Archive | Asia Mining

Column: Mixed signals for China steel and iron ore point to prices drifting lower – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – March 12, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – China’s steel and iron ore markets are currently crowded with an overload of information, much of it seemingly pulling prices in opposing directions.

The steel market is having to weigh news of extended output restrictions as part of ongoing efforts by Beijing to lower air pollution, weak vehicle sales, slower economic growth and uncertainty over the trade dispute with the United States.

If that sounds negative for prices, consider the upcoming peak-demand season as winter ends and construction projects kick off, increased stimulus spending on infrastructure and the view that lower output may support a supply-driven price increase. Continue Reading →

Pakistan military eyes key role developing giant copper and gold mine – by Drazen Jorgic (Reuters U.K. – March 11, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s military is taking a key role in the development of one of the world’s biggest untapped copper and gold deposits, which is currently stalled by a multi-billion dollar legal wrangle with foreign mining firms, multiple sources familiar with the situation said.

The Reko Diq mine has become a test case for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ability to attract serious foreign investment to Pakistan as it struggles to stave off an economic crisis that has forced it to seek an International Monetary Fund bailout.

Ten current and former provincial and federal government officials and mining sources familiar with the project in the Baluchistan region say the military has become the most important voice on the future of Reko Diq, which it sees as a strategic national asset. Continue Reading →

Coal is king in India—and will likely remain so – by Samantha Gross (Brookings Education Blog – March 8, 2019)

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/

In conversations about avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, removing coal from the world’s energy system is always at the top of the list of solutions.

Here in the United States, inexpensive natural gas has out-competed coal in the power system, bringing about a 40 percent decline in coal-fired generation over the last decade. However, coal is still king in other parts of the world.

India’s ambitious renewable energy goals have received a lot of international attention, but coal still provides half of India’s commercial primary energy and is the dominant fuel for power generation. In “Coal in India: Adjusting to transition,” Rahul Tongia and I state that we expect coal to remain the dominant fuel in the power sector in India, through 2030 and beyond. Continue Reading →

Column: China’s supercharged imports fail to stir lead market – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – March 5, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – China imported 128,000 tonnes of refined lead last year, bringing the two-year cumulative total to 206,000 tonnes. The only precedent for this pace of import was 2009, when China soaked up 157,000 tonnes of refined lead.

It’s a problematic comparison though, given lead prices and arbitrage were distorted back then by the global financial crisis and Beijing’s resulting rush to support its own producers. The import surge dried up in 2010 and China became a net exporter of refined lead to the rest of the world over the 2013-2016 period.

The scale of imports since then is a clear sign there is a real physical shortfall in China, normally the sort of narrative to excite metals bulls. This being lead, however, you’d be hard pushed to discern even the faintest flicker of bullish enthusiasm in either the Shanghai or London futures markets. Continue Reading →

Turquoise Hill flags potential further delays at Oyu Tolgoi – by Marleny Arnoldi (MiningWeekly.com – February 27, 2019)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

TSX- and NYSE-listed Turquoise Hill Resources has flagged potential further delays in the development schedule of the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine project, saying that the completion of ‘technically complex’ installations at Shaft 2 could take longer than previously thought.

The Rio Tinto-owned company, which holds the giant mine in a 66:34 partnership with the Mongolian government, last year said that sustainable production at the $5.3-billion underground mining project would only be achieved in the third quarter of 2021 rather than the previously guided start of 2021.

However, Turquoise Hill on Wednesday reported that it was increasingly likely that sustainable first production would be delayed beyond the third quarter of 2021. Continue Reading →

Column: Coal going from winner to loser in India’s energy future – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – February 20, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s demand for electricity is expected to double in the next two decades, and coal has been long forecast to be the fuel of choice for power generation. But this may no longer be the case.

It’s not that India doesn’t have plentiful reserves of coal. It does, and it is the world’s second-largest producer and importer, following China. It’s not even that India’s reserves are expensive to mine. They aren’t.

It’s not even that transporting coal from where it’s mined to where it’s needed is too difficult. Yes, it is an issue, but this challenge could be overcome with sufficient investment in rail and other infrastructure. Continue Reading →

A big Chinese port bans Australian coal and the dollar falls – by Kirsty Needham and Cole Latimer (Sydney Morning Herald – February 21, 2019)

https://www.smh.com.au/

Beijing: The Australian dollar fell 1 per cent on Thursday as news broke that a major Chinese port had banned imports of Australian coal, fuelling fears that diplomatic tensions were hitting Australia’s second largest export.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told Senate Estimates on Thursday night there was no evidence to support claims the slow down in coal imports was linked to diplomatic tensions. But he said Australian ambasssador to China Jan Adams had escalated her representations to the Chinese government.

Dalian Port and Dalian Customs declined to comment to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald after Reuters reported that the port had banned Australian thermal coal imports. Continue Reading →

India eyes South America’s lithium reserves for battery manufacturing – by Uma Gupta (PV Magazine India – February 12, 2019)

PV Magazine India

As India plans to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium.

A delegation from Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) recently visited the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) to explore opportunities in the mining of Lithium.

Significantly, as India looks to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, these countries have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium, reported The Financial Express. Continue Reading →

China could be a big winner if Donald Trump restricts US uranium imports, experts say (South China Morning Post – February 8, 2019)

https://www.scmp.com/

China could be a big winner if the Trump administration demands that 25 per cent of United States’ uranium demand is supplied by American mines, experts say.

