Archive | Europe Mining

[British Mining] Norma Gregory on the Hidden History of Black Miners and Her New Exhibiton – by Alex Kuster ( – November 10, 2019)

Nottingham has plenty of things to be proud of. Our roots being one of them; history is so deeply embedded in many of the things that we all love about this city. But the narrative isn’t fully complete. Historian Norma Gregory has spent the past few years unearthing the untold stories of several black coal miners who lived and worked in the UK.

We spoke to her about her new exhibition, Digging Deep: Coal Miners of African Carribean Heritage which features photos, audio recordings and oral histories that have previously been left unheard…

Tell us a little bit about the exhibition…

The exhibition is currently at The National Coalmining Museum in Wakefield. It’s been a multi-level, multi-pronged, all-hands-involved project. We have interviewed over 67 miners in total so far – we have a database of over 200 names, and that’s all come from word of mouth. Continue Reading →

This Bizarre Law Prevents Poland from Capitalizing on Copper Mine Profits – by Ross Marchand (National Interest – November 5, 2019)

Seventy years strong, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) provides a resilient defense against international threats. But NATO is only as strong as its members are prosperous, and economic policies dictate the state of the union for individual countries. The recent ascension of Macedonia bodes well for NATO as the country has pursued strong, market-based reforms since the ugly collapse of Yugoslavia more than twenty years ago.

But long-standing members such as Poland have run into trouble as misguided government policies threaten to weaken the Eastern European nation. Cronyism and sector-specific onerous taxes threaten to impoverish Poland and make it difficult for vital minerals such as copper to get to market. For the sake of its future and for its allies, Poland must join Macedonia and push for market reforms.

Long-standing threats, such as Jihadi gains in North Africa and Russian encroachments on Eastern Europe, can be held in check by a strong NATO. But as many member-states have come to realize, defense investments can only be sustained on the back of a strong economy. Continue Reading →

Bolivia scraps joint lithium project with German company (Deutsche Welle – November 4, 2019)

The Bolivian government has cancelled a joint partnership with Germany’s privately owned ACI Systems Alemania (ACISA) to develop a massive lithium project.

Residents in the city of Potosi, where the joint venture had planned to build a factory for electric vehicle batteries and a lithium hydroxide plant, have been protesting since early October against the project. Organized by the Potosi Civic Committee, protesters say the project would not benefit local communities.

Potosi Department Governor Carlos Cejas said Sunday he had received a decree from the government of President Evo Morales to overturn a previous decree permitting the project, Bolivian state news agency ABI reported. Continue Reading →

Europe-led global certification scheme for raw materials expected in 2020 – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – October 30, 2019)

A group of European bodies and companies have joined efforts to create the first global certification scheme ensuring consistent standards of environmental, social and economic impact throughout the entire raw materials value chain, to be launched next year.

CERA (Certification of Raw Materials), conceived in 2015 by German engineering and consulting firm DMT Group, counts with the support of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), EIT RawMaterials, Volkswagen, Fairphone and research institutions from across Europe.

Companies are under pressure from consumers and investors to prove that minerals are sourced without human rights abuses but tracking raw materials throughout their journey is challenging. Continue Reading →

Cobalt market to avoid shortage despite Congo mine closure: Nornickel – by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Polina Devitt (Reuters U.S. – October 29, 2019)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Cobalt supply will remain robust despite a price slide that has already led to the closure of a major mine, Russia’s Norilsk Nickel said, as most is produced as a byproduct of more buoyant metals like nickel and copper.

Prices of the battery metal surged in 2017 and 2018 on expectations for an electric vehicle revolution, but have fallen this year due to excessive supply and the impact of the U.S.-China trade war.

They are now down 60% from their spring 2018 peak. In August global mining and trade giant Glencore said it would shutter its Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo from year-end for two years due to low cobalt prices. Continue Reading →

On ‘Island’ in Russian Arctic, Arrival of Fast Internet Shakes Political Calm – by Anton Troianovski (New York Times – October 21, 2019)

Residents of Norilsk long felt isolated from their country’s turbulence. Then a mining company strung a fiber-optic cable across 600 miles of tundra.

