Archive | Europe Mining

England built an empire out of coal. Now it’s giving it up. Why can’t the US? – by Carolyn Beeler ( – June 18, 2018)

England, perhaps more than any other country in the world, was built on coal. The first successful steam engine was invented to pump water out of British coal mines. Coal powered the railroads and ships that built Britain’s empire. It helped the country survive two world wars, and at its height between those wars, coal mines employed 1.2 million people.

So this winter, when the United Kingdom announced its plan to stop burning coal for electricity by 2025, the shift was seismic. The announcement signaled the dethroning of King Coal in a country where it had reigned for more than a century, and where just six years prior it provided more than 40 percent of the nation’s energy.

How did this happen in Britain at a time when leaders in the US were moving in the opposite direction by promising to end the “war on coal”? The answer lies not in technological innovation, but in a profound cultural shift that began decades ago in coal field communities across England. Continue Reading →

Romania says Gabriel Resources $4.4bn lawsuit over halted project can’t be heard by arbitrators – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – June 14, 2018)

Gabriel Resources (TSX-V:GBU) lawsuit against Romania for $4.4 billion in alleged losses related to the company’s stalled Rosia Montana gold and silver project, suffered a setback this week as the country told international arbitrators they can’t hear the Canadian miner’s claim.

Romania’s government said a recent, ground-breaking court decision had slammed the door on certain investment arbitration cases involving European Union members, so Gabriel’s case can’t be solved that way any longer, legal news site reported, without elaborating further on the verdict.

Earlier this month, Gabriel Resources said it expected the hearing on the merits of its suit, filed last year at a World Bank’s tribunal, to take place in December 2019. The new development, however, may mean the company will have to wait longer than anticipated to find out whether Romania will pay the demanded figure or anything at all. Continue Reading →

On the gemstone trail: A tour of Antwerp’s diamond district – by John Malathronas (CNN – June 12, 2018)

(CNN) — With its flat-fronted 1960s buildings and plain color scheme, Hoveniersstraat might be dismissed as one of the most drab streets in the pretty baroque Belgian city of Antwerp.

In fact, it’s one of the most fascinating, and there are several high security clues that give the game away. The street is protected by a police station, dozens of CCTV cameras and several armed soldiers. The reason: Hoveniersstraat is the center of Antwerp’s — and the world’s — diamond industry.

About 84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all cut diamonds on the planet are traded in this destination today. Located less than an hour from Brussels by train, the Belgian city, has been a major diamond center since medieval times. Continue Reading →

Cobalt Hunt Takes Aussie Explorer to Forest on BMW’s Doorstep – by Elisabeth Behrmann (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2018)

The search for cobalt, a key component of the battery-powered auto fleets of the future, has arrived on BMW AG’s doorstep with a discovery of an ore deposit not far from the plant where the German manufacturer makes its i3 electric city car.

The cobalt find in a forested section of Saxony’s Eichigt municipality, Germany’s first detection of the metal in modern times, could revive mining in an area that last saw activity during the Renaissance, and help diversify raw-materials supply, exploration company Lithium Australia NL said.

Some 60 percent of the world’s cobalt is concentrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where concerns over working practices and political strife have sparked a global hunt for alternatives sources. Continue Reading →

EU will act against U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum: Merkel – by Michael Nienaber (Reuters U.S. – June 10, 2018)

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe will implement counter-measures against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum just like Canada, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, voicing regret about President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw support for a G7 communique.

Trump’s announcement on Twitter, after leaving the Group of Seven summit in Canada early, that he was backing out of the joint communique torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on a trade dispute between Washington and its top allies.

“The withdrawal, so to speak, via tweet is of course … sobering and a bit depressing,” Merkel said in an ARD television interview following the G7 summit. Continue Reading →

Russian diamond miner announces auctions and award of high Sustainability ranking – by Rebecca Campbell ( – June 7, 2018)

Russian diamond mining major Alrosa announced on Thursday that it would hold auctions in Hong Kong and Vladivostok for large rough diamonds. The Hong Kong auction will start on June 13 and will run until June 27. The Vladivostok auction would start on June 18 and conclude on June 29. In both cases, the rough stones being auctioned will each weigh more than 10.8 ct.

Both auctions are of gem quality stones. In Hong Kong, the corporation would auction 105 lots with a total weight of 1 620 ct. In Vladivostok, it would auction 130 lots, with a total weight of 2 149 ct.

The diamonds would come from Alrosa itself and two of its subsidiaries: Alrosa-Nyurba and Severalmaz. The group had invited 150 companies, from Belgium, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the US to attend the auctions. Continue Reading →

Russia’s Polyus big step closer to building world’s largest new gold mine – by Frik Els ( – June 7, 2018)

Russian gold miner Polyus on Thursday provided an update on its Sukhoi Log project, one of the world’s largest untapped gold deposits. The news sent units of the company trading over the counter in the US up 3% for a market value of some $8.5 billion.

Polyus in May completed the scoping study and verification drilling programme at Sukhoi Log, located in the Irkutsk region of eastern Siberia, and is now entering the pre-feasibility stage with a study out early 2021.

The Moscow-based company, the world’s 7th largest listed gold producer, said it planned to make a final investment decision on Sukhoi Log, by 2020-2021 with a target for production start-up around 2026. Continue Reading →

Here are the super-wealthy billionaires’ assets on Kola Peninsula – by Thomas Nilsen (The Barents Observer – June 5, 2018)

Take a closer look at these eight people. They have two things in common; all are on Forbes list of the world’s billionaires and they are all making big money from industry on the Kola Peninsula.