Currently both the US and China import more than 90 per cent of the uranium they consume. The US is, however, considering a 25 per cent domestic production quota for national security reasons.

This would make an extra 4.5 million kilogram of uranium available on the global market, at a time when Chinese uranium buyers are scouring the globe for more purchases. Continue Reading →

[Philippines Mining] Researcher touts mine site rehab using microbes (Business World – February 7, 2019)

https://www.bworldonline.com/

THE National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) proposed on Thursday to rehabilitate degraded mining sites by deploying microbes into the soil, a process called bioremediation.

“There are 50 active metallic mines that will surely become mined out or (contaminated with) mine tailings if there is no responsible mining. That means we will have more abandoned mines,” according to Dr. Nelly S. Aggangan, lead researcher of a study commissioned by the NRCP.

Ms. Aggangan was presenting her 2017 study, “Greening Mined-out Areas in the Philippines,” during the NRCP-Legislative Scientific Forum for Policy Development. Continue Reading →

After Freeport, Indonesia eyes 20% of nickel [PT Vale Indonesia] firm’s shares (Jakarta Post – February 4, 2019)

https://www.thejakartapost.com/

After gaining control of 51.23 percent shares of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, the government is eyeing to gain a 20 percent stake in publicly listed nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia (INCO).

“We are certainly interested, but we have not assigned a company yet [to represent the government],” the SOEs Ministry’s undersecretary for mining, strategic industries and media affairs, Fajar Harry Sampurno, said in Jakarta on Friday as quoted by kontan.co.id.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s mineral director, Yunus Saefulhak, said the ministry had received INCO’s divestment proposal letter. He added that INCO had submitted its report to the Finance Ministry while sending its offer to the SOEs Ministry. Continue Reading →

Mongolia, overseas investigators probe Oyu Tolgoi corruption claims as ex-minister re-arrested – by Munkhchimeg Davaasharav and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – January 29, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

ULAANBAATAR/LONDON (Reuters) – Mongolia is working with overseas investigators to look into claims of corruption at its giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, the country’s anti-graft body said on Tuesday, after the re-arrest of a former minister suspected of “abuse of power”.

Bayartsogt Sangajav was first arrested last April and released in June in a probe into 2009 negotiations over the development of the mine, then owned by Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines and now managed by Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto. Bayartsogt, a former finance minister, was among the signatories to the investment agreement, approved by Mongolia’s parliament.

Munkhtungalag Tumur, a spokeswoman with the country’s Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC), told Reuters it was now conducting a thorough financial investigation into the allegations that would be international in scope. She did not identify with which other countries the IAAC was collaborating. Continue Reading →

SNC-Lavalin shares plunge on setbacks tied to Saudi chill, mining woes – by Tim Kiladze (Globe and Mail – January 29, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. lost more than a quarter of its market value after revealing a major problem in its mining division and a weak outlook for its energy business, partly because of Canada’s diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia.

The Montreal company said Monday it will write down its oil and gas division by $1.24-billion after-tax, or about $7 a share. The company said its Saudi business is doing worse than expected, and that and volatile oil prices “have led to deterioration in our near-term prospects which we cannot ignore,” creating the accounting charge. SNC shares lost 28 per cent, or nearly $2.4-billion in market capitalization.

The setbacks extend a difficult run for SNC. Until recently, the company seemed to be turning the corner after a multiyear overhaul, but since last summer its shares have taken a beating. It is one of the few Canadian companies with a sizable operation in Saudi Arabia, which accounts for more than 10 per cent of its revenue. Continue Reading →

Column: A record-breaking year for China’s metals trade – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – January 28, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Last year was one of the most interesting in a decade for China’s trade in base metals with multiple records broken both for imports and exports. The irony is that many key themes played out in the statistical darkness after China’s customs department suspended from March its traditional detailed monthly breakdown.

While some copper and aluminium insights could still be gleaned from customs’ continuing preliminary estimates, many other components of China’s metallic interaction with the rest of the world simply “disappeared”.

Partial light has since been restored thanks to the department’s new website and the forensic work of colleagues at Refinitiv. Here are some of the stand-outs in terms of what the markets largely missed at the time. Continue Reading →

How the US lost the plot on rare earths – by Rick Rule (AheadoftheHerd.com – January 2019)

http://aheadoftheherd.com/

On Wednesday morning, a rocket blasted off from Blue Origin’s West Texas facility in West Texas, carrying eight NASA experiments into space with it. Climbing past an altitude of 350,000 feet (over 100 kilometers), the New Shepard rocket launched its capsule, from which the company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to conduct space tourism. Blue Origin tweeted that it plans to begin flying humans to space next year.

Those watching Wednesday’s launch probably assume that the parts for American rockets are made in the United States. While that may be true for space-travel companies like Space X, Blue Origin and Virgin, it isn’t for rockets sent skyward for national security missions, through something called the United Launch Alliance. These rockets are powered by Russian engines. Yes, you read that right.

Our Cold War enemy for 30-odd years, which ironically started the space race with the 1957 launch of Sputnik, all use RD-180 engines made by NPO Energomash, a Russian state-owned company. Continue Reading →