Archive | International Media Resource Articles

U.S. ‘falling behind’ in global race to develop electric vehicle supply chain – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters U.S. – September 17, 2019)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is losing the race to extract and refine minerals used to make electric vehicles and should do more to spur domestic production, a bipartisan group of senators said on Tuesday.

The push comes as China has grown to dominate the market for lithium, rare earths, cobalt and other so-called strategic minerals used to make a plethora of consumer products, a dominance that politicians have said poses a strategic threat to the United States.

The Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a Tuesday hearing in part to keep the topic fresh in the national dialogue even as attention begins to lurch toward the 2020 presidential campaign. Continue Reading →

Newmont’s Incoming CEO Says No ‘Fire Sale’ Coming for Assets – by Vinicy Chan and Millie Munshi (Bloomberg/ – September 17, 2019)

(Bloomberg) — Newmont Goldcorp Corp. is ready to sit tight on asset sales, even if that means not reaching a previously announced goal of as much as $1.5 billion in divestments.

That’s according to Tom Palmer, the company’s incoming chief executive officer. The world’s largest gold producer will be focusing on optimizing its current assets and is happy overall with its portfolio, other than a previously announced sale of Red Lake in Canada, he said.

“We’re in no rush to sell anything,” Palmer said in an interview Tuesday at the Denver Gold Forum. “There will be no fire sale in Newmont Goldcorp.” Continue Reading →

Britain’s biggest mining project in peril as Sirius bond aborted – by Barbara Lewis and Noor Zainab Hussain (Reuters U.K. – September 17, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – Sirius Minerals (SXX.L) scrapped a plan to raise $500 million in a bond sale on Tuesday, delaying a project to mine for fertiliser under a national park in northern England and halving the value of its shares.

The company had already suspended the bond issue in August. Sirius blamed market conditions aggravated by uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union for its failure to secure funding.

Sirius said on Tuesday the government had turned down a renewed request for backing in August. The company said it would conduct a six-month review to work out cost savings and would slow development of the project. Continue Reading →

Statewide View Column: Closing down coal gives China’s, India’s iron industries an edge – by Isaac Orr (Duluth News Tribune – September 16, 2019)

Xcel Energy recently made headlines by announcing it wished to close down its coal-fired power plants 10 years before they were previously scheduled to retire.

However, it would be nothing short of a disaster for Minnesota’s mining industry, both present and future, if Minnesota Power pursued a similar path by closing the coal-fired Boswell Energy Center at a time when China and India are greatly expanding their use of coal.

Mining requires an enormous amount of energy. In fact, the MinnTac mine in Mountain Iron reportedly uses more electricity and natural gas than the entire city of Minneapolis, and only the coal-fired Boswell Energy Center can provide the affordable, reliable, around-the-clock electricity needed to keep Minnesota mines competitive in a global marketplace. Continue Reading →

[Australia] Opinion: Mining employment returns to boom-time footing – by Matthew Stevens (Australian Financial Review – September 17, 2019)

An imminent return to boom-time employment levels in the Australian mining sector is likely to accelerate labour cost inflation that is already evident in the industry’s most active hubs in Western Australia and Queensland.

A landmark review of near-term investment intentions by the Australian Mines & Metals Association has identified $41 billion worth of projects that are likely to be installed across our mining nation over the five years to 2024.

As a result, AMMA anticipates that direct employment by the mining sector will grow by about 8 per cent – or more than 20,000 – between now and 2024. The AMMA study quoted an unnamed gold mining executive as saying: Continue Reading →

California Miners Call for Legislation to Fight China’s Grip on Rare Earth Minerals – by Brad Jones (The Epoch Times – September 16, 2019)

California miners have been warning Congress about China’s ever-tightening grip on rare earth minerals needed for national defense for years, and now they’ve taken their message to the White House.

In the last year or so, representatives of Public Lands for the People (PLP), a national mining rights advocacy group based in Southern California, and Scott Harn, editor and publisher of ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal, have made five trips to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers, their aides, and federal government departments.

PLP’s researcher Clark Pearson was invited to the White House in 2018, and since then he and Harn have spent a total of 35 days in Washington meeting with President Donald Trump’s key advisors. Continue Reading →

Nickel mining indefinitely suspended in southern Philippines: official – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – September 16, 2019)

MANILA (Reuters) – A nickel mining hub in the southern Philippines, which produces mostly high-grade material, has suspended extraction operations indefinitely as the regional government conducts an industry audit, a top government official told Reuters on Monday.

The government of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has suspended operations of all four mining companies in its jurisdiction, said Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Minister Abdulraof Abdul Macacua.

The Philippines was the world’s second-largest nickel ore producer in 2018 after Indonesia, with both Southeast Asian nations as the top two suppliers to biggest buyer China. Continue Reading →

Collapse of PNG deep-sea mining venture sparks calls for moratorium – by Ben Doherty (The Guardian – September 15, 2019)

The “total failure” of PNG’s controversial deep sea mining project Solwara 1 has spurred calls for a Pacific-wide moratorium on seabed mining for a decade.

