What You Missed in the News This Week

The Federal Government has prevented Chinese company Yuxiao Fund from raising its stake in Northern Minerals on grounds of national interest.

Yuxiao Fund wanted to increase its holding from 9.92% to 19.9% but needed approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Northern Minerals has been focused on fine-tuning its heavy rare earths processing system through a pilot plant, which could make the Western Australia-based miner one world’s first significant heavy rare earth producer outside of China.


Northern Minerals


The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has ordered Alcoa to clean out the toxic pipeline it built over Samson Dam in Waroona without approval.

The US based company had already built the pipeline to move firefighting PFAS contaminated water over the dam before even applying for approval.

DWER found the pipeline did not meet the requirements to prevent leaks and its location made it at risk of damage by vehicles.

This news is the latest in a series of potentially disastrous environmental blunders by Alcoa: earlier in the week the WA Forest Alliance called in the WA Environment Protection Authority to review Alcoa’s plans to mine jarrah forests after fear their mines will endanger Perth’s water supply and last week the state government expressed concerns Alcoa mines posed a risk to 1/3 of Perth’s drinking water in Serpentine Dam.

Forest Alliance convenor Jess Beckerling said the risks from Alcoa’s mining warranted a full and transparent assessment of its cumulative impact.

“This is obviously a matter of major public concern,” she said.

“The expectation must be that current best-practice WA government policy and aspirations are applied and maintained, and that the safety of drinking water and the integrity of ecological function is protected.”


Anon via WA Today


Austral Gold has completed the sale of its Pinguino project to E2 Minerals, receiving $3.7M on Tuesday, with another $3.7M over the next 3 years.

Austral Gold’s CEO Stabro Kasaneva said “The transaction resulted in the immediate cash injection of US$2.5M to partially fund the development of the Heap Reprocessing project at our flagship Guanaco-Amancaya mine complex in Chile.”


Austral Gold


Enegex has entered into a sale agreement with Caravel Minerals to sell them a tenement of Walebing Project.

Tenement E70/5442’s 82.4km2 are located 122km northeast of Perth.

Enegex will retain 100% ownership of the remaining 3 tenements at the site.

Enegex Director, Rae Clark, said they are excited the transaction will “provide Enegex with exposure to Caravel’s exploration expertise through a royalty agreement.”



The S&P/ASX200 markets had a positive week, finishing at 7,284 points, 0.39% higher than Thursday. The top performing stocks were Liontown Resources, up 13.19%, and Ramelius Resources, up 5.58%.

Liontown was also the top performing stock in the All Ordinaries, the markets finished at 7,484 points.



Gold has made a swift recovery after a disappointing end to February. The week started at February’s lowest of $1,812.73USD before steadily climbing to $1,850.38USD.

Silver peaked on Wednesday at $21.35, stumbling on Thursday before recovering on Friday to $21.31.

What You Missed in the News This Week

The West Australia government fears heavy rains could wash polluted water from Alcoa mines into the state’s biggest dam, making the water undrinkable.

The US aluminium giant that mines bauxite within 300 metres of the water’s edge at Serpentine Dam changed its methods about five years ago, increasing the risk of sediment flowing into the dam.

If the water was contaminated, it would cost taxpayers up to $2.6b and potentially take years to fix.


Shire of Serpentine


Battery Age Minerals has appointed Nigel Broomham as it’s General Manager of Exploration.

Broomham will spearhead the exploration of its portfolio of international batter metal assets.

Battery Age CEO Gerard O’Donovan said “Nigel is a highly experienced geologist who played an important role in the exploration, development and operation of Pilbara Minerals’ world-class Pilgangoora lithium project,” he said.

“He brings extensive technical geological expertise, strong commercial acumen and considerable energy and enthusiasm – all of which will be invaluable as we embark on our growth journey as a diversified battery metals company.”



Aerison Group has been awarded multiple new contracts for projects in Western Australia and South Australia, totalling $100m.

The projects involve the rare earths, agricultural, green energy and chemicals sectors and includes the Yuri Green Hydrogen project in the Pilbara.

Aerison CEO Giuseppe Leone said “These contract awards are an important step in delivering our industry diversification strategy, with an increasing focus on the critical mineral, agriculture and chemicals sectors.”


Aerison Group


Newcrest has received a $24B takeover offer from rival gold miner Newmont.

