The closest anyone ever comes to perfection is on a job application form.
||Gold - spot||US$279.40||
|A$ = US60.74c||
||Silver - spot||US$5.00
|A$ = 62.31yen||
||Platinum - spot||US$488.00||
|A$ = 0.635Euro||
||Bridge CRB Index||214.37||
|US 30-Year Bond
||5.846%||-0.027||Crude Oil (NYMEX)||US$26.90||
Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited's ("AWE") wholly owned subsidiary AWE Petroleum Limited ("AWEP") is pleased to announce that substantial progress has been made towards a commercial development of its 30.5% owned Yolla gas and condensate field in the T/RL1 licence area Bass Strait, offshore Tasmania.
AWE's co-venturer in T/RL1, Origin Energy Resources Limited ("Origin"), announced at the Tasmanian Power & Gas Conference that new engineering and development concepts substantially proposed by AWE and evaluated by Origin have led it to declare that a Yolla gas and liquids project is now viable to develop to meet existing Tasmanian demand for gas and gas liquids products.
Based on existing gas reserves, the Yolla project is commercially viable to develop for gas demand scenarios as small as 15 petajoules (PJ) per annum, and up to 40 PJ per year. There is also considerable potential for additional gas reserves in T/RL1 and the adjacent T/18P (AWEP 35.1%) and T/25P (AWEP 36%) areas should larger gas demand profiles be required in the future.
BHP announced that it has awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) contract for its Tintaya Copper Oxide Project to Kvaerner E&C, a division of Kvaerner USA.
The Tintaya Copper Oxide Project forms part of BHP's efforts to deliver value-creating growth opportunities from brownfields extensions. Completion of an updated feasibility study is expected by July 2000.
Subject to Board approval, construction time for the Oxide Project will be around 12 months. Annual production is expected to average 35,000 metric tonnes of Grade 'A' cathode at a direct cash cost of less than 40 cents per pound.
The Oxide Project will increase the total Tintaya production to more than 110,000 tonnes of copper per annum and will significantly reduce its integrated unit cash costs.
Cluff has recovered a further 508 diamonds weighing 46.6 carats during the last week from processing of 520 tonnes of material mined from the Monte Christo Diamond mine.
Cullen has completed a placement of 4.4% of its capital via an issue of 7.0 million new ordinary shares to clients of Wilson HTM, Cameron Securities and P G Intercapital (soon to be called "Southern Cross Equities"). The issue price of the placement was 10 cents per share, raising a total of $700,000 for the Company which will be used to supplement existing working capital. For additional information, click here.
Drilling Success in Louisiana Well
Production pipe is being run in the Silmon etal #1 well following confirmation, by logging, of gas pay in the primary Vaughn Cotton Valley objective between 9,568 and 9,580 feet. A secondary zone, the D Sand, between 9,332 to 9,374 feet is still being evaluated. The well reached total depth of 9,768 feet on 28 March 2000.
General Gold has entered into an in-principle agreement to purchase a 25% interest in an e-Commerce opportunity. General Gold will invest an amount of $500,000 in Smart Guide 2000, a product developed by Pixeltech Design Pty Ltd. Smart Guide 2000 is a complete information unit, which displays public transport routes, timetables and maps as well as local products and services.
The Board of Directors of Goldfields Kalgoorlie Limited (ASX: GKL) announced that GKL will vary its Offer for Gilt-Edged Mining NL (ASX: GLT) by increasing the offer price to 46 cents cash per share and by extending the closing date of the Offer to Monday, 1 May 2000.
In addition, GKL has announced that should it become entitled to at least 75% of GLT's shares by 5.00pm on the 7th day prior to the closing date of the Offer (which will be 5.00pm on 24 April 2000 based on the current extended offer closing date of 1 May 2000), or such later time and date as announced by GKL, it will vary its Offer to increase further the offer price to 50 cents cash per GLT share.
Jubilee has begun pre-feasibility work to calculate a resource estimate for its new Cosmos Deeps nickel discovery after the latest round of drilling results indicated a substantial increase in the size of the high-grade zone, confirming its potential to be a very significant underground nickel deposit.
Jubilee's Managing Director, Mr Kerry Harmanis, said the latest drilling confirmed that the Cosmos Deeps mineralised zone extended for a strike length of at least 80 metres, with an up-dip, down-dip extent of at least 210 metres. The zone remains open along strike and also up and down dip.
The latest diamond core drill holes intersected wide zones of high-grade mineralisation including 11.15 metres at 7.0% nickel from 568.6 metres (hole JCD 106) and 10.1 metres at 7.54% nickel from 659.2 metres (JCD 105). Hole JCD 103 clipped an edge of the mineralised zone, returning 0.15 metres at 6.6% nickel from 621.3 metres.
Kagara Zinc Ltd is pleased to report that as part of the ongoing drilling programme at the Mt Garnet zinc deposit in Northern Queensland, four diamond drill holes (in addition to those previously announced) have returned significant results outside the previously announced open pit and underground mineable resource.
In particular, GTD 54 encountered 57.0 metres @ 6.83% zinc including 11 metres at 12.45% zinc. Holes GTD 55, 58 and 60 have also extended the mineralized zone to the South and at depth.
HIGHLIGHTS - Diamonds Angola
Northern Gold has raised an additional A$4.87 million in cash and entered new hedging contracts to take advantage of current market conditions.
The Company has closed out its existing hedge position of 250,000 ounces of purchased put options exercisable at A$500 per ounce on 15 March 2001, and its 250,000 ounces of granted call options exercisable at A$550 per ounce on 15 March 2001, yielding A$4.87 million in cash.
MUSTANG ISLAND 883S #1 ST - The drilling rig has been released from location after completing the well as a dual zone gas producer. Operations to initiate production from the upper zone will follow installation of production facilities and flowline.
GRAND ISLE 45 A-2- Surface casing has been set at a depth of 1,073 metres (3,520 feet) and the drilling rig is preparing to drill ahead.
Nickel production - at the Bulong Opeations - for the month of February, was 475 tonnes and cobalt production was 38 tonnes. Plant utilisation for the month was 65.4%, the highest achieved to date. Nickel metal quality was 99.71% nickel. Processing plant utilisation was affected by gypsum build up in the nickel solvent extraction circuit and the effects of inclement weather. Nickel production was 13.6% below plan and cobalt production 2.3% above plan for the month of February 2000. Nickel production was below plan, primarily due to lower than projected monthly utilization.
Meranji 21 has been cased and suspended as a future Permian gas producer. The well reached a total depth of 2,993m, with no progress for the week. The rig was released on 24/03/2000 and is moving to Beckler 2, a PPL 97 gas development well.
Vengold Inc (TSE:VEN; OTCBB:VENGF; AUS:VEN) reports financial results for the year ended December 31,1999. All amounts are reported in United States dollars.
For the year ended December 31, 1999, Vengold incurred a net loss of US$107.8 million (US$0.75 per share) compared to a net loss of $14.4 million (US$0.11 per share) in 1998. The loss in 1999 was entirely attributable to losses incurred on the Company's investments in the mining sector. The Company's mining investments will be treated as a discontinued operation in future periods.
At December 31, 1999, the Company held cash of US$11 million, and bank debt of US$10 million. At the present time and following the recent financing, the Company has bank debt of US$12 million, a cash balance of US$35 million and the Company holds 54 million shares in Lihir Gold Limited (AUS:LHG) valued at approximately US$23 million.
Subsequent to year-end, the company stated its intention to, redeploy assets from the natural resource industry to the technology sector and concurrently announced the hiring of a core management team led by Mr Jim Tobin, former Chairman and founder of BCE Emergis. The Company also announced a name change to itemus inc.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well has reached a depth of 2,386 metres in 216mm hole. Current operation is preparing to drill ahead towards primary objective following a trip to retrieve the survey tool.
J B WERE VIEW: SPECULATIVE BUY, Kempfield continues to evolve well, with the Laverton project (with the Granny Smith JV) could be a short term wildcard.
Golden Cross was listed in early 1996 focusing on exploration for porphyry copper/gold systems in central New South Wales. Exploration potential of this region has been spurred by discoveries such as Northparkes, Lake Cowal, Marsden, Cadia Hill, and more recently Ridgeway. The successful commissioning of the Northparkes block cave and the Cadia Hill open pit has also added to appreciation of the quality of discoveries in this prospective mineral province. With limited cash reserves and an unfriendly junior resources market, the company has taken a prudent approach to exploration by joint venturing its project areas to major companies. These project areas are potentially in need of extensive drilling programmes with some deep hole requirements. Golden Cross have also purchased the Kempfield silver/barite/zinc project and drilling is currently focusing on the McCarron zone. Newcrest, as Golden Cross joint venture partner at Narragudgil and Copper Hill will be an important factor in the companys destiny as any re-rating could be driven from success at one of these porphyry copper plays. Recent exploration success from the Laverton area (Western Australia) is an added bonus. Drilling will commence shortly at the Pasminco/Golden Cross Blue Mountains project.
Half-Yearly Report -SUMMARY
The principal activity of the company during the half-year continued to be production of heavy mineral sands, viz. rutile, zircon and ilmenite at Hawks Nest in New South Wales, Australia and their sale into overseas markets.
The net amount of the operating loss after provision for income tax for the half-year was $912,897 - $0 abnormals (1998: loss $3,526,718 - $2,068,630 abnormals).
REVIEW OF OPERATIONS
The Hawks Nest operation produced 5,616 tonnes of rutile and 1,878 tonnes of zircon for the half-year ended 31 December 1999. The Fullerton dredging operation was in production until 24 December 1999 and then commenced a five week scheduled maintenance shutdown of the dredge over the festive season. Operations resumed at this location on Tuesday, 1 February 2000.
During the half-year, no dividends were paid. The directors have not recommended the payment of a dividend.
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN STATE OF AFFAIRS
The following significant changes in the company's state of affairs occurred through 31 December 1999:
CHANGES IN CONTROLLED ENTITIES AND DIVISIONS
On 22 December 1999, the company acquired two 100% owned subsidiaries in Mauritius, viz. Mauritius Titanium Limited and Ausind Sands Limited, as a base for possible mineral sands business opportunities in India.
The company intends to continue to produce rutile, zircon and ilmenite from the Hawks Nest mineral sands operation. Further exploration activity will be centred on the Fullerton region, aiming to identify and prove-up additional heavy mineral sand reserves for exploitation.. - click here for details.
Half-Yearly Report - REVIEW OF OPERATIONS
In the half-year ended 31 December 1999 the Company incurred a consolidated operating loss of $388,393. Exploration activities are summarised below.
During the half year the directors conducted a review of the current operating structure of the Company. The outcome of the review has been to segregate the Company's tenement assets between its core exploration activities in gold/base metals, mineral sands and Billiton related joint ventures targeting base metals. The directors believe this will more effectively enable the Company to allocate and manage its resources in the future.
Highlights during the six months ending 31 December 1999 were the acquisition of several new exploration tenements, the establishment of four joint ventures covering most of the newly acquired ground and encouraging drilling results from the heavy minerals exploration program within the Murray Basin. - click here for details.
Half-Yearly Report - Overview
SMC Resources Limited (SMC) is a gold miner with its operations located in the highly prospective Charters Towers gold field, 130 km west of Townsville, North Queensland. The Company owns the Hadleigh Castle mine containing an indicated and inferred resource of 182,100 oz gold, the Far Fanning mine containing a proven reserve of 28,400 oz gold and other satellite deposits containing total resources of 26,600 oz gold (as at 30 June 1999).
|Profit:||Recorded a loss before income tax of $96,439 for the half year ending 31/12/99.|
|Stable Production:||Hadleigh Castle's ore production totalled 48,767 tonnes at a head grade of 6.47 g/t gold to produce 10,139 ounces of gold and 3,853 ounces of silver.|
|Increasing Grade:||More efficient and effective selective mining at Hadleigh Castle to increase the grade of ore mined as well as permitting economic mining of lower grade zones.|
For details - click here.
The Glenmore No.1 well will be plugged and abandoned. Whilst the well was non commercial, the drilling results confirm that the Sydney Basin has good permeability, porosity and reservoir characteristics.
Drilling on the Fairlight No. 1 prospect, near Camden NSW commenced yesterday. The target depth is 720 metres.
BHP announced that it had accepted price increases from Japan's Nippon Steel Corporation of 4.35% and 5.77% respectively for its Mt Newman and Goldsworthy fines and lump ores, and 4.35% for its Yandi fines ore. Negotiations are continuing with other mills and settlement is also expected shortly.
The new Free on Board (FOB) price of Newman and Goldsworthy fines ores is US27.79cents (up from US26.63c) per dry long ton unit and for lump ores is US36.84c (up from US34.83c). The price differential between fines and lump ore is up from US8.2c to 9.05c.
The new (FOB) price of Yandi fines ore is 26.12 US cents (up from US25.03c) per dry long ton unit.
The new prices (an average increase of 5.06%) apply from 1 April 2000 and follow an average 11% price cut last year.
Brandrill announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Rockbreaking Solutions Australia (Pty) Ltd, has entered into a partnering agreement with Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) to develop a continuous mining system using Rockbreaking Solutions' patented Penetrating Cone Fracture (PGF) technology.
This announcement follows the successful completion of the PCF rock-breaking technology trials at Impala's No.11 shaft mine last month. The trials involved the first use of the "in the hole" PCF cartridge in South African underground mining.
Carnarvon advises that it has entered into a conditional contract to sell its interests in the Perth Basin, comprising:
EP 413 9.44%
EP 407 42.50%
EP 23 14.38%
EP 321 38.25%
EP 414 18.89%
The purchaser is Ausam Resources NL ("Ausam").
This contract is subject to a number of conditions being met, in particular formal contracts, the successful listing of Ausam on the Australian Stock Exchange ("ASX") and the final approval of the board of directors of both Ausam and Carnarvon.
Fimiston announced that agreement has been reached for the company to acquire a 33% interest in the Sydney based Internet technology company Point Technology Pty Ltd. Point will use the capital provided by Fimiston to globally launch its advanced technology products in the high growth Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Knowledge Management sectors of the Internet Business to Business market.
Point Technology's WAP software enhances the users ability to get relevant 'real time' information from the internet through the mobile phone. Similarly, the Company's Knowledge Management software enhances the user's productivity across a wide range of internet technologies and corporate systems. Both these markets are currently experiencing rapid growth.
The GWRC Board announced that GWRC and Handy & Harman Refining Group have reached agreement with their bankers and financiers which includes HHRG making a consensual application under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Act to the Supreme Court of Connecticut with a view to protecting the interests of all creditors.
Accordingly, HHRG has filed a petition under Chapter 11 on Tuesday 28 March 2000 with a further hearing of the motions to take place on Monday 3 April 2000.
Homestake announced that it had completed sufficient work on its 60%-owned Veladero project in northwestern Argentina to declare a 4.8 million ounce proven and probable gold reserve (Homestake's share: 2.88 million ounces) contained in 92.5 million tons of ore grading 0.052 ounces of gold per ton. The reserve, which also contains 0.71 ounces of silver per ton, is part of the recently announced and much larger mineralized inventory totaling 7.8 million ounces of gold.
The ore is expected to be sourced from two open pits before being processed through a conventional mill and a heap leach facility.
Further to the announcement made by Lakes Oil NL ("Lakes") on March 23, 2000 and in response to a number of recent enquiries received by the Company, the Board of Directors confirm that the anticipated spud (commencement) date of the well is still approximately April 10, 2000. This date will be subject to the Company first receiving approval from the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. It is estimated that the well will take in the order of 20 days to drill, to the proposed total depth of 1,170 metres. For details, click here.
E4fax - Accelerated Development and Establishment of Beta Test-Sites
Michelago is pleased to announce that development of its 50% owned E4fax unified messaging software is nearing completion.
As a result of the appointment of senior management and the accelerated development of the E4fax software, E4fax Limited has reached advanced stages of negotiations with a major Australian financial institution to develop a beta test-site of the E4fax software. It is anticipated that the initial beta test-site will be operational within 14 days.
Since the last report dated 22 March 2000, a wireline logging programme has been conducted and a 7" liner has been run to allow testing of up to three zones within the Mungaroo Formation.
As of 0600 hours WST yesterdayday, the current activity is preparing to conduct the first test in the Lower Mungaroo Formation. This test is programmed to delineate the lower limit of gas within Corvus-1.
Appointment of General Manager
The Directors are pleased to announce that Mr Tony Simpson has been appointed General Manager of Vanadium Australia Pty Ltd (VAPL) the operator of the Windimurra Vanadium Project.
Mr Simpson left the South African vanadium industry three years ago to work an the Windimurra project and has been seconded to VAPL for the past two years. He has now taken up the position of General Manager after consent of both PMA and its joint venturer, Xstrata AG, and accordingly has stepped down as a director of PMA. VAPL is owned 40% by PMA and 60% by Xstrata.
The Windimurra Vanadium Mine located 80km east of Mt Magnet is currently in the ramp up phase, having commenced shipment of product to customers in Japan and Korea. For more information, click here.
UK North Sea (ROC 10% working interest, 12.85% contributing interest)
The 30/22b-2 well has reached a total depth of 2820 metres and has been plugged and abandoned after failing to encounter any significant hydrocarbons. The total well duration was 19 days, approximately 7 days less than budgeted.
As at close of business 28 March 2000, Delta Gold is entitled to 69,910,493 voting shares in Ross Mining.
This represents 31.50% of Ross Mining's fully paid ordinary shares on issue. For more information, click here.
Following the approval of Shareholders at the meeting held November 29th 1999 the Company has progressed all aspects of this transaction to completion which allowed the signing of all related documents on the 27th March 2000 UK time. In summary;
The signing of the Debt Settlement Agreement resolves the debt due to the Standard Bank London Limited (Standard) leaving the Company substantially debt free.
Under the Power of Attorney executed at completion, Star Mining appoints Standard as the manager of the Russian mining assets with authority to negotiate the disposal of each of these assets. Star retains the right to 90% of any surplus funds received from the disposal of these mining assets after payment of the bank debt agreed.
Should the final disposal of these assets fail to settle the previous debt Standard will write off any shortfall.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well has reached a depth of 2,276 metres in 216mm hole. Current operation is drilling ahead towards primary objective.
The first drill hole into a second, new zone SOUTH AVEBURY situated 100 m south of and to the west of Avebury has yielded 8 m of just under 2% nickel (including 1 m of 6.1% nickel) from within a broad 20 m section of 1.24% nickel. The host to the new deposit, defined by geological mapping, induced polarisation and geochemical surveying, extends over at least 350 m. This new discovery much enhances the concept of Avebury as a series of semi continuous individual deposits over 2,000 m of strike.
The new discovery of South Avebury is of great importance as it demonstrates that the techniques of geochemical and geophysical surveying together with geological mapping appears to be reliable indicators of the presence of nickel sulphides and since such signatures have been observed at multiple horizons over 2,000 metres of strike, the prognosis must be considered most positive.
Cluff is pleased to advise that its 0.8 metre diameter calweld drilling program on the Upper Terrace at the Gloucester Ruby Project has established a new inferred resource of 600,000 carats of ruby, (100,000 tonnes at 6 carats per tonne). The new deposit also contains 300,000 carats of bright yellow, green and blue sapphire.
The Upper Terrace is a raised terrace which lies immediately to the south of the recent alluvial flats which contain the previously announced inferred resource of 4,000,000 carats of ruby (500,000 tonnes at 8 carats per tonne). These raised river terraces now form a second target for ruby exploration in the area.
The total inferred resource is now 4,600,000 carats of ruby. Both the inferred resources in the Upper Terrace and the recent alluvial flats remain open, and further work is continuing to extend both.
Drillsearch advises that its Canadian subsidiary, Circumpacific Energy Corporation has entered a farm-in agreement with Talisman Energy Inc. ("Talisman") to drill a 4,900 meter Devonian gas test in the Lambert area of west central Alberta.
The multi-zone targets for this well have been defined by 3-D seismic and are located approximately 1.5 miles west of the Talisman Renata Apetowun 1-3-52-22 W5M well, which produces 30 MMCFPD of raw gas from the Lambert D-3 B pool. It is also approximately 7 miles east of the recent deep gas discovery announced by Renata Resources Inc. at Peppers 7-17-52-23 W5M.
ASX Price Rise Query - response
Duketon is continuing to review and carry out due diligence on two Internet related and two biotechnology companies which are all subject to Confidentiality Agreements. However at this time no legally binding arrangements or understandings have been entered into with any other parties as significant investigations and due diligence are still being carried out on all projects. Once this process has been satisfactorily carried out, the Company would need to finalise commercial terms with the vendors and the terms agreed by the board of directors of Duketon who are only scheduled to meet in mid April 2000.
As previously announced, a time frame of two to four weeks would be our best estimate at this stage before we would be in a position to make an announcement to the market regarding any of the projects currently under consideration.
First Australian Resources NL is pleased to announce it has entered into a Heads of Agreement to participate in the development of a new generation of interactive internet search technology to be known as Humanot.com. It is believed that, when developed, the Humanot Search Engine will simplify the task of negotiating the information superhighway.
GCR GAINS 100% OF CARGO
GCR has gained Imperial Mining NLs (Imperial) share in the Cargo Joint Venture and now holds 100% of the Cargo copper porphyry project in NSW.
GCR considers Cargo has potential to host a Ridgeway-style gold-copper deposit and is presently reviewing all exploration data on the project to outline such targets for drilling.
ACQUISITION OF IMPERIALS YELLOW MOUNTAIN AND ADELONG PROJECTS
GCR has acquired Imperials Yellow Mountain and Adelong projects in return for a 2% net smelter return royalty over the projects.
The Yellow Mountain porphyry gold-copper project, located on the Gilmore Suture north of Condobolin, NSW, contains several old mines and prospects including the Ironclad Mine, Mt Susannah Mine, Rosedale Gold Mine, and the Quarry Hill, Webers Gossan and Yellow Mountain prospects.
Yellow Mountain contains two zones 500m apart, the Open Cut Zone and the Main Zone.
The Open Cut Zone contains trenching with best reported rock chip sampling of 6m at 4.4 g/t gold, 18m at 29 g/t silver and 4m at 4.5 g/t gold.
The Main Zone is reported to contain an indicated resource of 4.4 million tonnes at 0.33% copper, 0.93% lead, 1.27% zinc, 25 g/t silver and an inferred average gold grade of 0.22 g/t. The best drill intersection was 111m at 0.4% copper, 1.0% lead, 1.6% zinc and 25 g/t silver.
