Archive | Australia/New Caledonia/Papua New Guinea Mining

Australian state turns to crowdsourcing to uncover mineral riches (Reuters U.S. – February 25, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE, Feb 25 (Reuters) – South Australia is putting A$250,000 ($166,000) up for grabs in a crowdsourcing competition to uncover more mineral reserves, as the industry taps expertise from a wide array of disciplines to find new large mineral lodes.

The five-month challenge will make available the state’s historic data sets for a region home to BHP Group’s huge Olympic Dam copper mine, the government of the Australian state said in a statement. The competition will kick off on March 2 and run until July 31, it added.

“The competition offers the chance to combine geological expertise with new mathematical, machine learning and artificial intelligence to accelerate mineral discovery in the mineral-rich Gawler Craton,” said Justin Strharsky of program facilitators Unearthed. Continue Reading →

Thai geologist shot dead in second mining-related killing in Bougainville – by Dickson Sorariba (The Guardian – February 25, 2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/

A Thai geologist working at a new gold mine in Bougainville has been shot dead in the second killing at a mining project in the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea in recent months.

Channon Lumpoo, 27, was shot by a high-powered weapon on Monday in the Kokoda constituency of south Bougainville.

Channon was a geologist with Austhai Geophysical Consultants, which is attached to a Philippines-owned company SRMO, and was involved in exploration activities at the time of his death. Continue Reading →

Kirkland Lake Gold’s Tony Makuch our Mining Person of the Year for 2019 – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – February 20, 2020)

Global mining news

Tony Makuch, president and CEO of Kirkland Lake Gold, is The Northern Miner’s Mining Person of the Year for 2019. Under his leadership, Kirkland Lake Gold has outperformed its peers in the last 24 months. The company’s shares rose by 60% last year, it raised its dividend twice and more than doubled its cash position, ending 2019 with US$707 million in cash and equivalents.

Kirkland Lake Gold operates two of the highest grade gold mines in the world and produced a record 974,615 ounces of gold in 2019, a 35% year-on-year increase, anchored by its Macassa mine in Ontario, Canada and its Fosterville mine in the state of Victoria, Australia. It also produces gold at its Holt complex – a trio of mines (Holt, Taylor and Holloway) in Ontario.

Consolidated operating cash costs fell 22% year-on-year to US$284 per oz. sold, while all-in sustaining costs declined 18% to US$564 per oz. sold. Net earnings jumped 104% year-on-year to US$560 million or $2.67 per share, and free cash flow totalled US$463 million, an 81% increase over 2018. Continue Reading →

Jabiluka mine call slammed by traditional owners – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – February 11, 2020)

https://www.afr.com/

Traditional land owners have rejected suggestions the Jabiluka uranium deposit should be developed and say they do not believe Rio Tinto has a ”secret agenda” to eventually mine the deposit.

The rare comments from the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) counter Zentree Investments founder Richard Magides’ belief that Jabiluka’s uranium will be valuable in future amid rising demand for carbon-free electricity from nuclear power stations.

Zentree is the second biggest shareholder in ASX listed Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and has accused the biggest shareholder, Rio, of deliberately structuring a $476 million equity raising to enable it to take 100 per cent ownership of ERA. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold denies Freeport-McMoran tie-up in the works – by Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – February 6, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Barrick Gold is not looking to merge with copper miner Freeport-McMoran, CEO Mark Bristow said on Thursday, although he is interested in the company’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia, and indicated he wants to expand in the Pacific Rim.

Rumors the world’s second-largest gold miner planned to combine with Freeport are “completely wrong”, Bristow told Reuters on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town.

But he said he was interested in Freeport’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia – the world’s largest gold mine, and second-largest copper mine. “People say, are you interested in Grasberg? I say I have to be, it’s a tier one asset,” he said. Tier one assets refer to high-grade, long-life mines. Continue Reading →

Australia’s lithium producers see tough market conditions persisting well into 2020 – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – Janaury 30, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Australia’s Orocobre Ltd and Pilbara Minerals Ltd on Thursday gave bearish outlooks for lithium demand, as weak orders from electric vehicle makers in China look set to extend a prolonged downturn.

Orocobre Ltd flagged a tepid market for the first half of 2020 and said it had cut costs at its flagship Olaroz lithium project in Argentina. Its shares sank 3.7%.

Pilbara Minerals said it was continuing to moderate production to “match customer demand” after scaling back mining at its Pilgangoora operations in Western Australia in September. Its shares slid 12%. Lithium miners faced severe pressure last year as prices plummeted after a cut in EV subsidies by China, the world’s biggest electric vehicle market. Continue Reading →

[Bougainville/Copper] The Horse Breeder, the Novelist and the $60 Billion Mine – by Aaron Clark (Financial Post/Bloomberg – January 27, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

(Bloomberg) — Australia has some big decisions to make about its future. For insight into the stories that matter, sign up for our new weekly newsletter.

John Kuhns has been many things: an investment banker, a silicon smelter operator in China and a novelist. His sights are now set on an abandoned mine with an estimated $60 billion of gold and copper.

Kuhns is among a handful of people exploring for minerals and courting landowners on the Pacific island of Bougainville. His rivals include an Arabian-horse breeder, a hedge fund investment manager who keeps wallabies on his estate and a former Australian defense minister. Continue Reading →

Australian bushfires hit coal output, hazardous conditions to return – by Byron Kaye (Reuters Canada – January 21, 2020)

https://ca.reuters.com/

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Mining giant BHP Group (BHP.AX) said on Tuesday that poor air quality caused by smoke from Australia’s bushfires is hurting coal production, as authorities said a reprieve from hazardous fire conditions would end within days.

