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RESOURCE Volume 5, Issue 5

GLOBAL NETWORK

Mining, renewable energy and oil & gas worldwide

125

YEARS OF GOLD

IN KALGOORLIE

Commemorating the original discoveries WWW.RESOURCEGLOBALNETWORK.COM


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In June 1893, three hopeful Irish gentlemen by the names of Patrick ‘Paddy’ Hannan, Thomas Flanagan and Daniel Shea were prospecting for gold around 24 miles Northeast of Coolgardie – the hub of Western Australia’s nascent gold mining industry at the time. They soon found out that they were standing above one of the richest gold deposits in the world, and one that is still producing gold to this day – 125 years after the trio’s groundbreaking discovery. After the three men had recovered an astonishing 100 ounces of alluvial gold, Hannan was sent back to Coolgardie to stake a mining claim for the area that was quickly christened Hannan’s Find, before the State Government renamed the subsequent town Kalgoorlie. Today, the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder owes its existence to the gold discoveries of 1893, which sparked a major gold rush and the development of a mining industry that still serves as the economic base of the region today.

Executive Team Editor Jacob Ambrose Willson Content Manager Michelle Madureira Content Director (APAC and Americas) David Hunter Creative Director Hugo Currie ICT Director Stuart Clark Managing Director Simon Curran

In this issue, RGN joins Kalgoorlie-Boulder in celebrating its 125th anniversary, as city Mayor John Bowler takes us through the commemorative events that have taken place over the year and Scott Wilson, president of Eastern Goldfields Historical Society, spins the yarns of those heady 1893 days. Continuing with the Australian mining theme, we feature no less than seven ASX-listed companies, including Queensland-based New Hope Group and WA gold explorer Explaurum, as well as two thriving Australian mining services firms: Cougar Mining and Kerman Contracting. We hope you enjoy this issue and encourage you to connect with us on email, Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading! Jacob Ambrose Willson, Editor

Jacob Ambrose Willson

RGN is published by Anderson Murray Media: a diverse media and information services company focused on creating and distributing engaging content to business leaders across the globe. Anderson Murray Media Fulham Green, 69-79 Fulham High Street, Main Reception, Bedford House, London SW6 3JW Tel. +44 (0)207 148 5630

VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.RESOURCEGLOBALNETWORK.COM


CO

125 YEARS OF GOLD MINING IN KALGOORLIE

NEWS 10 Global resources news Our selection of mining, oil & gas and renewable energy stories from the last month

COVER STORY 18 125 years of gold mining in Kalgoorlie Treasuring Kalgoorlie’s core spirit

ASSOCIATIONS 28 Clontarf Foundation Striving to improve the life chances of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men

MINING 42 New Hope Group A diversified majority Australian owned energy company 54 Infinity Lithium Developing lithium-tin production in Europe to power a renewable future


ONTENTS

NEW HOPE GROUP

INFINITY LITHIUM


CONTENTS

TIETTO MINERALS 64 Tietto Minerals Fast tracking the development of gold assets in West Africa 76 Adriatic Metals Taking on two advanced stage base metals projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina 88 Explaurum Turning the Tampia Gold Project into a new gold district in Western Australia 100 Six Sigma Metals A new name and a new age commodity focus in Zimbabwe 112 Barra Resources Targeting two high demand commodities in Western Australia

MINING SERVICES 128 Cougar Mining Group A one-stop shop for Australia’s underground coal mining sector 140 Kerman Contracting One of Western Australia’s most experienced industrial construction contractors

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING 150 Classifieds

APPOINTMENTS & EVENTS 152 Appointments Notable appointments in the resources industry from the past month 153 Events Our pick of the top mining, oil & gas and renewable energy events happening around the world in the months to come


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NEWS | Brookfield Multiplex MINING

GLOBAL RESO

Our selection of mi renewable energy news


Resource Global Network 11

OURCES NEWS

ining, oil & gas and s from around the world


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NEWS

BHP INCREASING FOCUS ON BATTERY METALS: DIGGERS AND DEALERS 2018 BHP has revealed that it is ploughing more investment into the development of nickel and cobalt mine development and production, as the miner looks to capitalise on the looming electric vehicle (EV) boom. The world’s largest mining company is building what is expected to be the world’s largest battery-grade nickel sulphate plant in Western Australia, which will enter production in April 2019. With a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate, the facility will account for the production of around 22,000 tonnes of nickel – which is in increasingly in hot demand in new battery technologies, as the metal allows EVs to travel further on a single charge.

“I believe that we have timed our entry to the battery and nickel sulphate markets well – interest by customers and potential customers is significantly exceeding expectations,” said BHP asset president Eduard Haegel at the annual Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, WA. BHP is also accelerating plans to boost its cobalt output and is going ahead with a cobalt sulphate production pilot plant, which could eventually produce a battery-grade nickel sulphate product with low cobalt sulphate content.


Resource Global Network 13

MINERS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA STUMBLE ON GOLD-ENCRUSTED ROCKS WORTH $5 MILLION Canadian mining firm RNC Minerals has revealed the discovery of gold bearing rocks in Western Australia that are believed to be some of the biggest in mining history. Two huge quartz rocks encrusted with gold were found in RNC’s Beta Hunt mine in the town of Kambalda, an area of Western Australia’s famous Goldfields region, 60 km South of Kalgoorlie. The largest rock weighs 95 kg with an estimated gold content of 2,440 ounces and worth almost $US3 million while a second rock, valued at $1.9 million, weighs 63 kg with

an estimated gold content of 1,620 ounces. As a result of the discoveries, RNC was able to produce 9,250 ounces of high grade gold from a single blast, which equates to roughly $10 million worth of gold. Miners in Australia often extract as little as 2 g/t of gold from rock, but RNC said it had extracted 2,200 g/t. “These discoveries highlight the high grade gold potential of Beta Hunt,” said Mark Selby, president and CEO of RNC. The Beta Hunt mine has previously operated as a nickel mine. RNC’s share price was up 94% on the TSX in the wake of the news.


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NEWS

CWP JOINS WITH PARTNERS GROUP TO DELIVER 1.3GW AUSTRALIAN RENEWABLES PLATFORM Australian clean energy developer CWP Renewables has joined with Swiss investment manager Partners Group to deliver over 1.3GW of solar, wind and battery projects across New South Wales. Partners Group has pledged to invest AUS$700 million in the development of the large-scale renewable energy platform. The group’s partnership with CWP goes back to 2016, when it announced a $250 million investment into the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm in NSW, which is set to be completed in October 2018. “When we invested in Sapphire Wind Farm, one of the key attractions was the project’s potential to anchor an Australian renewable

energy platform,” said Benjamin Haan of Partners Group. Work on the next NSW-based project under the platform – the 135MW Crudine Ridge Wind Farm – is set to be completed by September 2019 and has a long-term PPA for 50% of its output signed with Powershop. Other pipeline projects combine wind, solar and battery storage assets, with annual generation from the portfolio set to be equivalent to around 50% of the coal-fired Liddell Power Station, according to CWP. “These projects will help with the transition from fossil-fuelled electricity in the state,“ said CWP Renewables CEO Alex Hewitt.


Resource Global Network 15

WOOD MACKENZIE BRINGS PEAK OIL FORECAST FORWARD TO 2036 Peak oil demand will arrive in 2036 according to energy consultant Wood Mackenzie, with electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles set to rapidly alter the world’s transportation sector. Speaking to the Financial Times, Wood Mackenzie’s head of crude oil research Ed Rawle said: “Autonomous electric vehicles or robo-taxis will really change the face of transport in the coming decades.” The UK-based energy advisory believes that autonomous EVs and robo-taxis will become commercial by 2030 before gaining marketwide acceptance by 2035. Each autonomous EV is forecasted to displace more oil demand than a conventional EV, according to Wood Mackenzie.

“They will be on the road far more as they are autonomous, displacing a disproportionate amount of oil-based transport,” said Rawle. The biggest curb on oil demand over the next ten years will be fuel efficiency, and Wood Mackenzie sees gasoline demand as the first oil-based fuel to reach its peak in around 2030. Several organisations have predicted different dates for this milestne, with BP anticipating peak oil at some point in the 2030s, while research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has even suggested it could arrive within eight years.


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COVER STORY | 125 years of gold mining in Kalgoorlie


Resource Global Network

125 YEARS OF GOLD IN KALGOORLIE

Commemorating the original discoveries by Jacob Ambrose Willson

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COVER STORY | 125 years of gold mining in Kalgoorlie

The first Australian gold rush is widely considered to have begun in 1851 after a number of payable gold discoveries were made in New South Wales and Victoria. Stories of instant riches and unimaginable wealth spread across the world and soon boat loads of hopeful prospectors from Europe began to rock up on the East coast and search for that elusive pot of gold. By the late 1880s the gold rush had turned into a cavalcade, with prospectors’ spilling into Queensland and eventually over into the vast Northern expanses of Western Australia before coming down into what is now known as the Eastern Goldfields. By 1892 the first rich gold specimens from the Eastern Goldfields were uncovered in Coolgardie, which quickly became the centre of mining activity in WA. One year later, three Irish prospectors by the names of Patrick ‘Paddy’ Hannan, Thomas Flanagan and Daniel Shea arrived in the region. At the time, little did they know that they

Prior to 1983 Hannan and Flanagan had been

were about to discover one of the world’s

partners in Coolgardie, which was already a

richest gold deposits, in doing so etching

prolific gold district at this stage. But along

their names into the history of Kalgoorlie-

with Shea, they soon got wind of rumours

Boulder, which continues to bear the legacy

of another gold rush in the region and went

of these small-time prospectors. This year

about prospecting near the present site of Mt

the city is celebrating the 125th anniversary

Charlotte.

of the trio’s famous discovery.


Resource Global Network

“Hannan, Flanagan and Shea were on the way

“They decided to give the area a good

to a rush,” explains Scott Wilson, president

prospect and didn’t let on to the other chaps

of the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society.

in the party, making an excuse to hang back.

“While they were trying to find where this

They prospected the region and kept finding

rush was, Flanagan stumbled onto a few

more gold until they had uncovered over 100

specks of gold and induced the others to stay

ounces of alluvial gold, at which point they

behind.

went to register a claim.”

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COVER STORY | 125 years of gold mining in Kalgoorlie

At the time, mining laws demanded that

Flanagan and Shea are less evident across

prospectors stake a claim otherwise the area

Kalgoorlie, which reveals how history has

would remain fair game for exploration,

been kind to the man who staked the claim

so they sent Hannan back to Coolgardie to

and less so to the other individuals in the

register the claim. This simple decision was

party. This is something that Bowler has

to create an enduring legacy for Hannan that

sought to address during the 125th year

remains evident across the city to this day.

celebrations across the city.

Hannan’s legacy

“The first gold was actually found by Tom

The main street in Kalgoorlie is called Hannan

Flanagan, but Paddy got all the recognition

Street, a statue of Hannan stands outside

because he was the most literate of the three

the town hall and the local beer is even

and was sent back 24 miles to Coolgardie to

named after the Irishman - a very fine beer

peg the reward claim,” reveals Bowler.

according to John Bowler, the current Mayor of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

“Without denigrating or diminishing any of the achievements of Paddy Hannan, we’ve

While Hannan’s name maintains a strong

tried to give his two partners a bit more

presence in the city, traces of his friends

credit as they each have an equal claim to fame.”


Resource Global Network

Celebrations that have taken place so far this

After the plaque unveiling, the city council

year in the city include a plaque unveiling in

hosted a big evening ball that celebrated the

the apparent location where the trio pegged

occasion in true ‘gold rush’ fashion – Bowler

their first reward, which took place on Friday

recalls how more beer was consumed than

15th June - 125 years to the day of that

needed over the night, which was likely the

illustrious moment.

case for Hannan and co on the evening of their discovery.

