Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Shifting Iron Range politics may not be enough for Trump in Minnesota – by Briana Bierschbach (Minneapolis Star Tribune – October 18, 2020)

The scene in the northern Minnesota mining town of Virginia fit perfectly into the Trump campaign’s story line.

On one side of the street, a group of Republicans were waving Trump flags and singing “God Bless the U.S.A.” Across the street at the local steelworkers’ union office, a smaller group stood masked and silent, looking on with Joe Biden signs.

One of the Trump supporters made a crack about the size of the Biden crowd. Rob Farnsworth, a Republican state House candidate and member of the Minnesota teachers’ union, extended an invitation. Continue Reading →

‘Deal with the disaster’: the girl from Bougainville who grew up to take on a mining giant – by Leanne Jorari and Ben Doherty (The Guardian – October 16, 2020)

For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has cast a pall.

The Panguna mine in Bougainville, eastern Papua New Guinea, has not yielded a single ounce in her lifetime – forced shut the year before Matbob was born – but she grew up in the shadow of the violent civil war it provoked.

When she was just three years old, her father, John Roka, was murdered by the secessionist soldiers who had forced the mine to close. Spending years in a “care centre” run by the PNG defence force, she remembers a childhood dominated by an all-pervasive fear, where the sound of gunshots regularly rang out across the valley, where neighbours disappeared from their homes, their bodies later found slaughtered. Continue Reading →

Saving Wyoming coal communities: step one, change our image – by David Dodson (Casper Star Tribune – October 17, 2020)

Like it or not, much of America has a pretty poor opinion of coal. Two-thirds of Americans want the federal government to do more to reduce the effects of climate change, and three-quarters of our country want to see the country prioritize renewables over fossil fuels.

By the way, that view is not just held by liberal-Green New Deal-socialists. 49 percent of those who self-describe as “conservative” also want to see renewables prioritized over fossil fuels; and if that doesn’t surprise you, in states with coal mines, half the state’s population is in favor of phasing out all coal-fired power plants!

The Trump Administration did not bring back coal jobs for two reasons. First, as I’ve written in previous columns, coal’s true threat is not the Green New Deal but natural gas. Continue Reading →

LANG HANCOCK: Clash of the dynasties: Pilbara’s role as kingmaker for nation’s wealthy makes it a risk worth fighting over – by Aja Styles (Sydney Morning Herald – October 19, 2020)

The legal war being waged by Wright Prospecting over Pilbara iron ore tenement Hope Downs, coupled with its acquisition of Rhodes Ridge, has the capacity to reshape Western Australia’s mining landscape for generations to come.

Edith Cowan University business lecturer Tom Barratt says Wright’s improved riches could allow it to become more active in a region that has produced the nation’s biggest mining heavyweights.

Wright Prospecting is chasing a 25 per cent stake in the Hope Downs 4, 5 and 6 mining tenements – currently split 50/50 between Hancock Prospecting and Rio Tinto – as well as half the royalties from Hope Downs 1, 2 and 3. Continue Reading →

Tesla eyes nickel-rich Indonesia for next factory, hints officials – by Maria Merano ( – October 18, 2020)


Local reports are hinting that Tesla might be laying down plans to build a dedicated battery factory in Indonesia. The update was related by Indonesian officials who pointed to ongoing talks with the electric car maker.

CNBC Indonesia reported that the Indonesian government and Tesla are negotiating the possible construction of a battery factory in Batang, Central Java. The location is currently being developed by the country into an expansive industrial area.

In a statement to the media on Monday, Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang stated that discussions with Tesla are indeed underway for a potential battery factory in Batang. “On going discussion, arahnya ke sana Batang (the direction is Batang),” Gumiwang said. Continue Reading →

Ohio craft brewers bank on cans during the pandemic. Now comes an aluminum shortage.- by Patrick Cooley (The Columbus Dispatch – October 18, 2020)

Ohio’s craft brewers are preparing for an aluminum shortage as more and more beer makers put their concoctions in cans.

