Archive | International Media Resource Articles

ENERGY TRANSITION: US battery strategy aims to eliminate nickel, cobalt – by Andrea Hotter (Metal Bulletin – June 17, 2021)

https://www.metalbulletin.com/

Full Report: https://bit.ly/3cPTRCP

The United States has published a strategy for lithium-ion battery manufacturing which calls for the elimination of cobalt and nickel from the cathode by the end of the current decade.

It intends to achieve this through research and development into new technologies, with the goal of establishing a domestic battery supply chain that meets the demands of the growing electric vehicle (EV) and electrical grid storage markets, the government said in the strategy document.

The blueprint has been developed by the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries, which is led by the government’s departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce and State, and includes many other organizations across the US government. Continue Reading →

China’s Campaign to Control Commodities Goes Into Overdrive (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – June 16, 2021)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — China has stepped up its campaign to rein in commodity prices and reduce speculation in a bid to ease the threat to its pandemic rebound from soaring raw material costs.

State-owned enterprises were ordered to control risks and limit their exposure to overseas commodities markets by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The companies have been asked to report their futures positions for Sasac to review, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Continue Reading →

History Of Phosphate Mining In Florida Fraught With Peril – by Steve Newborn (WUSF Public Media – June 16, 2021)

https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/

In our ongoing series on phosphate mines, WUSF reports on the long, tangled history of Florida’s phosphate mines and the environment.

At the construction entrance to the Piney Point phosphate plant – off Buckeye Road in northern Manatee County, just south of the Hillsborough County line – the smell of phosphate and gypsum hangs heavy in the air.

A bulldozer is busy pushing sand into a hole from which more than 200 million gallons of tainted water flowed into Tampa Bay. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Accidents like this fill the history books in Florida, including two here at this very site. Continue Reading →

CEO vacuum at AngloGold turns it into world’s worst mining stock – by Adelaide Changole (Bloomberg News – June 17, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

AngloGold Ashanti has had a bad year, with the company’s lack of a permanent chief executive officer and a suspension of its Ghana mine operations weighing on the stock. But with shares now cheap compared with peers, analysts see potential for upside.

Shares of the world’s third-largest gold producer have dropped 30% in the past year, making it the worst-performing stock in the 113-company Bloomberg World Mining Index. It also trails peers on South Africa’s FTSE/JSE Precious Metals and Mining Index, which has gained 20% in the same period.

Investor sentiment began to sour three days after the company’s shares rose to a record on July 27. That’s when AngloGold’s CEO Kelvin Dushnisky shocked stakeholders by announcing his resignation. Continue Reading →

Liam Neeson’s ‘The Ice Road’ Netflix Movie: What We Know So Far – by Tigran Asatryan (What’s On Netflix.com – June 7, 2021)

 

https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/

Netflix has made another big purchase at the European Film Market along with Christian Bale’s The Pale Blue Eye and Colin Firth’s Operation Mincemeat. The third film the streamer acquired is The Ice Road, starring Liam Neeson.

The film that Netflix bought for $18M will be distributed by Netflix in the US (other regions’ availability not yet known) from June 2021. The Ice Road was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, writer of Die Hard With a Vengeance, Jumanji and Armageddon.

Hensleigh also wrote and directed 2004 action movie The Punisher that starred Thomas Jane. The Ice Road is produced by Aperture Media (The Trial of Chicago 7, Atomic Blonde), Envision Media Arts (Mr. Church, Death of Me) and Code Entertainment (Kill the Irishman, Drowning Mona). Continue Reading →

De Beers Unit’s Gigantic Diamond Could Be Third-Biggest Ever – by Mbongeni Mguni (Bloomberg News – June 16, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — Debswana Diamond Co., a unit of De Beers Plc, unearthed a 1,098 carat stone in Botswana on June 1, the largest since the company began operations five decades ago.

Preliminary analysis suggests the stone is the world’s third-largest gem-quality diamond ever after the Cullinan Diamond that was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and the Lesedi la Rona that was found in Botswana in 2015, according to Debswana acting Managing Director Lynette Armstrong.

Valuation by the Diamond Trading Co. Botswana is due in a few weeks and at this point, Debswana can’t say whether the rock will be sold by De Beers or through the Okavango Diamond Co., a state-owned trader that also holds the right to buy Debswana stones, Armstrong said. Continue Reading →

ESG concerns may slow mine development for energy transition: Trafigura CEO – by Diana Kinch (S&P Global – June 15, 2021)

https://www.spglobal.com/

London — Policymakers are becoming increasingly aware that environmental, social and governance issues may stand in the way of development of new mine projects to feed the growing “green revolution,” Jeremy Weir, executive chairman and CEO of global commodities trader Trafigura, said June 15.

“Unless we address that, we’re going to have a serious problem,” Weir said in an interview session during the Financial Times Global Commodities Summit. “Metals intensity is going to be enormous as we construct the infrastructure for energy transition.”

