Archive | Asia Mining

ANALYSIS: A hindrance or a help? What do China’s new ore regulations mean for Australian exporters? – by Stephen Dziedzic (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – May 24, 2020)

The drama has a familiar rhythm. An obscure official diktat is penned in Beijing. Then it ripples out through the world, frenetically shared by exporters, analysts, journalists and diplomats, before rapidly making the leap to newswires and websites in Australia.

An email lands in your inbox, or a headline flashes up on a television screen. And then the phone calls flow, and the guessing games begin. Over the past couple of weeks, China’s Government has passed a seemingly endless string of new regulations which have hit Australian exporters.

The pace has been frantic. China first locked in tariffs on Australia barley, before pivoting to hit four Australian abattoirs with new import bans. Continue Reading →

Chinese ownership of Nunavut’s resources stokes unease – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – May 21, 2020)

The Chinese stake in Nunavut’s minerals is about to grow, if approvals are granted, and that’s raising some eyebrows.

China’s government controls many Chinese mining companies, including Shandong Gold Mining, which is in line to buy Toronto-based TMAC Resources for $149 million (U.S.).

“There’s a long-running sort of latent fear of selling strategic resources to an entity which is controlled entirely, or in part, by the government of a competitor,” said Adam Lajeunesse, co-author of the 2017 book China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada. Continue Reading →

Brazil’s Coronavirus Crisis Disrupts Iron-Ore Market; Prices Surge – by Joe Wallace (Wall Street Journal – May 20, 2020)

Brazil’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has disrupted global supplies of iron ore just as demand from China is revving up, pushing the price of the steel ingredient to a seven-month high.

Iron ore is one of the most heavily traded commodities and can influence the price of materials used in everything from buildings to cars. Front-month futures for ore with 62% iron content jumped 10% to nearly ¥759 ($107) a metric ton Wednesday on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange. That is their highest closing price since October 2019.

Prices have risen 20% since early April, driven by squeezed supplies from Brazil, which dominates the iron-ore mining industry along with Australia. The rally is also an indication that China’s economy is gathering momentum, after a downturn at the start of the year when swaths of the country went into lockdown to stop the coronavirus spreading. Continue Reading →

Chinese company makes agreement to buy Nunavut gold mine – by John Last (CBC News North – May 20, 2020)

The company behind an ongoing gold project in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region, is all set to be sold to a Chinese mining company. TMAC Resources owns the Hope Bay gold mine project, located 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay.

On May 8, the company announced a “definitive agreement” to sell to Shandong Gold Mining, a state-owned Chinese mining company, for around $230 million.

The deal values TMAC at $1.75 per share — a 52 per cent premium on the share’s average price, according to the announcement, and about 30 cents more per share than its listed price before the announcement. Continue Reading →

Column: China targets Australian barley, but what matters is coal, LNG, iron ore – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – May 19, 2020)

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – If China was looking to send a political message to Australia by effectively banning the import of a commodity, then barley fits the bill almost perfectly.

China on Monday imposed what it termed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5% on Australian barley imports from May 19, a move likely to end trade that has been worth between $980 million and $1.3 billion in recent years.

Australia’s official reaction has so far been muted, with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud saying the government will consider approaching the World Trade Organization for a ruling on China’s action. Continue Reading →

How China could stoke iron ore prices – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – May 18, 2020)

Surging iron ore prices have kick-started the Australian economy’s exit from coronavirus lockdowns amid hopes the Chinese government could further stoke prices by unleashing stimulus spending at its annual congress meeting later this week.

A 13 per cent rally in iron ore prices since April 30 has pushed shares in Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group to record highs. The rally appears to have further to run with futures prices more than 5 per cent higher in Monday’s trading session.

Strong Chinese demand for steel has coincided with weak iron ore supply from rival exporter Brazil, where the rapid spread of the coronavirus has added to the ongoing disruption caused by last year’s catastrophic Brumadinho dam collapse. Continue Reading →

India: Coal Mining Sector: Road To De-Nationalisation – by Phoenix Legal ( – May 13, 2020)

The coal mining sector in India seems to have finally taken the last step towards its de-nationalisation after more than 40 years. The Mineral Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Amendment) promulgated as an ordinance in January 2020 has recently been passed by the Parliament. The Amendment seeks to allow greater private participation in the coal mining sector.


India is the world’s second largest producer of coal after China, having cumulative total coal resources of 319.020 billion tonnes (till 2018) and is dependent on coal for many of its core sectors.

For instance, coal is the largest source of electricity generation in India and as per reports, fuels approximately 74% of India’s electricity. In addition to power and electricity, sectors like iron and steel, cement and other industries like fertilisers, pulp and paper are also among the largest consumers of coal in India. Continue Reading →

China’s interest in western Nunavut gold mine is commercial: legal expert – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – May 13, 2020)

The recent news that TMAC Resources Inc., a Canadian junior mining company in western Nunavut, wants to sell its Hope Bay gold mine to a huge Chinese mining company, Shandong Gold, has alarmed some Nunavut residents.

