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World’s youngest leader Sebastian Kurz slips into the hot seat in Austria

“Whizz-kid”, “Basti Fantasti” and “Messiah” are just some of the monikers given to new Austrian Chan..

"Whizz-kid", "Basti Fantasti" and "Messiah" are just some of the monikers given to new Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, 31, as of Monday the world's youngest leader.

His conservative People's Party (ÖVP), revamped by Kurz as a more hardline "movement", agreed late on Friday a coalition deal with the far right that saw him sworn in on Monday.

"Our aims are quite clear. We want to ease the tax burden for people, we want to strengthen our economy, which will bolster our social system," Kurz told reporters late Friday after agreeing the coalition.

"And first and foremost we want to increase security in our country, including by combatting illegal immigration," he said.

The takeover of the ÖVP in May by "Emperor Kurz", with his rosy cheeks, large ears and composure belying his young age, was as swift as it was radical.

First he killed the unhappy coalition with the Social Democrats (SPÖ). Then he rebranded the ÖVP and its black party colour as a turquoise "movement" tough on migrants and easy on taxes.

The strategy of "putting Austrians first" propelled the sluggish ÖVP to pole position in opinion polls and Kurz to near-rock star status.

Wherever he went during the election campaign, fans sporting turquoise T-shirts would chant his name and women asked if they can hug him.

Selfie sessions with Kurz, always in slim-cut suits and tieless white shirts, lasted over two hours.

Haider comparison

Observers say there has not been such euphoria over an Austrian politician since Jörg Haider, the magnetic but controversial far-right leader who died in 2008.

In slick campaign adverts where he is scaling the Alps, Kurz promised — echoing his new partners the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) — to slash taxes and red tape and "return this beautiful country to the peak".

"The time is now," read election posters with Kurz staring into the distance.

His appeal as an agent of change is remarkable given that he has been a key cog in the political machine he now seeks to overhaul.

The only child of a secretary and a teacher, Kurz joined the ÖVP's youth wing in 2003.

As its chief, he drew ridicule with a 2010 council election campaign featuring the slogan "Schwarz macht geil", or "Black makes you hot".

Kurz posed with skimpily clad girls on top of a black Hummer, the "hot-o-mobile", and distributed black condoms.

Meteoric rise

This blunder notwithstanding, the former law student — he never finished his degree — enjoyed a meteoric rise, becoming secretary of integration in 2011 and foreign minister two years later, aged 27.

Full of praise for Hungary's populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Kurz claims credit for closing the Balkan migrant trail in 2016.

The move saw the Austrian named one of the most influential Europeans by the Politico news website.

The private politician — he is not often seen in public with longterm girlfriend Susanne — ran a campaign as immaculate as his trademark gelled-back hair, showing a maturity and toughness well beyond his years.

But some critics have accused Kurz of being a "mini-dictator" running the party as a "one-man show".

And analysts have warned that Kurz's election will be an "earthquake" for the European Union, despite his pro-European pledge.

"He's a 'Haider light' version," said Paris-based Austria expert Patrick Moreau, adding that Kurz's ideas on everything from immigration to economic policy represent a "complete rupture" with the EU.

Bromance

At Friday night's press conference, Kurz and FPÖ chief Heinz-Christian Strache appeared to have struck up a personal rapport — despite Strache's at times vicious attacks in the election campaign.

But some worry that Kurz has given too much away to the FPÖ, with the far-right party securing the interior, defence and foreign ministries in the coalition deal.

Political analyst Thomas Hofer said the fact that all of Austria's security services will now be controlled by the FPÖ "will draw some criticism".

But Hofer added that Kurz wanted to ensure that unlike his party's previous "grand coalition" with the centre-left, this administration will not become gridlocked.

"What he wanted to achieve is that both parties have their real responsibilities. In previous governments the parties blocked each other and Kurz wants to avoid that," Hofer told AFP.

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Australia

Argonaut Resources directors show faith in company by participating in oversubscribed SPP

Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) directors have demonstrated their faith in the company’s copper-zinc strategy by participating in the recently closed share purchase plan (SPP).

Independent non-executive chairman Patrick Elliot purchased more than 4.465 million shares at 0.55 cents per share in an indirect interest.

He now holds 5,876,159 shares in that interest with another 20,324,574 held in a separate indirect interest.

Independent non-executive chairman Malcolm Richmond acquired more than 5.454 million shares in a direct interest, increasing the number held in this interest to almost 15 million with another 1 million held in an indirect interest.

Overwhelming response to SPP[hhmc]
The company was overwhelmed by the response to its SPP which closed early and more than twice oversubscribed with the target subsequently increased to $2.5 million from $1.2 million.

Subscriptions in excess of $3 million were received and as a result, the SPP was closed with immediate effect.

Money ..

Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) directors have demonstrated their faith in the company’s copper-zinc strategy by participating in the recently closed share purchase plan (SPP).

Independent non-executive chairman Patrick Elliot purchased more than 4.465 million shares at 0.55 cents per share in an indirect interest.

He now holds 5,876,159 shares in that interest with another 20,324,574 held in a separate indirect interest.

Independent non-executive chairman Malcolm Richmond acquired more than 5.454 million shares in a direct interest, increasing the number held in this interest to almost 15 million with another 1 million held in an indirect interest.

