[Diamonds by Marijan Dundek] Manual refresh – by Phyllis Schiller (Rapaport Magazine – August 2022)

https://www.diamonds.net/

The newly updated edition of industry reference book Diamonds takes readers on an in-depth journey through fancy colors, famous stones, and a case study of the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.

For author and diamond consultant Marijan Dundek, diamonds are, simply put, “one of nature’s true marvels.” They were “created deep beneath the earth’s surface billions of years ago by the forces of heat and pressure. They are rare, have unique properties and are highly prized, yet are born from the most basic element that is common to all life: carbon,” he says.

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VOLT RUSH THE WINNERS AND LOSERS IN THE RACE TO GO GREEN, REVIEWED – by Simon Cocking (Irish Tech News – July 8, 2022)

https://irishtechnews.ie/

EVs has been touted as the technological solution that will help to save our planet, and, potentially to save us from ourselves. The switch to electric vehicles would reduce CO2 emissions, pollution, keeping (potentially) fossil fuels in the ground. Henry Sanderson however takes us on a carefully considered and well explained journey to show that it may not be as simple a transition as we hoped for.

Sanderson has chapters specifically analysing the key elements, often rare earth minerals, that are vital to the creation of the necessary batteries to drive these vehicles. Lithium, cobalt and nickel among others are all forensically considered, with often concerning impacts on people and planet.

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Book Review–Cobalt: Cradle of the Demon Metals, Birth of a Mining Superpower – by Daniel Sekulich (Northern Miner – February 17, 2022)

Global mining news

As work continues to create a greener, cleaner future for the planet, the rush to find critical minerals that will spearhead the transition away from fossil-fueled energy has taken on a greater urgency. Explorers and developers are actively seeking out new sources of nickel, copper and lithium throughout the globe.

And then there’s cobalt, a metal whose ability to store energy has already made it crucial for everything from laptops to smartphones, and gives it an even more important role in the green revolution. This has led to a renewed interest in securing sources of the metal across Canada, including around the namesake community of Cobalt, in northern Ontario.

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Charlie Angus’s novel Cobalt reveals reality of mining – by Jamie Portman (Canada.com – February 2022)

https://o.canada.com/

“There’s something absolutely beguiling about these great mineral rushes,” Angus says.

There were the cockroach races that saw miners betting as much as a $1,000 on the outcome. There was the day vaudeville performer Daisy Primrose walked down the street in Harem pants, a new form of female apparel so scandalous that it had been condemned by the Pope. There’s even an appearance by a dog named Bobbie Burns who may well have been the inspiration for Hollywood’s most celebrated canine star.

So if Charlie Angus had wanted, he could easily have confined himself to delivering a robust history of Cobalt, the fabled Northern Ontario mining town in which the New Democrat MP has long lived. But although he is a born storyteller with a passion for popular history that matches the best of Pierre Berton and James H. Gray, Angus had a lot more on his mind when he set out to write his latest book, Cobalt.

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New Book Explores Appalachia’s Coal Mined Landscapes – by Robbie Harris (Radio IQ WVTF.org – July 8, 2021)

https://www.wvtf.org/

For more than a hundred years, coal from Appalachia helped power the nation and the world. But that’s changing as new forms of clean energy emerge. A new book documents the rise of coal and its eminent decline, when coal is no longer king.

Without coal, there might never have been an industrial revolution. But the new revolution in cleaner energy is clearly coming, so scientists from Virginia Tech and West Virginia University, set out to document everything they could find, regarding the coal economy of the past 2 centuries and a way of life that sustained communities.

“The title is, “Appalachia, Coal, Mined, Landscapes, Resources, and Communities in a New Energy Era.” Carl Zipper is professor emeritus in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginian Tech.

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As Germany Acknowledges Its Colonial-Era Genocide in Namibia, the Brutal Legacy of Diamond Mining Still Needs a Reckoning – by Steven Press (Time Magazine – June 10, 2021)

https://time.com/

Steven Press is the author of Blood and Diamonds: Germany’s Imperial Ambitions in Africa, available from Harvard University Press.

Between 1904 and 1908, Germany’s military and leadership oversaw the killing of at least 80,000 Africans in what is now the independent country of Namibia. On May 28, Germany apologized. Declaring his country’s past violence in Namibia “genocidal,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also pledged $1.3 billion in aid to Namibians, whose capital, Windhoek, still has a prominent street named after Otto von Bismarck.

The German apology is a commendable step and important precedent. But its parameters are inadequate, and one reason why may be embedded in your family’s heirloom engagement ring.

Millions of carats in diamonds have been exported from Namibia since 1908. These same sparkling stones have a dirty history tied to German colonial rule. Right now, official statements about Germany’s debt to Namibia do not account for those gemstones at all.

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‘A life well lived’: Veteran journalist and writer Mick Lowe has passed away at age 73 – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Sudbury.com – April 17, 2021)

https://www.sudbury.com/

Award-winning Sudbury journalist and author Mick Lowe passed away peacefully at his home at Pioneer Manor this morning. Lowe, who was 73, died as a result of complications from a fall he suffered about three weeks ago.

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and immigrated to Canada in 1970 as a Vietnam War draft dodger. Lowe’s journalism has appeared in a range of publications such as Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Canadian Lawyer, the Globe and Mail and on CBC Radio.

Lowe is also a former editor of Northern Life, Sudbury.com’s predecessor publication, and the author of seven books (with another pending publication), as well as a former lecturer in Cambrian College’s now-defunct journalism program.

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Stanford Historian Traces Colonial Origins of Conflict Diamonds in Namibia – by Sandra Feder (The Namibian – April 14, 2021)

https://www.namibian.com.na/

WHEN STANFORD historian Steven Press was trying to unearth hidden narratives about Germany’s colonial activities in South West Africa’s highly secretive diamond industry, he pursued that age-old maxim to “follow the money”.

