Archive | Europe Mining

Goldman Sachs Warns Rusal Shock May Drive Aluminum to $3,000 – by Swansy Afonso (Bloomberg News – April 18, 2018)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says that the extraordinary rally in aluminum unleashed by U.S. sanctions against United Co. Rusal may have way, way further to go, forecasting the metal may spike to $3,000 a metric ton, while raising the possibility of further curbs against Russian coal supplies.

The metal may surge to between $2,800 and $3,000 in the near term as the U.S. moves against the second-largest producer have “dramatically affected” the market, the bank said in a note received Wednesday as it boosted price predictions for three, six and 12 months. The $3,000 target is 25 percent above Tuesday’s close, and almost 50 percent above the price before the curbs.

“U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarchs and the companies that they own or control have dramatically affected the aluminum market,” the bank said. “The uncertainty associated with our forecasts is great. In the event that resolutions are not found quickly enough, prices are likely to exceed our forecasts.” Continue Reading →

Major Russian polluter pledges to turn over a ‘green’ leaf on national television – by Anna Kireeva and Charles Digges ( – April 17, 2018)

In a wide ranging appearance on Russian national television, Vladimir Potanin, the president of Norilsk Nickel, a long-time, heavy-duty polluter, made the case that his company has turned over a new leaf, and hitched its future to producing “green” products in an environmentally friendly manner.

Potanin’s remarks were pitched first and foremost to car manufactures, who are themselves in the process of revamping their own production to account for tighter worldwide emissions standards and boosting their offerings of electric and hybrid vehicles.

But he also provided the first look at how the Siberian industrial giant plans to reel in its pollution – a clear nod to environmentalists who have long demanded that the company detail its approach to staunching harmful emissions. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Nornickel exec says in talks with battery makers on investments, cooperation – by Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – April 18, 2018)

SHANGHAI, April 18 (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel , or Nornickel, is in talks with battery makers over possible investment in its mining assets, but is also interested in downstream joint ventures in return, a company executive said on Wednesday.

“We might be interested in having some deeper cooperation, say on the battery side, and building a more complete value chain,” Anton Berlin told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a battery materials conference in Shanghai.

Nornickel is looking for “more than just an offtake (sales) agreement,” he said, adding that a downstream joint venture in China would be a possibility. Discussions are at an early stage however, and the company is “not in any rush,” he said. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Rusal sanctions shockwaves slam into aluminium market – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – April 16, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – The aluminium market has never experienced anything like it. Since the United States imposed sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and United Company Rusal on April 6, aluminium has been in turmoil.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) price hit a six-year high of $2,340 per tonne last Friday. The weekly rally of nearly 12 percent was the largest since the launch of the LME’s high-grade contract in 1987.

Physical premiums in the United States are at three-year highs and the price of alumina is going haywire. The tremors caused by sanctions on the world’s largest producer outside China are still racing down multiple channels of a supply chain that has historically been defined by surplus metal. Continue Reading →

Lithium demand surge turns light on Europe’s mines – by William Wikes (Wall Street Journal/Market Watch – April 13, 2018)

BERLIN — Rocketing demand and prices for lithium, coupled with China’s stranglehold on supply, are reviving interest in mining Europe’s reserves of the coveted metal some call white petroleum.

Prices for lithium used in the batteries that power anything from mobile phones to Teslas more than doubled to $21,000 a ton in the past two years. Analysts expect the lithium-ion battery market to surpass $90 billion by 2025 as electric vehicles become commonplace and growing use of wind and sun power forces utilities to invest in large electricity storage facilities.

But while European businesses use 25% of the world’s lithium, a group of Chinese companies has secured a potential stranglehold on the Australian and South American mines that produce almost all the world’s battery-grade metal. Continue Reading →

Can China fill aluminum shortage after Rusal sanctioned? – by Eric Onstad and Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – April 12, 2018)

LONDON/MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Dominant aluminum producer China may help fill a gap in global supply after the United States slapped sanctions on Russia’s aluminum giant Rusal.

But a tangle of tariffs will obstruct flows to the United States so aluminum consumers will need to find other solutions as well, industry experts said.

International prices, which have shot up more than 10 percent since the sanctions were announced, will have to rise further to lure exports from China, whose metal faces a range of tariffs and duties. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Vladimir Putin’s Russia roars but its economy can’t sustain a superpower – by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Australian Financial Review – April 12, 2018)

Russia’s GDP was smaller than that of Texas even before the latest and most lethal sanctions imposed by Washington. It has diminished further to Benelux proportions after the rouble’s 10 per cent crash this week, the steepest fall since the late ’90s.

Upon this slender economic base, Vladimir Putin’s Russia is posing as a world-class superpower, the new master of the Middle East, insisting on its “droit de regard” over the old Tsarist realms as if by natural right. What is extraordinary is that anybody should believe in such posturing.

The harsher truth is that Mr Putin squandered the windfall wealth of the commodity supercycle and hollowed out what remained of the Soviet industrial base, leaving Russia’s Potemkin economy in a cul de sac. Continue Reading →

Deripaska’s empire under threat as U.S. hits Russia with sanctions – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – April 11, 2018)

Only six months ago, Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, said to be President Vladimir Putin’s favourite oligarch, was on top of the world. He had just pulled off a remarkable feat: the listing of his hydropower and aluminum holdings company EN+ Group on the London Stock Exchange, the first Russian company to do so since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.