Issue of prospectus:
This Prospectus provides information relating to an issue of up to 48 million fully paid ordinary shares in Lakes Oil N.L. ("Lakes") at an issue price based on the prevailing market price of the Company's shares at the time of application. The closing date for the receipt by the Company of completed applications will be no later than Friday, 16 June 2000. For details, click here.
The economic and technical attributes of a proposed 96,000 tonne per annum magnesium metal plant (Stage 1), located at Stanwell near Rockhampton in Central Queensland, are confirmed in the recently completed feasibility study.
Project capital cost - including engineering, procurement and construction management, commissioning, process first-fill working capital, spares and contingency - is estimated at $1.13 billion. The internal rate of return (ungeared after tax, and calculated at the feasibility exchange rate $1.00 = US$0.67) is estimated at 14.5 percent, and the payback period at less than seven years.
Probe announced that it has written down its investment in the Technical Services Agreement which represents the companies investment in the Mokhtikovskoye oil field from an amount of $30,560,280 to $5,879,926.
Dr Alistair Cowden has resigned as a director of the Company with immediate effect, and Mr Brett Dickson has resigned as a secretary of the Company.
Although earnings of US$1,282 million were some way short of the best ever, they nevertheless represent a significant improvement over 1998 despite what were generally weak, and in some cases notably adverse, market prices. Average prices for products fell by over five per cent but Rio Tinto's earning were 16 per cent higher than in 1998. Cash flow from operations in 1999 remained strong at over US$3 billion. Dividends equivalent to 55.0 US cents per share have been declared for 1999, an increase of six per cent.
The Corvus-1 well - Since the last report dated 22 March 2000, a wireline logging programme has been conducted and a 7" liner has been run to facilitate testing of three representative zones within the Mungaroo Formation. The current activity is preparing for the testing of Zone 1 in the Lower Mungaroo Formation which is planned to commence at 0600 hours on Wednesday, 29 March 2000.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well has reached a depth of 2,221 metres in 216mm hole. Current operation is pulling out of the hole after freeing the stuck pipe. Drilling towards the objective section is expected to resume immediately.
Woodside Energy Ltd., operator of the North West Shelf Venture, advises that four cargoes of LNG have been sold to CMS Marketing, Services and Trading Company of the United States.
The LNG cargoes will be processed and sold out of CMS Trunkline LNG Company's facilities at Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA.
The four cargoes of 125,000 cubic metres each will be loaded in March, May, August and October this year at Withnell Bay, Western Australia.
These spot sales bring to eight the number of cargoes sold by the NWS Venture to CMS, a large US utility corporation, since 1999. Terms of the sale are confidential.
ARC announced, on behalf of itself and Flare Petroleum NL (a subsidiary of Daytona Energy Corporation), that it has completed evaluation of the AC/P27 permit in the Timor Sea in preparation for the drilling of the Sleeper 1 well in late 2000. The recently completed permit evaluation incorporated the results of the Sleeper seismic survey and has identified two large drillable prospects called Sleeper and Dooner. The Sleeper prospect is a very large structure with the potential to hold up to 300 million barrels of recoverable oil if hydrocarbons are present.
The Directors of AGL are pleased to advise details of a priority allocation for AGL Proprietors in the offer of units in the Australian Pipeline Trust.
AGL Proprietors, with an Australian address, on the register as at 5pm Monday, 27 March 2000 (the record date), will be eligible to participate in a priority offering of units in the Australian Pipeline Trust (this will include anybody who becomes an AGL Proprietor on the record date by purchasing shares on that day). These Proprietors will be notified in writing. To take advantage of the priority offer these Proprietors will need to contact the Australian Pipeline Trust Information Centre on 1800 288 278 to reserve a copy of the offer document.
Takeover Offer for Allstate Explns.NL Not to Proceed
The Directors of Beaconsfield Gold NL ("Beaconsfield") announce that the takeover offer for all the fully paid and partly paid shares in Allstate Explorations NL ("Allstate") that it does not currently hold will not proceed. This decision follows the application by Allstate to the Supreme Court of New South Wales seeking a declaration that the takeover offer by Beaconsfield is void or unlawful and asking the Court to permanently restrain the offer from being issued to Allstate shareholders. A condition of the takeover offer is that there is no preliminary or final injunction or restraining order issued by any court that restrains, prohibits or delays the takeover scheme.
Although Beaconsfield is confident that the takeover offer is lawful, it does not wish to incur substantial legal costs in pursuing the matter. For additional information, click here.
Dr Alistair Cowden has resigned as a director of the Company with immediate effect, and Mr Brett Dickson has resigned as a secretary of the Company.
Delta Gold Limited ("Delta") has announced today that it has received notification that the Australian Government has no objection to the offer by Delta to acquire all of the shares in Ross Mining N.L ("Ross") in terms of the Governments foreign investment policy.
No other regulatory approvals are required for the merger to be completed. The offer remains conditional only on Delta attaining a minimum of 50.1% of Ross. For more information, click here.
Dioro announced the results of the final 1,500 metres of a 4,000 metre RC drilling program at the Mungari East Project. The tenements are owned 49% by Dioro Exploration NL and 51% by Mines and Resources Australia Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cogema.
Better results returned since exploration activities commenced in mid January 2000 include:
27m @ 34.29 g/t Au; 4m @ 81.18 g/t Au; 10m (@) 23.78 g/t Au; 30m @ 7.16 g/t Au; 20m @ 7.51 g/t Au; 6m @ 23.59 g/t Au; 5m @ 27.83 g/t Au; 8m @ 17.11 g/t Au; 20m g 6.70 g/t Au and 2m @ 50.91 g/t Au
Part B takeover statement
Each of the Independent Directors recommend that, in the absence of a higher offer, Dome Shareholders accept the Offer (one DRD Share and $0.80 for every nine Dome Shares).
Latest Commercial Plant Shipment
Electrometals Technologies Limited is pleased to announce that another of its unique, advanced technology EMEW electrowinning plants has been factory-tested and shipped to our customer, Intercontinental Metals, for installation at their works in Burnie, Tasmania. This plant features 60 of the latest model powder production cells, and forms part of a larger plant being developed to separate copper, lead and zinc from brass waste material that results from brass manufacturing. The EMEW plant shipped today will extract copper and lead as separate metals from the target material. Later this year, after completion of trials on the zinc component of that material, we expect to commence construction of up to 2,000 EMEW cells to electrowin the zinc into a high quality zinc plate. Fore more information, click here.
The Directors of Kanowna Lights NL are pleased to advise that the Company has finalised formal documentation for its acquisition of a 30% interest in First in Mail Pty Ltd.
Sipa has informed Outokumpu Zinc Australia Pty Ltd ("OZA"), that it does not intend to cause its wholly-owned entities, which are parties to the Panorama Project Joint Venture, to exercise their First Rights of Refusal with respect to Mincor's offer to purchase OZA's interests in the Panorama Project Joint Venture.
North Limited has boosted potential annual iron ore production by 20 million tonnes, and becomes one of the world's major iron ore companies, with the final approval by the Western Australian Government for the development of a new mine at West Angelas in the Pilbara region.
The WA Minister for Resources Development, Mr. Colin Barnett, has formally endorsed the development, enabling work to start on the project. It is expected to come on stream in mid 2002.
The project to be developed by North in conjunction with the Robe River Iron Associates Joint Venture* - has previously achieved all other Western Australian Government approvals including Environmental and Native Title.
In addition, the project has received strong expressions of support from the Japanese steel mills and other customers in Asia and Europe.
West Angelas is located in the eastern Pilbara of Western Australia and contains at least one billion tonnes of resource, with 440 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves in two adjacent deposits. West Angelas will produce lump ore (about 33% of total production) and is a promising source of lump ore in the future.
Pasminco announced that the third shipment of zinc concentrate from the Century Mine departed the Gulf of Carpentaria on Thursday 23 March. The shipment of 27,000wmt, is destined for Pasminco's Budel Smelter in the Netherlands. The concentrate specification again met Budel's tight requirements
As at close of business 27 March 2000, Delta Gold is entitled to 62,566,778 voting shares in Ross Mining.
This represents 28.19% of Ross Mining's fully paid ordinary shares on issue. For more information, click here.
Sydney Gas Company advised that the well Mahon #1 in PEL 2, Sydney Basin, South Camden reached total depth at 748 metres on Friday 24 March 2000.
Mahon #1 brings the total number of wells drilled by the Company in the Coal Bed Methane Pilot Project to 17. The well will be prepared for completion.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well has reached a depth of 2221m. Current operation is attempting to free stuck pipe.
Western Metals advises that its holding of Pacmin Mining Corporation Limited shares has been sold, generating $5.4 million. The shares were acquired as part consideration for sale of Khartoum and completes the sale of Khartoum for a total cash consideration of $14.4 million.
As at close of business 24 March 2000, Delta Gold is entitled to 60,529,398 voting shares in Ross Mining.
This represents 27.28% of Ross Mining's fully paid ordinary shares on issue. For more information, click here.
Abador is to be renamed My Casino Limited. My Casino Limited.
It was apparent to the Board of the Company in early 1999 that funding for mining stocks, particularly so-called junior exploration companies, was becoming increasingly difficult to raise due to low gold prices, increasing environmental awareness and native title. It was equally apparent that Internet related technologies were making real inroads into traditional offline commerce and that certain of these projects were of great potential interest to the Company' shareholders.
The Directors identified online gaming as an area with outstanding growth potential and conducted due diligence on a number of opportunities. The My Casino project stands out for a number of reasons: the calibre of the management; the marketing plan in place; and the fact that it is a fully operating online Casino with a licence granted by the Vanuatu government for a term of 10 years with an option to renew the licence for a further 10 year term.
The Board of Australian Mineral Processors Ltd (ASX: AMI) is pleased to advise that Wilson HTM Ltd has agreed to cause a placement of l3,875,000 ordinary shares in AMI (to raise approximately $1,387,500) within the next seven days.
It is intended to issue one (1) fully paid ordinary share at an issue price of ten (10) cents together with one (1) free attaching option.
Extensive drilling completed since the last public announcement, (19 January, 2000), continues to increase the size and grade of the Thunderbox gold deposit located on the Wildara gold/nickel project in the Northeastern Goldfields, Western Australia. Dalrymple holds a 40% interest in the project with a subsidiary of LionOre Mining International Ltd. a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange holding a 60% interest.
Since the last announcement, a total of 86 reverse circulation percussion (RCP) holes, comprising 10,609 metres of drilling, and 44 diamond holes comprising 4,794 metres of drilling have been completed. The drilling programme undertaken over the last two months was designed:
The drilling continues to confirm that Thunderbox is a major new discovery offering open pittable potential with substantial economies through high tonnages per vertical metre and associated low strip ratios. Recent drilling has demonstrated generally higher grades in the oxide portion of the deposit than announced previously. It has confirmed that Zones A and C are distributed over a strike length of about 1,500 metres. However the boundaries at the northern end of Zone C and the southern end of Zone A have not yet been closed-off by drilling. There is good potential for extending the strike length of the deposit, and accordingly, drilling is continuing.
These results demonstrate very significant intersections in the OXIDE_SUPERGENE e,g. 67 metres @ 5.11 grams/tonne and the depth extensions of the PRIMARY ZONE_SULPHIDE e,g. 91.9 metres @ 3.03 grams/tonne
Horizontal widths which are significant for open-cut design approximate 70% of the down hole widths quoted.
In its capacity as the manager of Danae Resources NL, Multiplex Mining Pty Ltd has signed a Protocol of intention with the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Geology and Minerals Resources and the Gold Mining and Diamond Processing Association of Uzbekistan. The protocol gives an exclusive right for six (6) months to negotiate the terms of a joint venture that would see it earn a 50% interest in the Zarmitan and Guzhamsay gold mines in the Republic of Uzbekistan, by funding the proposed expansion of existing operations.
The Protocol must now receive official approval from the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The relevant information will then be released to enable a Preliminary Feasibility Study to be prepared in May 2000 and the subsequent joint venture negotiations to commence.
The Zarmitan Gold Deposit is currently producing from an underground mine and the ore is sent for processing at the Marjanbulak treatment plant 80 kilometres to the south. In addition, Zarmitan has some open cut ore developed. At Guzhamsay, the ore reserves are being assessed by underground development.
Identified gold resources have been calculated by the Uzbeks to consist of an estimated 25 million tonnes of ore at a grade of 10 grams of gold per tonne. These reserves have been calculated from the results of both diamond drilling from the surface and from the 90 kilometres of underground development developed to date for the purpose.
Dome Resources NL announces that their Tolukuma mine staff have now recovered all the cyanide from the surface of the crash site.
Preliminary inspection of the recovered chemical indicates that close to 95% of the cyanide has been recovered in solid form. The majority was recovered from the crater at the impact site.
In addition Dome has removed topsoil considered to have been exposed to contamination. All this recovered material will be processed through the mill at the mine which will include treatment for cyanide detoxification through the mine's cyanide destruction plant which uses the Inco process.
Testing both at the site and downstream has now shown that, contrary to early information, only a negligible amount of cyanide reached the local stream.
A combination of abnormally high rainfall and lower-than-expected plant availability are expected to impact on March Quarter production from the newly commissioned Yimuyn Manjerr Gold Mine in the Northern Territory, but long-running mechanical issues facing the project have finally been resolved and production is now ramping up to design capacity.
Operator General Gold said the project was set to realise its potential after a series of difficulties in the areas of plant availability and leach recovery were successfully addressed during the March Quarter. For the month of March to date, leach recovery exceeded expectations at 83.1%.
The Board of Golden West released an announcement to the ASX ton Friday 24th March 2000.
Your directors have been very conscious of the time taken between the announcement to the ASX advising of the enquiries the company was making in relation to certain of its assets, which led to requesting suspension of trading in your company's shares and, the making of this announcement.
It has taken us until now to reassess the position of HHRG on the most reliable information available, and attempt to establish an interim plan to permit HHRG to continue trading while other possibilities are explored.
The investigation undertaken into the financial affairs of HHRG, where there has been substantial misconduct by former senior management, has been difficult and time consuming. The intensive negotiations with financiers and the sensitive nature of the matters under investigation prevented Golden West from making earlier announcements. If made prematurely, such announcements would have had a negative impact on the negotiations and, in the case of the investigations into misconduct, could prejudice the result and possibly place the company at greater risk.
Your directors apologise for being unable to be more informative to those of you who called requesting further information. Under the circumstances, it would have been inappropriate to make statements to individuals that we could not release to the market as a whole. We thank you for your forbearance. We shall make every endeavour to keep you informed on developments, through announcements to the ASX as and when additional facts become known.
HALF YEARLY REPORT - TO 31 DECEMBER, 1999.
For details, click here.
COMINCO FACT SHEET - SOPOKOMIL PROPERTY SUMATRA, INDONESIA
For details, click here.
Mincor has been informed that Sipa Resources International NL does not intend to cause its wholly-owned entities, which are parties to the Panorama Joint Venture, to exercise their First Rights of Refusal with respect to Mincor's offer to purchase Outokumpu's interest in the Panorama Joint Venture.
Mincor's offer to purchase remains conditional on the satisfactory completion of due diligence investigations. These have already commenced and are expected to take about three weeks.
HIGHLIGHTS - Ashmore & Seppelt Diamond Projects
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well has reached a depth of 2056 metres in 311mm hole. Current operation is installing Blow-Out Preventors after cementing 244mm intermediate casing at 2053 metres. Drilling is expected to resume on Saturday 25th March 2000.
||Gold - spot||US$284.40||
|A$ = US60.75c||
||Silver - spot||US$5.10
|A$ = 65.01yen||
||Platinum - spot||US$479.90||
|A$ = 0.621Euro||
||Bridge CRB Index||212.59||
|US 30-Year Bond
||5.984%||+0.080||Crude Oil (NYMEX)||US$28.02||
Dr Alistair Cowden has resigned as a director of the Company with immediate effect, and Mr Brett Dickson has resigned as a secretary of the Company. Mr Andrew Chapman has been appointed Joint Company Secretary.
The Zimplats board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Roy Pitchford as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Limited ("Zimplats'). Mr Pitchford succeeds Mr Peter Vanderspuy following his recent retirement from this executive office. Mr Vanderspuy continues to serve Zimplats as a director of the Company.
Allstate holds concerns as to the legality of clause 9.1(b)(i) of the Beaconsfield Gold NL Part A offer as served on Allstate on Monday, 6 March 2000.
Following consultation with its legal advisers and also discussions with Beaconsfield Gold NL, Allstate today made application to the Supreme Court of New South Wales seeking a declaration that the takeover offer is void or unlawful, and asking that the Court restrain the offer from being issued to Allstate shareholders.
The Supreme Court has now set the matter down for hearing next Monday, 27 March 2000, at 2:00pm.
Deepgreen has expanded its investment in the resource industry and in venture capital through purchases of shares in a Canadian company and a South African company.
Deepgreen has lifted its interest in Cassiar Mines and Metals Inc. from 4.3% to 11.7% by acquiring a further 2 million shares. Cassiar operates the Cassiar magnesium silicate chrysotile fibre project in British Columbia, Canada. It has reached a memorandum of understanding with Aluminium Co. of Korea, a Hyundai group company, to fund studies into establishing a magnesium metal project based on tailings and high grade magnesium ore at Cassiar.
Deepgreen has reached agreement to acquire up to a 20% interest in SA Mineral Resources Corporation Ltd. (Samroc). Samroc is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's Venture Capital boards. Samroc is presently commissioning a manganese sulphate plant at Graskop in Mpumalanga province and is seeking other opportunities for growth.
Dome has announced that the clean-up of the site where a box of cyanide pellets was lost near the Tolukuma gold mine, Papua New Guinea, is close to completion.
Dome's decontamination team has collected into sealed containers all visible cyanide pellets where the incident occurred and this material is in the process of being taken to the mine. It has been decontaminating the site with neutralising chemicals, which will ensure that any residual cyanide does not enter any river system.
Further gas shows have been reported in the Silmon etal #1 well which is expected to reach planned total depth of 9,750 feet yesterday.
Gas shows had previously been reported in drilling over the interval from 9,332 to 9,374 feet. This interval could not be evaluated by a drill stem test due to hole conditions. Further drilling between 9,498 and 9,584 feet encountered new gas shows reading up to 800 units on mud logs. These new shows have been confirmed by a drill stem test with immediate gas to surface.
Greenstone has successfully completed its first pass drilling program at its Binaliw project in The Philippines. The program tested the main target zones identified by lead-up work, although continuing rainfall made access to the Manga/Trench 3 target impossible.
The Company is presently receiving and compiling data from the program, including additional surface sampling conducted while the drilling was being undertaken. The Company expects to be able to release the results by the end of March 2000.
Michelago has agreed to place with clients of Investa AG, a European portfolio management company, eight million shares at an issue price of 7.5 cents.
Mincor is pleased to report the results of petrographic studies carried out on a sample of drill core from Banana Creek at Mincor's 100% owned Sabeto Licence in Fiji. The sample is from an epithermal vein intersected in BCDH-4 (drilled December 1999), which assayed 23.4g/t gold over 40cm from a down-hole depth of 32.65m.The petrographic study and interpretation was carried out by the well-known consulting firm Kingston Morrison (now a part of Sinclair Knight Merz).
The MUSTANG ISLAND 883S #1 ST well is being completed as a dual zone gas producer. On initial test, the lower zone flowed at the rate of 10.3 million cubic feet of gas and 395 barrels of condensate per day, and no water through 20/64' choke at 5,720 psi flowing tubing pressure. Operations to initiate production from the upper zone are underway.
Following the Premier of New South Wales Press Release of 15 March advising that no logging of the Pilliga and Goonoo State Forests will be undertaken specifically for the production of charcoal, Australian Silicon Pty Ltd has commenced an urgent review of alternative timber sources. The timber is needed for the manufacture of charcoal which is the primary reductant in the silicon making process.
Managing Director of Portman Mining Limited, Mr Geoff Wedlock said, "There is no doubt that the Premier's announcement is a potential setback to the project. In our planning, we had been advised that a sustainable supply of timber would be available for the project including timber from the western forests. This will now have to come from another timber source."
Roper announced that it has completed the acquisition of leading internet travel provider, WEBJET Pty. Ltd. The Company also resolved to adopt a new constitution and to change it's status from N.L. to Ltd and to change it's name to WEBJET LTD.
Dr Alistair Cowden has resigned as a director of the Company with immediate effect, and Mr Brett Dickson has resigned as a secretary of the Company.
The Meranji 21 well reached a total depth of 2,993m with 709m progress for the week. The well is being cased as a future gas producer.
The Directors of Australian Mineral Processors Ltd (ASX:AMI) wish to advise that Rimfire Pacific Mining NL (Rimfire) will not be proceeding with their intention to include their Peel Fault gold tenements in the proposed float of Goldex Resources NL (Goldex). AMI's ongoing environmental treatment and recovery activities proposed for the Shamrock leases, which are contained within the freehold land owned by AMI and critical to the ongoing activities of AMI's environmental division, were not acceptable to Rimfire.
Goldex now intends to focus its float on the Kilkivan properties. AMI has received around 800 reservations for the prospectus from shareholders. The prospectus is expected to be available during early April.
The Directors of Centennial announced that a consortium led by Centennial has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Samsung Corporation, nominating the Centennial Consortium as the exclusive "Preferred Bidder" to acquire Samsung Development (Aust) Pty Limited ("SDA") which owns a 50% interest in the Springvale Colliery, near Lithgow NSW. The Centennial Consortium consists of Centennial, SK Corporation of Korea ("SK") and Korea Resources Corporation ("KORES").
An in-principle price has been agreed, subject only to final balance sheet adjustments upon completion. Centennial has developed a funding structure with its partners, including direct investment in SDA, bank debt and a planned private placement not to exceed 15% of the Company's issued capital. The transaction will require the approval of the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.
Dome announced that a box of cyanide pellets lost from a chartered helicopter near the Tolukuma gold mine has been located by search parties airlifted to the area yesterday.
A specialist recovery team has flown to the site today to recover the cyanide and commence the process of decontamination. The cyanide was found in an area heavily covered by vegetation and not close to any areas of habitation, gardens or village water sources.
The Bank of England sold 25 tonnes of gold at US$285.25/oz; the auction was three times oversubscribed.
Re: Your letter dated 22 March regarding price query.
The company is not in possession of any information, which if known, could be an explanation for the recent price variation and trading volume of the securities.
However, we note that several factors may affect this activity:
(a) The recent increases in the oil price to over $30 per barrel.
