Google also used its GDC keynote to announce the founding of its own first-party game studio: Stadia Games and Entertainment. The new division will be headed up by Montreal-born Jade Raymond — best known for leading Ubisoft’s Toronto studio for five years — and charged with developing Stadia-exclusive software. There’s no word yet on what its first game will be.However, some key questions regarding Google’s new platform remain unanswered. Perhaps the biggest is how players will pay to play. Stadia could take the form of a Netflix-like subscription service, with players paying a monthly fee for unlimited play, or players may still need to purchase individual games, as most do now. Harrison said that Stadia is in talks with publishers and developers as it works out its business model.Another open question is how both players and game developers will react to some of Stadia’s more unusual features, such as State Share. State Share will allow YouTubers who livestream their play sessions to share a specific game state — a particular moment or scenario within the game — with other Stadia users so that they can instantly jump into the game at the same place and in the same situation as the streamer. This could be used as a means of disseminating demos prior to a game’s release, or YouTubers could use it as a way to create challenges within their communities.And while Google’s network of data centres is massive, Harrison admits that there will be some locations in the world that won’t be close enough for an optimal streaming experience. “Inevitably, there will be some parts of the world that we are not yet able to reach. But the good news is that the Internet continues to grow every day and get faster for more people. And there are technologies just around the corner, like 5G, that we hope will make Stadia accessible to more people.”Harrison is confident that Stadia represents the future of gaming, and that game streaming will one day fully supplant traditional consoles.“Eventually, I’m pretty sure streaming will become (the standard platform for game delivery). It won’t happen overnight. And we don’t expect the transition to be immediate. But we want to position Stadia as the new generation of gaming platforms, purpose-built for the 21st century.” The future of gaming isn’t a box, but rather a place: The cloud. And it will arrive before the end of 2019. So says Google Inc., which unveiled a potentially disruptive new game platform called Stadia during a keynote speech at the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on Tuesday.The tech giant’s vision for the future of gaming is a global network of data centres dedicated to hosting and streaming games at maximum fidelity to any and every screen you use — including televisions, laptop and desktop computers, tablets, and phones — via either your Internet browser or a free app. No separate box required.“It’s the most highly tuned platform to meet the needs of every member of the gaming ecosystem, whether you’re a developer, publisher, a YouTube creator, or, crucially, a gamer,” said Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison, who joined the company last year to head up Stadia after a career working with Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp., and Atari SA. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 review: Polished and playable, right out of the gate Anthem review: Think Destiny, with better storytelling, worse loot and more repetition Crackdown 3 review: Brutal justice made brutally boring Stadia servers will be powered by a new graphics processing unit (GPU) developed in partnership with American semiconductor manufacturer AMD, Inc. Google claims its chips are capable of pushing out in excess of 10 teraflops — more than the combined computing power of Microsoft’s Xbox One X and Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro — and will help deliver games in 4K HDR at 60 frames per second to players wherever they happen to be, regardless of the specifications of the device on which they’re playing.Google presented a live demonstration of Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey to show how Stadia will let players launch a game they just discovered from within their browser in as little as five seconds — a far cry from the hours it currently takes to download and install large game files on traditional consoles. Harrison also demonstrated how players can seamlessly switch between devices and continue playing, so long as each one has an Internet connection.Game streaming has been a holy grail within the industry for years, with startup companies like Gaikai and OnLive attempting to own the space. However, the technology has always been finicky, with latency — the time it takes for player inputs to travel to a server and back — proving problematic.But Google claims to have beaten this problem via a mix of cutting edge technology and a peerless network of data centres scattered across more than 200 countries. The majority of the world’s population lives within close enough proximity to these servers to keep their lag time low. “We have 7,500 