Archive | Europe Mining

Russian giant copper project in talks to raise $1.25 billion – by Polina Devitt and Diana Asonova (Reuters U.S. – September 17, 2018)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A company owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov is in talks to raise $1.25 billion from Russian banks by the start of 2019 to build a massive mining and metallurgical plant at Russia’s biggest untapped copper deposit, its chairman said.

Large greenfield projects in Russia’s energy and mining sector slowed after Russia was hit by Western sanctions four years ago, limiting the economy’s access to foreign finance, but some of the bigger projects are now being revived with home-grown financing.

Usmanov’s Baikal Mining Company, operator of the Udokan copper deposit, is betting on strong global appetite for the metal, which many expect to be in demand for use in electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Eldorado claims €750m from Greek State over permit delays – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – September 18, 2018)

old and base metals producer Eldorado Gold’s Greek subsidiary Hellas Gold has filed an application for payment with the Hellenic Republic, requesting about €750-million for damages suffered by the company, arising from delays in the issuance of permits for the Skouries project, in northern Greece.

The damages include out-of-pocket costs and loss of profits incurred. The application is a non-judicial request for payment and does not initiate legal proceedings.

Eldorado president and CEO George Burns stated on Tuesday that the application represented a good-faith attempt to resolve the matter with the Greek State. “We hope that this matter can be resolved in an amicable manner without needing to go down the route of arbitration.” Continue Reading →

U.S. `Takes Grenade Off the Table’ With Tweak to Rusal Sanctions – by Jack Farchy and Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – September 18, 2018)

The U.S. has laid the groundwork to avoid a brewing crisis in the global aluminum market. By making a technical tweak to sanctions on United Co. Rusal on Friday, the U.S. Treasury handed a potential lifeline to buyers of aluminum whose annual contracts with the Russian company are soon due to expire.

That makes it less likely there will be a repeat of the chaos that gripped the aluminum market in April when the curbs were first imposed.

Crucially, the U.S. said that Rusal’s existing customers could negotiate some new contracts, but stopped short of lifting the aggressive sanctions off Oleg Deripaska, the Russian billionaire who has been accused by the U.S. of links to organized crime and bribery. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Relief for Rusal, but aluminium’s political risks remain – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – September 17, 2018)

LONDON The United States has thrown Russian aluminium company Rusal a lifeline by loosening sanctions imposed on the company in April. Critically, the U.S. Treasury has tweaked its sanctions to allow Rusal to enter into new contracts with existing customers.

This is good news for the Russian company, which has been shunned by buyers negotiating 2019 shipments. It’s also good news for the aluminium market, which was facing the prospect of 3.7 million tonnes of Rusal product being locked out of the supply chain.

However, the broader sanctions threat against Rusal, a by-product of the sanctions against its oligarch owner Oleg Deripaska, remains. An Oct. 23 deadline for customers to wind down business with the company still stands, leaving any new contracts still beholden to the same underlying uncertainty about when sanctions will be fully lifted. Continue Reading →

European Miners Enter Bear Market With More Pain Seen for Sector – by Michael Msika (Bloomberg News – September 11, 2018)

A sixth consecutive day of declines took European miners to a bear market, and analysts predict more tough times for the sector that has lost more than 20 percent since June.

“We have the beginning of a bearish trend,” Valerie Gastaldy, technical strategist at Day By Day, wrote in a note. “The sector can underperform more in the coming months. The relative strength of the sector has already suffered a lot.”

Metals markets have been battered by concerns over an escalation in the U.S.-China trade war. Goldman Sachs analysts said on Tuesday there was room for further losses, even though metals looked oversold. Continue Reading →

Aluminum Risks Return to Crisis With Rusal Left Out in the Cold – by Mark Burton and Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – September 10, 2018)

The aluminum industry is running out of time to avoid another crisis as U.S. sanctions leave United Co. Rusal locked out of crucial contract negotiations kicking off this week in Berlin.

The U.S. allowed Rusal customers with existing supply deals to keep doing business with the company until Oct. 23, but not to sign new contracts.

Unless the U.S. Treasury lifts the sanctions in time — which remains a possibility — the No. 2 supplier of aluminum will be sidelined from the annual negotiations and could soon be forced to scale back output of products used in everything from alloy wheels to airplane fuselages. Continue Reading →

Electric Cars Give New Life to Mine Excavated for Nuclear Power – by Jonathan Tirone (Bloomberg News – September 10, 2018)

Demand for a new generation of electric vehicles is breathing life into an Alpine mine that was originally excavated to feed an Austrian nuclear industry that never materialized.

The developer of the site in Wolfsberg, European Lithium Ltd., is planning to move its primary stock listing to Austria from Australia in anticipation transforming the site into the continent’s biggest producer of the light metal that powers plug-in vehicles, according to a company executive.

“The potential off-take clients are European automakers,” Stefan Mueller, a non-executive director at European Lithium, said in a telephone interview. “They know that they have to secure lithium.” Continue Reading →

Aluminum Seen Facing ‘Doomsday’ If Rusal Sanctions Proceed (Bloomberg News – September 7, 2018)

Aluminum faces a “doomsday scenario” if the U.S. proceeds with sanctions on United Co. Rusal in October, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd., which says prices could exceed their seven-year highs in April.

The market outside China is already in deficit, and would go “into a massive shortage” if a producer the size of Rusal can’t supply metal, Julian Kettle, vice chairman of metals and mining, said in an interview in Singapore. “Prices will move to a level where you will get demand destruction” as buyers start switching to alternative materials, he said.

