Archive | Europe Mining

UK’s deep-sea mining permits could be unlawful – Greenpeace – by Karen McVeigh (The Guardian – May 12, 2021)

Deep-sea mining exploration licences granted by the British government are “riddled with inaccuracies”, and could even be unlawful, according to Greenpeace and Blue Marine Foundation, a conservation charity.

The licences, granted a decade ago to UK Seabed Resources, a subsidiary of the US arms multinational Lockheed Martin, have only recently been disclosed by the company.

In March lawyers for Greenpeace wrote to Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for business and energy, warning of potential legal flaws in the licences. They have not received a response, they say. Continue Reading →

KGHM to sell its smaller mines outside Poland – by Staff ( – May 13, 2021)

KGHM plans to sell its smaller mines outside Poland, including the Carlota copper mine in the United States.

“We decided that the smaller mines do not fit in our portfolio. It seems that now is an ideal time to sell,” Pawel Gruza, vice president in charge of foreign assets, said in a news conference.

The company plans to reinvest the proceeds in its domestic operations. Continue Reading →

Russia may surpass China to become largest gold producer this decade: consultancy – by Ekaterina Bouckley (S&P Global – May 6, 2021)

London — Russia — the second-largest gold producer in 2020, yielding only to China — stands a chance to become the world’s largest producer of yellow metal in this decade, as it keeps expanding mining operations while China ramps them down, according to consultancy and analytics firm Institute of Geotechnologies.

Russia tripled its gold production over the last 20 years, and between 2010-2019, it grew by an average of 5.5% per year compared to 3% annual increases in the world’s total.

In 2020, Russia delivered 0.6% more gold (excluding recycled volumes) than in 2019 whereas global production fell 5%. Continue Reading →

Greenland’s Rare-Earth Election – by Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic – May 3, 2021)

A vote last month answered an important question about the world’s largest island.

Tunulliarfik Fjord has always played an outsize role in global history. One thousand years ago, the Viking Erik the Red settled there, the last outpost in the Norse expansion into North America.

When the United States established a protectorate over Greenland during World War II, it built one of its first airports in what is now Narsarsuaq, a large town on the fjord. And now Tunulliarfik is the site of a mining project that has overturned politics on Greenland.

Since 1979, the ruling Siumut party has dominated Greenland’s elections; in all those years it has lost power only once, in 2009, after the island reformed its government and loosened ties with Denmark, which has ruled it for three centuries. Continue Reading →

A tale of three countries: how Czechia, Germany, and Poland plan to ditch coal – by Kira Taylor ( – May 4, 2021)

For decades, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic have been at the heart of Europe’s so-called “lignite triangle” which produces most of the continent’s coal-based electricity. But with climate change now a top political priority, the priority is shifting to renewables.

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres says all OECED countries must phase out coal by 2030 at the latest in order to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The European Union’s objective, agreed by EU leaders in December 2019, is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That means Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic – the top three coal burners in Europe – are coming under growing pressure to transition to clean energy. Continue Reading →

Russian miners may face US sanctions if tensions rise, former officials say – by J. Holzman (S&P Global Market Intelligence – April 27, 2021)

The Russian metals sector may be a target for future U.S. sanctions if President Vladimir Putin escalates a growing battle with the West through military action, former U.S. government officials told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The Biden administration on April 15 expelled 10 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and banned U.S. banks from buying sovereign bonds issued by Russian institutions, part of a swath of sanctions in response to Russia’s attempts to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election, its decision to gather troops on its border with Ukraine, and an alleged global cyber espionage campaign.

Following the sanctions, Russia declared it would pull troops back from the Ukraine border and attended a global summit on climate change hosted by the White House. Afterward, Russia sent warships to the Black Sea for a military maneuver and said sections of the area would be temporarily closed to foreign warships. Continue Reading →

Greenland Minerals seeks talks with new gov’t over fate of rare earths project – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 21, 2021)

Australia’s Greenland Minerals (ASX: GGG) said on Wednesday it was seeking to engage in talks with Greenland’s authorities over its Kvanefjeld rare earth project, as the newly-formed government opposes the development.

The uranium and rare earths-rich Arctic island has gained notoriety in the past two years following former US President Donald Trump’s offer to buy it.

The move sought to partly help address Chinese dominance of the rare earths market, as the nation accounts for almost 80% of the global mined supply of the elements used in everything from hi-tech electronics to military equipment. Continue Reading →

The end of the world’s capital of brown coal – by Jessica Bateman ( – April 19, 2021)

Germany is slowly shuttering its prolific lignite mines, which produce the least efficient type of coal. The ghostly towns in the mines’ shadows may hold a lesson for how to move on.

I’m standing in the middle of Old Manheim village, but my phone is telling me otherwise. On one side of me I can see the old church, its windows boarded up. On the other, there’s the village pub looking similarly abandoned.

But Google Maps is adamant this place doesn’t exist. The little arrow on my phone can’t even pick up the street I’m on. It thinks I’m in a field.