Like most historical yarns, the exact location of the gold discovery has been

“Throughout the year there has been a lot of

hotly contested with plenty of conjecture

events that we have tagged with the 125th

attributed to the story. However, Bowler

anniversary, so there is a really good feeling

holds third hand evidence as to the location

in the town at the moment,” says the mayor.

of that first pegging of gold. Returning to those heady days of 1893, the “Paddy Hannan told a local editor and labour

Irish trio’s discovery sparked an avalanche

member of parliament where the discovery

of prospecting activity in the area, which

was down a laneway. That editor told Henry

was quickly christened Hannan’s Find before

Mills, a local historian, who told me as an old

the name Kalgoorlie was adopted from

man.”

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COVER STORY | 125 years of gold mining in Kalgoorlie


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 25 Resource the Wangai word Karlkurla or Kulgooluh,

“Pearce and Brookman weren’t your average

meaning ‘place of the silky pears’.

Hannan, Shea and Flanagan figures, who wanted to stumble on a big nugget and go

“After the initial discovery, prospectors were

home, kiss the wife and live happily ever

raking over the surface and finding gold

after,” Wilson quips. “These guys had a clear

everywhere in Kalgoorlie,” says Wilson. “Some mission to secure ground for the syndicate.” of the prospectors worked out that the gold was in the roots and the coarse veins of

According to the legend, Pearce liked the look

the rock, so there were several gold mining

of the iron stone hills, some four to five miles

leases pegged in the area around Hannan’s

Southeast of Hannan’s Find. After receiving

Find.”

a heads up from fellow prospectors in the

Discovering the Golden Mile

region, he went down to a spot and using his geological knowledge and rudimentary equipment was able to identify gold-bearing

Into this bustling hive of activity arrived two

rocks. Within a few days they had pegged out

more important figures only a few weeks

a lease called the Ivanhoe.

after Hannan, Flanagan and Shea’s discovery. Sam Pearce and William Brookman had

“Pearce understood that the iron stone hills

heard about the gold rush in Coolgardie while had gold in them and he was able to find they were prospecting in South Australia,

the veins. He worked out that the gold was

but by the time they had arrived in WA they

scattered around that area, not just on that

were too late to be at the vanguard of the

lease but throughout the lease.”

prospecting in Kalgoorlie. By the time Brookman came back from However, this wasn’t to stop the duo from

pegging the initial claim, Pearce had found

making an enormous discovery that was

the fabulously rich Great Boulder Mine, which

to shape the development of the town and

resembled a major bingo moment for the

the gold industry in a much bigger way than

pair, who quickly pegged the Great Boulder

Hannan’s initial find ever did.

lease.

At the time, Pearce was known as a talented

“They knew the claim was valuable but

prospector who could allegedly ‘smell gold’,

what was to come in the next few years

while Brookman was an entrepreneur and

was beyond their wildest dreams. The

financier type-figure. Together they formed

gold deposit they discovered promised

a formidable duo, acting on behalf of a

phenomenal growth in wealth, not just to

syndicate comprised of 15 members who

their syndicate but for WA and Australia as a

each paid 10-15 pounds to fund Pearce’s

whole.”

exploration.


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COVER STORY | 125 years of gold mining in Kalgoorlie

By the end of 1893, Brookman and Pearce

prospector myself I think about how amazing

had pegged a total of 19 leases in the area

it would be been to be around in those days

which soon became known as the Golden

with all the tools we have today.”

Mile, which is still producing today through the Super Pit – a 3.5 x 1.5 km open pit mine

A glance at Wilson’s recent ancestry reveals

which extends more than 600 metres deep.

that gold is in his blood. His father was a

The Super Pit

prospector before him and this familial passion can be traced back to Wilson’s great

The area has produced over 60 million

great grandfather, who came to Australia

ounces of gold to date and is the 5th

from Scotland to be a prospector during the

biggest gold resource in the world, but most

Victorian gold rushes.

significantly it is widely accepted as the richest square mile in the world with the gold

“I am still out there doing exploration and

mineralisation condensed into a tight area.

small-scale drilling as well as the metal detector. I’ve had a few deals go well so I can

“The phenomenal thing is that Pearce and

put back into the industry and hopefully have

Brookman pegged some of the best ground

my own little discovery.”

that was to make up the bulk of the Golden Mile and the Super Pit,” Wilson remarks. “As a

To this day, Kalgoorlie’s mining industry


Resource Global Network remains synonymous with gold exploration

“But the exploration industry is going very

and extraction, however it is not the only

well, and the public has a great appetite

commodity that has been identified amongst

for risk investment and putting capital

the region’s ancient rock formations. Nickel

into junior miners and larger companies,

was discovered in the 1960s just South of

particularly into those who want to come up

Kalgoorlie, which led to a massive boom that

with new mines. Overall, it’s a pretty healthy

is still going strong today.

environment and the towns folk always maintain an optimistic view.”

Nonetheless, gold mining is still the bread and butter of the region with the Super

The new white gold

Pit producing close to 800,000 ounces per

Today, Kalgoorlie stands on the brink of a

annum, although this year’s production will

new commodity boom after the discovery

be set back after a recent pit will collapse.

of several high grade lithium deposits in the region, and with the battery metal taking on

However, it is hoped that this split will

increasing importance in the electrified world

accelerate plans to establish an underground

of today, Kalgoorlie’s future as a key mining

mining facility, which would resemble a major

hub of WA looks secure.

economic boost for the city. However, to this day - 125 years after the first The creation of the Super Pit by Kalgoorlie

discovery of gold in the region - Kalgoorlie is

Consolidates Gold Mines (KGCM), along with

predominantly a gold mining town that has

the improving price of gold on international

been built on the finds of Hannan, Flanagan

markets in the late 1980s, made a significant

and Shea along with Pearce and Brookman.

difference to the fortunes of the town, instigating vital economic growth across the

“Whether you are a local or visitor, I

region.

encourage you all to take advantage of the wonderful events, hosted by the city

“We still tend to feel the ups and downs of

and other local organisations, and join in

the gold price – sometimes it has an effect on

to commemorate the 125th year since the

retail as shops will close only to reopen once

discovery of gold in Kalgoorlie-Boulder,”

again after not long,” explains Wilson.

concludes Bowler.

With thanks to the Eastern Goldfields Historical Society and the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder council.

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EDUCATION | Clontarf Foundation

Clontarf Foundation

Striving to improve the life chances of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men


Resource Global Network

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EDUCATION | Clontarf Foundation

The Clontarf Foundation is a nationwide non-for-profit Australian organisation that exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. The foundation aims to prevent the build-up of negative feelings such as alienation and anger among vulnerable men through igniting their existing passion for sport and combining this with education. A large network of football academies exist across five states/territories and work in partnership with local schools to deliver several types of engaging Australian Rules and/or Rugby League programmes. But for the boys, the Clontarf journey doesn’t stop at the end of their education, as the foundation offers support all the way through to employment. RGN’s editor catches up with Clontarf’s CEO Gerard Neesham. Jacob Ambrose Willson: Gerard you are the CEO and founder of the Clontarf Foundation. What has it been like to watch it grow from one academy to a nationwide force of positive change for young vulnerable males?


Resource Global Network

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EDUCATION | Clontarf Foundation Gerard Neesham: It has been an incredible

tirelessly in the field each and every day to

and humbling experience to see a relatively

make the programme such a success.

simple concept back in 2000 continually grow and become more sophisticated and

I feel so lucky to work with and amongst so

professional over time and most importantly,

many committed people, not only our staff

reach more Aboriginal and Torres Strait

but also the teachers, Aboriginal and Torres

Islander boys and communities in need.

Strait Islander families, community workers and our many government and private sector

We started in Western Australia with 25 boys, two staff members and one school almost 19 years ago and today we support 6,600 boys in 97 schools across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. We also now have 350 full-time, dedicated and passionate staff members who work

partners.


Resource Global Network JAW: How does the organisation

is the one we have with schools. We have

collaborate with local schools to ensure

fantastic, working relationships with 97

academy participants are provided a

schools across five states/territories and to

healthy balance of education and sport

have the support of each individual school

and why is this school engagement

principal and teaching staff is paramount to

mechanism so important for many at-risk

achieving the outcomes we are striving for.

students? We develop an understanding of why we GN: Our most critical partnership in addition to the one we have with the boys and their families,

exist with the schools and then fit in around their education delivery, allowing the many fantastic teachers in our country to do what they do best without having to worry about poor attendance or behaviour. There is a good level of give and take and we both share the great success stories and enjoy the journey together.

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EDUCATION | Clontarf Foundation


Australian Resource Business Global Network We believe education is the key factor for any at-risk child to have an opportunity to succeed in life. First and foremost, they need to attend school on a regular basis and complete Year 12 which will positively impact the other ‘Closing the Gap’ indicators of employment, health and reduction in criminal activity. It is also our belief that this is a generational problem and will take a generation or two to fix. We are regularly witnessing this in many communities where we have been operating for 10 years or more. It has now become normal for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in those communities to go to school as that’s all they see and know. JAW: What lasting impact do the programmes tend to have on students themselves and on the communities in which they live in? GN: Our goal is to make stronger, more sustainable and cohesive communities. Our boys become confident men, great workmates, good fathers, husbands or partners and like any community, the more people who positively contribute, the better the community will be. JAW: How does the foundation prepare young men for the world of work and how does it support them all the way through to employment? GN: One of our key areas is obviously employment and we have a separate

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EDUCATION | Clontarf Foundation employment team around the country whose

based traineeships, driver’s licenses, job

job is to prepare the boys for post-school

applications – the list is endless. Everything

life and transitioning into the workplace or

that my wife and I did for our four children

further study.

so they each had the best opportunity to succeed in life, is exactly what our staff do for

We place an expectation on the boys as soon

the Clontarf boys.

as they walk through the door that they will be getting a job once they finish school and

We have had almost 3,000 of our boys

we support them along the way.

complete Year 12 since inception and so there are many, many success stories. Year

We take them on worksite visits to our

on year, more than 80% of these boys remain

partnering organisations, assist with CV’s,

engaged in employment or further study 12

interview skills, work experience, school-

months after completing school.


Resource Global Network As an example of a successful partnership

Today we have several alumni linked to Rio

within the resource sector, over 100 of our

including two second year lawyers, a second

boys have gone on to work for Rio Tinto who

year civil engineer and an OHS graduate

are our most significant corporate partner.

working full-time within the business. This was unheard of five or six years ago, so these

What is most pleasing is that in addition

boys are continually breaking new ground.

to the many boys who have gone on to be apprentices, trainees, T/A’s or truck drivers

JAW: Finally, how proud are you to

with Rio, we are now seeing our boys go on

have provided this platform for many

to tertiary studies and completing cadetships

generations of young Aboriginal and

with Rio Tinto.

Torres Strait Islander men to escape from dangerous paths and excel themselves, and what does the future hold for the foundation?

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EDUCATION | Clontarf Foundation


Resource Global Network GN: I feel extremely privileged to have worked with so many of the boys, their families and the great people in our foundation. I feel even prouder when I’m constantly reminded how far we’ve come, when I hear the great accomplishments our enormous group of alumni are consistently achieving. Our ‘old boys’ are forging successful careers, buying houses, driving nice cars, getting married, travelling the world and most importantly - placing such a high emphasis on education and employment for their own children. We know there are approximately 16,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander boys across the country who would benefit from a Clontarf programme so we still have a long way to go. The stark reality is that for every year we don’t reach a community, many of these boys’ life outcomes will unfortunately head in a negative direction. As an organisation, we remain extremely focused on our core business of keeping these boys in school and placing them into employment and we remain equally as focused on expanding as quickly as we can to hopefully change the lives of many for the better. There is certainly no slowing down!

