What You Missed in the News This Week

St Barbara Minerals released their December quarterly report this week, with disappointing results.

Consolidated gold production was down from 63,700oz in the September quarter to 60,976oz.

The Leonora operations saw a reduction of gold production from 34,078oz last quarter to 32,175oz. The December quarter from the year before produced 16,462oz more gold than this quarter.

The amount of gold sold was 32,634oz, down 2,712oz from last quarter and 22,966oz less than the same quarter last year.

St Barbara’s share price dropped 21.348% to $0.70 after the report was released on Wednesday.


St Barbara


Pilbara Minerals has appointed John Stanning as Chief Development Officer.

In the newly created position, stanning will over see Pilbara Mineral’s corporate development, growth and exploration functions.

Managing Director and CEO, Dale Henderson said “John brings an impressive track record of lithium sector experience and relationships across the value chain. We are looking forward to having John join our executive team and working closely with him to further our growth objectives as an emerging leader in the provision of sustainable battery materials products.”



Pilbara Minerals has awarded Primero Group a $62m contract for construction work at its Pilgangoora project.

The contract is for the construction of a primary rejection facility and preliminary works for a new crushing and ore sorting facility.

Located 120km from Port Hedland, the project is located at one of the world’s largest hard rock lithium deposits.

Pilbara Minerals managing director and CEO, Dale Henderson said “We look forward to working closely with Primero for the safe and successful delivery of this package, which will step-up our production run-rate to the next level with a total of
680 kilo-tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate across the combined Pilgangoora operation.

“The successful completion of this project will further cement Pilbara Minerals’ position as
an emerging leader in the provision of sustainable battery materials products.”


Primero Group


Fortescue Metals has released its December quarter report for 2022, announcing record shipments.

Andrew Forrest said “The Fortescue team delivered our highest ever December quarterly shipments of 49.4 million tonnes, our best ever half year, grew the mineral and green energy business globally, strengthened our balance sheet, kept costs low, all while maintaining our excellent safety performance.”

Fortescue’s cash balance increased to $4B USD on 31st December 2022, compared to $3.3B USD for the September quarter.


Fortescue Metals


The S&P/ASX200 markets finished up on Friday at 7,493.8 points, setting a new 100-day high.

The week started at 7,435 points before gaining 0.56% through the week.

Megaport Limited and Liontown Resources were the top performing stocks, gaining 7.22% and 5.19% respectively.

The All Ordinaries closed up at 7,707.5 points.

The top performing stocks were 88 Energy Limited and Develop Global Limited, gaining 18.18% and 12.68%.



Gold peaked at $1,951.15USD on Wednesday, continuing a 9-month high, and rounding off the week at $1,928.82USD.

Silver stumbled at the start of the week, falling from $24.18USD to $23.79USD on Tuesday, before it rose again to finish off the week at $24.07USD.

What you missed in the news this week

Hancock Energy has increased its offer to buy Warrego Energy from $0.28 cash per share to $0.36 cash per share, totalling $447m if the offer is approved.

Three of the Four Warrego directors have recommended shareholders accept the deal over an offer made by Strike Energy, offering one Strike share for every Warrego share.

Hancock Prospecting


Great Western Exploration will extend its Firebird Gold Project after gold anomalism was found at their Greenstone Belt site, located near Wiluna.

The announcement saw a 4% share price increase for Great Western Exploration to $0.052.


Fortescue CFO Ian Wells has announced his resignation in order to spend time with family and friends.

Wells is the ninth executive in two years to resign, not long after Guy Debelle resigned in November last year.

Wells said that despite his resignation, “Fortescue is in a strong position to be able to deliver on short-, medium- and long-term growth options through the Iron Bridge magnetite project, Fortescue’s decarbonisation, and FFI’s (Fortescue Future Industries) portfolio of opportunities.”

Fortescue Metals


Everest Metals Corporation’s share price jumped 20.87% to $0.110 per share after an initial drilling program at their Mt Edon mining lease saw positive pegmatite levels, causing EMC  to push to exercise its exclusive farm-in option to acquire the right to 100% interest in the Mt Edon Project.

