Latest issue of International Mining Project News available (January 15): There has been some significant mine development and expansion news in the last fortnight. In Australia, Cadia Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Newcrest Mining has received planning approval for its Cadia East gold/copper project in New South Wales, which could become the largest underground mine in the country. In British Columbia, Canada, Terrane Metals Corp is proceeding with construction of its Mt. Milligan copper/gold project. In Colombia, Greystar Resources says it will start construction of its Angostura gold and silver mine later this year, with a planned investment of $600 million. Also, there is news of the expansion at the Antamina copper/zinc project in Peru, held in a joint venture between BHP Billiton, Xstrata, Teck Resources and Mitsubishi Corp.The approved Cadia East project has an estimated capital cost nearing $2 billion. Newcrest General Manager Cadia Valley Operations, Tony McPaul: “If approved by the Board, the Cadia East project will be the largest underground mine in Australia and will secure our future in the region for at least the next 20 years. It will be Newcrest’s first panel cave, building on our expertise in underground mining.” Cadia East ore is harder than ore from Cadia Hill and/or Ridgeway and as such has slightly different ore processing requirements. The existing Cadia Valley operations ore processing facilities will be upgraded by either adding new components to the existing facilities, or constructing a new processing plant adjacent to the existing facility. The ore processing rate will be increased from the existing 24 Mt/y rate to about 27 Mt/y. The deposit is a porphyry zone of gold-copper mineralisation extending up to 2.5 km east of Cadia Hill.At Mt. Milligan, as part of the expired option agreement with Goldcorp – a one-time opportunity to convert its equity interest in Terrane into a participating joint venture – Terrane obtained a $40 million credit facility guaranteed by Goldcorp, which has been extended to May 7, 2010. The company will now consider financing alternatives for the recently approved $172 million 2010 construction budget. The project will be a conventional truck and-shovel open-pit mine with a 60,000 t/d copper flotation process plant. A 2009 feasibility update study forecast average annual production of 262,100 oz of gold and 89 MIb copper for the first six years of a 22-year mine life. Mt Milligan has Proven and Probable reserves of 482.4 Mt at 0.2% Cu and 0.38 g/t Au, with 2,124 MIb of in-situ copper and 6.02 Moz of in-situ gold.At Greystar Resources’ Angostura project, there are plans to invest $600 million with output beginning in the second half of 2012, according to Executive Vice President, Fredrick Felder. Felder said that “Once this project reaches an average of 511,000 oz/y of gold, it would become the country’s largest gold mine in production.” Angostura is expected to produce an average of 2.3 Moz/y of silver over a 15-year mine life. The mine is expected to produce 214,000 oz of gold and 1.1 Moz of silver in 2012. But the mine would reach its peak capacity in 2014 when it hits 682,000 oz of gold.To Antamina in northern Peru. All joint venture partners have approved their respective shares of the project’s $1,288 million capital budget for expansion. This will increase the site’s ore processing capacity by 38% to 130,000 t/d. Higher mineral ore reserves, previously reported in combination with the expanded processing capacity, will result in a mine life extension of six years from 2023 until 2029. First production from the expansion is anticipated in late 2011. Antamina ore is mined by open-pit methods and batch treated by ore type through a conventional grinding and flotation mill with a nominal design capacity of 88,000 t/d. A 302 km pipeline transports the copper and zinc concentrates to the port of Huarmey (300 km north of Lima).In Chile, New Gold has provided notice to Xstrata Copper Chile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xstrata, of the exercise of its right of first refusal to acquire 70% of the El Morro copper-gold project for $463 million. New Gold, as Xstrata’s current 30% joint venture partner in El Morro, holds the right of first refusal. Goldcorp will loan the $463 million to New Gold to fund the exercise of the right of first refusal. After acquisition of the 70% interest by a New Gold subsidiary, New Gold will sell that subsidiary to Goldcorp. El Morro is an advanced stage copper-gold project located in north-central Chile, Region III, around 80 km east of the city of Vallenar. On a 100% basis, El Morro contains 6.7 Moz and 5,700 MIb of gold and copper reserves, respectively, with an additional 2.2 Moz and 1,000 MIb of gold and copper in the Measured and Indicated categories.In Burkina Faso, Blackthorn Resources has entered into a Heads of Agreement with Glencore, in relation to the formation of a joint venture to commercialise the Perkoa zinc mine. Glencore is expected to provide or procure funding to complete development of the project, estimated at $72 million. Perkoa has a JORC code compliant ore reserve of 6.3 Mt at a mine head grade of 13.9% Zn (at a 9% Zn cut off), equating to 873,400 t of contained zinc metal.There is also news from Centamin’s Sukari project in Egypt, which has commenced its gold exports; first mined ore from Kagara’s Loung Lizard nickel sulphide deposit in Western Australia, an update on Gulf Resources‘ East African vermiculite operation in Uganda, as well as many more reports from projects all over the globe. To receive the full 35+ page report, subscriptions to this service can be registered and paid for on-line (SUBSCRIBE TO IM PROJECT NEWS BUTTON), or contact [email protected] for a free trial copy.