Phone: +61 (08) 9356 2500 Email: contact@clontarffoundation.com.au

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Building a Multi-Asset Mid-Tier West African Gold Producer

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“It was a pleasure working with the RGN team. The entire process - from the initial interview to the layout and finished piece - was seamless and professional. ” Orlee Wertheim Head of Business Development, Global Mining, Toronto Stock Exchange TSX Venture Exchange


42

MINING |New Hope Group

NEW HOP A diversified majority Australian owned energy company


Resource Global Network

PE GROUP

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MINING |New Hope Group

New Hope Group began in A diversified energy Queensland, Australia in 1952, when the company was formed company Having started as an underground coal to undertake underground miner, it wasn’t until the 1980s that New coal mining in the bustling Hope shifted into open cut coal mining and industrial centre of the state, moved to totally vertically integrate the Ipswich. Today, New Hope is business through an investment in the a diversified energy company coal terminal at the Port of Brisbane. listed on the ASX and one of Since then, the company has Queensland’s largest regionally- continued to focus on open cut based employers, with a direct coal mining. workforce of more than 600 people along with a wider reach “We are very vertically integrated for a coal of 3,000 jobs through suppliers mining company. We own and contractors. Connecting our drill rigs, we have our New Hope’s longstanding past geologists and engineers, with its present position in we get our own Queensland is a set of lasting approvals, do our own values that have permeated mining, coal processing, through the company since marketing and we own inception. New Hope’s managing the coal shipping terminal director Shane Stephan lists the at the Port of Brisbane.” four most enduring company values as: Safety, accountability, The investment in the coal shipping terminal at the Port integrity and resilience. of Brisbane back in the 1980s was the first step in New Hope’s “Resilience is one of the most important

vertical integration strategy, which

values for any resources company because

has proven to be highly successful

commodity prices go up and down, so

as today the only part of the coal

you need to maintain resilience within the

production chain that New Hope doesn’t

organisation,” explains Stephan. “This means

own is the rail.

resilience in a financial sense, within human resources and also in the mineral resource

While becoming self-reliant in the coal

itself.”

market, New Hope also followed a strategy of sector diversification under the premise that


Resource Global Network

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MINING |New Hope Group

New Hope Group is an Australian controlled and operated diversified energy company, proudly based in South East Queensland for more than 60 years. With business interests and operations spanning mining, exploration, port operation, oil, agriculture, innovative technologies and investment, New Hope has grown to be one of Queensland’s top ASX listed companies.

www.newhopegroup.com.au


Resource Global Network

over-exposure to a single market, particularly “We invested in that operation to learn that one as volatile as the coal market, could

industry, but also because it provides a

be damaging to the company’s long-term

natural hedge, particularly as we use a lot

prospects.

of diesel for our truck fleet across our coal mines.

For example, in 2012 New Hope invested in a conventional oil company called Bridgeport

“Therefore having an investment in a

Energy, which proved to be a shrewd move

conventional oil company provides a natural

as the coal price downturn of the time was

financial hedge on oil price which is one of

to further deepen, reaching a new nadir in

our major cost drivers,” Stephan reasons.

2016.

47


48

MINING |New Hope Group Along the way, New Hope has also developed its own agricultural business called the Acland Pastoral Company (APC), which operates approximately 10,000 hectares of land around the company’s largest operation New Acland on Queensland’s Darling Downs. The pastoral operation is also highly integrated running a herd of around 5,000 cattle and roughly 2,400 hectares of crops that are used for the company’s own stock feed requirements with excess sold locally. Approximately 500 hectares of this operation is rehabilitated mined land. The company is a world leader in its progressive rehabilitation techniques which returns mined land to useable cattle grazing pastures immediately behind mining operations. “Through APC, we see ourselves as a custodian of that land and we are proud to say we put the land we own to good use before during and after mining – apart from being the right thing to do it also makes good business sense.”

Thermal coal operations Despite following a clear diversification strategy in recent years, Stephan underlines thermal coal mining as New Hope’s predominant line of business. The thermal coal business has three key operations, with the bulk of production exported to Asian markets, along with a smaller domestic market.


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 49 Resource New Hope’s priority Queensland operation is New Acland, which has been producing thermal coal since 2002 and currently runs at a rate of approximately 5 million tonnes per annum. However, New Acland is currently nearing the end of Stage 2 of its mine life and the company is working on gaining approval for Stage 3 of the operation. The mine lease application for Stage 3 was initially rejected by the Land Court, but after seeking judicial review of the ruling in the Supreme Court, the extension plans for New Acland were given a lifeline by the Supreme Court overturning the Land Court’s decision. “For New Acland stage 3, we remain very confident of obtaining those approvals. The key concern for us is that we need to progress in a smooth manner from Stage 2 into Stage 3, maintaining production at a steady rate so we can maintain employment at the site and of course maintain supply to our customers.” New Hope employs around 300 people directly through the operation, and a further 700 people rely on New Acland for employment. Furthermore, the operation injects more than AUS$110 million into the Darling Downs economy each year and over $300 million into the broader Southeast Queensland economy each year, underlining its importance in the region. In August 2018, New Hope opted to increase its stake in the Bengalla mine in New South Wales through the purchase of Wesfarmers’


50

MINING |New Hope Group

“We always try to employ people locally. That’s been a major competitive advantage for us in the recruitment of high level, talented people. Most mines in Queensland are fly-in fly-out whereas our employees live locally, and they are able to go home to their families at night” Shane Stephan, managing director 40% stake in the joint venture operation. The

its operations once they reach maturity.

$860 million acquisition will take New Hope’s

“Ensuring that the land post-mining has a

ownership of Bengalla to 80%, and starts a

viable and sustainable use post-mining is

pre-emptive process where the remaining

critical,” Stephan stresses.

co-venturers Mitsui and Taipower are able to enter in at that same price.

“We’ve done a lot of work in progressive rehabilitation and having that rehabilitation

Bengalla is an important and growing part

monitored and evaluated by third parties,

of New Hope’s coal portfolio according to

such as the University of New England and

Stephan, as the operation produces roughly

the University of Southern Queensland, has

9 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal

assisted us in improving our rehabilitation

which is sold into export markets in Japan,

practises and ensuring sustainable land use

Korea, Taiwan and other Asian markets.

post-mining.

“We also own a smaller operation called

“Also, from a social point of view we always

Jeebropilly which produces around 600,000

try to employ people locally. That’s actually

tonnes of coal per annum and is the last

been a major competitive advantage for us in

coal mining operation in the West Moreton

the recruitment of high level, talented people,

district.” New Hope has been mining in

because a lot of mines in Queensland are fly-

the district for a long time but will cease to

in fly-out.

operate there in mid-2019 when Jeebropilly completes its mine life.

A custodian of the land

“Whereas, our employees live locally and they are able to go home to their families at night. These are some of the characteristics that

The upcoming mine closure at Jeebropilly

make us a touch different from most of our

brings into focus New Hope’s commitment

peers.”

to rehabilitation of the land surrounding


Resource Global Network already established infrastructure, which

Exploration and development

includes a railway, a coal operation plant, accommodation village along with electrical

The mid-term future of New Hope’s coal

and water infrastructure.

business looks to be assured judging by its packed exploration portfolio, which is headed

The company also has four projects in the

by two prospective projects at Colton and

North Surat region of Queensland and is

Lenton.

looking at development options for these potentially large open cut coal resources,

Colton is a small coking coal project near

although they are dependent on the

Maryborough which has had its mining lease

development of the ‘Southern Missing Link’, a

and mining approval granted and is now

214 km length of rail connecting the Western

awaiting the results of a re-financing process

Railway system near Wandoan to the Moura

that is taking place for Wiggins Island Coal

Railway system near Banana.

Export Terminal (WICET), the coal port which it would use for exports out of the city of

With a history in Queensland stretching back

Gladstone.

over 70 years, and in its ongoing role as a responsible steward of the environment it

“Lenton is a project of about 1.5-2 million

operates in, New Hope has proven to be

tonnes per annum of both metallurgical and

a vital social and economic stakeholder in

thermal coal, approximately split 50:50.

the state, and with a detailed exploration portfolio in the region this is set to continue

“If we do get the approvals to progress, we

into the foreseeable future.

should be able to get that operation up and running quite quickly, because approvals are in place already at the adjoining Burton mine and most of the approvals are in train to progress with Lenton.” New Hope acquired the nearby Burton mine from Peabody Energy, primarily to gain access to its

ASX:NHC

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51


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54

MINING | Infinity Lithium Corporation

INFINITY Developing lithium-tin production in Europe to power a renewable future


Resource Global Network

LITHIUM

55


56

MINING | Infinity Lithium Corporation

Plymouth Minerals began the year by changing its name to Infinity Lithium Corporation to reflect its focus on the San Jose Lithium Project in Spain. The ASX-listed firm’s involvement in the project actually pre-dates the current boom in the lithium market, as the opportunity presented itself to Infinity’s management in late 2015, before a JV partnership was agreed with Valoriza Mineria to advance the brownfields project in 2016. “Back then lithium was of interest to people, but it wasn’t red hot,” recalls Infinity’s managing director Adrian Byass.

the region’s mineral endowment, having been initially mined for tin before being later explored for lithium, with a previous developer even going as far as completing a feasibility study for a lithium carbonate site between 1987 and 1991. When Byass came across San Jose he concluded that all the fundamentals were already there; a project with detailed historical work already completed, in a region with deep mining history and supported by a proactive government that was keen to award the tender to groups who could fast track the project into production. In addition, the project is just two and a half hours West of capital city Madrid by car and easily reached by a high quality multi-lane sealed highway, with power and gas pipeline

Byass joined Infinity in 2013, boasting a

infrastructure also in close proximity.

CV which included experience as founding director of Wolf Mining, the ASX and AIM-

On top of this, Byass proposes a number of

listed tungsten and tin producer, and

reasons why the project itself stands out in

immediately set out on a two-year search to

a sea of development stage lithium projects

find a plausible mining project in Spain.

today: “The first is its size. San Jose is the second or third largest lithium project in

The search eventually took Byass to the

Europe. Secondly, it is very advanced and

mining friendly region of Extremadura in

that is one thing a lot of the other projects

Western Spain, a rural area with a strong

are not.”

history and understanding of mining, originally mined there throughout the

Confirming a large-scale lithium resource

early 20th century, as well as lithium more

Building on the historic feasibility study,

recently.

Infinity published a JORC 2012 resource

particularly extraction of tin which was

report and scoping study for the project in The San Jose project, located close to the

November 2017. Further drilling has resulted

town of Caceres, is a perfect example of

in a revised JORC resource (Q1 2018) with 59


Resource Global Network

57


58

MINING | Infinity Lithium Corporation

million tonnes (Mt) of indicated resources

the 1980s and it stood out even before the

(within a total of 111Mt) grading 0.6% lithium

lithium world got excited. That says a lot, I

oxide.

think it’s a really high quality project.”

Overall, the resource contains in excess

So, why was San Jose not taken through to

of 1.6Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent –

production back in the 1980s if the potential

strong numbers by any current estimations in of the project was known to developers from the growing lithium chemicals market.

the start? The answer lies in the fact that 20 to 30 years ago, the lithium carbonate market

“People knew about this deposit back in

was a fraction of the size it is today.


Resource Global Network

“This project was so big that the original

bad recession had hit global markets by

feasibility study concluded it would produce

1991.”

