Archive | Europe Mining

Europe Floors It in the Race to Dominate Car Batteries – by Laura Millan Lombrana, Chris Reiter and Richard Weiss (Bloomberg News – February 19, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Outside the German town of Arnstadt, workers for China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) are hustling to build Europe’s biggest electric-car battery plant.

The site, which covers an area equivalent to about 100 football fields, previously housed one of the continent’s largest solar-panel factories. During a visit in October, wooden crates filled with surplus equipment were stacked up outside the metal-clad structure to make way for car-battery-making equipment. Roaring bulldozers swarmed a nearby lot to prep for construction of a new building.

The $2 billion project—one of about a half dozen battery factories under construction in Germany alone—worries European policymakers, who are desperate to ensure their auto industry doesn’t lose competitiveness in the transition to electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Miners at Poland’s biggest coal group protest over pay, energy plans (Reuters U.S. – February 17, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

KATOWICE, Poland, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Miners at Poland’s biggest coal producer, state-run PGG, staged a two-hour strike early on Monday, warning they will not renounce demands for a 12% pay rise and a clear national energy plan guaranteeing a future role for coal.

The protest comes as PGG grapples with falling demand for coal and EU pressure to fight climate change.

“We hope that this week we can meet with the government representatives, because the issue of a salary rise is still unsolved. We also want to know what Poland’s future energy mix will look like,” said Boguslaw Hutek, the head of coal trade union Solidarity. Continue Reading →

Poland puts Polish coal first; halts imports: minister – by Agnieszka Barteczko (Reuters U.S. – February 4, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish state-run power producers will halt coal imports, State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin said on Tuesday, after protests by mining trade unions over foreign supplies they say are a threat to the domestic industry.

Poland generates most of its electricity from coal, but domestic output has fallen because of cost-cutting and geological problems in old mines, which had led to higher imports, mostly from Russia.

Last week around 100 miners blocked trains carrying coal to a power plant in the southern town of Laziska Gorne in protest at imports from Russia by state-run energy groups, including PGE and Tauron. Continue Reading →

INSIGHT-Struggling state-owned firms hold Balkan economies back – by Daria Sito-Sucic (Reuters Africa – January 30, 2020)

https://af.reuters.com/

MOSTAR, Bosnia, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The aluminium smelter in the Bosnian town of Mostar has fallen eerily silent since its electricity was cut in July. The only visitors to what was once a model factory in former Yugoslavia are staff filling in redundancy papers.

The closure of debt-laden Aluminij Mostar is symptomatic of the challenges facing countries across the Balkans as they try to keep loss-making state-owned businesses inherited from the communist era afloat in market economies.

The demise of the aluminium exporter also shows how 25 years after the end of the Bosnian war, everything from ethnic rifts to weak corporate governance to corruption are hindering growth, just as the world economy is slowing and European Union membership looks ever more remote. Continue Reading →

Greece to sell troubled nickel producer Larco’s assets: minister (Reuters U.S. – January 24, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece plans to liquidate Larco, one of Europe’s biggest nickel producers which is struggling under heavy debt, and then look for an investor for some of the company’s assets, its energy minister said on Friday.

The European Commission said in November it was taking Greece to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over its failure to recover 135.8 million euros ($150.7 million) of illegal state aid to Larco.

The ECJ ruled in 2017 that Greece needed to recover the money, based on a Commission decision in 2014 related to capital injections and state guarantees. Continue Reading →

World’s biggest nickel miner has a plan for its crisis-ridden border town: here could come a hub for Arctic tourism – by Atle Staalesen (The Barents Observer – January 23, 2020)

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/

There is a sense of crisis in the small town of Nikel located on the border to Norway and Finland. Here, most men and women have for the past three generations had their lives closely connected with the local nickel smelter.

Now, the cornerstone industry is closing and several hundred people will be dismissed in the course of the year. Locals fear that Nikel will be abandoned and turned into a ghost town.

