Archive | Asia Mining

Exclusive: Kazakh mining company ERG looks to spin off and list assets – sources – by Clara Denina and Dasha Afanasieva (Reuters U.s. – February 22, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Kazakh mining company Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), formerly known as ENRC, is working on a plan to eventually spin off and list some of its assets to help repay debt, three banking sources said.

The company, then called Eurasian National Resources Corporation (ENRC), was taken private by its three founders and the Kazakh government in 2013 in a $4.5 billion buyout, six years after listing on the London stock exchange.

While listed in London, the company was dogged by boardroom battles, weak commodity prices and an investigation into fraud and bribery at some of its subsidiaries. Continue Reading →

Global mining giants may enter India as coal sector opened up for private firms (Nikkei Asian Review – February 21, 2018)

Coal India’s monopoly to end as New Delhi lifts four-decades of curbs

MUMBAI (NewsRise) — India’s move to open up commercial coal mining to private firms is set to lure foreign giants such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto that have long been waiting to gain a toehold in the world’s third-largest producer of the fuel.

The decision to scrap the four-decade-long curbs on private firms will also end the dominance of state-owned Coal India to mine and sell the fuel in the country.

On Tuesday, India’s Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said the allocation of mines would be through auctions, in which local and foreign private companies can bid without end-use or price restrictions. Revenue from the auction of coal blocks would go to states, he said. Continue Reading →

Why Indian Aluminium Firms Are Banking on Clusters – by Special India Correspondent (Aluminium Insider – February 21, 2018)

Leading Indian aluminium companies are turning to the cluster model to tap downstream investments and diversify aluminium applications in the country.

Both state run entities National Aluminium Company (Nalco) and Vedanta Ltd, the Indian arm of London listed metals conglomerate Vedanta Resources Plc, are developing aluminium parks to offer a conducive ecosystem to players in the downstream space.

To lure the downstream industries, both primary aluminium producers are offering a suite of incentives ranging from discounted molten aluminium supplies to concessional land plots at the parks. India’s aluminium growth story is robust. Between 2015 and 2016, the country’s total aluminium consumption expanded by 18.75 per cent, riding on increased offtake in the electrical, transportation and construction sectors. Continue Reading →

How glitz and glamour deceits banks time and again – by Atmadip Ray and Sangita Mehta (Economic/India Times – February 21, 2018)

Diamonds are regarded as the hardest known material on the planet. Going by the mounting pile of loan delinquencies, they seem to be the hardest business for Indian bankers to crack.

Last week, Punjab National BankBSE 0.47 % (PNBBSE 0.47 %) acknowledged an elaborate web of deception that had defrauded the lender, on initial count, of Rs 11,400 crore. PNB’s startling disclosure involving diamond jewellery designer Nirav Modi capped a string of striking defaults by businesses in polished stones, putting the spotlight on the underwriting skills of bankers financing an industry famed for its glitz and glamour.

Among the delinquents are Gitanjali GemsBSE -9.85 %, promoted by Modi’s maternal uncle Mehul Choksi, that owes about Rs 9,000 crore to lenders, Winsome Diamond that defaulted on Rs 6,800 crore, Surat’s Vincent Diamond that caused losses of Rs 4,500 crore and JB Diamond, which defaulted on Rs 800 crore of loans. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Nickel flies on supply hits; Indonesia could ground it – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Nickel has enjoyed a blistering start to 2018. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel has this week punched up through the $14,000 level for the first time since May 2015 to hit a Thursday high of $14,420 per tonne.

It has gained 10 percent since the start of the year and has bounced 34 percent from its December low of $10,740 per tonne. Speculative money has poured into this hot market, fund managers tripling their net long exposure LME-NI-MNET to the London contract over the course of December and January.

Shanghai investors have been equally enthusiastic, albeit with a Chinese twist of treating nickel as a bullish steel rebar derivative. Nickel is basking in the electric vehicle glow but the full demand impact is still in the future. Continue Reading →

Adani scouts world for coal – by John McCarthy (Mackay Daily Mercury – February 16, 2018)

ADANI is scouting the world looking for coal as its Carmichael megamine in Central Queensland remains without financing and facing a growing tide of environmental and political opposition.

Tensions between the State Government and the industry are also increasing after the rejection this week of environmental approval for the Acland coal mine expansion.

The decision has cost the company $158million so far as investors have sold off the stock in the past two days. Adani said yesterday the search was not for a replacement for the Carmichael, which would become one of the world’s biggest coal mines if it ever reached the original proposal. Continue Reading →

Supreme Court order cancelling mining leases in Goa shows scant regard for mining economy – by T K Arun (Economic Times [India] – February 14, 2018)

With the cancellation of iron ore mining leases in Goa, the judiciary has once again stepped into the space vacated by executive failure and legislative lethargy. But the courts cannot compensate for the lack of sound policy and its effective implementation.

The Supreme Court order cancelling mining leases in Goa with effect from mid-March shows scant regard for the mining economy or the people who earn their livelihood from it, focusing only on what the court terms the avarice of the miners and, implicitly, of the colluding politicians who renewed extant leases instead of holding fresh auctions.