12% of the world’s market and it would be producing for nearly 70 years, that’s how big

In addition, at the time hard rock lithium

it was compared to supplies at the time.

projects were competing against the very low cost lithium brine facilities of South America,

“Therefore, bringing a project of this scale to

and so there was less confidence amongst

production would’ve swamped the market

hard rock developers that projects could be

and severely disrupted spot prices and

advanced cost-effectively.

nobody wanted to do this, given that a very

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MINING | Infinity Lithium Corporation

Hard rock is well suited to making higher quality (battery grade) lithium products

A perfectly timed arrival

and is advantageous when considering the

As the old saying goes one man’s loss is

evolution in battery technologies towards a

another man’s gain, and fortunately Infinity

lithium hydroxide-based product. However,

arrived on the scene at San Jose at the

this market did not exist in the early 1990s.

perfect time when the commodity was at the beginning of a steep upward price curve.

“That’s why it didn’t go ahead and got swallowed up into the distance. But then

The converging of Infinity and Valoriza

it popped back out after 30 years when

Mineria (a wholly owned subsidiary of

the exploration license expired, and the

Sacyr) as JV partners for the project was also

government put out new tenders.

down to impeccable timing. Sacyr, a multibillion dollar market capitalised Spanish

“Ultimately, if that company had done their

construction and engineering giant, was

work 20 years later, it would’ve gone into

looking for foreign mining expertise while

production, so it really is all about timing.

Infinity was searching for a company with a

They did 9,000 metres of drilling, big studies

robust understanding of Spain’s permitting

and most of the work was done, so really for

process.

them they were just on the wrong end of the world commodity cycle.”

Once both parties realised that a partnership would be mutually advantageous, things


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 61 Resource

began to fall in place. “We were a perfect

Therefore, the open pit mining method and

match in heaven,” claims Byass. “We

low strip ratio of <2:1 combine to provide a

contacted them in early 2015 and while

low cost project with reduced geological risk

it takes a while to build relations, we

and reduced environmental impact, and the

have certainly built a very strong mutual

company is not reinventing the wheel with

relationship now.”

regards to extraction and processing of the lithium ore.

The partnership is currently structured as a 50:50 JV, although Infinity will earn a

“The mica is a mineral which has been used

75% stake in San Jose when it completes a

for decades to produce lithium carbonate.

feasibility study, which should be published

There are several operations in China which

by the end of the calendar year.

use the exact same method we will use so we are not inventing new technologies and

Infinity’s 2017 scoping study proposes an

that’s one of the benefits. Operating plants

open pit mining method for the extraction of

are using the methods we are proposing right

lithium mica minerals over an initial mine life

now and we have the benefit of no novel

of 16 years, with the ore treated and refined

technology requirements as a result. If we

onsite to produce battery grade lithium

can use mining methods that have been used

carbonate over a 24 years production life.

elsewhere we lower our risk.”


62

MINING | Infinity Lithium Corporation

Fully integrated lithium carbonate or hydroxide production

for its lithium chemicals, and for Byass these arrangements simply boil down to corporate strategy.

Furthermore, with plans for a lithium carbonate production facility at San Jose,

“We can sell products every day of the week,

Infinity is aiming to become the sole

especially lithium carbonate. People will even

European mine-to-end-product lithium

buy off-spec lithium carbonate if there is a

carbonate operation and has successfully

shortage and take on the burden to upgrade

demonstrated its ability to deliver battery

it, so selling it is not the issue.

grade, +99.9% lithium carbonate, via independent testing.

“Transferring your low sovereign risk, long-life product stream into some form of integrated

Not only that, the company is also exploring

financing, that’s the one that takes a bit more

the potential to produce lithium hydroxide

time and effort.”

as well as lithium carbonate, which would give Infinity even greater flexibility when it

As such, Infinity is taking time to find the

comes to the end user market and potential

perfect partner, but hopes to finalise its

strategic partners.

product offtake and strategic partner search by the end of the year.

Infinity is currently looking for an appropriate partner to form an offtake agreement with


Resource Global Network

“The mica is a mineral which has been used for decades and decades to produce lithium carbonate. There are several operations in China which use the exact same method we will use so we are not inventing new technologies and that’s one of the benefits” Adrian Byass, managing director

With the feasibility study for San Jose due to

As recently as July, Chinese giant

land in the final quarter of this year and the

Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited

permitting process to be completed at some

(CATL) announced a €4 billion deal to supply

stage next year, Infinity is well on its way to

battery cells to BMW, including a €240 million

commencing the construction of the mine

investment in a German based factory as a

and plant in 2020, ahead of potential first

first phase step into Europe.

production in 2021. “Being close to the market is important in Based on widely-believed demand increase

terms of security of supply and for us there is

indicators for lithium chemicals, Infinity is

nothing better than being in the same trading

coming into the market at the perfect time

bloc as there are no foreign exchange issues,

and has the added boon of being already

no tax issues and foreign tariffs. I would say

located in a major market for lithium, with

economically it makes a significant difference

Europe currently accounting for 30% of

to our project.”

demand and growing.

ASX:INF

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64

MINING |Tietto Minerals

TIETTO M Fast tracking the development of gold assets in West Africa


Resource Global Network

65

MINERALS


66

MINING |Tietto Minerals

Tietto Minerals successfully floated on the ASX in January 2018, raising $6 million through the issue of 30 million shares in its IPO. After seven years under private operation the decision to go public was made in September 2017 by the board of directors – whom collectively boast over a century of experience in mineral exploration. Tietto’s story began in 2010 with two projects in Liberia before expanding into Côte d’Ivoire two years later, following the conclusion of the Ivorian crisis. Since then, progress in Côte d’Ivoire has taken place at a fast pace, spearheaded by the rapid development of Tietto’s flagship Abujar gold project, where the company’s current JORC resource originates from. The first exploration licence of the Abujar project was applied for by Tietto with its

was very clear to us where the mineralisation

joint venture partner in March 2014, and by

was taking place at Abujar,” says Tietto’s

September of the same year the company

managing director Caigen Wang. “At least a

received a license for the middle tenement

portion of the mineralisation is shown at the

- which hosts the JORC Resource and

surface by previous artisanal workings.”

numerous drilling targets. Therefore, it has been somewhat fortuitous “Due to previous large-scale artisanal

for Tietto that the prior work of small-

workings around a few kilometres strike, it

scale artisanal miners across the tenement


Resource Global Network

has exposed mineralisation at surface,

artisanal workings clearly show part of the

particularly as Wang proposes that the

mineralisation from surface and heading

average time taken to identify mineralisation

downwards. That’s one of the main reasons

at a grassroots exploration project is usually

why we are progressing the Abujar project so

around two years.

rapidly.”

“In the case of Abujar, we save at least two

JORC Inferred Resource

years in identifying mineralisation before

The maiden JORC Inferred Resource

starting resource definition drilling, as the

estimation of 10.4 Mt @ 2.1 g/t Au for

67


68

MINING |Tietto Minerals

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BRINGING MORE TO MINING 703,600 oz was delivered in December 2016

a strike length of 1,000 metres – an exciting

from 13,000 metres of drilling within a small

result indeed.

portion of known artisanal working areas in the middle tenement.

The next step for Tietto is to target a new resource area to the South of the main

Since this announcement, the company has

resource: “Our recent drilling beyond the

continued drilling several new targets within

strike of the existing JORC resource towards

the tenement with the aim of further building

the South gave us very good intersections

the resource. Over the last four years, all

and multiple drilling targets for further

drilling activity has been conducted by major

resource definition.

West African contractor Geodrill, with the most recent campaign completed in Q1 2018.

“But the few holes we drilled at a shallow depth of 50 metres gave us very good

The Q1 campaign focused on digging

intersections. The areas named Pischon

deeper holes in the current JORC Resource

South and Golikro will form our next major

area and delivered some very positive and

increase in resources.”

encouraging results according to Wang. Tietto managed to hit high grade gold intercepts at

For these upcoming drill programmes, Tietto

an extended depth of 200-250 metres over

has elected Ausdrill as its drilling partner of


Resource Global Network

choice. Ausdrill has been operating in West

provide a high grade gold mine is there for

Africa for many years, but only recently

all to see, but how viable is Côte d’Ivoire as a

expanded their business into Côte d’Ivoire.

mining jurisdiction?

Tietto will become their first drilling service client in the nation, when they undertake the

The mining industry was only meaningfully

next round of drilling for over 50,000 metres.

opened up to foreign investors in 2014, when a new mining code was introduced. The

Overall, the short-term target for Tietto at

new code stipulated a range of legislative

Abujar hinges on further expanding the

measures including an attractive five-year

resource, which could potentially be doubled

corporate tax free exemption for mining

or even tripled up to around two million

companies, followed by a 25% corporate tax

oz before the company commences a pre-

rate and a 3% government royalty rate.

feasibility study.

Operating in Côte d’Ivoire

“Cote d’Ivoire was already a relatively developed country in Africa, [before the new mining code] particularly in West Africa. The

With high grade mineralisation being

country has very good infrastructure thanks

identified with every additional drill

to its very developed agricultural industry.”

programme, the potential for Abujar to

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MINING |Tietto Minerals

The gold mining sector is also well

the fact the artisanal mining provides the

established, with five mines currently

only means of income for many vulnerable

producing and operated by a number of

citizens.

international companies including Endeavour Mining and Randgold Resources. These

Supporting local people

mines produced approximately 800,000 oz

“In order to provide support to local people

of gold last year. “So, we do have numerous

who operate in small-scale artisanal mining,

good examples of modern mining operations

the government has set up special zones

producing gold in Cote d’Ivoire,” Wang adds.

which are only for small-scale mining licenses. So, for the major licence areas, no

Furthermore, the Ivorian Government,

small-scale mining activity should take place.

particularly the Ministry of Mines, has been working hard to manage the sensitive issue

“Likewise, within the designated areas for

of small-scale and illegal mining within the

small-scale mining activities, no company

country’s mineral belts.

is allowed to apply for major exploration licenses,” explains Tietto’s managing director.

In response to conflict-driven mining practises, the government has not been

Tietto itself is also supporting local people

afraid to use military force in order to dispel

through its company employment policy.

and close down illegal operations, however

“The first thing we did was try to maximise

the government is also acutely aware of

the local employment of our geologists and


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 71 Resource


72

MINING |Tietto Minerals

technicians working on the ground. Whether

Cestos projects were resumed in March 2018

they are full time or casual, they are all

after an extended hiatus.

Ivorian. The geological foundations of the projects are “Ivorian geologists have good expertise due

sound, with significant gold mineralisation

to their training and work experience with

identified over a long distance of strike from

a number of major international mining

the company’s preliminary work at both

companies that operate in Cote d’Ivoire,

projects. However, Tietto has its work set

Burkina Faso and Mali,” he continues.

out in Liberia, with both projects located in a remote part of the country.

“We have a local specialised technical team of personnel available in the country which is

Wang admits that infrastructural

our first choice for our employment.”

development in the region is minimal,

The Liberian projects With the rapid pace of development taking

therefore significant improvements will need to be made to support the potential gold mining operations.

place in Cote d’Ivoire, it is easy to forget that Tietto’s original projects are in neighbouring

“Nonetheless, the progress has been quite

Liberia. Field activities at the Dube South and

significant this year and we are going to


Resource Global Network

announce our results in September/October.

into other parts of the region, but for now the

Our aim for the Liberian projects is to define

MD is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

a minimum of three drilling targets for each project before the next dry season which is

“As a mining engineer myself, I believe that

November this year.

the company’s primary purpose is to build a producing mine. That’s our current aim

“At that time, we will arrange a test drill

and we are quite confident that with the

campaign for both Liberian projects with

advanced status of our Abujar project and

multiple drilling targets on each project.

the related upside there, as well as the two

Overall, we are confident that we should have

Liberian projects, we will be able to build a

good success on each of the two projects.”

mine or mines in West Africa in a few years’ time.”