Chief Operating Officer, Simon Phillips said “EMC is pleased to announce its decision to exercise its right to farm into the Mt Edon LCT Pegmatite Project, subject to Shareholder approval. The company is pleased to have the opportunity to take the next step towards 51% ownership in a project with such an extensive array of pegmatite outcrops over six kilometres. The recent reconnaissance drill program gave EMC the data it needed to commit to the next stage of exploration at this highly fertile pegmatite field as part of the Company’s commitment to its Battery Minerals project development strategy”


Lithium Power International has commenced its drilling program at its East Kirup Lithium Prospect this week.

East Kirup is located in the Greenbushes region, Southwest of Collie.

LPI Executive Director, Andrew Phillips said ““The results of this drilling program will be used − along with previously completed environmental surveys − to prepare a CMP to allow drilling on new tracks, the commencement of phase three.

The intention is to hit the ground running in 2023, and we are pleased that the commencement of the program is so early in the year.”


The S&P/ASX 200 started off the week slow at 1,178 points before falling to 7,126 points on Wednesday. The market picked up again, increasing 202 points to finish off at 7,328 points.

The All Ordinaries finished at 7,540 points. The top performing stocks where Poseidon Nickle and Andromeda Metals.


Gold had a slow rise this week, starting at $1,882.00 USD and rounded the week off at $1,898.90 USD at the close of the ASX.

Silver was more turbulent, falling from $24.30 USD to $23.89 USD on Tuesday, raising again to $24.17 USD on Wednesday, then falling again on Thursday to $23.88 USD before finishing off the week at $23.94 USD.

12 Months of Mining Recap

A lot has happened in 2022 so we’ve compiled some of this year’s biggest mining news:


Rio Tinto expects the introduction of battery-electric powered trains in the Pilbara will help them halve their emissions by 2030.

They hope the trial will pave the way for its entire fleet of 220 diesel locomotives to go electric.

Fortescue Metals Group also plans to replace diesel-powered vehicles by 2030 in their plan to decarbonise.

Then FMG chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said to achieve carbon neutrality: “we will have to replace our mining fleet, our rail fleet, shipping, all of those areas that are mobile that rely on the use of diesel.”

Rio Tinto



Lynas has received approval from WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby to build $500m rare earths refinery at Kalgoorlie.

The plant is scheduled to begin production next year and is expected to create over 120 jobs.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler said he hopes the plant will operate for decades: “This is the next big metal, something totally different from gold and nickel … it’s a big occasion and great day for Kalgoorlie-Boulder.”



Ron Sayers, West Australian mining tycoon who founded the Perenti Group, has died after his battle with stomach cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Sayers began as a fitter on Kalgoorlie’s Golden Mile before founding his company Ausdrill in 1987.

Today the ASX200 listed company employs more than 8,000 employees across 12 countries.


Construction has begun on a 580km pipeline in WA that will take gas from the Perth basin to the Goldfields.

The $460m pipeline will form part of the Northern Goldfields Interconnect pipeline, aimed to significantly increase the volume of gas available inland.



The United States Department of Defence has awarded Lynas Rare Earths a $120USD contract to build a processing facility on the Gulf Coast in Texas.

The production of the facility aims to reduce the US’ reliance on China for rare earth minerals.

Lynas managing director Amanda Lacaze says the deal demonstrates the priority that the US is placing on “ensuring that supply chains for these critical materials are resilient and environmentally responsible”.



Australian mining company Lucapa has unearthed a rare 170-carat pink diamond, one of the biggest pink diamonds ever found.

“The Lulo Rose” is believed to be the largest found in 300 years.

Lucapa Diamond



Two people have died in 72 hours in separate mining incidents in WA.

The first died after a rock fall at the Hamlet underground mine at Saint Ives near Kambalda.

The second died at the Capricorn Metals’ Karlawinda gold mine near Newman when his vehicle was run over by a large dump truck.



A $750m community investment trust funded by WA’s big fish in mining has been set up by the state government to help fund infrastructure in remote communities and legacy projects.

The government hopes to eventually have $1b in the fund, so far Rio Tinto and BHP have contributed $250m each, Hancock Prospecting has contributed $100m, Woodside $50m, Chevron $50m and Mineral Resources has contributed $50m.

