Archive | Asia Mining

Tesla eyes nickel-rich Indonesia for next factory, hints officials – by Maria Merano ( – October 18, 2020)


Local reports are hinting that Tesla might be laying down plans to build a dedicated battery factory in Indonesia. The update was related by Indonesian officials who pointed to ongoing talks with the electric car maker.

CNBC Indonesia reported that the Indonesian government and Tesla are negotiating the possible construction of a battery factory in Batang, Central Java. The location is currently being developed by the country into an expansive industrial area.

In a statement to the media on Monday, Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang stated that discussions with Tesla are indeed underway for a potential battery factory in Batang. “On going discussion, arahnya ke sana Batang (the direction is Batang),” Gumiwang said. Continue Reading →

Ottawa orders security review of Chinese state-owned Shandong’s bid for Canadian miner TMAC Resources – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 16, 2020)

Ottawa is ordering a formal national security review of state-owned Chinese miner Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd.’s proposed acquisition of TMAC Resources Inc., injecting more uncertainty into a deal that had already generated a national debate about sovereignty in Canada’s Far North.

In May, Shandong proposed an all-cash acquisition of TMAC for $1.75 a share, valuing the Toronto-based junior gold miner at $207.4-million, or about 4 per cent more than its market price at the time. Shareholders of TMAC voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal in June and it received regulatory approval in China.

The enhanced security review by the federal government, which comes at a time of increased tension between China and Canada, raises doubts about whether the transaction will be successful, and at the very least pushes out the timeline for it to close to the first quarter of next year. Continue Reading →

South Korea seeks to exit Africa mining JV despite rising nickel demand – by Man-su Choe (Korean Investors – August 26, 2020)

State-run Korea Resources Corp. has embarked on a plan to sell its stake in a loss-making nickel mining joint venture in Madagascar, Africa, after the ruling Democratic Party put forward a motion to ban the cash-strapped institution’s direct investment in overseas projects.

The planned sale, announced early this month, would mean South Korea’s exit from one of the world’s three-largest nickel mines, at a time when demand for nickel, a core raw material for rechargeable batteries, is on the rise from the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry.

Korea Resources has pumped 2.2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) in the joint venture (JV), Ambatovy, since acquiring a 33% stake in the venture in 2006. Continue Reading →

Environmental, human rights questions shadow Hope Bay mine sale – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – October 13, 2020)

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TMAC Resources negotiated a mineral exploration agreement with land claims organization Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and a series of deals with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA), including a 20-year Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement in 2015.

“All those agreements will stay in place” if Shandong Gold Mining buys out TMAC Resources, said Alex Buchan, TMAC’s vice-president of corporate social responsibility.

Asked whether the change in ownership at the Kitikmeot’s Hope Bay gold mine would open the door to renegotiating the KIA’s agreements as the Qikiqtani Inuit Association did in 2018 with Baffinland Iron Mines and again earlier this year with an Inuit Certainty Agreement – commanding a rising royalty rate, more jobs and training and even daycare provisions for workers’ children – Buchan tapped the brakes on such an idea. Continue Reading →

Top Battery Makers Discuss $20 Billion Indonesia EV Plans – by Eko Listiyorini and Harry Suhartono (Bloomberg News – October 14, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and LG Chem Ltd., two of the world’s top producers of batteries for electric vehicles, have signaled they may join projects that could see $20 billion more invested in supply chains in Indonesia, according to the country’s government.

The firms signed separate heads of agreement with Aneka Tambang Tbk last month aimed at manufacturing higher value products for batteries from the state-owned miner’s nickel output, said Septian Hario Seto, deputy for investment coordination and mining at the coordinating ministry for maritime affairs and investments.

It’s a strategy that would involve development of new capacity for metals processing to battery pack assembly, according to Seto. “This is a race on technology,” he said in an interview. “LG Chem and CATL are two front-runners in lithium battery technology.” Continue Reading →

Why the Philippines Needs to Establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund – by Mark Manantan, Emerson M. Sanchez and Jayson S. Lamchek (The Diplomat – October 12, 2020)

The country needs to ensure that its bounty of offshore wealth benefits the people, not just a privileged elite.

The Filipino tycoon Dennis Uy, a top donor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign and his family friend from childhood, earlier this year acquired almost half of the non-operating interest in the Malampaya gas fields, a strategic asset supplying 30 percent of the Philippines’ electricity.

The acquisition is one of many businesses purchased and government contracts clinched by Uy under Duterte’s presidency.

Uy’s rapidly growing fortune contrasts with the apparent lack of a concrete plan to ensure that the country’s considerable offshore natural resource wealth improves the lives of the masses of the Filipino people, rather than just accruing to a privileged elite. Continue Reading →

Why Rio Tinto and China are at loggerheads (The Economist – October 10, 2020)

China does not like to feel jealous of Japan. But in the case of iron ore it has plenty to envy. Back in the 1960s, when Japan was building up its steel industry, the world’s supply of the stuff was so fragmented that Japan could play off producers in Australia and Brazil against each other.

China, now the world’s biggest steelmaker, does not have that luxury. Though it imports 70% of the world’s iron ore, most of this comes from three companies that in the intervening six decades have become titans.

