Archive | Europe Mining

Exclusive: Greece seeks new mining jobs, higher royalties in talks with Eldorado – by Angeliki Koutantou (Reuters Canada – September 16, 2019)

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece is in talks with Canada’s Eldorado Gold to secure higher royalties from its mining development projects and new jobs, Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said on Monday.

Vancouver-based miner Eldorado has two operating mines and two development projects in northern Greece and its planned investment is viewed as one of the biggest in the country in years. The projects have, however, repeatedly stalled over licensing delays and environmental concerns.

They have become flagship schemes for Greece’s new conservative government, which took office in July with a pledge to unblock foreign investments and help boost economic output crimped by a quarter through years of financial turmoil. Continue Reading →

Britain’s last tin mine could reopen – by Lauren Kent and Nina dos Santos (CNN Business/ – September 13, 2019)

POOL, United Kingdom – Cornwall’s last tin mine closed 20 years ago. Now growing demand for metals from ethical sources could spark a revival in one of Britain’s most deprived regions.

Once the mining center of the world, Cornwall is dotted with more than 2,000 derelict engine houses, many of them along its rugged coastline. Tin mining and smelting in this southwest corner of rural England dates back thousands of years. But in the late 19th century, when new deposits were discovered in East Asia and South America, English tin became uncompetitive and Cornish miners scattered overseas in search of new prospects.

Cornwall has struggled ever since. It is the second-poorest region in Northern Europe, according to EU data, and it struggles with higher rates of child poverty and homelessness than the rest of the United Kingdom. Now its fortunes may be looking up again. Ruined tin mines could be revived because tech companies and carmakers are racing to find ethical sources of the metal. And the last mine to close —South Crofty — could be the first to reopen. Continue Reading →

France’s Orano to develop uranium mining projects in Uzbekistan (The Times of Central Asia – September 5, 2019)

TASHKENT (TCA) — Major nuclear fuel cycle company Orano has signed a partnership agreement with the Uzbek State, represented by the State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources (GoscomGeology) to develop mining exploration and operations activities in Uzbekistan, the French company said on September 4.

The two partners have decided to create a joint venture which will be established in few months, with 51% held by Orano and 49% held by GoscomGeology.

This agreement formalizes the desire of both parties to work together on uranium mining projects in Uzbekistan, in particular in the Navoi region in a desert area at the heart of the uranium-rich province of Kyzylkum. Continue Reading →

Greenland’s Rare-Earth Minerals Make It Trump’s Treasure Island – by Kiliii Yuya and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – August 28, 2019)

The country’s hostile wilderness becomes a new front in the trade war.

Cast an ultraviolet flashlight on the hills around Narsaq, a coastal town in southern Greenland, after dusk, and the rocks light up like embers.

With a land mass larger than Mexico and a population of only about 56,000 people, Greenland is a small economy, heavily reliant on fishing, agriculture, and about $500 million of annual subsidies from Denmark, which has claimed the island as a territory since the early 18th century. The fluorescence in the hills, however, could change all that.

Greenland’s minerals, metals, gems, and potentially oil are of particular interest to those who want full independence from Denmark by 2021, the 300th anniversary of colonization. The island has won back some rights to self-rule over the years, most recently in a 2008 referendum that transferred powers including authority over mineral resources to the Parliament of Greenland. Continue Reading →

Russia Spreads Influence in Africa Using Nuclear Power – Reports (Moscow Times – August 29, 2019)

Russia is working to win influence in at least 10 African states with high-cost nuclear technology that for the most part does not suit their needs, researchers and NGOs have told The Guardian newspaper.

With booming exports, nuclear energy is one example of Russia’s increasing presence in Africa in recent years. Elsewhere, a businessman known as “Putin’s chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, is widely reported to be spearheading Russia’s push to exchange security and electioneering services for mining rights in Africa.

Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom has approached the leaders of “dozens” of African countries with various nuclear energy projects in the past two years, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Rosatom has existing deals with Egypt and Nigeria and other various agreements with other countries on the continent. Continue Reading →

[Lithium] There May Be a Fortune Buried in a Forgotten Corner of Europe – by James M. Gomez and Misha Savic (Bloomberg News – August 29, 2019)

Some estimate that the continent’s largest reserves of lithium⁠—the metal used for batteries⁠—are in Serbia. The hard part might be getting it out.

The ancient scooter gurgling through a languid summer afternoon brought groceries and a fistful of cash to Sasa Antic’s house. Like many of his neighbors, the 30-year-old Serb hasn’t had a job for some time so the family relies on the arrival of his mother’s pension.

Yet buried in the ground beneath this forgotten corner of former Yugoslavia is the prospect of becoming a new European front in the economic battle with Asia. Geologists are exploring the hilly landscape for the metal that’s become ubiquitous in modern technology: lithium.

“It would be a godsend if they can prove lithium reserves,” said Antic, as his mother counted out the dinars handed to her by a merchant who also delivered milk, rolls and butter to them in Klinovac, a hamlet of barns, stone houses and more goats than cars. “This is the least developed part of Serbia and we are at a dead end.” Continue Reading →

The 17 reasons Donald Trump really wants Greenland – by Catherine Philp (The Australian – August 26, 2019)

They are 17 in number and between them are becoming the driving force for the 21st century. Their names are unfamiliar but they power most of our household technology.

Nicknamed the “vitamins of modern life”, these rare earth elements possess unique magnetic and lighting properties that are central to the production of civilian and military technology.

Now, as the trade war with China heats up, the US faces being cut off from the supply of a natural resource crucial to the trappings of modern life: rechargeable batteries, smartphones, missile guidance systems, electric cars and more. Continue Reading →

The forgotten factor in Donald Trump’s quest to buy Greenland — rare-earth elements – by Genna Buck (National Post – August 22, 2019)

Do you have a drawer — or perhaps a whole garage — piled with old or broken electronic devices left to languish after you’ve upgraded? You’re not alone. And you are sitting on a gold mine, or maybe something even more valuable.

Rare-earth elements are an essential component of smartphones, computers and tablets, as well as many industrial, defence and energy applications, especially wind turbines.

There are 15 or 17 of these elements, depending on how you count, and they’re not actually all that rare — just complicated, expensive and environmentally destructive to mine. The vast majority come from China. This has led to worries they could become a trump card, so to speak, in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. Continue Reading →

Trump calls Danish PM’s rebuff of Greenland idea ‘nasty’ as trip cancellation stuns Danes – by Jeff Mason and Nikolaj Skydsgaard (Reuters U.S. – August 21, 2019)

WASHINGTON/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – President Donald Trump declared Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s dismissal of his idea to buy Greenland “nasty” and an affront to the United States on Wednesday, a day after shocking Danes by canceling a Copenhagen visit over the rebuff.

Danes voiced disbelief at Trump’s decision to forgo the trip, although Frederiksen said she believed relations with the United States, a NATO ally, would not be affected.

Trump, who built his career as a businessman dealing in real estate, had mused openly in recent days about a U.S. purchase of Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory rich in natural resources, raising eyebrows in Europe and in the United States. Continue Reading →

TÜV SÜD pulls out of dam safety checks after Brazil disaster – by Alexander Hübner (Reuters U.S. – August 19, 2019)

MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany’s TÜV SÜD has pulled out of conducting safety assessments of dams after the collapse of a Brazilian dam it had vetted killed almost 250 people in January, the industrial inspection firm’s chief executive told Reuters.

The collapse of the tailings dam, which was operated by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, flooded the town of Brumadinho with mining waste water only four months after TÜV SÜD had vouched for the safety of the structure.