(b) Activity announced this week in the press concerning Australian companies engaged in the Gulf Coast offshore Louisiana with similar deep exploration plays which Icon plans to develop onshore.
(c) Our previous price query response dated 13 March 200to the ASX refers to negotiations concerning an Australian production acquisition.
(d) The Purchase and Sale agreement signed with Bayou Choctaw Inc was announced on 31 January 2000 wherein Icon Oil NL agreed to purchase a significant production operation in Louisiana USA.
These factors appear to contribute significant value to Icon resulting in a positive market perception.
We note that trading in the securities of the company comes from a wide variety of brokers and e traders.
For more information on Icon Oil, click here.
North Ltd have formally advised Kurnalpi Gold that they have withdrawn from their Farmin JV's over the Kurnalpi Project. Following North's decision this company will take over management of the Kurnalpi Project including all the tenements in joint-venture with Gutnick Mining NL (formerly Mt Kersey Mining NL).
The Board of Directors of Lakes Oil N.L. wishes to announce that the Company has recently executed a contract with a Melbourne-based drilling contractor in respect of the North Seaspray-3 exploration well in Petroleum Exploration Permit ("PEP") 137.
The contract, dated March 22, 2000, states that the anticipated spud (commencement) date of the well will be approximately April 10, 2000. This date will be subject to the Company first receiving approval from the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. It is estimated that the well will take in the order of 20 days to drill, to the prognosed total depth of 1,170 metres. For additional information, click here.
Production has resumed from the Oaky North underground coal mine following the successful recovery and relocation of the longwall, which ceased production in November 1999.
Recovery and relocation of the longwall equipment further into the panel was achieved a week ahead of schedule at a total cost of $13.4 million.
Since the last report dated 16 March 2000, the Corvus-1 exploration well was drilled from 3,835 metres to a new planned depth of 4,027 metres. Indications to date suggest that a 591 metre gas column is present at the Triassic level over the gross interval 3,436 metres to current depth of 4,027 metres.
Recent discoveries elsewhere in the Carnarvon Basin, such as Cadell and the Gypsy-Rose-Lee complex, has highlighted the potential of Triassic reservoirs on the eastern side of the Dampier Trough.
Prior to the latest stage of drilling, a core was cut at 3,835 metres to better define the reservoir quality. Samples from the core are currently being analysed.
Pilbara has outlined a major new exploration target near the historic Teutonic Bore polymetallic mine in Western Australia after announcing positive initial results from its pre-feasibility study indicating the potential to recover more than $100 million of contained metal from tailings and stockpiles in the area.
Pilbara said evaluation of data from the project had outlined at least an 8 kilometre zone of highly prospective but poorly tested host stratigraphy to the south of the mine, which would be a key target for the Company.
Rimfire has taken an option to purchase ELA 1530 from Select Mining Resources Pty Ltd. ELA 1530 covers some 250sqkm and lies adjacent to the eastern boundary of Rimfire's current tenements in the Peel Fault and is considered by the company to be highly prospective for the hard rock source of diamonds in the region.
The terms of the option include a $12,000 option fee and if exercised the issue of 600,000 shares and 1.5 million options exercisable at $0.25 cents.
If exercised, Rimfire will control over 1500sqkm of highly prospective tenements for diamond exploration in the Peel Fault region of New South Wales.
As of 21 March 2000 the 30/22b-2 well in the UK North Sea (formerly referred to as 30/22b-B) was drilling ahead in 8-1/2 inch hole at a depth of 1408 metres after setting 13-3/8 inch casing at 980 metres.
The well is expected to reach a total depth of 3200 metres by early April. The well is testing a prospect which, in ROC's opinion, is moderately high risk with an upside potential in excess of 100 million barrels of recoverable oil in an area where the threshold for commercialisation is thought to be in the order of 10 MMBO.
Roebuck and Mr Chris Gale ("Mr Gale"), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") for Roebuck to acquire approximately 80% of telecommunications company Swiftel Pty Ltd ("Swiftel"), from owner and principal Mr Chris Gale. Swiftel holds a Carrier Licence under the Australian Telecommunications Act 1997 and intends to expand its business to provide a premium, high speed, high bandwidth, optical and wireless telecommunications network for business and Government in Perth and in Western Australian regions.
The consideration for the acquisition will be the allotment to Mr Gale of 7.76 million shares in Roebuck at 12 cents per share together with 11.69 million options to subscribe for shares in Roebuck at 20 cents per share, expiring on 13 March 2002.
As at close of business 22 March 2000, Delta Gold is entitled to 50,670,136 voting shares in Ross Mining.
This represents 22.83% of Ross Mining's fully paid ordinary shares on issue.
Ross Mining has received notification that the Solomon Islands Foreign Investment Board has given its unconditional approval in relation to the takeover offer by Delta Gold Limited recommended by Ross Mining. No other regulatory approvals are required in the Solomon Islands. For more information, click here.
ABORE GOLD PROJECT RESOURCES AND RESERVES
As part of the feasibility study on the Abore gold project in Ghana, which is scheduled for completion in April, updated mineral resource and ore reserve estimates have been prepared.
The Abore North resource estimate is unchanged, with Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources totalling 9,370,000 tonnes at 1.6g/t Au for 488,000oz of gold at a 0.7g/t Au cut-off.
The combined Abore North and Edubia-Asuadai Proved and Probable ore reserves have been estimated at 2,516,000 tonnes at 1.8g/t Au for 148,655oz of contained gold. After allowing for expected gold recoveries and a 5% ore dilution factor the estimated recoverable gold is approximately 120,000oz. For details, click here.
MURRAY BASIN MINERAL SANDS PROJECT
Sons of Gwalia Ltd ("Gwalia") wishes to announce that the Joint Venture partners in the Murray Basin Mineral Sands Project ("the Project") have agreed to proceed with the development of the Wemen Mine in Victoria as previously foreshadowed.
Mining and concentrating equipment owned by the Joint Venture Partners and currently situated at Tomago in NSW will be moved to the site allowing for a rapid construction period. In addition to the mine development, the Mineral Separation Plant will be relocated to Mildura to treat the heavy mineral concentrate from the Wemen Mine.
Production from the Mine is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2000. The expected life of the Wemen Mine is in excess of six years at an annual rate of 32,000 tonnes of rutile and 10,000 tonnes of zircon.
The Joint Venture Partners have also commenced work on a Feasibility Study in respect of the large resources available in the Murray Basin. This will include a significant exploration programme which has already commenced, with the objective of upgrading existing reserves and resources. The Stage Two Feasibility Study has a targeted production level of approximately 300,000 - 400,000 tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate in various forms which would entail the construction of a large scale plant with estimated capital costs in the order of $60 - $80 million.
Thunderbolt has announced that due diligence has been successfully completed with regard to the deal between Argentina Diamond Limited and the company, previously announced on 25 November 2000.
The company is now proceeding with the acquisition of Argentina Diamonds Limited, subject to shareholder's approval.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well has reached a depth of 2056 metres in 311mm hole. Current operation is preparing to run 244mm intermediate casing. Drilling is expected to resume sometime on Friday 20 March 2000.
Victoria Petroleum NL advises that the Tri-Valley Oil and Gas operated EKHO-1, testing the Pipeline/EKHO Prospect area, was drilling ahead at 15,906 feet on March 20, 2000. Target depth is just over 19,000 feet.
In Argentina, AWE's wholly owned subsidiary AWE Argentina Pty Limited, advises the Ramblon Verde-1 well in CNQ-16/A has been cased and suspended awaiting future production testing.
Wireline logging has identified thin potential oil-bearing intervals that will be tested when a workover rig moves to the drilling site, anticipated to be within the next week. The commercial significance of these intervals cannot be determined until at least the completion of production testing.
Beach has announced a fully underwritten A$9 million rights issue.
The rights issue will primarily fund the Company's Australian exploration activities over the next 18 months.
Beach Petroleum also announced a $2 million placement (50 million shares @ 4 cents each) in recent days to predominantly institutional investors and sophisticated investor clients of Macquarie Capital Equity Markets Limited.
The issue is fully underwritten by Macquarie Equity Capital Markets Limited which also managed the placement.
Beach's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Reg Nelson, said today the Company planned a 13-well drilling program during 2000/01 within its Cooper, Eromanga, Browse, Bonaparte and Otway Basin permits and would also acquire nearly 3,000 kilometres of seismic.
Under the terms of the rights issue, Beach Petroleum shareholders are being offered one new ordinary share at 3.5 cents for every two ordinary shares held.
Croesus advises that its Offer to acquire all of the fully paid ordinary shares in Gilt-Edged has been varied by extending the period during which the Offer remains open for acceptance until midnight (Perth time) on 18 April 2000.
John P Landrigan, announced today that, in accordance with his decision to retire from all public business activities, he would regretfully relinquish his role as Chairman and as a Director of Equinox.
Hardman has advised that all approvals have been received from the Italian authorities for site access and drilling operations at the Colombo #1 exploration well, near Rome. The Company has also signed a drilling contract with Hydro Drilling International SpA for the use of their MR7000 drilling rig to drill Colombo #1. Site construction commenced on 17 March 2000 and the well is expected to spud between 12 and 17 April 2000.
Colombo #1 will test a seismically defined anticlinal structure with two potential reservoir targets and will be drilled to a depth of 600 metres.
HIGHLANDS WORLD CLASS RAMU NICKEL PROJECT
GAINS ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVAL
Highlands Pacific Limited (ASX: HIG, POMSOX: HIG) announced that the Papua New Guinean government has approved the Environmental Plan for the Ramu nickel project in Madang province.
The approval is a major step forward in advancing the US$838 million project, which is 68.5% owned by Highlands and 31.5% owned by Oregon Minerals Limited.
The approval by the PNG Office of Environment and Conservation (OEC) includes authorisation to build and operate the Ramu mine, processing facilities, tailings management system and associated infrastructure.
Commenting on the approval, Mr Ian Holzberger, Managing Director of Highlands said, "with the environmental plan agreed and final permitting drawing near, we are very confident that a grant of the Special Mining Lease (SML) is imminent." For additional information, click here.
Kimberley Diamond Company NL has had the diamonds recovered from the Terrace 5 paleogravels valued. In summary, diamonds classified as gem, weighing a total of 50.03 carats, were valued at an average of US$164.03 (approximately A$270) per carat, whilst diamonds classified as near gem, weighing a total of 27.00 carats, were valued at an average of US$17.34 (approximately A$28.50) per carat.
Roebuck wishes to advise its shareholders of two significant events, namely:
1. TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
Roebuck, has reached an advanced stage of negotiations with the owner of a company, which is the holder of a Carrier Licence issued under the Telecommunications Act. This company will be a new start up in the telecommunications industry although its owner has considerable experience in that industry. The licence, entitles the holder to, amongst other things, establish a fibre optic network.
2. PANTON PLATINUM - PALLADIUM FARMIN
Roebuck has signed a farmin deal with Helix Resources NL ("Helix") whereby Roebuck can earn a 60% interest in the Panton Platinum - Palladium project by sole funding a $500,000 exploration programme. If Helix elect not to contribute at the 40% level, Roebuck can earn an additional 20% interest in the project by sole funding a further $500,000 exploration programme.
The Panton Project is located 60km North of Halls Creek in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and is secured by three granted Mining Leases.
The Panton Project is Australia's on]y high grade Platinum Group Elements ("PGE") - gold deposit with established resources )Indicated and Inferred Resource of 2 million tonnes at 6.02g/t PGE plus gold in one chromitite layer).
The Corvus-l exploration well has drilled ahead from 3,835.2 metres to the secondary planned total depth of 4,027.5 metres measured depth ("MD").
"Measurement While Drilling" logging data indicates that the well has continued to drill through a gas bearing reservoir to the present depth. A total of 591.5 metres (gross) of gas column has been intersected to date between 3,436 and 4,027.5 metres MD, with the hydrocarbon water contact yet to be encountered.
Burdekin is seeking to raise up to $21,030,000, before transaction costs. The funds will be used as follows:
a) to repay the aggregate amount of principal and interest owing by the Company on the Promissory Notes (which will be approximately $5,100,000 on maturity);
b) to fund the balance of Burdekin's financial commitment to ICE pursuant to the Shareholder's Deed and the Facility Agreement (details of which are set out in section 4 of this Prospectus). At the date of this Prospectus Burdekin had advanced $3,017,600 in cash and $1,130,000 by way of cash collateral in support of third party guarantees in favour of suppliers to ICE in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Shareholders' Deed, leaving a balance to be funded of $10,872,400 (assuming all loans and guarantees are drawn down);
c) estimated costs associated with this issue of $1,045,230, and
d) to provide working capital for the Company, primarily associated with existing mining and exploration assets (the balance of the funds).
A further 380 tonnes have been processed, yielding 221 gem quality diamonds weighing 27.0 carats. The largest stone recovered was yellow and weighed 0.78 carats. The largest white stone recovered weighed 0.49 carats. Haulage of an additional 500 tonnes to the processing plant has been completed, and another wash-up is expected shortly. Diamond bearing material from Monte Christo is trucked to the Company's jig based processing plant located at Copeton that operates with a lower cut off jig screen of 1.2 mm. Diamonds are recovered from jig concentrates using a grease table.
Excavation of a 200 tonne sample of red silty material of possible volcanic ash origin has commenced, and haulage to the plant will commence shortly.
Craton advised Shareholders that bulk samples taken from the most advanced deposits in the Douglas Mineral Sands Project, in the southern Murray Basin in Western Victoria are currently being assessed for bulk product quality and metallurgical recovery. Initial assays of the head samples indicate that high in ground grades occur at low waste:ore ratios (0.2 to 2.0) over substantial widths and thicknesses in all deposits.
Federation are pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed with SLE (Australia) Pty Ltd ("SLE") to initially acquire 40% of SLE by issuing SLE with 100,000 Federation ordinary shares and increasing to 50% by paying SLE a further $200,000 within six months.
SLE (Solar-Light-Energy) are developers of a new high-tech photoluminescence pigment (Trade name: Luxalum) which due to its unique properties of glowing in the dark for up to 12 hours, is able to be used extensively in a wide variety of products related to commercial, industrial, marine and domestic safety and identification systems.
The directors of Glengarry Resources NL are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Jim Irani as Managing Director of the company.
Mr Irani was Managing Director of Pulsat Communications Limited (formerly Rhodes Mining NL) and was instrumental in developing the company into a highly successful telecommunications carrier.
Mincor announces that it today made an offer to Outokumpu Zinc Australia Pty Ltd for the acquisition of Outokumpu's 60% interest in the Panorama Joint Venture. Outokumpu has accepted Mincor's offer.
The offer is subject to a number of conditions. Most notably it is subject to the first rights of refusal held by the other parties to the Panorama Joint Venture, all of which are wholly-owned entities of Sipa Resources International NL. These first rights of refusal lapse 60 days after the presentation of an identical offer to those parties by Outokumpu. The offer is also subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence examinations by Mincor.
PRELIMINARY REPORT FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 DECEMBER 1999
Overview (Jubilee Gold Operations - 6 months; Big Bell Gold Operations - December 99 only)
Operating profit before abnormal items represents six months trading for Jubilee Gold Operations located south of Kalgoorlie and the month of December for Big Bell Gold Operations ("Big Bell"), located near Cue in Western Australia.
Abnormal items are comprised of:
Big Bell was acquired from Normandy Mining Limited with effect from 1 December 1999. Operating results from Big Bell for the month of December 1999 have therefore been included in the consolidated results for the six months. Gold production from that site for the month amounted to 13,069 ounces produced from 155,971 tonnes at an average grade of 2.97 g/t and a recovery of 87.7%.
Gold production at Jubilee for the six months amounted to 42,660 ounces produced from 698,211 tonnes of ore at a grade of 2.03 g/t gold and recovery of 92.6%.
Gold sales for the half year amounted to $17,046,000 at an average price of $435 per ounce. During the six months under review, gold traded in the range A$383 to A$495 per ounce with an average price of A$428.
Operating results include the company's share of losses incurred by its subsidiary Mineral Deposits Limited for the six months, amounting to $652,538. The company's shareholding in Mineral Deposits Limited was distributed to shareholders as a capital distribution in specie in January 2000 and thus its activities will not impact in the future.
The second six months of the 1999/2000 financial year will reflect the full combined operating results of Big Bell Gold Operations and Jubilee Gold Operations, without any revenue or costs contribution from Mineral Deposits Limited.
For additional information on New Hampton, click here.
With the impact of the record rainfall, production for the March quarter will not be similar to the previous three months as originally forecast. However, the Company still expects to deliver record annual production.
Oxiana is pleased to report that due diligence on Rio Tinto's Sepon copper and gold project in Laos is proceeding satisfactorily and completion of the acquisition is planned during the second quarter. Preliminary studies show Sepon is capable of sustaining an operation to produce 40,000 t/a copper cathode and 125,000 oz/a gold in bullion, for more than 20 years.
Oxiana can also report positive news in respect of its ongoing Cyprus exploration programme where drilling at the Tourounja prospect has encountered significant gold minealisation. The first of two drillholes at the Tourounja prospect (ETS1) intersected silicified and clay altered volcanic rocks to bottom of the hole at 75m. The top 23m averaged 1 g/t Au and this included a 3m near-surface interval of more than 2g/t Au. ETS2, located 50m south of ETS1, was completed to 75m depth within similar quartz-pyrite-clay altered volcanic rock. Assay results are expected for ETS2 samples at the end of March.
Petroz announced to the Australian Stock Exchange the financial results for the Half Year to 31 December 1999. There was an improvement in the Company's financial position compared with the corresponding period last year. Following remedial work on the Elang-1 and -2 wells, it is expected that an increase in operating profit will be achieved in the June Quarter which will contribute to an improvement in profitability for the whole financial year.
Pilbara announced the following results of preliminary flotation test work by Western Minerals Technology Pty Ltd, in conjunction with Minproc Ltd. These results are part of the pre feasibility study into treating sulphide tailings and stockpiles at the Teutonic Bore Zn-Cu-Ag Au mine to recover in excess of $100 million of contained metal. Results to date have indicated:
It is anticipated that all test work will be completed in early April, dependant on the requirements of optimizing the Activox leach.
As at close of business 20 March 2000, Delta Gold is entitled to 20,468,850 voting shares in Ross Mining.
This represents 9.22% of Ross Mining's fully paid ordinary shares on issue. For more information, click here.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-l exploration well is drilling ahead in 311mm hole at 1,442 metres.
The White Opal Prospect is seismically interpreted to have a most likely potential to contain 247 million barrels of oil or 880 billion cubic feet of gas, in the target sands of the Mungaroo Formation, if hydrocarbons are present. White Opal-1 is located 22km to the southwest of the Leatherback-1 oil discovery, that flowed 2,400 BOPD from the Mungaroo Formation, and 20km north of the Rivoli-1 gas discovery.
White Opal-l is programmed for a Total Depth of 3,100m, and is expected to take 24 days to drill.
Anvil Mining NL is pleased to announce the preliminary results of the ongoing sulphide drilling program being carried out at the Bogoso Gold Mine in Ghana. Anvil has a 20% interest in Bogoso Gold Limited, owner and operator of this mine.
The program to date has provided some excellent intersections and the preliminary work on updating the block models for Chujah and Dumasi (but not yet for Bogoso North) show a likely increase in the resources contained within existing pit shell designs of approximately 2 million tonnes. Additional in-fill drilling is expected to confirm the 2 million tonne increase, however if further drilling does not intersect anticipated mineralised widths and grades, the increase in the resource may not be as substantial.
Drilling at Chujah to test for down dip extensions of existing ore blocks encountered broad zones of high-grade mineralisation including:
Ashburton has lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission a Prospectus, dated 16 March 2000, for the issue of 40,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares in the capital of the Company at an issue price of 10 cents per share. The issue is not underwritten.
The purpose of the issue is to raise $4,000,000.00 of which $1.65 million will be applied to meet the Company's outstanding Second Tranche payment to Optics Storage Pte Ltd, with the balance applied to working capital, to be used primarily to fund the Company's ongoing exploration and administration commitments.
Beaconsfield Gold NL has announced the following in relation to its takeover offers for Allstate:
For additional information, click here.
Half-Year Report to 31 December, 1999. For details, click here.
Golden State announced the formation of a new Internet company Ezyimage Limited, a joint venture between Golden State (51%) and Earth Resource Mapping Pty Ltd (49%) to exploit Image Web Server, a revolutionary new technology developed by Earth Resource Mapping in 1999. Image Web Server allows the transmission of large (terabyte size i.e. 1000 gigabytes) high quality images over the Internet faster than before possible.
Kings Minerals - through its subsidiary Kings Diamonds International N.L (K.D.I.) - his prematurely completed the commissioning of its Diamond Recovery Plant on their Marine Diamond Recovery Vessel on Concession 6(a) in Western South Africa. The commissioning ended due to deteriorating weather conditions and modifications necessary to the Vessels hydraulic system.
Half-Year Report to 31 December, 1999. For details, click here.
North Limited announced its intention to conduct an on-market share buy-back of up to 10% of its issued shares.
The buy-back period will commence on 3 April 2000 and is expected to be completed by 2 April 2000. The shares which are purchased under this arrangement will be cancelled.
The well USTANG ISLAND 883S #1 ST is being completed as a dual zone gas producer.
Half-Year Report to 31 December, 1999. For details, click here.
Probe announced plans to raise $1.6 million to supplement working capital and to pursue new areas of business activity.
Paterson Ord Minnett has secured commitments from directors and professional investors to take up 200 million shares at an issue price of 0.8 cents per share. The new issue will be subject to shareholder approval to be held as soon as is practicable in April 2000.
Share Issue : A non-renounceable pro rata Share Offer of up to 261,094,363 fully paid ordinary shares at a price of 2.9 cents per share to Shareholders of the Company registered as at 28 March 2000 on the basis of 1 new Share for every 4 Shares held at that date, to raise approximately $7,571,737.
TESTS TO PLAN GAS DELIVERY TO MARKET AND TO DETERMINE RECOVERABLE GAS RESERVES
REFINED FRACCING TREATMENTS AND COMPLETION PROCEDURES PRODUCING CONSISTENT RESULTS
Australian coal bed methane developer, Sydney Gas Company , has announced that it will begin extensive tests on the gas flows of its Johndilo Pilot Project within the next two weeks.
SGC Executive Director Mr John Towner said that confidence is growing that the project will produce sustainable flow rates of natural gas for delivery to the NSW market via AGL's network.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well is drilling ahead at 998 metres in 311mm hole, following an overnight bit trip.