However, local authorities and the nickel company assure that there will be new industries created that locals can be re-trained and re-employed in new jobs. Continue Reading →

Spain Nears Life Without Coal Sooner Than Anyone Thought – by Akshat Rathi and Jeremy Hodges (Bloomberg News – January 22, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — From Galicia in the north to Andalucia in the south — Spain’s old coal plants are running out of steam. The Iberian nation last year cut use of the dirtiest fossil fuel faster than anyone else in western Europe as renewable energy and cleaner natural gas take over.

The combustible rock, which has kept the region humming through world wars and economic boom times, is increasingly out of favor with lawmakers and executives under pressure to do more to stop global warming.

“We are in a hurry, we have to move fast, everybody has to move fast,’’ Iberdrola SA Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Galan said on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Spanish utility plans to permanently shut its two remaining coal-fired power stations this year, replacing them with new wind and solar capacity. Continue Reading →

A $4 Billion Mine Was Meant to Lift Northern England. Instead Locals Lost Big – by Ronan Martin and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – January 21, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Anglo American Plc’s plan to buy a giant potash project overlooking England’s North Sea is a bittersweet twist for local residents.

The deal will ensure billions of dollars of investment in the downtrodden region of North Yorkshire. But people like Neil Trillo, one of the thousands who bought shares in project owner Sirius Minerals Plc before it ran out of money, have been left counting their losses.

“It was a bit of a local dream,” Trillo said from behind the counter of his coffee stand in the seaside town Whitby. “Get involved with something local, something on the doorstep with a hundred-year plus tenure. That’s what was sold to investors.” Continue Reading →

How Hard Is It to Quit Coal? For Germany, 18 Years and $44 Billion – by Somini Sengupta and Melissa Eddy (New York Times – January 16, 2020)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Germany announced on Thursday that it would spend $44.5 billion to quit coal — but not for another 18 years, by 2038. The move shows how expensive it is to stop burning the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, despite a broad consensus that keeping coal in the ground is vital to averting a climate crisis, and how politically complicated it is.

Coal, when burned, produces huge amounts of the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for global warming. Germany doesn’t have shale gas, as the United States does, which has led to the rapid decline of coal use in America, despite President Trump’s support for coal.

Germany also faces intense opposition to nuclear power. After the Fukushima disaster in 2011, that opposition prompted the government to start shutting down the country’s nuclear plants, a transition that should be complete by 2022. Continue Reading →

Anglo American Seeks to Buy $3.8 Billion U.K. Potash Mine – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – January 8, 2020)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Anglo American Plc has moved to buy a giant U.K. potash mine that was running out of money, adding another major growth project for the century-old miner.

The deal for Sirius Minerals Plc is likely to secure 1,200 jobs and save the development of a mine in one of the U.K.’s most economically deprived areas. It’s also a further sign that Anglo is committed to growing its business — adding a second major project to its Peruvian copper-mine development — at a time when most rivals are reluctant to expand.

Anglo said it’s in advanced talks with Sirius about a possible 5.5 pence-a-share offer that values the company at about $508 million. While that’s a premium of 34% on Sirius’s closing share price on Jan. 7, the company was worth more than $2.3 billion 18 months ago, before its funding plans dried up. Continue Reading →

Critical minerals and the UK: 5 things to know – by Umar Ali (Mining Technology – January 7, 2020)

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

A recent report from the UK Office of Science and Technology states that while the UK is dependent on imported critical minerals for a number of sectors there is no specific strategy for their supply, a worrying thought considering the implications of recent trade wars. We take a look at five talking points from the report.

The UK has no specific critical mineral strategy

Critical minerals are used to create products of strategic importance for many UK sectors, but the UK has no specific critical minerals strategy and no single department has responsibility for policy regarding these important materials.

