Archive | Asia Mining

China’s Campaign to Control Commodities Goes Into Overdrive (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – June 16, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — China has stepped up its campaign to rein in commodity prices and reduce speculation in a bid to ease the threat to its pandemic rebound from soaring raw material costs.

State-owned enterprises were ordered to control risks and limit their exposure to overseas commodities markets by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The companies have been asked to report their futures positions for Sasac to review, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Continue Reading →

China ban on Australian coal boosts Indonesian exports – by Emma Connors (Australian Financial Review – June 15, 2021)

Singapore/Jakarta | China’s determination to reduce its consumption of Australian exports has helped increase demand for Indonesian coal, according to the country’s peak industry body.

The Indonesian Coal Mining Association said this week that a mixture of domestic supply disruption in China and politically driven efforts to diversify source markets for coal – mainly coking for steel making – had benefited south-east Asia’s biggest economy.

“Imports by China have strengthened because their domestic [coal prices] are getting more expensive, partly because of bad weather that has disrupted domestic supply and partly due to the factors that are hampering exports from Australia,” said executive director Hendra Sinadia. Continue Reading →

Ganfeng Lithium to buy 50% of Mali mine for $130 million – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – June 14, 2021)

China’s Ganfeng Lithium, one of the world’s top producers of the commodity used in electric vehicle batteries, is acquiring a 50% stake in a special purpose vehicle that owns the Goulamina hard-rock mine in Mali for $130 million.

Ganfeng, which counts automakers Tesla and BMW among its customers, said the move will grant it at least half of Goulamina’s first-phase annual output, estimated in 455,000 tonnes of spodumene.

Mali’s government can take 10% of the equity free of charge and pay in cash for up to 10% more, the company said. Continue Reading →

Sky-High Coal Prices Won’t Spur New Mines in a Greener World – by Dan Murtaugh, Will Wade, and Eko Listiyorini (Bloomberg News – June 9, 2021)

The highest coal prices in years aren’t enough to spur investment in new mines in the face of heightened efforts by governments and financial institutions to get the world to abandon the dirtiest fossil fuel.

Prices are surging from China to Europe as demand for coal rebounds from a virus-induced hit, and temporary mine outages curtail supply. Yet companies remain hesitant to invest in new projects with financing difficult to come by and question marks over long-term demand.

That’s a boon for miners’ bottom lines but goes against the grain of the typical commodity cycle, where high prices are a signal to increase production and eventually bring the market back into balance. The disruption to normal dynamics underscores how broader environmental goals are changing investment patterns for fossil fuels. Continue Reading →

Coal expected to remain dominant source of power in the coming decade – Fitch Solutions – by Simone Liedtke ( – June 10, 2021)

Coal is expected to remain the dominant source of power for most of Southeast Asia and Australia in the coming decade, at least, and Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research says that will support the mining of coal and coal trade in the region.

Coal currently remains the most practical means to stimulate affordable electricity generation growth at the pace and scale needed to support continued economic growth in the region.

Nevertheless, the research agency notes that stricter environmental standards in Asia will continue to hurt coal miners by increasing compliance costs and delaying project development. Continue Reading →

Indonesians Demand Government Match Words with Action and Ditch Ocean Dumping – by Ellen Moore ( – June 7, 2021)


Less than a year ago, two major nickel EV battery chemical processing plants planned to dump 31 million tonnes of toxic mine waste into the Coral Triangle, threatening fragile and endangered coral reefs and subsistence fishing communities.

Today, both projects have withdrawn their permits to dump mine waste into the ocean, and the Indonesian government has publicly committed not to issue permits for the harmful practice. But there is still work to do.

Earthworks is collaborating with Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation (AEER) to ensure the Indonesian government uphold its promise to prohibit all future submarine tailings disposal. Until then, the risks to downstream users, financial backers, and most of all communities and the marine environment, remain. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Asia coal prices surge, but China-Australia dispute means rally is uneven – by Clyde Russell ( – June 7, 2021)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 8 (Reuters) – Thermal coal prices across Asia have surged to multi-year highs amid strong demand and some supply constraints, but some types of the fuel have done better than others.

The headline-grabbing rally has been for high-quality Australian thermal coal. The weekly index for 6,000 kilocalorie per kilogramme (kcal/kg) coal at Newcastle Port ARGMCCINDX=ARG, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, hit $121.40 a tonne in the seven days to June 4.

This was the highest in more than a decade. This grade has now climbed 49% since the end of last year, and 162% from its 2020 low of $46.37 a tonne in September, reached amid the economic fallout from coronavirus lockdowns across Asia. Continue Reading →

More Than 2 Billion Tons Of Coal Mining Capacity Is About To Come Online – by Charles Kennedy (Oil – Jun 03, 2021)

More than 2.2 billion tons in annual coal mining capacity is currently under development, threatening the Paris Agreement targets, environmental think-tank Global Energy Monitor said in a new report.

The report notes that most of this capacity, or some 1.663 billion tons annually, is in the early stages of development and could be canceled, but the rest is already under construction.