The White Opal Prospect is seismically interpreted to have a most likely potential to contain 247 million barrels of oil or 880 billion cubic feet of gas, in the target sands of the Mungaroo Formation, if hydrocarbons are present. White Opal-1 is located 22km to the southwest of the Leatherback-1 oil discovery, that flowed 2400 BOPD from the Mungaroo Formation, and 20km north of the Rivoli-1 gas discovery.
A 50% fall in the Zimplats share price over the past week may be due to :
||Gold - spot||US$283.85||
|A$ = US60.56c||
||Silver - spot||US$5.07
|A$ = 64.56yen||
||Platinum - spot||US$489.50||
|A$ = 0.623Euro||
||Bridge CRB Index||216.88||
|US 30-Year Bond
||6.000%||-0.039||Crude Oil (NYMEX)||US$29.08||
The Directors advise that agreement has been reached for the acquisition of the remaining 10% interest in the Company's Leinster Downs and Mt Keith projects (the subject of a farm in agreement with Jubilee Mines NL ("Jubilee") as announced on 15 March 2000).
Under the terms of acquisition, Alkane will issue to vendor, Hot Holdings Pty Ltd (or their nominee), 200,000 ordinary fully paid shares at a deemed issue price of 20 cents each.
Over the past six weeks, commissioning activities at the Stuart Stage 1 plant by the project operator, Suncor, have focused on detailed data collection and analysis of air emissions. Central to this effort was the successful completion of two plant equipment runs, including a one day run of the ATP and a three day run of the shale dryer. These tests have provided valuable information to help narrow potential solutions to the air emissions issues that have delayed plant commissioning. Solutions will be implemented as expeditiously as possible to permit completion of commissioning activities aimed at confirming the technical and operational viability of the ATP technology in 2000.
Good gas shows have been reported in the Silmon etal #1 well, the first well in the Company's year 2000 multi prospect program in Louisiana. Mudlog readings increased from a background level of 25 units to 430 units of gas in a drilling break over the interval from 9,332 to 9,374 feet. A drill stem test will further evaluate this interval.
Planned total depth of the well is 9,750 feet.
Excellent results have been achieved at Hydrometallurgical Research Laboratories from the preliminary testwork on samples of Woodsreef Mine tailings in Golden Triangle Resources' New South Wales magnesium metal project.
The dry above ground, Woodsreef tailings dump will provide an excellent source of readily recoverable magnesium. The 24.2 million tonne dump contains in excess of 5.5 million tonnes of magnesium that will supply the refinery for 60 years at an 80,000 tonne production rate. Thereafter, there are 75 million tonnes of waste rock that also contain a significant quantity of magnesium.
Goldfields has extended the period during which the Offer will remain open for acceptance from 5:00pm (Perth time) on 27 March 2000 to 5:00pm (Perth time) on 10 April 2000.
GOLD MINES OF SARDINIA REPORTS PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR 1999 :
Gympie announced the development of its second gold mine, the Lewis Decline Mine at its mining operations at Gympie in South East Queensland. The development is aimed to commence in the June quarter. Commitment to develop the new mine comes after significant drilling results in Inglewood Lode zones targeted for access via the Lewis Decline.
UPDATE OF ACTIVITIES
As detailed in the Companys ASX announcement dated January 14, 2000, Lakes Oil N.L. ("Lakes") decided to acquire a 6.5 kilometre seismic line between the location of the 1962 Arco / Woodside North Seaspray-1 well and the site of its proposed North Seaspray-3 well. The acquisition of this new seismic data was completed in mid-February 2000 and, following an analysis of the information received, a decision was made to relocate the well to a more favourable position some 250 metres east-north-east of the original well. The new location is now approximately 100 metres from the oil and gas pipeline connecting the Bass Strait fields of Dolphin and Perch to the gas processing plant at Longford.
The newly-acquired seismic data, which initiated the relocation of the well, has significantly upgraded the Companys understanding of the North Seaspray structure which had previously been based on 1985-vintage seismic data obtained by Hartogen Energy, which itself had been based on data obtained by the Arco / Woodside venture in the early 1960s.
Notwithstanding the relocation of the well, recent remapping of the structure has revealed that the likely volumetrics of the North Seaspray structure will remain approximately the same as it was prior to the relocation, i.e. in the order of 60 million BCF (billion cubic feet) of recoverable gas.
During recent months, the Company has held a number of discussions with a variety of potential farmin partners who have shown interest in participating with Lakes in the drilling of the North Seaspray-3 well. Despite the encouragement received by the Company from these discussions, Lakes has decided, based on the significant leverage available to its shareholders in the event of a discovery, that it will sole-fund the well. Accordingly, Lakes will retain its 100 percent interest in the well, subject to a 5 percent royalty payable to the previous owner of the permit, Roma Petroleum N.L.
Despite the unavoidable delays caused by the acquisition and subsequent analysis of the new seismic data, the Company anticipates that the contract for the drilling of North Seaspray-3 will be signed shortly. Barring any unforseen problems, Lakes estimates that the well will be spudded (commenced) by no later than the middle of April 2000.
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The Directors of Marymia Exploration NL wish to announce that they intend to actively pursue new business opportunities for the Company. Due to the ongoing downturn in the resources sector, the Directors are now of the view that shareholder interests would best be served by seeking to identify an appropriate investment in the information technology and communications sectors.
Michelago Limited has today announced the appointment of Brian Currie (B.Sc. Eng.) to the board as a Non-Executive director. Brian Currie will provide strategic advice to the company as it expands into new areas and considers additional e-commerce investments.
Chairman of Michelago Limited, John Horan said "Mr Curries vast experience of management issues in technology orientated companies will be of great benefit to Michelago as it develops its recently acquired IT investments, and looks at new business opportunities."
The Cervus-1 exploration well is currently at 3835 metres and logging operations have been completed. Information to date indicates a gas column is present over the gross interval from 3436 metres to 3865 metres. The following forward program will now be carried out:
Results from the forward program will be known in approximately two weeks.
North Limited Managing Director, Mr. Malcolm Broomhead, today announced a new international exploration strategy focusing on iron ore, currently concentrated in the West Angelas region, and base metals projects (essentially copper and zinc).
"The principle changes are that North will withdraw from gold exploration, greenfields exploration will cease and the priority will be on advanced projects and near mine exploration," he said.
Mr. Broomhead said there would be an "orderly transfer to preserve shareholder value and to honor commitments to partners".
"This new focus flows from the North Group's priorities of primarily taking North to a pre-eminent position in iron ore and in the longer term, base metals," he said.
"This decision does not include the Cowal Gold Project on which evaluation work is continuing."
Mr. Broomhead said the exploration strategy would result in the closure of exploration offices in Kalgoorlie and Perth in Australia and Denver in the USA, and the restructuring of offices in other Countries.
"We will centre exploration operations on two geographic divisions: Australasia / Europe / Africa and The Americas," he said. "While maintaining a geographic focus on selected belts, the exploration program will expand project acquisition activities into other emerging belts."
North will continue exploration in Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Chile.
The Board of Tanganyika is pleased to announce a substantial expansion of the Company through acquisition of the Waterwide Waste to Energy Technology together with its associated operating business and worldwide patents.
The Waterwide Technology provides a unique and established method of converting solid biomass waste into clean energy via the commercially proven, third generation combustion technology known as gasification.The Waterwide process reduces solid biomass in the form of agricultural, animal, industrial and sorted municipal wastes to gases which are burnt at very high temperatures using highly efficient Regenerative Cyclonic Gas Combustion. It results in the production of exceptionally clean and low cost energy which simultaneously addresses two key environmental concerns of waste disposal and atmospheric emission.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, advises that the White Opal-1 exploration well is drilling ahead at 882 metres in 31lmm hole.
The White Opal Prospect is seismically interpreted to have a most likely potential to contain 247 million barrels of oil or 880 billion cubic feet of gas, in the target sands of the Mungaroo Formation, if hydrocarbons are present. White 0pal-l is located 22km to the southwest of the Leatherback-1 oil discovery, that flowed 2400 BOPD from the Mungaroo Formation, and 20km north of the Rivoli-1 gas discovery.
White Opal-1, which commenced drilling on 10th March 2000, is programmed for a Total Depth of 3,100m, and is expected to take 24 days to drill.
West Oil NL announced today that, subject to their approval, registered shareholders as at 20th April 2000 will benefit directly from the company's 8% shareholding in Fusion Oil & Gas NL, an oil and gas exploration company with extensive interests in Africa.
West Oil currently the third largest shareholder in Fusion which has announced its intention to seek a stock exchange listing on the AIM market in London during 2000. West Oil plans to dispose of its shareholding in Fusion and distribute the proceeds to its shareholders on a pro-rata basis.
West Oil shareholders will also be able to elect to receive their pro-rata shares in Fusion directly. Otherwise they will receive the proceeds from approximately 6.5 Fusion shares for every 100 West Oil shares.
Yamarna Goldfields Limited announced its intention to acquire 6,451,613 shares of common stock in the capital of Laugh.com Inc, a Delaware, United States corporation ("Laugh.com") subject to the approval of the shareholders of Yamarna and compliance with all regulatory approvals. The proposed consideration is USD2 million (AUD3.247m) cash and the allotment of 10.25 million new fully paid shares in capital of Yamarna.
Laugh.com is founded by Mr Bob Kohn the current chairman of EMusic.com (NASDAQ: EMUS). EMusic.com is the world's largest provider of downloadable music.
Effective from close of business 15 March, the works necessary for practical completion of the plant (contractually set for 20 August 1999) still had not been completed by BBR, and Allstate gave notice taking all such works out of the hands of BBR. That work will now be performed by persons other than BBR, at the expense of BBR, in accordance with the provisions of the contract. BBR has advised that it "will dispute the right of the Principal to recover [from BBR] the cost of any work performed by others".
Alkane wishes to advise that it has finalised a farm-in agreement with Jubilee Mines NL (Jubilee) enabling that company to undertake exploration and mining on all four of Alkane's projects in the Leinster-Mt Keith region.
Three of Alkane's properties (Leinster Downs, Miranda and McDonough Lookout) are located in the Leinster Greenstone Belt between Jubilee's Cosmos Nickel Mine and WMC's Leinster Nickel Operations. They contain significant strike lengths of ultramafic rocks, and are considered very prospective for hosting nickel sulphide mineralisation similar to that discovered by Jubilee at Cosmos and Cosmos Deeps. Previous exploration has returned anomalous geochemical results from both surface sampling and in drill holes, and generated several strong electromagnetic (EM) anomalies.
The fourth prospect (Mt Keith) is located l2km north of the Mt Keith Nickel Mine and has previously only been explored for gold mineralisation.
Under the terms of the agreement:
Amalg Resources N.L. announced a loss after income tax adjustments and abnormals of $1.268M for the half year to 31st December 1999 (profit of $0.874M 6 mths to 31st December 1998).
The company is of the view that the second half results will improve due to:
Summary - Preliminary Final Report
Gold production decreased by 10% in 1999 to 178.7 tonnes (5.7 million ounces) against planned reduction of 6 per cent, notwithstanding marginal improvements in both value and volume efficiencies. Rand cash costs increased to R44 161 per kilogram but decreased by 1% to $225 per ounce as a result of the devaluation of the rand.
For the year, Kopanang,Tau Lekoa, Tshepong and Mponeng posted improved performance over both planned levels and the previous year's results. Ergo maintained a steady performance despite a mid-year problem with a fire in the elution building, Great Noligwa intersected the Jersey fault earlier than planned, experiencing a drop in grade and gold produced. Notwithstanding it has exceeded targeted gold production and operating profit levels.
Events at a number of operations hampered production and operating performance, year of year: Matjhabeng's earthquake (2.3 tonnes), fires at Bambanani (0.7 tonnes), the Klippa washout at Joel (0.5 tonnes) and the tertiary shaft failure at Savuka (1.2 tonnes). TauTon and Deelkraal tabled disappointing results, following increased seismicity and infrastructural problems.
After a slow start to 1999, operations improved from mid-year through to the third quarter. In the fourth quarter gold production fell by 4% to 43,363 kilograms. This was due to the adverse impact or production of infrastructural delays at TauTona, slower than anticipated start-up at Matjhabeng's Eland shaft, the impact of the fires at Bambanani and the seismic events at West Wits operations. On the cost side, there was unplanned expenditure on shaft infrastructure and to counter equipment failure at both Bambanani and TauTona.
Unit cash costs increased by 7% to R46,565 per kilogram and by 6% to $237 per ounce Operating profit fell by 27% in the fourth quarter to R463.8 million. Productivity measured in square metres per employee improved by 2% to 4.28, but the adverse gold production resulted in grams per employee falling to 174.
SUMMARY - HALF YEAR FINANCIAL REPORT
Ausdrill announces a first half loss after tax of $2.86m, which includes $1.26m of abnormal items.
The extremely disappointing result was caused by a series of problems within the South American operations, including an $879,000 provision for doubtful debt with subsidiaries of Greenstone Resources, unsatisfactory performance on a major exploration contract for Codelco (Chile) at Chuquicamata and the intermittent work on a major Drill and Blast contract for a mining project in Chile which has been the subject of a series of environmental appeals by the client. A number of detailed procedures and controls have been introduced to turn around the situation. These have had an immediate impact with January results indicating a substantial improvement.
With continuing depressed conditions in the world wide exploration industry and an over supply of contractors, the problem of low margins remains. In Australia Native Title issues continue to suppress activity and it is difficult to foresee the time when this will not be the case.
Bligh advises that it has entered into a letter of intent with Nuevo Energy Company, Houston ("Nuevo") with respect to a sale of Bligh's interest in the Anaguid Permit in Southern Tunisia, and a partial farmout of Bligh's interest in the Fejaj Permit in central Tunisia. Preparation of a definitive purchase and sale agreement and a farmout agreement are under way.
Croesus Mining NL ("Croesus") announced today a half yearly profit of $302,000 to December 31 1999.
During the period, Croesus cash reserves rose by $0.6 million to $23 million reflecting the strong earnings coming from the company's Binduli operations.
Exploration for the period remained aggressive with nearly $2 million spent during the six months with success being reported from Binduli and the Wallbrook Hill projects.
During the half year a sale / option agreement had been signed for the Anketell project that should see $1.2 million cash delivered to Croesus and an issue of 12.75 million shares in the capital of Anketell Resources NL upon their successful listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. Croesus proposes to issue in specie (subject to ASX and ASIC approval) the majority of this new issue to Croesus shareholder as a special dividend.
Croesus Managing Director Michael Ivey said today that the result was pleasing; while lower than the previous period it was a profit figure anticipated by Croesus following the highly successful high grade ECM deposit that Croesus mined last year.
"We still have $23 million cash and are waiting on the outcome of our Takeover offer for Gilt-Edged Mining. The Anketell sale is a bonus for Croesus and its shareholders. With the amount of money Anketell Resources intends to spend on the project their efforts should provide our shareholders, through an in specie receipt of Anketell shares, exposure to a new Company and its prospects."
Each director of Eastern who holds Eastern Shares intends to reject the Offers in respect of the Eastern Shares held by him or on his behalf.
Each of the directors of Eastern recommends that shareholders reject the Offer.
EnviroStar has paid $100,000 for an option agreement for 6 months to acquire 100% of a clean energy project to generate electricity in Stapylton, Queensland.
The project will be principally fuelled by Municipal Green Waste from Council tips in the area. The electricity produced will be known as green energy, which is produced from renewable and sustainable sources.
The Board of Directors has approved $2.4M of optimisation work at the Reefton Gold Project.
The objectives are:
The Company has invested over $25.0M into the project to date. Since 1994 there has been a 100% increase in Resources to 17.0mt @ 2.48g/t for 1,356,000 oz of gold. The Definitive Feasibility Study was completed in 1995 then updated in 1998.
HIGHLIGHTS - HALF YEARLY REPORT:
The Independent Directors advise Heron Shareholders to:
REJECT THE OPPORTUNISTIC AND TOTALLY INADEQUATE CENTAUR OFFER.
Heron is a well managed company with outstanding growth potential based on the development of its nickel laterite resources, either on a "stand-alone" basis in conjunction with a high quality equity partner, or under the terms of its Strategic Alliance with Centaur.
The current management has demonstrated its ability to acquire and add value to assets on behalf of Heron Shareholders.
With the recent surge in the nickel price to a five year high, the true value of Heron is beginning to be recognised by the market. Shareholders who have seen the Company's steady growth in asset values should be made fully aware that the strategy that has been responsible for this growth is still only in its earliest stages. The future for Heron, as an independent operator controlling the world class Goongarrie resource, is excellent.
Exploration at the company's Seruyung gold prospect in Indonesia has resulted in the discovery of a volcanic-hosted, high-sulphidation gold deposit, which is reflected by widespread gold mineralization outlined in surface and drill-hole results.
To date, 41 core holes have been drilled at Seruyung, totalling 7,864 metres, which indicate a resource of approximately 350,000 ounces of gold. The central set of drill holes on the crest of Gunung Seruyung outlined a significant zone of gold mineralization, referred to as the main zone. This zone is consistent with the generalized model of a high-sulphidation, epithermal system. The present model indicates both structural and stratigraphic control of the gold mineralization associated with a diatreme complex, resulting in a blanket of mineralization peripheral to the feeder system. The near-circular Seruyung diatreme is approximately 600 metres in diameter.
Exploration at the company's Long Laai base metal prospect has encountered significant intercepts of zinc mineralization in skarns. The Gupak and Mamak prospects are located in the Long Laai area within the southern Contract of Work which is 100%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines. Exploration has identified significant base metal and silver mineralization over several square kilometres within the Gupak and Mamak skarn systems.
JWM advises that it has made application for tenements covering 3,700 square kilometres in Central Victoria.
The decision to focus gold exploration in this region is based on the view that Victoria, which is recognised as one of the world's major gold provinces, had been grossly under-explored during the 20th Century. Large areas in the north of Victoria are under thin cover that would have obscured gold mineralisation from 19th Century prospectors.
Jubilee has further enhanced the long-term growth potential of its Cosmos Nickel Mine in Western Australia, signing a Joint Venture agreement with Alkane Exploration NL giving it access to some 120 km2 of additional highly prospective ground with the potential to yield new satellite discoveries.
The exploration deal provides low-risk exposure for Jubilee to undertake exploration and mining on four of Alkane's projects in the Leinster-Mt Keith region of WA - all of which are located within 30 kilometres of the Cosmos treatment plant easily within an economic trucking distance.
Kagara Zinc Limited is pleased to report that its second exploration diamond hole designed to test the depth extension of the Mt Garnet zinc deposit has returned further excellent results.
GTD 56 (northing 4561, casting 11801.5) located down dip and to the North of Kagara's first hole GTD 53 (announced to the market on 2 March) intersected a mineralised interval of 64 metres at 3.3% zinc.
Included within this mineralised interval were three separate higher grade zones.
The results achieved so far, together with a complete review of previous data, has resulted in a reinterpreted long section . Holes GTD 53 and 56 appear to define the top of a previously unrecognised high grade shoot. As with GTD 53 the above intersections fall outside the boundaries of the previously reported resource.
It is expected that the planned open pit will be re-optimised to include the mineralised zone identified within GTD 53 and the two upper zones in GTD 56. The third, deeper zone, identified in GTD 56, which has the additional benefit of having significant copper grade, will increase the underground resource.
Lihir Gold Limited and the Thiess-Roche Lihir Joint Venture announce that, effective 17 April 2000, Lihir will assume direct responsibility for all mining activities at its mine on Lihir Island in Papua New Guinea.
The Joint Venture has performed well in achieving the requirements of the mining plan and in carrying out its contractual obligations since commencement in April 1996. Both parties advise that the changeover is on an amicable basis.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Menzies Technologies Limited, Menzies Gold Ltd has subscribed for a 20% interest in the share capital of marketBoomer Pty Limited ("marketboomer") at a cost of $2.5 million. Montagu Emerging Technology, a technology broker has introduced Menzies Gold Ltd to this investment.
HALF YEAR REPORT - REVIEW AND RESULT OF OPERATIONS
The net profit of the company for the half-year ended 31 December, 1999 after provision for income tax was $160,125 (half-year ended 31 December, 1998: $148,536).
During the half-year royalty revenue from the company's mining operation at Londonderry increased by 13.5% when compared to corresponding period last year. However, the decline in mining profits was as a result of the cessation of royalty revenue received from leases operated by RZM Pty Ltd in Tomage NSW in prior periods.
The result of mining operations for the half-year ended 31 December, 1999 was $58,394 (half-year ended 31 December, 1998 - $90,175).
During the half-year rental income from investment properties showed improvement due to the re-leasing of our Lane Cove property and rental increases occurring during the period.
The result of investment operations for the half-year ended 31 December, 1999 was $255,438 (half-year ended 31 December, 1998 - $208,402).
Under Australian accounting standards, the Company reported a loss from its oil and gas operations (before tax and abnormal items) of A$25.8 million, compared to a loss in 1998 of A$9.2 million. Expensed as abnormal items are A$4.8 million for dry hole costs and a non-cash charge against the carrying value of the Company's oil and gas assets of A$l1.8 million. The operating loss after tax and abnormal items was A$42.1 million, compared to a loss of A$151.9 million in 1998.
Under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("US GAAP"), the Company reported a net loss of US$21.3 million, or US$1.17 per American Depositary Receipt ("ADR") This is compared to a loss in 1998 of US$96.5 million, or US$4.48 per ADR.
Net sales in 1999 were US$31.0 million, down from US$97.0 million in 1998 due to lower production as a result of the asset sale to Apache at the beginning of the year and natural field decline. Apache purchased a 50% interest and became operator of all but one of the Company's fields. Net production for the year was 13.1 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent, compared to 39.5 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent in 1998.
Cash flow from operating activities in 1999 was US$12.6 million or US$0.59 per ADR. In 1998 cash flow from operating activities totalled US$55.1 million or US$2.56 per ADR.
Ten wells were drilled in the year, two of which have been completed and are producing, and a further six wells will be completed for production in 2000.
Sydney Gas Company NL ("SGC") is pleased to announce that further oil shows are reported at Glenmore No. 1. Amadeus Petroleum NL ("Amadeus"), the operator of the oil exploration in PEL 2, has advised that the well encountered oil and gas shows as follows:
(1) in the Lower Bulgo Sandstone at 492 metres - oil bleeding from the
(2) in the Scarborough Sandstone
at 518 to 521 metres
at 526 to 528 metres - oil bleeding from the core
at 530 to 533 metres
Drilling is continuing through the Wombarra Claystone to the top of the coal seam. Electric logging and drill stem test is planned by the operator over the next few days.