Speaking at a conference in May 2019, Mineral Products Association CEO Nigel Jackson said: “Mineral products make an important contribution to the UK economy and underpin almost every aspect of our way of life, from our homes, schools and hospitals to the transport and energy infrastructure we take for granted. Continue Reading →

Dreaming of an Artisanal Christmas – by Ann Mah (New York Times – December 18, 2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/

A Southern California native went looking for an old-fashioned Christmas. She found it in the “Christmas ornament town” of Seiffen, tucked in Germany’s Ore Mountains.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this image of Christmas: a village nestled in a snowy valley, candlelit windows glowing against a night sky. I’m not sure where it came from. Growing up in sunny Southern California, my family strung lights on the palm trees in our yard and went to the beach on Christmas Eve. Most kids know about Santa’s sleigh, but I believed he traveled on a magic speedboat.

As an adult, I’ve searched for that old-fashioned Christmas, one of snow-tipped Yuletide cheer, sleigh rides, sugarplums and freshly cut pine trees trimmed with handcrafted ornaments. Though I visited the Christmas markets in European capitals like London, Paris and Vienna, I never really found it.

Yes, the fairy lights twinkled, the sweet scent of mulled wine drifted, and sometimes snow crunched under my heels. Yes, the market stalls displayed an array of glittering ornaments for the tree and home. Yet upon closer inspection, the decorations were flimsy, their designs repeating from vendor to vendor as if they shared the same supplier: an industrial factory in a distant land. Continue Reading →

Alrosa and Everledger introduce program for blockchain-enabled diamonds – by Elizabeth Cope (Global Mining Review – December 17, 2019)

https://www.globalminingreview.com/

Alrosa and Everledger are introducing a WeChat Mini Program to Chinese retailers, demonstrating the ability of blockchain technology to enable the purchase of diamonds with transparency of their origin, characteristics and ownership history.

Created by diamond producer Alrosa and technology company Everledger, the program pilot aims to provide transparent and secure diamond information for potentially a billion active WeChat users. It is also the first product to capitalise on the synergy between Everledger and their new investor, Tencent, which operates the WeChat social platform.

The program pilot will showcase diamonds from Alrosa, enabling full traceability from mine to consumer. It will be offered as a white label API for jewellery manufacturers and retailers in China who wish to offer consumers more innovative and insightful stories about their products and their brand. Continue Reading →

Alrosa to mine first diamonds from Angola in mid-2020 as market “improving” – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – December 11, 2019)

https://www.mining.com/

The world’s top diamond producer by output, Alrosa (MCX:ALRS) said on Wednesday it planned to start trial mining at a new section of its Luaxe deposit in Angola by mid-2020.

The Russian miner and its partner Catoca Mining — the country’s state-owned diamond company — found Luaxe’s Luele pipe in 2013. They have since been analyzing the deposit’s potential, which they believe may turn out to be the largest diamond discovery in the last 60 years.

Luaxe is located 25 km from the giant Catoca operation — Angola’s largest diamond mine — and is estimated to have the potential to yield up to 350 million carats of diamonds during its productive life. Next year alone, the mine is expected to produce 1 million carats of diamonds worth $90 million, Alrosa said in a workshop hosted by the company. Continue Reading →

Get Sirius: Can the UK’s biggest mining project be saved? – by Julian Turner (Mining Technology – December 11, 2019)

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

Sirius Minerals has cancelled a $500m bond sale to finance its polyhalite mine in North Yorkshire, citing economic conditions and uncertainty around Brexit. Can the UK’s biggest mining project be saved? We talk to Humphrey Knight, potash analyst at business intelligence firm CRU.

Could the UK’s most ambitious mining project really be over before production has even begun? Sirius Minerals has spent the past three years drumming up interest in its £4bn Woodsmith project under the North York Moors National Park.

The firm is building two mile-deep shafts to access what it claims is the world’s largest and highest-grade deposit of polyhalite, a naturally occurring mineral containing potassium, magnesium, calcium and sulphur that can be processed into fertiliser. Continue Reading →