Projects to be funded include an Aboriginal Cultural Centre for Perth’s CBD, the refurbishment of the Perth Concert Hall and upgrades to the Perth Zoo as well as several projects in remote WA.


Swedish company, Epiroc, has agreed to acquire Kalgoorlie Boulder company, Remote Control Technologies Pty Ltd.

RCT was founded 50 years ago and provides automation solutions to mining companies.

RCT is the second Kalgoorlie Boulder company acquired by Epiroc this year, after their acquisition of JTMEC earlier in the year.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year.




St Barbara and Genesis Minerals have announced their merger to create Hoover House,

St Barbara will acquire 100% of the shares in Genesis. Genesis shareholders will own 41% of Hoover House, with St Barbara shareholders owning 38%.

Hoover House will have a production target of over 300,000oz of gold per annum.

St Barbara chair, Tim Netscher, said: “The merger with our Leonora neighbour, Genesis, to create Hoover House, will accelerate our Leonora Province Plan. Shareholders will reap the benefits of more production at lower cost and lower risk from this prolific mining district.”

Genesis Managing Director, Raleigh Finlayson, said: “By combining with St Barbara, we are creating Hoover House, the premium Australian gold company we envisaged, with sustainable, high-quality production.”

St Barbara


Elizabeth Gains is stepping down as CEO of Fortescue to become their ambassador for their global green hydrogen brand. Gains will remain a non-executive director.

Gains will be responsible for promoting green hydrogen, green ammonia and green energy.

Since Gains began leading the company in 2018, Fortescue’s share price has quadrupled, and shareholders have grown from less than 35,000 to 170,000.

“ I don’t see this as a departure of any shape or form. I think it’s just the opportune time for Fortescue who are genuinely transitioning,” Ms Gaines said.


Morning News Bites – October 14

It was another great day at Diggers with a diverse range of miners presenting. We will give you a snapshot of some presentations, which will include iron ore and nickel.

Mount Gibson Iron (MGX) was the first of the iron ore producers to kick off proceedings with Peter Kerr, their CEO, presenting. With their Koolan Island operations now in full swing the mine is producing the highest grade hematite at 65.2% and on track to export between 1.8 – 2.1Mwmt this financial year.  With cash costs expected to be around $65/Mwmt they will be looking at ways to reduce this in case the price of iron ore comes off its highs in the next year or two.  They are bullish though and looking at ways the mine life can be increased beyond the current five year plan. CAPEX has been high this year and some of that was the building of the new airstrip on the island.

Their Mid-West operations are low grade but the company is making the most of the high iron ore prices and mining continues in this region.  Extension Hill sales will continue into next year and the Shine project is expected to progress to targeted sales in mid 2021. With the company cash flow positive, debt free and providing a dividend, shareholders must be very pleased with how they are positioned in the market.

Fortescue Metals (FMG) presented and their CEO Elizabeth Gaines delivered. Elizabeth is taking the company to new highs and not just in production values. It is how they are achieving those production levels that is of some interest.  But first lets look at the eye watering figures.

178.2mt was shipped in FY19 up a healthy 6% on the previous year. C1 costs were just under US$13/wmt and a healthy dividend of A$1.76 per share was paid to lucky shareholders. Billions of dollars are to be spent on capital works across several projects, but with high prices and low costs you would expect the payback time to be small. The forecasts for production and costs in FY21 are very similar to the last financial year.

Fortescue is investing heavily in its personnel and the diversification of the workforce is opening up opportunities for people that may otherwise find it difficult to obtain work in this sector.  As an example there is a 14% employment rate of aboriginal workers across their Pilbara operations.  For a company of this size it is a credit that they are offering so many opportunities to aboriginal people.  Like other companies they are also experiencing higher participation rates with women in the workforce and currently 19% of the workforce is women.  Who better to lead this company than Elizabeth herself who is overseeing exciting times in the iron ore sector.

Legend Mining (LEG) had Managing Director, Mark Wilson present at Diggers and he was keen about the prospects of this junior nickel explorer. They are currently focused on the Fraser Range area, north of the Nova mine now owned by IGO.  They have some big players supporting them, mainly the Creasy Group and IGO, who have substantial holdings on the share registry.

