Archive | Asia Mining

Indian billionaire defends controversial coal mine in Australia (Business Times – July 10, 2019)

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/

THE Indian billionaire behind the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia is hitting back at criticism the endeavour will be both unprofitable and too dirty.

In an interview in New Delhi, Gautam Adani took aim at two major faults opponents have flung at the development: that the mine’s low-quality coal won’t earn enough money to justify his US$2 billion investment, and that the world must abandon the fuel in favour of renewable energy to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“If the project wasn’t viable, we wouldn’t have pursued it,” said Mr Adani, whose net worth of US$9.6 billion makes him India’s sixth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “Renewable energy is good for the nation, but it can’t meet our baseload power needs.” Continue Reading →

COLUMN-India gold tax hikes add unexpected headwind to price rally – byClyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – July 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 9 (Reuters) – Gold’s recent rally to a six-year high is suddenly looking a little more fragile after India, the world’s number two buyer, unexpectedly hiked import duties.

The increase in the duty to 12.5% from 10% on July 5 caught gold traders and jewellery manufacturers off guard as some had been expecting the government to lower the tax instead.

The Indian government wants to reduce its fiscal deficit as well as the trade deficit, and since gold is the second biggest import by value behind crude oil and fuels, it is an obvious target for increased taxation. Continue Reading →

India’s top court sides with indigenous people over illegal mining fallout – by Rina Chandran (Thomson Reuters Foundation – July 4, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

BANGKOK, July 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indigenous people in an Indian state must be protected from illegal mining and the pollution it causes, the country’s top court ruled, providing a “historic” victory to tribal groups fighting for better rights over land and natural resources.

Indigenous people, who own much of the land in northeastern Meghalaya state, have full rights over the land and any resources on it, and only they can grant permission for mining after the correct permits are obtained, the Supreme Court ruled.

The state government had “entirely failed to stop illegal mining, which is the cause of degradation and pollution”, and must end illegal mining and rehabilitate the environment, it said on Wednesday. Continue Reading →

Japan’s JX Nippon Mining seeks pot of gold in high-tech chips, batteries – by Yuka Obayashi (Reuters Canada – July 3, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

TOKYO(Reuters) – The mining and smelting unit of giant Japanese energy-to-metals company JXTG Holdings plans to drill down into the world of consumer electronics and high-tech batteries to beef up profits while pausing on traditional, high-investment base metals projects that drain resources.

JX Nippon Mining & Metals’ new president, Seiichi Murayama, said his firm is interested in buying stakes in smaller mines of rare metals such as tantalum and niobium, key examples of the kind of materials needed to make the advanced semiconductors and batteries used in everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.

Murayama aims to make what he calls “electronic materials” the most profitable business at JX after cost overruns at its key Caserones copper mine project in Chile and weaker copper prices that have weakened the firm’s financial health. Continue Reading →

Canada, U.S. gain as India cuts dependence on Australian coking coal – by Sudarshan Varadhan (Reuters U.S. – June 25, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Shipments of coking coal from the United States and Canada rose to a sixth of all Indian imports of the fuel during the year ended March 2019, as steelmakers in the coal guzzling country look to cut their dependence on Australia.

Australia’s share in India’s coking coal market fell to 71%, or 36.91 million tons, during the year ended March 2019 from about 88% three years ago, India coal ministry data reviewed by Reuters showed. The United States and Canada had a 5.6% share of the market three years ago.

Regular interruptions in India’s main supplier over the last few years, including a flood in a major coal producing region in February and a cyclone which tore into Queensland in 2017, have caused worries about major supply disruptions in India. Continue Reading →

Why Japan and South Korea Still Spar Over History – by Youkyung Lee (July 1, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula ended more than seven decades ago yet that legacy still roils everyday politics on both sides of the strait.

South Korea and Japan, major trading partners and both U.S. military allies, have been at loggerheads over what constitutes proper contrition and compensation for two groups of Koreans: those conscripted to work in factories and mines that supplied Japan’s imperial war machine, and those euphemistically called “comfort women” who were forced to work in military brothels.

Japan contends all claims were settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty and a fund set up in 2015. Seoul argues Japan hasn’t atoned enough. Some of Japan’s largest companies and the emperor himself have been dragged into the fray.

1. What are the roots of the forced labor dispute? Continue Reading →

Redeveloping historic mines in South Korea – by Scarlett Evans (Mining Technology – July 1, 2019)

https://www.mining-technology.com/

Bluebird Merchant Ventures recently announced the progression of plans to develop the Kochang and Gubong mines in South Korea; two gold ore sites that last operated in the 1970s. Scarlett Evans spoke to Bluebird COO Charles Barclay about the process of reviving operations at these historic mines, and what the future of South Korean mining might look like.

The Asian-focused resource development group, in a joint venture with Australian exploration firm Southern Gold, has submitted applications for permits to develop the sites. The start of operations is awaiting feasibility reports, and Bluebird has voiced its confidence that production will begin during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Scarlett Evans (SE): What attracted you to these sites?

Charles Barclay (CB): After the Philippines became a virtual no-go area for mining for quite a few months, we had the opportunity to look at projects elsewhere with a group of professionals who wanted to open old mines. Continue Reading →

India scrambles to look overseas for rare earths used in EVs – by Rosemay Marandi and Kiran Sharma (Nikkei Asian Review – June 27, 2019)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI — Three Indian state-run companies are forming a joint venture to secure minor metals such as lithium and cobalt that could fuel India’s plan for mass adoption of electric vehicles by 2030.