Today, he is fighting to save his empire from destruction. On Friday, he and eight of his industrial companies were hit with punishing U.S. sanctions that could last years.

While Mr. Deripaska was only one of seven Russian oligarchs and a dozen of their business to land on the sanctions list, he has the most to lose, given the vast scale of his Russian holdings, which have 150,000 employees. Continue Reading →

Rusal bonds slump, customers review contracts as U.S. sanctions bite – by Polina Ivanova (Reuters U.S. – April 10, 2018)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Rusal’s (0486.HK) dollar bonds slumped to record lows, two major customers said they were reviewing their contracts, and the London Metal Exchange distanced itself from the aluminum giant on Tuesday, in the latest aftershocks from U.S. sanctions.

The sanctions imposed on Rusal and its boss, metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, mark the first time a major international company has been targeted by Washington in its moves to punish Russia for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

While Russian markets, including the rouble, fell across the board on Monday, Rusal assets were hardest hit, with its Hong Kong-listed shares halving in value and the company warning it risked tipping into technical default. Continue Reading →

Kinross Gold shares slide nearly 9 per cent amid Russian market selloff – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 9, 2018)

Shares in Kinross Gold Corp. fell the most in 17 months, amid a widespread stock market selloff in Russia. The Toronto-based senior gold producer operates the Kupol and Dvoinoye gold mines in Russia, which accounted for about a fifth of Kinross’s gold production last year.

On Friday, the United States imposed sanctions on a number of Russian oligarchs, freezing their assets and banning any U.S. business dealings with them.

The move is an attempt to reprimand Russian President Vladimir Putin’s business allies for what the U.S. Treasury Department calls “malign activity,” including supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, and for allegedly tampering with the U.S. election in 2016. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto stands to win from Rusal sanctions; U.S. consumers to lose – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – April 9, 2018)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Rio Tinto will be among the biggest winners from the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russian aluminum giant United Company Rusal as the penalties further shake up the global metals trade and boost costs for U.S. consumers, industry sources said on Monday.

The United States on Friday imposed the sanctions against businessmen, companies and government officials that are considered associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin in one of Washington’s most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for a range of activities.

Rusal, the world’s second-largest aluminum producer, and its former President Oleg Deripaska were included on the list. Rusal said the sanctions “may be materially adverse to the business and prospects of the group.” Shares plunged 50 percent in Hong Kong on Monday. Continue Reading →

Eldorado Gold wins arbitration ruling over Skouries gold and copper mine in Greece – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 5, 2018)

Eldorado Gold Corp.’s plans to build a new gold and copper mine in Europe got a shot in the arm on Wednesday, after it received a favourable arbitration ruling in Greece.

But questions remain over the timing of when the junior gold company might get the project into production and how it will fund the operation.

Last September, Eldorado’s ambitions to develop the Skouries high-grade gold and copper project was cast in doubt after the Greek government objected to its treatment plan for metal concentrates, as outlined in a prior technical report. Continue Reading →

Eldorado scores key win in row with Greece over projects – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 4, 2018)

Canada’s Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD)(NYSE:EGO) has won a key battle in its ongoing row with Greece after an arbitration panel ruled in favour of the company’s plans to build a plant for treating concentrates form the Olympias and Skouries projects, in the country’s north.

The panel’s verdict rejects the Greek government’s motion that the company violated its contractual obligations by submitting a deficient plan for the Madem Lakkos metallurgy plant, Eldorado said.

Authorities had also argued Eldorado breached a 2003 contract by which its subsidiary Hellas Gold acquired the Kassandra assets — Olympias, Skouries and Stratoni — in the country’s Halkidiki region. Continue Reading →

Nickel reserves in Murmansk Region’s mine sufficient for decades to go ( – April 3, 2018)

MURMANSK, April 3. /TASS./ The Severny mine, the main supplier of raw material to the Kola MMC (part of Norilsk Nickel), will be developed until 2060, the Kola MMC’s Deputy Director General Konstantin Nesterov told TASS.

“The company’s plans focus on – further development of the southern underground section and opening of the next horizon – 740 meters,” he said. “Thus, we shall extend the mine’s work to approximately the 2060s.”

The company did not specify the stock’s amounts. According to the Kola MMC, in 2017, the company’s geologists completed a unique project – they made a large digital model of the Severny mine. The audited all mining operations, installed new software, and all data from paper sections and plans were converted into the digital format. Continue Reading →

Prairie Mining starts legal action against Poland’s environment ministry (Reuters U.S. – April 3, 2018)

WARSAW, April 3 (Reuters) – Australia’s Prairie Mining said it filed a lawsuit in a Warsaw civil court on Friday against the Polish environment ministry, seeking an extension to the company’s exclusive rights to a mining project in the country.

The news sent the miner’s shares plunging 30 percent in London and 20 percent in Warsaw. Prairie Mining secured in 2015 the exclusive right to apply for a mining concession for the Jan Karski mine in southeast Poland and had until April 2, 2018 to file its application.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it had not been able to apply for the concession because it first needs to obtain an environmental permit from local authorities, which it said has been delayed. Continue Reading →