The warning from the world’s biggest miner showed how an unusually long bushfire season that has scorched an area one-third the size of Germany is damaging the world’s No. 14 economy.

Australia’s tourism and insurance industries have already foreshadowed they face a A$1 billion ($687 million) hit each from the fires. Scores of fires were still burning on the east coast on Tuesday despite thunderstorms and rain in recent days. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Australia’s big bet on coal is about to go from economic saviour to liability as the country burns – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – January 18, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The Australian economy shares a few sorry traits with Canada’s. Both countries dig enormous amounts of dirty hydrocarbons out of the ground for export. Both made fortunes doing so, for decades. And both might now be questioning whether those wonder products were too much of a good thing as rising temperatures damage, and potentially devastate, natural systems.

Canada’s hydrocarbons come primarily from the oil in the oil sands, more accurately called the “tar sands” by Europeans. The oil sands enjoy sacred status in Alberta and in Ottawa.

The Janus-faced federal government imposes a carbon tax and promises to meet the carbon-reduction targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement yet creates the conditions, such as nationalizing a pipeline, to allow – make that encourage – the oil sands to expand. Continue Reading →

Australia Is Dry as a Bone, and Miners Need Water to Stay Afloat – by David Winning (Wall Street Journal – January 16, 2020)

https://www.wsj.com/

SYDNEY—A crippling drought in eastern Australia is threatening production of commodities from coal to gold, sparking a scramble by companies for water to keep their operations going.

The affected mines and processing operations are in arid regions a hundred or more miles inland of most of the areas hit by unprecedented bush fires. The severe drought conditions are expected to persist despite rain falling or forecast in the region in coming days.

Eastern Australia is a major supplier of metals and minerals to global markets, with more coal leaving its ports for customers in Asia than anywhere else in the world. Continue Reading →

Adani’s coal mine plans, and why coal is still so lucrative – by Jeannette Cwienk (Deutsche Welle – January 16, 2020)

https://www.dw.com/en/

According to the MCC, there are 256 coal-fired power plants with a
capacity of 246 gigawatts being built worldwide, as well as another
359 power plants with a capacity of 311 gigawatts in the planning phase.

Siemens’ support for Adani’s coal mine in Australia has outraged environmentalists, but it’s not a unique case. Hundreds of companies and countries around the world are planning to expand their coal activities. But why?

An estimated 500 tankers a year will travel back and forth between Australia and India in the future. Fully loaded with coal, they’ll sail right through the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world, which is already under threat.

And that’s just one reason why environmental activists are outraged by Indian Adani Group’s plans for mining coal. Once completed, its Carmichael mine in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland will be one of the largest in the world, emitting 705 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere each year, according to climate protection alliance Fridays for Future. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold forges ahead on Papua New Guinea mine in face of local backlash – by Jeff Lewis and Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – Janaury 15, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp is set to elevate its troubled Papua New Guinea mine to its top-tier assets, despite landowner and government demands to cede a larger stake and deteriorating security at the joint venture with China’s Zijin Mining.

With a 20-year lease renewal application in the balance, Barrick has faced backlash from Papua New Guinea (PNG) landowners and residents. Critics say the Porgera mine has polluted the water supply and created other environmental and social problems, with minimal economic returns for locals.

Seven people have died at the Porgera mine since September, including three so-called illegal miners last month in clashes that prompted Barrick’s local entity to appeal for government intervention. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Targeted by Greta Thunberg Undeterred by Coal Protesters – by P R Sanjai (Bloomberg News – January 13, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — The Indian conglomerate coming under increasing pressure over its controversial coal mine in Australia said it won’t let protests dissuade it from completing the project.

The group, controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani, is responding to an uptick in scrutiny over the Carmichael development, including from high-profile teen activist Greta Thunberg.

While the mine and rail project has been a target of environmentalists since it was proposed in 2010, its facing fresh global attention as Australia suffers unprecedented brushfires and as Germany’s Siemens AG comes under attack for its contract to provide rail signaling systems. The Munich-based company said Sunday that it will honor that commitment, defying demands of demonstrators in Germany. Continue Reading →

Australia’s wildfires should get us finally thinking rationally about nuclear power – by Kelly McParland (National Post – January 8, 2020)

https://nationalpost.com/

One attitude change that might help would be a re-evaluation of nuclear, which is emission-free but hobbled by public fears

I was watching a TV news report on the wildfires in Australia the other day when the announcer suddenly veered off on a tangent.

Until then the report had focused on the astounding images: people huddling on beaches or bobbing offshore on boats, desperately spraying homes with garden hoses against backdrops of burnt-orange skies out of an apocalyptic nightmare.

No doubt there was more to tell, but without warning the host launched into a finger-pointing session on global warming. There was nothing new or different, more a case of claiming victory. Hah, people are suffering! See! We were right! Admit it, this is all your fault! Continue Reading →

Why Scott Morrison slammed calls to end coal mining as ‘reckless’: Australia’s $52billion industry employs 50,000 – as China builds dozens of power plants and India’s power consumption surges by 22 per cent – by Stephen Johnson (Daily Mail Australia – December 23, 2019)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected calls from radical climate change activists to ban the export of coal – an industry worth $52billion a year. For the first time since the early 1970s, Australia exports are worth more than imports, thanks to strong demand from China and India for this electricity-generating commodity.

Radical climate change activists, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, want Australia to immediately cease exporting coal, as the world’s two most populated nations build new coal-fired power stations – with Australian coal.

They stormed the Prime Minister’s Kirribilli House residence in Sydney last week, as he holidayed in Hawaii, demanding that he ban the fossil fuel. Doing so would cost Australia more than $52billion and jeopardise the jobs of 50,000 people involved in coal mining. Continue Reading →