The offer would entitle Newcrest shareholders 0.38 Newmont shares for ever 1 Newcrest share they own.

Newmont president Tom Palmer said “The proposed transaction would join industry-leading portfolios of assets and projects to create long-term value across the combined global business, and we welcome the consideration of Newcrest’s board of directors.”


Newcrest Mining


Hancock Energy is the sole bidder for the takeover of Warrego Energy after Strike Energy bowed out this week.

Mineral Resources and Beach Energy were both contenders but pulled out last month.

Strick Energy will still walk away with $116m from their shares worth 25.99% voting power.



The S&P/ASX200 markets closed lower today after a disappointing week.

Starting off at 7,560 points on Monday, the markets fell throughout the week to end on 7,434 points. The markets still sit 479 points higher than the start of the month.

The All Ordinaries closed lower too, at 7,631 points, though still higher than the last 6 months.



The gold price remained steady after the dramatic fall last week, hovering around $1,875USD, before finishing at $1,866.15.

Silver has remained steady, rounding off the week at $22.34USD.

Diggers & Dealers Keynote Speaker Announced for 2021


A former advisor to President Nelson Mandela, a key author of twenty one books and a previous Principal Economist at the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) has been announced as the Diggers and Dealers key note speaker for 2021. Professor Ian Goldin.

Professor Goldin specialises in economics and has numerous credentials on the world economic stage. After a start in Africa, Professor Goldin lectures at Oxford, Harvard and Tsinghua Universities as well as providing advisory and consultancy services to thirty leading companies. His recent speaking engagements include the opening keynote at Google Zeitgeist, the Microsoft CEO Forum and TED. For the past twenty one years he has provided keynotes at the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos. Adding to an impressive list of achievements, Professor Goldin also was a previous Vice President of the World Bank. His address at Diggers and Dealers this year is sure to be thought provoking and insightful.

BREAKING: KCGM Owners Make Joint Announcement

KCGM Super Pit Owners Northern Star Resources and Saracen Minerals have released information to the market this morning about their respective operations based on the lockdown imposed in Western Australia.
Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited and Northern Star Resources advises that it does not expect production and exploration at its West Australian operations to be impacted by the five-day lockdown measures announced yesterday by WA Premier Mark McGowan. All the Company’s operations are located outside the lockdown boundaries set by the Government. The Company will advise the market should these circumstances change. Saracen’s top priority at all times is the health and safety of its staff, business partners and the communities in which we operate and this is the basis of all its strategies for managing COVID-19.

Todays Top Story – Warnings of Health Related Risks at Work This Summer

We are almost right in the middle of summer here in Australia. As this season is welcomed by some with open arms, it comes as no surprise that we are now being warned of some of the dangers associated with this time of year, in particular heat dangers in the workplace.  

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has just issued a warning to guard against heat stress at work. WorkSafe WA Commissioner Darren Kavanagh sent a timely reminder to employers in recent days to take extra care during these coming days and months to avoid exposure to serious risks. “The increased sweating caused by heat depletes the body’s fluids and can lead to the symptoms of heat stress – tiredness, irritability, inattention and muscular cramps. These symptoms don’t just cause physical discomfort, they may also increase the risk of workplace injuries by taking a worker’s attention away from the task at hand, and this is a major concern.” Some of the simple steps that can be taken to avoid or mitigate such risks include; drinking cool clean water regularly, pause work to rest in a cool environment and reorganising work-related tasks to take place during the cooler periods of the day such as early morning and late afternoon.  

When it comes to recreational activities, we have been reminded for decades now to slip, slop, slap and wear a hat. As more importance is placed on workplace safety, messages such as these from Mr Kavanagh should also become part of the common dialogue during the summer months. “Guarding against heat stress and heat stroke is part of providing a safe and healthy workplace, and I urge employers to ensure that preventative measures are in place.”

Morning News Bites – November 4

Neometals Completes Mini-Pilot Test Work.

On top of Neometals (ASX: NMT) yesterday announcing its venture into battery recycling it has released details of the successful completion of its mini-pilot test work campaign on the Company’s Vanadium Recovery Project. Results confirmed excellent vanadium chemical product purity (>99.5% V2O5), strong recoveries (>75%) and reduced residence time for Neometals’ patent pending hydrometallurgical process for recovering vanadium from Slag.