As a West Africa-focused junior explorer, Wang reveals that Tietto does harbour motives to expand its mineral exploration

ASX:TIE

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76

MINING |Adriatic Metals


Resource Global Network

ADRIATIC METALS

Taking on two advanced stage base metals projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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MINING |Adriatic Metals

Adriatic Metals is focused on polymetallic exploration in the highly prospective Tethyan mineral belt located in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was established through the acquisition of a company called Eastern Mining last year. Once the acquisition was completed, Adriatic went about conducting confirmation drilling at two projects – Veovaca and Rupice. These advanced stage exploration deposits form the company’s Vareš project in Bosnia and offer promising exposure to a range of base metals including zinc, lead and copper, as well as silver, gold and barite, plus significant further exploration upside. In April this year, the firm debuted on the ASX in an oversubscribed IPO, which provides Adriatic with a solid financial base from which to launch its two-pronged development strategy in Bosnia. As of today, Adriatic is the best performing metals and mining IPO on the ASX.

operations in highly mineralised zones of Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia to name a few. However, establishing a foothold in Bosnia’s mineral exploration industry has proved difficult for foreign investors, even though a pro-mining attitude exists alongside a stable democracy which has prevailed since the end of the Bosnian War in 1995. Paul Cronin, non-executive director at Adriatic, explains how Bosnia’s unusual mining code, which provides easy access to an exploration license but no real path for converting the license into a mining concession, has prohibited exploration firms from breaking into the industry - until Adriatic’s arrival. “We did it the other way around and acquired the concession first through a tender and then we set about putting the exploration licenses over the top. Thanks to this strategy we now have a path through to production.”

First mover advantage Adriatic is one of a very few publicly listed companies that holds a mining concession in Bosnia and this first mover advantage gives the company a great opportunity to establish itself in an auspicious mining jurisdiction that has effectively been in pause mode since the conflict of the 90s.

The Balkans region of Eastern Europe is one of the world’s premier emerging

This hiatus in the development of mining

mining jurisdictions, and in recent years a

projects as a result of the Bosnian war

number of major mining firms have set up

is evident in both of Adriatic’s projects, which are located near the town of Vareš,


Resource Global Network

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MINING |Adriatic Metals


Resource Global Network approximately 50 km North of the capital Sarajevo. “Veovaca is a previously operating open pit that was run by the Yugoslav government back in the 1980s and has been left untouched since the Bosnian war, while Rupice is a reasonably advanced stage exploration project where we set up gathering as much historical information as we could. “Our confirmation drilling was very successful as we were able to confirm pretty much all of the information we had,” reveals Cronin. In a quirk of luck, Adriatic stumbled across thousands of written reports while renovating an old building on one of the sites. The reports detailed around two decades of work that had been carried out in the region between the early 1970s and the early 1990s, handing the company a significant early boost. “We set about digitising that information, and coupled with the confirmation drilling, delivered a JORC resource for Veovaca and a series of very interesting drill hole logs at Rupice, which we then drilled out last year. From this we were able to confirm that the region is very heavily mineralised.” Adriatic completed a 16-hole, 1,381 metres diamond drilling programme at Veovaca in 2017, which confirmed historical results and

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MINING |Adriatic Metals

Peter Bilbe

Geraint Harris

Paul Cronin

Non-executive chairman

CEO

Non-executive director

supported a JORC compliant resource of 4.4

During the winter months Adriatic took the

million tonnes (Mt) with 80% classified in the

opportunity of poor drilling conditions to

indicated category.

conduct geophysics and geochemical studies,

A geologist’s dream Meanwhile at Rupice, 17 km Northwest

which identified some fantastic anomalies over the entire concession, according to Cronin.

of Veovaca, the company completed an 8-hole, 1,458 metres diamond drilling

After a winter of geotechnical surveys,

programme, the results of which were

Adriatic moved into the summer months

deemed extraordinary by Adriatic’s board

armed with a high degree of geophysical

and management team.

anomalies to support the historical information at Rupice. Consequently, the

“Every geologist dreams of drilling through

company was able to commence a 15,000

$1,000 per tonne rock and we just drilled

metres drill campaign.

through $3,000 per tonne rock everywhere, it was quite extraordinary,” exclaims Cronin.

The campaign was divided into three phases, with the first a continuation of the

“Our first hole was 64 metres at 29% zinc

2017 programme that was centred on the

equivalent. That was great and then we

Northern end of the license. The second rig

drilled another hole that was equally as

will move to the South of the license while

mineralised. It was just a fantastic campaign

the third phase will focus on a geophysical

for us. However, the geology at Rupice is

anomaly in a ‘connector zone’ between the

complex so we needed to complete some

North and South of the license.

geophysics and geochemical work before starting a new drill campaign.”


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 83 Resource

Julian Barnes

Eric de Mori

Non-executive director

Non-executive director


84

MINING |Adriatic Metals

“Every geologist dreams of drilling through $1,000 per tonne rock and we just drilled through $3,000 per tonne rock everywhere at Rupice, it was quite extraordinary” Paul Cronin, non-executive director

“We have a very high grade but small

zone at Rupice and have been replicated in

resource at the North of Rupice and we

several ensuing drill holes including the fifth

believe that this continues to the North as

hole, which further extends the high grade

well as to the South and connects up with

mineralisation approximately 110 metres

those adits at the South of the license.

down-dip from historical hole BR-79-8.

Therefore, we think that the strike area could be over 1 km long.”

Encouraging drill results

With the Rupice project continuing to return impressive drill results this year, Adriatic has had to reconsider its pathway to production

In June, the company reported assay results

within the Vareš project. Having previously

from the first hole of the 15,000 metres

operated between 1983 and 1987, and with

programme, which included intercepts from

visual mineralisation at surface, Veovaca is

64 metres at 4.6 g/t gold, 537 g/t silver, 0.9%

ready to be mined straight away.

copper, 7.7% lead, 10.8% zinc and 46% barite. However, the plant at Veovaca needs These encouraging results confirm the

to be rebuilt and with Rupice looking so

consistency of the previously drilled Northern

prospective, Adriatic will continue to work on


Resource Global Network

the latter over the next six months, instead

“At corporate level, we will be looking at

focusing on long-lead time work at the

other similar types of acquisitions, whether

former, ahead of a scoping study later this

they are in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia or

year.

anywhere in the Adriatic or Balkans region that we think is prospective. We will try and

“Over the next 12 months, we are really

get our hands on this type of project using

focusing on Rupice. That’s where we see the

the knowledge and the team we’ve got to try

key value being unlocked. We will also extend

and add value from those.”

our land holding in the Vareš district and try and tie up as much of the mineral belt as we can in very targeted areas that extend our licenses.

ASX:ADT

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88

MINING |Explaurum

Turning the Tampia Gold Project into a new gold district in Western Australia


Resource Global Network

EXPLAURUM

89


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MINING |Explaurum

ASX-listed Explaurum is a gold mining company focused on the development of the Tampia Gold Project and exploration of the surrounding region. Tampia is located approximately 240 km East of Perth in the wheat belt of Western Australia, near the township of Narembeen. It was discovered in 1987 by BHPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now-defunct gold exploration branch, who established high grade gold mineralisation near surface. Explaurum took an 80% interest in the project back in 2012, which has since increased to 90% while the company has worked on updating the mineral resource. After revealing a host of positive project metrics in a November 2017 scoping study, Explaurum has further improved the mineral resource at Tampia in a long-awaited feasibility study, published in May.

produce around 490,000 oz of gold over a 5.3 years initial mine life.

Robust results

This impressive production figure is

The feasibility study for the Tampia project

supported by a low initial capital cost (CAPEX)

revealed an updated mineral resource of

estimate of AUS$119 million, along with an

675,000 oz of gold from 11.7 Mt at a grading

all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $896 per oz for

of 1.79 g/t Au, with an initial mine plan of

the first two years and $998 per oz for the life

534,000 oz Au from 8.0 Mt at a grading of

of mine.

2.07 g/t Au. From this, Explaurum expects to


Resource Global Network

“It’s a very robust project,” says Explaurum’s

was undertaken by consultancy groups that

managing director and chief executive officer

assisted in the production of the feasibility.

John Lawton “With a payback period of 1.5

The company is currently reviewing this and

years and lowest quartile cash and AISC.”

hopes to post an update in due course.

However, the net present value (NPV)

Nonetheless, when looking at the profitability

decreased from AUS$181 million to

margins outlined in the study, it becomes

AUS$125 million which Lawton believes is

clear that the open pit mine qualifies as a low

a result of the modelling process for the

cost, high margin, high return project that

resource estimate and ore reserve, which

would also be resilient to any downwards

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MINING |Explaurum

movement in the gold price.

fundamental building blocks for a mining project were missing, with previous

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The cash operating costs are in the lowest

development progression handicapped by

quartile for gold production, so I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair

limited understanding of the underlying

to call Tampia a low-cost operation. The gold

geology.

price is currently about AUS$1,650 per ounce and we are looking at a production AISC of

But, over the last six years Explaurum

just under AUS$1,000 which provides an

has negotiated a land access agreement

attractive margin,â&#x20AC;? Lawton posits.

where before there was none and strongly

Unlocking the Tampia resource When Explaurum acquired the Tampia project back in 2012, a number of

enhanced understanding of the geology at Tampia through detailed gravity survey work, along with advancing the project to feasibility and optimising the mineral resource.


Resource Global Network

In fact, the company’s increased

“The main reason for this was a lack of

understanding of the regional geology has

understanding on the geology of the deposit,

led to a significant focus on near-mine

which is located within an area of cultivation

exploration in recent years with promising

and therefore has poor exposure. We’ve

initial results from ground and airborne

come to grips with understanding the

surveys contributing to a growing optimism

geology and since applied that to the region

that the company could be sitting on a new

and found more greenstone belts and other

goldfield.

gold targets.”

“There has been very little exploration

A new gold province?

around Tampia since BHP made the original

The discoveries began in April 2016, when

discovery after following up of a regional

one of Explaurum’s ground gravity surveys

stream geochemical anomaly located gold

identified a bullseye anomaly coincident with

mineralisation at surface.

the known Tampia deposit. This was followed

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MINING |Explaurum

one year later by a 400 km2 airborne gravity and magnetic survey of the district, which identified three major new targets and 21 secondary targets. In a mid-2018 update to the ASX, Explaurum confirmed some exciting results from an RC drilling campaign which tested soil gold and gravity targets in an area to the North of the Tampia deposit. The drills intersected four anomalous zones of gold over an area of 3.5

“It’s a gravity target that has a similar

km x 1.5 km.

geophysical signature to the Tampia deposit. Follow up auger soil sampling indicates

“It’s a very exciting area that is more than

the target is highly anomalous in gold with

four times larger than the area of the known

soil values up to 0.8 g/t Au, which is a very

Tampia deposit,” reveals Lawton.

exciting exploration target.”


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 95 Resource

area, which would effectively add mine life to the Tampia project. More recently, Explaurum announced the discovery of supergene gold mineralisation (Mace prospect) immediately West of the Explaurum has completed soil sampling in

known Tampia resource which extends

the area for the immediate period and will

over a length of 550 metres and a width of

continue drill testing a target that has been

50 metres, having an average thickness of

christened Anomaly 8 over the next quarter.

approximately 5 metres and uncut average

The intention is to identify a resource in this

grade of 5 g/t Au.


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MINING |Explaurum

The mineralisation, which is continuous and

“We have the exploration tools that can track

occurs at a consistent depth of 8 metres

these things down quickly and cheaply. From

below surface, is open to the West and

an exploration point of view, we are in a very

associated with a gold soil anomaly that

good place and hope to add resources to the

extends for some 13 km. Assessment of

project.”