That’s understandable, but Shandong Gold, better known as SD Gold, just wants to make money, says Michael Byers, a legal scholar who holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia and is is the author of “Who owns the Arctic?”

While general concerns about the probable sale of the mine to the Chinese-controlled company are justified, the Hope Bay acquisition looks more like a good business deal than a challenge to Canadian sovereignty, Byers said. Continue Reading →

Indonesia passes new mining law revisions, met with praise and protest – by Wilda Asmarini and Bernadette Christina (Reuters U.S. – May 12, 2020)

JAKARTA, May 12 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s parliament passed revisions to its mining law on Tuesday that will allow miners to extend permits and seek expansion of mining areas beyond current legal limits.

Other parts of the law are also largely in line with mining rules under a proposed sweeping “omnibus” bill, aimed at removing red tape and attracting investment in many business sectors.

The government and a parliamentary committee overseeing mineral resources agreed on the revisions on Monday. Continue Reading →

Asia’s pandemic stimulus may slow the demise of coal – by Joe Brock (Reuters Canada – May 12, 2020)

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Coal power plant construction will push ahead in Asia despite falling electricity demand and environmental concerns as policymakers prioritise boosting economies crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, analysts say.

Fossil fuel demand will plummet this year as lockdowns sap electricity use, the International Energy Agency said in a report last month.

The European Union, International Monetary Fund and the United Nations have said that marks a once-in-a-generation opportunity to launch a ‘green recovery’, which includes Asia joining the global trend of ending support for coal power. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Iron ore, coking coal divorce over China’s coronavirus recovery – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 11, 2020)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 11 (Reuters) – There is an increasing disconnect between the two key ingredients for making steel, with iron ore safely within China’s economic bubble and coking coal more exposed to the rest of the coronavirus-riddled world.

The main difference is that while China imports the bulk of the iron ore with which it feeds its 1 billion-tonne-a-year steel industry, it has a large domestic coking coal industry and imports only about 10% of its needs.

Benchmark spot 62% iron ore for delivery to China MT-IO-QIN62=ARG, as assessed by commodity price reporting agency Argus, ended last week at $88.30 a tonne. Continue Reading →

China’s Shandong buys Canadian gold miner TMAC Resources for US$149-million – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 8, 2020)

State-controlled Chinese gold company Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd. is buying Canada’s TMAC Resources Inc. for US$149-million, the latest struggling junior to be swept up by larger and better capitalized seniors.

Shandong is paying $1.75 a share in cash, 4.2 per cent above the Thursday close on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Toronto-based TMAC was founded by well-known mining entrepreneur Terry MacGibbon. Its chief executive is ex-BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. mining banker Jason Neal. TMAC operates the Doris gold mine in Nunavut, which went into production in 2017. Over the years, the miner has grappled with operational issues, particularly problems with its mill. Continue Reading →

China Is Virtually Alone in Backing Africa’s Coal Projects – by Antony Sguazzin, Godfrey Marawanyika and Jing Li (Bloomberg News – May 7, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — For more than two decades, Zimbabwe has been trying to break ground on a giant coal-power complex by the world’s biggest man-made reservoir. China just agreed to get the $4.2 billion project underway.

The development near the southern shore of Lake Kariba is good news for Zimbabwe, where a collapsing economy and erratic policies have deterred foreign investment for the past 20 years.

But it flies in the face of a growing global consensus that has seen financial institutions from Japan to the US and Europe shun investments in coal projects. That retreat leaves the way open for Chinese companies—many with state backing—even at the risk of undermining the spirit of China’s international commitments to fight climate change. Continue Reading →

Zijin warns Papua New Guinea of China anger over end of gold mine lease – by Tom Westbrook and Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – April 29, 2020)

SINGAPORE/BEIJING, April 29 (Reuters) – China’s Zijin Mining has warned Papua New Guinea that its failure to renew the lease of a gold mine it jointly owns with Barrick Gold Corp there could damage bilateral relations.

Papua New Guinea on Friday said it would not renew a 20-year mining lease at its Porgera gold mine, citing environmental damage and social unrest even as gold prices have soared to more than seven-year highs.

Barrick (Niugini) Limited (BNL), the local venture in which both miners have a 47.5% stake, suspended operations on Saturday, saying the government had not given it formal notification that it would not renew the lease, or any details of a planned transition. Continue Reading →

Asia Gold-Lockdowns keep retail buyers away in top gold hubs – by Arpan Varghese and Rajendra Jadhav (Reuters U.S. – April 24, 2020)

BENGALURU/MUMBAI, April 24 (Reuters) – Retail demand for physical gold suffered this week in top Asian hubs as jewellery shops remained shut due to coronavirus restrictions, but some regions saw steady buying from investors hunting for a safe haven.

Dealers in the world’s biggest gold consumer China continued to sell bullion at hefty $50 an ounce discounts versus benchmark spot prices this week. This compares with last week’s $50-$70 discounts, the biggest on record according to data going back to 2014.

“Some shops have opened, but people are in no mood to buy gold on the retail side, it’s still a high-end purchase,” Ronald Leung, chief dealer, Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong. Global spot prices are now well above $1,700 an ounce. Continue Reading →