Amadeus also advised that drilling of Fairlight No. 1 in PEL 2 is expected to commence next week.
The Directors of WMC Limited ('WMC') announce that the Company is proposing to buy-back up to five per cent of its shares on market.
Following the completion of the construction of its two major developments at Olympic Dam Operations and the Queensland Fertilizer Project, and the considerably stronger business performance of the Company, cashflow has substantially improved. The general economic outlook, and specifically demand and prices for the Company's products, is more favourable than expected as little as six months ago.
While the Company is committed to reduce outstanding debt, the improved business performance and outlook provides the opportunity for a share buy-back as part of the Company's overall capital management programme.
Having regard to the current level of WMC's share price, Directors consider that an on-market buy-back of shares represents an excellent investment of part of the forecast surplus capital.
In Argentina, AWE's wholly owned subsidiary AWE Argentina Pty Limited, advises the Ramblon Verde-1 well in CNQ-16/A has been cased and suspended awaiting future production testing.
Wireline logging has identified thin potential oil-bearing intervals that will be tested when a workover rig moves to the drilling site. The commercial significance of there intervals cannot be determined until at least the completion of production testing.
AWE also advises that recording of the Vaca Mahuida 3D seismic programme in the northern part of the permit is nearing completion. A total of 241sqkm has been recorded.
The company wishes to advise the market on the following issues;
1) MINERAL SANDS JOINT VENTURE (Bemax 50% and Operator, Imperial Mining N.L. 25%, Probo Mining Pty Ltd 25%)
All sample preparation has been completed for the mineral sand samples from the Gingko resource drilling. Over 8,800 of the 11,700 assays have been received to date although the rate of receipt of assays has been slower than anticipated. All assays for Ginkgo should be completed in the next few weeks. Duplicate check assays have so far shown good correlation.
An inferred mineral resource was announced by the company on 17th December 1999 based largely on visual grade estimates. Any further evaluation is awaiting compilation and completion of the outstanding assays.
The report on the mineralogical testwork being undertaken by MD Mineral Technology Pty Ltd on the composite sample from Ginkgo should be received in the next ten days. This work includes commencement of detailed investigation of the commercial characteristics of the valuable heavy minerals.
POOLING OF INTERESTS
The joint venture parties are still discussing various alternatives for the corporatisation of the joint venture interests into a single purpose vehicle.
Probo Mining Ltd is still seeking court clarification in regard to pre-emptive rights. The hearing for an interim injunction set down for Wednesday 1st March 2000 was adjourned with the consent of all parties. A further hearing date of 23rd of March 2000 has been set in the Supreme Court of NSW. As previously advised, the company has received legal advice to the effect that Probo's claim is without foundation.
The board has resolved to call an EGM at the earliest time to ask shareholders to approve the change in status from "N.L." to "Limited". This meeting should be held in April 2000.
The company has been reviewing several investment opportunities in pursuing additional strategies for enhancing shareholder value. A number of potentially valuable technology related opportunities have become evident, and are currently being evaluated to assess whether they meet the company's investment criteria.
If an opportunity meets this criteria, the company will advise the market of the outcome as soon as practical.
For additional information, click here.
Highlights of additional RC drilling at East Mungari:
It appears that there are two distinct styles of mineralisation emerging at the Frogs Leg project. To the North of the prospect mineralisation appears to be hosted by the same sequence as the Gilt Edged deposits, being quartz veining within a large shear at the contact between black shales and a mafic porphyry unit. The shear not only exists at the contact but also within the porphyry and within the black shale. Previously reported diamond drill hole 207D exhibits this style of mineralisation. Associated with mineralisation are numerous sulphides but predominantly pyrite and pyrrhotite.
Towards the south of the prospect there is another contact on mineralisation. This mineralisation is essentially a large quartz lode hosted by intermediate volcanic clusters. Mineralisation is associated with the quartz lode and smaller scale quartz veining adjacent the lode. Pyrite and pyrrhotite are associated with the mineralised intervals.
Durban Roodepoort Deep, Limited ("DRD") has dispatched to Dome shareholders their Part A takeover offer which, unless extended, is scheduled to expire on 13 April 2000.
Dome's own Part B Statement, including Dome's independent expert's report and the independent directors' recommendations will be mailed to shareholders no later than 27 March 2000. The independent directors advise Dome shareholders not to accept DRD's offer until they have received the independent expert's report and the directors' recommendations.
In particular, Dome shareholders should note that the company has declared a dividend of 0.5 cents per share with a record date of 24 March 2000. Shareholders who dispose of their shareholding prior to 5.00 pm on that date will not receive the dividend.
REJECT THE INADEQUATE GOLDFIELDS' OFFER
The Director's unanimously recommend that you REJECT Goldfields' INADEQUATE OFFER. Your Directors intend to reject the Offer for their own shareholdings. The Company's largest shareholder (35.4%) has also confirmed in writing that he does not presently intend to accept this Offer.
Your Directors' recommendation is supported by a valuation prepared by the Independent Valuer KPMG Corporate Finance (Aust) Pty Ltd. ("KPMG Corporate Finance") which shows that the preferred value of a Gilt-Edged share is in excess of the current Goldfields' Offer.
Goldfields Offer is 17% lower than the preferred value of 50.6 cents for one fully diluted Gilt-Edged Share as determined by KPMG Corporate Finance.
SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS - Half Yearly Report:
Lynas has posted a A$2.3 million profit turnaround for the December half, with its 35% interest in the Paraburdoo Gold Mine in Western Australia underpinning a solid A$1.011 million profit after tax and robust A$3 million positive cash flow.
The stong result - which was struck on total sales revenue of A$8.73 million, including operating sales revenue of A$6.69 million - comes as Lynas' long-term growth strategy moves into full-swing, including testwork and marketing studies on the world-class Mt Weld Rare Earths Project.
The half-year profit compared with a A$1.31 million loss for the previous corresponding period. It translates into earnings per share of 2.1 cents.
Lynas' Managing Director, Mr Les Emery, said the strong result reflected the excellent operational performance of the Paraburdoo Mine - which posted gold production for the half-year of 38,810 ounces above budget. Cash costs for the half were A$258 per ounce compared with budgeted cash costs of A$283 per ounce.
HALF-YEARLY REPORT - RESULTS AND DIVIDENDS
The consolidated entity loss after abnormal items and tax for the half-year is $258,428 (1998: $676,368). There is no dividend paid or recommended.
REVIEW OF OPERATIONS
During the half-year;
(i) The consolidated entity funded ongoing exploration and evaluation work on its exploration areas, particularly the Texas silver project located near the Queensland/New South Wales border.
(ii) On 8 July 1999 the company sold its gold processing plant. The plant was sold to Giants Reef Mining N.L. ("Giants Reef") for a total consideration of $250,000 in cash plus between 6 and 15 million shares in Giants Reef.
Upon execution of the sale agreement the company received $250,000 cash and was issued 6 million ordinary shares in Giants Reef. Four million of those shares cannot be sold before 31 March 2000 without Giants Reef approval in writing.
Under the sale agreement, if the value of 6 million Giants Reef shares on 28 February 2000 was less than $750,000, (when calculated on the average trading price over a five day period to that date), then additional shares were to be issued to the company (up to a maximum of 9 million additional shares), so that the total shares received have a value of $750,000 (when calculated using the average price).
(iii) The company extended the term of leases over its two items of heavy machinery. The extension involved a payment of $100,000 to reduce the liability and an extension of one year to 27 August 2000, at which time the residual value will be nil.
(iv) On 9 September 1999 the company issued 7,500,000 ordinary shares by way of a placement to raise $262,500 additional working capital.
(v) Two million of the shares in Giants Reef, acquired as per item (ii) were subsequently sold. The shares had a book value of $130,000 ($0.065 each) and were sold for $133,987.
(vi) In this half-yearly report a receivable for $184,829 has been included representing the additional 2,100,325 Giants Reef shares to be issued to the Company as calculated in accordance with item (ii) above.
(vii) The Abnormal item in the financial report has resulted from the sale of the gold processing plant at a loss of $264,844 less reversal of the 30 June 1999 provision for loss of $90,058.
For additional information, click here.
DRILLING AT TEXAS SILVER PROJECT
A programme of drilling has commenced at the Twin Hills Silver Deposit at Texas, Queensland.
Drilling will be focussed on upgrading ore grade mineralisation encountered in the previous programme (ASX release 1 February 2000) and to test other areas of silver mineralisation within and around the periphery of the conceptualised open pit.
The programme is estimated to last four to six weeks.
The Directors are pleased to announce a new expanded Joint Venture Agreement with the Korea Hungsong Economic Group ("Hungsong") of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ("DPRK").
The new agreement covers six gold projects, four of which are introduced under the new agreement and two of which have been the subject of earlier announcements.
All of the new projects are alluvial deposits. The first alluvial project on which Molopo will focus is at Changjin, 100km north west of Hamhung Bay. The project dimensions are approximately 11,000 metres long, 50 metres wide and 4-5 metres deep. Molopo has purchased a 50 tonne/hour InLine Pressure Jig from Gekko Systems in Ballarat, Victoria which is now en-route to the DPRK. This Jig should be in place in May 2000, with test production expected to commence soon thereafter.
A further significant new project secured by Molopo is "Big Boy" at Chongju in the north west of the DPRK. The Big Boy project covers a total area of 34.6 sqkm. The initial sampling and exploration work will focus on a 4 sqkm area from surface to a depth of 35 metres. Molopo is currently testing a small sample of material from Big Boy provided by Hungsong, and will undertake a more detailed sampling programme over the next six months.
The Directors also announced that the company has received formal approval from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and
Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) in China for its Production Sharing Contract with the China United Coalbed Methane Company Ltd for the Exploitation of Coalbed Methane Resources in the Luilin Area of the People's Republic of China.
Molopo has now received all necessary approvals required to commence its appraisal drilling program and 4-5 well pilot production test. Molopo intends to drill and fracture 3-4 new wells and place them on a medium term production test. The company will also cavitate an existing well, HW-Llb, which will form part of the production test. Molopo anticipates that the first well will spud in May 2000.
EXPLORATION DRILLING RESULTS - TAY PROJECT - VAUNI ANOMALY
(EL 63/528 - Mount Burgess Gold Mining Company N.L. 100%)
During the period 25 February to 3 March 2000 a RAB/aircore drilling programme consisting of 125 holes for 2,706 metres was completed at the Company's Tay Project in the south-west of Western Australia.
The most northern line returned a nickel intersection grading 0.18% Ni over 21 metres, the central line returned 0.21%Ni over 23 metres and the southernmost line returned 0.25% Ni over 22 metres and 0.12% Ni over 20m in holes 80m apart. Assay results from further drilling along strike to the north and south of this zone are still awaited.
It is significant to note that these drill results were intersected through the weathered/oxidised part of the subsurface profile and also into fresh, unoxidised ultramafic rocks, some of which exhibit spinifex textures at the bottom of the hole. This information provides considerable encouragement towards further, deeper exploration for primary, high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation below the weathered profile. For additional information, click here.
PERILYA PRODUCES RECORD FIRST HALF PROFIT OF $6.2 MILLION
Perilya capped off its best six month performance at the Company's Fortnum gold mine in Western Australia when it announced today a record operating profit of $6.2 million for the half year ended 31 December 1999.
The profit came from an outstanding performance at the Fortnum mine which produced 49,414 ounces in the period at a cash operating cost of $256 an ounce.
The record profit figure for the first six months of financial year 2000 compares with a 12 month profit of $4.2 million in 1999.
"Perilya is in a strong financial position with cash and gold bullion reserves of approximately $24 million and no secured debt," said Mr Tim Clifton, Managing Director of Perilya.
Mr Clifton said the Company would spend approximately $4 million on exploration in the current financial year concentrating on its gold and base metal targets in Australia and Malaysia.
The main areas of activity over the next six months will be at:
Mr Clifton said that there was clear potential within Perilya for substantial growth - even before the Company considered the acquisition opportunities being pursued.
RESULTS AND REVIEW OF OPERATIONS - Half Yearly Report
The consolidated operating loss before abnormal items and income tax was $3.953m (1998: profit $0.376m).
Sales revenue totalled $10.451m (1998: $16.168m). The decrease reflects hedge contracts taken out in October 1998 which yielded a received price of US$14.50 on 445,049 barrels of Timor Sea production.
On 24 September 1999, Petroz sold its wholly owned subsidiary company, Petroz Offshore Pty Ltd containing the Bass Strait asset for $5.000m, resulting in an abnormal gain of $3.362m.
Effective 31 December 1999, Petroz sold its Surat Basin interests for $3.250m, resulting in a net gain of $0.144m. This comprised an abnormal credit to profit of $0.575m being a writeback of restoration provision, reduced by an abnormal charge to profit of $0.431m, being a loss on sale of assets.
The final abnormal item charged against operating profit, was a writedown in value of exploration interests of $1.508m.
The consolidated operating loss after tax and abnormal items was $1.885m (1998 loss: $4.891m). Income tax credit attributable to operating loss of $0.070m (1998: expense $1.554m) was mainly the result of the operating loss offset by a reduction of the future income tax benefit of $1.372m brought to account.
At 31 December 1999 the Company had $5.209 million of future income tax benefits not brought to account.
The six month period to 31 December 1999 represented a transition period for Resolute Limited ("Resolute"), during which the Group processed lower grade material at Chalice and Obotan, while at the same time Golden Pride was in the process of ramping up to full production.
Notwithstanding this, Resolute's attributable gold production for the six months ended 31 December 1999 rose 29% to 162,193 ounces (1998: 125,511 ounces) at an average cash cost $340 per ounce (1998: $303 per ounce).
The growth in production was offset by a lower prevailing gold price during the period. As a consequence, the realisable gold price achieved during the period was $487/oz (1998: $606). At the same time depreciation and amortisation charges booked rose from $9.5m to $14.7m for the current period.
This resulted in the Group recording an operating loss of $0.3m (1998: profit $19.6m) for the period.
Preliminary Final Report - the main points to note are:
Lipscombe #1 - Spudded 24/2/00. Total depth of 725 m reached 13/3/00. Preparing to run open hole logs and run production casing.
Mahon #1 - Spudded 29/2/00. Also, 8 (5/8)" surface casing has been set at 148 m. Awaiting drilling rig, which will move back on approximately 15/3/00.
Since the last report dated 7 March 2000, the Corvus-1 exploration well has drilled ahead from 3,621 metres to the planned total depth of 3,835.2 metres measured depth ("MD").
"Measurement While Drilling" logging data indicates that the well has continued to drill through a gas bearing reservoir. A total of 399.2 metres (gross) of gas column has been intersected between 3,436 and 3,835.2 metres MD.
A wireline logging and coring programme is currently in progress with pressure data and a retrieved sample at 3,700.5 metres strongly supporting the existence of a gas accumulation.
Victoria Petroleum NL advises that the Tri-Valley Oil and Gas operated EKHO-1, testing the Pipeline/EKHO Prospect area, was drilling ahead at 13,500 feet on March 6,2000.
At the EKHO Project in the San Joaquin Valley of Southern California, the EKHO-1 well is drilling at a depth of 13,500 feet. Tri-Valley Oil and Gas, the operators, have run in and cemented 9 7/8" casing to 13,100 feet and are now drilling ahead to the target depth of approximately 19,000 feet. The drilling is progressing as scheduled and it is anticipated that the EKHO-1 well will reach target depth in approximately 70 to 90 days.
The Directors of Amadeus Petroleum NL are pleased to announce that through its 100% owned USA subsidiary, Amadeus Petroleum Inc, the company has executed a contract with REMINGTON OIL of Graham Texas to acquire its oil producing assets in Young County, Texas.
The lease consists of 22 producing wells, 13 injection wells and 1 water supply well.
The acquisition cost is $US1.335 Million ($A2.1 Million). Current production is 130 bopd for the 100% working interest.
In addition to the existing production of 130 bopd the producing wells have the capacity for production increase by low cost workovers. These workovers should increase production by 100 bopd. There are 7 locations ready for infield drilling and this has the capacity to increase production substantially.
The Glernmore No l well being drilled by Amadeus in SGC's Petroleum Exploration Licence 2 ("PEL 2" ) in the Sydney Basin has encountered "encouraging oil and gas shows".
"The well is being continuously cored through the Lower Bulgo Sandstone of the Triassic Narrabeen Group. From 422 metres, sandstone with poor to fair porosity were encountered bubbling gas. Between 432 to 437 metres, sandstones with up to 50% moderately bright yellow- green to blue-white fluorescence and a petroliferous odour were intersected. Sandstones with gas shows and trace-10% fluorescence continued to 492 metres where a 1 metre sandstone with fair porosity and bleeding oil and bubbling gas was encountered. The well is currently drilling ahead in the Stanwell Park Claystone.
The future program is to core through the Stanwell Park Claystone and core and evaluate the Scarborough Sandstone beneath. At the prognosed total depth of 600 metres, electric logs will be run and the oil and gas shows evaluated."
Anaconda has posted a 2.5% increase in operating profit in the December half to $899,000. Technical problems have delayed the commissioning and ramp-up of Anaconda's 60%-owned Murrin Murrin nickel/cobalt mine in WA. However, Anaconda says the production of LME grade nickel and cobalt during the half year reconfirmed the robustness of the Sherritt process.
Centaur has carried out some 10,433m of RC drilling, targeting lateritic nickel-cobalt mineralisation within the Siberia Project in WA. Centaur recently requested Mining and Resource Technology (MRT) to undertake a resource evaluation. The parameters and results of the MRT resource evaluation are summarised as follows.
Inferred Resource 46.5Mt at 0.7% Ni and 0.03% Co for 326Kt of contained Ni metal (lower cut offof 0.5% Ni).
Comet has delivered to QNI/Billiton evaluation documentation required pursuant to the 11 November 1999 Comet/QNI Joint Venture Agreement, QNI has until 9 April 2000 to finalise its project assessment and determine whether it will take a 40% direct interest in the Ravensthorpe Nickel Project.
Dome has recorded a 63% fall in operating profit for the 6 months to 31 December of $2.04 million.
The Directors have declared an interim dividend for the year to 30 June 2000 of 0.5 cents per share. The dividend will be fully franked. The record date will be 24 March 2000, and the dividend will be paid on 31 March 2000.
Alcoa of Australia Limited (ACN 004 879 298), trading as Alcoa World Alumina Australia ("Alcoa"), intends to make a takeover bid to acquire all of the issued shares of Eastern Aluminium Limited ("EAM") for $1.60 cash per share.
Alcoa is currently entitled to 10.73% of EAM. The major asset of EAM is its 10% interest in the Portland Aluminium Smelter Joint Venture ("Portland"). Alcoa is the major joint venture partner in Portland with a 45% direct interest and, through a wholly owned subsidiary, is the manager appointed to operate Portland.
Empire, the Operator of the EP 389 Permit in the Onshore Perth Basin has recently completed the Bullsbrook North Seismic Survey. Processing of the new seismic data and reprocessing of seismic recorded by Empire in 1998 forms a detailed grid of 160 fold seismic data. Interpretation of this data set has delineated two substantial prospects. They are located immediately adjacent one another and both structures are remarkably simple dome-like structures. These prospects hove been named Eclipse and Eclipse West.
The securities of Icon Oil will be suspended from the commencement of trading on Monday 13 March 2000, at the request of the Company, pending release of an announcement. For information on Icon, click here.
Japan's economy technically moved into recession following a second consecutive fall in GDP in the December quarter (doen 1.4%) as a fall in both consumer and government spending offset an increase in company investment. The Nikkei fell 560 points.
The Board of Tiger announced that the Supreme Court of NSW has approved its merger with Metals Exploration Limited ("MEX") by way of a Scheme of Arrangement.
In accordance with the scheme documentation, Mr Peter H Cary, Tiger's Chairman, has today been appointed Chairman of the enlarged MEX, Mr Garnet Harrison remains the Managing Director of the Group. Mr Graham Johnston, a Tiger non-executive director has been appointed a MEX non-executive director. Mr Donald Taig has today resigned as a MEX director in view of his extensive business commitments.
MEX has previously announced its intention to seek shareholder Consent to a change of name to "Harbour Capital Limited".
HIGHLIGHTS - HALF YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 1999
Otter advises that the recent heavy rainfall in Central Australia will have a significant impact on gold production from the Tanami Mine during the March quarter.
Over the last week the Corvus-1 exploration well was drilled from 3621 metres to present depth of 3835 metres. Results of wireline logging operations over the last few days indicate that a gas column is present over the gross interval from 3436 metres to present depth at 3835 metres.
Once logging operations have been completed over the next couple of days it is expected that Corvus-1 will be deepened in order to determine the full extent of the hydrocarbon column.
Petroz advises that the White Opal-1 well, located in exploration permit EP325 in the Carnarvon Basin of Western Australia, spudded on 10 March 2000.
White Opal-1 is an onshore well located on North West Cape and will be drilled directionally, to encounter the crest of the target horizon, the Triassic Mungaroo Formation, some 900 metres northeast of the wellsite, beneath the waters of Exmouth Gulf.
The well will be drilled to a total vertical depth of between 2,106 and 2,900 metres (2,340 and 3,100m drilling depth), the final depth being dependent upon the geological sequence encountered. Drilling of the well is expected to take 16 to 27 days.
Platgold's 100% owned subsidiary, Startrack Communications Limited, has reached agreement with Vistar Telecommunications Inc. of Canada to extend Startrack's exclusive rights to the Vistar tracking technology to include the Sub-Saharan African region. This agreement is subject to documentation.
The Board of Santos Ltd was informed earlier today that Mr Ross Adler, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, intends to retire effective 30th September 2000
St Francis Mining Ltd has announced a pro rata non-renounceable rights issue to shareholders on the basis of 1 new share for every 4 shares held at an issue price of 2.9 cents per share.
The proposed record date for the rights issue is 28 March 2000.
PRELIMINARY FINAL REPORT - FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 1999
|Operating profit/(loss) before interest, tax and abnormal items
|Operating profit/(loss) after tax attributable to members of Straits Resources Limited
|Earnings per share (undiluted)
|Cash flows from operations
|Cash flows per share (undiluted) from operations
|Total shareholders' equity
|Net tangible asset backing per share
|Return on shareholders' funds
|Nifty Copper Operation
Girilambone Copper Mine
Straits Resources Limited - attributable copper
|Sebuku Coal Mine
The Directors of WME are pleased to announce that it has entered into a Heads of Agreement to acquire up to a 40% interest in BMS Solutions Pty Ltd ("BMS").
