Archive | Asia Mining

China provides $1 billion in ‘green’ finance to coal projects in first half of the year – by David Stanway (Reuters U.S. – August 19, 2019)

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese financial institutions provided at least $1 billion in “green” financing to coal-related projects in the first half of this year, a review of financial data showed, with fossil fuels still playing a major role in Beijing’s energy strategy.

According to Shanghai-based financial data provider Wind, 7.4 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in green corporate and financial bonds were issued by 13 coal projects in the first half of the year. They involved power plants fueled by coal or coalbed methane as well as coal-to-chemical projects.

Cutting coal and encouraging cleaner forms of energy is a major part of China’s efforts to reduce smog and greenhouse gases. The share of coal in the country’s total energy mix fell to 59% last year, down from 68.5% in 2012, and it aims to cut that share to around 50% by 2030. Continue Reading →

Gina Lopez, Who Led Crackdown on Mines in the Philippines, Dies at 65 – by Jason Gutierrez (New York Times – August 19, 2019)

MANILA — Gina Lopez, a former environmental activist who introduced a broad crackdown on Philippine mining companies after she was appointed the country’s environmental secretary in 2016, died Monday at age 65.

Her death, from multiple organ failure, was confirmed by the ABS-CBN Foundation, a social development group in which she was the longtime chair.

The outspoken Lopez landed the job of acting environment secretary when President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016. And she wasted no time in going after major mining companies that she said had flagrantly violated the country’s environmental laws. Continue Reading →

Philippines’ top high-grade nickel ore miner set to shut down: government official – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – August 16, 2019)

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ top exporter of high-grade nickel ore is expected to shut its mining operations soon as ore deposits at a project in the nation’s southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi are nearly depleted, a ministry official told Reuters.

SR Languyan Mining Corp will shut “most likely” later this year, said Jaynul Ali Sambarani, head of mines and geoscience services at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

The closure will likely reduce the Philippines’ monthly exports of nickel ore to top metals consumer China by 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes, based on estimates by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). Continue Reading →

Supply glut pushes down rare-metal prices – by Hiroki Masuda (Nikkei Asian Review – August 14, 2019)

China’s possible policy shift on hybrid cars further dampens market sentiment

TOKYO — Prices for rare-earth metals are falling sharply, with the price of cobalt dropping 30% since the start of the year, and that for lithium remaining sluggish.

Global markets are swimming in rare earths, as production has outstripped demand for the batteries used to power electric vehicles. Speculation is rife that demand for the commodities will slow further as China considers promoting production of hybrid cars, which require fewer rare earths. This is further stifling market sentiment.

Cobalt and lithium are mainly used to make cathodes for lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars. Spot prices for cobalt in Europe are near three-year lows. Continue Reading →

Greater Asia home to half of the world’s biggest mining companies ( – August 14, 2019)

Mining companies based in the greater Asian region now make up almost half of the world’s largest players according to a new industry report.

With Indonesia-based coal-mining company PT Bayan Resources now the world’s 40th largest-listed mining firm by market cap (as at 31 December 2018), the greater Asian region – including Australia and the Middle East – is currently home to almost half of the planet’s 40 biggest players, which collectively pulled in revenues of $683 billion last year according to the latest annual industry report from professional services firm PwC.

Despite growing environmental protests, the revenues at the 40 leading miners rose 8 percent last year, and have jumped significantly from the around $500 billion figure recorded in 2016 – with profits also on the up. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Nickel sizzle: Hot money piles into metal on Indonesia ore ban talk – by Mai Nguyen and Bernadette Christina (Reuters U.S. – August 8, 2019)

SINGAPORE/JAKARTA, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Nickel prices surged on Thursday on concerns that major supplier Indonesia could bring forward a ban on ore exports despite a senior official claiming any such ruling remains “uncertain.”

Benchmark three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) surged as much as 12.7% to $16,690 a tonne, its highest since April 2018. That is the biggest intraday percentage gain for the nickel forward since Jan. 2, 2009.

LME nickel eased to $15,545 a tonne at 0940 GMT, up 5%. The most active nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose to a record 124,890 yuan ($17,730.49) a tonne. “This is a very sexy price. For miners, higher price always makes us happy,” said a trader with a nickel mine. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Indonesia says no decision yet on early start to mineral ore export ban (Reuters U.S. – August 9, 2019)

JAKARTA, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Indonesia is discussing bringing forward a ban on mineral ore exports that was previously set to begin in 2022, but no decision has yet been made on such a move, its trade minister said on Friday.

Talk of a possible earlier start to the ban on ore exports from one of the world’s key sources of metals pushed benchmark nickel prices to a 16-month high on Thursday.

Indonesia’s trade minister, Enggartiasto Lukita, also said on Friday that President Joko Widodo had asked for input from his ministers on the step. Current mining regulations allow exports of unprocessed mineral ore until January 2022, with an Indonesian industry association on Thursday urging the government to stick to that timetable. Continue Reading →

China’s rare earth producers say they are ready to weaponise their supply stranglehold, pass any tariff as cost to US customers – by Eric Ng (South China Morning Post – August 7, 2019)

China’s rare earth producers, who control the lion’s share of the world’s output of the elements, said they are ready to use their dominance of the industry as a weapon in the country’s year-long trade war with their customers in the United States.

