The Rich Pom

Strategic Tiffany & Co. Alliance:

As announced on March 29, 2011, the Company has established a long-term strategic alliance and first right of refusal with world famous New York based Tiffany & Co. to purchase up to 100% of the future production of rough diamonds from the Krone-Endora at Venetia Project.  To expedite the production and supply of rough diamonds from Krone-Endora at Venetia, Tiffany & Co. has also provided the Company with additional financing for the Project.  Tiffany & Co. is a publically traded company which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TIF.  Originally founded in 1837, the Tiffany’s name is now globally recognised as one of the premier luxury jewellery and specialty retailers in the world.  Through Tiffany & Co. and various other subsidiaries, the company is engaged in product design, manufacturing, and retailing activities on a global basis.  As of October 31, 2010 Tiffany & Co. operates 225 retail stores and boutiques in the Americas, Japan, Asia-Pacific, and Europe and engages in direct selling through internet, catalog and business gift operations.  For additional information on Tiffany & Co., please visit their website at

El Paso Saddleblanket

On behalf of the Board of Directors
Mr. Dean H. Taylor
President & CEO
Diamcor Mining Inc.
[email protected]

Phone:             (250) 864-3326
Gem Rock Auctions

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Financial Services Online Leads

Capital Drilling wins more contracts in

Ethiopia, Ghana and Mauritania


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.

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


Saturday, June 4th, 2011

South Africa Granted

627 Prospecting Rights

Since April 18

June 01, 2011, 12:18 PM EDT

More From Businessweek

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  • 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 [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Barden at [email protected]

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Oil and Gas Firm Enters

the U.S. Recycling Market

Oil and Gas Firm Matrixx Enters the U.S. Recycling Market18 April 2011

Matrixx Resource Holdings Inc., a specialist in oil and gas exploration and acquisition, has entered into an agreement in principle to form a Joint Venture (JV) partnership to trade and process plastic and metal resources.

To run concurrently with its oil and natural gas program, Matrixx has says that it has agreed to form a subsidiary in which the partnership will engage in the purchase, sale, and processing of plastic and metal commodities.

The Company plans to trade and recycle post-consumer polyethylene (PET) plastic bottles and HDPE bottle caps for sale to companies in the United States.

The partnership is working on developing a proprietary equipment design and process that it claims will eliminate the human element in the sorting process – thus creating a more cost effective system.

The company says that its long term objective is to build a state of the art recycling facility in the New York Metropolitan Area that will incorporate renewable energy sources and serve as an education centre. This plant would be FDA certified and able to further process the post-consumer plastics into high quality grades of resin for potential use in food and beverage containers as well as medical supplies.

Furthermore, the partnership says that it has identified and initiated discussions for the acquisition of certain processing facilities, as well as for purchase and sales contracts within and around Central and South America.

Included in this formula, the partnership plan provides for specific collection and sales contracts of specified tradable commodities, including plastic, brass, copper, aluminium, and other valuable tradable resources.

Under the terms of the agreement, Matrixx will retain a minority percentage between 25% and 50% of the newly formed subsidiary. Additionally, the agreement calls for Matrixx to have managerial control of the newly formed subsidiary thus allowing the company to maintain consolidated financials.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, January 31st, 2011

Hibernia GBS

How to build a sea platform that stands half the height of New York’s Empire State Building and 33 meters taller than the Calgary Tower.
Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, November 26th, 2010

Thomson Resources – Seeking investors to participate in IPO

Thomson Resources Ltd (TMZ) has acquired a dominant tenement position, covering over 6,000 sq km, in a new, unexplored mineral belt – the Thomson Fold Belt in northern NSW. The area has many distinct similarities to the rich Lachlan Fold Belt which hosts world-class deposits. The first significant direct exploration in the area has revealed Cobar-type alteration and mineralisation at the first 5 anomalies tested by drilling.

TMZ’s IPO is current and a prospectus is available on the TMZ website.

For more information about Thomson Resources, click here

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, July 30th, 2010


This section is based on information contributed by Geoscience Australia and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) (September 2006).

