Archive | Europe Mining

Lithium find in Cornwall spurs hopes of regeneration – by Steven Morris (The Guardian – September 17, 2020)

Discovery of high-grade metal used for electric car batteries ‘could be enough to meet total future UK demand’

The hills and woods around the town of Redruth are dotted with reminders of Cornwall’s proud mining history – lovely old engine houses, terraces of workers’ cottages, memorials and statues.

So rich were the reserves of tin and copper in the region that one site near the village of Gwennap was once nicknamed “the richest square mile on Earth”. Many decades on from that heyday, a renaissance in mining, or mineral extraction as its modern practitioners prefer to call it, may be taking place.

On Thursday, a Cornish-based company announced that it had found lithium – a component in electric car batteries – of a “globally significant” grade just north of Redruth. Continue Reading →

Saami Council urges Tesla to refrain from buying NorNickel metals – by Thomas Nilsen (The Barents Observer – Septmeber 8, 2020)

“Dear Mr. Elon Musk,” starts the letter from the indigenous peoples in northern Russia.

“We are respectfully requesting that you DO NOT BUY nickel, copper and other products from the Russian mining company NorNickel until the following is implemented,” the letter continues and then lists a number of environmental requirements to be fulfilled on the Taimyr- and Kola Peninsulas.

The campaign that started in northern Russia is now spreading in social media by other indigenous peoples communities globally under the hashtag #AnswerUsElonMusk.

The Saami Council this week voiced a strong support to the campaign. Continue Reading →

Rising temperatures leave Russia’s Arctic ambitions on thin ice – by Toby Woodall (S&P Global Market Intelligence – September 7, 2020)

The Arctic provides almost 25% of Russia’s GDP, according to a
July U.S. Air Force report on Arctic Strategy, which describes
the area as “a region of immense geostrategic significance and a key location for global power projection.”

Rising temperatures and several environmental catastrophes over summer have revealed the underlying risks to Moscow’s ambitious plans to develop everything from military bases to mines and associated infrastructure in Russia’s far-flung eastern and northern regions, including the increasingly strategically important Arctic.

Record temperatures and wildfires in Siberia this summer — following Russia’s mildest winter yet — were accompanied by a series of highly polluting incidents in the High North, including one of the worst oil spills ever seen in the rapidly warming region. Continue Reading →

Europe relies on foreign raw materials to power its green and digital future. Now it wants to mine them at home – by David Meyer (Fortune Magazine – September 3, 2020)

The European Union is keen to boost its green and digital ambitions, making them central to its coronavirus recovery plans. But there’s one big problem: raw materials.

Those rare-earth elements needed for the magnets in electric vehicles and wind turbines? Some 98% of the EU’s supply comes from China. South Africa provides 84% of the platinum group metals needed for fuel cells and automotive catalysts.

And Europe’s supplies of lithium—critical for battery production and therefore for electric vehicles and renewable-energy storage—come mostly from Chile. Continue Reading →

EU adds lithium to critical raw materials list – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 3, 2020)

The European Union has added lithium, used in batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs), to a list of critical materials that it plans to support locally as part of a strategy to reduce reliance on imported supply.

The group of 27 nations will need about 60 times more lithium and 15 times more cobalt for EV batteries and energy storage by 2050, analysts estimate. EU demand for rare earths, used in high-tech devices and military applications, is predicted to increase 10-fold over the same period.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the world’s increasing reliance on electronics and technology for remote work, education and communication. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Commission announces actions to make Europe’s raw materials supply more secure and sustainable (September 3, 2020)

Today, the Commission presents an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, the 2020 List of Critical Raw Materials and a foresight study on critical raw materials for strategic technologies and sectors from the 2030 and 2050 perspectives.

The Action Plan looks at the current and future challenges and proposes actions to reduce Europe’s dependency on third countries, diversifying supply from both primary and secondary sources and improving resource efficiency and circularity while promoting responsible sourcing worldwide.
The actions will foster our transition towards a green and digital economy, and at the same time, bolster Europe’s resilience and open strategic autonomy in key technologies needed for such transition.

The List of Critical Raw Materials has been updated to reflect the changed economic importance and supply challenges based on their industrial application. It contains 30 critical raw materials. Lithium, which is essential for a shift to e-mobility, has been added to the list for the first time. Continue Reading →

Poland’s coal phase-out ‘feasible’ by 2035 – by ELENA SÁNCHEZ NICOLÁS (EU Observer – August 2020)

Poland’s coal phaseout should take place by 2035 if the government does not interfere, according to a new report of the environmental group Greenpeace Polska.

Polish state-run utilities PGE, Enea, and Tauron, which own 94 percent of coal-fired power plants in the country, are expected to close by 2035 because of their life plan and unfavourable market conditions.

However, Greenpeace is concerned that the Polish authorities will extend the operating life of these utilities after national media uncovered that the government plans to subsidise coal-fired plants until 2040. Continue Reading →

EU sounds alarm on critical raw materials shortages – by Michael Peel and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – August 2020)

Brussels/London – The EU’s over-reliance on imports of critical raw materials threatens to undermine crucial industries and expose the bloc to supply squeezes by China and other resource-rich countries, the European Commission will warn member states this week.