The company behind Solwara 1, Nautilus, has gone into administration, with major creditors seeking a restructure to recoup hundreds of millions sunk into the controversial project.

The Solwara 1 project (Solwara is pidgin for ‘salt water’) planned to mine mineral-rich hydrothermal vents, formed by plumes of hot, acidic, mineral-rich water on the floor of the Bismarck Sea. But the project has met with fierce community resistance, legal challenges, and continued funding difficulties. Continue Reading →

Mining industry predicts nuclear will be cheapest power – by Aaron Patrick (Australian Financial Review – September 16, 2019)

The mining industry has declared that nuclear power could be the cheapest way to generate electricity in the next decade, an audacious claim that advocates of wind and solar power are likely to bitterly dispute.

The chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, Tania Constable, said a new generation of compact nuclear reactors should be legalised because they could generate electricity for as little as $60 a megawatt hour – which is much less than the $98.10 average price last year in the renewable pioneer of South Australia, and higher than any other state in the National Electricity Market.

“Apart from existing run-of-water hydro, nuclear is the only energy source capable of providing affordable zero-emissions power 24/7 at industrial scale,” Ms Constable said as part of a submission to a federal inquiry into nuclear power. Continue Reading →

Broad [Australian] coalition opposes nuclear power – by Colin Brinsden ( – September 15, 2019)

More than 40 groups representing millions of Australians have come together to issue a clear message to the federal government that the nation’s energy future is renewable, “not radioactive”.

However, the mining industry is calling for the ban on nuclear energy to be lifted. The coalition of groups has submitted a shared statement in response to the federal parliamentary inquiry into the prospects for nuclear power in Australia.

Submissions to the inquiry close on Monday. “The groups maintain nuclear power has no role in Australia’s energy future and is a dangerous distraction from real progress on our pressing energy and climate challenges and opportunities facing Australia,” the Australian Conversation Foundation said. Continue Reading →

Column: Sliding Japan premium confirms aluminium’s demand problem – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – September 13, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – A sharp fall in Japanese physical premiums for fourth quarter shipments is the latest sign that aluminium is not immune from the demand weakness that is sapping the industrial metals complex.

The timing, however, is ironic. Years of chronic overproduction appeared to be coming to an end with global output actually falling so far this year and large off-market stocks finally starting to diminish.

Demand hasn’t been a problem for aluminium in the past, thanks to its growing usage in an automotive sector focused on light-weighting vehicles. That has changed over the course of this year. Continue Reading →

Miners welcome Indonesian export ore ban, plan smelting expansion – by Mai Nguyen and Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.S. – September 11, 2019)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Large mining companies on Wednesday welcomed a recent decision by the Indonesian government to move forward a ban on exporting nickel ore, as the firms aim to increase smelting output.

Top nickel ore supplier Indonesia last month said the country will stop ore export from Jan. 1, 2020, pushing forward a ban by two years and raising concerns of supply shortage as well as causing financing issues for smaller players.

But major industry players gathering at the Asian Nickel conference on Wednesday said the ban would further support the development of the nickel processing industry in the country. 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 →

PNG demands Wafi-Golpu gold stays in-country, urges Newcrest, Harmony talks – by Jonathan Barrett (Reuters U.S. – September 12, 2019)

SYDNEY, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea wants to keep 40% of gold produced from the proposed Wafi-Golpu project, the country’s commerce minister said, creating a potential hurdle to an agreement with co-owners Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold.

The miners had been hoping to secure a mining lease over the major gold and copper deposit earlier this year, before a change in PNG’s leadership and a shift in minerals policy led to delays.

“We’d like to see Newcrest come to the negotiating table on this,” PNG’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Wera Mori told Reuters in a phone interview late on Thursday. Continue Reading →

On an island coveted by miners, villagers prepare to raise a ruckus – by Ian Morse ( – September 13, 2019)

ROKO-ROKO, Indonesia — Residents of this village on the island of Wawonii look like they’re preparing for a battle. Men with chainsaws guard four jerry-rigged huts they’ve built to protect their land against a mining company owned by one of Indonesia’s wealthiest families.

Just four months earlier, locals were celebrating the government’s promise to expel firms like this one. In March, Lukman Abunawas, the deputy governor of Southeast Sulawesi province, faced an angry crowd outside his office in Kendari, the provincial capital, and announced that the government would revoke 15 land concessions for industrial-scale mining in Wawonii.

It was the culmination of a series of increasingly brutal protests against the mining plans that saw thousands of farmers and fishermen pour into the coastal city, riding boats across the narrow channel separating Wawonii from the Sulawesi mainland to join the demonstrations. Continue Reading →