Note: Values are given in Australian currency unless otherwise stated.


Maps 16.23, 16.24 and 16.25 show selected mines and deposits – map 16.23 covers gold and diamonds; map 16.24 covers bauxite, coal, iron ore, manganese ore and uranium; map 16.25 covers base metals and mineral sands.

16.23   SELECTED=


Bauxite, alumina and aluminium

Bauxite is a heterogeneous naturally occurring material from which alumina and aluminium are produced. The principal minerals in bauxite are gibbsite, boehmite and diaspore (which has the same composition as boehmite but is denser and harder). Bauxite is the ore from which alumina (aluminium oxide) is extracted while aluminium is produced from smelting alumina.

Australia’s aluminium industry is a large integrated industry of mining, refining, smelting and semi-fabrication, which is of major economic importance nationally and globally. Its EDR of bauxite (5.8 gigatonnes (Gt)) provide a world class resource base for the industry, which comprises five bauxite mines, seven alumina refineries, six primary aluminium smelters, twelve extrusion and two rolled product (sheet, plate and foil) mills. In 2005 Australia was the largest producer of bauxite and alumina. The Australian aluminium industry directly employs over 12,000 people.

Production in 2005 totalled 60.0 Mt of bauxite, 17.7 Mt of alumina and 1.9 Mt of aluminium (ingot metal). Compared with 2004 these represented an increase of 6.0% for bauxite, 7.3% for alumina and no change for aluminium.

In 2005, the Queensland Government called for expressions of interest in the development of the Aurukun Bauxite Project. The objectives for the development of the Aurukun resource include its development as a source of bauxite for a new alumina refinery in Queensland. The $US1.3b expansion plans for the Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory are progressing. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2007 and will lift the refinery’s capacity from 2.1 Mt to around 3.8 Mt per year.


Black coal is a solid rock formed from brown coal after greater heat and pressure have been applied. Black coals are distinguished by rank and may be sub-bituminous, bituminous or anthracite. Black coal is primarily used for electricity generation and the production of coke, which is integral to the production of iron and steel. Black coal is also used as a source of heat in the manufacture of cement and food processing. Brown coal is a less matured form of coal. It has a high ‘in situ’ moisture content (up to 60%) with a correspondingly low heating value. It is highly susceptible to spontaneous combustion. Brown coal is used widely for power generation, is made into briquettes, and can be converted to liquid or gaseous fuels.

Although coal mining occurred in all states in 2005, New South Wales and Queensland produced over 96% of all black coal (anthracite, bituminous and sub-bituminous coals) and Victoria produced all the brown coal (lignite). Australia’s EDR of recoverable black coal is 39.2 Gt, which is about 5% of total world EDR making Australia’s holdings the sixth largest in the world. EDR of recoverable brown coal is 37.4 Gt, which gives Australia the largest holding in the world and accounts for 24% of world EDR. All EDR is located in Victoria and about 89% is located in the La Trobe Valley.

Australia’s coal production and exports have risen strongly over the last two decades. Production of black coal increased in 2005. Output of saleable black coal at 303.0 Mt was 1.7% higher than in 2004 and made Australia the world’s fourth largest producer. Brown coal production reached 67.2 Mt in 2004-05. Australia was the world’s fifth largest producer of brown coal with about 8% of production.


Copper occurs in various forms. It can occur naturally in its pure state (native copper) but is principally mined as chalcopyrite. Copper is one of the most important and widely used metals of modern society due to its properties of:

  • high electrical and heat conductivity
  • ductile and malleable
  • resistant to corrosion
  • ability to form alloys with other metals.

These properties enable copper to be used in a wide range of applications. The largest use of copper is in the electrical industry where copper wire and cable account for about half of the world’s copper production. Other major markets are the motor vehicle and construction sectors. Copper is also an integral part of the expanding information technology sector and is used in the manufacture of computers, mobile phones, fax machines and televisions.

