Investments and Acquisitions In the Mining Industry

It seems the mining industry is going from strength to strength. Now that the JV between Rio and BHP is off, it seems they have gone shopping instead.

Riversdale Mining Limited has confirmed that the Rio Tinto had made an indicative US$3.5 billion takeover offer. This is in line with the latest release from Rio Tinto which is reported to nearly triple its capital spending to US$11 billion next year.

BHP Billiton today announced approval for a further US$635 million (BHP Billiton share US$570 million) of capital expenditure that will underpin continued growth in Western Australia Iron Ore’s production profile.

The Xstrata plc board has approved the development of the Ravensworth North open cut mine in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales for a total investment of US$1.36 billion.

Macarthur Coal Limited raised $335 million through a institutional placement to fund the acquisition of a Bowen Basin mining tenement.Coal prices have soared during the past year, with prices tipped to rise further in 2011, as Chinese growth spurs strong demand for coking coal, used in steel furnaces.

AngloGold Ashanti Limited ‒ the third- largest producer of the precious metal ‒ plans to dig the world’s deepest mines in South Africa.

“AngloGold has brought together a group including General Electric Company to figure out how to reach gold in excess of 5km down, or more than a kilometer lower than any other mine,” CEO Mark Cutifani said. “At the same time it aims to use more machinery to curb fatalities,” he added.

“AngloGold has the potential to mine an extra 100 million ounces of gold by excavating down,” Cutifani said. “Even if we get 50% of that, it means there is another 30 years of those ounces for the company to extract,” he added. AngloGold expects to produce 4.5 million ounces this year.

All this activity of course points to a very busy year ahead. Recruitment and HR departments will be among the busiest as they try to respond to the huge growth in the industry and the demand for staff.

With staffing of course comes all the issues associated with that. Ensure your staff are drug tested to be fit for work before you hire them and then regularly afterwards. Call CMM Technology on +618-9204-2500 today to enlist their professional drug and alcohol testing products and services.

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Drug Testing During the Holidays

Many companies that drug test routinely may benefit from increasing their alcohol and drug testing directly after the holiday season.  This is the time of year when people are attending more parties, having dinners with friends and relatives, and partaking in many celebrations.  Since alcohol can be offered in most of these situations, it is not surprising how rates of drunk driving increase at this time of year, along with hangovers that can last well into the next day.  Unfortunately for employers, the next day may be a work day.  Even people who wouldn’t normally drink may find themselves having a drink or two to combat the stresses of the holiday season or simply to be social.  Many of those who might have a problem with alcohol can feel more at ease during parties as more people are drinking and it seems more acceptable, allowing them to consume more alcohol than their body can handle.

With the high rates of alcohol consumption during the holidays, having employees know about increased alcohol testing (post holiday) might not be a bad idea.  Knowing that there is a possibility of being tested at work, someone could plan their nights ahead ensuring that they do not get very drunk, thereby affecting their work the next day.  A person may be inclined to have one or two drinks, staying under the limit, but still be able to enjoy their night out with friends or family.  Keeping your job is a great motivator to lessening seasonal alcohol abuse.

According to a study done in the United States, construction workers along with handlers, helpers, and laborers constituted 15.7% of heavy alcohol users.1 Hand in hand with construction workers and laborers are heavy equipment operators.  Having a person under the influence of alcohol whilst operating machinery could be disastrous, not only to that person, but to their co-workers and the company as well.  While alcohol abuse is not on the decline2, steps can be taken by companies that wish to educate employees from excessive or binge drinking.  Companies can set up an Employee Assistance Program in which the company can provide short-term counseling, assessment, and referrals to those employees who may need further evaluation.  An employee, who knows that they have somewhere to turn if they need to, may be more willing to seek help.

While workplace alcohol testing may be the deterrent your company needs to avoid potential lawsuits from negligent employees, taking steps to prevent any incidents from occurring may be the best option.



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How the Holidays are Handled by Different Types of Substance Abusers

When the holidays are just around the corner, it is necessary to watch your staff more closely. Not only are feelings of euphoria prevalent, but they can also encourage drug and alcohol abuse in order to maintain the natural high. In addition to this, with regard to family get-togethers, event planning, office and private parties, traveling, weather and the obvious depletion of one’s checkbook, employees can abuse drugs and alcohol due to stress and anxiety. What are signs of different types of substance abusers which you should watch for during the festive time of the year?

Alcoholics tend to use this time as a cover-up for their regular abuse:

According to Ames and Grube,[1] alcoholism in the workplace can be considered directly proportional to the availability of alcohol within the working environment. Even at a job, availability increases during weekends and holiday times, particularly the beginning of the holiday season and the end of any week during this time. If everyone is drinking, then it is less of a social faux pas to be drunk or in any way intoxicated.  Social boundaries help to define acceptable and unacceptable behavior among a group of people. Holidays are a breeding ground for covering up preexisting alcohol abuse.

Drug abusers tend to use this time to cope with holiday stress:

While natural serotonin production rewards the brain with positive reinforcement, the holiday season brings stress hormones and adrenaline surges, particularly the fight-or-flight signals.[2] These signals occur continuously in dangerous weather conditions, among rude or insulting visiting family, or amid crowded and angst-filled shopping malls. Even though the holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy, warmth and giving, your neurotransmitters are continuously telling your brain that your very life is in danger. Most people can handle this high stress in a somewhat reasonable manner, but even the lightest of drug abuse can turn into heavy addictive behavior in this chaotic atmosphere. This would be the time to watch your employees closely, keep your voice at an even tone, and remain calm during high stress situations in order to not flip the fight-or-flight switch in your underlings.

Hard drug abusers actually use more or less during the holidays, depending upon income:

Since hard drug abusers use a greater percentage of their disposable income upon their substance abuse, their usage is almost directly correlated with their amount of money.[3] Hard drug abuse is more prevalent at the beginning of the month in government-funded communities, and exhibits significantly less as the month progresses or during the holiday season, as funds deplete. This is, however, only applicable to those with limited or low incomes, and wealthier individuals tend to increase their usage during the holiday season.

1. Ames, Genevieve, and Joel Grube. “Alcohol Availability and Workplace Drinking: Mixed Method Analyses.” Questia. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

2. “Pat Moore Foundation | Alcohol and Drug Abuse Can Spike During Sressful Holiday Season.” Pat Moore Foundation | Drug Detox, Alcohol Detox & Addiction Treatment Center in Costa Mesa, CA and Orange County, CA. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

3. Halpern, Scott, and C. Mechem. “Declining rate of substance abuse throughout the month.” The American Journal of Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.

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