Chinese producers will pass any tariffs on their exports to customers, in a move that would almost certainly add to the cost of the magnets, motors, light-emitting diodes and hundreds of other devices, according to an industry guild that represents almost 300 miners, processors and manufacturers of rare earth-based products.

The industry “resolutely supports the nation’s counter measures against US import tariffs on Chinese products,” the Association of China Rare Earth Industry said in a statement yesterday citing the consensus from an August 5 meeting. “US consumers must shoulder the costs from US-imposed tariffs.” Continue Reading →

After protests, Alamos CEO defends Turkish mine project against misinformation’ – by Tuvan Gumrukcu (Reuters Canada – August 7, 2019)

ANKARA (Reuters) – Canada-based Alamos Gold has defended its environmental record at a mining project in western Turkey against a wave of protests, saying it had paid for future reforestation at the site and denying cyanide would leak into the surrounding area.

Thousands of Turks and opposition lawmakers protested on Monday in the Canakkale province against expected pollution from the mine, saying Alamos had cut down more trees than it had declared and would use cyanide, contaminating water in the region.

In an interview in Ankara, Alamos CEO John McCluskey said protests against the project near the town of Kirazli were based on politically-motivated misinformation. Continue Reading →

‘Don’t come if you like gold’: Turks march against planned gold mine – by Birsen Altayli (Reuters U.S. – August 2019)

KIRAZLI, Turkey (Reuters) – Thousands of Turks including opposition lawmakers staged a peaceful and unusually large protest on the outskirts of a small western town on Monday against what they say will be pollution from a foreign-owned gold mine project.

Public opposition to the site owned by Dogu Biga Mining, the Turkish subsidiary of Canada-based Alamos Gold Inc, mounted after the firm allegedly cut down four times the number of trees than it declared in an environmental impact report.

Near the town of Kirazli in Turkey’s Canakkale province, a few dozen environmentalists have slept in tents since July 26 as part of what they call a “Watch for Water and Conscience”. Continue Reading →

Mongolia’s Long Road To Mining Wealth – by Emily Kwong (National Public Radio – July 31, 2019)

Gulnara Dariiga has been stuck in traffic for two days in the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia. The 38-year-old mother of four eats and sleeps in a heavy-duty North Benz truck, assigned to her by her Chinese employer — a coal buyer across the border.

“I think today we will cross,” she says with a grin. She shifts from park to drive, clenching her teeth to fight the stiff steering wheel. Her truck is laden with 90 tons of coal briquettes from Mongolia’s Tavan Tolgoi mine, ready for delivery.

This trade road and the immense gridlock of hissing trucks lined up like dominoes, waiting to cross the Mongolia-China border, are an indication of Mongolia’s future: The nation is shifting away from an economy based on agriculture and herding to one based on mining. Continue Reading →

How China’s supply of rare minerals, used in products like the iPhone, is causing a headache for Washington – by Matthew Field and James Titcomb (The Daily Telegraph – July 28, 2019)

Among the rocky scrubland of the Clark Mountain range in San Bernardino County in California, MP Material’s Mountain Pass mine has been clunking back into action.

America’s only rare earth metals mine is being brought back into service as the trade war between the US and China rages. The conflict now threatens the supply of key metals that go into wind turbines, electric cars and billions of smartphones. These metals, found in Apple’s iPhone, are increasingly being seen as a clever bargaining chip by China.

Apple’s iPhone has been the powerhouse behind years of world-beating earnings from the California company, and, despite a global slowdown, investors are expecting another strong showing this week. Continue Reading →

Made-in-China diamonds poised to shape global market (Singapore Straits Times – February 7, 2019)

ZHENGZHOU/BRUSSELS (XINHUA) – A diamond is forever but its chemical composition is just carbon, the fourth most abundant element in the universe.

Before being cut and polished to what may cost over US$2,000 (S$2,710) per carat – one-fifth of a gram, or the weight of two grains of rice, diamonds have traditionally been mined from earth, where they were forged in extreme pressure and heat over millennia.

But companies in China and elsewhere have mastered the technologies to manufacture them en masse in a matter of weeks or days, with the products practically indistinguishable from those mined from earth. Continue Reading →

Large cost overrun by Canada’s Turquoise Hill haunts mining sector – by Tim Kiladze (Globe and Mail – July 28, 2019)

Soaring construction costs at one of the world’s most promising copper projects have hit the mining industry, giving skittish investors reason to question how much the sector has truly changed.

Canada’s Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd., which owns two-thirds of the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) project in Mongolia, unexpectedly announced this month that an underground expansion of its mine will take much longer, and will cost much more, than originally planned.

Already expected to cost US$5.3-billion, the OT expansion will now require up to an additional US$1.9-billion in capital spending to complete. Sustainable production from the project has also been delayed by 16 to 30 months from original estimates, to between May, 2022, and June, 2023. Continue Reading →

Protests over worker deaths paralyze production at some Coal India mines – by Jatindra Dash (Reuters U.S. – July 29, 2019)

BHUBANESWAR (Reuters) – Members of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have mounted protests that have paralyzed production at one of India’s biggest coalfields following a deadly accident last week.

The BJP workers have been staging sit-down protests and waving flags at state-run Coal India Ltd’s mines in the eastern state of Odisha, demanding a safety audit of all mines in the region.

Rescue officials said they have recovered the bodies of three workers who were trapped inside the mine in Odisha’s Angul district after a landslide on Tuesday, and are trying to recover another body from inside the mine. Continue Reading →