Land plants arose earlier than thought—and may have had a bigger impact on the evolution of animals

first_img Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences We have land plants to thank for the oxygen we breathe. And now we have a better idea of when they took to land in the first place. While the oldest known fossils of land plants are 420 million years old, researchers have now determined that pond scum first made landfall almost 100 million years earlier.  “[This] study has important global implications, because we know early plants cooled the climate and increased the oxygen level in the Earth’s atmosphere,” conditions that supported the expansion of terrestrial animal life, says Tim Lenton, an earth system scientist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work. For decades biologists have been trying to come up with a reliable birth date for land plants. Lacking backbones and hard shells, plants leave relatively little behind in the fossil record, so researchers suspect even the oldest plant fossils don’t represent the first flora. Some scientists have tried to use plant genetic data as “molecular clocks”—knowing a typical mutation rate, they can estimate how long ago various species split based upon their differences in DNA—to figure out their evolutionary history. But they have been unable to sort out the lowest, or earliest, branches of the plant family tree. At that base, vascular plants—which include the trees, crops, and flowers we are most familiar with—came along sometime after liverworts, hornworts, and mosses. Yet the order in which those three other groups appeared has been a mystery and has stymied molecular clock studies. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Philip Donoghue thought that if he brought enough computer power to bear on this problem, he could solve this mystery. Donoghue, a paleobiologist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and his colleagues started with previously collected genetic data on more than 100 plant and algal species. They tested every permutation of the relationships of the four groups of plants with several kinds of these analyses and factored in the ages of dozens of plant fossils as a reality check. The exact configuration of the base of the plant family tree doesn’t matter to dating the first land plants, Donoghue and his colleagues report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. All the analyses indicate that land plants first appeared about 500 million years ago, during the Cambrian period, when the development of multicellular animal species took off. The new analysis “shows that the first land plants arose earlier than we thought, regardless of current uncertainties about which land plants evolved first,” Lenton says.Donoghue’s team has also applied its computer power toward resolving these uncertainties. Plant scientists once considered liverwort the most primitive existing plant because it lacks roots and pores for gas and water exchange, but a few recent studies had suggested that liverwortlike plants were not the earliest land plants. Donoghue now agrees. Liverworts are most closely related to mosses and once had roots and pores but lost those traits over time, his team reports this month in Current Biology. “The assumption has been that the ancestral plant is physiologically like a liverwort,” Donoghue says. But his group’s analysis suggests that ancestor likely had rudimentary pores and roots, and thus might grow better, process more soil and more carbon dioxide, and therefore have been more influential in Earth’s biogeochemistry than researchers have thought. “It’s nice to see they came to the same conclusion that we did” about liverworts, says Jim Leebens-Mack, a plant evolutionary biologist at the University of Georgia in Athens who helped gather the data Donoghue used for the new analysis.Leebens-Mack also praises the study that calculated when land plants appeared as the most comprehensive to date. If Donoghue’s results are right, “This changes the entire timeline for the origin of terrestrial life and the subsequent pace of evolutionary change in plants and associated animal (and fungal) groups,” says Pamela Soltis, a plant evolutionary biologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. “Also, these earlier dates would mean that changes to the Earth happened at a slower pace than we might otherwise think.”Leebens-Mack is still cautious. Molecular clock analyses always come up with older dates than fossils, he notes, so “I always take these estimates with a pretty big grain of salt.” By Elizabeth PennisiFeb. 19, 2018 , 9:35 AMcenter_img Plant scientists once considered liverwort the most primitive existing plant. Land plants arose earlier than thought—and may have had a bigger impact on the evolution of animalslast_img read more

Darren Bravo expects better things from West Indies in second Test against Australia

first_imgBatsman Darren Bravo and coach Phil Simmons insist the West Indies are better than the lacklustre side which lost the opening Test of the three-match series to Australia by an innings and 212 runs, and are determined to prove it in the second Test starting Saturday.Bravo scored 108 in the West Indies’ first innings at Hobart, while Kraigg Brathwaite contributed 94 after Australia captain Steve Smith enforced the follow-on. They were the only bright batting performances in what Bravo termed a “poor Test”.The teams meet again at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the traditional Boxing Day Test.”When you’re not scoring runs it’s always difficult to pick yourself up,” Bravo said.”But I believe the guys have that sort of resilience in them. We’ve scored international hundreds already, we’ve proven we are definitely capable of playing at this level.”We’re really pumped up … we’re much better prepared and we’re looking forward to it.”Simmons said on Wednesday that he also expected an improved performance from his side while bemoaning the absence of star players who have preferred lucrative Twenty20 contracts to national-team duty.Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo (Darren’s brother) and Andre Russell are among the Caribbean players currently in Australia playing in the Big Bash League.”I’m totally frustrated,” Simmons said.Selection headachesAustralia have a few selection issues ahead of the second Test. Victoria pace bowler Scott Boland was called into the squad for Nathan Coulter-Nile, who sustained a dislocated shoulder in the Big Bash on Monday.Australia are expected to stick with an unchanged pace attack of Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle.advertisementWith Usman Khawaja recovered from a left hamstring injury that forced him to miss two Tests, either opener Joe Burns or Shaun Marsh, despite scoring 182 runs in the first Test, could be left out if Khawaja is recalled.If Burns is dropped, there is speculation that either Khawaja, a usual No.3, or Marsh, who has a first-class opening average of 44.95 in 22 innings, could be moved up to open.last_img read more

Weighing Options: How Do You Compare the Costs of Renewable Energy to Traditional Electricity?