“The prospect of a low-carbon transition puts these projects at risk of up to $91 billion USD in stranded assets,” Global Energy Monitor said, adding “But if they proceed, without unprecedented cutbacks in global production over the next decade, proposed capacity could boost supply to over four times a 1.5°C-compliant pathway.” Continue Reading →

China’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth – For Rare Minerals – by Ariel Cohen (Forbes Magazine – June 2, 2021)

The recent $3 billion sale of Chile’s Compañía General de Electricidad to China’s State Grid Corporation brought total Chinese control of electricity transmission in Chile up to 57%.

Similar PRC acquisitions and projects are currently being advanced in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Honduras, Peru, and Columbia, where corporations are building hydropower, wind, and solar power stations. But China’s energy push into Latin America is not limited to infrastructure.

This is fast becoming a multi-pronged approach that also includes the securing of critical minerals, particularly rare earth elements (REEs). The United States, meanwhile, is mum. Continue Reading →

China Fails to Threaten Iron Ore Market as Prices Soar – by Daniel Khmelev (The Epoch Times – June 3, 2021)

Iron ore prices have flourished again despite a downward dive following Beijing’s promise to curb the mineral’s unabated market growth.

Spot prices launched to an unprecedented, all-time high of US$230 per tonne earlier in May, followed by a sharp decline by 20 percent to US$183 two weeks later. However, values once again surpassed US$200 at the beginning of June and currently sit close to US$208.

Australian Minister for Resources Keith Pitt stated in April that rising global iron ore prices came from strong production and demand from China—the world’s largest steel manufacturer—compounded by shortfalls of supply from Brazil, the second-largest exporter of the resource after Australia. Continue Reading →

Copper roars past $4.60 as resource nationalism grips market – by Richard (Rick) Mills – Kitco News – June 1, 2021)

A number of happenings in the copper market conspired to elevate the spot price beyond $4.60 a pound on Thursday, confirming Ahead of the Herd’s suspicions that a new wave of resource nationalism in some of the largest copper-producing nations is washing over the sector.

Resource nationalism is the tendency of governments to assert control, for strategic and economic reasons, over natural resources located on their territories. It has been identified as one of the key risks for investors in the natural resources space.

With the copper price soaring on tight supply and heavy demand, as the world’s biggest economies revive following a year of coronavirus-related restrictions, the temptation for producer nations to cash in on more valuable copper reserves to pay for social programs is proving hard to resist. Continue Reading →

Indonesia On Track To Dominate The Supply Of Nickel To Make Batteries – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – June 2, 2021)

Indonesia is on track to become the world’s nickel capital with new projects potentially lifting the country’s share of the important stainless steel and battery metal ingredient to a whopping 60% of global output later this decade.

Much of the planned investment is linked to Chinese companies keen to cement their grip on stainless steel production and to meet fast growing demand for batteries which require a range of new-energy metals such as nickel, lithium, cobalt and copper.

The pace of growth in the Indonesia nickel sector can best be measured by an investment bank forecast that the country could lift its share of worldwide nickel production from 28% to 60% inside the next eight years. Continue Reading →

Centerra Gold open to selling seized Kumtor mine to Kyrgyz Republic – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 2, 2021)

Toronto’s Centerra Gold Inc. says it is willing to sell its giant Kumtor gold mine to the Kyrgyzstan government, after initially ruling out a sale of the mine to anyone after the former Soviet Republic nationalized the asset last month.

The mid-tier gold producer has been in crisis mode after the landlocked Kyrgyz Republic in central Asia seized control of its wholly owned mine in mid-May, citing alleged environmental infractions and tax fraud by Centerra.

In the aftermath, the company launched an international arbitration suit against the Kyrgyz government, accused a former director of conspiring to steal the asset and moved to stop Kyrgyzstan from selling the government’s equity stake in the company. Continue Reading →

The $3bn bargain: how China dominates Pacific mining, logging and fishing – by Josh Nicholas (The Guardian – May 2021)

One country dominates the Pacific’s resources extraction. Guardian analysis of trade data has revealed that China received more than half the total tonnes of seafood, wood and minerals exported from the region in 2019, a haul worth $3.3bn that has been described by experts as “staggering in magnitude”.

The country’s mass extraction of resources comes as China has deepened its connections with governments across the region, amid a soft power push that sees it rivalling the influence of the US and Australia in the Pacific.

China took more by weight of these resources from the Pacific than the next 10 countries combined, with experts saying China “would easily outstrip” other countries, including Australia, when it comes to “gross environmental impact of its extractive industries”. Continue Reading →

HPAL Nickel Tailings Question Still Unanswered – by Anthony Milewaski (The Assay – May 26, 2021)


In the post-COVID-19 global economic recovery, unprecedented stimulus plans by governments look to accelerate the emerging “Green Economy”.

This approach will ultimately pivot on the metals used to make batteries, and specifically lithium-ion batteries – the current and next generation battery chemistry of choice.

Ironically, lithium-ion batteries actually comprise anything from 30% to 80% nickel, with only a minute proportion being lithium. As a result, it will be nickel mining that plays the leading, mission-critical role. Continue Reading →