Archive | Australia/New Caledonia/Papua New Guinea Mining

‘Deal with the disaster’: the girl from Bougainville who grew up to take on a mining giant – by Leanne Jorari and Ben Doherty (The Guardian – October 16, 2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/

For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has cast a pall.

The Panguna mine in Bougainville, eastern Papua New Guinea, has not yielded a single ounce in her lifetime – forced shut the year before Matbob was born – but she grew up in the shadow of the violent civil war it provoked.

When she was just three years old, her father, John Roka, was murdered by the secessionist soldiers who had forced the mine to close. Spending years in a “care centre” run by the PNG defence force, she remembers a childhood dominated by an all-pervasive fear, where the sound of gunshots regularly rang out across the valley, where neighbours disappeared from their homes, their bodies later found slaughtered. Continue Reading →

Canada, Australia and U.S. launch the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 16, 2020)

http://resourceclips.com/

Increasing concern about the need for non-Chinese supply chains has generated much talk but fewer tangible efforts. Recent news, however, outlines plans formulated by two of the world’s major mining countries along with the world’s largest economy.

Canada, Australia and the U.S. intend to work together on the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative. Following bi-national MOUs that the U.S. signed with each of the others, the CMMI intends to have the trans-national trio pool its knowledge, co-operate on research and provide publicly available info.

The collaboration calls for the three countries to:

-share data
-unify critical minerals analyses
-build on existing datasets
-identify gaps in knowledge
-learn more about critical minerals in different deposit types
-enhance working relationships Continue Reading →

LANG HANCOCK: Clash of the dynasties: Pilbara’s role as kingmaker for nation’s wealthy makes it a risk worth fighting over – by Aja Styles (Sydney Morning Herald – October 19, 2020)

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

The legal war being waged by Wright Prospecting over Pilbara iron ore tenement Hope Downs, coupled with its acquisition of Rhodes Ridge, has the capacity to reshape Western Australia’s mining landscape for generations to come.

Edith Cowan University business lecturer Tom Barratt says Wright’s improved riches could allow it to become more active in a region that has produced the nation’s biggest mining heavyweights.

Wright Prospecting is chasing a 25 per cent stake in the Hope Downs 4, 5 and 6 mining tenements – currently split 50/50 between Hancock Prospecting and Rio Tinto – as well as half the royalties from Hope Downs 1, 2 and 3. Continue Reading →

Clash of the dynasties: Legal showdown looms over Lang Hancock’s multi-billion dollar iron ore tenement – by Aja Styles (Sydney Morning Herald – September 3, 2020)

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

The end game in a historic feud over Western Australia’s iron ore throne looks set to begin as the Pilbara’s biggest mining dynasties prepare to clash in the Supreme Court.

The historic showdown will unearth the 1960s business dealings of late mining magnate Lang Hancock relating to the multibillion-dollar Hope Downs iron ore tenement in what is shaping up to become the state’s biggest civil court case.

On the one side is Mr Hancock’s daughter and the richest woman in Australia, Gina Rinehart, coupled with her company Hancock Prospecting. On the other are the heirs of Mr Hancock’s business partner, Peter Wright, and the descendants of a third Pilbara mining pioneer, Don Rhodes. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Key EV Potential Beyond Elon Musk and Tesla – by Priscila Barrera (Australia Investing News – October 14, 2020)

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Battery metals investors around the world continue to talk about the news, plans and ideas discussed at Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Battery Day in September.

The California-based automaker led by Elon Musk unveiled plans to reduce battery cell and pack costs with one main goal in mind: building a US$25,000 electric vehicle (EV).

Musk announced on stage that Tesla will be building a cathode facility in Texas, and will be sourcing its raw materials from North America. He also said the company has rights to lithium-rich clay operations in Nevada, which it could potentially use to secure supply of that raw material. Continue Reading →

As nations clamor for ex-China rare earths supplies, Lynas urges cash support – by Anthony Barich (SP Global – October 14, 2020)

https://www.spglobal.com/

A Lynas Corp. Ltd. executive said state and federal governments need to put up “cold, hard cash” for the company’s A$500 million processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, amid broader concerns around proposed foreign investment reforms and a greater focus on ex-China supply chains.

During an Oct. 14 Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum presentation in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Lynas Vice President of Upstream Kam Leung laid out the “challenges” of developing downstream processing in the state, including higher input costs and higher capital costs, particularly linked to labor, and the “tyranny of distance” of vast trucking expanses.

Leung said government funding was needed for often complex and high-cost downstream processing to be globally competitive, given what he cited in his presentation as an “increasing focus on resilient critical minerals supply chains” among Australia, Europe, India, the U.S. and Japan. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold gets good news in Papua New Guinea – by Peter Kennedy (Resource World – October 15, 2020)

https://resourceworld.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE] received some good news on Thursday October 15 when Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said Barrick and its Chinese joint venture partner Zijin Mining can continue to operate the Porgera gold mine.

According to published reports, the announcement follows talks in Port Moresby, the Papua New Guinea capital, and coincides with the release today of Barrick’s third quarter 2020 production results, which were largely in line with expectations.

Barrick shares were virtually unchanged on the news, easing 0.86% or $0.32 to $36.89 on volume of 2.25 million. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $41.09 and $17.52. Continue Reading →

Can a mining state be pro-heritage? Vital steps to avoid another Juukan Gorge – by Jo McDonald (The Conversation – October 14, 2020)

https://theconversation.com/

Jo McDonald is the Director, Centre for Rock Art Research + Management, University of Western Australia.

