Archive | Europe Mining

Rusal’s Deripaska to Step Down and Focus on Norilsk Nickel – by Staff (Aluminium Insider – February 20, 2018)

Russian Federation industrialist Oleg Deripaska is to step down from his position as president of both En+ Group and U.C. Rusal, Russian and international media reported.

While RUSAL clarified that no such decision has been made yet and that the Company’s board will discuss executive changes on 22 February, sources told the media earlier this week that Deripaska will announce his departure from these two pursuits, retaining only his official capacity at GAZ Group, which is Russia’s premier producer of commercial vehicles. According to insiders, the move was in the works prior to news of the renewed fight for Norilsk Nickel.

The battle to control Norilsk has been an off-again, on-again affair for the last decade that began upon the exit of Mikhail Prokhorov from the firm. Prokhorov, who was Vladimir Potanin’s partner in the venture the time of his departure, left a partial ownership void when he stepped down in 2008. Although Potanin had his sights set on acquiring the then-unclaimed share of the enterprise, Deripaska’s Rusal purchased the interest instead. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk Nickel] Deripaska in Faceoff With Abramovich in London Court – by Yuliya Fedorinova and Jess Shankleman (Bloomberg News – February 16, 2018)

Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin have revived a years-old battle for control of the country’s biggest mining company, MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC.

The two tycoons each own roughly 30 percent of Norilsk Nickel and have long jockeyed for power in the company, which operates some of the richest mines in platinum, palladium and nickel, until President Vladimir Putin intervened in 2012. An agreement let a company controlled by Roman Abramovich buy a small stake in Norilsk Nickel in exchange for a promise to keep the peace.

Abramovich’s Crispian Investment Ltd. now wants to sell part of the stake, according to three people familiar with matter. The holding was about 5 percent at the start of 2017, implying a current value of more than $1.5 billion. Continue Reading →

Sweden eyes cobalt mining on home turf (The Local – February 15, 2018)

Sweden is “one of the most interesting areas in the world” to explore minerals like cobalt and lithium, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Mikael Damberg says.

A new report suggests that Sweden’s historic mining area of Bergslagen may have great potential for extracting sought-after minerals such as cobalt and lithium and the government on Thursday gave the go-ahead to investigate the opportunities to start exploring the matter.

The demand for cobalt, lithium and Rare Earth Metals (REE) has soared in recent years due to their contribution to green innovations such as electric cars and solar and wind power stations as well as the production of mobile phone batteries. Congo is today the world’s leading provider of cobalt, with 65 percent of the total production, while China mines 95 percent of the world’s REEs. Continue Reading →

Sudbury delegation impressed by Finnish ferrochrome smelter – by Darren MacDonald (Northern Life – January 26, 2018)

Noront Resources plans to build similar facility in Northern Ontario

A delegation from Greater Sudbury that visited Finland last week came away impressed by the way the ferrochrome smelter operates in that nation, both environmentally and economically.

Mayor Brian Bigger led the delegation that returned Jan. 18 from Tornio, the Finnish community near the border with Sweden where the Outokumpu smelter is located.

The most technically-advanced chromite smelter in the world, Noront Resources plans to build a similar facility in Northern Ontario to process ore from the Ring of Fire. Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay are all in the running to become home to the smelter, expected to create as many as 400 jobs. Continue Reading →

UK funds satellite hunt for new minerals – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.K. – January 25, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government has handed out 850,000 pounds for research that uses satellites to identify deposits of minerals, including battery metal lithium, as part of efforts to bolster the economy after the exit from the European Union.

The project named the Satellite Applications Catapult is seeking to assess the quality of mineral structures, to ensure exploration spending is focused on the best deposits, by analysing satellite images of geology and vegetation, British miner Cornish Lithium, which is participating, said.

Others involved in the project include the British Geological Survey, the Camborne School of Mines, which is part of Exeter University, and environmental consultancy North Coast Consulting. Continue Reading →

France’s Areva rebrands to Orano in dire uranium market – by Geert De Clercq (Reuters U.S. – January 23, 2018)

PARIS (Reuters) – French uranium mining and nuclear fuel group Areva rebranded itself as Orano on Tuesday, closing the book on a years-long restructuring but still facing an uncertain future, with uranium prices at decade lows and the nuclear industry in the doldrums.

