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The full story: In-depth news and analysis

Lower output, higher costs hit Gold Fields
John Feary
JOHANNESBURG, May 17 – Lower gold production and higher cash costs particularly in its South African mines held Gold Fields to net earnings of $US268M for the March 2012 quarter, down from $336M in the December quarter but well above the $158M in the March 2011 quarter.
Attributable Q1 2012 gold production was 827,000oz, down 6% from the Q4 2011 figure of 883,000oz.

Mark Mentiplay
PERTH, May 1 – The resurrection of the famous Norseman Gold Project in Western Australia, Australia's longest continually running gold operation, has begun in earnest with the aim of becoming a consistent 100,000oz producer within one year.
Since a Tulla Resources Group P/L subsidiary was appointed manager of the project south of Kalgoorlie in February this year, there has been a complete review of operations and a resultant restructuring programme implemented on a "return to basics" approach.

GALAXY WELCOMES LITHIUM LEAP
A 22% jump in lithium prices is neatly timed for Galaxy Resources. John Feary reports

Norilsk Nickel has won the latest skirmish in its continuing battle with fellow Russian UC Rusal. Mark Mentiplay reviews the stoush.

Foreign miners are scrambling to assess their rights after Indonesia introduced a new regulation setting a timetable for majority domestic ownership of mines. John Feary checks their immediate responses.

It has not been a good year for suspended Australian gold producer Mundo Minerals and its emerging Peruvian and Brazilian gold centres. And just when it had prepared a recovery strategy and end a five month suspension on the ASX bench, it just got a whole lot worse. Mark Mentiplay looks at the problems and the plans for recovery.

Expat mining companies in Indonesia are still coming to terms with recently announced rules on foreign ownership. John Feary tries to help them.

The long troubled Windimurra Vanadium Project in Western Australia has been downgraded by Moody’s amid claims the project may not have the readies to ramp up to full production and fix its plant problems. Mark Mentiplay looks at the latest claims.

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