Mace has been given priority so it can be incorporated in the bankable feasibility study.

Timeline to production Now that the feasibility has been ticked off,

When factoring in these potential regional

Explaurum is marching towards a bankable

growth opportunities, Explaurum has an

feasibility study which should be delivered

excellent chance to significantly build the

in October. Lawton confirms that the project

Tampia resource while opening up a newly

has already generated attention from banks

emerging gold province in Western Australia

and potential financiers and the company has

with outstanding repeat potential.

begun talks with these interested parties.

“We can only report the results as we get

In the lead up to the bankable feasibility,

them, but the exploration results to date

Explaurum will complete an infill drilling

are very exciting. We certainly think there is

programme at Tampia. Up until now all

significant potential, even though it’s an area

drilling at the resource has been done on

that’s never been explored before.

a 40 metres by 40 metres grid, but the company is currently infill drilling part of the


Resource Global Network

resource area on a grade control basis at a

Tampia will be commissioned and in

spacing of 10 metres by 10 metres.

operation by early 2020.

“This campaign will de-risk the project for

To conclude, Explaurum’s near-term focus

the financiers. It’s only for a portion of the

is twofold: “One is getting into production

resource area but it’s within the pit designs

quickly. The Tampia resource is where gold

and will be effectively grade control drilling

was discovered in the region, but it’s a small

of that area. I expect that infill drilling will

area. We are talking about a single pit that is

provide a confirmation of the resource, if not

roughly 1,000 metres long and 400 metres

an upgrade,” says a confident Lawton.

wide.

Explaurum is also talking to engineering

“That’s been the basis of the feasibility study,

companies with regards to the construction

but at the same time we don’t intend to lose

of the facility, which all things considered,

momentum on the exploration front in the

should by tied up by the end of the year.

region and we will be developing additional

Although the firm cannot give a detailed

resources as feed into the operation.”

timeline at this stage, Lawton hopes that

ASX:EXU

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100

MINING |Six Sigma Metals

Turning the Tampia Gold Project into a new gold district in Western Australia


Resource Global Network

101

EXPLAURUM

A new name and a new age commodity focus in Zimbabwe


102

MINING |Six Sigma Metals

The management team at Botswana Metals was aware of increasing market interest in ‘new age’ commodities long before the decision was made to shift its focus from base metals to battery metals late last year. The wheels of change began to turn when the ASX-listed company began to investigate its Botswana licenses for lithium and tantalum potential and culminated in the adoption of a new name – Six Sigma Metals. This renaming signifies a shift in focus towards battery metals as well as the company’s entry into a new market beyond the confines of Botswana after picking up two new age metals projects in Zimbabwe – the Shamva Lithium Project and the Chuatsa Vanadium Project. Steve Groves, a non-executive director at Six Sigma, explains how the opportunity to have first mover advantage in neighbouring

gold, coal, iron ore, chromium ore, vanadium,

Zimbabwe was too good to turn down,

nickel, copper, lithium and tin.

based on the company’s expertise in Southern Africa and the sweeping changes

However, under former Prime Minister

that have recently commenced in Zimbabwe.

Robert Mugabe’s rule, which lasted from 1980 to last year, Zimbabwe’s economy

The landlocked nation is one of the most

drastically declined and the growth of the

resource-rich regions in the world, hosting

mineral resources sector was severely

the second biggest platinum reserves on

stunted. Now under new leader Emmerson

the planet, along with abundant reserves of

Mnangagwa, the country aims to be ‘open for


Resource Global Network

business’ which has paved the way for fresh

“There are still a lot of things to be clarified

investment in the mining industry.

politically and within the investment climate,

The dawn of a new era in Zimbabwe

but we felt if we didn’t do it now we would miss the boat. All things considered it’s an excellent opportunity in a wonderful country

“It is no secret that there is resource potential

and we think it will be a great place to

in Zimbabwe, its just about when the time is

operate.”

right to dip your toe into that market – if you are too slow you’ll miss out and we think now

Although Zimbabwe is still only at the dawn

is the time,” says Groves.

of a new era, all the early signs have been

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MINING |Six Sigma Metals

positive for Six Sigma as it looks to establish

Six Sigma has also keenly observed the

mining operations in the country.

smooth progress made by fellow ASX-listed miner Prospect Resources in advancing its

The company’s directors were recently in-

Arcadia Lithium project, which neighbours

country undertaking a site visit and were

the company’s Shamva project.

highly pleased with the level of interaction with the government.

The government’s eagerness to expedite the Arcadia project was particularly pleasing for

“Everyone was very positive about our

Six Sigma.

presence there and welcoming of foreign investment. They now recognise that foreign

In addition, Groves believes that fiscal

investment is required to reinvigorate the

regimes are slowly evolving to benefit foreign

mining industry.”

investors in Zimbabwe, typified by the recent reform to the mining legislation, whereby


Resource Global Network

limited to diamond and platinum mines only

The Shamva Lithium Project

and not the entire mining sector.

Located around 65 km Northeast of capital

majority ownership by state entities is

city Harare is Six Sigma’s flagship Shamva “Overall, as a mining and exploration

Lithium Project. The pegmatite dyke hosting

jurisdiction Zimbabwe is fantastic,” says

project was brought to Six Sigma’s attention

Groves. “There is a highly skilled, well-

by non-executive director Joshua Alan

educated workforce and a lot of mining

Letcher, who came on board around the time

experience in-country.

of the company’s switch in focus to battery metals.

“The infrastructure is still good by African standards even though some maintenance

After reviewing several assets in various

is required. Power networks are in place, the

countries, Six Sigma decided to follow

roads are good, bar a few potholes, but it

Letcher’s recommendation, inking a three-

wouldn’t take much to repair them.”

105


106

MINING |Six Sigma Metals phase option agreement for the project to

Six Sigma has enacted this three-phased

be executed following an initial due diligence

agreement, along with an extended due

exercise. Due diligence has involved a site

diligence period, to mitigate against risk

visit by company management and a short

in-country so that in the unexpected

drilling programme to test the thickness of

event of things not going well politically

lithium mineralisation and see whether it

or geologically, the company hasn’t over

continues at depth.

committed early on.

all five holes intersected pegmatite dykes,

The Chuatsa Vanadium Project

confirming that lithium mineralisation

The company also recently secured the

continues at depth below surface outcrops

Chuatsa project, located around 140 km

and old workings. In addition, lithium

Northeast of Harare, a vanadium asset which

minerals identified in the drill intersections

was subject to historic exploration by Anglo

included spodumene and lepidolite. Samples

America Prospecting in the early 1960s,

from the pegmatite intersections have been

although all activity at the site ceased in 1964

submitted to an independent laboratory in

when the owners concluded that recovery of

South Africa for analysis.

the resources would be uneconomical at the

Results from this campaign revealed that

time. If the results come back as expected, Six Sigma will execute phase one of the deal

However, the same cannot be said today with

which will see the company take an initial

the vanadium market currently experiencing

30% tranche in the project. The company will

a price boom, thanks to the advent of

then look to advance phase two and a more

vanadium flow redox batteries, which are

dedicated drill programme aimed at defining

used in energy storage and other sustainable

resources in the project.

energy applications.

“We have a minimum target size of 10 million

While there are obvious challenges posed

tonnes (Mt) at an economic lithium grade of

by a project that has been untouched for

pegmatite from the project,” reveals Groves.

over 50 years, Six Sigma has commenced

“Phase two is essentially fleshing out what

reconnaissance work at Chuatsa and is

the scope of the resources are and once

confident in the asset’s long-term potential as

we’ve reached a key decision there we will

a significant vanadium resource.

acquire another 30%. “Despite the historical exploration that has “Once we have established a 10 Mt JORC

taken place there, I consider Chuatsa a virgin

resource we will execute the final part of the

greenfields project,” declares Groves. “We will

deal for the 20% and by then we will be into

use the historical work as a helpful guide of

some sort of feasibility study.”

where we are meant to be looking.


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 107 Resource


108

MINING |Six Sigma Metals

“Our team on the ground is trying to

cobalt or a number of other metals too.

relocate any workings, trenches and drill

When we do our initial testing, we will look

hole locations, then we would go back in

for a full suite of metals.”

and do soil and rock sampling and establish the extent and nature of mineralisation

Looking towards a pathway to production

at surface, before going into trenching or

at the Shamva project, Six Sigma aims to

drilling programmes to try and establish the

model its own timeline on that of Prospect

potential of the vanadium resource.”

Resources, who have managed to break ground at its Arcadia project less than two

In addition, some of the historical workings

years after acquiring it.

on the project have also shown significant copper content existing within the deposit,

Having a neighbouring company that has

which makes for intriguing reading amongst

completed all the hard work with a similar

the management team at Six Sigma.

project is certainly reassuring for the management at Six Sigma. “We will aim to

“There is an interesting suite of metals that

fast track the development as much as we

have already been identified at the site and

can,” reveals Groves.

it’s not unknown for these things to have


Resource Global Network

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Within 18 months I expect us to have

With a new name and a new commodity

significant resources with a high level of

focus, Six Sigma means business in the new

confidence in them, and at least commenced

age metals industry, likewise does Zimbabwe

if not completed a feasibility study looking at

as it looks to usher in a new era of prosperity,

a mining operation.â&#x20AC;?

with a mineral resources sector boosted by foreign investment at the heart of the

The Chuatsa project is more of a long-

nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic revival.

term option given the early nature of the development and the fact that it is likely to be quite a large undertaking, although the company is happy with the initial progress made at the project thus far.

ASX:SIG

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112

MINING | Barra Resources

BARRA RESOURCES

Targeting two high demand commodities in Western Australia


Resource Global Network

113


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MINING | Barra Resources

Barra Resources listed on the ASX in 2000 on the back of some gold assets owned by Australia’s largest underground mining contractor Barminco. The company’s initial focus remained on gold exploration and production in Western Australia, although its motivation to stimulate shareholder growth led to Barra taking an interest in the Mt Thirsty Cobalt-Nickel project back in 2006. At Mt Thirsty, Barra established a 32 million tonnes (Mt) resource at 0.13% cobalt and 0.55% nickel, however managing director and CEO Sean Gregory recalls how the project then sat on the firm’s balance sheet as a ‘sleeper’ for around 10 years, until recent movement in the cobalt price brought the project sharply back into focus. While rapidly accelerating cobalt prices in the last year has naturally dictated a flurry of activity on the Mt Thirsty project, Barra recognises the tremendous exploration upside around historical gold mines in WA. Thus, the company adheres to a dual commodity focus in this long-established and stable mining jurisdiction. “If you were to pick two commodities that people would like to invest in, certainly gold and cobalt would be close to the top of most


Resource Global Network

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MINING | Barra Resources

investor’s lists. That’s why we are progressing

“The weathering at Mt Thirsty is deeper

both,” says Gregory.  

and more pervasive such that the cobalt has broken away from the silicates and the

“This also provides a natural hedge in our

iron oxide, and the cobalt is now with the

balance sheet and for our investors and

manganese in a mineral called asbolane.  

enables us to fill up the year with news flow from both assets.”

Mt Thirsty  Western Australia has an incredibly diverse

“It is this mineral which is amenable to agitated atmospheric leaching, which allows us to recover that cobalt at relatively low capital costs.”

range of ancient geological structures and hosts several very large laterite nickel-

Barra delivered a scoping study for the Mt

cobalt deposits, many of which have been

Thirsty project in October last year which

discovered and taken into production.

outlined a host of attractive project metrics including a low capital cost of AUS$212

Yet Mt Thirsty goes against the grain in this

million, largely due to the aforementioned

respect, being a pure cobalt project with

geological idiosyncrasies within the deposit.

some nickel credits. The reason for this is the underlying geology, explains Gregory.