Chief Executive Philippe Knoche said a new name and logo were necessary to start another chapter in the history of the state-owned company, which was split in two and recapitalized in 2017 after years of losses wiped out its equity.

“We had to change our name – we are a new company with a different perimeter, focused on the fuel cycle,” Knoche said at a presentation of the new brand. Continue Reading →

Tracking Europe’s waste: ‘There’s gold in them landfills’ – by Alister Doyle (Reuters U.S. – January 17, 2018)

OSLO (Reuters) – Some of Europe’s richest deposits of valuable materials are in the trash, ranging from gold in smartphones to cobalt in electric car batteries, according to a survey of urban mining published on Wednesday.

Scrap vehicles, batteries, computers, fridges and other electronic and electrical waste total about 18 million tonnes a year and contain materials worth billions of dollars, the report said, urging more recycling.

A smartphone, for instance, has a concentration of gold 25 to 30 times that of the richest primary gold ores, according to the study, “Prospecting Secondary Raw Materials in the Urban Mine and Mining Waste” (ProSUM). A database ( tracks and predicts flows of materials in 30 European nations, from sales to the dump. Continue Reading →

Sudbury mayor to check out Finnish ferrochrome smelter – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 11, 2018)

City’s bid for Ring of Fire processing plant prompts trip to Outokumpu

Since Greater Sudbury is one of the four cities in the hunt for a ferrochrome smelter, Mayor Brian Bigger is heading overseas to Finland on a fact-finding trip to see how one operates for himself.

A Jan. 10 Greater Sudbury news release called the visit to the Outokumpu mine and mill complex “an opportunity to learn from what is considered the best ferrochrome production facility in the world.” The group leaves Jan. 13 and returns on Jan. 18. The Sudbury delegation will also meet with municipal, public health and economic development officials.

Joining Bigger on the trip to Tornio, Finland is Wahnapitae First Nations Chief Ted Roque, city councillor and Sudbury and District Health Unit Board chair René Lapierre, Greater Sudbury Development Corporation executive board member Paul Kusnierczyk, Greater Sudbury Director of Economic Development Ian Wood, and the mayor’s chief of staff Melissa Zanette. Continue Reading →

Liberty House makes binding offer for Rio Tinto’s French aluminum smelter – by Maytaal Angel (Reuters U.S. – January 10, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Liberty House, the industrial arm of British steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, said on Wednesday it had made a binding offer for miner Rio Tinto’s (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) aluminum smelter in Dunkirk, France, the largest in Europe.

The group said it had chosen to invest in France in part because of a pro-business environment created by French President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Rio Tinto said in a statement that the offer was worth $500 million ”subject to final adjustments’ and that it expects to complete the sale by the second quarter. Continue Reading →

It’s more important than ever to remember the miners who made us (Wales Online – January 2018)

A new programme marks the 10th anniversary of the closure of Tower Colliery – the last deep mine in Wales

In the decades after King Coal lost his crown there was the sense that mining was a cliché the Welsh image-builders could do without. The tourist ideal of Cool Cymru was all chi-chi waterfront developments in Cardiff Bay and extreme sports on Snowdon.

Coal was on a par with sheep jokes and warbling male voice choirs for those whose obsession with a shiny new future erased the importance of our fascinating industrial heritage.

How they cringed when the National Lottery show was set against the pit-head wheels of Rhondda Heritage Park! How they fretted over the damaging PR of the Pot Noodle miners adverts! Continue Reading →

Illegal prospectors’ amber ‘Klondikes’ create moonscapes in Ukraine amid China demand (Japan Times – December 25, 2017)

AFP-JIJI – KRYVYTSYA, UKRAINE – Volodymyr Korkosh steps on the accelerator and his jeep lurches forward, jumping through deep water-filled ditches. “We often come too late by just two to three minutes,” the police officer shouts in disappointment.