The destruction of 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge sites in the Pilbara has created great distress for their traditional owners, seismic shockwaves for heritage professionals and appalled the general public.

The fallout for Rio Tinto has been profound as has the groundswell of criticism of Western Australia’s outdated heritage laws. A path forward must ensure a pivotal role for Indigenous communities and secure Keeping Places for heritage items. More broadly, we need more Indigenous places added to the National Heritage List, ensuring them the highest form of heritage protection.

In a state heavily dependent on mining, the model for this could follow the successful seven-year heritage collaboration I have been part of on-country with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) and Rio Tinto in the Dampier Archipelago (Murujuga). Continue Reading →

BHP thinks big on nickel after Musk dangles supply contract – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – October 13, 2020)

https://www.afr.com/

BHP fanned speculation that it is closing in on an off-take deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla after moving to boost nickel production while reducing carbon emissions in Western Australia.

Eddy Haegel, the boss of BHP’s reborn Nickel West business, said it would continue to acquire prospective nickel tenements in WA after investing in new and existing mines and boosting processing capacity.

Nickel West has also started commissioning work at its delayed nickel sulphate plant at Kwinana, south of Perth, as it doubles up on the battery metal. Continue Reading →

Resurgent WA nickel attracting battery and car manufacturers (Australian Mining – October 13, 2020)

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Battery manufacturers and automakers are increasingly looking to invest in nickel projects to secure supply and the resurgent West Australian sector stands to benefit, according to Mincor Resources managing director David Southam.

Talks between miner BHP and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla over a potential nickel deal were last week reported by Bloomberg.

Both parties declined to comment but it hasn’t stopped the speculation being a key point of discussion at the annual Diggers and Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie. Continue Reading →

Why Rio Tinto and China are at loggerheads (The Economist – October 10, 2020)

https://www.economist.com/

China does not like to feel jealous of Japan. But in the case of iron ore it has plenty to envy. Back in the 1960s, when Japan was building up its steel industry, the world’s supply of the stuff was so fragmented that Japan could play off producers in Australia and Brazil against each other.

China, now the world’s biggest steelmaker, does not have that luxury. Though it imports 70% of the world’s iron ore, most of this comes from three companies that in the intervening six decades have become titans.

They are Rio Tinto and BHP, two Anglo-Australian firms, and Vale, a Brazilian one. They have brought about consolidation in the industry. They benefit from high barriers to entry. None is keen to undercut the other two. That puts them in a far stronger position vis à vis Chinese customers than their predecessors were with the Japanese. Continue Reading →

Tesla is in talks with top miner BHP over nickel-supply pact – by Yvonne Yue Li and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – October 6, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

Tesla Inc. is in talks with BHP Group on a nickel deal as the electric-car maker targets higher production and seeks to avoid a supply crunch, according to people familiar with the matter.

Talks are held up on pricing, and no final agreement has been reached so far between the automaker and BHP, the world’s largest miner, said one of the people, requesting anonymity because the talks are private.

The discussions come as Tesla works to raise the amount of the metal used in vehicle batteries to improve performance, and as it makes a push into in-house cell production. Continue Reading →

$11.5 Billion Australian Merger Could Trigger A Global Gold Rush – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – October 6, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

There’s a new member of the world’s mining elite with a friendly merger in Australia creating a top 10 gold producer in a move which could potentially act as a trigger for a wave of similar deals.

The $11.5 billion amalgamation of Norther Star Resources and Saracen Mineral Holdings has been expected since last year when the two became joint owners of the Fimiston mine on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie, Australia’s gold capital.

Also known as the Superpit, the mine has been in continuous production for more than 100 years and ranks as one of the biggest man-made holes on the earth’s surface and one of Australia’s biggest mines. Continue Reading →

New Caledonia voters choose to stay part of France – by Charlotte Antoine-Perron (Associated Press/CTV News – October 4, 2020)

https://www.ctvnews.ca/

NOUMEA, NEW CALEDONIA — A majority of voters in New Caledonia, an archipelago in in the South Pacific, chose to remain part of France instead of backing independence Sunday, leading French President Emmanuel Macron to call for dialogue, as the referendum marked a crucial step in a three-decade long decolonization effort.

In a televised address from Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed “an expression of confidence in the Republic with a deep feeling of gratitude… and modesty.”

Macron promised pro-independence supporters “this is with you, all together, that we will build New Caledonia tomorrow.” He praised the “success” of the vote and called on New Caledonia residents to “look to the future.” Continue Reading →

A brutal war and rivers poisoned with every rainfall: how one mine destroyed an island – by Matthew G. Allen (The Conversation – September 30, 2020)

https://theconversation.com/

Matthew G. Allen is a Professor of Development Studies at The University of the South Pacific.

This week, 156 people from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea, petitioned the Australian government to investigate Rio Tinto over a copper mine that devastated their homeland.

In 1988, disputes around the notorious Panguna mine sparked a lengthy civil war in Bougainville, leading to the deaths of up to 20,000 people. The war is long over and the mine has been closed for 30 years, but its brutal legacy continues.

When I conducted research in Bougainville in 2015, I estimated the deposit of the mine’s waste rock (tailings) downstream from the mine to be at least a kilometre wide at its greatest point. Local residents informed me it was tens of metres deep in places. Continue Reading →