Australian Mining From William Bibby Of Raub To Present Developing Pahang Economy
Pahang can learn from Australian Mining.
The mining industry is important to Australia. It brings in billions of dollars of export income. It provides work for over 750,000 Australians. It supports communities all across the country, today and into the future. We work hard, we look after each other and we are committed to Australia.
The mineral reserves of Australia are vast, diverse, and of high quality. A spirit of dynamic innovation in the development of new extraction and processing technologies is also ensuring the nation gains the most from this natural wealth.
The minerals resources industry is a key pillar of the Australian economy. The minerals resources industry accounts for more than 6 percent of Australia's economy and has invested more than $125 billion in Australia in the last 10 years.
Australian mining companies are highly engaged with their communities and other stakeholders, through infrastructure development and support for educational, sporting and cultural events.
Massive expenditure in exploration and infrastructure continues to fuel both Australia's mining boom and its contribution to national economic growth.
All over the world old gold mines are being brought back to life. Long forgotten and neglected, flooded, overrun by the jungle and fallen into decay they nonetheless represent an enticing proposition at today’s record gold price. Few though have quite such a history as the Raub mine in central Malaysia.
It has a dark history of plunder and neglect. With joyous early developers being driven away by invading armies and a devastating collapse in the gold market.
Today though, with gold fetching $1,300/oz, one small gold miner has returned to the Raub district. And could be about to restore a mythic mine to its glory days – transforming the miner in the process.
In the early nineteenth century, according to folk tales, an old man and his two sons discovered gold fields while walking in an area about 100 km north of Kuala Lumpur. As the story goes, the men claimed the fields were so rich in gold that it could be scooped out of the earth by the handful. The town and the district soon became known by the Malay word raub, meaning scoop.
The news travelled as far as Australia, where a similarity was noted between the type of gold deposit found in the spine that runs through the Malay peninsula and in the gold fields of Victoria. The Brisbane based Raub syndicate was awarded a concession. And William Bibby, of the well known Liverpool family, was engaged by the syndicate and sent out to Malaya. Click here for his interesting biodata.
Bibby prospected along the hills north of Kuala Lumpur, and in 1893 stumbled across a particularly rich seam. He made his headquarters here at Bukit Koman and set about building the mine. It became a huge enterprise. Malaya's first power plant was built specifically for the mine which, by 1930, was employing eight thousand people.
When the Japanese invaded the Malay peninsula in 1941. The workers abandoned the mine, sabotaging the machinery as they hurried away. The Japanese caught the mine’s manager, took him to Changi jail in Singapore and demanded to know where the richest seams of gold lay. Refusing to reveal the secret, he was tortured and eventually executed.
After the war, the Australians returned and mining resumed. But in 1962, with gold fetching just $30 per ounce, it became uneconomic and was closed down – having yielded more than one million ounces of gold since 1889.
At $30/oz the mine certainly would not make a profit today. On top of a $50m investment in processing plant, the mine’s cash costs are $550 per ounce of gold produced. But with each golden ounce now fetching $1300/oz, the operation can most definitely make a profit today.
Central mineral gold belt of Peninsular Malaysia with major gold bearing deposits. Click here.
At least five of the country's gold mines are part of the assets of many listed companies abroad.
Among them is a Raub mine operated by Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a subsidiary of Peninsular Gold Ltd, listed on London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market.
Peninsular Gold's plans have been to use better technology in the extraction of gold at its Raub plant, which has a proven reserve of 202,000 ounces of gold.
Industry experts say there are three major mines in Malaysia located in Raub, Penjom and Selinsing, in Pahang.
Since June 2011, the Penjom mine has changed ownership.Norwegian Avocet Mining PLC divested its interest in the mine, which is now under the wings of privately held PT Bukit Makmur Mandiri Utama, Indonesia's second-largest mining contractor.
Details of the mine has been off the radar but according to last known data, the mine had produced 39,150 ounces of gold for the nine-months ended Sept, 2010.
The Selinsing mine, operated by Canada's Monument Mining Ltd, is another well-established gold mine, with a production of 44,585 ounces of gold recorded for its year ended June 2012. The mine lays claim to having one of the lowest production costs at US$306 (RM930) per ounce.
Monument Mining is also exploring other mining projects in the country, including the Mengapur polymetalic project near Sri Jaya, Pahang. The mine is said to have deposits of copper, sulphur, iron, gold and silver.
Another interesting miner is Singapore-listed CNMC Goldmine Holdings Ltd which has the rights to the 2,370 acres Sokor gold field. CNMC reckons that this gold field is the most prospective but undeveloped hard rock gold mining area in Malaysia.
In June, CNMC announced its gold reserves rose by 20% to 82,000 ounces.
Over in East Malaysia, a new kid on the block has emerged in the form of Canadian firm Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc.Olympus acquired the 1,400-sq-km Bau gold project as a result of the merger with Zedex Minerals Ltd in 2009, and now has a 83.25% interest in the project.
The project has 560,000 ounces of indicated gold and another 1.89 million ounces of inferred gold.
The Bau region is a historic gold field with many geological similarities to the Carlin District of Northern Nevada, which is one of the world's largest gold fields.
Largely focused in South-East Asia, Olympus is the largest gold producer in Vietnam and operates several underground narrow vein gold mines and an open-pit gold mine at its two production sites in Vietnam. It also has a gold field in the Philippines.