The latest issue of International Mining Project News, out today, has reports on 24 prefeasibility studies, four feasibility studies, and 20 projects in development, 12 new mines that have gone into production, seven existing operations that are expanding and four merger and acquisition announcements, and many new appointments to new positions. The report covers 29 gold projects, 14 copper projects, 11 silver projects, eight coal projects, seven iron ore projects, five platinum, four rare earth, lead, nickel, two palladium, vanadium, potash, PGM, uranium, and one diamond, germanium, titanium, chrome, molybdenum, and phosphate. This fortnightly project watch is a great way of keeping up to date with your peers – other mining companies, other consultants or other engineering companies. These issues build into a global mine project overview. If you are a supplier – it is full of potential sales leads.Duluth Metals has announced that the Twin Metals Minnesota project PFS is progressing well with a completion date scheduled for mid-year 2014. Over the next few months, the main focus is the completion of the Pre-feasibility Study and delivering by mid-year a comprehensive NI 43-101 compliant Technical Report on this phase of the project development.Carpathian Gold completed its first gold smelt at the RDM gold project, Brazil on the 24th December. The project is wholly owned by the corporation’s subsidiary, Mineração Riacho dos Machados. The corporation has subsequently completed a second gold smelt and has poured its first doré gold bar of approximately 10.1 kg. Loaded carbon continues to be transferred from the CIL tanks to the ADR plant, where the gold will be stripped from the carbon and recovered in the electrowinning cells, on a routine basis. The corporation anticipates that gold doré production can now commence and that it can be shipped on a regular basis, currently forecast at 100,000 oz/y over the LoM.Pan American Silver Corp has decided to proceed with the expansion of its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas, Mexico, based on the positive results of a recently completed PEA. The PEA indicated that the relatively low-risk expansion project has the potential to provide robust after-tax economic returns using a $19/oz long-term silver price. The PEA contemplates an increase in silver production from the current level of approximately 4.7 Moz/y to 7.7 Moz/y by the end of 2017, for an incremental capital investment of $80 million, the majority of which will be spent over the next 3 years.Glencore Xstrata has awarded Thiess a A$230 million, one-year contract extension at Mt Owen coal mine, near Ravensworth in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia. The extension will see Thiess continuing full service delivery at Mount Owen for at least another three years until December 2016, and includes an option for an additional one year contract extension until December 2017.Australian based iron ore development company, Kogi Iron Ltd and it’s 100% owned Nigerian operating company, KCM Mining have announced that phosphorous bioleaching has been incorporated in its process plant design for the PFS currently underway for its 100% owned Agbaja iron ore project. Bioleaching is the extraction of specific metals from their ores through the use of bacteria and has successfully been used in the minerals industry since the mid 1990’s. A recent independent University study conducted in Nigeria was successful in reducing the level of phosphorous in Agbaja Plateau iron ore mineralisation from ~0.9% to ~0.25%.