Archive | Asia Mining

China’s effort to buy an Arctic gold mine raises many concerns – by Marc Montgomery (Radio Canada International – August 10, 2020)

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China’s huge Shandong Gold Mining Corporation is proposing to buy Canada’s TMAC resources mine in the Arctic.

Currently under review by the federal government, the $207.4 million dollar offer raises concerns not only over China’s increasing control over the precious metal and other strategic resources but also concerns of sovereignty and of potential security in the Arctic.

Chinese companies have been acquiring other gold producers around the world, and the state owned Shandong Gold Group is part of a national effort to stockpile gold as a hedge against economic volatility.

China has also been engaged in an effort to control rare earth minerals and already owns copper and zinc assets in Canada’s Nunavut territory. Zinc is an important element in the making of galvanized steel as well as use in computers, mobile phones and other electronic equipment, and in batteries. Continue Reading →

ANALYSIS: Can the West’s economies ever escape China’s magnetic pull? The story of rare-earth metals shows how hard it can be – by Matthew McClearn and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 10, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing countries to find suppliers outside of China. Here’s how that turned out badly for firms that tried for a decade to take on their state-controlled mining machine

A decade ago, the future for Toronto-based Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. looked bright. Its flagship Nechalacho development project in the Northwest Territories was on track to produce rare-earth elements, crucial ingredients in a wide array of technologies from wind turbines to cruise missiles to MRI machines.

Avalon’s market capitalization would eventually climb close to a billion dollars. Today things look very different. Avalon’s value has dwindled to just $26-million, its shares trade for pennies and Nechalacho lies undeveloped.

“Unfortunately the bubble burst before we could get all the capital in place,” said Don Bubar, Avalon’s chief executive officer. Continue Reading →

Life in Kyrgyzstan’s once-booming uranium mining town, where the past poisons the future – by Liza Premiyak (The Calvert Journal – August 10, 2020)

https://www.calvertjournal.com/

Mailuu-Suu is a small town in southern Kyrgyzstan, secretly built by the Soviets in the 1950s. The uranium extracted there from the surrounding mountains between 1946 and 1968 was reportedly used to create the first atomic bomb for the Soviet nuclear programme.

But improperly managed, the mines also heralded environmental catastrophe. In 1958, a dam failure caused nuclear waste to collapse into the area’s water system.

Even when operations were running smoothly, nuclear waste was often hastily disposed of close to the town. Much of it remains. Today, earthquakes and landslides pose an ever present threat to the town’s uranium dumps. Continue Reading →

China’s Rare Earth Threat Sparks An International Backlash – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – August 7, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

China fired a verbal rocket at U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin last month only to unleash a response which threatens its most strategically important industry, rare earths.

Because rare-earth elements have essential uses in a range of civil and military technologies, such as weapons guidance systems, China’s control of supply is a powerful commercial and diplomatic bargaining chip.

Earlier threats to cut-off supplies of the elements, especially the two most important heavy rare earths, neodymium and praseodymium, have caused short-term disturbances in the market with China eventually backing off in case it pushed too hard and international customers developed their own supplies. Continue Reading →

Lynas gets green light for waste treatment plant in Malaysia – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – August 4, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Malaysia has approved Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp’s (ASX: LYC) application to build a permanent disposal facility for waste treatment, a minister said on Tuesday.

The miner, the world’s only major producer of rare earths outside China, can now proceed with construction of the waste plant, on a site identified by the Pahang state government, Khairy Jamaluddin, science, technology and innovation minister said, The Edge Markets reported.

In August last year, the Sydney-based company was able to renew the operating license for its Malaysian processing plant for six months, subject to conditions that included identifying a site for a permanent facility to store its low-level radioactive waste. Continue Reading →

With deep pockets and long time horizons, China targets struggling Canadian gold companies – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 30, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Chinese state-owned gold companies are going after some of the most troubled gold companies in Canada, betting that their deep pockets, cheaper access to capital and long time horizons will pay off.

In the past few months, Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. proposed a $323-million acquisition of Guyana Goldfields Inc., and Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. offered to buy TMAC Resources Inc. for $207.4-million.

Both Toronto-based companies are among the most beaten-down assets in the Canadian gold sector, with Guyana long grappling with grade problems at its Aurora mine and TMAC struggling for years with an underperforming mill at its Doris mine in the Arctic. Continue Reading →

Gold rally, Chinese demand a boon to Canadian miners – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – July 30, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

Canada could see a wave of new gold deals and mines built in the coming months and years, thanks to strong bullion prices and improved demand for metals from China, EY analysts believe.

According to the consultancy’s Canadian Mining Eye index — which tracks the performance of 100 Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange mid-tier and junior mining companies with market capitalizations of between $240 million and $3.6 billion— local miners are likely to continue benefitting from gold’s upward trajectory.

Prices for the yellow metal increased by 11% in the March-June period this year after a 6% gain in the previous quarter. Continue Reading →

When it comes to Canada-China relations, it is time to look North – by Jessica Shadian and Erica Wallis (Policy Options – July 7, 2020)

Policy Options – Institute for Research on Public Policy

Canada could chart a new course for its relationship with China, and protect our interests, by thinking more strategically about the North.

If there is one thing that the COVID-19 crisis has not brought to a halt, it is China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a global network of land and maritime infrastructure projects. In fact, while businesses around the world fold or face bankruptcies, China is taking this opportunity to make the most of the global liquidation sale, including in Canada.

During May’s chaotic lockdown, China entered a bid to buy a struggling Northern mining company, TMAC Resources. TMAC operates the Doris North gold mine at its Hope Bay property in Nunavut. The property up until very recently was labelled as “Canada’s next gold mining district,” but TMAC encountered operational challenges.