first_imgComparing the cost of renewable energy options to traditional power sources is critical for decision-makers, policy experts, investors, and regulators to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to supply electricity.The problem is that comparing these costs “apples-to-apples” can be difficult and confusing. That means that businesses, policymakers, and other groups may be choosing an electricity option based on inaccurate or incomplete information. With the cost of renewable energy systems falling globally—particularly large-scale wind and solar energy in the United States—these comparisons have become more and more important. WRI’s new fact sheet, Understanding Renewable Energy Cost Parity, explains how the accuracy of these comparisons can be improved. By clearly defining who is making the comparison; what options for electricity supply are being compared; and factors that impact additional costs and benefits, a better “apples-to-apples” comparison can be made.The following examples from a study on the U.S. supermarket industry illustrate the importance of these three considerations in electricity supply comparisons: Who Is Making the Comparison?In a 2013 study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that 40 percent of U.S. supermarkets were located in a utility service area where commercial-scale solar PV systems would either save the supermarket money or break even against the traditional electricity supply.However, it’s important to note that this study would not necessarily apply to other sectors. For example, the study’s findings don’t necessarily mean that local electric utilities would find commercial PV systems to be the cheapest option for supplying their customers with electricity. As this study was conducted from the supermarket’s perspective, it simply highlights the economic opportunity for some grocery stores in the United States.What Options Are Being Compared?In this study, NREL compared the cost of commercial solar PV systems—based on 2012 average installed prices—to the utility retail electricity rate. However, this comparison is not accurate for all renewable energy options.For example, a supermarket looking to supply their electricity directly from a power purchase agreement (PPA) with off-site wind energy would need to make a slightly different comparison because the power has to move across the grid. In this case, the supermarket would compare the full price of the wind energy—including the PPA price, charges for moving the power (transmission and distribution), and other system-specific charges—with the retail electricity rate.As of May 2012, these types of off-site wind PPAs are only available in a limited number of states, but now, as these comparisons are showing economic opportunities for companies, major global brands like Mars and Walmart are completing these deals and asking for access in more markets.What Other Factors to Consider?Energy price comparisons also have additional factors to consider, including both those that are easy to quantify (e.g. incentives) and those that are more difficult (e.g. environmental impacts or risks). Not accounting for these factors can lead to inaccurate comparisons and less-efficient or higher risk electricity supply decisions. Considering these factors has led states like Minnesota to accept solar over natural gas for peak energy demand supply and Austin Energy to select solar as their preferred energy source.Further GuidanceClaiming a particular option will provide low-cost electricity means little if supply options are being compared inaccurately. WRI’s Understanding Renewable Energy Cost Parity is a part of a fact sheet series on renewable energy cost parity—helping to demystify how consumers can determine which electricity supply options are actually low cost. Over the coming months, we’ll release more of these go-to resources on how to compare—”apples-to-apples”—renewable energy and other sources of electricity.Read the related fact sheet: Understanding Renewable Energy Cost Parity.last_img read more

Emmanuel Ogbah Responds to Being Left off Lombardi Award List

first_imgThe Lombardi Award released the top players in NCAA yesterday, and somehow left off defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.From the official athletics release, they understandably didn’t appear to be too happy. They’ve been pumping an #EManOKST all-american campaign, and there’s really no reason for him not to be named in all of the awards list. Statistically, he compares with all of the players named to the list:The @LombardiAward denied #EmanOKST today. Here’s him vs the DEs that were chosen: #okstate— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) November 5, 2015Most players would feel snubbed (and I’m sure he probably does), but his perspective he dropped on twitter shows you where his mind is going into this weekend.I’m not worried about any individual awards, I’m worried about 9-0!!! #gopokes— Emmanuel Ogbah (@EmanOgbah) November 6, 2015 If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

‘Rashford the only one who isn’t petrified’

first_imgEngland ‘Apart from Rashford, everybody else looks petrified’ – England playing with fear, says Wright Chris Burton Last updated 2 years ago 08:14 10/9/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Marcus Rashford England Getty Images England Marcus Rashford Lithuania v England Lithuania Manchester United WC Qualification Europe World Cup Premier League The Manchester United forward continues to impress for his country in a side which has faced criticism on the back of more uninspiring displays Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is the only England player who does not look “petrified”, according to Ian Wright.Red Devils 11/4 for PL titleThe Three Lions have wrapped up qualification for the 2018 World Cup, with another unbeaten campaign carrying them to Russia. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Gareth Southgate’s side have, however, faced criticism for stumbling their way through on the back of uninspiring displays.Rashford has been a rare bright spark, with Wright of the opinion that the 19-year-old is the only player in the squad not playing under the weight of fear that pressure brings.The ex-England striker told ITV on the problems facing Southgate as England edged their way to a 1-0 victory over Lithuania: “I think he’s been quite honest with them.”I personally feel that what he should be trying to concentrate on now with England now we’re there is to pass the ball forward more. Players are playing with fear.Ian Wright Marcus Rashford England petrified“We’re talking about a kind of generation of players that from academy all the way up to first-team, there’s hardly any pressure put on them.”The most these guys get pressure is when they play for England.”When you look at the way we used to qualify out of this group, I can’t remember any game where we’ve played expansive, or not even expansive, just a positive game of football — people getting forward, having shots.”Apart from Rashford, everybody else looks petrified.”Southgate fielded a three-man defence against Lithuania, while handing debuts to Harry Maguire and Harry Winks.He will get further opportunities to experiment heading towards next summer’s World Cup, with England set to see their credentials given a stern examination in the coming months.The November international break will see them take in home dates against Germany and Brazil, with two of the favourites for global glory expected to help highlight the true state of Southgate’s side.last_img read more

