Archive | Asia Mining

Sorry Greta, India needs more coal to power growth – by SA Aiyar (The Times of India – October 13, 2019)

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar is consulting editor of The Economic Times. He has frequently been a consultant to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. A popular columnist and TV commentator, Swami has been called “India’s leading economic journalist” by Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Institution. “

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old Swedish girl who lectured the United Nations on climate change, is being touted as a possible Nobel Prize winner. She believes she and her white Swedish teenage friends have to save the world from us terrible oldies who created the oil and coal industries.

She will be appalled by the plea of India’s coal secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg, that India must urgently expand its coal production from 600 million tonnes a year to a billion tonnes per year to meet basic energy needs. Yet Garg is right. Thunberg made headlines by sailing to the US in a solar-powered-ship to avoid using fuel oil. Does she have any idea of the enormous electricity used to produce the solar cells in her ship?

India is a lower middle income country. Sweden is among the richest. Despite the green sermons, Sweden’s annual per capita carbon emissions are 4.5 metric tonnes, higher than India (1.7 metric tonnes), Pakistan (0.9 metric tonnes) or Bangladesh (0.5 metric tonnes). South Asians can double their carbon emissions without matching Sweden’s prodigality. Continue Reading →

Indonesia state miner agrees to buy 20% stake in Vale Indonesia (Reuters U.S. – October 13, 2019)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Mining Industry Indonesia, the state miner formerly known as PT Inalum, said on Monday it has signed an initial agreement to buy a 20% stake in nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia (INCO.JK) for an undisclosed sum.

The planned sale was flagged by the Indonesian government last week as Vale Indonesia seeks to comply with rules that require foreign controlled miners to reduce their ownership to 49% or below within 10 years of starting operations.

Vale Indonesia is currently around 59% owned by Brazil’s Vale SA (VALE3.SA) and around 20% by Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd. Continue Reading →

Alamos Gold suspends Turkish mine construction – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 15, 2019)

Canadian mining company Alamos Gold Inc. is suspending construction of a new Turkish gold mine after it failed to obtain a timely renewal of a mining concession.

The development comes a few months after thousands of protesters flooded the area in the vicinity of the proposed mine in northwestern Turkey, taking issue with deforestation and the company’s planned use of the chemical cyanide at the site.

The mining concession expired on Sunday and Alamos says it is working with the Turkish department of energy and natural resources to try to obtain the renewal of the concession. Continue Reading →

Lithium at Two-Year Low Hobbles U.S. Bid to Loosen China’s Grip on Market – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – October 10, 2019)

The lowest lithium prices in over two years are hampering a handful of miners that want to challenge China’s dominance in the market.

China controls most of the processing that makes the mineral usable in rechargeable batteries, leaving American vehicle makers vulnerable to supply disruptions if trade tensions escalate. With automakers from Tesla Inc. to General Motors Co. aiming to manufacture more electric cars at home, small companies are seeking to build the first U.S. lithium mines in decades as a step toward forming a local supply chain.

However, financing mines is proving a challenge after a rush of Australian supply dragged down prices by a third from a record in mid-2018. Companies also face stricter environmental rules and regulatory hurdles in the U.S., which currently accounts for just 1.2% of global lithium production. Continue Reading →

Policy uncertainty, resource nationalism and environmental protection key themes for Asia mining ( – October 9, 2019)

The Asian mining landscape will continue to benefit from the availability of high-grade resources and low labour costs, but key countries with grapple with Policy uncertainty, resource nationalism and environmental protection, Fitch Solutions analysts warn.

In a recent overview of key mining themes in Asia, Fitch predicts rising geopolitical tensions and pressures to the global economy will continue to evoke volatility in commodity markets, heightening risks to metal demand and prices.

In 2020, Fitch expects risks to the Chinese economy will continue to rise, with no easy resolution to the trade dispute with the US on the horizon, which will prompt further monetary and fiscal stimulus from the government to cushion the downside pressure on growth. Continue Reading →

Indian miners reject plan to link national coal index to foreign prices – by Sudarshan Varadhan (Reuters U.S. – October 10, 2019)

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s miners are rejecting a government proposal to establish a national coal index that would be linked to international prices, documents reviewed by Reuters show, because it could make domestic supply uncompetitive.

India’s government is creating a coal price index as part of its plans to open the coal sector to outside investment and end state-run Coal India’s control over prices. The country plans to invite bids from global firms for coal mining blocks by the end of 2019.

A government panel has proposed one index that would link directly to foreign indexes, such as in Indonesia and Australia and a second proposal that measures the value and volume of all coal transactions, including imports, and compares them to a base period, government documents reviewed by Reuters showed. Continue Reading →

Iamgold Sale Stalls as Chinese Bidders’ Talks Fail – by Vinicy Chan, Harry Brumpton and Scott Deveau (Bloomberg News – October 9, 2019)

The sale of Iamgold Corp. has stalled after the mid-tier Canadian gold miner failed to reach an agreement with several Chinese suitors, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Chinese gold producers including China National Gold Group Corp., Shandong Gold Mining Co. and Zijin Mining Group Co. had all shown interest in Iamgold, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. But discussions stumbled over price as well as concerns related to ongoing Sino-Canada political tensions, the people said.