NORILSK, Russia — On a screen, the California sun beams through the palm fronds and the Walk of Fame gleams underfoot. This island of mines and smokestacks in the tundra has high-speed internet now, so Andrei Kurchukov watches videos about America.

Videos by one of his favorite YouTube personalities, Marina Mogilko, feature interviews with fellow Russian expatriates in the United States. “Los Angeles,” she tells her one million followers, is “where Russian dreams come true.” “I watch her and think, alas,” Mr. Kurchukov said. “So what we’re showing about the rotting West is false.”

Closed to foreigners, unreachable by road and shrouded in darkness for 45 days a year, Norilsk, an Arctic nickel-mining hub of 180,000, is Russia’s most isolated major city. Lacking reliable digital communication with the rest of the country — “the continent,” they call it — residents used to fly home with external hard drives full of downloaded books and movies after their trips out. Continue Reading →

The Acid Sludge Streaming Out of Germany’s Coal Mines – by Laura Mallonee (Wired Magazine – October 23, 2019)

Even as it works to develop greener energy sources, the country is still dependent on highly pollutive lignite mining.

Imagine a Sunny Delight factory explosion in the gloomy realm of Mordor, spilling streams of “orange drink” through the land. That’s what Tom Hegen’s photos look like. Only thing is, they weren’t shot on Mordor—it’s Germany—and that tangy-looking liquid isn’t anything you’d want for breakfast. It’s acid drainage out of coal mines.

The Jupiter-hued liquid is a consequence of mining lignite—a soft, waterlogged coal that’s bottom-shelf cheap but produces less energy and 22more C02 emissions per ton than other fossil fuels.

Excavators unearth lignite hundreds of feet below ground; exposed to air, sulphide minerals in the rocks oxidize, releasing acid and heavy metals like iron and copper that turn rain and groundwater into an ethereal sludge the EPA says may be “highly toxic.” Continue Reading →

METALS-Shanghai nickel rises on low stockpiles, Nornickel accident – by Mai Nguyen (Reuters U.S. – October 23, 2019)

SINGAPORE, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Shanghai nickel prices rose on Wednesday, tracking gains overnight in London, buoyed by supply concerns amid falling inventories and following an accident at major nickel producer Nornickel’s mine in Siberia.

The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose as much as 4.8% to 132,210 yuan ($18,668.72) a tonne, after benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) climbed 2.5% in the prior session. The Shanghai contract ended up 3% at 129,970 yuan a tonne.

Nickel stocks in LME-approved warehouses MNISTX-TOTAL fell to 87,132 tonnes, hovering around their lowest since November 2011, latest data showed, while ShFE nickel inventories have picked up recently SNI-TOTAL-W. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-The Russians are coming for Asia and Europe’s coal markets – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – October 23, 2019)

LISBON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Life is set to get even more difficult for major coal exporters with Russia planning to increase shipments of the fuel and the cost advantages appearing increasingly stacked in its favour.

Russia is already the third-largest supplier to the seaborne market, behind Indonesia and Australia, and is moving to take advantage of its central geographic position to boost exports to both the Atlantic and Pacific basins.

Finding bullish coal market participants is increasingly difficult but at this week’s World Coal Leaders conference in Lisbon, Russia provided a group of upbeat delegates. It’s not too difficult to see why they are positive about gaining market share in both Europe and the Far East from established competitors. Continue Reading →

How UK’s disused mine shafts plan to store renewable energy – by Jillian Ambrose (The Guardian – October 21, 2019)

Britain’s cheapest “virtual battery” could be created by hoisting and dropping 12,000-tonne weights – half the weight of the Statue of Liberty – down disused mine shafts, according to Imperial College London.