The shortage is likely to hit the state’s smallest breweries especially hard because they have fewer resources and less leverage with metal suppliers, industry insiders said.

At the beginning of 2020, breweries sold much of their beer to restaurants and bars, which meant filling kegs for draught beer. Then came the coronavirus pandemic, which confined many Ohioans to their homes and continues to weigh on the hospitality industry. Continue Reading →

Clash of the dynasties: Legal showdown looms over Lang Hancock’s multi-billion dollar iron ore tenement – by Aja Styles (Sydney Morning Herald – September 3, 2020)

The end game in a historic feud over Western Australia’s iron ore throne looks set to begin as the Pilbara’s biggest mining dynasties prepare to clash in the Supreme Court.

The historic showdown will unearth the 1960s business dealings of late mining magnate Lang Hancock relating to the multibillion-dollar Hope Downs iron ore tenement in what is shaping up to become the state’s biggest civil court case.

On the one side is Mr Hancock’s daughter and the richest woman in Australia, Gina Rinehart, coupled with her company Hancock Prospecting. On the other are the heirs of Mr Hancock’s business partner, Peter Wright, and the descendants of a third Pilbara mining pioneer, Don Rhodes. Continue Reading →

Arizona: A Resurgence of Gold Exploration – by Phil Gracin (The Deep Dive – October 17, 2020)

Arizona has a history of mining extending back to the 18th century. The Spanish, who along with Mexico controlled much of what is today the southwestern United States, concentrated more on silver mining but traded with the regional indigenous peoples who brought them gold – something which the church was interested in.

Most gold mining occurred in the 20th century and was mostly placer gold with some lode deposits as well, and the recovered gold is more likely to be a byproduct from copper mining operations. Arizona is often called the Copper State because two-thirds of copper produced in the US comes from this area.

Unlike its neighboring state of Nevada, Arizona was never a significant destination for gold exploration. However, since the late 1700’s Arizona has mined approximately 17 million ounces of gold. What makes Arizona compelling is that gold has historically been found throughout the state, even if much of it has been a by-product of copper mining. Continue Reading →

Clean Energy Can’t Have Dirty Roots – by Ketan Joshi and Antony Loewenstein (Foriegn Policy – October 15, 2020)

Securing human rights in the supply chain of critical minerals is vital for a green future.

On the face of it, the recent news that California will ban the sale of petrol cars in 2035 and favor electric vehicles is a positive development toward a greener, safer, and more sustainable world. And yet this announcement brings as many questions as answers, not least whether electric vehicles really are the best and easiest solution to the climate crisis.

The reality is far more complicated. The electrification of transport and the construction of new clean energy like solar are vital components of curing the carbon problem. But they come with their own novel and potentially show-stopping environmental and ethical costs, and these must urgently be grappled with by those of us who call for climate action at a rapid rate.

Everyone who expected climate policy to cool in the year of COVID-19 has been sorely disappointed. A flurry of announcements is increasing as the end of the year approaches, mostly relating to either general climate ambition, the accelerated deployment of mature technologies, or innovation to create new ones. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Key EV Potential Beyond Elon Musk and Tesla – by Priscila Barrera (Australia Investing News – October 14, 2020)


Battery metals investors around the world continue to talk about the news, plans and ideas discussed at Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Battery Day in September.

The California-based automaker led by Elon Musk unveiled plans to reduce battery cell and pack costs with one main goal in mind: building a US$25,000 electric vehicle (EV).

Musk announced on stage that Tesla will be building a cathode facility in Texas, and will be sourcing its raw materials from North America. He also said the company has rights to lithium-rich clay operations in Nevada, which it could potentially use to secure supply of that raw material. Continue Reading →

As nations clamor for ex-China rare earths supplies, Lynas urges cash support – by Anthony Barich (SP Global – October 14, 2020)

A Lynas Corp. Ltd. executive said state and federal governments need to put up “cold, hard cash” for the company’s A$500 million processing plant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, amid broader concerns around proposed foreign investment reforms and a greater focus on ex-China supply chains.

