Guinea’s military rulers pressure Chinese and other foreign companies to pay more mining royalties – by Jevans Nyabiage (South China Morning Post – April 18, 2022)

About half of China’s imports of bauxite – a mineral used to make aluminium – are from the West African nation

The ruling Guinean military junta’s determination to increase revenues from its bauxite and iron ore resources could hit China’s efforts to make inroads into the West African nation.

Despite assurances that the military would respect “existing regulations, contracts and investments” after Alpha Condé was removed as president in a coup in September, Guinea has been exerting more pressure on foreign mining firms. Most recently, it ordered foreign companies to construct local bauxite refineries and in March suspended operations at Simandou, the country’s largest iron ore deposit.

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Metals World Agonizes Over War But Keeps Buying From Russia – by Jack Farchy, Mark Burton and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – April 4, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Last month, 13 copper-industry representatives at the London Metal Exchange were asked whether Russian metal should be blocked from its warehouses. Ten of them said “yes.” But when advisory groups for nickel and aluminum discussed the same question, the general consensus was “no.”

The LME, which is the ultimate decision-maker, says it won’t take action that goes beyond government sanctions — which, so far, have left most of the metals industry untouched.

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Column: Australian alumina ban will squeeze Rusal and aluminium – by Andy Home (Reuters – March 21, 2022)

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Australia’s decision to ban exports of alumina to Russia tightens further the raw materials squeeze on Russian aluminium giant Rusal. The company’s four million tonnes of smelter capacity each year processes eight million tonnes of alumina, which sits between bauxite and refined metal in the aluminium production chain.

Rusal’s domestic alumina plants accounted for only 37% of its smelter needs last year. The balance was imported. The top two suppliers were Ukraine, where Russia’s invasion has closed Rusal’s Nikolaev refinery, and Australia.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to impact global aluminum supply; nickel prices surge – by Staff (S&P Global – February 24, 2022)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to have a significant impact on global aluminum supply and prices, while the news sent nickel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange to a historic high Feb. 24.

The most-active nickel contract traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a historic high Feb. 24 as markets remain concerned about available inventories and export flow into China.

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Aluminum Jumps to Record as Russian Attack Boosts Supply Risks – by Mark Burton and Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News/Financial Post – February 24, 2022)

Aluminum rallied to a record in London and nickel surged to the highest in more than a decade, pacing gains in industrial-metals markets as the deepening Ukraine crisis added to supply risks in an industry already facing critical shortages.

The crisis in Ukraine is heightening concerns over the threat of supply disruptions in commodities from grains to metals and oil. Aluminum pared gains after a Bloomberg report that the Biden administration will hold off for now on sanctions against Russia on the metal.

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COLUMN-LME warehousers slash capacity as metal stocks drain away – by Andy Home (Reuters – February 17, 2022)

LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Glencore’s decision to sell its warehousing and logistics business looks like a well-timed call on the metals storage market.

It bought Access World in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis, which generated a surge of metal, particularly aluminium, into London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses. Total LME inventory of all metals mushroomed from 3.41 million tonnes at the start of 2009 to a peak of 7.75 million in June 2013.

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The World’s Massive Need For More Solar Panels Has One Shiny Catch – by Clare Watson (Science Alert – January 21, 2022)

There’s a major catch to the world’s need for solar panels, a new analysis suggests. The booming solar panel market – which is critical for a clean energy future – could demand close to half the world’s aluminum by 2050. Thankfully, there are ways we can mitigate this.

Unlike more precious metals, such as the lithium and cobalt used in rechargeable batteries, the scarcity of aluminum is not the issue; in fact, it is the most abundant metal on Earth. But the production of pure aluminum which is used in solar panel frames comes with a huge energy cost that could translate to bulk emissions.