Major Australian copper mining and smelting operations are at Olympic Dam (South Australia) and Mt Isa (Queensland), with smaller projects in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. Australia’s EDR of copper is 41.4 Mt giving it the world’s second largest holding of copper EDR with 8% of the total.

Mine production of copper in 2005 was 921 kt of contained copper, 7% higher than in 2004 (860 kt). Queensland dominates Australian production with 399 kt (largely from Mt Isa) followed by South Australia with 213 kt (all from Olympic Dam). The remaining production occurred in New South Wales (190 kt), Western Australia (90 kt) and Tasmania (30 kt). As a producer, Australia ranks fifth, with 6% of world output, after Chile (36%), the United States of America (8%) and Indonesia and Peru (both 7%).


Diamond is composed of carbon, and is the hardest known natural substance, but a sharp blow can shatter it. Diamonds occur naturally but are extremely rare compared with other minerals. Diamonds are thought to form deep in the earth at high temperatures and pressures and are carried to the surface or near surface by volcanic rocks in narrow cylinder-like bodies called ‘pipes’. A large proportion of industrial diamonds are manufactured, and it is also possible to produce synthetic diamonds of gem quality. Uses for diamond include jewellery, computer chip manufacture, drill bit facing, and stone cutting and polishing.

Australia produced 30.7 million carats (Mc) of diamond in 2005, making it the world’s second largest producer of diamond by weight after Russia, with Botswana and Congo (Kinshasa) ranked third and fourth respectively. It is the second largest producer of industrial-grade diamond and the third largest producer of gem/near gem diamond after Botswana and Russia.

Australia’s EDR of gem/near gem diamonds is 124.2 Mc and industrial diamonds 129.2 Mc. These are both more than double the EDRs for 2004 as a result of the decision to proceed with underground mining at Argyle and a related upgrade of around half of the mineral resource to ore reserves based on the results of a comprehensive feasibility study. Australia’s EDR of industrial diamond is ranked third in the world, with 21% of world EDR.

The majority of Australian production was from the Argyle mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia which produced 30.5 Mc of mostly industrial and near gem diamonds in 2005. Argyle production was 48% higher than in 2004 despite mining constraints within the deepening open pit.


Gold has a range of uses but the two principal applications are as an investment instrument and in the manufacture of jewellery. Secondary uses, in terms of the amount of gold consumed, are in electronic and dental applications.

Gold resources occur and are mined in all Australian states and the Northern Territory. Australia’s EDR of gold is 5,225 tonnes, the second largest in the world after South Africa.

Australian gold production in 2005 (reported by ABARE) was 263 tonnes. This level of production makes Australia the second largest producer in the world after South Africa. The Super Pit at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia was the largest producer with an output of nearly 26 tonnes (just over 0.8 million ounces).

Iron ore

Iron ore is the source of primary iron for the world’s steel industries. Over 97% of iron ore production occurs in the Hamersley Basin (Western Australia). Small production also comes from elsewhere in Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales. Australia’s EDR of iron ore is 16.4 Gt which is about 10% of world EDR. Western Australia has almost all of Australia’s EDR with about 92% occurring in the Pilbara district. Australia has the fifth largest iron ore holding in the world.

Australia’s production of iron ore in 2005 (reported by ABARE) was 261.4 Mt, which was 17% of world output, making Australia the world’s third largest producer after China and Brazil.

Manganese ore

About 90% of the world’s production of manganese is used in the desulphurisation and strengthening of steel. Other uses include the manufacture of dry batteries, as a colorant, and as an ingredient in plant fertilisers and animal feed. Manganese ore was mined in the Northern Territory and Western Australia in 2005. Production reached 3.9 Mt, 14% of world output, making Australia the third largest producer in the world. Australian production is from three mines – Woodie Woodie (Western Australia) and Groote Eylandt and Bootu Creek (both in the Northern Territory). Australia’s EDR of manganese ore, at 143 Mt, is 12% of world EDR, fourth largest in the world.