Neymar injury ‘good’ for Brazil’s World Cup hopes

first_imgNeymar Neymar injury could be a blessing in disguise for World Cup, says Brazil’s fitness trainer Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 18:53 3/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Neymar - cropped Getty Images Neymar Brazil Brazil v Switzerland Switzerland World Cup Brazil fitness coach Fabio Mahseredjian believes that the attacker’s injury may actually prove a positive thing with regards his World Cup performance Neymar’s surgery on a broken foot will be good news for Brazil’s World Cup campaign, according to the national team’s fitness trainer, who believes the 26-year-old will arrive at the competition physically fresh.Paris Saint-Germain confirmed on Wednesday the world’s most expensive player would go under the knife after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during the 3-0 weekend win over Marseille in Ligue 1.The surgery could keep the forward on the sidelines for three months, meaning the prospects of him being at peak fitness by the time Brazil play their first match at Russia 2018 are in doubt. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But Fabio Mahseredjian, a member of Tite’s Selecao backroom staff, believes Neymar’s prospects of playing a full part against Switzerland at the Rostov Arena on June 17 are good.”I’m sure he’ll play in the first match, first because he’s an athlete who takes care of himself, and he has a physiotherapist and a physical trainer who take care of him every day,” Mahseredjian told Globo Esporte.”Secondly, he has no problems that make him fat because he does not acquire weight easily.”Third, he’s very young and has a huge will, which makes his preparation for the World Cup much easier. I’m sure he has plenty of time to get to the first game.”While Mahseredjian acknowledged a lack of match sharpness could be an issue, he welcomed the prospect of Neymar uniting with his Brazil team-mates without enduring the wear and tear that comes with a domestic season finale at club level.”Neymar will come with a very low workload, both of games and of training, basically as if it were a pre-season,” he explained.”The surgery will subtract from his physical condition, making him lose the physical effects he won during PSG’s season.”I say without any problem that it is good for us, since he will not be arriving with a high load of games.”He will probably come to us well physically and, we believe, psychologically as well.”Neymar has 28 goals in 30 appearances since joining PSG from Barcelona for €222 million last August but is unlikely to feature for Unai Emery’s men again this season, with surgery scheduled for Saturday.The final game of the Ligue 1 season against Caen on May 19 could be a possible target, while the Champions League final in Kiev is on May 26. PSG’s 3-1 deficit against Real Madrid at halfway in their last-16 tie means that showpiece game remains some way out of reach at this stage.last_img read more

PV Sindhu looks to regain form at Denmark Open 2019

first_imgPV Sindhu looks to regain form at Denmark Open 2019PV Sindhu, who was ousted in the 1st and 2nd round at China Open and Korea Open last month, will be looking to regain form at Denmark Open Super 750 tournament, starting October 16.advertisement Press Trust of India OdenseOctober 14, 2019UPDATED: October 14, 2019 19:07 IST PV Sindhu will be hoping to regain form in Denmark (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSPV Sindhu opens campaign against Indonesia’s Gregoria MariskaSaina Nehwal will aim to get deep into the drawKidambi Srikanth faces stiff opening-round testWorld Champion PV Sindhu will look to shake off her indifferent form and regain touch when she competes at the USD 775,000 Denmark Open from Tuesday.After claiming the World title in August, Sindhu endured surprise first and second round exits at the China Open and Korea Open last month, respectively.World number six Sindhu, who has not won a title in the BWF World Tour this season, will take on Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the first round of the World Tour Super 750 tournament.Sindhu enjoys a 5-0 head-to-head record against the world number 16.Another stiff test awaits struggling SainaWorld No 8 Saina Nehwal, on the other hand, has been going through a tough phase with fitness issues hindering her progress since claiming the Indonesia Masters in January.The London Olympic bronze medallist, who was diagnosed with agastroenteritis problem in March, made first-round exits at China and Korea and she aim to get deep into the draw.A finalist at the last edition, Saina, seeded 8th, is up against World No 12 from Japan Sayaka Takahashi, who had defeated the Indian the last time they meet at the Thailand Open in August.Kidambi Srikanth faces tough early hurdleFormer champion Kidambi Srikanth, who had skipped the events in China and Korea due to a knee issue, too will be eagar to make a positive start but he will have to get past Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the opening round.While Srikanth had beaten Antonsen at the 2017 World Championships, the Danish shuttler has come a long way since then, having reached the finals of the World Championships at Switzerland.advertisementCurrently ranked fourth, Antonsen has won the Indonesia Masters, Barcelona Spain Masters, European Games and made it to the finals at Indonesia Open Super 1000 this year.World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth will be up against the legendary Lin Dan, who had entered the finals at Thailand Masters in January and won the Malaysia Open in April but have looked off-colour since then.Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap has been in decent form this year. He reached the semifinals at India Open before making it to the last four at Korea Open. The 33-year-old will open against Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin.Returning to action after recovering from dengue will be H S Prannoy, who faces an uphill task against eighth seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the opening match.Among other Indians in action, Thailand Open winners Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will square off against Korea’s Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae in the men’s doubles first round.Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will face top seeds Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara of Japan in women’s doubles.Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will meet England’s Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in the opening round.Mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki will open against Germany’s Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler, while Satwik and Ashwini will take on second seeds Chinese Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping.Also Read | 18-year-old Lakshya Sen wins maiden BWF World Tour titleAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Denmark Open 2019Follow PV SindhuFollow Kidambi SirkanthFollow Saina NehwalFollow Sai PraneethFollow Parupalli KashyapFollow India badminton Nextlast_img read more

DeepOcean Enters Charter Agreement for Newbuild SURF

first_img此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 DeepOcean, October 22, 2013; Image: Ostensjo zoom DeepOcean AS, a subsidiary of DeepOcean Group Holding BV, has entered into a five and a half year charter agreement starting March 2016 for a new build installation vessel. This key enabler will enhance DeepOcean’s current service offerings in the SURF (Subsea Umbilicals Risers & Flowlines) segment in the Greater North Sea area.“The expansion into the SURF segment as a lead contractor is something we do with great confidence. DeepOcean has a proven track-record of delivering subsea installation projects including the installation of structures, cables, umbilicals and flexible risers. The addition of the SURF vessel provides us with the opportunity to serve our customers as a lead contractor and offer commercial benefits resulting from the bundling of our services. We have in-depth knowledge of the subsea infrastructure in this region as the leading subsea IMR Contractor. We are witnessing a trend of larger and more complex subsea production assets as well as an increase in the number of subsea tie-backs together with replacement and rejuvenation projects on an ageing subsea infrastructure all requiring larger vessels. I believe the timing is right,” says Mads Bardsen, President of DeepOcean AS.The new vessel will be owned by Østensjø Rederi and is of SALT 304 design. Key vessel dimensions are; a length of 149.8 metres, a width of 27 metres, and 2,250 m2 of total deck space. The vessel is specially designed and equipped to suit the Greater North Sea market with the fuel saving environmentally friendly Siemens BlueDrive PlusC propulsion control technology and DP3 positioning system. The mission equipment will be a 150T dual tensioner vertical lay system and a 3000 tons carousel situated below deck.The 400 tons active heave compensated knuckle boom main crane has extended reach and can lift 600 tons in double fall mode. The accommodation facilities will have a capacity of 140 persons.During the past six months DeepOcean has strengthened its SURF organisation in the UK and Norway. The company recently opened a new office in Westhill, Aberdeen. Future SURF projects will be managed out of the Norwegian and the Aberdeen offices.“In the last two years we have hired approximately 450 new employees, upgraded our owned and chartered vessel fleet, increased the number of mission equipment to 33 ROVs and 17 trenchers and generated strong financial results while maintaining a solid balance sheet. We currently operate 11 vessels in our home market, the Greater North Sea, managed by our talented employees in Norway, UK and the Netherlands. The addition of this new SURF vessel further differentiates our Company as a new generation IMR Contractor and a lead subsea installation Contractor,” says Bart Heijermans, Chief Executive Officer of DeepOcean Group Holding BV. My location Print  Closelast_img read more