Neometals executed a collaboration agreement with Critical Metals, to jointly evaluate the feasibility of constructing a facility to recover and process high-grade vanadium products from vanadium-bearing steel by-product in Scandinavia.

The Mini-Pilot was constructed, commissioned and operated continuously through the campaign without any safety incidents or process challenges. Of particular significance was the achievement of chemical-grade vanadium pentoxide at high recovery rates and low residence times. Passing this major technical milestone is important and gives Neometals the strong confidence to continue its project development by commencing the PFS.

Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed commented: “We are very pleased with the results of the Mini-Pilot campaign. This substantially de-risks our patent-pending processing flow sheet and gives us the confidence to commence the PFS. We now shift our attention to the design phase of the larger proposed pilot plant which will leach material from three of SSAB’s steel operations in a mild carbonate solution at moderate temperatures and atmospheric pressure. The beauty of our process is that the main reagent is carbon dioxide, which we plan to capture from third-party emission to sequester some 65,000 tonnes in our leach Residue rendering it inert and available for secondary use.”

Marmota Strikes it Rich.

Marmota (ASX:MEU) has announced that the drilling program completed in September 2020 at Aurora Tank has achieved multiple successes.

Marmota Chairman, Dr Colin Rose, said: “ This has primarily been an extensional program, testing out new ground. It is also Marmota’s eighth drilling program at Aurora Tank. We are very fortunate that every one of those programs so far has been a success.

This program has yielded new high-grade extensions to the North, West and at depth, significantly extended the NW flank, and yielded our current highest 4m intersection. I am delighted that Aurora Tank keeps on growing, that underlying fundamentals are strong, and so too the potential rewards to shareholders.

Aurora Tank is fortunate to combine high-grade intersections that are close to surface, with excellent metallurgy, making Aurora Tank potentially amenable to low-cost low capex open-pittable heap leach methods, which are our clear focus. ”

Drilling yielded outstanding high-grade gold intersections including: 4m @ 70 g/t gold (from 64m downhole) and 4m @ 25 g/t gold (from 52m downhole).

Marmota has intersected very high grades close to surface [typically just 20m to 50m from surface], this program is also the first time that Marmota has also intersected high grade gold at depths below 80m. In particular, a reconnaissance hole designed to test for an extension to the west of the NW flank intersected 4m at 7.3 g/t at a depth of 120m downhole with follow up drilling required to prove it up.

Strandline to Power Up with Contract Power.

Strandline Resources (ASX: STA) has released details of its development of its Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia by appointing Contract Power Australia as preferred contractor to build, own and operate the power generation facilities for the project.

Coburn’s purpose-designed power facility is based on a low-cost, low-emission solution integrating natural gas fuelled generation with state-of-the-art solar and battery storage technology. The proposed power solution will enable Strandline to capture energy supply cost savings relative to the DFS published in June 2020.

The power station is designed for a maximum demand capacity of 16 MW and average consumed power of ~10 MW. Natural gas will be supplied by others under an industry standard long-term LNG supply agreement and trucked to an on-site storage and re-vapourisation facility supplied by Contract Power. The LNG then feeds a set of efficient engine generators on an N+1 basis and has ~30% solar (renewable) penetration for the major stable loads.

Generation is at 11kV with step up to 22kV for power transmission to the project loads across the mine site.

Strandline Managing Director Luke Graham said the appointment marked another key step in its strategy to bring Coburn into production and establishes an important relationship with Contract Power, a leader in sustainable clean energy generation in Western Australia.

Pantoro Confirms Two High-Grade Lodes.

Pantoro (ASX:PNR) advised that further drilling and initial level development have confirmed the presence and continuity of two additional high grade lodes at the Wagtail Underground Mine at their Halls Creek Project. Both lodes extend the mineralisation at the Wagtail Underground Mine and are located in the hanging wall of the current Rowdies ore system.

Development and drilling defined a North East oriented splay lode (REV Lode) developing off of the current Rowdies lodes. The new REV Lode currently has a strike length of 50 metres and vertical extent of 100 metres. The lode remains open at depth and drilling is ongoing.

The REV Lode interacts with the newly discovered high grade North Striking Lode in the hanging wall.  The sulphide rich REV Lode appears to be a direct analogue to the Mother/Darcy lodes at Nicolsons, where significant upside was realised in the early stages of the projects development.

