The Northern Territory Government has announced seven mineral exploration companies as successful recipients of  the NT Government’s $600 000 exploration and drilling grants.

The Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations program provides companies with 50 per cent of costs (up to $100,000) for selected exploration projects in greenfields areas where there is limited geological information and where little or no exploration has occurred in the past.

This year’s grants will go towards five drilling programs and two geophysical surveys. Recipients include:

  • Anglo AustralianResources NL,  for zinc-lead exploration at Victoria River Downs;
  • AusQuest Limited, for base metals at the Plenty River Caroline Prospect;
  • CrosslandUranium Mines Limited, for uranium at the Chilling Project - EL22738 Buchanan;
  • Mincor Resources NL, for zinc-lead at the Daly Waters Prospect;
  • Eclipse Uranium Limited, for uranium at the EM Survey EL 24625; and
  • Redbank Copper Limited, for copper through the Regional Airborne Magnetic and Radiometric data, Calvert Fracture Zone project.

Pressure is mounting on state and Federal governments to place stricter controls on the development of coal seam gas fields over agricultural land and townships.

A scientific study that brought data from major coal seam gas companies together for the first time has opened the doors for more research to be undertaken into the exploration and production methods for the Surat Basin in southwest Queensland.

Pacific National’s Coal Division has unveiled its new coal depot and crew barracks in New South Wales’ north east.

Global project management specialist Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has continued to build its South American presence after merging with Chilean water engineering consultancy firm IRH.

International recruitment specialist Hays has launched its major project jobs website where jobseekers can view positions in major oil, gas, resources and mining and energy and construction projects in Western Australia.

The Western Australian Government will retain its 15 per cent domestic gas reservation requirement for all gas projects, and implement measures to improve transparency in the gas market.

One of the keynote speakers at the country’s largest mining conference, American economist Todd Buchholtz, has raised concerns over the industry’s dependence on continued Chinese growth.

New Fortescue chief executive Nev Power has announced that the company was “deeply disappointed” by its recent market performance despite consistently strong share price growth.

Rio Tinto and Mitsubishi have made an informal bid of $122 per share to take full ownership of Coal & Allied Industries. The bid values the company at $10.6 billion, a 34% increase on the closing price last week.

BHP Billiton has signed a Heads of Agreement with Leighton Holdings to acquire HWE Mining subsidiaries for $705 million.

GHD has been contracted by BHP Billiton Iron Ore to provide engineering, procurement and construction management  (EPCM) services for non-process infrastructure projects to support their US$7.4 billion capacity expansion in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The substantial decline in coal output has prompted the Reserve Bank of Australia to slash its gross domestic product forecast for the 2011-12 financial year by one percentage point.

WestNet Rail and Karara Mining Limited (KML) have signed a long-term rail access agreement for the Karara Iron Ore Project.

Nickel mining giant Western Areas WL has announced that it will complete its shipment contract with China’s Jinchuan Group months ahead of schedule.

Xstrata has announced it will halt its attempts to break into the uranium market, blaming hostile attitudes and a highly competitive local market.

CSIRO’s Dr Neal Wai Poi will lead the development of a major new international mining and mineral processing research centre based in Santiago, Chile.

Port Hedland has retained its title as the world’s largest bulk export port after recording a record-breaking year in which $40 billion in exports was handled by the facility.

Mining giant Rio Tinto has requested that the High Court overturn a Federal Court ruling that would see its non-union pay and condition agreements in the Pilbara region rendered invalid.

The New South Wales Government has denied allegations of plans to lift the state’s ban on uranium mining and exploration, despite the state Opposition and Greens claiming the State Government would readily change its stance.

Departing South Australian Premier Mike Rann will hold his position until the $18.2 billion Olympic Dam expansion project deal is finalised with the signing of an indenture agreement.

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