Archive | Europe Mining

The US head of the world’s largest diamond miner says its sustainability plan isn’t just good for the planet, it’s the future of its business – by Richard Feloni (Business Insider – May 2019)

Despite its position as the world’s largest diamond miner by volume, Alrosa is not a well-known name in the United States, the world’s largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company’s North American division, is on a mission to change that — and she says Alrosa’s sustainability initatives are key.

“Alrosa, as a pure-play mined diamond company, is one of the few companies that can, without question, guarantee the chain of custody and the provenance of the diamonds that they mine,” Foerster told Business Insider.

Alrosa is a publicly traded company whose majority shareholders are Russia’s federal and regional governments, but Foerster said that she’s not concerned with politics when it comes to the brand, given that the company’s mines in Siberia are among the world’s most sustainable. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-BHP to keep Nickel West, Rio looks to Jadar lithium for battery boom (Reuters Africa – May 14, 2019)

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – Global miner BHP will hold on to the Australian nickel operations it previously put up for sale, while Rio Tinto is working on copper and lithium projects as the mining industry bets on demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The biggest mining companies say they are well positioned to provide the metals needed for the shift to EV technology, although they acknowledge the political risks and environmental issues in some of the countries where the best supplies are found.

Nickel is in demand to allow cars to travel further on a single charge. Using more nickel also cuts costs by reducing the use of expensive cobalt, a mainstay of current EV batteries. Continue Reading →

Rusal’s first quarter profits fall as sanctions impact lingers – by Polina Ivanova (Reuters U.S. – May 14, 2019)

(Reuters) – First quarter net profit halved at United Company Rusal year-on-year as the lingering effects of U.S. sanctions and depressed global prices hit the Russian aluminum giant.

However the weak performance is likely to be a one-off event, analysts said, as Rusal continues on the road to recovery following 10 months under U.S. sanctions that severely limited its operations and sent shockwaves through global aluminum markets.

In late January Washington lifted the sanctions, imposed on Rusal and its co-owner Oleg Deripaska in April 2018, after intense negotiations and a series of organizational changes within Rusal. Continue Reading →

On the gemstone trail: A tour of Antwerp’s diamond district – by John Malathronas (CNN Travel – June 12, 2018)

(CNN) — With its flat-fronted 1960s buildings and plain color scheme, Hoveniersstraat might be dismissed as one of the most drab streets in the pretty baroque Belgian city of Antwerp. In fact, it’s one of the most fascinating, and there are several high security clues that give the game away.

The street is protected by a police station, dozens of CCTV cameras and several armed soldiers. The reason: Hoveniersstraat is the center of Antwerp’s — and the world’s — diamond industry.

About 84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all cut diamonds on the planet are traded in this destination today. Located less than an hour from Brussels by train, the Belgian city, has been a major diamond center since medieval times. Continue Reading →

Palladium’s price gap over platinum needs to shrink – Nornickel (Reuters/ – May 13, 2019)

LONDON – The price gap between palladium and its sister metal platinum needs to shrink as number one platinum producer South Africa requires a higher price for the metal to keep investing in new supply, Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said.

Norilsk is the number one producer of palladium, accounting for more than 40% of global output, and is also a leading supplier of platinum. Both metals are used to curb harmful emissions from cars.

While palladium prices have soared by more than a third in the last five years, platinum has slumped by more than 40%. It is now around $490 an ounce cheaper than palladium, against an average premium over the last 30 years of $435. Continue Reading →

Threat of government delay pushed Sirius to markets to fund Yorkshire potash mine – source (Reuters U.K. – May 3, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Sirius Minerals opted to press on with a more complex and expensive funding package to develop its giant potash mine in Yorkshire to avoid a longer wait for government-backed financing, a source familiar with the deal told Reuters.

Sirius had planned to secure a debt financing package for the $3 billion (£2.3 billion) Woodside project – one of the largest mines to be built in Britain for years – from the government, with the rest funded by the market.

The mine has been touted by British Prime Minister Theresa May as the kind of project that fits “the northern powerhouse” — a government scheme to boost investment and jobs in the north of England. In January, finance minister Philip Hammond said discussions on government backing for the project were ongoing. Continue Reading →

FLY ME TO THE MOON: Germany eyes slice of lucrative space market – by Andrea Shalal (Reuters – April 28, 2019)

Facing tough competition from China, the United States and even tiny Luxembourg, Germany is racing to draft new laws and attract private investment to secure a slice of an emerging space market that could be worth $1 trillion a year by the 2040s.

The drive to give Germany a bigger role in space comes as European, Asian and U.S. companies stake out ground in an evolving segment that promises contracts for everything from exploration to mining of outer-space resources.

Firms likely to benefit from any future spending rise in Germany include Airbus, which co-owns the maker of Europe’s Ariane space rockets, and Bremen-based OHB. Continue Reading →

Paris to decide fate of Russia-Canada gold mine in French Guiana – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 22, 2019)

France’s environment minister, François de Rugy, is expected to announce in June the government’s official position on a proposed open-pit gold mine and precious metals industry in French Guiana, potentially the department’s largest, and it has locals divided.

The Montagne d’Or gold project, a joint venture between Russian billionaire Alexey Mordashov’s mining company, Nordgold, and Canadian junior Columbus Gold (TSX: CGT), was originally planned over an 800-hectare site between two protected natural reserves.