Overwhelming response to SPP


The company was overwhelmed by the response to its SPP which closed early and more than twice oversubscribed with the target subsequently increased to $2.5 million from $1.2 million.

Subscriptions in excess of $3 million were received and as a result, the SPP was closed with immediate effect.

Money raised under this SPP and from the recently completed $2.7 million share placeRead More – Source

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Australia

Strickland Metals shares jump 39% ahead of drilling base metal target near DeGrussa

Strickland Metals Ltd (ASX:STK) shares surged 39% today ahead of its maiden drilling program at the Doolgunna Project, which will include a diamond drilling program that is likely to begin by the end of this month.

As a part of the program, a minimum of four diamond holes will be drilled to a depth of 500 metres to test a VMS target similar to the nearby DeGrussa deposit of Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Heritage survey[hhmc]
Exploration activity has recommenced on the Doolgunna Project following completion of heritage surveys to allow land access to areas where the company wishes to complete exploration drilling.

The target for drilling is a compelling base metal prospect that exhibits geological characteristics that are interpreted to be similar to Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa deposit about 30 kilometres to the east of the project.

The prospect has a 3-kilometre-long electromagnetic conductor that lies below an outcropping copper-zinc gossan that has been mapped over a 1.2-kilomet..

Strickland Metals Ltd (ASX:STK) shares surged 39% today ahead of its maiden drilling program at the Doolgunna Project, which will include a diamond drilling program that is likely to begin by the end of this month.

As a part of the program, a minimum of four diamond holes will be drilled to a depth of 500 metres to test a VMS target similar to the nearby DeGrussa deposit of Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Heritage survey


Exploration activity has recommenced on the Doolgunna Project following completion of heritage surveys to allow land access to areas where the company wishes to complete exploration drilling.

The target for drilling is a compelling base metal prospect that exhibits geological characteristics that are interpreted to be similar to Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa deposit about 30 kilometres to the east of the project.

The prospect has a 3-kilometre-long electromagnetic conductor that lies below an outcropping copper-zinc gossan that has been mapped over a 1.2-kilometre strike.

Diamond core drilling


The company plans to start the diamond core drilling by the end of this month.

A multi-purpose drill rig has been contracted to enable the minimum planned program wRead More – Source

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Australia

Pan Asia Metals has positive discussions on plans for Thai lithium project

Pan Asia Metals Ltd (ASX:PAM) has had positive discussions with authorities in Phang Nga Province, Thailand, including the provincial government, for its Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAM has submitted a presentation covering all aspects of the project including methods of ongoing exploration, conceptual mining and concentrate production, and the potential for downstream value-adding industries in Phang Nga and Thailand.

The presentation and subsequent discussions were aimed at assisting Phang Nga Provincial Government in their considerations for the proposed mining and industrial development areas.

Provincial Government discussions[hhmc]
Pan Asia was recently invited by the chief executive officer of the Phang Nga Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO), a Phang Nga Provincial Government coordinating body, to represent PAM and the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

The meeting was also attended by the head of Phang Nga Provincial Industry along with the representatives of the Phang Ng..

Pan Asia Metals Ltd (ASX:PAM) has had positive discussions with authorities in Phang Nga Province, Thailand, including the provincial government, for its Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAM has submitted a presentation covering all aspects of the project including methods of ongoing exploration, conceptual mining and concentrate production, and the potential for downstream value-adding industries in Phang Nga and Thailand.

The presentation and subsequent discussions were aimed at assisting Phang Nga Provincial Government in their considerations for the proposed mining and industrial development areas.

Provincial Government discussions


Pan Asia was recently invited by the chief executive officer of the Phang Nga Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO), a Phang Nga Provincial Government coordinating body, to represent PAM and the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

The meeting was also attended by the head of Phang Nga Provincial Industry along with the representatives of the Phang Nga Provincial Public Works and Town Planning Office.

Phang Nga Provincial Industry head has been appointed by the Phang Nga governor as chairman of the Phang Nga New Town Planning Committee.

During the meeting, the chairman of the committee conveyed its support for the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAO wants to ensure that the requirements of the Reung Kiet project are incorporated into the town planning committee’s zoning plans to ensure that the project can progress once exploration and feasibility results prove positive.

“Can bring opportunities”


PAM managing director Paul Lock said: “We have been working hard in Phang Nga province and we are very happy with the positive reception that the Reung Kiet Lithium Project is receiving from the Phang Nga Provincial Government and surrounding communities.

“Reung Kiet is strategically located and based on peer feasibility work the project is positioned to potentially be one of the lowest-cost suppliers of lithium chemicals in the global peer group.

“This is a project that can bring substantial opportunities and value to Phang Nga and Thailand.”

Pan Asia is planning its second Reung Kiet drilling program with expectations that this will begin in the coming months following the conclusion of the current Khao Soon drilling program.

Potential cost curve leader


Reung Kiet is a hard rock project with lepidolite rich pegmatites chiefly composed of quartz, albite and lepidolite with minor cassiterite and tantalite as well as other accessory minerals including some rare earth.

Lepidolite does not require roasting and has a suite of by-products which are recoverable at the concentrator and processing stages of the flow sheet.

Peer feasibility work has Read More – Source

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