The meeting took place on the sidelines of the grand celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) at which the State Minister is representing Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake met General Vijay Kumar Singh (Retd.), Minister of State for External Affairs, India on the sidelines of the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Manila, the Foreign Ministry said today.The two Ministers discussed the recent elevation of the longstanding relations between the two countries and excellent cooperation and understanding the two countries presently enjoy. Associated with State Minister Senanayake were Buddhika Pathirana MP, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Philippines Mrs. Aruni Ranaraja, Director General of East Asia and the Pacific O.L. Ameerajwad and other senior officials of both countries. (Colombo Gazette) They particularly noted the recent exchange of highest political level visits, the constant elevation of the bilateral engagement including in economic, cultural, education, development and humanitarian assistance and several other spheres etc.
Latest issue of International Mining Project News available (May 7): Both big and small miners with interests in Australia have been speaking out against the proposed resource tax plans – as has been documented over the last few days on IM’s website. Mincor Resources is one company that has already released calculations on the new tax’s effect on the re-opening of its Miitel nickel mine in Western Australia. Tax on project income, should the mine re-start in a post-2012 environment, would increase to a 55% level, compared to a current rate of 41% (tax and royalty). The company says initial production could resume as early as next month. The Colombian Government has also been busy amending its mining code, excluding mining and exploration activity in the ‘Paramo’ ecosystem – a change that heavily affects Greystar Resources’ Angostura gold/silver project. There are also updates from Atlas Iron, which plans to increase its iron ore shipments from Port Hedland in Australia in the second half of this year, Agnico-Eagle Mines’ achieving commercial production at its 100% owned Meadowbank mine project in Nunavut, Canada, Gold Fields expanding production at its Damang gold mine in Ghana, and many more.Mincor Resources is moving rapidly to recommence production from Miitel in Kambalda, injecting over $130 million into the project. Site works have commenced at Miitel – traditionally Mincor’s largest producing mine in Kambalda – with initial production set to resume as early as next month, with the ramp-up to full production from July 2010. Steady-state production levels are forecast at around 15,000 to 18,000 t/month of ore, yielding between 4,500 and 5,500 t/y of nickel metal in ore. The project has been substantially bolstered by the inclusion of the recent N29 discovery – comprising a maiden ore reserve of 148,000 t at 2.7% Ni for 4,000 t of nickel metal. Not only does this increase the existing Miitel ore reserves by 32%, also provides an additional production front within the mine to increase overall production capacity.Greystar Resources is currently in the middle of a feasibility study at Angostura, however the Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development (MAVDT) has requested a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) to be filed in respect of the development of the open pit gold/silver mine. MAVDT has requested that the new EIA conform to new regulation Law 1382 of 2010 which requires that mining and exploration activity must be excluded from the ‘Paramo’ ecosystem. Paramo consists of mostly glacier formed valleys and plains with lakes, peat bogs and, wet and dry grasslands intermingled with shrub lands and forest patches. The ministry has requested that the new Angostura EIA adjust the occupied area to an elevation below 3,200 m, however, as currently designed, almost all the project facilities and infrastructure are at a higher elevation than this. In addition, half of the proposed open pit resides above 3,200 m. MAVDT’s request would require the Angostura project to be completely redesigned, which would include identifying and acquiring new land positions to house displaced facilities and initiate new environmental base line studies.Atlas Iron will raise up to A$63.5 million to fund a substantial increase in production and shipments in the second half of this calendar year. The proceeds will enable Atlas to accumulate a significant ore stockpile in the lead-up to the start of exports from the Utah Point port facility in Port Hedland, allowing it to maximise the number of shipments of iron ore in what is anticipated to be a period of very strong iron ore prices. The ore to be stockpiled will come from the company’s expanding Pardoo operations and the start of production at Atlas’ second mine, Wodgina, both of which are in the Pilbara. In early May, the Port Hedland Port Authority granted the company permission to make additional shipments between June and September 2010 via Berth 1. The company will export up to one shipment per month in panamax vessels, each containing in the order of 60,000 t, during this period. The combined tonnage available to Atlas in the next four months is expected to be in the order of 180,000 to 240,000 t starting in June 2010.At Agnico-Eagle Mines’ 100% owned Meadowbank mine Proven and Probable gold reserves total 32.2 Mt at 3.5 g/t Au. For the month of March, the Meadowbank mill processed an average of 6,397 t/d, with gold recovery in the plant averaging about 85%. Recoveries are expected to average 93% in 2010. Minesite costs per tonne were C$93 and are expected to decline and average C$68 for 2010 as the mine continues to ramp up to its design production rate of 8,500 t/d in the second quarter of 2010. A portable crusher will be installed in the second quarter which will facilitate the higher throughput. Gold production in 2010 is expected to be around 300,000 oz. Life of mine average gold production expected to be some 350,000 oz/y through 2019. The company also has a study underway to examine the possibility of increasing production from 8,500 t/d to 10,000 t/d, which is scheduled to be completed mid-year 2010. If the company proceeds with the expansion, the increase could be achieved by year-end 2012.Gold Fields will increase production significantly, following the successful construction and commissioning of a new secondary crushing plant at its Damang gold mine in Ghana. The plant will allow Damang to increase the average head grade to its mill by boosting the feed of harder, higher grade fresh ore and reducing the feed of softer, lower grade oxide ore. As a result, gold production at the mine is forecast to increase up to 240,000 oz/y in the medium term. Current production is around 200,000 oz. In order to feed the enhanced crushing and milling systems, exploration last year has been refocused to find additional higher grade ore on the mine’s property. These efforts have been successful and Damang is targeting a reserve of at least 2 Moz in the medium term. Nick Holland, CEO said “Our aim is to extend the life of Damang by at least 15 years to 2025”.