Based on conservative assumptions, which


Resource Global Network

Wood has the capability to extract cobalt and nickel for purification and recovery using methods such as high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) or pressure oxidation (POX). The extracted solution can be used for final products such as LME grade A cathode or intermediates such as mixed hydroxide (MHP), mixed sulphide (MSP), or cobalt and nickel sulphate crystal products. www.woodplc.com

allow for just 73% of the cobalt metal and

“For example, the scoping study was done

21.5% of nickel metal to be recovered

on a long-term cobalt price of US$72,000 per

through Barra’s process, the study concluded

tonne. Recently it has risen to about $90,000

that Mt Thirsty can deliver a healthy net

per tonne and if projected forward the NPV

present value (NPV) of $290 million.  

increases to around $500 million.  

“We think we can significantly optimise those

“As the cobalt price rises further still, the

recoveries in the upcoming pre-feasibility

economics of the project are just going to get

study and indeed all variables in the PFS

better and better. Critically, this surge in NPV

will be optimised to improve the already

is achieved without adjusting any other key

attractive economics,” claims Gregory.  

variables such as recoveries and nickel price,” he adds.  

Separating Barra’s future revenue streams off all profits will come from cobalt, with the

A charged-up cobalt market

balance of 16% from nickel. Therefore, a key

Nowadays it is common knowledge that

aspect to consider is the extent to which the

cobalt is one of the key components in

from the Mt Thirsty project reveals that 84%

project is heavily geared towards leveraging a rechargeable batteries in a multitude of cobalt price hike.

modern consumer products, from laptops to smartphones and electric vehicles (EVs).

117


118

MINING | Barra Resources As such, around half of the world’s cobalt production supplies the battery market. However, while the burgeoning battery market is certainly sweetening the deal for cobalt producers there remains 34 other industrial uses for cobalt, including in jet engines, hard alloys and ceramics. All things considered cobalt is already one of the most in-demand commodities in the world, and now the EV story is upon us.  “Every major commentator is forecasting a rapid uptake in EVs as we reach price parity for ownership of an EV versus a petrol vehicle.” Gregory refers to a recent study in the Journal of Applied Energy which identified that price parity between EVs and petrol vehicles on a total cost of ownership basis has already been reached in the US, UK and Japan.  “We see a major structural shift in front of us and that is manifesting itself in higher prices for cobalt,” he deduces. “On the supply side, 97% of all cobalt is a by-product of nickel and copper mines. Now as cobalt prices go up, the nickel and copper mines aren’t necessarily incentivised to start new mines.” 


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 119 Resource But, being a true cobalt project with nickel

Along with its 50:50 joint venture partner,

credits, Mt Thirsty is one of a limited number

fellow WA-based mining outfit Conico,

of projects being mobilised that can respond

Barra is charging into work on the PFS and

to this demand increase. “We see that those

expects to publish the study by the end of

simple supply-demand dynamics are going

the year, although Gregory stresses that the

to push the cobalt price higher going into the

company is taking a meticulous approach

future.”

to ensure maximum value is extracted for shareholders.

Another potential value-adding element down the line for Barra stems from the fact

The JV has been on foot for many years

that Mt Thirsty is located in the safe and

now and operates very effectively, he adds.

ethical mining jurisdiction of WA. The same

However, it’s also worth noting that while the

statement cannot be routinely applied to the

project already has a long 21-year mine life,

DRC’s industry, which supplies roughly 56% of additional tonnages from the deposit exist the world’s cobalt.  

outside of Barra and Conico’s acreage and are owned by Galileo Mining, who recently

Of that percentage, around 20% comes from

floated on the ASX at a significant premium.

artisanal mines, where serious concerns have been raised regarding human rights abuses,

“The present ownership structure really puts

child labour and low industrial standards.    

the opportunity in front of us for a regional development story and for some cooperation

“The intelligence that we are getting is that battery manufacturers are prepared to pay a premium for material that is sustainably sourced. We can certainly guarantee that from WA, we’ve got a well-established mining jurisdiction and very high environmental standards.”

in the region.


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MINING | Barra Resources

“If you were to pick two commodities that people would like to invest in, certainly gold and cobalt would be close to the top of most investor’s lists” Sean Gregory, managing director and CEO


Resource Global Network “I’m now calling the region ‘cobalt valley’, based on the number of high quality players involved there and the opportunities available to develop a significant industrial centre for cobalt production.”

Old but gold Gold has been a staple of WA’s mining industry since the very beginnings of the trade at the end of 19th century.  Barra’s current gold portfolio is comprised of a brownfields asset in the shape of the Burbanks project and a greenfields deposit named Phillips Find, both of which are located around Coolgardie.  The Burbanks mining centre was first mined in 1885 and over 420,000 ounces of gold have been produced from the centre ever since. “We have a resource in the ground of 95,000 ounces and our geologists have identified an exploration target of 223,000-564,000 ounces.  “Based on that tremendous potential, we really think it is a fantastic investment for a relatively low cost to continue to explore that project and build on those ounces to add value.”  While the company has decided to limit its near-term activity across the gold portfolio so as not to distract from the cobalt project, it does hope to grow its existing gold resources and add value via some modest exploration expenditure. 

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MINING | Barra Resources

“We have just announced the very positive

Barra will now move on to test other

results of a drill programme at Main Lode

targets at Burbank including Kangaroo Hills

within the Burbanks project, which has

along with targets at Phillips Find. “We are

significantly expanded the strike length of the

confident that by backing our geologists with

mineralisation out to 650 metres and is the

modest investment in gold exploration they

first step towards realising our exploration

will do their work and steadily build that

target.”

resource base.”


Resource Global Network which will be delivered by safety-focused contractor Egan Drilling. Meanwhile, on the cobalt front investors can expect swift progression through the studies, with the PFS next off the list. After an extensive tendering process Barra selected Amec Foster Wheeler, a subsidiary of global engineering house the Wood group, to undertake the main body of the PFS along with engineering and metallurgical testwork. They will be supported by Snowden Mining Consultants in mine planning, Golder Associates in many technical areas and Talis Environmental Consultants.  In the medium term, Barra is beginning to assess downstream partnership opportunities for its cobalt product, particularly with companies in the battery manufacturing market.  “We really see that the PFS should give the market a good baseline of the value of this project and we think it would be an appropriate time to bring in strategic partners to maximise value for our shareholders, who have been supporting us in moving the project through the development milestones.” Over the coming months, investors can expect a steady stream of news flow from the gold side of the business as the company invests in small-scale drilling programmes

ASX:BAR

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MINING SERVICES | Cougar Mining Group

COUGAR MINING GROUP


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A one-stop shop for Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s underground coal mining sector

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MINING SERVICES | Cougar Mining Group

Cougar Mineworks was founded in 1999 by Craig Barnett, who initially worked as a fitter across Queensland’s Bowen Basin region and also in Papua New Guinea. The business grew steadily over the next decade, taking off after 2009 when Barnett and Chad Dillinger established Cougar Minehire. At this stage, the company morphed into a contracting and hire company for the underground coal mining industry. This growth was consolidated in 2012 when the pair formed Cougar Mining Group through the amalgamation of several mining services entities. Dillinger explains that Cougar’s growth over the last 20 years is a testament to his business partner’s ability to spot opportunities as they arise and capitalise on them. In fact, Cougar has not just built on its services over the last two decades, it has also diversified into new areas and today Cougar provides a full range of services to the underground mining space across the East Coast of Australia. One would expect that the fortunes of a company like Cougar would have been hampered by the recent downturn in the


Resource Global Network

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MINING SERVICES | Cougar Mining Group

global commodities industry, which impacted

equipment from auctions whilst repairing our

hundreds of Australian mining services firms

own fleet in preparation for when the market

from 2013 to 2015.

turned around.

However, during this testing period for the

“We also changed the dynamic of the

resources industry, Cougar was able to

business from a direct run of mine hire

maintain growth while hiring staff and buying

company to a service, repair, overhaul and

equipment at every opportunity.

support business. We basically added a number of offerings to the business which

“It was a very difficult time for the industry,

gave us crucial stability.”

including Cougar,” admits Dillinger. “During this time, we took the opportunity to

Cougar’s underground hire fleet is the second

consolidate our workforce, retaining our core

largest in Australia and offers run of mine

people to build our business as others were

and longwall relocations equipment, while its

retracting.

field services include repair and overhaul and spare parts support.

“We took the risk, borrowed funds, invested in new equipment, bought second hand

Echoing Dillinger’s earlier sentiments on

equipment at a discounted rate, and acquired

Cougar’s activity during the downturn,


Resource Global Network

Barnett reveals that the company bought

the major resources hubs of the East coast,

second hand gear from all over the world at

with employees based around workshops in

opportunistic prices. “We just had to back

Mackay, Emerald, Newcastle and Wollongong.

ourselves, plus we overhauled and repaired all of our equipment ourselves in-house,

In fact, wherever coal is produced across the

without relying on third parties and we did

region, Cougar employs people there. The

that very efficiently.”

company also tries to support local people

An empowered workforce However, the most important consideration

and businesses as much as possible through its work in the regions. “I am local to Newcastle and that is where

for Cougar during the slump was maintaining we are based, so we are still very much a stable workforce. While there were some

a local business, and Craig is local to the

small-scale changes to the workforce, the

Bowen Basin coal mining area. We do try and

company was able to preserve and build

support local business as much as we can, for

on its core staff complement and has been

instance we have seven apprentices that we

reaping the benefits ever since.

employ from local areas.”

Cougar employs more than 150 staff across

Barnett believes that this apprenticeship

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MINING SERVICES | Cougar Mining Group

scheme is important not only for Cougar

With a reliable staff base, Cougar has been

and the individuals, but also for the wider

able to expand its service offering during the

industry, which has suffered a significant

last few years to the point where today there

shortage of tradesman for decades now.

are four business divisions under the Cougar umbrella: Cougar Mining Group, Cougar

“There was even a shortage of tradesman

Drilling, Cougar Stratajacks and Cougar IME

when I did my training 35 years ago. We

(Industrea Mining Equipment).

have identified that and tried to put back in what we have got out of the industry, so

Adding Industrea

we try to employ far and wide in the local

The last subsidiary on the list, Cougar IME,

communities.”

was established after the company’s recent


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 135 Resource

acquisition of Industrea Mining Equipment

offering that Cougar can give to the market,”

from General Electric in January 2018.

says Dillinger.

Going forward, the Cougar IME brand will focus on the production of mechanical and

“We saw a lot of the OEMs and major

electrical equipment, essentially providing

manufacturers backing out of the market and

Cougar with the capacity to manufacture

somebody needed to support the Australian

a full range of underground equipment as

underground coal mines for the equipment

well as the Original Equipment Manufacturer

that was being sold and operated in Australia.

(OEM) rights and responsibilities for 800 machines across the world.

“Someone needed to step forward and support the equipment that was in use. We

“The main thing it has done is add another


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MINING SERVICES | Cougar Mining Group


Resource Global Network

saw the acquisition as an opportunity for

Along with Barnett and Dillinger there are

Cougar to increase the size and scale of our

two other specialist drilling managers who

business and to support the equipment we

are shareholders working in the business,

already own, but also to support the industry

transitioning the partnership into a new form

with an install base of around 800 machines

of involved ownership.

worldwide.” Cougar Drilling is the company’s dedicated After the IME purchase, Dillinger and

underground in-seam directional drilling

Barnett agree that the company’s array of

entity, which competes with three major

equipment covers most requirements of

drilling services companies in the region.

an underground mine in the coal industry, placing Cougar in a strong strategic position

The majority of Cougar Drilling’s work is

as it looks to further build the business.

centred on methane gas draining and water

Cougar Drilling

drainage, which are essential processes in the safe cutting and production of coal.