They have nearly 3,100 square kilometres of land to explore and some early results are promising.  In one hole they have 19.8 metres at 2.71% nickel from about 230 metres below surface. Mawson and Hurley projects are showing a lot of promise and they believe that in these areas the resource will be bigger than what was modelled.  From current visual drill results they believe Mawson is open to the East and West.

The company is bullish on the future of nickel and believe they are in the right sector, with the right resource at the right time to make the most of the EV and battery storage market.

Poseidon Nickel (POS) presented at Diggers with Peter Harold the Managing Director addressing the attendees. It seems that nickel explorers and producers are more upbeat than they have been for a long time and Poseidon is no exemption. The presentation included a quote from Elon Musk which said: “I’d just like to re-emphasize, any mining companies out there, please mine more nickel”, and Poseidon is keen to do just that.

Their current projects include the Mt Windarra mine near Laverton, Black Swan and Silver Swan just outside Kalgoorlie and Lake Johnston near Norseman. A study is currently underway to check the feasibility of recommencing mining at the Emily Ann mine site that feeds into the Lake 1.5Mtpa Lake Johnston Mill.  Historically it has produced nickel at 3.5% and they believe they have a resource there that could produce 52kt.

The Windarra project is interesting because they believe they are sitting on 180,000oz of gold in the tailings from historical mining in the area. If they can turn those ounces into money they believe that it will pay for ongoing exploration and mining activities at the other sites.

Poseidon could be one nickel play to keep an eye on if all the plans fall into pace.

Listening to the presentations it is apparent that nickel just could be the new gold.  All the nickel companies that have presented so far have been very bullish on their outlook. Talk of the EV market about to take off, battery storage to be an even bigger market and the price slowly creeping up augers well for nickel miners.  Could we see nickel prices reach the highs of just over a decade ago or will it be a lot more subdued this time around, if it happens?  If I can be parochial, it would be great to see nickel surge and breathe new life back into towns like Kambalda. It is well placed for it to happen and if Kambalda booms, Kalgoorlie rockets.

Gold has been and looks like being a strong performer as well for miners and what were less than optimal projects are being looked at. Depending on who talk to there is still mutterings about gold hitting $10,000 per ounce. Good luck if that happens but I feel that in general the economy will be down the gurgles if that occurred.

Iron ore prices are high and the trifecta of nickel, gold and iron ore will see the WA economy bustle along, even when economies in other states are suffering.  Good luck to all the miners and their projects.  May they prosper and I hope that all of WA will benefit because of it.

Morning News Bites – September 18

Morning News Bites for September 18. Indian company Adani has starting digging its controversial Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland, New Zealand in recession after record 12pc contraction and changes to Job Seeker, with recipients needing to search for eight jobs a month to receive the payment. 

Venus Metals Corporation Limited in conjunction with Rox Resources Limited reported the results of recent reverse circulation (RC) drilling at Sovereign Prospect. RC drilling followed up on previous AC and RC results and extended the high‐grade gold mineralisation down dip. Highlights include, 8m @ 5.03 g/t Au from 160m, including 2m @ 15.83 g/t Au from 160m and 3m @ 2.86 g/t Au from 165m. An interpretation of recent ground‐magnetic surveys covering Currans Find and Sovereign Prospect shows prominent northeast (NE) and north‐northeast (NNE) trending structures that align with the orientation of high‐grade gold mineralisation at the Taylor’s Reef, Currans North and Red White and Blue prospects.  Based on the ground‐magnetic data, six priority targets have been identified along NE trends in the  eastern part of the survey area and one of these priority targets is located immediately west of the Sovereign gold discovery.  RC drilling is planned west and southwest of the Sovereign discovery to test this target, and beneath previous high‐grade gold intersections.

AusQuest Limited reported that the reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the Tangadee Zinc Project in Western Australia has been successfully completed with South32. A total of five widely spaced drill-holes were completed for 1,352m to test down-dip from a large zinc (>1,000ppm Zn) / thallium (>5ppm Tl) soil anomaly that was considered to be the surface expression of potential sediment-hosted zinc mineralisation at depth. Drilling intersected a thick sequence (>200m) of black carbonaceous mudstones containing abundant very fine-grained pyrite (iron sulphide), but no obvious visual signs of significant base metal (zinc) mineralisation. Composite samples were collected over two-metre intervals in every drill-hole and sent to the
Genalysis Intertek Laboratory in Perth for analysis. Assays are expected over the coming weeks, after which an assessment of the drilling results will be completed.