Managing Director, Paul Cmrlec said: “The discovery of these new lodes is great news for the Wagtail mine, and for the Halls Creek Project as a whole. The splay lodes at Nicolsons provided significant value to Nicolsons mine, and this discovery has the potential to provide the same upside at Wagtail.

The deepest drilling in the lode has returned some of the most exciting results to date, and the team at Halls Creek eagerly awaits the development of additional drilling platforms to enable the full drill out of this lode.

In addition to REV Lode extensions, we continue to test the existing lodes outside of the current Mineral Resource envelope and look forward to reporting extensions to mineralisation which may further increase the mines life.”

Horizon Cracks Good Grades at Crake Project.

Horizon Minerals (ASX: HRZ) announced further excellent high-grade drilling results from the 100% owned Binduli gold project area located 9km west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the heart of the Western Australian goldfields.

The announcement comes off the back of a 29-hole, 2,460 metre drilling program that drilled to a depth of 144 metres at their Crake and Coote projects.  In particular the Crake project showed encouraging results with grades nearing 20g/t in some holes. The current Mineral Resource Estimate for Crake stands at 1.27Mt @ 1.82g/t Au for 73,820oz at a 1g/t Au lower grade cut-off and remains open to the north, west and at depth.

Commenting on the latest drilling results, Horizon Minerals Managing Director Mr Jon Price said: “Binduli has become an outstanding emerging gold camp with Crake continuing to grow in scale and quality and the adjoining Coote deposit now firming up to have similar potential. Both projects remain open with extensional RC drilling underway and we look forward to further drilling results this quarter from multiple rigs currently operating across the wider project area.”

Morning News Bites – November 2

Nexus Releases High Grade Assay Results.

Nexus Minerals (ASX: NXM) has released significant high-grade assay results from the Reverse Circulation holes drilled at the Pinnacles JV Gold Project, in the eastern goldfields of Western Australia. All RC drilling assay results have now been received from this program.

Nexus consultants have been engaged to undertake a pit optimization study and mine development plan options, to assist in determining the financial viability of establishing a gold mining operation at Pinnacles. Due to the pre-existing ore sale and purchase agreement with Saracen, Nexus believes there is minimal capital expenditure required to initiate mining, with any ore mined to be processed through Saracen’s Carosue Dam Operation. The Feasibility Study will incorporate this resource definition drilling, geotechnical drilling, environmental studies and metallurgical test work along with other key assessments and permitting.

The RC program successfully tested 3 specific areas of the proposed open pit and U/G operations and some of the grades included:

7m @ 6.25g/t Au from 54m, Including 4m @ 9.68g/t Au

9m @ 9.51g/t Au from 70m, Including 4m @ 20.13g/t Au

5m @ 6.86g/t Au from 99m, Including 2m @ 13.60g/t Au

Managing Director Andy Tudor said “The results received from this RC drill program have confirmed the grade profile we have modelled at the different levels of the proposed mining operation, in particular the high-grade mineralisation in the base of the proposed open-pit. We have also made significant advancements on the feasibility study inputs, with the end of year timeline for the completion of the study remaining our goal. The low capital cost of the development significantly de-risks the project metrics and accelerates the project time- line”.

Great Boulder Hopes Further Drilling Will Unlock Full Potential.

Great Boulder Resources [ASX: GBR] announced assays from the remaining seven RC holes at the Side Well gold project near Meekatharra in Western Australia. This report follows the original announcement on 19 October which included a best intersection of 7m @ 3.35g/t Au from 122m.

The RC program consisted of twelve RC holes for a total of 2,257m targeting strike extensions to mineralisation intersected in previous drilling. Immediately after this a 66-hole air-core (AC) program was completed for 6,166m, with east-west fences of holes drilled between the previous 400m-spaced lines to increase anomaly definition and provide information for future RC planning.

These results are approximately 2km north of the RC drilling and tested the conductive corridor highlighted in Doray’s 2013 Heli-TEM survey. Samples from the other 61 AC holes are expected to be received in the coming weeks (Figure 2).

Great Boulder’s Managing Director Andrew Paterson said that the initial results suggest Mulga Bill sits within a large mineralised system, with gold identified over more than 3km of strike and coincident with a deeper weathering profile and extensive shearing.

“These initial RC holes have given us a lot of information on Mulga Bill, particularly the rock types and alteration associated with the gold.