During an Oct. 14 Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum presentation in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Lynas Vice President of Upstream Kam Leung laid out the “challenges” of developing downstream processing in the state, including higher input costs and higher capital costs, particularly linked to labor, and the “tyranny of distance” of vast trucking expanses.

Leung said government funding was needed for often complex and high-cost downstream processing to be globally competitive, given what he cited in his presentation as an “increasing focus on resilient critical minerals supply chains” among Australia, Europe, India, the U.S. and Japan. Continue Reading →

South Korea seeks to exit Africa mining JV despite rising nickel demand – by Man-su Choe (Korean Investors – August 26, 2020)

State-run Korea Resources Corp. has embarked on a plan to sell its stake in a loss-making nickel mining joint venture in Madagascar, Africa, after the ruling Democratic Party put forward a motion to ban the cash-strapped institution’s direct investment in overseas projects.

The planned sale, announced early this month, would mean South Korea’s exit from one of the world’s three-largest nickel mines, at a time when demand for nickel, a core raw material for rechargeable batteries, is on the rise from the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) industry.

Korea Resources has pumped 2.2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) in the joint venture (JV), Ambatovy, since acquiring a 33% stake in the venture in 2006. Continue Reading →

How a city lives with HUGE hole in the ground (PHOTOS) – by Yekaterina Sinelschikova (Russia Beyond The Headlines – October 15, 2020)

The city of Mirny has just one attraction – an incredible hole in the ground, which can be seen from space. Possibly the most famous hole in Russia, this moderately sized pit freaked some Reddit users out, leading to thousands of bewildered comments, such as: “Love the airport that just ends at the mine. Overshoot your runway a bit? Yeah, that’s the end of your vacation.”

On the edge of the mind-boggling quarry there indeed sits a city – Mirny. It’s situated in the biggest and most barren region of the country – Yakutia (or Sakha Republic, as you may also know it), a huge landmass that occupies a fifth of the country’s territory, but is inhabited by less than a million people.

The city of Mirny itself has 35,000 inhabitants and they’re there mainly for one reason: diamonds. In fact, they’re why the city was built in the first place. Continue Reading →

Tesla Puts Nickel in Focus at Battery Day, but Details Still Needed – by Priscila Barrera (Nickel Investing News – October 8, 2020)


Nickel has been making headlines since Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk called for more mining of the metal over the summer, and the company’s Battery Day has reinforced interest.

Musk said at the recent event that the automaker is looking to process nickel in a more efficient way, eliminating steps and addressing the waste of water. He also reiterated his request for more nickel mining, and said the company is developing cathodes that will contain higher nickel and no cobalt.

At Battery Day, all plans unveiled by Tesla point to a reduction in battery costs, in line with the company’s goal of producing an affordable US$25,000 electric vehicle (EV) in the next three years. Tesla is also looking to ramp up battery production capacity to 100 GWh by 2022 and to 3 TWh by 2030. Continue Reading →

Can a mining state be pro-heritage? Vital steps to avoid another Juukan Gorge – by Jo McDonald (The Conversation – October 14, 2020)

Jo McDonald is the Director, Centre for Rock Art Research + Management, University of Western Australia.

The destruction of 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge sites in the Pilbara has created great distress for their traditional owners, seismic shockwaves for heritage professionals and appalled the general public.

The fallout for Rio Tinto has been profound as has the groundswell of criticism of Western Australia’s outdated heritage laws. A path forward must ensure a pivotal role for Indigenous communities and secure Keeping Places for heritage items. More broadly, we need more Indigenous places added to the National Heritage List, ensuring them the highest form of heritage protection.

In a state heavily dependent on mining, the model for this could follow the successful seven-year heritage collaboration I have been part of on-country with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) and Rio Tinto in the Dampier Archipelago (Murujuga). Continue Reading →