Artemis Resources Limited update on its Pilbara gold projects in Western Australia. 2,500m Carlow Castle Diamond Drilling has commenced as part of Project One Million. It’s primary aims are to expand the mineralised envelope which remains open in multiple directions and lift the central portion of the current resource area to the indicated category. Geophysics program to start at Carlow Castle in mid-October, which will include dipole-dipole IP, Gradient array IP and high-resolution magnetics and radiometrics. Reverse Circulation drilling to start mid-October at Carlow Castle and aims to complete further extensional drilling and test any potential anomalies identified by the concurrent IP survey.

Firm commitments received by Renascor Resources Limited for a placement to raise $3.6 million to fund work streams for Renascor’s. These include Siviour Battery Anode Material Project – containing the world’s second largest reported Proven Reserve of graphite on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. The Carnding Gold Project, drill-ready, high-grade, near-surface gold prospects in emerging gold province in Central Gawler Craton, South Australia. Managing Director David Christensen commented, saying ” Despite the uncertainties created by COVID-19, we are confident in the longer term demand for lithium-ion battery anode materials such as the purified spherical graphite we will produce from Siviour. Additionally, we are excited to now be able to move ahead with a greater depth and breadth of exploration and development at Carnding.”

Gold and base metals explorer Carawine Resources Limited has entered into an agreement to include Carawine’s “Eider” tenement in the Coolbro JVA with FMG Resources Pty Ltd. Eider is 35km southwest of Newcrest’s Telfer gold operations and 35km southeast of Metals X’s Nifty copper operations in the highly prospective Paterson province of Western Australia. Fortescue to pay $50,000 cash up front, complete a helicopter-borne electromagnetic (“HeliEM”) survey and 1,000m of drilling on Eider. Carawine Managing Director David Boyd said, “Although at an early exploration stage, Eider has an excellent address and is considered highly prospective. Fortescue have agreed to complete an airborne geophysical survey and drilling program before they can earn an interest in the tenements, thereby providing a commitment to exploring the tenement along with our other Coolbro JVA tenements.”



Morning News Bites – August 24

In Today’s Morning News Bites for August 24. Fortescue Metals report 49% increase in net profit to a record $US4.7bn. QLD reports one new COVID-19 case overnight. Liberal call for branch clean-out. 

Fortescue Metals report strong results from FY20, exceeding production guidance with 178.2 million shipments of iron ore for the full year. Costs remain low: C1 costs came in at US$12.94 per wet metric tonne in FY20. The company achieved average revenue of US$79 per dry metric tonne in fiscal 2020, up 21% YoY and has guided for FY21 iron ore shipments of between 175-180 million tonnes. Former CEO, and current non-executive chairman Andrew Forrest said, ”Fortescue’s success allows Minderoo Foundation the capacity and the flexibility to continue its work and tackle new challenges as they arise for many years to come.”

Saturn Metals announce further results from ongoing RC drilling at the Apollo Hill deposit within its Apollo Hill Gold Project, 60km southeast of Leonora in the Western Australian goldfields. This drilling at Apollo Hill is a key part of the Company’s strategy to grow the Project’s 781,000oz Mineral Resource. A further resource upgrade is targeted for late 2020, incorporating results from drilling conducted since November 2019. All 13 holes reported intercepts above the Apollo Hill resource cut-off grade and all but one intersected mineralisation above the average resource grade. Other strong intersections include: 21m @ 0.94g/t Au from 184m – , 9m @ 1.0g/t Au from 179m and 14m @ 0.84g/t Au from 329m.

Kin Mining NL significant new assay results received from recent air-core drilling at the East Lynne prospect, located 3km north east of the proposed plant site at its Cardinia Gold Project near Leonora in Western Australia. The drilling commenced at East Lynne in early July as part of the extensive and ongoing Phase 3 Exploration Program. Significant widths and grades encountered in 400m line spaced AC drilling, with in-fill drilling to 200m line spacing underway. Results include 20m at 1.36g/t from 20m and 4m at 1.29g/t from 32m.