That mining should be environmentally sustainable is not in question. That state and society should gain from the mineral wealth of the land is not in question. That mining rights should be allocated not on the basis of legacy Portuguese privilege but on the basis of auctions is not in question. Continue Reading →

Freeport, Amman awaiting green light on 2018 Indonesia copper exports – by Fergus Jensen and Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.K. – February 15, 2018)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc and fellow copper miner Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMNT) are waiting for last-minute mining ministry approvals to their applications to extend copper concentrate exports, company officials said.

Freeport’s export permit for Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, is due to expire on Friday, as is Amman’s permit to ship ore concentrate from its Batu Hijau mine on the island of Sumbawa.

Current rules require Freeport and Amman to reapply for export licences every year, and extensions are often granted only once previous permits have expired, creating logistical headaches for the companies. Continue Reading →

Coal to remain prominent as India’s power demand grows: Coaltrans speakers ( – February 14, 2018)

India’s coal demand is expected to stay high with electricity generation capacity forecast to grow, speakers at the Coaltrans India Conference in Goa said Tuesday.

The power electricity demand and generation is expected to grow by between 5% and 10% from current levels over the next few years, said Vipul Tuli, chief executive and country head of Sembcorp India.

“The country is electrifying at a good rate with a lot of focus now on household electrification,” Tuli said, adding that power generation could increase at the rate of 10 GW to 25 GW in the medium term above the current capacity of 200 GW. Continue Reading →

Iranian Iron Ore Exporters to Benefit From Goa Mining Halt (Financial Tribune – February 14, 2018)

A recent Supreme Court of India’s decision to cancel all iron ore mining leases in an ore-rich state can open the way for Iranian ore miners to increase their share in the Chinese market.

In its Feb. 7 verdict, the Supreme Court canceled the second renewal of all the 88 iron ore mining leases renewed by the state government in Goa. No mining activities will continue in the state after March 15, the top court decided, ordering the government to grant the leases afresh through auctions.

The verdict came on a plea filed by non-government organization Goa Foundation, with the petitioners claiming that mining undertaken through theses leases was illegal, Bloomberg reported. The court order will impact the annual 20-million-ton capacity. Continue Reading →

Central Asia Metals looks to enter Africa in search of copper project – by Zandi Shabalala (Reuters Africa – February 13, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Base metals miner Central Asia Metals (CAML) is on the hunt for a new copper project in Southern Africa for up to $400 million in what would be its first foray into the continent, its chief executive said.

The London-listed company, which has two mines in Kazakhstan and Macedonia, is prepared to spend $300 million-$400 million in countries including Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, CAML’s Nick Clarke told Reuters.

Flush with cash brought on by a recovery in commodity prices, miners are paying dividends again and slowly returning to the search for new assets. Continue Reading →

The search for more responsible rubies – by Joshua Carroll (Frontier Myanmar – February 13, 2018)

BEFORE SHE arrived in Mogok, Ms Amber Cernov was wary of the horror stories she’d heard about the secretive ruby mining region. Foreigners are usually denied access to the town in northern Mandalay Region and she had pictured a grim landscape ravaged by military-owned companies, hidden from the world. But when she finally stepped foot in the resource-rich valley she was pleasantly surprised.

“You think it’s going to be Mordor and it’s not,” said Cernov as she sat behind the counter at her small but sleek store in downtown Yangon.

“Mogok is actually a very beautiful town,” she adds. “Yes, you can see the scars from mining… so I’m not saying there’s no negative environmental impact, but I was quite surprised at how much better it looked than my expectations.” Continue Reading →

China companies open next chapter on WA mines – by Dan Wilkie (Australia China Business Review – February 9, 2018)

Western Australia’s mining industry has received a China-backed New Year’s boost, with announcements of progress on deals that could underpin the development of the state’s next iron ore, mineral sands and zinc mines.

In the Pilbara, global iron ore trading house Sinosteel Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding in early January with mining group BCI Minerals to explore a possible joint venture and offtake arrangement over the Buckland iron ore mine and port proposal.

Sinosteel and BCI will also discuss the possibility of Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Co providing engineering services for the proposal, which comprises mining operations over several deposits, as well as a haul road connecting the mine to a newly developed port at Cape Preston East. Continue Reading →

China gives new incentives to boost high-quality coal capacity (Reuters U.S. – February 9, 2018)

BEIJING (Reuters) – China plans to increase high-quality coal supply by allowing mines to boost capacity if they shut outdated production processes, the latest effort by authorities to further streamline the industry and stabilize coal prices.

Coal companies will be encouraged to close inefficient and polluting mines and replace them with larger ones if they meet certain standards, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on Friday.

Companies that agree to sign long-term contracts with power plants or to set up joint ventures with power companies will be allowed to expand their capacity by 130 percent to 300 percent. Continue Reading →

North Korea eludes coal export ban via Vietnam – by Bertil Lintner (Asia Times – February 8, 2018)

Shipping records show a steady stream of North Korean coal shipments to Vietnam’s Cam Pha port, from where the fuel is likely re-exported in violation of UN sanctions

To carry coal to Newcastle is an old English idiom meaning to do something that’s obviously superfluous, as the northeastern English city is renowned for its coal-mining.

But the saying has new meaning in Southeast Asia’s context as security analysts in the region have recorded frequent arrivals of North Korean ships loaded with coal to the north Vietnamese port city of Cam Pha, in northern Quang Ninh province bordering China, from where coal is generally exported not imported.

Vietnam is a leading supplier of coal in the Asia-Pacific region and there would seemingly be no need for the country to import coal from North Korea. Continue Reading →