In late June, TMAC’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the company’s sale to the second-largest gold mine company in China, state-owned Shandong Gold Mining Co. (“SD Gold”). Only five years ago, TMAC had successfully raised several hundred million dollars and began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Continue Reading →

Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia amid the rising tide of secessionism in the region – by Vladislav Gulevich (Modern Diplomacy – July 6, 2020)

Modern Diplomacy

Secessionist tendencies in Indonesia’s province of West Papua have recently been attracting a great deal of attention from experts and human rights activists.

The main reason for the international criticism of the Indonesian authorities is human rights violations and the suppression of the fundamental freedoms of the indigenous people of West Papua. In 2018, the United Nations even sent to Jakarta a report on this subject filed by its Special Rapporteurs.

In 2019, the UN once again voiced its concern about the Indonesian authorities’ violent crackdown on the Papuans . Jakarta, however, insists that security forces act strictly in line with the law. Continue Reading →

Indonesia state company to acquire stake in nickel miner (Nikkeo Asian Review – June 22, 2020)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s state-owned mining holding company will acquire a 20% stake in the local subsidiary of Brazilian mining giant Vale, operator of the world’s largest nickel mine on the island of Sulawesi.

Indonesia is keen to expand control over nickel production as global demand for the commodity, used as batteries in electric vehicles, rises.

In a deal signed last week, Mind Id, the holding company, agreed to pay a combined $390 million or so to Vale and Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining for the Vale Indonesia stake. The transaction is to be completed by the end of the year. Afterward, Vale will have a stake of 44.3% and Sumitomo 15%; the rest of the shares will be traded publicly. Continue Reading →

Hunting for particles of gold in the jungles of Southeast Asia – by Paul Salopek (National Geographic – June 24, 2020)

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/

Artisanal prospectors in Myanmar ply a grueling trade that experts say may vanish in a generation as the world’s gold strikes shrink.

HTAW THAR, MYNAMAR – Walking across the world, you encounter human beings engaged in various repetitive behaviors. Raising babies. Fixing machines. Boiling tea. Planting crops. Posting videos on TikTok. Looking for gold.

Our species’ pervasive quest for gold is ancient and tireless. Along my 11,000-mile trail out of Africa, I have met modern-day miners blasting apart a Bronze Age gold mine—a rare, 5,400-year-old archaeological site—to squeeze the last dregs of metal from the hills of the Caucasus nation of Georgia.

I have stumbled across a tribe of nomadic prospectors sifting glimmers of placer from the wild mountains of Pakistan. And lately, in Myanmar, I met a middle-aged couple, Than Ngwe and Do Toe, washing tons of river gravel by hand in the hunt for specks of shining color. (Watch artisanal gold miners at work in Myanmar.) Continue Reading →

Chinese gold miners continue junior shopping spree – by David Erfle (Kitco News – June 19, 2020)

https://www.kitco.com/

As the 10-week sideways consolidation continues to build a floor in the gold price just below multi-year resistance at $1800, Chinese global gold miners are making all-cash offers for small-cap juniors at large premiums. This recent wave of Chinese deals for junior firms has come while government lock-downs are systematically being lifted in select mining jurisdictions.

After Chinese firm Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd. completed the takeover of Canadian miner Continental Gold Inc for C$1.3 billion in early March, Shandong Gold Mining, one of China’s biggest gold producers, entered into an agreement to acquire Toronto-listed TMAC Resources (TMR.TO) for around C$230 million on May 8th.

But the deal will be among the first pored over by Ottawa after it announced in April that it would bring “enhanced scrutiny” to bear on acquisitions by foreign state-owned investors in a period where the COVID-19 pandemic has driven down the value of companies. Continue Reading →

China’s Shandong scoops up Cardinal Resources – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – June 18, 2020)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

China’s Shandong Gold Mining has moved to buy another gold junior, with ASX- and TSX-listed Cardinal Resources on Thursday announcing that it had entered into a bid implementation agreement with the Chinese miner.

Shandong has agreed to buy Australia-headquartered Cardinal Resources, which operates in Ghana, for A$0.60 a share in cash, beating the preliminary proposal announced by Nord Gold on March 16 of A$0.45775 a share.

The Shandong offer, which is a 75.5% premium to Cardinal’s 20-day unaffected volume-weighted average price and a 39.3% premium to its 20-day volume weighted average price up to June 18, values Cardinal at about A$300-million. Continue Reading →

Zijin the mystery miner buying Guyana Goldfields – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – June 12, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

China’s Zijin Mining has emerged as the unnamed multinational that trumped Silvercorp Metals’ (TSX, NYSE: SVM) bid for Guyana Goldfields (TSX: GUY), with a deal that values the target miner at C$323 million ($238m).

The Fujian-based mining giant has offered Guyana C$1.85 in cash for each common share, which is 35% higher than Silvercorp Metals’ proposal.

Prior to signing the agreement with Zijin, Guyana said it had officially cancelled its previous arrangement with Canada’s Silvercorp, which produces silver, lead and zinc from mines in China. Continue Reading →

Beware of China’s Rare Earth Recycling Dominance — Is It Too Late for North America? – by Kiril Mugerman (June 10, 2020)

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Kiril Mugerman is President & CEO of GeoMega Resources, a rare earth clean technologies developer for mining and recycling. [email protected]

Rare earth elements (REE) are used in many devices that people use every day including mobile phones, catalytic converters, magnets, fluorescent lighting, computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, and much more.

China, which produces more than 90% of the world’s REE, plays a dominant role in producing rare-earth elements—one that is forcing users of these metals to look for alternative sources.

REE are not rare as their name might imply and, in fact, have abundancies in the Earth’s crust that range from as high as that of copper, cobalt and lithium and to as low as that of tin. Continue Reading →