Archive | Australia/New Caledonia/Papua New Guinea Mining

[Deep Sea Mining: Papua New Guinea] The secret on the ocean floor: (BBC News – February 19, 2018)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

A wave of pioneers is poised to scoop up treasure from the deep sea. But was this ocean mining boom sparked by a 1970s CIA plot?

In the summer of 1974, a large and highly unusual ship set sail from Long Beach in California. It was heading for the middle of the Pacific where its owners boasted it would herald a revolutionary new industry beneath the waves.

Equipped with a towering rig and the latest in drilling gear, the vessel was designed to reach down through the deep, dark waters to a source of incredible wealth lying on the ocean floor.

It was billed as the boldest step so far in a long-held dream of opening a new frontier in mining, one that would see valuable metals extracted from the rocks of the seabed. Continue Reading →

Charging ahead: how Australia is innovating in battery technology – by Jonathan Knott (The Conversation – February 15, 2018)

http://theconversation.com/

Lithium-ion remains the most widespread battery technology in use today, thanks to the fact that products that use it are both portable and rechargeable. It powers everything from your smartphone to the “world’s biggest battery” in South Australia.

Demand for batteries is expected to accelerate in coming decades with the increase in deployment of electric vehicles and the need to store energy generated from renewable sources, such as solar photovoltaic panels. But rising concerns about mining practices and shortages in raw materials for lithium-ion batteries – as well as safety issues – have led to a search for alternative technologies.

Many of these technologies aren’t being developed to replace lithium-ion batteries in portable devices, rather they’re looking to take the pressure off by providing alternatives for large-scale, stationary energy storage. Continue Reading →

Adani scouts world for coal – by John McCarthy (Mackay Daily Mercury – February 16, 2018)

https://www.dailymercury.com.au/

ADANI is scouting the world looking for coal as its Carmichael megamine in Central Queensland remains without financing and facing a growing tide of environmental and political opposition.

Tensions between the State Government and the industry are also increasing after the rejection this week of environmental approval for the Acland coal mine expansion.

The decision has cost the company $158million so far as investors have sold off the stock in the past two days. Adani said yesterday the search was not for a replacement for the Carmichael, which would become one of the world’s biggest coal mines if it ever reached the original proposal. Continue Reading →

Fortescue’s Aboriginal programme hits A$2bn mark – by Simone Liedtke (MiningWeekly.com – February 18, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore major Fortescue Minerals’ ‘billion opportunities programme’ has reached the A$2-billion-mark, with 250 contracts and sub-contracts having been awarded to 110 Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures in the seven years since its inception.

CEO Nev Power said on Friday that the programme formed a critical element of the company’s approach to ensuring economic opportunity and participation, which were the focus of the native title agreements.

“Through the programme, we have encouraged and assisted the development of capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses to supply a significant portion of the goods and services we need in our business,” Power added. Continue Reading →

Going for Gold – Australia and Egypt working together to develop the Egyptian mining sector (Mareeg.com – February 13, 2018)

Mareeg.com

CAIRO, Egypt, February 13, 2018-Australian Ambassador Neil Hawkins is delighted that Australian mining companies are showing increased interest in Egypt’s mining sector. ‘Egypt has huge potential in mining, as the dozens of Australians working at the Sukari mine near Marsa Alam can attest’, he said. ‘We look forward to increasing cooperation between Australian and Egyptian mining officials and companies in 2018.’

To kick-start that cooperation, the Australian Embassy in Cairo, in collaboration with the Western Australian Department of Mines and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority, will be coordinating a two-day capacity building workshop on best practices for sustainable mining governance in Cairo from 14- 15 February 2018.

Egypt has strong potential to develop further its mining sector and attract significant international investment. Australia is an international leader in mining with years of experience and many strong, successful mining companies active around the world. Continue Reading →

Rail fight threatens coal giants’ Australian exports – by Sonali Paul (Reuters U.S. – February 12, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s top coal hauler, Aurizon Holdings Ltd, is on course for a showdown with the world’s biggest coal exporters after a regulator capped the revenue it can charge at A$1 billion ($783 million) less than the company sought.

BHP Billiton, Glencore, Anglo American, Peabody Energy and others face cuts of nearly a tenth of their coal export volumes from Queensland state, the country’s biggest coal exporter, after Aurizon said the tough revenue cap would cut throughput on its network.

The expected drop in coal traffic would be worse than last year’s losses after Cyclone Debbie, which cut exports by 16 million tonnes and sent prices for metallurgical coal, used in steel-making, skyrocketing. Continue Reading →

Mining investment crossroads – Editorial (The Australian – February 12, 2018)

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/

The Greens’ irrationality in regard to energy production and mining is beyond redemption. The Labor Party, however, which purports to be the workers’ party, should heed Resources Minister Matt Canavan’s pertinent warning that Australia’s energy markets in Asia are under threat as the US ramps up coal and gas exports.

The US, a net energy importer for 40 years, will be a net exporter by 2022 after ending what Donald Trump branded in his State of the Union address “the war on beautiful, clean coal’’ . The US exports shale gas to Japan and Asian buyers are interested in US coal.

Influenced by anti-fossil fuel activists, especially in the Melbourne seat of Batman where it is struggling to hold off the Greens, Labor is casting increasing doubt over the $16.5 billion Adani coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Labor has also barred new gas developments in several states. Continue Reading →

China companies open next chapter on WA mines – by Dan Wilkie (Australia China Business Review – February 9, 2018)

http://www.acbr.com.au/

Western Australia’s mining industry has received a China-backed New Year’s boost, with announcements of progress on deals that could underpin the development of the state’s next iron ore, mineral sands and zinc mines.