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Betting against coal, Rio Tinto taps Quebec’s hydro power to produce green aluminum – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – December 1, 2021)

We’ve got hydropower, and we’ve got the lowest carbon aluminum smelting technology in the world’

Rio Tinto Plc.’s latest investment in a Quebec aluminum smelter is another example of how Canada’s natural resources will remain an investment magnet in the new, more sustainable economy.

Earlier this month, the metal giant announced a $110-million investment its aluminum smelters in Quebec — believed to be the first investment of any scale in any new North American aluminum production following about a decade of stasis, during which China’s sector rose to dominance.

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What the energy transition may bring for five battery metals – report – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Northern Miner – October 18, 2021)

Global mining news

ING Economics has published a new report in which its experts predict what the energy transition might bring for five key metals: copper, aluminum, nickel, cobalt, and lithium.

Taking into consideration where different regions of the world stand when it comes to moving towards a low-carbon future where global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, ING’s analysts developed three scenarios that they used as a background to assess the possible performance of battery metals.

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Global shortage of magnesium to cripple car industry – by Cecilla Jamasmie ( – October 19, 2021)

The world’s top automakers face disruption from tight global supplies of magnesium, as China’s power crisis threatens availability of the key component used to make aluminum, Germany’s association of metals producers WVM said on Tuesday.

European magnesium stocks have been particularly affected by the lack of supplies from China, which has a near monopoly on the magnesium market, the association said in a letter to the German government. The worst part of this shortage is about to come, it noted.

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Metals head for record, zinc spikes as energy crisis hits supply (Bloomberg News – October 14, 2021)

Base metals surged, led by zinc which spiked to the highest since 2007 after European smelters became the latest casualties in a global energy crisis that’s knocking supply offline and heaping pressure on manufacturers.

Zinc rose as much as 6.9 per cent on the London Metal Exchange, and a gauge of six industrial metals rapidly closed in on an all-time high. Aluminum, one of the most energy-intensive commodities, is at the highest since 2008.

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Mining giant Rio Tinto’s control of Nechako River waterflow in B.C. challenged by local First Nations – by David Carrigg (Vancouver Sun – October 3, 2021)

Mining giant Rio Tinto’s control over the Nechako River watershed in Northern B.C. is being challenged by three impacted First Nations and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the regional district and the Saik’uz, Stellat’en and Nadleh Whut’en First Nations, the parties want to see a new water flow regime for the river “that benefits all people within the watershed,” plus the establishment of a new river governance regime.

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Industrial Metals Charge to Fresh Highs as Inflation Runs Hot (Bloomberg News – September 9, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — A broad rally in base metals markets is gathering pace, with tight supply, logistical logjams and booming demand creating an inflationary storm that’s driving prices to multiyear highs.

Aluminum notched a fresh 13-year high and nickel rose to the highest since 2014 in London. Both metals are benefiting from China’s crackdown on emissions from energy-intensive industries, while their role in the green revolution is buoying the longer-term outlook.

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The coup in tiny Guinea matters at a geopolitical level. The US-China ‘cold war’ is a race for strategic dominance of commodities – by Tom Fowdy ( – September 7, 2021)

Tom Fowdy is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.

The impoverished country is rich in essential metals that Beijing desperately needs. So was the military takeover by a former French legionnaire with ties to America a plot by the usual Western suspects?

The West African nation of Guinea has just experienced a military coup. Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, with an elite segment of troops, has overthrown the government of Alpha Conde and seized power, a move that has been condemned by the African Union and China, with the latter demanding that the president be released.

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Guinea coup rattles iron ore and bauxite markets, stokes economic uncertainty – Elliot Smith ( – September 7, 2021)

A military junta claimed to have seized control in the West African country of Guinea and detained President Alpha Conde, casting uncertainty over key bauxite and iron ore supplies.

The coup, carried out on Sunday by an elite special forces unit led by 41-year-old Col. Mamady Doumbouya, is the latest in a series of power grabs in the region over the past year, including in nearby Mali and Chad.

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