The Heads of Agreement provides for WME to acquire up to 40% of the issued capital of BMS, at a total cost of $1,500,000.
AMX announced an Agreement had been reached with Network Design and Construction Ltd ("NDC"), Australia's largest telecommunications design and construction company to form a strategic partnership to undertake evaluation of network roll-out and vendor selection to deliver high speed access to the Internet.
HALF YEARLY REPORT
The AGL - ACTEW joint venture moved a major step closer today following approval by the ACT Assembly to the Joint Venture Facilitation Act.
Following the Assembly's approval ACTEW and AGL can now undertake further detailed feasibility and due diligence, as well as to commence the detailed commercial negotiations necessary to establish the Joint Venture.
The Joint Venture would involve the establishment of a 50/50 partnership between AGL and ACTEW combining AGL's ACT and Queanbeyan gas businesses with ACTEW's electricity businesses.
Beach Petroleum NL ("Beach") has made an offer to Jingellic Minerals NL ("Jingellic") and to Enterprise Gold Mines NL ("Enterprise") to forgive the judgement debt owed jointly and severally by these companies as a consequence of the judgement debt in proceedings No. G53 1991 in the Federal Court of Australia, South Australian Registry.
The terms of each offer include, as consideration, that the companies transfer all of their respective mineral assets to Beach and that each agrees to issue and assign new shares to Beach.
Beach believes that each offer provides a basis for each of Jingellic and Enterprise to examine potential new business opportunities and possibly seek to relist on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Bligh advises that it has now received Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation ("MOFTEC") approval for the contract dated December 21, 1999 between Bligh and China National Offshore Oil Corporation ("CNOOC") on Block 22/12. The effective date of the contract for work program purposes will therefore be April 1, 2000.
The initial term of the contract provides for a two year period, during which Bligh is committed to the drilling of a 2250 metre exploratory well. Bligh is already actively working the 2D and 3D seismic data with a view to selection of two locations for drilling during the first half of 2001. These locations will be drilled back to back, probably during the second quarter.
Brandrill reported a consolidated net profit after tax of $1.3 million and revenue of $53.6 million for the half year ended 31 December 1999.
This profit included an abnormal profit contribution of $0.74 million attributable to a restatement of deferred tax balances that has arisen due to the reduction in Australian company income tax rates from 36% to 30% over the next two years.
The lower profit result reflects the difficult conditions prevalent in the Australian contract mining industry as well as the sizeable costs associated with the development and commercialisation of Brandrill's now patented rock-breaking technologies.
The Company's prospects for the second half year and beyond have been boosted by the commencement of new mining contracts in South Africa and Australia. The Company currently believes its consolidated profit for the full year ending 30 June 2000 should exceed the profit of $2.48 million recorded in the previous corresponding period.
Change of Company Status
Cullen is convening a meeting of members of Cullen Resources to be held on Monday 10th April, 2000 at 9.30 AM.
The purpose of the meeting is to seek approval from shareholders to change the status of the Company from "NL" to "Limited". This change is consistent with the board's stated objective of seeking to diversify the Company's activities beyond mining related projects and into the more broadly based technology and e-commerce sectors.
As a limited company, Cullen will be able to pursue activities outside the mining sector.
A number of potential technology investments are currently under review. Any material developments will be disclosed to the market and shareholders in a timely fashion. For additional information, click here.
Deepgreen has advised that the Company's subsidiary, Asia Energy Corporation Pty Ltd, has had all its titles in Bangladesh renewed for twelve months and is proceeding with applications for conversion of these into mining licences. The approvals follow presentations to senior representatives of the Government of Bangladesh.
Deepgreen owns 65% of Asia Energy Corporation, Barton Capital Holdings Ltd owns 29% and the balance is held by private investors.
The Bangladesh titles cover the Phulbari coal deposit which has an inferred resource of 383 million tonnes of high quality steaming coal. A scoping study carried out by Geo-Eng International has indicated that a 9 million tonne a year open cut mine at Phulbari would be economically viable. Asia Energy envisages a development of a 2,000 mega-watt power station in association with the coal project. The overall development cost of the mine and power project would be in excess of $US2,500 million.
Gold and Resource Developments NL released its Preliminary Final Report for the year ended 31 December 1999.
The report confirms the previously announced 1999 net profit before taxation, equity accounting and CRP share expense of $17.7 million, from the Company's first year as owner of the Macraes Gold Project. This equates to $14.2 million of operating profit, net of tax, equity accounting and CRP share expense.
Company Chairman Brettney Fogarty said; "The 1999 result was pleasing, representing a significant turnaround on 1998, with production up 33% and cash costs of production down 28%. We are now set for further improvement in 2000, with a further 30% growth in production and profit forecast."
Reflecting the strong performance, the Company will pay an ordinary dividend of 3 cents per share.
The merger of GRD and Minproc was approved at general meetings of Minproc share and option holders. Subject to final court approval, the merger will be effective 3 April 2000.
The Granny Smith Joint Venture reported that a 156m diamond drill hole has been completed on GCRs Merolia property. Logging of the hole has identified chlorite alteration with very fine sulphide (pyrite) veining in the anticipated gold zone area. The core is being split and sent for assay.
Previous intersections of the gold zone have been in oxidized (as opposed to sulphide) material, with the best one returning 6m of 17.59 g/t gold.
The latest drilling programme revealed a 32m zone to the west of the McCarron zone which assayed 3.5 % zinc, 0.57% lead, 22g/t silver (hole GKF78 from 8-40m) including 8m averaging 7.39% zinc, 1.06% lead, 32g/t silver. This zone has been named the Mather zone (previously the INCO zone) has a strike length of approximately 800 m.
Barite mineralisation was intersected over 52m from 74 to 126m which averaged 30.3% barite (plus 28g/t silver) in a hole GKF80 located 600m north of the McCarron zone
Resource estimates of the amount of barite at Kempfield calculated from the 245 holes drilled so far reveal an inferred resource of 2.7 million tonnes of barite to a depth of approximately 60m.
Barite is used primarily in oil drilling mud, however there is a large market for high value application in over 2,000 uses including computor, television and microwave screens to prevent emission of harmful rays.
Discussions have been held with an industrial minerals company with a view to exploiting the barite resources.
Newcrest is currently conducting RC follow-up drilling of the copper-gold porphyry style mineralisation discovered at Yiddah North during 1999. Newcrest reported drilling 63 shallow aircore holes for 5,719m exploring the Gidginbung volcanics north of the Narragudgil prospect. Results are awaited.
Newcrest has decided to follow-up with deep RC drilling the high grade gold intersection of 2m averaging 26g/t gold in the southeastern portion of the five kilometre copper-gold porphyry system. The anomalous results from the shallow aircore drilling of the nearby magnetic low will also be followed-up with drilling.
The Company announces that Philippine Gold plc ("PGO") and Thistle Mining Inc ("Thistle") have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for PGO and Thistle to merge by way of a Scheme of Arrangement ("Scheme") under section 425 of the Companies Act (1985) of England and Wales.
The proposed Scheme, which is subject to UK Court and PGO shareholder approval, will entail PGO shareholders receiving one (1) Thistle share for every five and a half (5.5) PGO shares they hold.
The Memorandum of Understanding provides that T. Hoare Canaccord will underwrite a placement of GBP4.35 million of new shares of PGO at 5.5 pence per share to raise additional capital for the enlarged company
The proceeds of the share issue will be used to complete a bankable feasibility study for the Masbate Gold Project, to provide ongoing working capital and (if required) to redeem the PGO unsecured convertible loan note due in August 2000.
Centaur Mining advises that its wholly owned controlled entity, Centaur Nickel Investments Pty Ltd, has extended the offer period for acceptances of the takeovers offer for all of the issued shares in Heron Resources NL, until 26 April 2000.
Horizon Mining NL (Horizon) is pleased to announce that it has agreed to purchase 75% of Supernet Browser Pty Ltd for 6 million fully paid ordinary shares to be issued at $0.09 (the Shares) and 8 million options exercisable at an average price of $1.40 (the Options). The assets of Supernet Browser Pty Ltd comprise Horizon Browser (formerly referred to as Web II Browser) and Web II Communicator.
Electric logs run at Hochstetter-1 (PEP 38460) confirmed that no commercial hydrocarbons were encountered.
The Directors of Plenty River Corporation Limited advise that following a meeting of the Ammonia/Urea Project participants, held in Milan on 6 and 7 March 2000 to review the outcome of the participants' Capital and Operating Cost Optimisation Study, Plenty River will now proceed to complete a Bankable Feasibility Study.
The high cost of construction on the remote Burrup Peninsula site still remains an issue and Snamprogetti S.p.A. (the project's prime contractor) and Thiess Contractors Pty Limited (the nominated construction contractor) have now embarked on a programme aimed at further reducing project capital cost.
Diavik Diamond Mines Inc, (DDMI) a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto, announced the signing of the Environmental Agreement for the Diavik Diamonds Project on 8 March 2000.
The conclusion of the major milestone should now enable the timely issuance of the final project authorisations. In the interim, DDMI plans to remobilise its workforce at its existing camp facilities and utilise the balance of the 2000 winter road season. The extent to which full use of the remaining winter road will be possible is dependent upon DIAND issuing appropriate land use permits. The impact of the mobilisation delay on the overall project time-line will be dependent, among other factors, on the weather sensitive winter road schedule.
Santos Ltd is pleased to announce the acquisition of a number of Carnarvon Basin oil and gas assets from Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd for approximately A$240 million. The effective date for the transaction is 1 January 2000.
The interests acquired include:
The estimate of proved and probable reserves within the portfolio acquired by Santos as at 1 January 2000 is approximately 43 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) representing an acquisition cost of approximately A$5.60 per BOE.
Victoria Petroleum NL, as Operator for the EP 325 Joint Venture, is pleased to advise that the White Opal-1 exploration well spudded at 0400 hours on 10th March 2000, and is currently drilling ahead in 445mm hole at 30m.
The White Opal Prospect is seismically interpreted to have a most likely potential to contain 247 million barrels of oil or 880 billion cubic feet of gas, in the target sands of the Mungaroo Formation, if hydrocarbons are present. White Opal-1 is located 22km to the southwest of the Leatherback-1 oil discovery, that flowed 2400 BOPD from the Mungaroo Formation, and 20km north of the Rivoli-1 gas discovery.
||Gold - spot||US$288.60||
|A$ = US61.47c||
||Silver - spot||US$5.06
|A$ = 65.28yen||
||Platinum - spot||US$474.00||
|A$ = 0.638Euro||
||Bridge CRB Index||214.06||
|US 30-Year Bond
||6.189%||+0.041||Crude Oil (NYMEX)||US$31.76||
Allegiance announced further encouraging drilling results from 3 recently completed drill holes on the Avebury nickel sulphide project near Zeehan in western Tasmania.
Centennial has reported a consolidated after-tax profit of $1.7 million for the six months to 31 December 1999, although this is a decrease of 18% over the corresponding period last year. This decrease in first half profitability was foreshadowed in the Company's recent communications to Shareholders and is considered a good result given prevailing market conditions. A more detailed review of the Company's operating performance is set out below.
In line with last year's increased interim dividend, the Directors have declared that the interim dividend be maintained at 2.5 cents per ordinary share. However, as indicated in the Company's FY99 Annual Report, the Company's carried forward tax loss position following the acquisitions of Clarence and Blue Mountains Collieries results in the dividend being unfranked.
For the year ended December 31, 1999, Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp reported a net loss of $28.3 million, compared to a net loss of $234.3 million in 1998. After dividends to preferred shareholders, 1999's net loss attributable to common shareholders was $38.9 million or $1.61 per share, compared to a net loss of $244.8 million or $11.18 per share for 1998.
The 1999 year end results included gains of $21.1 million from the settlement of a lawsuit and $4.0 million from the early retirement of debt, offset by a non-cash $16.2 million write-down in the carrying value of the Yilgarn Star mine, a non-cash mark to market loss of $4.3 million on Coeur's gold protection program, and a 2.2 million adjustment to estimated net closure costs at Golden Cross. The 1998 year end results included a gain of $12.2 million from the early retirement of debt and non-cash property write-downs of $223.2 million.At year end, Coeur had cash and short-term investments of $109.9 million, and working capital was in excess of $157 million.
Consolidated Rutile Limited operations in Queensland have returned to full production, after more than nine months of restricted output in 1999.
Earnings before abnormal items and income tax for the 18 month-period to December 31, 1999, were $21.7 million, compared to $34.9 million for the preceding 12 months.
The Company's reporting period was extended last year to bring the accounts into line with the calendar year reporting of parent company Iluka Resources Limited, which acquired control of CRL in December, 1998.
Key features of the results were
The Silmon etal #1 well, the first well in the Company's year 2000 multi prospect program in Louisiana, is presently drilling ahead at 8,405 feet. Planned total depth of the well is 9,750 feet.
The well will test the South Drew Prospect in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana.
In the continuing advancement of all phases of activity associated with the Woodsreef magnesium project in New South Wales, Golden Triangle Resources NL has entered into an arrangement with the Joint Israeli-Russian Laboratory for Energy Research, in Beer Sheva, Israel, to carry out research on magnesium alloy development. This is the same laboratory where, as announced on 24 January 2000, work had commenced on an innovative application of existing technology to the preparation of anhydrous magnesium chloride combined with the removal of particulate magnesium oxide impurities in magnesium metal production.
GCM has posted a significantly higher first-half net profit of $52.51 million (up from $14.67 million). Gold production was up 7.4% to 404,423 ounces and cash operating costs were 6.9% lower at $284/ounce. An interim dividend of 3 cents/share (steady) was declared.
The Hitec Manganese Project currently in feasibility is designed to produce high quality EMD (electrolytic manganese dioxide) using an innovative process that is both cost effective and environmentally friendly compared with the current method of production. In recent developments HiTec Energy NL and its engineers Lycopodium Pty Ltd/Monadelphous Group Ltd have met with Mintek (HiTec's process consultants) in South Africa to review progress on the bankable feasibility study.
This review has resulted in proposed modifications that will result in a simpler process that is expected to be easier to operate and with a significantly lower capital cost. Implementation of these modifications will, however, result in a delay in the availability of commercial quality EMD, currently planned for April, until June.
The securities of Icon Oil NL the release of an announcement to the market. For information on Icon, click here.
SUMMARY - Preliminary Final Report
A major integration and restructuring program has contributed to a 35% increase in earnings per share before abnormals for Iluka Resources Limited.
Financial results, announced today, deliver the first round of benefits from the expansion and diversification of the international mineral production and processing Group.
Iluka expects continued improvement in the current year when further benefits of the restructure take effect.
The major features of the 1999 results were
The final dividend for the year of 11 cents, payable on April 27, will be 98% franked. This will be the last dividend with a franking component for the foreseeable future.
Jubilee has received the analytical results from diamond drill hole JCD 102, the third hole to target the Cosmos Deeps mineralisation.This drill hole was drilled to test the down dip extension to the zone of massive nickel sulphide mineralisation intersected in the two earlier holes (JCD 100 and JCD 101).
JCD 102 intersected a 14.35 metre wide mineralised interval containing two zone of massive and semi-massive nickel sulphides.
Legend is to raise an additional $427,688 in working capital which primarily will be applied to the continuing mine development and operations at our 30% held Elizabeth Hill Silver project and our 100% owned Carlow Castle property.
Metals Ex announced an after tax profit of $1,000,031 for the year to December 1999, compared with a loss of $446,574 for 1998.
Earnings per share were 5.93c compared with a loss of 3.30c per share for 1998. The Directors have declared a final dividend of 2c per share, fully franked, making 3c for the year, versus nil for 1998.
MEX Chairman Mr Garnet Harrison said that the company has begun to benefit from the board's earlier decision to re-focus the company's investments on emerging opportunities in the recovering Asian economies.
A Heads of Agreement has been executed with the Vendors of AutoNetCom Limited ("AutoNet") relating to the proposed acquisition by Stirling of the whole of the share capital of AutoNet in exchange for the issue and allotment of 80 million shares in Stirling at an issue price of 12.0 cents per share, together with 40 million options exercisable at any time up to 31 December 2002, at an exercise price of 20 cents each.
Timor Sea Petroleum NL ("TSP") is pleased to advise that it has incorporated Natural Gas Australia Ltd (ACN 091 824 798) ("Natural Gas Australia") as a wholly owned subsidiary.
It is planned that Natural Gas Australia will be the company to which all of the oil and gas interests of TSP will be assigned as part of the proposed Scheme of Arrangement between TSP and its shareholders who will receive a distribution of all of the shares and options in Natural Gas Australia pro Kate to their shareholding in TSP.
Following distribution of Natural Gas Australia shares and options to the shareholders of TSP, Natural Gas Australia will seek quotation on the ASX for its securities.
Alliance Gold Limited (70%) and Impress Technologies Limited (20%) have joined forces to develop a new healthcare IT company, Allmed Technologies Limited (Allmed).
Allmed will use advanced information technology and communications systems designed over the past three years, coupled with thin-client architecture and easy to use interfaces, to improve healthcare standards within Australia and internationally.
Amadeus advise that drilling on Glermore No.1 well in the Sydney Basin has reached a depth of 359.6 metres and is coring ahead at the rate of 42.0 metres per day.
At the present rate of progress, the well should reach target depth of on Saturday, 11 March, 2000.
Austral has reported an OPERATING PROFIT BEFORE TAX of $2,685,000 for the year ended 31 December 1999, a profit margin of 3.4% on SALES of $78,587,000. Pre tax RETURN ON EQUITY was 7%. Both results are regarded as disappointing and are inadequate for the investment risk.
This result includes the impact of a 24% reduction in the average price of coking coal compared to 1998, reflecting the general deterioration in the coking coal market world wide. The company was very successful in implementing a number of cost saving initiatives to offset the price fall but the full effect was negated by reduced productivity in the December quarter due to difficult roof conditions encountered on the longwall face.
Prices have now fallen 40% in two years and it is only restructuring of the workforce and other cost reduction measures that have kept the company in financial health.
Due to the adverse weather conditions currently being experienced in central Queensland commencement of the drilling program by Galilee Energy limited at ATP529P will be delayed. The drilling sites are located between Longreach and Winton about 20 km east of the Thompson River where flood levels are currently expected to exceed their 1955 level, the highest in recorded history.
A drill rig has been procured and it is estimated that drilling will commence as soon as it is possible to gain access to the site, expected to be in about 3 weeks.
REMEDIATION OF MINESITES
In the past few days, there has been considerable interest shown by the share market in companies engaged in developing technologies to clean up water contaminated by previous mining activities. In this announcement we would like to clarify the nature and role of our patented EMEW technology in relation to those other technologies.
Remediation of contaminated mine runoff water is an important market for Electrometals, although it is only one of a number of very promising applications for our unique electrowinning technology.
As was mentioned in an announcement made by Geo2 Limited yesterday, we have installed several pilot plants to remove the copper from acid mine drainage streams at Freeport Indonesias giant Grasberg copper/gold mine in Irian Jaya. Our equipment has now been proven to be effective in removing the copper down to targeted levels while at the same time producing high quality saleable copper metal. Moreover, it would appear that this can be done at operating costs significantly below the value of the metal produced. Our EMEW technology therefore stands out as a uniquely valuable technique for not only extracting toxic metals from minesites runoff, but also making the clean-up pay its way. We are unaware of any other technology that can achieve those combined benefits.
We wish to emphasise that the EMEW technology is now a developed, successful product currently being employed by users in a range of businesses, not just mine remediation. For more information, click here.
Equigold NL is pleased to announce that the Company has recently made the following significant progress in relation to the development of the Mt Rawdon gold project:
On the basis of the achievement of these critical legal and funding milestones, the board has given formal approval for the development of the project.
The project, located in south east Queensland, contains a mineable reserve of 22.8 million tonnes at 1.08 g/t gold and 4.78 g/t silver. The bankable feasibility study completed in June 1999 indicates production of 72,000 ounces of gold and 211,000 ounces of silver per annum over the 10 year mine life of the project.
Hallmark advises that it has now signed formal contracts and exercised the option to acquire 100% of the issued capital of Chemist Club Pty Ltd., which owns the Chemist Club business. Chemist Club is an online loyalty program using a proprietary online system that provides independent retail pharmacy outlets with a marketing strategy enabling those pharmacies to differentiate themselves from local competitors and, in the process, build a substantial banner group.
Homestake reported that the amount of gold contained in mineralized inventory at its 60%-owned Veladero project in northwestern Argentina has reached 7.8 million ounces, a 39% increase over the amount assessed as of December 31, 1999. The amount of silver in mineralized inventory has increased by 47% and reached 147.4 million ounces. The increased amounts of gold and silver are based on the information compiled from a total of 87 additional holes drilled since June 1999 into the Amable and Filo Federico deposits as well as step-out holes drilled north and east of Amable and southeast of Filo Federico. Not included in the inventory, but of particular importance, is mineralization which has been found between the two deposits. This mineralization forms an apparent extension of the earlier discovered Amable Norte zone and its discovery has opened new possibilities for future resource growth at Veladero.
The Company has finalised the underwriting arrangement and pricing following the last five days trading averages to Tuesday night 7th March.
The issue will be a Renounceable issue of 1 new share for every 8 shares held at an issue price of 42 cents per share with a free attaching option exercisable at 42 cents per share on or before 30th April 2001, to raise approximately $5,000,000. The issue is underwritten by Bell Securities Limited.
Maiden advises that it has concluded two acquisition agreements that will substantially enhance Maiden's equity positions in its existing gold projects in Tanzania. The properties involved include two which have returned multiple, apparently ore grade, RAB drill intersections for gold, and others with already defined drilling targets.
In conjunction with the Company's current activities, the Directors of Nexus are pleased to announce that they have been offered an opportunity and have now entered into a Heads of Agreement with all the shareholders of MTIC Corporate Pty Ltd ("MTIC") wherein Nexus has been granted an option to acquire 20% of the issued capital of MTIC ("Option"). Consideration for the acquisition, in the event the Option is exercised, totals $650,000 to be satisfied by the payment of $200,000 and the issue of 4.5 million fully paid ordinary shares in Nexus. MTIC is a diversified technology company that provides e-commerce services and solutions to the corporate market.
Nido Petroleum will commence its drilling and workover program as part of the Zhongyuan Redevelopment Project in mainland China, several months ahead of the anticipated schedule.
Nido's Managing Director, Mr Peter Henderson, said that as a result of the earlier than expected start to field operations, production revenue will be generated as early as mid April, when the first well is due to be completed.
"Net monthly incremental revenue to the joint venture could be about US$350,000" Mr Henderson said.