Though talks have stalled, it’s still possible a suitor may re-enter with a better offer, according to one of the people. The Canadian company could also decide to pursue other options, such as selling a stake in its Cote project, the people said. Representatives for Iamgold, China National Gold, Shandong Gold and Zijin Mining declined to comment. Continue Reading →

China And The U.S. Fight Over Australian Rare Earths – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – October 9, 2019)

The U.S. hunt for future supplies of rare earths and other critical minerals has led Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Australia this week where he might not get the reception he was expecting.

China is not only well entrenched in the Australian mining industry but an academic paper released to coincide with Ross’s visit suggest that China could be a more reliable source of project development capital for new mining projects.

Published by the United States Studies Center at the University of Sydney the paper’s theme was whether there was scope for government intervention in rare earths, an industry dominated by China but important to many countries because rare earth elements have unique properties. Continue Reading →

India set to become net iron-ore importer – by Ajoy K Das ( – October 9, 2019)

KOLKATA ( – India is poised to become a net importer of iron-ore during the next financial year, as the domestic market shifts from surplus to deficit.

Supply-side disruptions could lead to an estimated deficit of about 50-million tons during 2020/21, forcing imports of between 25-million and 30-million tons a year.

According to the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), state governments of iron-ore-bearing states were scheduled to put up for auction 48 iron-ore blocks where mining leases were expiring on March 31, 2020. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Indonesia govt appoints Inalum to buy stake in Vale Indonesia -official (Reuters U.K. – October 7, 2019)

JAKARTA, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s government has appointed state miner PT Inalum to purchase a stake that PT Vale Indonesia intends to sell, the Director General of Coal and Minerals, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said on Monday.

Vale, one of Indonesia’s largest nickel miners, is set to divest around 20% of its stake to local investor to meet new regulations aimed at limiting foreign ownership of its mining resources.

The company had said it aims to conduct the stake sale in October. Continue Reading →

One of India’s largest coal mines is flooded, spelling more bad news for domestic output – by Kuwar Singh (Quartz India – October 3, 2019)

An unusually rainy stretch towards the end of India’s monsoon season this year has halted production at a major coal mine, worsening the shortfall in the production of the fossil fuel in the country.

On Sept. 29, the Lilagar river in the central state of Chhattisgarh abruptly changed its course, flooding the Dipka coal mine in Korba district.

Chhattisgarh produced the highest quantity of coal in the country in financial year 2018-19. In the past seven days alone, rainfall in the state has been 261% more than its average for this time period over the last 50 years. All workers at the Dipka mine have been rescued, but some heavy machinery has been damaged. Continue Reading →

Buying gems in Asia: What travelers need to know – by Ronan O’Connell (CNN Travel – August 1, 2018)

(CNN) — Asia might be home to some of the world’s major gem trading hubs, but for tourists looking to buy precious stones when they travel in the region, fears of fakes and scams can be a huge deterrent. However, gemologists say there’s little to worry about if travelers are careful and heed some basic tips on how to discern real stones from the phonies.

Thailand, Hong Kong and Jaipur in India are three of Asia’s key gem trading centers, says Russell Shor, senior analyst for the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a non-profit organization that specializes in education, research and standards in the gem trade.

Jaipur is India’s hub for the sale of gems, which are sold at kiosks, stores and street markets throughout its Old City area. While Jaipur’s gem trade focuses mostly on lower-end stones, Hong Kong is the region’s No. 1 location for expensive gems, including “million-dollar-plus jade and ruby pieces,” says Shor. Continue Reading →

China steel, iron ore rise on hopes of demand recovery – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – September 30, 2019)

MANILA, Sept 30 (Reuters) – China’s steel and iron ore futures jumped in early trade on Monday, with construction material rebar up more than 4%, after the country’s central bank vowed to step up efforts to lift a slowing economy.

While spot markets have been generally quiet since last week ahead of a long holiday in China, sentiment got a further boost from a private business survey showing China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in 19 months in September.

The most-traded rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, with January 2020 expiry, rose as much as 4.3% to 3,580 yuan ($502.74) a tonne. Hot-rolled steel coil, used in cars and home appliances, jumped up to 2.2% to 3,527 yuan a tonne. Continue Reading →

Indian rare earth miner V.V. Mineral targets African assets after local ban – by Sudarshan Varadhan (Reuters Africa – September 24, 2019)

NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (Reuters) – India’s V.V. Mineral, a beach sand miner hit by a domestic law which effectively banned private companies from extracting rare earth deposits, has applied for licenses to start operations in Kenya and Tanzania, the company’s chairman said on Tuesday.

V.V. Mineral was India’s largest exporter of rare earth minerals such as garnet, ilumenite and rutile over the last decade, but it started facing regulatory and legal trouble in 2013, which culminated in a blanket ban this year on beach sand mining by private companies.

“We have applied for two licenses to extract beach sand minerals in an area covering 300 square kilometers in Kenya, and a 15 square kilometre area in Tanzania,” S. Vaikundarajan, chairman and founder of V.V. Mineral told Reuters. Continue Reading →

Indian government measures disappointed mining industry – by Ajoy K Das ( – September 24, 2019)

KOLKATA ( – The Indian mining industry is unimpressed by the government’s recent cuts in corporate tax rate and lofty pronouncement of increasing mineral output by 200% over the next seven years.

The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) said that despite the reduction in corporate tax rate, the Indian mining industry continued to remain burdened with the highest tax rate in the world, with effective rate of 58% in case of existing mines and 54% in case of mines allocated through the auction route.

“The mining sector has a pivotal role to play in the ‘Make in India’ policy of the government. The government aims to increase mineral production by 200% in value terms over the next seven years. Continue Reading →