locations,” said Harrison, “and they’re connected by a proprietary backbone of Google fibre optic cables covering hundreds of thousands of miles. This helps ensure we have the best performing network possible.”Proof of Stadia’s performance was on display last fall, when Google ran a limited public test of its new platform under the code name Project Stream, handled in part by Google Canada’s Waterloo office, which is also responsible for creating Stadia’s developer- and publisher-facing user experience. It earned rave reviews from both pundits and players.Since Stadia will be accessible through browsers or apps on almost any device and is compatible with most existing USB peripherals, including keyboards, mice, and controllers, consumers won’t need to purchase any new hardware to begin playing. However, Google’s hardware division has created a branded controller for Stadia that will connect to data centres via Wi-Fi and offer players additional perks, like pressing a dedicated Google Assistant button to access tips and tricks for a game without needing to pause play.Stadia supports a variety of existing peripherals, but Google’s Stadia branded controller enables additional perks, including in-game Google Assistant. Courtesy Google
In the latest issue of International Mining Project News, there is ‘hot’ lithium news from Aberdeen International, Alix Resources, Altura Mining, Argonaut Resources, Avalon Rare Metals, Bacanora Minerals, Canadian Orebodies, Coolgardie Rare Metals Venture, European Metals Holdings, Focus Minerals, Hannans Reward, Kilbarab Resources, Lithium Australia, Lithium X Energy, Mining Projects Group, Neometals and Venus Metals. There is detailed information in the issue on all these projects and those mentioned below and three times as many projects available in the full subscribers’ issue. There are important contact details for all projects. Contact firstname.lastname@example.orgThe picture shows raw water tank and CIL construction at Red Eagle’s San Ramon gold mine in Colombia within its Santa Rosa gold project. The September 2014 feasibility study includes $74 million in initial capital costs and cash costs of $596/oz. Post-tax project economics include cash flow $132 million, NPV5% $104 million, IRR 53% and payback within 1.3 years. Production is projected to start during H2 2016.This week’s International Mining Project News, of over 60 pages, covers Ivanhoe Mines’ fabulous Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It plans a first phase of mine development that envisages an annual production rate of 100,000 t of copper at a mine-site cash cost of $0.75/lb copper. KGHM developed controlled convergence room-and-pillar mining method potentially could provide significant cost savings.Mobilisation for a major new 15,000 m drilling program has commenced at Pilbara Minerals’ 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium-tantalite project in Western Australia. RC and diamond drilling progressively commencing over the coming weeks over four main target areas to in-fill, upgrade and expand the current global Indicated and Inferred Resource of 80.2 Mt grading 1.26% Li2O (spodumene).Amarc Resources has finalised a definitive agreement with Thompson Creek Metals Co in order to advance the IKE porphyry copper discovery in south-central British Columbia. Under the agreement, Thompson Creek has the option to acquire up to a 50% interest in the IKE Project through a staged investment process.Asiamet Resources (ARS) advises that a PEA on the Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) deposit within its 100% owned KSK Contract of Work in Kalimantan, Indonesia, is advancing well in line with plan and budget.Hot Chili Ltd has completed the PFS for its flagship Productora copper project, located along the coastal range 600 km north of Santiago, Chile.Bacanora Minerals is developing the Sonora lithium project in northern Mexico and has positive results of a PFS (prepared in accordance with NI 43-101) for the development of a mine and lithium carbonate (“Li2CO3”) processing facility at Sonora. The PFS estimates a pre-tax IRR of 29% (post-tax 25%) and an associated NPV of $776 million, (post-tax $542 million) at an 8% discount rate. These results highlight the strong economic potential of producing up to ……………………Lionergy has signed an agreement for future offtake of lithium spodumene concentrate produced from Altura Mining’s high grade Pilgangoora lithium project. Lionergy has also agreed to an investment of A$3 million through a placement to support the off take LOI.Alphamin Resources reports on the results of its feasibility study for its 84.55% owned Bisie tin project in east central Democratic Republic of Congo. The study supports a technically simple underground mining operation with recovery of tin via gravity separation methods that offers low unit capital and operating costs, rapid payback and strong financial performance at metal prices of $14,800/t tin, as used here.Nevada Clean Magnesium provides an update on the progress of constructing the bench scale pilot furnace being done in Fort St John, BC. by Lindon