Jo Lunder Not Coming Back to Fredriksen Group

first_imgzoom Former Chief Executive Officer of the Fredriksen Group, Jo Lunder, who got tangled up in a bribery scandal and was arrested in Norway in November will not be returning to the company, according to the shipping magnate John Fredriksen.In an interview with local media, Fredriksen said that Lunder will not be coming back to his position due to the ongoing situation and wished him success in his future work. Fredriksen added that it is now up to his company to find the best solution for internal management and consider whether Lunder needs to be replaced.Lunder is linked to an alleged bribery case in Uzbekistan while working as head of VimpelCom in 2011.According to the allegations, Lunder is believed to had paid USD 30 million from Vimpelcom to an account in Switzerland, belonging to the Uzbek company Takilant, to bribe officials in Uzbekistan in order to secure permits for wireless connections.However, Lunder declared innocent on the said charges.Lunder acted as former head of VimpelCom from 2011 till 2015, before he was appointed head of the Fredriksen Group in May this year, a role he assumed in September.Following the latest developments, Lunder stepped down from his position at Fredriksen Group until further notice.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Security beefed up at Hyderabad airport following Centres alert

first_imgHyderabad: Authorities have beefed up security at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here in view of the security alert issued by the Centre for all the major airports in the country. GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), which operates the airport, has issued an advisory to passengers to reach the airport early. It has also declared a ban on visitors’ entry into airport from August 10 to 20. Sources said the restrictions were imposed as part of the security arrangements ahead of Independence Day. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ However, additional security measures were being taken in view of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following the Centre’s move to scrap Article 370 that gave special status to the state. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for airport security, has tightened security measures including scanning of luggage and frisking of passengers, the sources said. As per the alert issued by Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BACS), both CISF and the police have intensified the patrolling. Police have set up additional checkpoints for vehicle checking. Airlines were also advising passengers to reach the airport two-and-half hours to three hours before the scheduled departure of their flights.last_img read more

Environment Canada confirms second tornado in Ontario on Friday

first_imgTORONTO – Environment Canada has confirmed two tornadoes touched down near Huntsville, Ont., on Friday.The agency says the first one struck on the south side of the central Ontario town just before 4 p.m., then tracked about one kilometre northeastward over land and then another three kilometres over a lake as a tornadic waterspout.Environment Canada says a “number of homes and numerous trees were toppled” by the EF-1 twister, which is the second-lowest rating on a scale that measures tornado intensity.The width of its path is estimated to have ranged from 50 to 120 metres with estimated wind speeds of 130 to 150 km/h.A second and stronger tornado measuring EF-2 struck several minutes later about 15 kilometres northeast of Huntsville and caused structural damage to some cottages and heavily damaged some trees.The agency believes this tornado produced winds up to 190 km/h, with a track length some nine kilometres long and 100 to 200 metres wide.There were no reported injuries in either tornado.last_img read more

BC government rejects environmental certificate for Ajax gold and copper mine

first_imgVICTORIA – British Columbia will not issue an environmental assessment certificate for a proposed open-pit gold and copper mine near Kamloops, ending years of controversy among residents.Environment Minister George Heyman said the potential for significant adverse effects of the Ajax mine included poor air quality and risk to human health.He said impacts on Indigenous heritage, grasslands and a lake meant the risks outweighed the potential benefits.Heyman said he and Mines Minister Michelle Mungall noted significant adverse effects, 21 of which were of a moderate to high magnitude, in their decision to reject a certificate.“Given these conclusions by the (Environmental Assessment Office) as well as the close proximity of the project to the city of Kamloops, particularly the neighbourhood of Aberdeen as well as an elementary school and a vulnerable population attending the school, we concluded the adverse effects would not likely be mitigated to an acceptable level and would therefore present an unacceptable risk,” he said.The proposed 1,700 hectare mine is about 10 kilometres southwest of Kamloops and on the traditional lands of several First Nations bands including the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation. The project has faced staunch opposition.The province’s review was part of a joint initiative with the federal government, which will use British Columbia’s report as a basis for its own decision, Heyman said.“No matter what the decision by the federal government is this project would require a provincial certificate to go ahead and the decision today is to not grant one,” he said.The Ajax mine proposed by KGHM International has been under consideration since 2006 and the company has said it was committed to not discharging any waste water into the environment.Project manager Chris Wild said the company was disappointed in the decision.“This is the sort of project the community needs,” he said, adding the company has some options to consider.“One would include a judicial review by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. No decision has been made on where we would go next.”Several First Nations bands, environmentalists and the Green party were pleased with the decision.Chief Fred Seymour of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation said rights or title to the land have never been ceded or surrendered.“Our ancestors stood firm as we have, for the benefit of our future generations and guests in our territory,” he said in a statement.Joe Foy of the Wilderness Committee said a decision to put an end to the destructive mine proposal is great news and that the project appears to be dead before the federal government renders its decision on the project.The Green party said in a statement that the anti-Ajax consensus was clear in the community where city council twice voted to oppose it.“Given the magnitude of the adverse effects and the (Environmental Assessment Office’s) recommendations not to issue a certificate, it would have been shocking for government to approve the project,” said Sonia Furstenau, the Green party member for Cowichan Valley.The province is considering a new environmental assessment process, and Heyman said its aim is to enhance public confidence and require project proponents to work with First Nations from the beginning.A new process would be designed to help proponents understand whether significant measures are needed before a project has a chance of being approved, Heyman said.“I would like to focus on those projects that have a high likelihood of success, work with proponents and First Nations and communities to get through the process in an effective way, a transparent way, but in an expeditious way so that we can have good sustainable development in British Columbia.”(The Canadian Press, CHNL)last_img read more