Mineral sands

The three main minerals mined from Australian mineral sands deposits are the titanium-bearing minerals rutile and ilmenite and the zirconium-bearing mineral zircon. Rutile and ilmenite are used mainly in the production of titanium dioxide pigment. A small portion, less than 4% of total titanium mineral production and typically rutile, is used in making titanium sponge metal. Zircon is used as an opacifier for glazes on ceramic tiles, and is used in refractories and the foundry industry. Production in 2005 was from Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

Australia’s EDR of ilmenite is 214.9 Mt of which 59% is in Western Australia, 25% in Queensland and the rest in New South Wales (7%), Victoria (6%) and South Australia (3%). Australia accounts for 19% (the second largest holding behind China at 35%) of the world’s EDR of ilmenite. Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria together hold over 97% of Australia’s 20.5 Mt EDR of rutile, which, at 40% of world EDR, is the world’s largest.

EDR of zircon is 32.9 Mt, with Western Australia and Queensland holding just over 68%. In world terms, Australia’s EDR is 43% of the total and is the largest holding by any country.

Although Australia has substantial EDR of mineral sands, Geoscience Australia estimates that some 17% of ilmenite, 28% of rutile and 25% of zircon EDR is unavailable for mining. They are in areas quarantined from mining that are largely incorporated into national parks. Deposits in this category include Moreton Island, Bribie Island and Fraser Island, Cooloola sand mass, Byfield sand mass and Shoalwater Bay area (Queensland) and Yuraygir, Bundjalung, Hat Head and Myall Lakes National Parks (New South Wales).

In 2005 Australia produced 2.03 Mt of ilmenite, 177,000 tonnes of rutile, 55,000 tonnes of leucoxene and 426,000 tonnes of zircon. The bulk of Australia’s rutile and zircon production is exported compared with about 35% for ilmenite. The remaining ilmenite is upgraded to synthetic rutile. Australia was the world’s largest producer of ilmenite, rutile and zircon (with 23%, 47% and 40% of world output respectively) in 2005.


Australia’s EDR of nickel increased by 6% to 23.9 Mt in 2005. Western Australia has the largest nickel resources, with over 90% of total Australian EDR. Australia holds the largest share of the world’s EDR, with 37%.

Australian mine production of nickel in 2005 increased by 1% to 189,000 tonnes, all from Western Australia. The value of all nickel products exported was $3.5b. Australia was the world’s third largest producer, accounting for 13% of estimated world nickel output.


Australia is the world’s largest producer of tantalum in the form of tantalum concentrates. Australia also has the world’s largest stock of tantalum resources, principally in its deposits at Greenbushes and Wodgina in Western Australia.

Australia has the world’s largest EDR of tantalum at 52,000 tonnes. This is approximately 95% of world EDR.


Australia has 716,000 tonnes of uranium in Reasonably Assured Resources recoverable at costs of less than US$40/kilogram of uranium – this is the world’s largest resource and represents 37% of world resources in this category (OECD Nuclear Energy Agency & International Atomic Energy Agency, 2005). Almost all of Australia’s total resources are in six deposits:

  • Olympic Dam (South Australia) which is the world’s largest uranium deposit
  • Ranger, Jabiluka and Koongarra in the Alligator River region (Northern Territory)
  • Kintyre and Yeelirrie (Western Australia).

Three uranium mines operated in 2005 – Ranger open cut, Olympic Dam underground mine, and the Beverley (South Australia) in situ leach operations. In 2005 Ranger produced 5,906 tonnes of uranium oxide, Olympic Dam 4,335 tonnes and Beverley 977 tonnes for a total of 11,218 tonnes, 6% higher than for 2004. Australia, with approximately 23% of world uranium production in 2005, is the world’s second largest producer after Canada (28%). While there are a number of undeveloped deposits in Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland, uranium mining is only allowed to occur in the current three mines in the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Exports of uranium oxide in 2005 were a record 12,360 tonnes, valued at $573m. Exports are controlled by Australian Government bilateral safeguards agreements, which are designed to ensure that Australia’s uranium is used only for electricity generation and is not diverted to any military purposes. Importing countries must be signatories to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards arrangements and have entered into an agreement with the Australian Government to adhere to safeguard obligations for exporting uranium.