Enterprises.Lithium Australia NL (LIT) has successfully developed a hydrometallurgical process, the Sileach™ process, for the recovery of lithium from spodumene, currently the primary source of hard-rock lithium production. The Sileach process is readily adaptable to other silicate minerals also and has been developed to reduce the cost of producing lithium chemicals from materials that have traditionally been roasted, with very high energy costs, to recover the lithium.Kibaran Resources says it “is poised to finalise project financing for development of its Epanko graphite project in Tanzania after raising $2.0 million via a share placement.”TNG Ltd has signed a wide ranging non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with global engineering and services provider Downer EDI to participate in the development, construction and operation of its 100%-owned Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory.Hummingbird Resources, the West African focused gold development company, announces a six month extension of its $15million bridge facility with Taurus Mining Finance Fund to 8 September 2016. This extension allows both parties to work together towards a fully funded finance package for the Yanfolila gold project without the timing of the bridge impacting on discussions.OceanaGold Corp provides an update on the construction of the top-tier Haile gold mine in the USA.KEFI Minerals, the gold exploration and development company with projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, reports Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia remains on track for financing mid-2016 and production end-2017.Northern Vertex has substantially de-risked the Moss mine project in Arizona by conducting a test mining phase which produced more than 4,000 oz of gold and 20,000 oz of silver, resulting in more than $5.5 million in gold sales.Edenville Energy, developing a coal-to-power project in southwest Tanzania reports that the Mining Licence (ML 562/2016), granted to Edenville International (Tanzania) Ltd (EITL) has been formally released by the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy and Mines. EITL is incorporated in Tanzania and is a 99.5% owned subsidiary of its ultimate parent company, Edenville Energy.Canadian Zinc Corp has signed agreements with Korea Zinc and Boliden for the sale of zinc and lead concentrates to be produced at its 100% owned Prairie Creek mine.Kidman Resources advises that the production ramp-up at its Burbanks gold project near Coolgardie in Western Australia is continuing to gain momentum, with drilling returning a series a high-grade hits from the Dahmu lode it has just started mining.Golden Queen Mining has poured its first gold bar at its 50%-owned Soledad Mountain gold-silver project located south of Mojave, California.Aureus Mining has declared Commercial Production at the New Liberty gold mine in Liberia. Gold production at New Liberty exceeded 9,000 oz during February 2016.In the NEW PLAYER (mergers and acquisitions) section of the newsletter, the following are in the news. The other sections include PREFEASIBILITY and FEASIBILITY studies, IN DEVELOPMENT, INTO PRODUCTION, EXPANSION and PROJECT PEOPLE. There is more detail on all of these in the subscriber versions, including key contacts.Helio Resource has reached agreement with Damara Gold whereby the earn-in agreement between Damara and Helio will be cancelled, and Helio and Damara will transfer their respective interests in two Namibian exploration licences, through wholly owned subsidiaries, namely EPL 3738 (Wilhelmstal) and EPL 3739 (Otjimbojo), into Osino Resources Corp, a privately-held British Columbia corporation in return for shares in Osino.The Competition Tribunal has approved the takeover of Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) and six other target firms by Tegeta Exploration and Resources on the condition that there would be no merger-specific retrenchments.Avalon Rare Metals has changed its name to Avalon Advanced Materials.Endeavour Mining has received $25.3 million upon simultaneously signing and closing the sale transaction of its non-core Youga mine to MNG Gold. MNG Gold is a privately owned Turkish gold exploration and development company focused on West Africa and Turkey.CONSOL Energy has entered into an agreement for the sale of its Buchanan mine in southwest Virginia and certain other metallurgical coal reserves to Coronado IV for total consideration to CONSOL of $420 million, including $398 million cash payable at the closing.Rio Tinto has completed the sale of its 40% interest in the Bengalla coal Joint Venture in Australia to New Hope Corp for $616.7 million. Rio Tinto has now announced or completed US$4.7 billion of divestments since January 2013.Mining Projects Group (MPJ) has now completed due diligence to the satisfaction of its Board on the recently announced acquisition of the Pilbara lithium-gold project, located in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, from Tyranna Resources and Tribal Mining.Transition Metals Corp has formed a new private subsidiary named Canadian Gold Miner Corp.