“Our air-core program covered more than 3km of strike which will be a valuable targeting tool for ongoing work. The southern-most line is 650m further south than any previous exploration drilling.

“The depth of weathering and variable shearing we’ve logged in the main corridor of Mulga Bill indicate this is a big system. We believe further drilling will be the key to unlocking its full potential.”

Red 5 Award Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract.

Red 5 (ASX: RED) has advised that it has taken another key step towards the development of its 2.4Moz, 16‐year Life‐Of‐Mine King of the Hills Project (KOTH) in Western Australia, after issuing a Notice of Award for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract (EPC Contract) and the bulk earthworks for the Process Plant to multi‐disciplined mineral processing provider MACA Interquip (ASX: MLD).

The EPC contract and bulk earthworks – which encompass the KOTH processing facility, equipping of the bore fields, high voltage power distribution, workshop, warehouse and bulk earthworks – will be undertaken as a fixed‐price contract.

The Notice of Award provides for the immediate commencement of the design and procurement activities for the process plant as well as mobilisation of earthmoving equipment to site.

Red 5 Managing Director Mark Williams, said the award of the EPC Contract and bulk earthworks marked another important milestone for the Company as it prepares to make the transition to become a multi‐operational, mid‐tier gold producer.

“Our decision to award these key contracts and make commitments to significant long‐lead items prior to completing project debt funding reflects our confidence in the robustness of the King of the Hills Project,” Mr Williams said.

“Importantly, the commitments made to date are below budget for this stage of the KOTH Project, and should give our stakeholders confidence that we are well on track to progress the development of this major project, with production planned to start in June Quarter 2022.”

WA Government Launches Digital Resource for Jobs and Training.

The McGowan Government, in partnership with Western Australia’s resources sector, has launched a new digital resource to link Western Australians to jobs and training opportunities in the sector.

Premier Mark McGowan joined the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) and Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) at the SkillsWest Careers and Employment Expo to announce the Working in WA’s Resources Sector webpage.

The online tool, accessed through Western Australia’s Jobs and Skills WA website, provides information on current and future training and employment opportunities in the resources sector, and advice on how they can be accessed.

The Working in WA’s Resources Sector webpage includes information on TAFE courses that have had fees reduced, with a focus on courses that relate to the resources sector.

Specific information on opportunities for Aboriginal people and women who are interested in working in the sector will also be available.

Premier Mark McGowan said:  “This new online resource will ensure Western Australians have all the information they need to prepare for a career in the resources sector.

“We have made it clear that employing workers from the eastern states is no longer viable for our State, and we want Western Australians to be trained for future jobs in the mining and oil and gas industries.”

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery commented:  “There is such a diverse range of job opportunities in the resources industry and the McGowan Government has made training more affordable than ever.

“Working in WA’s Resources Sector is a fantastic tool to find out more about the industry and the training that is needed to kick start a resources career.

“I encourage all young people and jobseekers to check out the new web page and get into the city for the SkillsWest Careers and Employment Expo.”

Marvel Gold Successfully Rattles Tin for $5.7 Million.

Marvel Gold (ASX: MVL) has announced that it has received binding commitments to raise a total of $5.7 million (before costs) through the placement of 95 million shares at $0.06 per share to professional and sophisticated investors.

The Placement ensures the Company is fully funded to undertake a substantial growth-focused exploration program across its Mali gold exploration portfolio, with a focus on the Tabakorole and Lakanfla gold projects.

Managing Director Phil Hoskins, commenting on the capital raising:  “This is a fantastic time to be undertaking gold exploration in Mali, an underexplored and highly prospective country. The combination of Marvel’s exciting portfolio, focused exploration strategy, and well-credentialed team has seen a number of high-quality institutions join our register. Marvel’s strategy is to add value through exploration and discovery, a strategy supported by the well-documented decline in the mining reserves of global gold companies.

“Following this Placement, the Company will be fully funded to undertake systematic exploration programs with a primary focus on growing the 910,000oz Tabakorole mineral resource. We have also been encouraged by ongoing drilling at the Lakanfla Project which has proved the existence of a karst, which is a deposit model responsible for the 4.5Moz Yatela deposit 30km to the north of Lakanfla. With assays expected in December, this funding gives us flexibility to accelerate drilling should these extensive karsts prove to be mineralised.”