The surprising new source of “gravity energy” is being developed by Gravitricity, an Edinburgh-based startup, which hopes to use Britain’s old mines to make better use of clean electricity at half the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

Gravitricity said its system effectively stores energy by using electric winches to hoist the weights to the top of the shaft when there is plenty of renewable energy available, then dropping the weights hundreds of metres down vertical shafts to generate electricity when needed. Continue Reading →

Dam Collapse at Siberian Gold Mine Leaves at Least 15 Dead – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – October 19, 2019)

(Bloomberg) — At least 15 people died when a dam collapsed at a gold mine in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said on its website.

The incident happened at about 2 a.m. Moscow time Saturday near one of the small local gold mining companies’ operations, the ministry said.

Emergency services continue rescue efforts and seven of the 13 people reported missing earlier have been found alive, the Tass news wire reported, citing a local official. Continue Reading →

Russia’s Rosatom may buy controlling stake in Chile lithium project – by Polina Devitt and Dave Sherwood (Reuters U.S. – October 15, 2019)

MOSCOW/SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Uranium One Group, a subsidiary of Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom, may buy a controlling stake in a lithium project in Chile’s Atacama salt flat from Wealth Minerals Ltd (WML.V), the Canada-listed company said on Tuesday.

Under a deal struck with Wealth, the Russian nuclear firm has the option to purchase up to a 51% stake in Wealth’s Atacama project in northern Chile, the statement said.

Chile’s Atacama salt flat, home to leading lithium producers SQM (SQMa.SN) and Albemarle (ALB.N), accounts for around one-third the world’s supply of lithium, a key ingredient in the batteries that power electric vehicles, tablets and cell phones. Continue Reading →

French government appoints new mining delegate to French Guiana – by John Williams (Global Mining Review – October 9, 2019)

Columbus Gold Corp. has announced that in September the French government appointed Didier Le Moine as the new mining delegate and coordinator of mining projects in French Guiana.

Le Moine, a mining engineer, formally held the position of Director of Industry, Mines and Energy in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, where a nickel mining industry was successfully established.

Le Moine’s new mandate is to define, coordinate and implement actions for the development of a responsible mining industry in French Guiana that is compatible with France’s ecological ambitions, is respectful of the populations and generates wealth and jobs for the territory. Continue Reading →

Mining Ireland: sourcing for sustainability – by Daniel Brightmore (Mining Global – October 7, 2019)

The Mining Ireland conference will examine the scale of Ireland’s mineral potential, mining and mineral exploration projects, and the role Irish companies play in global markets.

The Irish Mining and Quarrying Society (IMQS), in collaboration with Geoscience Ireland, will host the Mining Ireland conference in Dublin on October 8. “If it is not grown, it is mined – a much-used adage, but one that still holds true.

With the Paris Agreement 2016 and the Government of Ireland Climate Action Plan 2019, we are transitioning toward greener energy sources, many of which are dependent on the metals, and it is our responsibility to extract minerals in the most environmentally sustainable way possible,” stated the IMQS ahead of the conference. Continue Reading →

Coal mines turned into culture mines is new business in Poland – by Louise Miner and Chris Burns (Euro News – October 7, 2019)

Katowice is a city that built itself on coal, turning the 18th-century village into an industrial powerhouse. Now it´s in the middle of another transformation: developing a cleaner, greener, more sustainable way of living and working. In this edition of Spotlight, we look at how this Polish city has turned coal mines into culture mines and new places to do business.

Silesian Museum – art and history

The centrepiece of this urban make-over is the Silesian Museum, built in a coal mine. Along with underground performances and a meeting space, the main hall is two football fields long, 14 metres deep. There are exhibitions about the region’s history, and on Polish art, including works by coal miners such as Jan Nowak.

Nowak said, “It’s amazing. I used to work here, with a shovel, with a hammer, and so on. And now my works are here in this museum, in this mine (Kopalny).” Continue Reading →