Portman Mining Limited's Lithgow Silicon Metal Project took a further step forward today (Wednesday) with the announcement that Thiess Contractors and Kaiser Engineers had been commissioned to jointly produce an Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) Contract Fixed Price for the construction of the smelter facility near Lithgow, 130 kilometres west of Sydney.
Santos Ltd announces that Santos Offshore Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Santos Ltd, has reached agreement to jointly purchase with Woodside Energy Ltd the interests of The Shell Company of Australia Ltd in VIC/RL2, which contains the majority of the Kipper gas field in the Bass Strait.
The acquisition, which is subject to customary approvals, will result in the Santos Group holding a total economic interest of approximately 20% in VIC/RL2.
The Directors of Stirling are pleased to announce that an Agreement with the Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) whereby the PNOC will drill, and pay the costs for, the First Well on Fuga Island, the Philippines has now been signed. Drilling is expected to commence early May.
Troy Resources NL today produced further evidence that it is one of Australia's lowest cost and most profitable gold producers in its sector when it announced a Company record first half profit after tax to December 31, 1999 of $6.9 million.
The profit, which equates to earnings per share of 15 cents, was based on sales revenue of A$21 million, and is up from a loss of $0.3 million recorded in the previous corresponding period and a profit of $0.4 million for the full 1998/99 year. The profit was struck on the excellent performance from both of the Company's gold mining operations, Sandstone and Cornishman, in the half-year.
Operating net cash flow was a strong $9.3 million for the half-year. (The previous corresponding period was a cash outflow of $3.8 million.)
UE announced it intends to enter into a joint marketing venture, known as Pulse Energy, to retail electricity and gas to customers in the eastern states and South Australia.
UE will contribute its electricity retail customers and will have a 25% holding in Pulse Energy. Energy Partnership (Ikon Energy) which is owned by UE's cornerstone shareholders (AMP and UtiliCorp) will contribute its gas retail customers to Pulse Energy and will also have a 25% shareholding. Shell Australia will have a 40% interest and Woodside Energy 10%.
Woodside Energy Ltd. advises that it has bought the Bass Strait interests of The Shell Company of Australia in VicP19 (Basker, Manta, Gummy).
Woodside's Director, Australian Gas, Mr Jeff Schneider, said today that Woodside would pay $10 million for Shell's 94.12% interest to give the company full ownership.
In Argentina, AWE's wholly owned subsidiary AWE Argentina Pty Limited, advises the Ramblon Verde-1 well in CNQ-16/A has been cased and suspended awaiting future production testing.
Wireline logging has identified thin potential oil-bearing intervals that will be tested when a workover rig moves to the drilling site.
The commercial significance of these intervals cannot be determined until at least the completion of production testing.
AWE also advises that the Puesto Lujan-1 exploration well was plugged and abandoned on 3 March after drilling to a total depth of 1403 metres. Minor gas shows were encountered but wireline logs indicated that they were of no commercial significance.
AWE's wholly-owned subsidiary, Tepstew Pty Limited, and its 94.6% owned subsidiary Omega Oil NL, advise that situ preparation is at an advanced stage for the drilling of the White Opal-1 well in EP 325 in the Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia.
White Opal-1 is scheduled to spud in the next week. The well is targeting a prospect with unrisked potential reserves of 120 million barrels of oil.
The PNG Government will soon begin preliminary talks on the future of the Ok Tedi copper mine, following a World bank report that found that the mine should be closed immediately, on environmental grounds. PNG Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta says closing the mine, which contributes up to 10% of GDP, would be a big social and economic blow for PNG.
Centaur has extended its offer period for AGR from 17 March to 14 April.
Croesus has extended its offer period for GEM until 21 March.
Envestra announced a profit before income tax and interest on loan notes of $10.3 million for the half year ended 31 December 1999 compared with $9.2 million for the previous corresponding period.
Profit after tax is $1.0 million compared with a loss of $0.7 million for the six months to December 1998. Income tax expense is $0.9 million after an abnormal adjustment to the provision for deferred income tax of $7.9 million to take account of the reduction in tax rates from 36 per cent to 30 per cent.
Operating revenue is $129.7 million, up from $67.4 million, and cashflow before distributions is $28.8 million compared with $18.5 million to 31 December 1998.
The Company once again expects to meet its prospectus distribution forecast. The distribution per security for the six months ending 31 March 2000 is expected to be 3.6 cents, payable on 26 May, resulting in a full year distribution on the original securities of 9.0 cents.
Gondwana has reached an advanced stage of negotiations with two US based companies aimed at obtaining for the Company a licence to use, market and distribute in Australia and the Asian region transaction technology and related applications for business to business e-commerce. The Company has sought to partner with an established technology provider as part of the business plan being developed by the Company to become a leading regional B2B e-commerce facilitator. The Company hopes to conclude negotiations within the next two weeks.
Kimberley announced an agreement has been reached in principle to acquire the 20 percent free carried interest in all the Company's tenements held equally by Faustus Nominees Pty Ltd and Weybridge Pty Ltd. The agreement will be subject to an independent expert's report and shareholder approval, in view of the fact that Faustus Nominees Pty Ltd is associated with a Kimberley director, Graeme Hutton.
Consolidated operating profit before write off of capitalised exploration expenditure and income tax for the half-year ended December 31, 1999 was $4,700,000. This represents an increase of 19 percent on the figure of $3,937,000 for the previous corresponding period.
The principal factor contributing to the $763,000 improvement was a $1,575,000 (14 percent) increase in total sales revenue to $12,524,000. This was comprised of increases of $795,000 (32 percent) and $780,000 (9 percent) in oil and gas sales revenue, respectively.
The increase in sales revenue was partially offset by increases in amortisation and depreciation of $845,000 arising primarily from the high level of capital expenditure required to service the new gas contracts, in respect of which deliveries commenced during the period.
The Board of Newcrest Mining Limited announces, with regret, the resignation for personal reasons of Mr Gordon Galt as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer effective 31 March 2000.
Since joining Newcrest in December 1997, Mr Galt has played a major role in re-establishing the Company as a leading Australian based gold producer. During this time new mines were commissioned at Cadia and Gosowong and significant increases were achieved in the efficiency of operations at Telfer and New Celebration.
Mr Bryan Davis, a non-executive Director of Newcrest and former Executive Director - Mining of Pasminco Limited, will assume the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer while a search is conducted for a replacement.
New Zealand Oil & Gas Limited reports a net surplus after tax of $508,000 for the half year ended 31 December 1999.
Higher oil prices, up 74% on the prior corresponding period to an average of NZ$39 per barrel, offset the impact of reduced gas revenues from the Tubridgi project. Total revenues of $9.6 million were nearly identical to the corresponding period ended 31 December 1998.
Australia's largest open cut thermal coal mine, Blair Athol, has a secure future following the signing of long term contracts worth in excess of $2 billion over the next ten years. The contracts, covering 6.45 million tonnes of production each year, were signed with Electric Power Development Co Ltd (EPDC) of Japan and Japan Coal Development Co Ltd (JCD).
Strike announced that a Supplemental Agreement to the Heads of Agreement detailing the proposed acquisition of Select-Tel Holdings Pty Ltd (Select-Tel) was signed yesterday. Strike has agreed to the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Select-Tel by the issue of 73,400,000 Strike Mining NL shares to the Select-Tel shareholders.
As at 06.00 hours yesterday, the Corvus-1 exploration well has drilled ahead from 3,520 metres to 3,621 metres measured depth ("MD").
Currently, Cyclone Steve has forced the temporary suspension of drilling activities as a safety precaution.
"Measurement While Drilling" logging data indicates that the well has continued to drill through a gas bearing reservoir. To date, a total of 185 metres (gross) of gas column has been intersected between 3,436 and 3,621 metres MD.
Union Capital Limited announces that it has agreed to a share placement issue of 32.2 million ordinary shares in the capital of the Company at 38 cents per share to Findlay and Co Stockbrokers Ltd, Barton Capital Securities and Investa AG of Switzerland, to raise in total $12,236,000. Union emphasises that while a large proportion of the funds raised will be directed to additional technology investments, a proportion of the funds raised will be used in Iran for both the feasibility study of the Mehdiabad Zinc Project and in accelerating exploration in the NE Iran Copper Project.
Allstate is seeking to raise $2.1 million by a call of 20 cents each on its part paid shares. The call is being made to cover additional expenditure incurred by Allstate during the period that completion and commissioning of the Beaconsfield Mine gold treatment plant has been delayed.
Delta announced that all five Wallaby mining leases at Granny Smith were granted on 2 March 2000 by the Minister for Mines in Western Australia to the Granny Smith joint venturers, being subsidiaries of Placer Dome Asia Pacific Limited and Delta
The mining leases confer rights to mine and will enable the Granny Smith joint venturers to proceed with development of the Wallaby deposit once a development decision is made.
REPORT FOR HALF YEAR TO 31 DECEMBER 1999
Operating Profit after tax for the half year to 31 December 1999 was $3.4 million (1998 $3.0 million) with good contributions from both gold and coal. The consolidated profit is after providing for deferred tax liability of $0.5 million. Income tax is not forecast to be payable for some years given current levels of spending on exploration and development.
Net working capital was $6.1 million, while cash and security deposits were $9.0 million and borrowings totalled $3.5 million.
Group revenues doubled to $31.5 million from $15.9 million for the previous corresponding period, principally due to increased coal sales.
Both gold and coal operations continued to emphasise expansionary activities and all operating cash surpluses were reinvested in development and exploration programs.
Gold operations continued to introduce more long-hole stoping and cash operating costs were $A344 per ounce. Coal operations performed below expectations due to a clay band within the 3.5 metre thick seam section and development rates slowing during the advance north wards through a major fault immediately south of the next longwall panel, SL2.
Livingstone has entered into an agreement with Templar Resources NL to divest of its resource interests. Since July 1999, Livingstone's activities have been principally focused on the information technology sector. The transaction with Templar will see Livingstone's exploration assets being positioned in Templar in consideration for an interest in Templar. Templar has commenced the process to list on ASX and as part of the transaction, Livingstone will contribute to funding of the float costs.
Templar Resources have developed a unique alliance with Placer Dome Exploration - South East Asia. Under the agreement Placer must offer to Templar all projects, within South East Asia, in which it no longer wishes to be actively involved. In addition Placer will make available all of its technology to Templar.
In return, Templar will invite Placer to participate in any gold project of an appropriate size that it may discover. Placer will be able to earn a 70% stake in such projects by immediately refunding Templar's exploration expenditure, and free carrying its 30% interest through to a decision to mine.
At 0600 hours on Monday, 6 March, Corvus-1 was at a depth of 3621 metres. Currently the rig is evacuated for Cyclone Steve.
During the last week, the well was drilled from 3443 to 3621 metres. Logs recorded while drilling indicate that a gas column extends over the gross interval from 3436m to current depth.
Over the next week it is planned to continue drilling to planned total depth of approximately 3800 metres.
Novus has announced that its Shams-8X exploration well in the Khalda Concession in Egypt's Western Desert has tested at the rate of 25.3 million cubic feet gas per day (MMcfgd) and 139 barrels of condensate per day from one zone in the Jurassic age Ras Qattara Formation through a 1" choke. The well also intersected 23 metres of gas pay in the shallower Jurassic age Khatatba and Yakout reservoirs. These reservoirs have not been tested because petrophysical data collected from electric logs and RFT indicate they are similar to the tested zone.
The well has been suspended as a future producer.
Pancontinental, which holds a 27.5% beneficial interest in GSec84 through Euro Pacific Energy Pty Ltd, wishes to announce that a farm-out agreement with the Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) has been executed. PNOC is the operator, and prior to the agreement had a 15% participating interest in the permit.
Under the terms of the farm-in agreement, PNOC will pay 100% of all costs associated with gaining access to the island, the drilling rig and associated equipment mobilisation and demobilisation costs, and all costs associated with the drilling, evaluation, completion and testing of the proposed 2200 metre Fuga Island 1 exploration well. PNOC has estimated that the costs of drilling and testing the Fuga Island 1 well will be US$4.0 million, with a dry hole cost of US$3.0 million.
Petroz advises that the Elang-1/ST1 sidetrack well has been connected to the central production facilities (the FPSO 'Modec Venture') and is flowing at a rate of approximately 20,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD).
Prior to the drilling of the sidetrack well, Elang-1 had been flowing at 3,000 BOPD. The increased flow rate is due to the effective perforation of all oil zones.
Elang-1/ST1 intersected the oil reservoirs 30 metres structurally higher than in Elang-1, thereby increasing the volume of recoverable reserves and extending the economic life of the Elang, Kakatua and Kakatua North Fields.
The drilling rig used for the Elang-1/ST1 sidetrack is now on location at Elang-2. Operations on Elang-2 will take approximately two weeks to complete and are expected to contribute to a further increase in the total Elang Field oil production rate.
Ross issues its Part B Statement inrelation to the takeiver offer from Delta Gold. The Directors recommend that Ross Mining shareholders accept Delta's offer in the absence of a higher offer. For details, click here.
SANTOS FULL YEAR PROFIT
Santos announced a record after-tax profit for the 1999 full year of $219.2 million before abnormals, a 24.3% increase on the 1998 result.
These results reflect the record level of production (up by 7.9% from 1998) and higher oil prices in the second half of the year.
The Company recorded an abnormal tax gain of $89.9 million, which resulted in a profit after tax and abnormals of $309.1 million.
Operating cash flow increased by 15.8% to a record $529.9 million.
The net debt to equity ratio fell from 66.0% to 63.3%, notwithstanding spending of $436 million on exploration, development and acquisitions.
Earnings per share before abnormals were 36.2 cents compared with 29.1 cents in 1998. Net operating cash flow per share was 87.4 cents compared with 75.6 cents in 1998.
In view of the strong profit result in 1999, the good results so far in 2000 and the outlook for the year as a whole, Directors have declared a final ordinary dividend of 15 cents per share, fully franked. The final dividend brings Santos' total 1999 dividend to 27 cents per share, two cents higher than the 1998 total dividend of 25 cents per share. The final dividend will be paid on 28 April 2000 to shareholders registered in the books of the Company at the close of business on 3 April 2000.
Milestones achieved during the year include:
Reserves of 18 million boe were discovered in 1999 and a further 18 million boe were added to reserves as a result of a further review of 1998 discoveries. The average finding cost for 1999 was $2.17 per boe ($1.65 per boe five year average). Total proved and probable reserves fell from 966 million boe to 941 million boe reflecting record production and some field revisions. The exploration success rate during the year was 41%.
SHELL, WOODSIDE AND METHANEX ANNOUNCE LETTER OF INTENT FOR NATURAL GAS SUPPLY FOR PROPOSED SYNGAS FACILITY
Shell Development Australia, Woodside Energy Ltd and Methanex Corporation, the world's largest producer and marketer of methanol, have signed a letter of intent that specifies the key commercial terms for supply of approximately 110 petajoules of natural gas per year for a proposed large-scale synthesis gas (syngas) generation facility near Darwin, Australia. Completion of a definitive agreement is subject to certain conditions including verification of the available gas reserves, receiving the necessary regulatory approvals, obtaining commitments to the project from other natural gas customers, and receiving infrastructure and other support from the Australian Government, including assurances on greenhouse gas policies.
Support by local authorities and villagers around the Mt. Muro minesite has given the company encouragement that access to pits affected by illegal mining activity will soon be restored. Last week local villagers petitioned the regional parliament supporting the removal by the authorities of itinerant illegal miners, mostly from other parts of Indonesia.
Production has been substantially maintained at the Kerikil pit but access to other pits has been prevented by roadblocks and the occupation of those pits by illegal miners.
Victoria's largest sewage treatment plant is to have a $5 million new power generation facility installed using methane gases captured under giant lagoon covers.
AGL Managing Director, Mr Len Bleasel today released project details following an announcement by the Victorian Minister for Environment and Conservation, Ms Sherryl Garbutt.
Mr Bleasel said the project involves the construction of two new gas fired engines and the purchase of two existing gas fired engines located at Melbourne Water's Western Treatment Plant in Werribee. AGL would build, own and operate the 26,000 MWh a year plant.
Charters Towers Gold Mines NL has been investigating the acquisition of an interest in Internet technology.
As a result, the Company has entered into an agreement to acquire 35% of an Australian Internet business Internova MCI Pty Ltd.
Internova MCI is an established business which provides web publishing and networking services on the Internet.
Charters Towers Gold Mines, through its wholly owned subsidiary Charters Technology Pty Ltd, will pay $2 million for a 35% interest with an option to increase this to 40% for a further $1 million. The agreement is subject to usual satisfactory due diligence.
Additional drilling results at the East Mungari gold project have been released. Better intersections included:
Gullewa is pleased to announce it has entered into a Letter of Agreement with Kinoora Pty Ltd ("Kinoora") and
Servcorp Ltd ("Servcorp") (ASX: SRV) to purchase the Rights to Market the Call Billing System (CBS). CBS was jointly developed by Kinoora and Servcorp to manage the billing of phone calls made via PABX systems. The system is currently implemented in Servcorp's 1,500 office suites in 23 locations in 10 countries and currently bills in excess of 3 million minutes of voice traffic per month.
Hardman has announced that the GSEC 84 Joint Venture, offshore Cagayan Basin, Philippines has signed a Farmin Agreement with the Philippine National Oil Company ("PNOC") for the drilling of the Fuga #1 well. PNOC anticipates spudding the exploration well in May 2000, prior to the onset of the typhoon season in late July.
Julia has entered into an underwriting arrangement with Bell Securities, Sharebrokers, Sydney for the pro rata issue of shares to shareholders to raise $5.0m for its recent commitments to Smart Silicon Systems Pty Ltd ("Smart Silicon") and Banque-Tec International Pty Ltd ("Banque-Tec"). The issue will be minimal with shares offered at a discount to market and each right entitlement will carry with it a free option for 12 months to convert to an ordinary share at the same price as the new share being offered.
Mineral Deposits Limited ("MDL") has been actively pursuing internationally-recognised mineral sands projects for some time. In particular, the company has been negotiating with various parties in the public and private sector to secure a leading role in mineral sands projects in India, the acknowledged location of some of the best undeveloped deposits in the world.
MDL is now pleased to announce that two Heads of Agreement were signed with private sector Indian interests today providing the basis for development of and value-addition to two premium mineral sands projects in Southern India. Both projects relate to the extraction of mineral sands and subsequent upgrading of material. For details, click here.
The Directors wish to announce a loss of $455,000 for the half-year ended 31 December 1999. This was a difficult period when the gold price reached a 20-year low.
The result includes approximately $560,000 in legal costs in respect of eleven claims for compensation lodged against Perseverance Exploration Pty Ltd in 1998. The claims are being determined in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Following the approval of a work plan variation from Minerals & Petroleum Victoria, the Company is implementing a major operational change on the heap leach pad at Fosterville that will see ore stacked on a second lift. No stacking can occur whilst the heap stacking equipment is rearranged for this change. Mining has been temporarily suspended while this work is being carried out. During this period the Company will also reorganise the operation's mining schedule to take full advantage of this major operational change. The pad change will provide some significant benefits to the Company and the local environment.
As at 29 February 2000, Perseverance Exploration Pty Ltd had spot deferred contracts totaling 21,650 ounces of gold at an average price of A$409 per ounce. These contracts represent only 5% of the Group's total oxide and sulphide ore reserve base as at 31 December 1999.
Victoria Petroleum NL advises that the company has a 19% indirect interest in the Greens Canyon Gas Project in the major gas producing Green River Basin in South-West Wyoming, USA, through its 19% holding in US listed NASDAQ company Kestrel Energy Inc (Nasdaq SmallCap-KEST).
Kestrel Energy, the Operator and 100% interest holder before payout, issued a press release on March 1st 2000 reporting that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has issued Kestrel a flow line permit, which will allow Kestrel to proceed with the completion of two recently drilled wells on the Greens Canyon Prospect in Wyoming's Green River Basin.
Construction on the 27 kilometre flow line is expected to begin in mid-March, and will connect Kestrel's Greens Canyon #1 (UPRC #27-3) and Greens Canyon #2 (UPRC #29-2) wells with Duke Energy's Overland Trail pipeline. Kestrel hopes to have the line completed by late March, and will then begin fracture stimulation efforts on the Greens Canyon #1. Assuming a successful stimulation program, management anticipates commencing gas sales in early April.
||Gold - spot||US$288.30||
|A$ = US60.85c||
||Silver - spot||US$5.09
|A$ = 65.60yen||
||Platinum - spot||US$468.50||
|A$ = 0.634Euro||
||Bridge CRB Index||213.56||
|US 30-Year Bond
||6.117%||-0.027||Crude Oil (NYMEX)||US$31.51||
Auridiam has reported that kimberlite has been intercepted at BK16 in Botswana in preparation for trial mining.
BK16 is a kimberlite pipe from which good quality macrodiamonds were recovered in two previous separate drilling programs. Current work has, to date, resulted in development of a shaft to a depth of 34 metres that will provide access to the kimberlite to be mined. The deposit has approximately 24 metres of overburden and the task of establishing suitable access to the kimberlite deposit is an important step forward in the current program.
Aulron Energy announces that the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the SASE Demonstration plant was held in Whyalla, South Australia today.
Construction of the Demonstration Plant is expected to take about four months. Commissioning would then begin in July/August 2000. The iron ore in-fill drilling programme will commence on 13 March targeted for confirmation by June 2000 of sufficient proven iron ore reserves to support the commercial plant for the first twenty years.
AGL has announced a 56% increase in net profit, after abnormals, of $181.7 million, up from $116.6 million for the corresponding half year. Profit before abnormals was up 21% to $141.0 million (previous half year $116.6 million).
Earnings before borrowing costs and tax were up 40.3% to $264.6 million.
Earnings per share including abnormals rose to 54.6 cents (up 51.7%). The abnormal profit of $40.7 million represents the restatement of the Group's net deferred tax balances in the balance sheet as a result of announced reductions in company tax rates. Earnings per share before abnormals rose to 42.4 cents (up 17.8%).
The Board of Directors has declared an interim dividend of 24 cents, an increase of 14.3% over the previous corresponding period. The interim dividend is franked to 4 cents (16.7% of the dividend). (Foreign investors will also receive a 10 cents a share FDA credit).
The directors, after further consideration including discussions with the companys legal advisers, have decided not to proceed with the previously proposed issue of options to holders of the old options which expired on 1 March 2000. That proposal was necessarily going to be subject to a shareholder vote with severe restrictions on voting by shareholders and their associates.