But after complaints from opponents to the mine, worried mainly about pollution and biodiversity loss, the French government formed a special committee to evaluate in detail the social and economic benefits, as well as the impacts of a gold mining industry in the French department, wedged between Brazil and Suriname. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel, Russian Platinum ready to invest $3.8 bln in Arctic Palladium project ( – April 10, 2019)

The project will create about 8,000 jobs in the north of the region

ST.PETERSBURG, April 10. /TASS/. Norilsk Nickel and Russian Platinum may invest more than 250 bln rubles ($3.8 bln) in the Arctic Palladium project, Vice-President of Norilsk Nickel Dmitry Pristanskov told TASS on the sidelines of the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg.

According to him, the project involves the development of several platinum-group metal deposits on Taimyr Peninsula (north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory) and investments arte to be made before 2033.

In February 2018, Norilsk Nickel and businessman Musa Bazhaev’s Russian Platinum signed an agreement on strategic partnership, involving the creation of a joint venture for the further development of ore deposits of the Norilsk industrial region. Continue Reading →

KGHM’s mines in Canada face uncertain future – Staff (Sudbury Star – April 11, 2019)

Poland’s KGHM, which operates mines in Sudbury, may freeze some projects in Canada or the U.S. if they require big investments, its chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

“We are not currently thinking about selling foreign assets,” said Marcin Chludzinski told Reuters. “We’re considering strategies for the next few years.” All of KGHM’s foreign mining projects except those in Chile have been put under review, he said.

“It’s not that we want to or have to sell,” Chludzinski told the news agency. “It’s more that we are looking at these assets as a strategic reserve. We’re considering actions similar to those we took at the Morrison mine (north of Sudbury), which is to freeze a project.” Continue Reading →

Germany’s Coal Plants May Be Converted to Giant Batteries – by Brian Parkin and William Wilkes (Bloomberg News – April 10, 2019)

Germany’s dirtiest power plants may avoid the scrap heap in the nation’s coal exit by getting refashioned as giant batteries for storing wind and solar power.

The Energy Ministry proposal is being weighed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition to help ease the phaseout of coal-fired generation in two regions where the fossil fuel is a major prop to the economy and jobs. Her administration promised in February some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) in aid to smooth coal’s 18-year wind down that starts next year.

The Rhine lignite belt in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia and Lusatia in Brandenburg and Saxony host eight big power plants owned by RWE AG and LEAG GmbH. The plants and mining operations support thousands of jobs and Merkel is seeking a smooth transition to a clean-energy economy for both areas. Continue Reading →

Copper producer KGHM may freeze more mines in Canada, U.S.: CEO – by Agnieszka Barteczko (Reuters Canada – April 10, 2019)

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s KGHM, one of the world’s biggest copper and silver producers, has no plan to sell its foreign assets but may freeze some in Canada or the United States if they require big investments, its chief executive said.

State-run KGHM, which for many years had focused only on Poland, accessed Chilean, Canadian and U.S. metal deposits through its almost $3 billion purchase of Quadra FNX in 2012, the largest foreign acquisition by any Polish company.

Since then, KGHM’s foreign assets have struggled with rising costs, falling copper prices, technical problems and higher-than-expected capital spending, which raised questions over KGHM’s plans regarding their potential sale. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Nornickel invests $2.3 billion in cutting sulphur dioxide emissions ( – April 10, 2019)

ST. PETERSBURG, April 10. /TASS/. The Norilsk Nickel Mining and Metallurgical Company (Nornickel) plans to invest more than 150 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) in processing sulphur dioxide at its Polar Division’s facilities, the company’s Vice President Dmitry Pristanskov told the international Arctic forum on Tuesday.

“The Northern Project is absolutely non-commercial, it is a part of the national Ecology project,” the company’s representative said. “The company plans to attract more than 150 billion rubles in Russian technologies to cut sulphur dioxide emissions by 75%.”

TASS wrote earlier that under the Clear Air federal project, which is a part of the Ecology national project, Nornickel would invest in cutting emissions in Norilsk about 123 billion rubles ($1.9 billion). Continue Reading →

In Asbest, Russia, Making Asbestos Great Again – by Andrew Higgins (New York Times – April 7, 2019)

ASBEST, Russia — Sniped at for decades by health advocates, Russia’s doggedly defiant producer of asbestos — a substance banned as a killer by more than 60 countries — thinks it has perhaps finally found the perfect figure for a campaign to rehabilitate the product’s deeply stained image: President Trump.

“Trump is on our side,” said Vladimir V. Kochelayev, chairman of the board of Uralasbest, one of the world’s few remaining producers of asbestos, citing what he said were reports that the Trump administration was easing restrictions on asbestos use.

The United States stopped mining asbestos in 2002, but the material still pours onto the world market from a huge hole in the ground in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Continue Reading →

Gold train hunter strikes GOLD with discovery of priceless 500-year-old renaissance wall art – by Stuart Dowell (The First News – March 4, 2019)

A Polish explorer who spent years hunting for a Nazi gold train has finally struck gold following the discovery of 24 priceless renaissance wall portraits dating back 500 years.

Piotr Koper made his sensational discovery after finding the portraits hidden behind the plastered walls of a palace he was renovating in the village of Struga near Wrocław.

The construction entrepreneur and lover of local mysteries was carefully lowering the remains of a dome that once covered the palace ballroom when he noticed fragments of paintings under old plasterwork. Continue Reading →