“So far nobody knows the cause of the accident. And we do not know in particular what happened between September 2018 and January 2019 – if, for example, heavy equipment was being operated nearby or if there had been detonations,” Axel Stepken said in an interview. Continue Reading →

Germany hopes to mine lithium, the white gold of e-mobility – by Hardy Graupner (Zinnwald) (Deutsche Welle – August 19, 2019)

A small community in the German state of Saxony may soon see the revival of its centuries-old mining tradition. But this time around, the focus is no longer on tin or tungsten but on lithium, as Hardy Graupner reports.

Hans-Andre Tooren is a longtime municipal administrator in the Saxon community of Zinnwald-Georgenfeld near the German-Czech border, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Dresden. His and his wife’s piece of land happens to be in an area that’s attracted the interest of geologists and a mining company.

Tooren lives in a place where lithium abounds, the new white gold of the automotive and other industries. The chemical element is needed for batteries in electric cars, but is also required in steadily rising quantities for glass ceramics, ceramic glass cooktops and a number of lubricants, to name but a few fields of application. Continue Reading →

GWYNNE DYER: Greenland’s gamble and modernization – by Gwynne Dyer (Cape Breton Post – August 20, 2019)

From his purchase of New Jersey casinos to his proposed acquisition of Greenland, Donald Trump’s real estate deals have always been plagued by bad timing. The United States could probably have bought Greenland from Denmark in 1917 (when it did buy the U.S. Virgin Islands from the Danes), but he’s a century too late now.

Nevertheless, his latest bad idea does give us an incentive to catch up with what’s been happening in Greenland, and it’s quite interesting. Trump may not know this, since he rarely reads intelligence reports, but in November 2017 Greenland’s premier Kim Kielsen led a government delegation to Beijing to seek Chinese investment.

Greenland, the world’s biggest island, is not yet fully independent, but it is autonomous from Denmark in everything except foreign affairs and defence. Kielsen was looking mainly for Chinese investment in mining enterprises, but he was also interested in attracting a Chinese bid to build three modern airports in the island, which currently depends on Second World War-era airstrips. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Donald Trump is thinking of buying Greenland. That’s not necessarily a bad idea – by Barry Scott Zellen (Globe and Mail – August 19, 2019)

In the context of his broader foreign policy, U.S. President Donald Trump’s reported musing about purchasing Greenland from Denmark may not seem all that unnerving.

After all, the former real-estate magnate has already made bold diplomatic moves, such as developing a personal friendship with North Korea’s hitherto reclusive leader and negotiating with the Taliban for nearly a year to try to bring an end to the U.S.’s longest war.

Indeed, buying the island isn’t as wild an idea as it might first seem to some. It may in fact be an example of the U.S. President considering forward-looking, if complex, policy that might strengthen the continent and Greenland itself. Continue Reading →

Trump’s plan to buy Greenland, explained – by Matthew Yglesias ( – August 16, 2019)

He’s not even the first president who’s tried, but the island is not for sale.

President Donald Trump would like to buy Greenland, according to an entertaining Wall Street Journal collaboration by reporters Vivian Salama, Rebecca Ballhaus, Andrew Restuccia, and Michael C. Bender.

Specifically, they report that “in meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House Counsel to look into the idea.”

They also report that “some of his advisers have supported the concept,” though others dismiss it as an unrealistic flight of fancy. The truth is that though it sounds kind of silly, it makes perfect sense if you happen to share Trump’s indifference to environmental issues and indigenous rights. Continue Reading →

Melting Greenland Is Awash in Sand – by Henry Fountain (New York Times – July 1, 2019)

A few miles up the Sermilik Fjord in southwestern Greenland, the water has abruptly turned milky, a sign that it is loaded with suspended silt, sand and other sediment.

It is this material — carried here in a constant plume of meltwater from the Sermeq glacier at the head of the fjord — that Mette Bendixen, a Danish scientist at the University of Colorado, has come to see. As their research boat moves farther into the murky water, she and several colleagues climb into a rubber dinghy to take samples.

Dr. Bendixen, a geomorphologist, is here to investigate an idea, one that she initially ran by colleagues to make sure it wasn’t crazy: Could this island, population 57,000, become a provider of sand to billions of people? Continue Reading →