St Barbara reports its Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves positions for FY20. Group Ore Reserves increased year on year from 4.1 Moz of contained gold to 6.0 Moz, and Group Mineral Resources increased from 9.6 Moz of contained gold to 11.6 Moz. The increase in Resources and Reserves is due to the Atlantic Gold acquisition concluded in July 2019 and Simberi sulphide drilling completed in December 2019.

Zenith Minerals Wide mineralised gold zone confirmed at the Red Mountain Gold Project for Zenith Minerals. New gold assay results from the first 7 follow up RC holes of an ongoing drill program, confirm near surface, wide, mineralised gold zone at Red Mountain Gold Project in Queensland. This includes highlights of 12m @ 2.2 g/t Au from surface, including 8m @ 3.1 g/t Au and 5m @ 1.7 g/t Au from 25m, including 3m @ 2.6 g/t Au

Morning News Bites – August 21

In the Morning News Bites for August 21 2020.

Coventry Group recorded Group sales growth for FY20 including acquisitions of 22.3%. Suncorp has recorded an earnings slide and A2 Milk look to baby formula.

A detailed airborne magnetic survey has been completed for Sabre Resources near the Penny West Gold Mine. According to Sabre they will identify the highest priority drilling targets and will then immediately take steps to commence planning for a drilling program.

FE limited are set to acquire a 50% interest in the Yarram Iron Ore project in the Northern Territory and will operate the resulting JV. Highlights at the site include 108m @ 65.6% Fe, 2.3% SiO2, 1.8% Al2O3, 0.037% P and 65m @ 66.4% Fe, 2.0% SiO2, 1.5% Al2O3, 0.022% P from 13m. Chairman of FE Limited Tony Sage said “With iron ore prices at six year highs, mature iron ore assets such as we have identified at Yarram are highly sought after. It is even more difficult to find one that hosts high grade iron ore mineralisation, that’s located just over 100km from a major port, and is in close proximity to existing mining infrastructure.” Consideration of A$1.5 m in cash and shares payable with a further $1.5m in cash and shares payable on achieving a JORC indicated resource. FEL to cover certain historical and future costs.

FMG Autonomous Truck

Elizabeth Gaines has given an indication on Mineral Reserves for Fortescue Metals Group this morning “We are pleased to report over 2.2 billion tonnes of Hematite Ore Reserves and 5.8 billion tonnes of Mineral Resources at our operating properties, supporting the sustainability of our core iron ore assets across our Solomon and Chichester Hubs, as well as our developing Western Hub. Our investment in significant growth projects including the Eliwana Mine and Rail Project in the Western Hub is now well advanced with first ore on train scheduled in December 2020. Our Iron Bridge Magnetite Project is developing Australia’s largest publicly disclosed magnetite Mineral Resource, with first ore on ship planned in the first half of calendar year 2022.”

Mineralisation at De Grey Mining‘s Brolga Zone has identified trends to the north.  De Grey Managing Director, Glenn Jardine, gave a further insight to the recent drilling “We continue to test for extensions to known mineralisation around Hemi using aircore and RC drilling. Aircore drilling has intersected new mineralisation approximately 320 metres north east of Brolga. This is along the structural corridor heading toward Scooby. RC drilling has succeeded in identifying extensions to the north of Brolga, heading toward Aquila. Specific diamond drilling has been conducted to provide samples for metallurgical variability and optimization test work. The assay results from metallurgical drilling will provide additional information on internal continuity of the gold mineralisation within Brolga.”

Perth based mineral explorer, Cullen Resources has re- prioritised drilling for its operations due to rain.Its Wongan Hills Rupert project was due for RC Drilling for August but has since been postponed, this will commence as soon as possible however. The Wongan prospect is showed an intersection of up to 1m @ 3.7% Cu, 1.5 g/t Au, hole with DHEM survey taking place. While at the North Tuckabianna project during September Cullen intends to RC drill test two DHEM targets for gold and base metals.