Aluminum spiked in April after U.S. sanctions on Rusal upended global supply chains, which were already under pressure from lower output at Alunorte in Brazil. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Nevsun Resources agrees to richer Zijin bid – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – September 5, 2018)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s Nevsun Resources Ltd has agreed to a buyout bid worth C$1.86 billion ($1.41 billion) from China’s Zijin Mining Group Co, the companies said on Wednesday, in a deal trumping Lundin Mining Corp’s earlier hostile offer.

Zijin, which also has ventures with Canada’s Barrick Gold and Ivanhoe Mines, said it plans to rapidly develop Nevsun’s high-grade Timok copper project in Serbia and extend the life of an Eritrean copper and zinc mine.

On Friday, Zijin emerged as the top bidder for a 63 percent stake in Serbian’s RTB Bor copper complex, near the Timok deposit, after pledging a $1.26 billion investment in the operation. Continue Reading →

Barentsburg aims to move from dirty coal to become gateway for Russia’s Arctic tourism – by Thomas Nilsen (The Barents Observer – September 3, 2018)

For visitors, the Russian town on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago combines the contrasts of pristine Arctic beauty and Soviet style industry. Nowadays, however, Barentsburg is reshaping its business-focus to become a modern Russian hub for explorer travellers.

Walking the wooden, steep stairway from the port to new hotel is a ten minutes tour-de-divergence. If you look north, the midnight sunset colours the fjord and the glacier in the horizon in Arctic bright orange. Look south, and the far-away glacier is partly hidden by smoke stacks polluting the horizon with the same blackish colour as the coal piles covering the permafrost.

In times of climate changes, the view couldn’t be more contradictory; a coalmine with a smoky coal power plant in front of a melting glacier. In recent years, the Arctic, and especially Svalbard, has warmed twice as much as the rest of the planet. Presumably owing to warming, most of the glacier retreat rates on Svalbard have increased several folds in recent decades. That includes the Grønfjord glacier just south of Barentsburg. Continue Reading →

Hambach: the battle between a forest and a coal mine threatens Germany’s environmental image – by Irene Banos Ruiz (Deutsche Welle – August 30, 2018)

Hambach Forest in western Germany has become a symbol of resistance to coal mining, but its days may well be numbered. Can protesters save Germany’s green image as an environmental and climate champion?

Hambach forest in western Germany looks like an idyllic spot, with a community of some 150 people living in tree houses and walking around barefoot. But appearances are deceptive. These are protesters who have set themselves the tough task of protecting the forest from being sacrificed to a giant opencast mine to extract lignite or brown coal, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels.

The energy company RWE plans to expand the nearby Hambach mine, already Europe’s biggest open pit coal mine. That means chopping down the forest, which has become symbolic of the battle between fossil fuel concerns and environmentalists. Continue Reading →

Why battery miners are swarming Europe’s biggest rock collection (MiningWeekly/Bloomberg – August 30, 2018)

STOCKHOLM – Being home to Europe’s biggest rock collection has finally come in handy for Sweden amid the global race for the scarce metals that power electric cars.

For more than a century, the Nordic nation has accumulated thousands of ore samples—so many that if they were laid end to end, they’d stretch from Minneapolis to Mexico and beyond.

They’re stored at the Geological Survey of Sweden’s drill core archive, where visitors pay 1 000 kronor ($110) a day to examine rocks stashed in rows and rows of wooden crates in hopes of spotting rich deposits of minerals like cobalt, the bluish-grey mineral that’s got carmakers in a tizzy. Continue Reading →

Belarus to propose higher potash price to China – by Andrei Makhovsky (Reuters India – August 28, 2018)

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), the world’s largest potash exporter, will propose raising the price of its new contract with China to $290 per tonne, the level of its recently signed deal with India, Chief Executive Elena Kudryavets said.

China is the world’s largest consumer of potash, a crop nutrient, and a contract with the country usually establishes a global price floor.

However, this year BPC, which controls 20 percent of the global potash market, signed the annual contract with India before its talks with China were finished. Continue Reading →

Merkel Allies Pressure Her to Keep Coal Plants Running – by Brian Parkin and William Wilkes (Bloomberg News – August 22, 2018)

Germany’s states are upping pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to keep coal-fired power for as long as 30 years as the nation approaches a deadline for setting an exit date from the fossil fuel.

Merkel’s administration is committed to shuttering about 120 lignite and hard-coal plants to cut emissions and plans to set a final exit point in October. As the deadline nears, six states where coal power is concentrated have banded together to keep an extended lifeline for the stations.

“A 25- to 30-year time frame to close the chapter on coal power is realistic,” said Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer in an interview in Leipzig on Tuesday. “We need time to reset regional economies now dependent on coal.” Continue Reading →

New technology from Finland will clear the smog in Nikel – by Thomas Nilsen (The Barents Observer – August 20, 2018)

New equipment for mineral processing has arrived to Zapolyarny, where Nornickel’s subsidiary Kola Mining and metallurgical Company’s concentrator plant is located. The equipment is made by Outotec in Finland and includes processing technology for filtration, thickening, flotation and analyzer equipment.

When is full operation, the new technology will make it possible to separate rich quality materials from ore with less nickel. By separating out the nickel-rich concentrates, much of the sulfur will be removed before shipped to the smelter in the town of Nikel.

Consequently, the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) will be reduced substantially. The run-down plant in Nikel has for decades been a torn in cross-border relation in the Barents Region as the pollution hits neighboring Norway and Finland as well as the fragile taiga-forest on Russia’s own Kola Peninsula. Continue Reading →