Since the late 1940s, around 50 villages like this have been cleared to make way for coal mines in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state. Old Manheim – or just Manheim, as it was once known – is on the edge of Hambach, one of three open-cast mines in the region where lignite, a soft brown coal used almost exclusively in power generation, is extracted. Continue Reading →

Opposition Wins Greenland Election After Running Against Rare Earths Mine – by Isabella Kwai (New York Times – April 7, 2021)

Greenland’s left-wing environmentalist party, Inuit Ataqatigiit, won a victory in general elections on Tuesday after campaigning against the development of a contentious rare earths mine partly backed by China.

The party, which had been in the opposition, won 37 percent of the vote over the longtime incumbents, the center-left Siumut party.

The environmentalists will need to negotiate a coalition to form a government, but observers said their election win in Greenland, a semiautonomous territory of Denmark that sits on a rich vein of untapped uranium and rare earth minerals, signaled concerns from voters over the impact of mining. Continue Reading →

Mining project in doubt after Greenland opposition wins elections (Yahoo Finance – April 7, 2021)

An environmentalist party has won snap elections in Greenland, throwing into doubt a controversial project to mine one of the world’s biggest deposits of rare earth metals.

Taking more than a third of the vote, the left-wing opposition Inuit Ataqatigiit party (IA) unseated the social democratic Siumut, which has governed Greenland for decades.

“Thank you to those who trusted us to work with the people in the centre for the next four years,” IA leader Mute Egede said after the results were announced. Continue Reading →

Greenland has an election on Tuesday. Why are the U.S. and China so interested in its outcome? – by Paul Waldie (Globe and Mail – April 5, 2021)

On an Arctic island with some of the world’s largest supplies of rare-earth elements, a heated debate about mining and its environmental costs will have big consequences for global superpowers

Elections in Greenland rarely get much notice beyond the shores of the ice-covered island. But when Greenland’s 41,000 voters head to the polls on April 6 in a snap election, the results will be followed closely in Beijing, Washington, Brussels and beyond.

Greenland has been caught in a global power struggle over access to rare earth metals, a collection of 17 elements with names such as yttrium, scandium and lanthanum that are used in more than 200 products, including cellphones, wind turbines, electric cars and fighter jets.

The island is home to some of the world’s largest deposits of rare earths, and a massive mining project in south Greenland has become a focal point in the race to secure the strategic resource. Continue Reading →

‘It’s hard, we’re neighbours’: the coalmine polluting friendships on Poland’s borders – by Pawel Wiejski (The Guardian – March 29, 2021)

When the Czech government announced it was taking Poland to Europe’s highest court it came as a surprise to Warsaw. After all, EU countries rarely sue one another. Prague’s demand is a politically explosive one.

Not only is it challenging the extension of mining activity at Turów, a vast lignite mine that has been in operation for nearly 100 years, it also wants the European court of justice to order its immediate closure.

Sandwiched between Germany and the Czech Republic in the Silesia region of south-west Poland, the open-pit mine is depleting the groundwater supplies of its neighbours and violates EU environmental law, the Czech government alleges. Continue Reading →

Nornickel closes Monchegorsk plant as it ramps up environmentally-friendly transition – by Marek Grzegorczyk (Emerging Europe – March 24, 2021)


Russian metal producer Norilsk Nickel has announced that it will close its metallurgical plant in the city of Monchegorsk as part of the company’s programme to move towards greener production.

Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) is set to close a metallurgical plant in the city of Monchegorsk, in the border region of Russia, Norway and Finland, the main source of sulphur dioxide emissions in the area.

The closure of the workshop is associated with the firm’s ongoing process of transitioning to the environmentally-friendly production of high-quality metallurgical products. Continue Reading →

Russian mining giant Nornickel shuts metallurgical plant, aims to cut emissions at Kola Peninsula by 85% in 2021 – by Vladimir Basov (Kitco News – March 22, 2021)

(Kitco News) – Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announced today that it has shut down its metallurgical plant at Kola MMC in Monchegorsk, Russia.

The company said that the plant was shut down on March 20th 2021. It was previously a major source of sulphur dioxide emissions at Kola MMC’s Monchegorsk site.

In early March, the shop stopped pyrometallurgical operations: the furnaces and converters were shut down and sulphur dioxide emissions ceased. Nornickel took another step towards higher efficiency and greener operations. Continue Reading →

From gold in Wales to tin in Cornwall and amber in Suffolk, no wonder Britain is known as TREASURE ISLAND – by Simon Heptinstall (Daily Mail – March 20, 2021)

How do you guarantee a UK holiday full of precious memories? By visiting our best gold and silver mines of course. Here you’ll delve deep into the history of mining, explore tunnels, pan for gold, learn fascinating facts about geology and our landscape – and buy (or find) treasure to take home.

Head first to the hills of Wales where gold has been mined at Dolaucothi in Carmarthenshire for millennia. Today’s gold-hunters and history fans can explore tunnels built by Roman slaves which only closed for mining in the 1930s ( After exciting underground tours, pan for gold and browse the National Trust shop for jewellery.

The Trust also owns the nearby 16th Century Dolaucothi Arms, a Countryfile Country Pub Of The Year, with simply decorated Arts and Crafts rooms. B&B costs from £70 a night ( Continue Reading →