National Aluminum, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Corp. plan on exploring mines in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and other countries for metals used to produce EV batteries, besides building strategic reserves of tungsten, nickel and rare earths.

India’s efforts toward securing a supply of minor metals, experts say, is crucial at a time when China is threatening to restrict export of rare earths as part of its escalating trade war with the U.S. Continue Reading →

Indonesia regulatory changes to bring more uncertainty to coal sector – by Fransiska Nangoy (Reuters U.S. – June 26, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesian coal miners said upcoming regulatory changes are putting added pressure on their businesses amid depressed prices and rising competition from other energy sources.

The Indonesian government is in the process of amending coal mining rules to enforce implementation of a 2009 mineral law that require miners to convert their mining permits to a licensing system upon the expiration of their current contracts.

The issue was one of the most talked about by local miners at the Coaltrans industry conference in Bali this week. Continue Reading →

Rare earths industry set to be shaken up by US-China trade war – by Tasneem Bulbulia (MiningWeekly.com – June 27, 2019)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

As the trade dispute between the US and China escalates, it is increasingly likely that China will use its near-monopoly in the global supply of strategic rare earths as leverage over the coming months, says Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a unit of Fitch Group.

China currently holds a near-monopoly on the global supply of rare earth metals, with over 72% of global market share.

The US is highly dependent on Chinese imports to satisfy its demand for rare earth metals, with China having supplied up to 80% of the rare earths imported by the US between 2014 and 2017. Continue Reading →

Chinese Rare-Earth Magnet Producer to Expand as EV Demand Booms (Bloomberg News – June 23, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Industries around the world producing a host of electrical appliances will increasingly be forced to compete for rare-earth magnets with China’s burgeoning market for new energy vehicles, according to one Beijing-based magnet producer.

Jingci Material Science Co. is expanding its production capacity of neodymium-iron-boron — NdFeB for short — magnet material to 8,000 tons by the end of the year, from about 6,500 tons currently, sales director Qiu Yi said on the sidelines of an industry conference in Shanghai last week. The eventual goal is to raise capacity to 12,000 tons, he said, without giving a time-frame.

The importance of rare earths, ubiquitous across a range of applications from consumer goods to military gear, has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks as China mulls whether to use its position as the world’s dominant supplier as a counter in its trade war with Washington. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-China’s iron ore, steel prices diverge as trade war vies with supply woes – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – June 18, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 18 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore and steel prices have decoupled somewhat in recent weeks, with the raw material still making fresh highs while the finished product trends lower.

While there are solid supply-driven reasons for iron ore’s relative outperformance, the question remains: how is the current divergence likely to be resolved?

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 769.5 yuan ($111.20) a tonne on Monday, down slightly from their record close of 787.5 yuan on June 14. Continue Reading →

Tricks and stones: the gem traders of Chanthaburi – by Luke Duggleby (South China Morning Post – August 9, 2014)

https://www.scmp.com/

Unregulated mining stripped Chanthaburi of its authentic gemstones. Now the ethically dubious techniques that are sustaining trade in the Thai town are threatening the industry.

Every morning, in a small wooden pavilion overlooking a creek, 64-year-old Olan Phengkit eats a breakfast of steamed dumplings. Short in stature, with an admirably large belly, Olan has been involved in the mining, selling and buying of gemstones since his youth.

The creek, 20 metres below and roughly half the size of a football pitch, is full of dark, murky water. It shows the extent of his mining activities. “I stopped one year ago because I simply ran out of land,” he says, pushing his gemstone-viewing goggles onto his forehead, “so now I just buy and sell.”

Continue Reading →

China’s iron ore sizzles in record-setting rally – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – June 14, 2019)

https://in.reuters.com/

MANILA (Reuters) – Dalian iron ore futures surged to a record peak on Friday and posted their biggest weekly gain since February, buoyed by expectations of sustained tightness in supply and brisk demand amid China’s renewed drive to support its slowing economy.

The most-actively traded September iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 4% to 797.5 yuan ($115.20) a tonne, the highest since Dalian iron ore futures started trading in 2013.

It ended the session 2.2% higher at 783.5 yuan, posting a weekly gain of 11.4%. It has risen around 80% this year. “Chinese ore demand has been robust and is likely to remain so for the near term,” said Westpac Banking Corp. Continue Reading →

China’s New Wealth-Creation Scheme: Mining the Moon – by Jack H. Burke (National Review/Yahoo News – June 13, 2019)

https://news.yahoo.com/

On January 3, 2019, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) soft-landed a spacecraft, the Chang’e-4 (嫦娥四号) robotic lander and rover, on the far side of the moon, the first such landing in history.

Chang’e-4, named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology, touched down in the Von Kármán crater in the lunar southern hemisphere and then released its rover, Yutu-2 (玉兔二号), to explore the lunar landscape.

Yutu-2 has proven a great success. As of June 10, the rover, named after the “Jade Rabbit,” a companion of the moon goddess, had traveled over 212 meters across the lunar surface, giving the far side of the moon “its first set of rover tracks,” as Mike Wall put it last January. Continue Reading →