His unit carries out daily raids on the outskirts of the village of Kryvytsya and nearby settlements in northwestern Ukraine’s Rivne region, aimed at catching locals red-handed mining amber illegally.

Once a scenic forest area, the site has been turned into a moonscape with wet marshy sand on the surface and man-made, funnel-like pits scattered for hundreds of meters around, evidence of work by hundreds of illicit prospectors. Continue Reading →

Stalin’s legacy lives on in city that slaves built – archive, 1994 – by James Meek (The Guardian – December 29, 2017)

At the end of the second world war, as Europe was preparing to celebrate its victory over fascism, the Soviet authorities arrested an entire school of teenage girls from western Ukraine, named them enemies of the people, took them to an Arctic concentration camp and forced them to expend their youth in slave labour.

Half a century later Galina Skopyuk is still there. She is a prisoner of circumstances now rather than a prisoner of Stalin, but beginning her 49th winter in a land where the winters are nine months long is hard. “I’m always hoping to leave. I don’t want to die here. But I don’t have any chance,” she said.

Mrs Skopyuk is one of the few living links between the present-day city of Norilsk and the dark years of its creation, starting in 1935, when Stalin willed thousands of political prisoners hither to claw a city out of the tundra in a metal-rich volcanic crater. Continue Reading →

Norilsk, Stalin’s Siberian Hell, Thrives in Spite Of Hideous Legacy – by Robert G. Kaiser (Washington Post – August 29, 2001)

Is there any stranger human habitation on Earth than this?

In Norilsk, 200 miles above the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise for three months a year, the winter temperatures remain under 30 degrees below zero, and the air is, literally, the dirtiest on the globe. Yet there is a full-blown city of 230,000 here, whose citizens are fierce local patriots with a romantic sense of their own uniqueness.

They live in a place created by zeks, political prisoners who populated Joseph Stalin’s gulag — perhaps 100,000, or even 200,000 died in its building; the exact number is lost or buried in still-sealed archives. They were inmates in an unimaginable chamber of horrors, a community of prison camps designed to create nickel and copper industries, and to kill people. It succeeded impressively on both counts.

Modern Norilsk is populated by descendants of those prisoners, among many others, and the city remembers its horrific past. This is unusual in Russia, where forgetting is easier. On the busy streets of Norilsk in August, with pretty women on parade and children chasing each other on bikes and in-line skates, that past seems so remote as to be unreachable. Continue Reading →

The harrowing stories of the worst mining disasters to ever hit Wales (Wales – December 26, 2017)

More than 6,000 miners are believed have been killed in tragedies down the years

The stories of the most devastating mining disasters to ever hit Wales have been told. In November a poignant ceremony was held in the Rhondda to remember 150 years on from when 178 men and boys died having descended 278 yards below the ground for work at Ferndale and Blaenllechau colliery.

Sadly the disaster is one of a long list of mining disasters that took place across Wales. John Smith runs the extensive research website Welsh Coal Mines and said he, together with another member, was researching every fatal accident ever reported in south Wales.

Mr Smith said the number of miners killed in disasters amounts to “over 6,000” down the years. Using research from the website, which utilises information from newspapers and archives, as well as other sources, here are the stories of the six biggest mining disasters to ever hit Wales. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Journal; Comes the Thaw, the Gulag’s Bones Tell Their Dark Tale – by Steven Lee Myers (New York Times – February 24, 2004)

The bones appear each June, when the hard Arctic winter breaks at last and the melting snows wash them from the site of what some people here — but certainly not many — call this city’s Golgotha.

The bones are the remains of thousands of prisoners sent to the camps in this frozen island of the Gulag Archipelago. To this day, no one knows exactly how many labored here in penal servitude. To this day, no one knows exactly how many died. The bones are an uncomfortable reminder of a dark past that most would rather forget.

”Here it is generally thought that the history of the camps is an awful secret in the family,” said Vladislav A. Tolstov, a journalist and historian who has lived in Norilsk all his life. ”We all know about it, but we try not to think about it.” Continue Reading →