Death toll rises to 16 In Istanbul building collapse

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s interior minister has said the death toll in the collapse of an eight-story apartment building in Istanbul has risen to 16.Suleyman Soylu said early Saturday that another body had been found in the rubble.The building in Istanbul’s mostly-residential Kartal district collapsed on Wednesday. The cause is under investigation but officials have said its top three floors were illegally built.Soylu was speaking to reporters at the site as emergency services continued their work.Thirteen out of 14 people who were rescued alive remain hospitalized with seven of them in serious condition.The Associated Press

Angola UN and partners applaud renewed commitment to eradicate polio

United Nations agencies and the Gates Foundation today welcomed commitments by the Angolan Government to eradicate polio, a crippling disease which had been eliminated from the country for several years but then reappeared in 2005 and spread to neighbouring nations. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to eliminating the disease during a meeting on Monday with Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Global Health Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Assistant Regional Director for Africa for the World Health Organization (WHO).Mr. dos Santos also agreed to spearhead the country’s 2011 vaccination campaigns and ensure that they are conducted with determination and efficiency. “Every child has the right to be vaccinated against this evil disease,” said Mr. Lake, who arrived in the country last weekend along with Dr. Yamada to support the Government’s efforts to halt an ongoing polio outbreak centred in the capital, Luanda. “This renewed partnership in Angola can help us to achieve an historic victory and rid the world of polio once and for all.”According to UNICEF, 32 people contracted polio in Angola last year, a “disappointing turnaround” from 2004, when the country celebrated three consecutive years free from the virus and the country stood ready to be declared polio-free.But by May of 2005, the disease returned and quickly spread to Namibia (2006), Democratic Republic of the Congo (2006, 2008 and 2010), and the Republic of Congo (2010). A total of $70 million is needed this year for the national immunization plan, and private sector companies and bilateral partners have agreed to contribute to the $24.5 million shortfall by pledging additional funds, logistical support and technical expertise. During a field visit to Cacuaco, one of Luanda’s large urban communities, the delegation met with a family whose daughter had been paralyzed by polio. They visited a health clinic that provides services to almost 40,000 people and met with community health volunteers who play a vital role in educating communities about the dangers of polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases, and also serving as vaccinators during campaigns.Globally, polio has been eradicated in all but four countries – Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Afghanistan.“Extraordinary progress in Nigeria and India – each has reduced cases by approximately 95 per cent last year – has given us confidence in the global fight to end polio,” said Dr. Yamada. “The spotlight has turned to Angola, and we must all be held accountable for success here as we seek to rid the world of a terrible disease.” 25 January 2011United Nations agencies and the Gates Foundation today welcomed commitments by the Angolan Government to eradicate polio, a crippling disease which had been eliminated from the country for several years but then reappeared in 2005 and spread to neighbouring nations. read more

Business Highlights

___Powell sends further signals of future rate cutsWASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, testifying for a second day before Congress, said Thursday that the economy is in a “very good place” despite rising uncertainties and the Fed is prepared to do what it can to “keep it there.” Powell’s comments before the Senate Banking Committee strengthened the message he had sent to a House panel on Wednesday that the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates to support economic growth.___Trump hails conservatives for bypassing ‘fake news’WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is telling the conservative critics of social media that they’ve successfully used the platforms to send messages directly to the American people without going through the “fake news filter.” Trump has weaponized social media to eviscerate opponents and promote himself. He convened Thursday’s White House “social media summit” of like-minded critics of Big Tech, excluding representatives from the very platforms he exploits.___‘Miss us?’ Twitter hit with hour-long outageSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter was down for about an hour Thursday in an outage that appeared to affect users around the world. The company is blaming “an internal configuration change.” The outage began before noon PT; some users were able to access Twitter again by 12:45 p.m. Twitter says some users may be able to access the service as the company worked on a fix.___Trump accuses China of foot-dragging on farm purchasesWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is accusing China of “letting us down” by not promptly buying more U.S. farm products. “They have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would,” the president said on Twitter.___Software engineer accused of taking trade secrets to ChinaWASHINGTON (AP) — A software engineer is accused of stealing trade secrets from the Illinois locomotive company he once worked for and taking the information to China. A federal indictment charges Xudong Yao with nine counts of trade secrets theft. Prosecutors say Yao downloaded thousands of files from the suburban Chicago company while at the same time negotiating a job with a Chinese company. Prosecutors say Yao took the files with him when he flew to China in 2015 and began working at the company there.___Amazon, seeking more skilled workers, will do the trainingNEW YORK (AP) — Amazon will spend more than $700 million to provide additional training to about one-third of its U.S. workforce. Amazon, which like other companies has struggled to find technically qualified U.S. employees, said it will provide its workers with the skills to transition into software engineering positions and technical roles. Inc. said Thursday that its U.S. workforce will hit 300,000 this year. It has more than 630,000 employees worldwide.___Human workers can listen to Google Assistant recordingsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google contractors are able to listen to recordings of what people say to its artificial intelligence system Google Assistant, via either their phone or through smart speakers such as the Google Home. The company acknowledged that humans can access those recordings after some of its Dutch language recordings were leaked. Google is investigating the breach.___Trump defends Acosta but will look ‘closely’ at Epstein dealWASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many other Democrats are calling for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to give up his job or be fired. Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida when he played a role in a secret 2008 plea deal that let billionaire Jeffrey Epstein avoid federal prosecution after he was accused of molesting teenage girls. President Donald Trump says he’ll take a close look at Acosta’s handling of the case involving Epstein, who has pleaded not guilty to new charges.___France adopts pioneering tax on tech giants after US threatPARIS (AP) — France adopted a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite U.S. threats of new tariffs on French imports if Paris went ahead with the plan. The final vote came hours after the Trump administration announced an investigation into the tax under the provision used last year to probe China’s technology policies, which led to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.___The S&P 500 rose 6.84 points, or 0.2%, to 2,999.91. The Dow gained 227.88 points, or 0.8%, to 27,088.08. The Nasdaq composite slid 6.49 points, or 0.1%, to 8,196.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 7.13 points, or 0.5%, to 1,557.92.The Associated Press read more