Steven Press is an assistant professor of history in the School of Humanities and Sciences. His new book, Blood and Diamonds, traces the devastating cost of diamond mining and German colonial domination in Namibia during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Chasing that trail led to some disturbing discoveries about the full extent of Germany’s ruthlessness as it pursued its economic aspirations in the African country now known as Namibia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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High notes and hard hats: The Men of the Deeps look to add new voices – by Erin Pottie (CBC News Nova Scotia – February 26, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/

Interest shown from mine workers who spent time in western Canada and at idled Donkin mine

The Men of the Deeps want to add new voices to their singing ensemble. But unlike many choirs around the continent, this group has a prerequisite — coal mining experience.

Ernie Kliza, who sings baritone in the group, said members serve as ambassadors to the island’s mining history and folklore. “It’s a similar camaraderie to when we actually worked in the mines, like each person watching over the other person,” said Kliza, who worked in the mining industry for 23 years.

“The singing and the storytelling is to perpetuate the various events that took place over the last hundreds of years.”

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Murder and New York’s Diamond District – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – December 3, 2020)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Rob Bates did not set out to write a cozy mystery, a subgenre of crime fiction in which an amateur detective, typically a woman, solves a murder in a small town. But in “A Murder Is Forever,” a novel published in October by Camel Press, he wrote just that — except the small town is New York City’s diamond district.

The heroine, Mimi Rosen, is an unemployed journalist who makes ends meet by answering phones at her father’s diamond business on West 47th Street. When a dealer in the district’s tightknit community of Orthodox Jews is murdered, she is determined to bring the killer to justice.

As news director of JCK, a 151-year-old jewelry trade publication based in New York — where he works with me, the editor in chief — Mr. Bates is familiar with the district and its people.

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Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus announces new book about Cobalt: the town and the metal – by Lydia Chubak (CTV Northern Ontario – September 13, 2020)

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/

TIMMINS — He’s a member of parliament, a musician and an author. Timmins-James Bay MP (NDP) Charlie Angus has written a new book–his eighth–and this time, it’s focussed on the town of Cobalt which he calls ‘the cradle of Canada’s mining industry.’

It’s not out yet, but he said he’s already signed a deal with a national publisher.

“We’re going to see this town play I think and an important role. (Cobalt) is a mineral that should not be the blood mineral and a mineral of such toxic environmental damage but a mineral that could actually lead us to a better and cleaner digital future,” said Angus.

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Homestake history detailed in Mitchell book – by Tim Velder (Rapid City Journal – December 2, 2002)

https://rapidcityjournal.com/

The history of the Homestake Mining Company in the Black Hills is a parallel with the overall history of the region, taking it from the unsettled Indian country in the mid-1870s, to an industrially-developed area rich with natural resources.

Steven T. Mitchell, a former manager at the Homestake Mine, has detailed this historical transition and permanent presence the mining company had in this area in a new book to be released this month titled “Nuggets to Neutrinos: The Homestake Story.”

Mitchell, a life-long resident of the Black Hills, recently discussed his new book during a special presentation at the Adams Museum. His book tells the story of how the Homestake Mine came into existence and its development into the largest underground mine in the world.

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[Cobalt Silver Mining] Ghostly tales from Ontario’s past make great summer reading – by Miriam King (Orillia Matters – May 30, 2020)

https://www.orilliamatters.com/

Exploring the fascinating landscape and history of Cobalt, Ontario; It’s a fun read, perfect for a summer night

Ontario is filled with ‘ghost towns’ – towns that experienced an economic boom, grew swiftly to encompass the lives and dreams of their residents, and then experienced a decline.

Many were mining towns, abandoned when mines closed or deposits ran out. Some, like Dalton Mills and Creighton, were abandoned. Only ruins stand where there was once a thriving community.

Others still exist but as a mere shadow of their former glory, like the town of Cobalt. Located about halfway between North Bay and Timmins near Lake Temiskaming, once the “silver capital” of Canada, the town had a population of over 12,000 during the boom years.

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Steve Earle’s new album considers coal miners’ perspective – by Steven Wine (WJLA.com/Associated Press – May 20, 2020)

https://wjla.com/

Contemplating the treacherous political landscape of West Virginia, Steve Earle decided to build a bridge.

The singer-songwriter known for his liberal views undertook a project that would speak for the other side on the issue of coal mining. Earle’s empathetic attempt to address the divide has resulted in one of his best albums: “Ghosts of West Virginia.”

The set draws material from the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 men. Earle wrote folk songs for a play about the disaster, and has used them as the foundation of a concept album that considers coal’s role in the life of West Virginians from their perspective.

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HISTORICAL BOOK: From Nazis to refineries: How Switzerland has handled the world’s gold – by Dominique Soguel-dit-Picard (Swiss Info.ch – June 23, 2019)

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/

Written by Swiss anti-corruption watchdog Mark Pieth, Gold Laundering – the dirty secrets of the gold trade and how to clean up shines a light on the key players in the gold industry, the different risks associated with large-scale versus artisanal mining, and the shortcomings of various international regulations and certification schemes.

How did we get here? In a discussion with swissinfo.ch, Pieth explained the history of how Switzerland came to be at the heart of a highly profitable but opaque trade. These are some of the key historical moments in the Swiss gold story, according to him.

World War II – Swiss neutrality and Nazi gold

Pieth says that Switzerland benefited from its neutrality during World War II by purchasing vast amounts of gold from Allied and Axis powers. It exchanged the precious metal for Swiss francs, the only free convertible currency at the time outside the American dollar.

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