Archive | Europe Mining

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)

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)

(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)

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)

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)

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 ( – December 11, 2019)

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)

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 →

While Canada hesitates, Russia builds 3,000 km gas pipeline to China in just five years – by Victor Ferreira (Financial Post – December 3, 2019)

As multiple Canadian pipeline projects linger in limbo, Russia and China have just turned on the taps on a natural gas behemoth long enough to connect Timmins, Ont., to Burnaby, B.C.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping brought the Power of Siberia pipeline, which will stretch 3,000 km from Siberia into northeast China, online Monday. The US$55 billion pipeline is expected to carry five billion cubic metres of natural gas into China in 2020, with production eventually ramping up and hitting 38 billion cubic metres by 2025.

The partnership between the two nations came in response to the sanctions levied on Russia following its annexation of Crimea. Brutalized by the financial sanctions in particular, Russia desperately needed to bring new capital into the country and China appeared to be an eager partner to supply it. The pipeline is expected to yield Russia US$400 billion over 30 years. Continue Reading →

Climate protesters storm German coal mines (Deutsche Welle – December 30, 2019)

Several major coal mines in eastern Germany were hit by protests on Saturday as activists criticized the German government’s climate change plans and urged an immediate coal phase-out.

Authorities said more than 1,000 people took part in the protests, which targeted the Jänschwalde and Welzow-Süd mines in the state of Brandenburg, as well as the United Schleenhain mine in the state of Saxony.

The environmental group Ende Gelände (End of the Road) put the number of protesters at 4,000. Activists blocked train tracks at some sites, seeking to disrupt the flow of coal to power plants. Continue Reading →

Secret mission moves billions in gold from London to Poland – by Staff (Fox Business – November 30, 2019)

It seems like a page taken out of a spy novel. Four trucks pull out of a “secret” facility somewhere in London while the city sleeps. A police escort on the ground and the air joins the heavy trucks with lights flashing to clear the road and a helicopter whirring above.

The passenger receiving this high-security entourage? Twenty large wooden crates filled with solid gold bars. The events last Friday were not the first time this mission was carried out.

“It was the eighth time we had made the trip, in the middle of the night,” Paul Holt, general manager of G4Si in Europe (North and South), Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, said. “It was all very secretive, and extremely important it was done well.” Any large delivery of gold would seem important given the value of the cargo. But these shipments were important because of the historic significance. Continue Reading →

Denmark says Greenland is a national security concern as ‘great powers’ circle – by Nick Allen (The Telegraph – November 30, 2019)

Denmark has made Greenland a top national security priority after Donald Trump expressed an interest in buying the territory. Mr Trump raised the possibility of purchasing the vast land mass for the United States earlier this year, due to its abundant natural resources and potential future logistical value.

Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister responded at the time that it was not for sale, leading to a diplomatic spat in which Mr Trump called her “nasty” and cancelled a trip to Denmark.

Now, Denmark’s foreign and military intelligence agency has warned of increasing tensions over Greenland involving major powers, including the US, China and Russia, and highlighted the threat ahead of others like terrorism and cybercrime. Continue Reading →

Portugal’s Lusorecursos in talks to fund 400 mln euro lithium project – by Sergio Goncalves (Reuters U.S. – November 27, 2019)

LISBON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Portuguese mining company Lusorecursos said on Wednesday it was negotiating a 400 million euro funding deal with several international players as it gears up to explore for lithium in the country’s northern region.

Portugal is Europe’s biggest lithium producer, but its miners sell almost exclusively to the ceramics industry and are only now preparing to produce the higher-grade lithium that is used in electric cars and to power electronic appliances.

Lusorecursos was awarded a concession to explore a mine in Montalegre, near the Portugal-Spain border, in March this year but final approval depends on the outcome of an environmental impact study. Continue Reading →

Gold ‘symbolizes strength’: Poland repatriates 100 tons from London – by Anna Golubova (Kitco News – November 25, 2019

(Kitco News) After boosting its gold reserves for the past two years, Poland is bringing its gold back home.

In its latest move, Poland repatriated 100 tons of gold from the Bank of England’s storage in London to show the strength of the country’s economy, said the National Bank of Poland (NBP) on Monday. “The gold symbolizes the strength of the country,” Poland’s central bank Governor Adam Glapinski told reporters.

Poland’s precious metals will now be stored in the central bank’s treasury, NBP noted. Also, the trend of bringing the precious metal back home will continue if the “reserve situation is favorable,” with at least half of Poland’s gold reserves to be stored at home, Glapinski added. Continue Reading →

The Tragic True Story Behind The Crown’s Aberfan Mining Disaster Episode – by Samantha Vincenty (Oprah Magazine – November 20, 2019)

In its three seasons, The Crown has educated many of its viewers on events that their history books may have skipped, such as the Profumo affair, the Great Smog of 1952, and the life and death of Princess Alice. “Aberfan,” the third episode of season 3, tells the story of a particularly horrifying day in U.K. history: The Aberfan mining disaster, which killed over 100 children at the Pantaglas Junior High School.

The Netflix series also attempts to explain why it took eight days for the queen to pay a visit to the site of the tragedy. Here’s what really happened at the Aberfan disaster portrayed on The Crown, and how Queen Elizabeth II reportedly feels about her reaction years later.

How did the Aberfan disaster happen?

It was a Friday morning on October 21, 1966, shortly after 9:00 a.m. In the South Wales coal mining village of Aberfan, students at the Pantglas Junior School had just began their day’s lessons after singing the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” as they did on every other school day before it. Continue Reading →

Nornickel to boost Taimyr mining by 75% to support the world’s shift to electric mobility – by Thomas Nilsen (Barents Observer – November 20, 2019)

10-years strategic ambition for mining on the Arctic tundra is set to 30 million tonnes per year, the Russian metal-giant said at its annual capital markets day.

Nornickel, describing itself as «the world’s best Tier-1 mining resource», says its unique commodity basket gives the company the best position to support the world’s shift to clean energy mobility.

The announcement to boost production of core metals for battery production comes as the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates sales of electric vehicles (EV) to reach 44 million annually by 2030, up from about 2 million in 2018. Continue Reading →