Boris Johnson wins race to become UKs next prime minister

Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson won the contest to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party on Tuesday and will become the country’s next prime minister, tasked with fulfilling his promise to lead the U.K. out of the European Union.Johnson resoundingly defeated rival Jeremy Hunt, winning two thirds of the votes in a ballot of about 160,000 Conservative members.He will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May on Wednesday.In a brief speech Tuesday meant to rally the party faithful, Johnson radiated optimism, and pledged to deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat the Labour opposition.“I think we know that we can do it and that the people of this country are trusting in us to do it and we know that we will do it,” he said.Johnson, a former London mayor, has wooed Conservatives by promising to succeed where May failed and lead the U.K. out of the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 — with or without a divorce deal.WATCH: Donald Trump says Boris Johnson will do ‘good job’ as U.K. PM Several Conservative ministers have already announced they will resign to fight any push for a “no-deal” Brexit, an outcome economists warn would disrupt trade and plunge the U.K. into recession. Fears that Britain is inching closer to a “no-deal” Brexit weighed on the pound once again Tuesday. The currency was down another 0.3 per cent at $1.2441 and near two-year lows.May stepped down after Britain’s Parliament repeatedly rejected the withdrawal agreement she struck with the 28-nation bloc. Johnson insists he can get the EU to renegotiate — something the bloc insists it will not do.If not, he says Britain must leave the EU on Halloween, “come what may.”Johnson will preside over a House of Commons in which most members oppose leaving the EU without a deal, and where the Conservative Party lacks an overall majority. read more

Opinion Barrett and McMillan leave Ohio State in good hands despite huge

OSU sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) celebrates during a game against Minnesota on Nov. 7 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 28-14. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorDue to a mass exodus the likes of which coach Urban Meyer has never seen, no team in college football will look more different from years prior than the Ohio State Buckeyes.Yet, no team is better equipped to handle such overwhelming roster turnover. With now-redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett and junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan returning for the 2016 season, Buckeye faithfuls can rest assured that their youthful team is in good hands.Barrett and McMillan form an efficient one-two punch, letting their play do the talking for them on the field. And boy did it tell quite the story last season.McMillan enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign, tallying 119 tackles, while finishing as a finalist for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker, in the process. Barrett began the season on the sidelines but eventually overtook struggling starter Cardale Jones for the leading job. After enduring a bit of an adjustment period, Barrett finished strong. In The Game against Michigan, and versus Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, Barrett racked up 559 yards of offense yards, including five touchdowns.In any case, the Buckeyes are still losing a plethora of talent to the NFL. So much, in fact, that many analysts are projecting as many as 15 draft picks out of OSU alone, which would break the former record of 14 set by the Scarlet and Gray back in 2004. Shortly after the Buckeyes had dispatched Notre Dame 44-28 in their bowl game, Barrett appeared more than ready for the challenges that the 2016 season will hold, regardless of his new role as the face of the team.“That doesn’t really change anything, because I’m not going to relax or get comfortable,” Barrett said on Jan. 5, per Austin Ward of ESPN. “That’s when you stop getting better, and I want to be better. There are things I know I can work on. But I’ll carry the weight on my shoulders to make plays, which I’m comfortable with. I have confidence in myself to do that.”Barrett will certainly enter next season as a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. On the opposite side of the field, McMillan will look to continue his high level of play. He’s proven to be a man amongst boys on the gridiron, and it seems as though he’s destined for greatness, as Meyer has already named him, as well as Barrett, team captains for 2016.“(McMillan) was ready when he walked in the door, to be honest with you,” defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said via Tim Shoemaker of Eleven Warriors. “Everyone has different definitions of leadership, and I try to make mine really simple: not to change up from what the head coach’s is, but those who can make others around him better.”The common denominator between Barrett and McMillan is how they carry themselves on and off the field. You’ll rarely see a boisterous or emotional celebration after a big play from either, as the two simply never get too high or too low in any given moment. They’re quiet leaders who truly do improve those around them.A multitude of playmakers and future NFL draft picks might have departed from OSU, but the Buckeyes couldn’t ask for a better pair to lead the young team into the upcoming season. read more

Further signs of US recovery as demand for online moisture analysis picks

first_imgOnline moisture analysis specialist Callidan Instruments reports a spike in sales activity in the US during February and March. Through US Representative KSS (Kanawha Scales and Systems) several of the MoistScan® online moisture analysis systems have been supplied into a diverse range of industries for a wide range of different applications. One company with numerous facilities throughout the US processes electric arc furnace (EAF) dust generated by the steel industry. EAF dust contains approximately 20% zinc from galvanised scrap melted by steel mini-mills.The company recently purchased a further 2 MA-500 online microwave moisture analysers for a new recycling facility on the back of the excellent performance of the MoistScan analysers at existing plants. An important part of the value adding process is kiln drying of the EAF dust in the creation of crude zinc oxide and iron-rich material. Knowing the moisture content of the raw feed to the kiln in real time enables plant operators to better regulate the operation of the kiln to reduce energy consumption and to ensure a consistent product of the right target moisture.KSS has reported many more enquiries in the pipeline after a rather slow 12 months. “This is evidence that activity is coming back into the market,” says Callidan.last_img read more

