Archive | Europe Mining

Can diamonds be a millennial’s best friend too? – by Olivia Pinnock (The Telegraph – July 12, 2019)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/

In the heart of Siberia, the Sakha Republic is home to acres of evergreen larch trees, herds of reindeer, the indigenous Yakut people and, under its permafrost, diamonds.

Mining is one of the main industries in the region, with 95pc of Russia’s diamonds originating here, accounting for 27pc of the world’s supply.

In July, it’s hot. Temperatures reach 86F (30C), midges and flies are in abundance and feral dogs seek shade under the site office. In the harsh Siberian winters though, it can drop to -22F (-30C). It’s a world diamond consumers don’t get to see. Alrosa, the partially state-owned mining company listed on the Moscow Exchange that operates here, wants to change that. Continue Reading →

Britain’s Cornish Lithium turns to crowd funding – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – July 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) – Cornish Lithium, a battery minerals firm set up by a former City analyst, on Friday became the first British miner to launch a crowd funding campaign as it seeks play a role in securing strategic mineral supplies.

Britain’s mining industry is regarded by many as a thing of the past but a handful of companies are trying to revive it, particularly for the extraction of battery minerals, after government backing for a greener economy and less polluting transport.

Jeremy Wrathall, a mining engineer who graduated from the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, southwest England, and became an analyst for Investec bank, set up Cornish Lithium in 2016 to use digital technology to reassess Cornwall’s mineral wealth. Continue Reading →

Still trust London with your gold? Poland latest to repatriate its bullion from the Bank of England (RT.com – July 9, 2019)

https://www.rt.com/

Poland is repatriating gold from overseas, after it more than doubled its bullion holdings in the past year. Central banks all over the world have been stocking up on gold in recent years, shifting away from the US dollar.

The National Bank of Poland (NBP) has bought 100 tons of the precious metal since the beginning of this year, nearly four times more than it added to its reserves in 2018.

Now Warsaw wants to bring a significant part the precious metal back home, repatriating it from the Bank of England. The NBP wants to transfer at least 100 tons and store the repatriated bullion in its vaults. The Polish central bank noted that the repatriation comes on account of central banks’ need to diversify the storage of their gold reserves “to limit geopolitical risk,” which, it says, could result “in losing access to or restriction of the availability of gold resources held abroad.” Continue Reading →

CZECHS, GERMANS HOPE TO WIN UNESCO LISTING FOR KRUŠNÉ HORY–ERZGEBIRGE MINING SITES – by Brian Kenety (Radio Praha – July 2019)

https://www.radio.cz/en/

The Ore Mountains have formed a natural border between Bohemia and the German state of Saxony for some 800 years. Known in Czech as Krušné hory, the uniquely preserved landscape is also among the most heavily researched mountain ranges in the world.

In total, the Czech delegation to Azerbaijan has nominated five sites in this country for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. A German delegation, with which it submitted a joint bid, has nominated 17 sites on their side of the border.

Michal Urban of the non-profit Montanregion Krušné hory – Erzgebirge, formed to coordinate public and private regional groups in hopes of getting the listing explains how it would help the region. Continue Reading →

About 7,000 families move out from Norilsk Industrial District since 2011 (Tass Russian News Agency – June 27, 2019)

https://tass.com/

KRASNOYARSK, June 27. /TASS/. About 7,000 families have been moved since 2011 from the Norilsk Industrial District (the Krasnoyarsk Region’s north) to regions with better climate conditions, Nornickel’s Vice President Dmitry Pristanskov said on Wednesday at presentation of the company’s report on sustainable development.

In 2011, Russia’s Ministry of Regional Development, the Krasnoyarsk Region, the city of Norilsk and the Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) signed an agreement to support families, who wanted to move out from Norilsk and Dudinka (the Taimyr Municipal District’s center).

People, who have worked in the Extreme North for more than 15 years could participate in the program. The most preferred destinations have been the Krasnoyarsk, Moscow, Leningrad and Krasnodar Regions. Continue Reading →

France’s Eramet gives go-ahead to lithium project in Argentina (Reuters U.S. – June 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) – Eramet has approved the development of a lithium mine in Argentina as the French group pursues a shift towards minerals used to power electric vehicles to meet burgeoning demand.

The miner expects to invest 525 million euros ($597 million) in the Centenario deposit with the aim of producing 24,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year in a first phase that could start at the end of 2021, it said on Monday.