They are Rio Tinto and BHP, two Anglo-Australian firms, and Vale, a Brazilian one. They have brought about consolidation in the industry. They benefit from high barriers to entry. None is keen to undercut the other two. That puts them in a far stronger position vis à vis Chinese customers than their predecessors were with the Japanese. Continue Reading →

More jobs, greater royalty payments attached to Hope Bay sale, company reps say – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – October 5, 2020)

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TMAC Resources is promoting the long-term advantages of selling its assets, including the Hope Bay gold mine, to China’s Shandong Gold Mining amid the unpredictability of Covid-19 and uncertainty over the federal government and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s stance on the pending transaction.

Several mine workers at Hope Bay tested positive for the coronavirus in late September and the company subsequently imposed a temporary travel embargo.

TMAC shareholders approved the $149 million (U.S.) sale to Shandong in June, but the Government of Canada still must decide whether a national security review is required. Continue Reading →

FOCUS: China to reassess domestic base metals mines to bolster resource security – by Julian Luk (Metal Bulletin – October 5, 2020)

After United States sanctions cut off supplies of microchips for Huawei smartphones, alarm bells began to ring out across all Chinese industries deemed as pivotal to the country’s future development, but reliant on imported materials.

And the base metals sector is one of the key areas, according to the chairman of Zijin Mining, Chen Jing-He. “Now we know the importance of securing the supply of microchips and food, but how about the feed for metals production – mined metals?

China relies heavily on base metals imports, so if foreign sanctions cut off our supplies, it could be even worse than running out of smartphone chips,” Chen told delegates at a recent strategic development conference on gold held in Beijing. Continue Reading →

The tech crisis that isn’t: China controls the world’s rare earth supply chains – by Scott Fulton 111 ( – October 2, 2020)

They’re called either the Diaoyu Archipelago or the Senkaku Islands — eight rocks just a few miles wide, if that, situated about 125 miles southwest of Okinawa.

They’re uninhabited, and generally so strategically unimportant that during negotiations for the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951 that established Japan’s territorial borders, diplomats forgot to mention them. They remained “occupied” by the US until 1972.

Today, Japan claims them, but so does China and so does Taiwan. From a distance, they look like the tops of old furniture floating just above the waterline after a flood. Continue Reading →

China to launch first space mining robot in November – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – September 28, 2020)

(Kitco News) Chinese company Origin Space is scheduled to launch the world’s first asteroid mining robot in November. But no actual mining will be done on the mission as the goal is to test the equipment.

The Beijing-based private company plans to launch NEO-1, a 30-kg satellite, via a Chinese Long March series rocket as a secondary payload, reported U.S. science magazine IEEE Spectrum.

“The goal is to verify and demonstrate multiple functions such as spacecraft orbital maneuver, simulated small celestial body capture, intelligent spacecraft identification and control,” Yu Tianhong, co-founder of Origin Space, told the magazine. Continue Reading →

COVID-19 cases at Nunavut’s Hope Bay mine cast shadow on proposed sale to Shandong Gold – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – September 29, 2020)

New coronavirus cases scuttle plans for joint site visit

Travel in and out of the Hope Bay gold mine in western Nunavut has halted, following nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the site, says Jason Neal, president and CEO of TMAC Resources Inc.

Today there was to be a crew rotation of 130 workers out of the mine site to Yellowknife and Edmonton, and the arrival of 130 new workers to take their place.

The freeze on travel to the site has also prevented a visit by executives from TMAC and Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd., which is seeking to buy TMAC and its Hope Bay mine. Continue Reading →

China Is on a Building Binge, and Metal Prices Are Surging – by Matt Phillips (New York Times – September 25, 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic forced China to bring industrial activity to a halt earlier this year, but the country is revving its engines again — and global prices of metals are reflecting that renewed appetite for growth.

China consumes roughly half of the world’s industrial metals, according to analysts. As the country emerged from the worst of the pandemic in March, the Chinese government unleashed a program of enormous fiscal stimulus aimed at building bridges, roads, utilities, broadband and railroads across the country. As a result, the prices of iron ore, nickel, copper, zinc and other metals used to build infrastructure have surged in recent months.

Since late March, prices of iron ore — the key ingredient in steel — have risen more than 40 percent. Nickel, needed for stainless steel, and zinc, used to galvanize metal, are up more than 25 percent. Continue Reading →

Electric Vehicles: The Dirty Nickel Problem – by Cliff Rice (Clean Technica – September 27, 2020)

“Certainly, electric vehicle manufactures cannot live up to their
professed good intentions of using “environmentally friendly”
nickel if that nickel comes from laterite deposits.”

Electric vehicles are only a small part of the world vehicle market, but this is expected to change. While there are several competing battery chemistries which are likely to be used in this emerging market, many of them contain significant amounts of nickel.

This is a problem, and to understand why it is a problem, we need to understand the basics of where nickel comes from. It gets a bit complicated.

Nickel is mined from two types of deposits — sulphide and laterite. Sulphide nickel occurs in hard rock that has formed from crystallization of magma with the proper conditions and chemistry. Continue Reading →

Nunavut government may support TMAC-SD Gold sale, but with conditions – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – September 23, 2020)

Nunavut wants to see commitment to respect previous agreements with Inuit

The Nunavut government has made a submission to federal reviewers now looking at the proposed sale of TMAC Resources Inc. to the Chinese-owned Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd.

But, speaking on Tuesday in the Nunavut legislature, Economic Development Minister David Akeeagok would not say whether the Government of Nunavut supported the proposed sale in its submission to the federal reviewers.

In response to questions from Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak, he said he did not want to comment more because the federal government is still in the middle of its review process. Continue Reading →