South Africa seeks international investment to make more valueadded exports from raw

first_imgSouth Africa has put global equity markets on notice that it is open to new investment to help the mineral rich country achieve a transition from an exporter of raw minerals to a value-add minerals processor and exporter. Addressing the opening day today of the three-day Paydirt 2010 Africa Downunder Conference, in Perth, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources, the Hon. Susan Shabangu, said if South Africa was to succeed in extracting its mining endowment, it must conduct its mining industry differently.“We could continue to mine and export our raw mineral commodities but we have recognised the need to move from a resource-based economy to a secondary development economy by increasing the value of our minerals via beneficiation, before they are exported,” Ms Shabangu said. “This transition provides significant new investment opportunities both for domestic African investors and international resources and value-add mining and energy investors. This will also help unlock renewed interest in South Africa’s minerals wealth.“However, we recognise we need to enlist particularly, the backing of strategic international partners experienced in beneficiation development and operation. Australia and other like-minded resources countries are obvious sources for this new investment opportunity.”She said her Government well recognised the need to revitalise the country’s resourcres sector and to rebuild its global competiveness. “As a result, we have undetaken to review the mining commitments originally outlined in our 2004 mining charter and the outcome of that review is due this month.”The Minister added that South Africa also planned to streamline its mineral processes to achieve greater transparency, including halving from 12 months to six the approvals for mining licences, and from six months to three for prospecting licences.She also signalled to equity markets that South Africa had identified a number of constraints to overcome to develop a more sustainable long-term mining plan, and infrastructure gains were paramount in that objective. “For the mining industry to prosper, we need to achieve new paradigms in the way we conduct mining, including introducing new technology within the emerging green economy paradigm.”Australia’s Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dennis Richardson, said the growth of Australia’s investment in Africa had been impressive – led by its exploration and mining companies. He encouraged Australia’s mining fraternity to be the catalyst for boosting the country’s current levels of A$20 billion investment in Africa’s economy, particularly Africa’s mineral opportunities.”This growth has been in absolute terms and geographic terms,” Richardson said.“Over 170 Australian companies are now involved in mining projects in nearly 40 African countries – with this footprint covering involvement in nearly 500 mines and exploration projects. In addition, Australian companies are active in delivering mining services, engineering, consulting and mining analyses, bringing world-class technology and expertise to African resources’ operations. This has reinforced Australia’s well deserved global reputation for mining integrity, safety, and with good mining practices and high environmental standards.“Significantly, the potential for Australia to lift its mining investment in Africa comes at a time when Africa itself is on the move. Despite many challenges and some exceptions, Africa today is more politically stable and prosperous than at any time in its past.”Richardson said Africa had in recent years, seen an end to many of its civil wars, and governance had moved in the right direction. “Africa does have its challenges, being home to 33 of 49 of the world’s least developed countries,” he said. “Economic growth has slowed during the Global Financial Crisis and will remain uneven and vulnerable to shocks in the global economy. The countries which have achieved the strongest growth are those that have undertaken significant reforms. The result of these reforms has been strong growth in inward investment – from $9 billion in 2002 to $62 billion in 2008.“Predictions are that Africa’s consumer spending will reach $1.4 trillion dollars by 2020 with 128 million households having discretionary spending. Africa therefore is on new growth trajectory and we believe Australia is in a unique position to help build Africa’s mineral resources sector and harness its economic potential. Australia is proud to be part of that story, and to be playing a part in Africa’s future.”Ravaged by a slump in diamond production, Botswana says its willingness to go into debt and to introduce new legislative measures sufficient to revive its recovering resources sector, will start delivering substantial and full anticipated gains by next year. Botswana’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Gabaake Gabaake, said the country was now well positioned to “take off” once Botswana had shaken off the last of its recessionary impacts. “All of our proposed changes will be effected by the end of 2011 and while a minerals downturn in 2009 presented without doubt the biggest challenge for our mining industry, recovery is now well underway,” Gabaake said.“The new minerals policy objectives will ensure economic benefits for Botswana are maximised from the resources recovery while enabling private investors to earn competitive returns. We take seriously the return to investors from projects and we have ensured such investors can repatriate profits so that a competitive environment to stimulate mineral exploration and exploitation ensues. Our target also is to issue prospecting licences within 60 days of application, mining licences within 30 days and two days only for diamond export permits.”The strategy includes a switch to minerals beneficiation and downstream activities to be undertaken in Botswana if feasible and to encourage diversification, and to have all sales of diamonds produced in Botswana, sold in Botswana. Suppliers are also being encouraged to manufacture mining consumable such as reagents and equipment spares, at a local level.“The turnaround strategy is working, with the latest Fraser Institute report ranking Botswana as the highest ranking African country for attractiveness of mining policy,” Gabaake said. “Such surveys have highlighted the access to road, power and skilled labour pools as areas of major concern needing addressing, and as a result, we are now running a budget deficit to bring on stream such major projects as the Morupule colliery expansion and the 600 MW Morupule B power station to boost electricity supplies.“The deficit also allows for the construction of three dams (Dikgathong, Lotsane and Thuie) to meet water demand and feasibility studies are underway on improving our rail networks, particularly as used for minerals projects.”Botswana saw its 2009 diamond production collapse to 17.7 Mct from 32.6 Mct in 2008. “A significant improvement in diamond production is expected by the end of 2010 as markets are now recovering,” Gabaake said. Botswana’s 2009 diamond output accounted for 14% of world diamond output, commanding 17% of the total world diamond production value of $8,636 million.Gabaaka said the impact of the downturn was felt at employment levels, with average job levels in Botswana’s mining sector falling to 15,359 last year – 18% lower than the sector’s 18,820 jobs capacity in 2008.Other speakers today included the CEO, Peter Sullivan, of Perth-based and African-focused gold miner, Resolute Mining. He anticipates significant cash generation over the next four years as its flagship Syama gold mine in Mali accesses its main ore zone in the open pit in 12 months time. He explained that the enhanced Syama production (current production is sourced only from processing of ore from the open pit cutback) would favourably change the cash costs of the company, substantially lift cash flows and be matched by major liability reductions by December next year.“These liability reductions include a closing out by September 2011 our remaining $80 million gold hedge book, debt payments of $30 million, a potential convertible note conversion of $75 million in December next year and a potential options exercise around that same time worth around $60 million. From that point of view, Resolute will achieve a substantial transition to a much stronger cash backed, higher production operation with balance sheet strength and Syama being a key driver for shareholder returns.”Located in southern Mali, Resolute’s 80% owned Syama mine has resources of more than 6 Moz, and reserves of 1.6 Moz, and has Sullivan says, potential for a 10 plus year operation. “The current cutback will take another 12 months with anticipated average grade of 2.5 g/t Au but once we access the main open pit orebody, we expect average produced grades to comfortably exceed 3 g/t Au,” he said. “The program to expedite completion of the ramp-up to a throughput target of 2.4 Mt/y is showing good progress.”The underground resource at Syama is estimated at higher than 3 Moz with further infill drilling planned to boost underground reserves ahead of plans for mining of that resource.A scoping study is expected to be completed by the end of the month on plans by Australia’s Minemakers to develop a marine phosphate mining operation offshore from Namibia. Addressing the opening day, Minemakers’ General Manager, Marine and African Projects, Mike Woodborne, presenting on behalf of the Namibian Marine Phosphate Joint Venture, said completion of the key study came at a time of strong global phosphate demand.“The scoping study will set the terms of reference to complete a definitive feasibility study over 2011 to dredge the phosphate and transport it to shore – probably via a floating pipeline – from our 7,000 km2 Sandpiper/Meob project and then produce a simple beneficiated product on a land base at Walvis Bay,” Woodborne said. “The floating pipeline is our preferred option at the moment.”Initial studies have pointed to a cost of $26/t to dredge and deliver phosphate to shore and from depths of between 180-300 m. Sandpiper/Meob has a resource of 1,581 Mt of P2O5 with sediment up to 6 m thick. Deeper testing is now underway to increase the project’s resource base.Woodbourne said global phosphate demand was strong, with China’s production of phosphate rock booming 18% per annum over the past four years and tipped to more than double to above 350 Mt by 2020.“Sandpiper/Meob is well placed to service expanding global markets with easy routes to South and North America, Europe and Asia/China. Once we have completed the resource update, we plan to submit a mining licence application and conduct a feasibility study over 2010-2011,” he said. “Our aim is to fast-track this project into mining production.”Brisbane-based Discovery Metals expects construction to commence in the December quarter on its flagship Boseto copper project in northern Botswana to deliver maiden copper production from early in 2012. Discovery’s Managing Director, Brad Sampson, told the conference the bankable feasibility study (BFS) and Boseto development plan (BDP) undertaken on Boseto favoured its rapid development as an initial open pit mining operation with throughput of 3 Mt/y of copper and silver ore over five years for the BFS and continuing for at least 15 years in the DBP.“On that basis, we anticipate commencing mine construction from fourth quarter this year with commissioning expected in the first half of 2012,” Sampson said. “The power source for the initial open-pit mining operations will be diesel generated but be replaced by coal fired power from mid 2013. In mid 2014, the BDP plans to take Boseto into an underground copper operation delivering at 1.5 Mt/y for a further 11 years whilst the open pit is wound back to 1.5 Mt/y.”The Boseto mine, once commissioned, will be the first Botswana mine in the Kalahari Copper Belt with Discovery Metals already embarking on additional exploration to locate similar sized Botswana deposits to Boseto. The deposit has current ore reserves of 24.1Mt grading 1.3% Cu and 16.7% Ag. Discovery has secured with Transamine, offtake agreements for the mine’s maiden five year copper output and expects this month to lodge its formal mining licence application for the mine. First concentrate production is scheduled for the first half of 2012.On likely forward copper prices, Sampson said nearly 3.5 Mt of copper capacity was lost due to the 2008 global financial crisis and a recent Standard Chartered Bank article stated the copper price could spike to $12,000/t if start-up issues were compounded by production slippages.More details of Australian projects in Africa will be published in the next issue of International Mining Project News, to be emailed to subscribers on September 10. For details of subscriptions to this fortnightly source of project data and key contacts, email emma@im-mining.comlast_img read more