In the Pilbara, global iron ore trading house Sinosteel Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding in early January with mining group BCI Minerals to explore a possible joint venture and offtake arrangement over the Buckland iron ore mine and port proposal.

Sinosteel and BCI will also discuss the possibility of Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Co providing engineering services for the proposal, which comprises mining operations over several deposits, as well as a haul road connecting the mine to a newly developed port at Cape Preston East. Continue Reading →

China Wealth Fund Joins Fray for $2 Billion Rio Portfolio (Bloomberg News – February 8, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The Chinese sovereign wealth fund is considering joining the bidding for Rio Tinto Group’s last remaining coal mines, which may fetch more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

China Investment Corp. is discussing making a joint offer with Australian private equity firm EMR Capital Advisors Pty, which was among shortlisted bidders for the Hail Creek and Kestrel mines, according to the people.

Suitors are scheduled to make site visits to the operations in Australia’s Queensland state this month ahead of the final bid deadline in March, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Continue Reading →

Australia’s $2 trillion lithium opportunity (Australian Mining – January 31, 2018)

https://www.australianmining.com.au/

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) has urged Australia to expand along the estimated $2 trillion lithium value chain in the next two years.

Lithium used in the batteries of smartphones and electrical vehicles (EV) represents one of Australia’s great opportunities, according to AMEC, which released a report on the country’s lithium prospects this week.

The association anticipates that Australia will dominate the front of the lithium value chain for the foreseeable future, with projects at Greenbushes, Mt Cattlin, Mt Marion and Pilgangoora all ramping up production. Continue Reading →

Adani jobs in high demand as Indigenous groups call for a bigger share – by David Chen (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – January 23, 2018)

http://www.abc.net.au/

Traditional owners say they deserve better than Adani’s current promise to hire Indigenous workers for its multi-billion-dollar coal mine in central Queensland.

The Indian mining giant has agreed that at least 7 per cent of its workforce will be made up of Indigenous people. But Jangga elder Colin McLennan said he wanted that figure to be higher.

“If we can get 30 per cent or 100 per cent … we like to try get as many people as we can into the workforce,” he said. With Adani taking over direct control of the project late last year, Mr McLennan said he believed they could convince the company to hire more Indigenous workers. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto builds bauxite expansion option at Amrun – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – January 23, 2018)

http://www.afr.com/

Rio Tinto’s $US1.9 billion ($2.4 billion) Amrun bauxite project is being built with foundations to support a much bigger expansion in the future, with the project now more than 75 per cent complete.

Approved by the Rio board in November 2015, the Amrun team will soon award some of the major contracts associated with the project, including for shiploaders, reclaimers and stackers. Amrun will produce 22.8 million tonnes of bauxite per year starting in mid 2019, with 10 million tonnes of that set to replace a nearby mine that is close to retirement.

Rio’s growth and innovation executive Stephen McIntosh said the size of the resource at Amrun could support a more than doubling of production in the future if Rio ever chose to pursue further expansion. Continue Reading →

China charges Australia’s lithium boom – by Lachlan Colquhoun (Asia Times – January 23, 2018)

http://www.atimes.com/

Australia enjoys new mining growth with rising demand for the light metal used in many ‘next generation’ technologies

Australia is on the cusp of a new commodities boom as a lithium exporter, and Chinese investors are well ahead in the race to secure their supply.

As the critical ingredient in next generation battery storage and electric vehicle technologies, global demand for lithium is forecast to grow at a compound rate of 18% in the decade to 2025, according to Macquarie Research.

In 2015, Australia supplied around 36% of the world’s lithium. By 2021, that proportion is forecast to grow to 48% of a much larger global market. Australian exports of spodumene, the mineral ore containing lithium, have increased 84% in the three years since 2014. Continue Reading →

New shaft key to transforming Kirkland Lake into 1Moz/y producer – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – January 18, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Kirkland Lake has set its sights on producing one-million ounces a year in the next five to seven years, a target which is built on transforming the Fosterville and Macassa mines into 400 000 oz/y producers.

At Fosterville, in Australia’s state of Victoria, Kirkland Lake is aiming to achieve the 400 000 oz/y target by 2020, as it moves to full production at the Swan zone and starts production from additional mining fronts.

The path to 400 000 oz/y at the Macassa mine, in Ontario, Canada, will take longer and will involve sinking a new $320-million shaft in two phases. Continue Reading →

Confidence returns for Australian coal miners – by Cole Latimer (Sydney Morning Herald – January 19, 2018)

http://www.smh.com.au/

Did the doubters declare the death of thermal coal too soon? Certainly the major listed Australian thermal coal miners have all seen positive movement in their share price from late 2017 through into 2018, bucking the wider perception of a market in decline.

That was in turn driven by a resurgent thermal coal price after its massive bust three years ago. From August 2015 to August 2016, prices languished below $US60 ($75) a tonne. By October of last year that had spiked to more than $US100 a tonne in October 2016 and remained in a healthy range rarely falling below $US80 a tonne.

There are combination of international and domestic market factors as well as smarter play by Australian miners that have created market conditions where thermal coal has regained ground, shaking off the zombie company taglines that have dogged the industry over the last year. Continue Reading →