Shortages of elements used to make batteries and renewable energy equipment could also threaten the bloc’s target of becoming climate neutral by 2050, a report by the Brussels executive will say.

The document is part of an urgent focus in Europe on security of imports of vital goods, as the coronavirus pandemic triggers transport disruption and growing tensions between western capitals and Beijing. Continue Reading →

Discontent in Belarus could benefit Canada’s potash miners – and send this 5% yielding dividend stock soaring – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – August 26, 2020)

Pro-democracy protests in Eastern Europe are helping to boost the outlook for Saskatchewan’s potash miners. Investors who fled the bad-news sector in recent years may want to take a fresh look at the situation.

Shares of Nutrien Ltd., Mosaic Co. and other companies with potash mines in Canada have bounced higher over the past month. The jump reflects improving fundamentals in the fertilizer industry.

It also reflects geopolitical turmoil – in particular, the decision of many Belarussians to walk off their jobs as part of mass demonstrations aimed at toppling the country’s long-time dictator, Alexander Lukashenko. Continue Reading →

Review: Worn by Tools and Time is a beautifully produced history of metal mining in Wales – by Jon Gower (Nation Cymru – August 22, 2020)

The time frame of the metal-mining endeavours chronicled in this beautifully-produced book reach way, way back into prehistory. Around 2000 BC the copper mine at Ross Island in Ireland ran out of metal which provoked a widespread hunt for new sources.

As a consequence therefore, in the Early Bronze Age, some of the earliest metal mines in Britain opened in Mid Wales, with stone hammers and wedges used to open up the earth.

They found metals other than copper such as tin and by the time the industry was modernised, with the creation of an institution called the Society of Mines Royal in 1568, silver was being successfully sought in a range of places such as Cwmystwyth, Goginan and Cwmerfyn. Continue Reading →

All aboard Europe’s lithium bandwagon – by Hans van Leeuwen (Australian Financial Review – August 9, 2020)

London | A gang of Perth mining juniors is clambering aboard Europe’s lithium bandwagon, shrugging off the global price doldrums and betting that European governments and car makers will deliver an electric vehicle and battery bonanza.

The fundamentals for a European lithium boom seem in place. Coronavirus has put barely a dent in the European car makers’ sales of, and ambitions for, electric vehicles – and soon they will need more battery-ready lithium than the world can supply.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has steeled the Continent’s resolve to shuck off its dependence on China for lithium supplies. And that’s revved up the European Union’s drive to support mines and processing plants – the missing links in a fully domestic supply chain. Continue Reading →

Arctic mine signs giant copper contract with a green touch – by Thomas Nilsen (The Barents Observer – August 12, 2020)

Nussir aims at becoming the world’s first fully electrified underground mine, with zero emission of CO2.

Preparing for production could start later this year and the first shipments of concentrate by 2022 as the mining company this week announced the deal with the German smelter.

“It emphasizes the importance of moving towards the green economy, with a clean production cycle and encourages recycling of copper,” Nussir writes in a press release explaining why Aurubis won the fierce competition. Continue Reading →

Russian indigenous peoples call on Elon Musk not to buy battery metals from Nornickel – by Thomas Nilsen (The Baren Observer – August 7, 2020)

The company that recently made international headlines for causing environmental disasters on the Taimyr Peninsula by spilling 20,000 tons of diesel fuel into a river in the fragile Arctic ecosystems is under increased pressure.

In a letter to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, the Aborigen Forum urge him not to buy nickel, copper and other products from Nornickel until the company conducts a full and independent assessment of the environmental damage caused by its production.

This week, The Barents Observer could tell the story about dying tree leaves caused by massive air-pollution over a several square kilometers large area near Nornickel’s smelters in Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula. Continue Reading →

Germany’s plan to exit coal by 2038 becomes law – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 3, 2020)

Germany’s lower house of the parliament passed on Friday a bill to phase out coal-fired power stations in the country by 2038.

The new law entails over 50 billion euros ($56 billion) for mining companies, power plant operators, affected regions and employees to mitigate the impact of moving from coal to renewables as power source.

“The fossil fuel age is irrevocably coming to an end in Germany with this decision,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told lawmakers inside the chamber, urging opponents not to “talk it down”. Continue Reading →

Pandemic Helps Russia Tighten Its Grip on a Key Strategic Metal – by Yuliya Fedorinova and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – July 2, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — As the coronavirus pandemic pummeled demand from key customers in the auto industry, Russia’s biggest mining company quietly tightened its grip on the palladium market.

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC was already the No. 1 miner of the metal used in autocatalysts, but the crisis has allowed it to gain market share. That’s because Nornickel’s Russian operations have barely missed a beat, while its main rivals in South Africa are struggling to ramp up production after shuttering mines during a national virus lockdown.

“Norilsk Nickel has always been considered as the last company to die,” said Artem Bagdasaryan, an analyst at BCS Global Markets. “The pandemic only highlights it.” Continue Reading →