Build your own Death Star for 8100000000000000

first_imgFor those of you grandiose schemers out there that think world domination through politics is for chumps, here is some good news. You could (theoretically) have your very own, fully operational Death Star straight out of the Star Wars movie franchise to enable your plans of setting up a new galactic empire. For this kind of power, all you have to come up with is $8,100,000,000,000,000. Oh and you will need 833,315 years to complete the project, give or take. It’s only money and time right?The humorous economics of actually undertaking the construction of a deadly planet-sized battle-station comes from the site Centives. One of its writers decided to use a British aircraft carrier as the basis to come up with a ballpark figure of how much steel it would take to fabricate the Death Star. Using the mass of the HMS Illustrious, the writer scaled that figure up and found it would take 1.08×1015 tons of steel to complete construction. A large amount for sure, but reportedly there is enough iron on Earth to create more than 2-billion Death Stars.Of course, most of it is found at the planet’s core, and harvesting it would have drastic consequences for both humanity and the environment, but you would still have your battle-station! Before you get upset over the fact that establishing your rule over the galaxy may have some significant hurdles, remember that all empires have humble beginnings. Palpatine came from Naboo after all, where the leader of the planet could bankrupt a cosmetics store. He went from senator for a backwater planet to emperor of the known universe. There is hope for you yet.And, of course, that much steel is only the start. Mining, transportation, billions of man-hours of worker time, development of technologies, fuel, armaments, staffing the vessel, and other associated costs would make the costs of building a Death Star-like ship even more prohibitive. The costs would eventually be recouped once you started to take over planets, but you could only imagine what those loan payments would be like so you would have to act quicklyRead more at Centives.last_img read more