Australian mining companies supply uranium under long-term contracts to electricity utilities in the United States of America, Japan, European Union (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Belgium and Finland), Republic of (South) Korea and Canada.

Zinc, lead, silver

Zinc is the 23rd most abundant element in the earth’s crust. The construction, appliance and vehicle manufacturing industries use large amounts of zinc, mainly as coatings on steel beams, sheet steel and vehicle panels in the automotive industry.

The widespread occurrence, relatively simple extraction, and combination of desirable properties have made lead useful to humans since at least 5000 BC. In deposits mined today, lead (in the form of galena) is usually associated with zinc, silver and sometimes copper, and is extracted as a co-product of these metals. More than half of the lead used comes from recycling, rather than mining. The largest use is in batteries for vehicles and communications.

The relative scarcity, attractive appearance and malleability of silver has made it suitable for use in jewellery, ornaments and silverware. Its extensive use in coins throughout history has declined over the past 40 years. In Australia, the 1966 fifty-cent piece was the last coin in general use to contain silver (80% silver, 20% copper). Silver is mined and produced mainly as a co-product of copper, lead, zinc, and to a lesser extent, gold. Today, photographic paper and film, followed by the electronics and jewellery/tableware industries are the most important users of silver.

Australian EDR of zinc is close to 42 Mt, with Queensland holding 62%. The Northern Territory, New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania also have zinc EDR.

Australia’s EDR of 23.8 Mt of lead is 32% of world EDR. Queensland has 60% of total Australian EDR. Other holdings are in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania.

EDR for silver in 2005 was 44 Kt, with Queensland having the largest share at 67.5%. Other holdings occur in South Australia (12.5%), Northern Territory (11.3%), New South Wales (5.0%), and Western Australia (2.5%) with the remainder in Tasmania and Victoria.

Australia has the world’s largest EDR of zinc (18% of the world) and lead (32%), and the second largest EDR of silver (16%).

Mine production of zinc, lead and silver in 2005 was 1.37 Mt, 767,000 tonnes and 2,407 tonnes respectively. Production was higher for each commodity compared with 2004, with zinc up 33,000 tonnes, lead up 90,000 tonnes and silver up 170 tonnes. In production, Australia ranks second for lead and zinc after China and fourth for silver after Peru, Mexico and China. Cannington (Queensland) is the world’s largest and lowest cost silver and lead operation and produced almost 288,000 tonnes of lead and 43.9 million ounces of silver in 2005. Century (Queensland) had the largest zinc output at 501,000 tonnes.


Map 16.26 shows significant locations of oil and gas production and includes oil and gas production locations, oil and gas pipelines and oil refineries.


Crude oil and condensate

In 2005-06 production of total crude oil and condensate from the North West Shelf (off Western Australia) and the Gippsland Basin (Victoria) accounted for 41% and 19% respectively of total Australian crude oil and condensate production. The North West Shelf was the major producer of condensate during 2005-06 with 79% of total Australian production sourced from that region.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG)

LNG production has in previous years been solely from the North West Shelf Venture but in February 2006 production commenced from the LNG plant in Darwin (Northern Territory). Australian LNG production in 2005-06 was 12.38 Mt. Export earnings from LNG in 2005-06 were $4.4b, an increase of $1.2b on 2004-05.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

LPG is a valuable co-product of oil and gas production and petroleum refining. The major constituents of LPG are propane and iso and normal-butane, which are gaseous at normal temperatures and pressures, and are easily liquefied at moderate pressures or reduced temperatures. Operations involving LPG are expensive in relation to other liquid fuels because LPG has to be refrigerated or pressurised when transported and stored. LPG is an alternative transport fuel for high mileage vehicles in urban areas, as well as a petrochemical feedstock and domestic fuel.

In 2005-06 the major producers were the Gippsland Basin and the North West Shelf accounting for 41% and 46% of total production respectively.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha