Archive | Asia Mining

Exclusive: China’s Tsingshan roils nickel market with buying spree – by Pratima Desai and Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – July 19, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese firm Tsingshan Holding Group has been buying large quantities of stainless steel ingredient nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) to supplement its own output, two sources familiar with the matter said. They could not specify the amounts Tsingshan has bought.

Nickel prices slid to their lowest for the year in the second quarter as investment funds sold on the expectation of slowing demand from Chinese stainless steel mills as economic activity came under pressure from the U.S.-China trade war.

But as unexpectedly higher demand numbers started to trickle out, the same funds rushed to cut their bets on lower prices. Continue Reading →

Mining Giant to Spend Billions to Halt Indonesian Metal Imports – by Eko Listiyorini and Tassia Sipahutar (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – July 18, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia plans to spend billions of dollars in building aluminum and nickel smelters as it seeks to cut reliance on imports of finished metal and stem exports of raw minerals.

State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium will earmark as much as $10 billion over the next five years to develop refineries and smelters, according to President Director Budi Gunadi Sadikin. The investment will be made by the company and its units including nickel and bauxite miner PT Aneka Tambang, he said.

Indonesia is seeking to reshape its mining industry by making it mandatory for miners to build smelters after decades of free exports of raw materials left it reliant on costly imports to meet demand. Continue Reading →

Column: Nickel jumps but fear of Indonesia export ban is unfounded – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – July 17, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Nickel is enlivening an otherwise torpid summer for the base metals complex. The market is on a bull charge in both London and Shanghai. London Metal Exchange three-month nickel has jumped 23% since the start of June and at a current $14,250 per tonne is trading at its highest level in a year.

Chinese speculators are surging into the Shanghai Futures Exchange contract, which is also nudging one-year highs. The trigger for this collective exuberance is news that Indonesia will stop allowing the export of unprocessed nickel ore in 2022.

Since this is a key raw material pipeline for China’s giant nickel pig iron (NPI) sector, the price reaction might seem rational. Except that the “news” is not new. The 2022 deadline was set in 2017, when the Indonesian government allowed a five-year grace period for ore exporters in return for investment in processing capacity. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold just won a US$5.83B arbitration award, but getting paid may be a different story – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 16, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Collecting such high-value awards is far from simple or guaranteed

The World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes has ordered the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to pay US$5.83 billion to a Barrick Gold Corp. joint venture subsidiary for blocking a mining project nearly a decade ago.

It marks the latest in a string of high-value arbitration awards that Canadian resource companies have won against foreign countries in recent years, although collecting such awards is far from simple or guaranteed.

Barrick, which jointly owns the subsidiary with Chilean copper company Antofogasta Plc, long ago dropped the project from most of its investor materials. On Monday, both companies signalled an interest in settling the matter with Pakistan, which is set to receive billions of dollars in loans from the International Monetary Fund as it struggles to revive its economy. Continue Reading →

Breakingviews – Rio sounds copper warning from Mongolian steppe – by Clara Ferreira-Marques (Reuters U.S. – July 16, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) – Rio Tinto has sounded a copper warning from the Mongolian steppe. The $104 billion mining giant says its flagship Oyu Tolgoi expansion in the country’s south will be up to 30 months late, and could cost as much as a third more than planned.

That’s a fresh blow to a project that has been battered by local politics and other troubles for years. It’s also a reminder of just how hard it has become to dig up the coveted red metal.

Oyu Tolgoi is critical for Rio’s growth, but also to its shift towards the ingredients for a greener economy. Currently, iron ore constitutes almost three-quarters of group earnings. When this mine’s underground operation is added to the existing pit, it will be one of the world’s largest sources of copper, and account for a gargantuan proportion of Mongolia’s GDP. Continue Reading →

Indian billionaire defends controversial coal mine in Australia (Business Times – July 10, 2019)

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/

THE Indian billionaire behind the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia is hitting back at criticism the endeavour will be both unprofitable and too dirty.

In an interview in New Delhi, Gautam Adani took aim at two major faults opponents have flung at the development: that the mine’s low-quality coal won’t earn enough money to justify his US$2 billion investment, and that the world must abandon the fuel in favour of renewable energy to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“If the project wasn’t viable, we wouldn’t have pursued it,” said Mr Adani, whose net worth of US$9.6 billion makes him India’s sixth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “Renewable energy is good for the nation, but it can’t meet our baseload power needs.” Continue Reading →

COLUMN-India gold tax hikes add unexpected headwind to price rally – byClyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – July 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 9 (Reuters) – Gold’s recent rally to a six-year high is suddenly looking a little more fragile after India, the world’s number two buyer, unexpectedly hiked import duties.

The increase in the duty to 12.5% from 10% on July 5 caught gold traders and jewellery manufacturers off guard as some had been expecting the government to lower the tax instead.

The Indian government wants to reduce its fiscal deficit as well as the trade deficit, and since gold is the second biggest import by value behind crude oil and fuels, it is an obvious target for increased taxation. Continue Reading →

India’s top court sides with indigenous people over illegal mining fallout – by Rina Chandran (Thomson Reuters Foundation – July 4, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

BANGKOK, July 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indigenous people in an Indian state must be protected from illegal mining and the pollution it causes, the country’s top court ruled, providing a “historic” victory to tribal groups fighting for better rights over land and natural resources.