Alexey Mordashov tops the list, with a private fortune of $18,7 billion. An hour drive south of Murmansk, he runs the iron-ore mines in Olenegorsk. Number two on the list, Leonid Mikhelson is about to create thousands of new jobs just north of Murmansk where the construction of Kola Yard currently is the largest industrial development project anywhere north of the Arctic Circle in Europe.

Other well known oligarchs on the list includes Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin. Forbes list includes 42 Russians with a private fortune of more than $1 billion. Here, we only include those with big businesses in the Murmansk region. Continue Reading →

Key shareholder urges Canadian miner Nevsun to engage with suitors – by Nicole Mordant (Reuters U.S. – June 6, 2018)

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Nevsun Resources, a Canadian miner which has been approached regarding a takeover, should enter “good-faith negotiations with any suitor,” Adrian Day Asset Management, one of Nevsun’s top 10 shareholders, said in an open letter to the company’s board on Wednesday.

“We would urge the company to use all efforts to maximize value for shareholders… even if it does mean breaking up the company,” the asset management firm’s chairman Adrian Day said in the letter seen by Reuters.

The firm owns 3.1 million shares of Nevsun, making it the seventh-biggest shareholder based on public filings, Day said. Continue Reading →

Reliance on Congo Cobalt Grows Despite European Discoveries – by Jason Deign (Green Tech Media – June 5, 2018)

“Ultimately, there will be no lithium-ion industry without DRC cobalt.”

The lithium-ion battery industry’s dependence on cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo will rise despite ore discoveries in Europe, analysts believe.

Caspar Rawles, an analyst with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said the percentage of global cobalt supply coming from the DRC was set to go up from 66 percent in 2017 to more than 73 percent by 2023, even though mining firms are rushing to uncover deposits elsewhere.

Last month, for example, the Australian production and processing company Lithium Australia announced the discovery of cobalt mineralization at mines in Eichigt, in the state of Saxony in Germany. Continue Reading →

A piece of Britain lost in Mexico – by Lauren Cocking ( – May 21, 2018)

To understand how a bit of British legacy can be found in Hidalgo, Mexico, we must look back two centuries to the heyday of Cornwall’s mining industry.

As I squeezed my way through the crowd, Marion Symonds was busy crimping one side of a 4.5m-long pasty in the central plaza. All eyes were on this Cornish baker as she held the still-malleable pastry shell in her hands, delicately crimping the edges of the dough with her fingertips to seal in the beef, potato and onion.

Looking at the sloping red roofs and manicured gardens around us, you’d have thought Symonds and I were somewhere in our native England. In fact, we were in the tiny town of Real del Monte in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo. At the other end of the oversized snack, a local chef was crimping the Mexican way, slapping the pastry shut with the side of a hand atop a table. Continue Reading →

Britain yet to renew visa of Russian billionaire Abramovich: sources – by Polina Devitt (Reuters U.S. – May 20, 2018)

MOSCOW/LONDON (Reuters) – British authorities, whose relations with Moscow have been strained, are yet to renew Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s visa after it expired last month, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Abramovich, best known in Britain as the owner of Premier League soccer club Chelsea, is in the process of renewing his visa as part of a standard procedure, one of the sources said.

It is taking longer than usual but there is no indication that the visa will not be renewed as there is no refusal or negative feedback, he added. Millhouse, the company that manages Abramovich’s assets, declined to comment. Britain’s Home Office could not be reached for comment. Continue Reading →

Eritrea ‘poison pill’ complicates miner Lundin’s aspirations: sources – by Nicole Mordant and Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – May 17, 2018)

VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) – The weak human rights record of one of Africa’s poorest countries is coming between Lundin Mining Corp and its pursuit of a prized European copper and gold asset. Cash-rich Lundin’s latest run at fellow Canadian miner Nevsun Resources Ltd is designed to bag the Timok project in Serbia, but it had to bring on a partner to pick up Nevsun’s Bisha mine in Eritrea.

That is because Lundin Mining’s board of directors, chaired by billionaire resources tycoon Lukas Lundin, refuses to invest in Eritrea, according to four people familiar with, but not able to speak publicly on, the matter.

They will not own the Eritrean mine “for even one second,” one of the people said. That stance is not necessarily a deal breaker, said an investor who declined to be named. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Sanctions stresses still bubbling in aluminium market – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – May 17, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – The initial sanctions shockwaves may have passed but the aluminium market is still structurally stressed by the U.S. Treasury’s action against Oleg Deripaska and his Rusal aluminium empire.

The price explosion after the original April 6 sanctions announcement went into reverse on April 23, when the U.S. Treasury extended the deadline until October and held out an olive branch to Rusal (but not Deripaska).

After hitting a seven-year high of $2,718 per tonne on April 19 the London Metal Exchange (LME) aluminium price has retreated to a current $2,268. The market seems to be betting that Deripaska’s offer to reduce his stake in and remove himself from Rusal will result in a swift lifting of the sanctions that have roiled the supply chain. Continue Reading →

France’s Areva rebrands to Orano in dire uranium market – by Geert De Clercq (Reuters U.S. – January 23, 2018)

PARIS (Reuters) – French uranium mining and nuclear fuel group Areva rebranded itself as Orano on Tuesday, closing the book on a years-long restructuring but still facing an uncertain future, with uranium prices at decade lows and the nuclear industry in the doldrums.

Chief Executive Philippe Knoche said a new name and logo were necessary to start another chapter in the history of the state-owned company, which was split in two and recapitalized in 2017 after years of losses wiped out its equity.

“We had to change our name – we are a new company with a different perimeter, focused on the fuel cycle,” Knoche said at a presentation of the new brand. Orano refers to uranium, the core of the firm’s business, and its new circular yellow logo references the yellowcake uranium concentrate that it extracts from the ore. Continue Reading →