Latest issue of International Mining project news available

first_imgThis issue of IMPN includes details of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce’s (CVRD) approved investment budget of $11billion for 2008, the largest annual investment program ever undertaken by CVRD or by any mining company in the world. The completion of the planned investments should lead to a significant increase in CVRD’s main products. In the case of iron ore, production in 2012 should reach 422 Mt, with production by the end of the same year running at 450 Mt.The program involves more than 30 projects, located in Brazil, Peru, Chile, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Mozambique and Oman. Investments in Brazil will account for 73% of the budgeted resources for 2008, an amount of $8 billion.Of the 2008 budget, $8.436 billion will be invested in organic growth, corresponding to 76.7% of total spending, with $7.552 billion going to project execution and $ 884 million in R&D. R&D includes $349 million set aside for mineral exploration. Investments to support existing operations are estimated at $2.563 billion. This represents an increase of $568 million over the amount budgeted for 2007 ($1.995 billion). This is explained by the growth in asset base and by the need to increase significantly investments in the Canadian nickel operations, which had received little investment in the past. Consequently, in 2008, $1,019 billion will be dedicated to nickel operations. $3.618 billion will be invested in non-ferrous minerals, some 32.9% of total capex for 2008, covering the final phases of Goro and Onça Puma, both important nickel projects, and the beginning of development of Vermelho (nickel), Totten (nickel), Salobo I (copper), Papomono (copper) and Bayovar (phosphate) projects.The main projects in terms of financial disbursements in 2008 are: Carajás 130 Mt/y ($1.165 billion), Goro ($723 million), Onça Puma ($581 million), Salobo I ($387 million), Alunorte 6&7 ($382 million), Itabiritos ($341 million), Serra Sul ($145 million), along with investments in logistics – Southern Corridor ($ 379 million) and Northern Corridor ($334 million) – and energy generation, Barcarena ($188 million) and Estreito ($165 million).UC RUSAL, the world’s largest producer of aluminium and alumina, has signed a co-operation agreement with the government of Russia’s Saratov region for the construction of a major energy and metals complex. The complex will include a significant expansion of the Balakovsky nuclear power plant, with UC RUSAL building the fifth and sixth reactor blocks, generating 2,000 MW and the construction of the world’s largest aluminium smelter, with an annual production capacity of 1.05 Mt. And in the DRC, the Government and BHP Billiton have signed an agreement to jointly investigate the development of a world-class aluminium smelter in the Bas Congo region of the DRC. The smelter would use electricity from the proposed Inga 3 hydropower station at Inga on the Congo River.  Following strong operating performance and financial results in the first nine months of the year, Massey Energy has announced plans to aggressively expand production at its Central Appalachian coal mining operations during the next two years.Antofagasta Minerals has negotiated and awarded Aker Kvaerner Metals in Chile an EPCM contract to develop the Esperanza copper-gold project located in northern Chile.  The project’s estimated capital investment is valued at $1.5 billion.  Aker Kvaerner’s contract value is approximately $35 million for phase I. Frontier Resources announces a major increase in the total resource tonnage at the Kodu Deposit in Papua New Guinea. This copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project is beginning to look very interesting. Apex Silver Mines has shipped the first zinc concentrates from the San Cristobal mine in Bolivia. The initial approximately 3,500 t (dry) shipment of lead, zinc and silver bulk concentrate produced during the commissioning and startup of the plant left the port of Mejillones, Chile on September 22, with the first sale recorded in the third quarter. This has now been followed with a shipment of 9,100 t of zinc concentrate to smelters in Asia on October 18. Concentrate shipments will continue as the plant ramps up to full production.Coeur d’Alene Mines has made appointments of key personnel at its growth projects, San Bartolome, Bolivia silver mine and Kensington, Alaska gold mine. Dennis E. Wheeler, Chairman, President and CEO: “We are very pleased to announce that our San Bartolome silver mine and Kensington gold mine have almost completed construction and are moving toward the operations and production phase. In tandem with this, Coeur has significantly strengthened its operations management team to secure the company’s position as it moves to its next level of strategic growth. Production at San Bartolome remains on schedule to begin producing 9 Moz/y of silver, beginning in February. Additionally, construction at Kensington is over 90% complete and the process plant and ancillary construction activities, including pre-operational testing, are fully complete.”As San Bartolome moves toward its expected February 2008 startup, over 1,600 personnel on site at the project have surpassed 2 million man hours without a lost time accident. All major construction contracts have been awarded for the project, with engineering 100% complete, and procurement of equipment and materials 98% complete. At Kensington a supplemental operations team remains focused on improving the process plant control systems, as well as other minor activities including sediment control, overall site maintenance, and weather conditioning.AXMIN has recruited key members of the mine development team to build its Passendro gold mine in the Central African Republic. 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