Indigenous people, who own much of the land in northeastern Meghalaya state, have full rights over the land and any resources on it, and only they can grant permission for mining after the correct permits are obtained, the Supreme Court ruled.

The state government had “entirely failed to stop illegal mining, which is the cause of degradation and pollution”, and must end illegal mining and rehabilitate the environment, it said on Wednesday. Continue Reading →

Japan’s JX Nippon Mining seeks pot of gold in high-tech chips, batteries – by Yuka Obayashi (Reuters Canada – July 3, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

TOKYO(Reuters) – The mining and smelting unit of giant Japanese energy-to-metals company JXTG Holdings plans to drill down into the world of consumer electronics and high-tech batteries to beef up profits while pausing on traditional, high-investment base metals projects that drain resources.

JX Nippon Mining & Metals’ new president, Seiichi Murayama, said his firm is interested in buying stakes in smaller mines of rare metals such as tantalum and niobium, key examples of the kind of materials needed to make the advanced semiconductors and batteries used in everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.

Murayama aims to make what he calls “electronic materials” the most profitable business at JX after cost overruns at its key Caserones copper mine project in Chile and weaker copper prices that have weakened the firm’s financial health. Continue Reading →

Canada, U.S. gain as India cuts dependence on Australian coking coal – by Sudarshan Varadhan (Reuters U.S. – June 25, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Shipments of coking coal from the United States and Canada rose to a sixth of all Indian imports of the fuel during the year ended March 2019, as steelmakers in the coal guzzling country look to cut their dependence on Australia.

Australia’s share in India’s coking coal market fell to 71%, or 36.91 million tons, during the year ended March 2019 from about 88% three years ago, India coal ministry data reviewed by Reuters showed. The United States and Canada had a 5.6% share of the market three years ago.

Regular interruptions in India’s main supplier over the last few years, including a flood in a major coal producing region in February and a cyclone which tore into Queensland in 2017, have caused worries about major supply disruptions in India. Continue Reading →

Why Japan and South Korea Still Spar Over History – by Youkyung Lee (July 1, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula ended more than seven decades ago yet that legacy still roils everyday politics on both sides of the strait.

South Korea and Japan, major trading partners and both U.S. military allies, have been at loggerheads over what constitutes proper contrition and compensation for two groups of Koreans: those conscripted to work in factories and mines that supplied Japan’s imperial war machine, and those euphemistically called “comfort women” who were forced to work in military brothels.

Japan contends all claims were settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty and a fund set up in 2015. Seoul argues Japan hasn’t atoned enough. Some of Japan’s largest companies and the emperor himself have been dragged into the fray.

1. What are the roots of the forced labor dispute? Continue Reading →

Redeveloping historic mines in South Korea – by Scarlett Evans (Mining Technology – July 1, 2019)

https://www.mining-technology.com/

Bluebird Merchant Ventures recently announced the progression of plans to develop the Kochang and Gubong mines in South Korea; two gold ore sites that last operated in the 1970s. Scarlett Evans spoke to Bluebird COO Charles Barclay about the process of reviving operations at these historic mines, and what the future of South Korean mining might look like.

The Asian-focused resource development group, in a joint venture with Australian exploration firm Southern Gold, has submitted applications for permits to develop the sites. The start of operations is awaiting feasibility reports, and Bluebird has voiced its confidence that production will begin during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Scarlett Evans (SE): What attracted you to these sites?

Charles Barclay (CB): After the Philippines became a virtual no-go area for mining for quite a few months, we had the opportunity to look at projects elsewhere with a group of professionals who wanted to open old mines. Continue Reading →

India scrambles to look overseas for rare earths used in EVs – by Rosemay Marandi and Kiran Sharma (Nikkei Asian Review – June 27, 2019)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI — Three Indian state-run companies are forming a joint venture to secure minor metals such as lithium and cobalt that could fuel India’s plan for mass adoption of electric vehicles by 2030.

National Aluminum, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Corp. plan on exploring mines in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and other countries for metals used to produce EV batteries, besides building strategic reserves of tungsten, nickel and rare earths.

India’s efforts toward securing a supply of minor metals, experts say, is crucial at a time when China is threatening to restrict export of rare earths as part of its escalating trade war with the U.S. Continue Reading →

Indonesia regulatory changes to bring more uncertainty to coal sector – by Fransiska Nangoy (Reuters U.S. – June 26, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesian coal miners said upcoming regulatory changes are putting added pressure on their businesses amid depressed prices and rising competition from other energy sources.

The Indonesian government is in the process of amending coal mining rules to enforce implementation of a 2009 mineral law that require miners to convert their mining permits to a licensing system upon the expiration of their current contracts.

The issue was one of the most talked about by local miners at the Coaltrans industry conference in Bali this week. Continue Reading →

Rare earths industry set to be shaken up by US-China trade war – by Tasneem Bulbulia (MiningWeekly.com – June 27, 2019)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

As the trade dispute between the US and China escalates, it is increasingly likely that China will use its near-monopoly in the global supply of strategic rare earths as leverage over the coming months, says Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a unit of Fitch Group.

China currently holds a near-monopoly on the global supply of rare earth metals, with over 72% of global market share.

The US is highly dependent on Chinese imports to satisfy its demand for rare earth metals, with China having supplied up to 80% of the rare earths imported by the US between 2014 and 2017. Continue Reading →