The Cougar Drilling business was established

Further to this, Cougar Drilling designs and

in 2016 with Barnett and Dillinger appointing

manufactures innovative directional drilling

Justin Tredinnick as the managing director.

systems for the open market.

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MINING SERVICES | Cougar Mining Group

Cougar Stratajacks

in the market due to the fact that it allows

The Cougar Stratajacks division offers the

the mine site to complete high volume

latest development in secondary roof support installations in a safe environment from systems for the mining industry.

ground level.

The worldwide patented Stratajack is an

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have taken a lot of the interaction from

active standing roof support.

hostile work environments away with this product,â&#x20AC;? he says.

Barnett believes this product is superior to competing secondary roof support systems

Cougar Stratajacks has been an eight-year


Resource Global Network installed to date with 4,000 of those being installed in the last 12 months. “The key points for the Stratajack are: It’s safer, it’s faster to install, it’s more economical to the end user and you actually get a better result to control the roof and the floor,” Barnett summarises.

Cougar’s 20th anniversary As Cougar approaches its 20th birthday, Barnett and Dillinger state with confidence that the company is a vertically integrated OEM offering the full suite of services to the underground coal mining space. “We have built our offerings strategically as we have seen opportunities arise. During the mining downturn, we realised there were things that a mine just could not turn off, so we focused on those. “Cougar continues to develop a strong order book into the future as the coal mining industry enters a solid period of sustainable growth.” venture that has matured greatly over the last year moving from research and development phase to commercialisation. “It’s still in its infancy in terms of penetrating major market volume. We have about 6,000

b j

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MINING SERVICES | Kerman Contracting

KERMAN CONTRACTING One of Western Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most experienced industrial construction contractors


Resource Global Network

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MINING SERVICES | Kerman Contracting

Brian Kerman established Kerman Contracting in 1981 at the sprightly age of 52 having worked across Western Australia’s construction sector for a number of years. The company initially picked up work from Brian’s traditional base around structural mechanical piping, where he undertook minor maintenance and repair work. The business then grew progressively based on strong support from a couple of key customers, notably Wesfarmers. By the early 2000s, Kerman was under the leadership of Brian’s son Chris and had moved into the resources sector after sensing opportunities around non-process infrastructure, following a successful job with mining giant Rio Tinto. Over the ensuing decade, Kerman consolidated its reputation in WA’s resources sector before re-strategising the business around three years ago in a quest to diversify.

“Over the years we have been able to build strong relationships with our clients. We always try to communicate with them and

With such a long history working in WA’s

articulate what our value proposition is, so

industrial services sector, Kerman has a

then they understand what we can offer,”

strong claim to be one of the state’s most

says James Rowdon, business development

experienced design and construction

director at Kerman.

contractors, and what sets Kerman aside from competitors is its commitment to

“Management has always stuck by what it’s

fostering relationships with clients.

said it would do. Everybody is very much


Resource Global Network

involved, all the directors are hands-on and

These values are wholly embodied by the

contactable by the clients, so if there are any

people who make up the company, from the

issues they can deal with them directly and

top down to the bottom, and Rowdon is quick

resolve them.

to emphasise that Kerman’s people are its most important asset.

“Kerman has never walked away from a job. We make sure that every job is delivered to

“Our staff feel like part of the family and rest

the quality of the client’s expectations. In

easy knowing that they can be part of the

fact, probably 60-70% of our work is repeat

decision making and part of a team. It’s a very

business,” he reveals.

open place to work and everyone enjoys the

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MINING SERVICES | Kerman Contracting


Resource Global Network

spoils of success together, along with the

“Then we moved into the iron ore sector

lessons learnt from challenging situations.”

and now we are doing a lot with the new

Mining expertise

commodities such as lithium, graphite, nickel and cobalt which are all centred

Kerman provides fully integrated design

around battery storage and construction.

and construction expertise to a wide array

We have been fortunate to play in multiple

of industrial facilities including non-process

commodities down the years, from gold,

infrastructure, processing plants, bulk

uranium, vanadium and more.”

storage facilities and even accommodation villages. Often this kind of work is conducted

However, mining is not the only sector that

in remote locations, such as mine sites.

Kerman is highly proficient in, following the company’s decision to diversify out of

Therefore, mining is an industry that Kerman

resources in order to reduce exposure to

is very closely aligned with, in terms of its

a single market. For instance, Kerman has

experience and current capabilities. “We

been involved in the agricultural sector from

entered the industry very early on and were

the 1990s and has been able to successfully

doing mineral sands from almost since day

apply its wide-ranging skillset to a number of

one,” says Rowdon.

industrial facilities at agricultural sites.

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MINING SERVICES | Kerman Contracting

OUR INDUSTRIAL KNOW-HOW

CASE STUDY: LITHIUM PROCESSING PLANT, KWINANA

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Kerman Contracting recognised the unique ability of Peritas Group to provide competitive design solutions for the non-process infrastructure at the Tianqi Lithium processing plant. Peritas worked with Kerman to develop a competitive design for tender purposes and worked closely with the construction team to deliver the buildings seamlessly. Peritas looks forward to an ongoing association.

www.peritasgroup.com.au

The company is currently working with CBH

But because we had that transferable skillset

Group - Australia’s largest exporter of grain

and identified the need to branch out early

– and was recently handed a significant

enough, we were able to move into other

contract for the design and construction

sectors smoothly,” he says.

of four circular grain storage cells at CBH’s existing Chadwick receival site in Esperance,

Nonetheless, the resources sector remains

WA.

a key area of business for Kerman and with WA’s mining industry beginning to pick

Kerman’s agriculture workbook is currently

up once again, driven by large-scale iron

stacked to the brim with similar jobs and

ore replenishment projects and greater

it has been this diversification that has

investment in ‘new commodity’ projects like

been the company’s saviour in recent years

lithium, Kerman has significantly benefitted

according to Rowdon, particularly as WA’s

from the sector’s resurgence.

mining industry is only just recovering from the downturn which peaked in 2016.

“Because we are quite well known in the resource sector, as soon as those

“If we hadn’t diversified we would have died a

opportunities started popping up again, we

slow death, which would have been a crying

were often contacted early which allowed

shame after over 30 years in the business.

us to secure the work. We’ve definitely


ResourceGlobal GlobalNetwork Network 147 Resource


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MINING SERVICES | Kerman Contracting

“Kerman has never walke sure that every job is client’s expectations. In fact

James Rowdon, bu

benefitted from an improved market but the

Furthermore, as part of its diversification

big positive for us is that we weren’t wholly

process Kerman has been able to bring

reliant on the resource sector anyway.”

these health and safety ethos into other

Health and safety Contracting within the resources industry

sectors which are not as robust from a safety perspective as the mining sector, for instance the agricultural sector.

demands an all-encompassing commitment to upholding the highest health and safety

“Our safety processes have been through

standards, and Kerman’s impeccable safety

the rigours of independent audits, we have

record is a testament to its culture of

achieved federal safety accreditation which

looking out for one another. This company

represents our ability to service any job

culture has been fostered through a safety

around the country in a safe manner, being

programme called Save 4 Life.

recognised by the Federal Government. That is a feather in our cap.”

“Save 4 Life is a behaviour-based programme that expects everyone to look after

Kerman also places a lot of emphasis on

themselves but also their mates and all

corporate social responsibility across a

the people around them. This could mean

number of areas, and this permeates down

alerting someone to a potential hazard and

from the company founder and chairman

then explaining the controls in place to stop

Brian Kerman, who is a keen philanthropist

that. We try and instil these safety and design

and has set up a trust which donates

solutions in our staff very early on.”

considerable sums to worthy causes across WA.


Resource Global Network

ed away from a job. We make delivered to the quality of the t, probably 60-70% of our work is repeat business” usiness development director

programmes for locals to engage with the local community. We have had projects where we are very close to residential areas and so we have had to have stakeholder engagement to minimise dust and things like that. Its always about keeping the community informed.” The near-term prospects of Kerman Contracting look secure when you take a glance at the firm’s current order books, which includes the design and construct of a ship unloader at the Port of Newcastle. Kerman is also providing structural mechanical piping services to Talison

In terms of employment, local and indigenous Lithium’s crushing circuit down in participation has been a key driver for

Greenbushes, WA and is close to completing

Kerman down the years and continues to do

some non-process infrastructure work for

so even in the company’s business outside

Chinese mining firm Tianqi Lithium at its

of WA. “[Local and indigenous employment]

lithium hydroxide facility in Kwinana, WA.

is part of our license to operate, part of the reason we are in business and why

“In the second half of the financial year we

people want to work for us as well,” explains

will be looking to finish some of this work

Rowdon.

while looking for other jobs and there is quite a pipeline of opportunities showing up as the

“We are currently doing a job in Newcastle

market keeps improving.”

over in New South Wales and there we are sourcing at least 40% of the workforce from the local industry. This is local contractors who are supporting their local communities. “In the past we have donated to sporting organisations and introduced training

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152

APPOINTMENTS & EVENTS

APPOINTMENTS Marie Inkster to become CEO of Lundin Mining following Paul Conibear’s retirement Lundin Mining has commenced a transitionary period which will see Marie Inkster succeed the retiring Paul Conibear in the role of chief executive officer.

Conibear brings his seven-year tenure at Lundin to a close after leading the company through a sustained period of growth and sound operational discipline. He will work closely with Inkster – Lundin’s current senior vice president and chief financial officer – to ensure an orderly transition.

Mojo Power co-founder lands top job at ARENA Darren Miller, the co-founder of Australian electricity retailer Mojo Power has been named as the new chief executive of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Energy minister Josh Frydenberg announced that Miller would be taking over the role vacated by founding CEO Ivor Frischknecht from August 27. “Mr Miller has 25 years of professional experience across a range of sectors including in chief executive positions and investment advisory roles,” said Frydenberg.

Martin Kobiela steps into president role at InterMoor Subsea services provider InterMoor has appointed Martin Kobiela as its new president, replacing Tom Fulton, who will become global chief technology officer. During the last six years Kobiela has been responsible for developing and managing the company’s business in Asia, as regional president for InterMoor APAC. He is a chartered engineer with over twenty years of experience in the marine and oil and gas industries.

Acacia Mining loses chairman to AngloGold Ashanti Embattled Tanzania-based gold producer Acacia Mining has announced that its chairman Kelvin Dushnisky will leave the post to become fellow African miner AngloGold Ashanti’s new boss. Dushnisky leaves Acacia with the company still in the midst of a bitter dispute with the Tanzanian government over alleged under-reporting of gold export revenues dating back 17 years. Departing on August 31, Dushnisky will be replaced by one of the firm’s non-executive directors, Rachel English, on an interim basis.


Resource Global Network 153

EVENTS Our pick of the top mining, oil & gas and renewable energy events happening around the world in the months to come

Global Wind Summit September 25-28 Hamburg Germany Glasstec October 23-26 Dusseldorf Germany International Mining & Resources Conference (IMARC) October 29-01 November Melbourne Australia Mines and Money November 26-29 London UK Investing in African Mining Indaba February 4-7 2019 Cape Town South Africa

Want to promote your resources event? Email the editor at editorial@resourceglobalnetwork.com


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RGN | Vol 5 Iss 5  

The city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder owes its existence to the groundbreaking gold discoveries of 1893, which sparked a major gold rush and the de...

RGN | Vol 5 Iss 5  

The city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder owes its existence to the groundbreaking gold discoveries of 1893, which sparked a major gold rush and the de...