The estimates were in line with previous guidance given by the company earlier this year. A final investment decision would be made at the earliest in the fourth quarter of this year once financing has been obtained, it said in a statement. Continue Reading →

A photo of a dead fisherman left many questions for a Swiss-Russian mine in Guatemala – by Marion Guégan and Cécile Schilis-Gallego (Toronto Star – June 22, 2019)

https://www.thestar.com/

A group of fishermen from an Indigenous community in Guatemala demanded to know more about the environmental impact of a ferronickel mine established on their ancestral land. One of them was killed, and a local reporter was criminalized for covering the story.

Forbidden Stories, an international consortium of 40 journalists publishing in 30 media organizations around the world, joined forces to continue the reporter’s work. This is part of the “Green Blood” series, a project pursuing stories of journalists who have been threatened, jailed or killed while investigating environmental issues.

If it were not for a journalist taking pictures that day, some might claim that it is unclear how Carlos Maaz’s last moments unfolded. There was a cloud of tear gas, the chaos of an improvised protest, the echo of bullets and rocks flying through the crowd. Continue Reading →

Russia’s Murmansk region among country’s 10 most polluted, says government agency – by Anna Kireeva (Bellona.org – June 13, 2019)

https://bellona.org/

Officials have said that Murmansk Region ranks among those with the most polluted air in the country, according to a new report published by Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s federal consumer rights agency.

The report, entitled “On the state of sanitary and epidemiological wellbeing of the population of the Russian Federation in 2018,” paints a stark picture of drier, hotter weather conditions conspiring with industrial pollution all while higher levels of toxins are being measured in area soil.

Specifically, the report says that heavy metal quantities in soil found in residential zones of the Murmansk Region exceed legal measures by three times. Chemical substances found in playgrounds and other areas geared toward children exceeded hygienic standards by the same amount. Continue Reading →

Sweden’s EV boom under threat as electricity demand outstrips capacity – by Jesper Starn (Bloomberg/Renewable Energy World – June 12, 2019)

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/

Sweden’s ambitious plan to drastically cut emissions from transport by bringing millions of electric cars onto the road could be derailed by a lack of power capacity for new charging stations in major cities.

An increase in government grants sent sales of electric cars surging by 253% in the first five months this year, but the rally could be over before it’s really started. Demand for electricity in Stockholm and other cities is outgrowing capacity in local grids, forcing new charging networks to compete with other projects from housing to subway lines to get hooked up.

To reach a government target of becoming carbon neutral by 2045, the industry group Power Circle says the Nordic region’s biggest economy needs to add about 2.5 million plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles by the end of the next decade. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Finnish regulator positive on Terrafame’s uranium mining application – by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos (Reuters U.K. – June 11, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

OSLO, June 11 (Reuters) – Finland’s radiation and nuclear safety authority (STUK) has issued a positive recommendation on miner Terrafame’s application to mine uranium commercially, STUK said on Tuesday.

Its recommendation will influence the government’s decision on whether or not to grant Terrafame a permit, which would allow the company to become the first miner to extract uranium on a commercial scale in the country.

“There are no radiation safety-related obstacles for granting a permit for the uranium recovery plants of Terrafame,” STUK said in a statement. Continue Reading →

The booming battery market brings significant opportunities to mineral-rich Finland – by Harry Sandström (World Finance – June 5, 2019)

https://www.worldfinance.com/

Harry Sandström, Programme Director at Geological Survey of Finland.

The forecasted increase of electric vehicles (EVs) is huge: according to the International Energy Agency, there will be around 125 million EVs on the road globally by 2030.

The battery market is surging in parallel, with the raw materials market set to join it. However, until circulation technology is developed further and totally new battery technologies appear, there is sure to be a shortage of primary raw materials, such as cobalt.

In Europe, Norway is racing ahead in terms of EVs, but China will soon become the frontrunner on a global level. Even so, other markets are making progress of their own. Finland may only be a small economy, but it has notable strengths in the development of battery technology, particularly in terms of raw materials, chemicals, control systems and industry machinery. Continue Reading →

OPINION: The return of Russia to Africa – by Aruuke Uran Kyzy (TRT World – June 5, 2019)

https://www.trtworld.com/

As Moscow attempts to re-establish old Soviet ties and buy influence in the continent, it is presenting itself as the alternative to old self-interested colonial powers.

Russia’s role and profile in Africa, and the factors underlying its activities are rarely discussed in detail.

Some of the reasons for Russia’s interest in the continent include the threat of its diplomatic isolation from Europe and the US over Moscow’s policies in Syria and prior to this the situation in Ukraine, leaving the Kremlin with no alternative but to seek new allies. As competition for resources, political influence and access to markets continue to increase, Russia began to look outside established power centres. Continue Reading →

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)

https://www.businessinsider.com/

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)

https://af.reuters.com/

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)

https://www.reuters.com/

(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 →