Instead, the directors have decided to have a non-renounceable 1 for 10 bonus issue of new options to all shareholders registered on 15 March 2000. The options will have an exercise price of $1.25 and an expiry date of 15 March 2002. For details, click here.
Diamond Rose has now mineralogically identified a major cluster of up to ten kimberlite pipes in close proximity to diamond-bearing creeks at Upper Beta Creek.
Maureen Muggeridge, the project's consultant geologist states:
"In light of the plethora of recent positive results from the Upper Beta Creek air core drill samples, the potential of the project has taken on an even greater significance.
"This is now a major exploration project, which all diamond exploration companies aspire to achieve - not just one kimberlite, but a large cluster is indicated.
"The importance of this project cannot be emphasized enough."
Empire have received approval from the Western Australian Department of Minerals and Energy to drill the highest mapped culmination on the Rough Range Oilfield called Central Rough Range No 1. The well spud date is planned for 15 April 2000.
Drill site works on Central Rough Range commenced on 28 February 2000.
The Company has calculated the potential Oil In Place in the seismically mapped Rough Range Anticline at 2,700,000 barrels. The Central Rough Range No 1 well is planned to a total depth of 1150 metres to test the Birdrong and Wogatti Sandstone reservoirs.
ED has reported an after tax profit of $9.9 million for the six months to 31 December 1999. This result included an abnormal contribution of $3.9 million, arising from a tax benefit due to a reduction in the Australian corporate tax rate.
The after tax profit excluding this abnormal item was $6.0 million, a 17% increase over the previous year's first half.
Directors have declared an interim dividend of 2.4 cents per share.
Exodus is pleased to announce it has reached agreement with Delta Gold Limited to form a joint venture over a number of the Company's tenements in the Laverton region of Western Australia.
Under the terms of the joint venture agreement;
The Silmon etal #1 well has spudded and is presently drilling ahead at 4,820 feet. Planned total depth of 9,750 feet should be reached within three weeks.
The well will test the South Drew Prospect in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. South Drew Field was discovered in the late 1970's and produces from a strandline Cotton Valley sand covering the majority of North Louisiana. This play is similar to the Ada Field where FAR has participated in the drilling of several successful wells.
Metallurgical drilling at its Mt Garnet Zinc deposit in Northern Queensland is nearing completion, with the last of the planned 4 PQ diamond holes (GTD's 51, 52, 54 and 58) now in progress.
Assay results received to date are in accordance with expectations.
More importantly, the first exploration diamond drill hole designed to test depth extensions of the Mt Garnet deposit, has been completed and has returned excellent results. GTD 53 intersected 19 metres at 7.5% zinc, including 6 metres at 12.2% zinc and was drilled approximately 25 metres below a previous hole (drilled in 1990) which encountered 12 metres at 4.5% zinc.
This intersection is regarded as particularly significant as it falls outside the previously calculated mineable resource and it opens up the potential for down dip extensions to the deposit.
Drilling continues with two diamond rigs on site aimed at completing the planned 10,000 metre program over a two month period.
PRELIM FINAL REPORT - HIGHLIGHTS FOR 1999 COMPARED TO 1998:
Average realised oil price for the year was US$17.48 per barrel, but only US$13.26 per barrel in the first half. The strong oil prices in the second half of 1999 have increased further in 2000 to date. None of Novus' production is hedged.
The MUSTANG ISLAND 883S #1 ST well has been drilled to a total depth of 3,665 metres (12,020 feet), logged and cased. Open hole log results have verified a total of 65 metres (214 feet) of net true vertical thickness hydrocarbon bearing sand. A caisson 72 inches in diameter to support surface facilities is being installed before completing the well for future production.
Canadian gold miner Placer says it believes the gold price will return to its historical average of about US$330/ounce.
In February, Placer suspended gold forward sales and cut hedging to just 15% of reserves amid improving gold market sentiment and reduced producer hedging, the deal by 15 European central banks to limit sales and lending as US interest rates rise on inflation fears.
Portman will return up to A$9.0 million to shareholders in the form of a 5 cents-a-share unfranked dividend after posting a A$9.6 million full-year net profit after tax. This follows a year of significant strategic repositioning for Portman that included the sale of the Burton Coal Mine in Queensland and the focus on developing its iron ore and silicon metal projects.
The dividend payout marks the fourth successive year that Portman has paid a dividend or capital return to shareholders, and comes as the company moves into a dynamic growth period with cash of A$136.4 million and solid projects.
The A$9.6 million profit was made up of a A$4.5 million profit from operations and an abnormal profit of A$0.7 million and a tax credit of A$4.4 million, both principally from the sale of Burton.
Stirling announced that following the investigation of several opportunities presented to the Company and after initial discussions with at least three parties, Stirling has entered formal negotiations with the agents, directors and shareholders of an E-Commerce company with a view to its acquisition.
In accordance with an undertaking given by all parties, the nature and the terms of the negotiations will remain confidential until at least a Heads of Agreement is executed. At this stage, it is only possible, in very general terms, to state that the company is involved in the development of an E-Commerce platform for creating opportunities in the automotive, motor parts and components and other related industries.
Drilling on Glenmore No.1 well in the Sydney Basin has reached a depth of 240.2 metres. The well casing is being cemented in preparation for continuous coring through to the target depth of 500 metres. Drilling and continuous coring will commence on 2 March, 2000.
The drilling programme which recommenced 28 January, 2000 on the Nail Ranch has resulted in 8 wells being drilled, of which 7 are in various stages of completion, giving an initial increase in production of 75 bopd.
A prospectus is being finalised for an initial public offering of shares in Goldex Resources NL (Goldex) to members of the public.
Details of the offer of shares under the forthcoming Goldex prospectus will be provided in the prospectus. This document is expected to be forwarded in late March 2000.
Australian Mineral Processors Ltd (ASX:AMI) shareholders on the share registry on 15 March, 2000 will receive a pro-rata entitlement of shares in Goldex.
DELTA GOLD ANNOUNCES HALF-YEAR PROFIT OF $18.6 MILLION.
Delta Gold Limited today announced a profit for the six months ended 31 December 1999 of $18.6 million before tax and abnormal items. Net profit after tax and abnormal items was $10.6 million.
Gold revenue increased 50% on the level achieved in the first half of last year to $142.9 million from record gold production of 298,953 ounces. Delta realised an average sales price of $479 per ounce, which was above the average daily spot price of $427 per ounce.
Net operating cash flow increased to $48.8 million, 69% more than the previous corresponding period.
Total production costs averaged $378 per ounce and resulted in net operating profits of $25.7 million. Provisions of $5.0 million for exploration write-downs, $6.8 million for income tax expense and net interest expense of $2.1 million resulted in net profit after tax and before abnormals of $11.7 million. Net abnormal items totalled $1.1 million, consisting of a $2.2 million expense for takeover activities, partially offset by a $1.1 million income tax benefit arising from the re-statement of timing differences anticipated under future changes in Australia's corporate tax rate.
Delta's Managing Director and CEO, Terry Burgess, noted that:
"Strong revenue growth during the second half of the 1999/2000 financial year is ensured by improving gold prices and existing hedging contracts, as well as a full half-year contribution from 100% ownership of Kanowna Belle. Delta's net profit after tax for the second half is forecast to more than double to about $23 million."
No interim dividend was declared. Terry Burgess said that:
"Delta Gold announced at its 1998 annual general meeting that ordinary dividends would be paid at the end of a financial year. With an expected final dividend of approximately 9.0 cents per share, Delta intends to distribute in excess of one-third of after-tax profits as a final dividend this year."
At the Wallaby prospect near Granny Smith, a second deep drillhole has intersected several zones of alteration and shearing similar to the host rocks of the Wallaby resource. Intercepts include 15 metres at 5.0g/t gold from 646 metres, 16 metres at 3.0g/t gold from 862 metres and 24 metres at 3.9g/t gold from 1074 metres (including 12 metres at 5.2g/t gold). These intersections are indications of additional mineralised zones at depth. Further drilling of this large mineralised system is planned.
GEM is pleased to release fire assay results for the highly successful program of infill reverse circulation ("RC") drilling completed at East Kundana in February 2000.
The program comprised 14 RC holes at the Pegasus prospect for a total of 2,046 metres of drilling.
All holes intersected ore grade gold mineralisation. Intersection highlights include:
The results confirm the continuity of the main mineralised zone at Pegasus deposit within the area drilled. The 500 metre long Pegasus deposit remains open at depth and possibly also along strike north of 6720 N.
The Directors of Hill 50 Gold NL are pleased to announce a net profit for the half year ended 31 December 1999 of $6.24 million (1998: $3.94 million) after abnormal items, exploration write-offs and income tax.
Profit before abnormal items and income tax increased by $1.59 million over the previous corresponding period to $6.83 million. The result was achieved by higher prices for gold sold and hedging activities, which were partially offset by higher cash operating costs per ounce of gold produced due to lower ore grades mined.
Homestake announced the finalization of an exploration and earn-in agreement between Homestake and European American Resources, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: EPAR) regarding EPAR's "Prospect Mountain" properties located near Homestake's Ruby Hill mine in central Nevada. Under the terms of the agreement, Homestake has the right to earn a 51% interest in EPAR's Prospect Mountain properties by expending not less than $2,000,000 on or before December 31, 2002.
1. FIELD RESULTS - BLINA/ELLENDALE
Kimberley has been processing heavy mineral results obtained from the field prior to the onset of the wet season in December 1999.
High concentrations of chromites and pyrope garnets have been recorded in paleogravels east of Pit 57, where a total of 20 diamonds weighing 5.76 carats were recovered from an 89 tonne sample in December 1999 for an average grade of 6.47 carats per 100 tonnes.
These results confirm Kimberley's view that the undiscovered pipe or pipes which source the diamonds found in the Terrace 5 gravels, lies within a short distance to the south or south-east of Pit 57. Kimberley is confident this source will be discovered during the forthcoming field season.
2. MACKAY AND SCHNELLMANN REPORT - CONCLUSIONS
This study has identified 21 target areas for future exploration on KDC's mining tenements.
Overall, it is concluded that KDC's mining tenements offer considerable scope for future exploration.
Finally, the under-explored olivine lamproites Ellendale 15 (10 ha) and Ellendale 22 (56.6 ha) should be re-examined for their potential for diamond-bearing pyroclastics beneath near surface magmatic sequences."
3. SOUTH AFRICA
Kimberley was advised by the Director of Minerals and Energy, Western Cape Province, after due consideration of all matters that the licences have been recommended for grant in Pretoria. Kimberley expects the licences will be granted before mid-April 2000.
The South African project is an onshore marine terrace diamond project which extends over a strike length of 35 kilometres, above the high water mark. Small-scale mining operations conducted by the vendors are resulting in recovery of over 10 carats of diamonds per hundred tonnes with an average diamond size of 0.3 carats valued at US$130 per carat.
An assessment of the central 14 kilometre section of the project by Marine and Coastal Geo Consultants of Cape Town, placed a net present value of A$28 million (after tax and a discount rate of 20 percent) on this central property.
Kimberley is seeking a cornerstone shareholder to fund exploration in 2000. Two groups have shown interest, subject to a due diligence review of Blina/Ellendale on ground. This review can only take place once weather conditions permit, expected in April 2000.
In order to fund the Company's activities in the interim, the directors have resolved to issue a prospectus to raise $680,000 by the issue of 3.4 million ordinary shares at $0.20 with 1.7 million free attaching options exercisable at $1.30 prior to 4 August 2003.
5. 20 PERCENT OF BLINA/ELLENDALE TENEMENTS
Since its incorporation in 1993, Kimberley has held 80 percent of the Blina/Ellendale tenements under a joint venture agreement with Faustus Nominees Pty Ltd and Weybridge Pty Ltd, the latter two companies being free carried through to bankable feasibility stage. Kimberley is the operator of the joint venture.
Kimberley has entered into discussions to acquire the 20 percent net presently owned by it and progress will be reported in due course.
6. ARGYLE DISPUTE
The Warden's Court proceedings in relation to the Ellendale Mining Area were adjourned by consent on 24 February 2000 for an indefinite period. Kimberley will now test numerous issues in the Supreme Court, including the validity or otherwise of the mining lease purportedly granted by the Minister of Mines to Argyle on 18 February 2000.
These Supreme Court proceedings will be instituted within a matter of weeks.
It is Kimberley's contention that no valid mining lease exists and if the Supreme Court finds this to be the case, Kimberley expects to be granted on exploration licence over the diamond rich Ellendale Mining Area previously held by Argyle.
Marlborough Resources NL Group (Marlborough) is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire a subsidiary of Western Metals Ltd, EOE (No.75) Pty Ltd. This subsidiary owns the old Ardlethan Tin Mine, which includes:
The agreed purchase price for the subsidiary is $1.00 (One Dollar) and Marlborough Resources Group will take over responsibility for rehabilitation of the tailings, etc at the old tin project, which was closed down in 1986. The tailings dams contain approximately 7.86 million tonnes of tailings at a grade of approximately 0.19% tin. So there are approximately 15,000 tonnes of contained tin in the tailings, with a current in-situ value of approximately A$130 Million.
In April 1998, Michelago entered into option agreements with Sipa Exploration NL, which allowed Michelago to acquire Sipa's exploration interests in New South Wales. Details of the options were released to the market at that time.
The option agreements are due to expire on 1 March 2000. Michelago has elected not to exercise the option agreements.
Garnets, a reliable diamond indicator mineral, have been recovered from the main "Nareena" anomaly (samples 3,4,5 & 6) from the Bingara exploration area with the majority orange, lessor pink - red and rare pale lilac garnets in sample 6. In sample 23 from the Nareena Anomaly a very small (<0.5mm) yellow cubic crystal has well formed stepped faces and equally could represent a garnet or microdiamond. It will be further tested by Raman spectroscopy which will give an unequivocal result.
Garnets are also observed in the drainages from the Tom and Jerry Anomaly including the pale lilac garnets in sample 41 and 44.
CRACOW PROGRESS DRILLING REPORT
Sedimentary Holdings 30% in Joint Venture with Newcrest Mining Ltd.
Ongoing drilling of the Roses Pride epithermal vein system has continued to return encouraging results, including 4 metres @ 11 gAu/t and and 4.3 metres @ 12 gAu/t
Drilling on the newly named Royal Shoot in the Klondyke epithermal vein system has generated results including 6 metres @ 10 gAu/t and 4 metres @ 9.5 gAu/t.
St Francis has entered Into an agreement to acquire a 40% interest in I.T.Internet-Traders Co.,Ltd the owner of Thailand's leading web portal, eThailand.com.
Tribune has released fire assay results for the highly successful program of infill reverse circulation ("RC") drilling completed at East Kundana.
The program comprised 14 RC holes at the Pegasus prospect for a total of 2,046 metres of drilling.
All holes intersected ore grade gold mineralisation.
Intersection highlights include:
The results confirm the continuity of the main mineralised zone at Pegasus deposit within the area drilled. The 500 metre long Pegasus deposit remains open at depth and possibly also along strike north of 6720 N.
BHP has advised that is has elected to proceed to Stage 3 of the Thunderdome Heads of Agreement. Stage 3 is the drilling stage of the agreement. BHP expects to commence drilling within one week from today. The drilling programme will consist of at least three holes to test a large gravity anomaly located on the flanks of Dome 3. This anomaly is favourably located over prospective stratigraphy and is considered to be a good target for a Broken Hill style lead-zinc deposit. Also, BHP is conducting a gravity survey at Dome 6 where depending on the results further drilling may be undertaken.
Emperor announced that, as a result of the performance of the Vatukoula mine, the company has bought back all of the 127,500 ounces of previously sold call options.
Under this revised hedging programme, only 34% of current annualised production is hedged. This will significantly reduce when Emperor's planned production from further expansion at Vatukoula and successful commissioning of the Tuvatu Gold project is achieved.
Drilling commenced at the Labo project in early February to test several gold anomalies.
An agreement was signed in February which will enable Copperbelt Selection to earn 80% of a small high grade copper resource at Lubanda, The resource is located in the northern province of Zambia, near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
KEY POINTS - QUARTERLY REPORT FOR THE 3 MONTHS TO 31 JANUARY 2000
The management team and directors of Lion are dedicated to reducing and removing this large discount.
MCL announced an agreement to earn 50% equity participation in a European garnet exploration and development company by spending up to A$500,000 in defining and proving up its garnet resources. Approximately 100,000 tonnes of recoverable garnet resource has been identified with good prospects to add substantial additional volume.
Mount Weld (100%)
Subject to there not being any further rainfall it is now expected that two rigs will start drilling a budgeted 10,000 metre RAB/Aircore drill programme on Thursday 2nd March 2000. This drilling is planned to test a large geophysical anomaly consisting of north easterly trending structures, situated on the flanks of the Laverton Tectonic Zone, 20 kilometres south east of Red October.
On 10 March a third rig adapted to drill on the surface of Lake Carey is scheduled to commence drilling a further 8,000 to 10,000 metres on various targets to the south of the above-mentioned anomaly.
A planned 5000 metre RAB/Aircore drilling programme has now commenced and, subject to intermittent stand downs because of rainfall in this southern area, this programme is continuing to drill test a large gold/nickel geochemical anomaly, situated on the extensions to the Lake Johnston greenstone belt, south of the Maggie Hays and Emily Ann nickel deposits.
For additional information, click here.
The Hochstetter well has now drilled through both the "D sand" and "F sand" objectives.
At 0600hrs on 29 February the well was at a depth of 3,298 metres and preparing to run electric logs. Following completion of the logging programme it is expected that the well will be plugged and abandoned.
Robe River Iron Associates has ratified the 4.35% price increase for Robe fines with Nippon Steel and the six other major Japanese steel mills today.
The 4.35% increase is consistent with the benchmark already established by CVRD. Usinor and ILVA for Carajas fines earlier this month. The same increase was agreed between CVRD and Japanese steel mills today.
Robe's sinter fines price has been agreed at 22.15 US cents/DLT unit (FOB) or an increase of 4.35% from April 1, 2000. The iron ore year runs from April 1 until March 30.
Negotiations between Robe and Japanese steel mills on the lump price are continuing.
HIGHLIGHTS - PRELIMINARY FINAL REPORT:
Oil Search Limited ("OSH") achieved a record profit of US$25.2 million (A$39.5 million) (after tax, before abnormals) for the year to December 1999 - up 88% on 1998 levels. Profit (after abnormals) rose by 147% on 1998 levels to US$23.0 million (A$36.1 million), easily a record for the Company in its 70 year history.
These profits were achieved following record oil production of 8.35 million barrels - up 32.9% on 1998 levels, and sales revenues of US$143.5 million (A$224.8 million) - up 58.1 % on the corresponding period in 1998. Company production reached over 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day - up 33.5% on 1998 and more than four times that realised in 1997. Oil production rose in all fields except Kutubu, where efficient operations reduced the natural decline of this mature field.
The financial performance of the Company was strong, with record EBITDA and EBIT linked with tight control of operating costs, lower administration charges and amortisation on a per barrel basis. Operating cash flow rose to US$82.0 million (A$128.5 million) - up 83%, representing A23.4 cents per share.
Pasminco Limited has advised that it will defend legal action commenced against it arising out of its operations at Cockle Creek and Port Pirie.
Rimfire announced that it has entered into a heads of agreement with Goldex Resources NL for the sale of the company's Peel Fault gold tenements.
Goldex Resources NL, a new subsidiary of Australian Mineral Processors Ltd, is intending to list on the ASX.
Subject to the Goldex float being successful, Rimfire will sell its Peel Fault gold tenements to Goldex for 2,260,000 shares at 20 cents ($452,000).
RECOMMENDED TAKEOVER OFFER BY DELTA GOLD LIMITED
Delta Gold Limited ("Delta") has advised of its intention to make a scrip based Part A takeover offer for Ross Mining NL ("Ross"). Delta is offering one of its shares for every 4.5 Ross shares held.
The offer represents a premium of 26% to Ross closing price on February 28, the last full day of trading on the Australian Stock Exchange. Based on the three-month weighted average trading prices for Delta and Ross shares, the offer represents a premium of 31%. Ross Board of Directors unanimously recommend that Ross shareholders accept Deltas offer in the absence of any higher offer. For details, click here.
Triton Resources Limited announced today it intends to focus on technology and related investments.
This decision has been taken as Triton is now satisfied that it has in place the building blocks for a successful technology focused company through its biometric security product range which has broad application, a focused reseller network, strong and growing alliances with key industry players, new business to business (B2B) internet opportunities and a flow of attractive investments being brought to Triton through its new profile in the IT&T industry.
To reflect this, the Company will :
Necessary approvals will be sought from shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting to be held during April 2000.
Mr Robert Reynolds, chairman of Triton, said: "In the four months since starting marketing the full range of biometric security solutions for networks and e-commerce, Triton has over 200 systems being trialled with major corporates, institutions and internet solution providers, Tritons target markets. With this progress and our reseller network largely in place, we are now ready to further advance Tritons biometric security products."
Biometric solution products use fingerprint, voice, iris and facial characteristics for identification and authentication in both e-commerce transactions and network systems.
Information assurance and data asset protection are critical current business issues for all networks and will become increasingly important as e-commerce grows. We are confident that Tritons product range will become the dominant identification and authentication solution product in e-commerce said Mr Reynolds.
Triton is also developing a B2B internet commerce strategy to foster global sales of software, including initially its biometric security products, to the broader business market.
Mr Reynolds also announced that Tritons existing mining assets will be transferred to a new subsidiary company, Millennium Minerals NL (an unlisted public company), which will be acquired for 6 million Triton shares and be funded independently of Tritons other investments. At an appropriate time the value of this subsidiary will be realised for the benefit of Triton shareholders, said Mr Reynolds. Millennium has a number of advanced exploration properties which, when aggregated with Tritons projects, create a far more attractive sale package.
It is anticipated Millennium's shareholders will follow their Board's advice and accept the offer which will be sent out today. The deal provides Millennium with sufficient funds to commence drilling on several advanced grass-roots projects.
Victoria Petroleum NL wishes to advise that it has entered into an agreement with Kestrel Energy Inc whereby Victoria Petroleum NL will acquire from Kestrel Energy Inc all the petroleum assets of Kestrel Energy Inc held in California, USA and all the petroleum exploration properties of Kestrel Energy Inc held internationally outside of the USA.
The consideration to be paid to Kestrel will be satisfied by the allotment of 75,000,000 ordinary fully paid shares in the capital of Victoria, with the shares being allotted to Kestrel subject to the escrow provisions set down by the ASX.
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