Investment and consolidation have been the main priorities for mining projects as they look forward to the end of the year and beyond. Xstrata is one of those looking further ahead with the approval of an ambitious $4 billion development plan that could release lucrative returns on its low cost, and long life, Peruvian copper project. The company isn’t putting all of its eggs into one basket however with over $2 billion invested in Antapaccay and an Australian underground thermal coal mine. Also in Australia Territory Resources has revealed a $4.6 million exploration program after increasing its ore reserves by 50% – guaranteeing iron ore production until 2013.Batavia Mining have been battling with wet season delays to make a strong start to drilling at its own Australian iron ore project – and has been rewarded for its determination with kilometres of continuous hematite iron ore with grades of over 50% Fe. Old hand Rio Tinto has been concentrating on expansion and investment, with the company bringing its Pilbara expenditure up to $1 billion in its drive to push iron ore operations to180 Mt/y within six years. Despite the growing worries of recession Harmony Gold and Newmont’s copper/gold JV won’t find it difficult to discover investors – extended drilling has opened up the project’s mineral resource to almost triple gold and copper resources while doubling its molybdenum resources.Elsewhere Africa’s resources sector continues to heat up with a new country entering the fray to develop its mineral wealth, while Nevsun Resources have almost finished its silver/copper/zinc/gold project bringing Eritrea one step closer to having its first modern day mine. The Minas Moatize mine, in Mozambique, is also making steady progress with the imminent arrival of a mobile wash plant to help produce the projects first trial shipments of export thermal and coking coal.In Mexico SilverCrest Mines is looking forward to its first metal pour after a faultless safety performance at its two thirds operational gold/silver mine and Geologix have found good recoveries at its Mexican copper/gold sulphide resource. After a long wait Kinross Gold has managed to find approval for its Russian gold/silver investment while Vale has released an extensive update on its projects in Brazil, Peru and New Caledonia.All this and much, much more in International Mining’s Project News….To receive the full 30+ 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.