Companies in Asia and increasingly in Europe are striving to source metals including copper and cobalt to meet demand for batteries for electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure, the executive noted. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Canada is abandoning national unity for ‘managed disunity’ – by J.J. McCullough (Washington Post – June 15, 2021)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

Not long ago, “national unity” was the trendiest slogan in Canadian politics. Keeping the people of Canada united, regardless of race, culture, language or geography was every politician’s purported dream; “hurting national unity,” the darkest insult.

There’s much less of that these days, however, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tenure may wind up marking Canada’s formal abandonment of “national unity” as even an aspirational ideal in favor of a far humbler goal of “managed disunity.”

Rather than a single, unified country with a single, inclusive form of democratic citizenship, “managed disunity” would describe a Canada resigned to the notion that various prominent demographic groups will never see themselves as fully Canadian, with Ottawa — at best — merely aspiring to serve as their distant, supportive ally when asked. Continue Reading →

Empowerment is the key to FMG’s joint ventures – by Sarah Smit (National Indigenous Times – June 16, 2021)

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Without the support of Fortescue Metals Group, Nygumarta businessman Ricky Osborne’s business wouldn’t be where it is today.

Mr Osborne owns Jatu Clothing and PPE with his daughters Yvonne Kelly-Osborne and Jummana Osborne. He has supplied clothing and personal protective equipment to the mining company for six of the eight years his company has been in operation.

“One of the most important things for me, and not just for our business, for Aboriginal businesses across the board, is the very strong corporate citizenry push the likes of (FMG chair) Andrew Forrest has promoted to go with Aboriginal people,” he said. “That commitment has had a very significant impact in opening up opportunities for Aboriginal businesses, particularly in WA. Continue Reading →

FMG Billion Opportunities program thriving 10 years on – by Sarah Smit (National Indigenous Times – May 19, 2021)

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Balyku woman Elsa Derschow never thought in a million years that she would own a brand new grading machine, but Fortescue Metals Group’s Billion Opportunities program has made that a reality.

Derschow runs Brindabella Resources, a plant hire business servicing FMG’s Cloudbreak mine in the Pilbara, alongside four other female Pilbara Traditional Owners.

The business was awarded a three-year contract this year, tipping Fortescue’s Indigenous procurement program, Billion Opportunities, over the $3 billion mark. Continue Reading →

BASF, Canada in early talks on EV battery production – source – by Steve Scherer and Christoph Steitz (Financial Post/Reuters – May 20, 2021)

https://financialpost.com/

OTTAWA — Several companies, including Germany’s BASF SE, are in preliminary talks about tapping a federal clean tech fund to set up production for electric vehicle batteries in Canada, a government official with knowledge of the discussions said.

The talks are centered on understanding whether the goals of BASF and others fit with the aim of the C$8 billion ($6.6 billion) “Net Zero Accelerator” (NZA) fund, the source said. Canada has set a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

BASF is a key supplier of cathode active materials (CAM) needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles (EV), and is the world’s largest chemicals and plastics producer by sales. Continue Reading →

China ban on Australian coal boosts Indonesian exports – by Emma Connors (Australian Financial Review – June 15, 2021)

https://www.afr.com/

Singapore/Jakarta | China’s determination to reduce its consumption of Australian exports has helped increase demand for Indonesian coal, according to the country’s peak industry body.

The Indonesian Coal Mining Association said this week that a mixture of domestic supply disruption in China and politically driven efforts to diversify source markets for coal – mainly coking for steel making – had benefited south-east Asia’s biggest economy.

“Imports by China have strengthened because their domestic [coal prices] are getting more expensive, partly because of bad weather that has disrupted domestic supply and partly due to the factors that are hampering exports from Australia,” said executive director Hendra Sinadia. Continue Reading →

South African ferrochrome furnaces need to regain competitive advantage, warns Roskill – by Simone Liedtke (MiningWeekly.com – June 15, 2021)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

The South African ferrochrome industry has benefitted from recent events in China, which commodity research consultancy Roskill says has removed significant global capacity through the closure of small furnaces.

While higher-cost furnaces in southern China have been able to fill the short-term gap, the demand expectations will require South African plants to remain operational throughout this year.

Taking this into account, Roskill predicts that the benchmark price for the third and fourth quarters of this year will maintain a premium to the South African cost structure. Continue Reading →

G7 leaders look to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative with rival Build Back Better World scheme (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – June 13, 2021)

https://www.abc.net.au/

The Group of Seven richest democracies has sought to counter China’s growing influence by offering developing nations an infrastructure plan that could rival President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

The G7, whose leaders are meeting in south-west England, has been searching for a coherent response to the growing assertiveness of Mr Xi after China’s surging economic and military rise over the past 40 years.

US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders hope their plan, known as the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, will provide a transparent infrastructure partnership to help narrow the $US40 trillion ($51.9 trillion) needed by developing nations by 2035, the White House said. Continue Reading →

Cobalt ‘Bubble’ Will Burst, Ivanhoe Executive in Congo Says – by Michael J. Kavanagh (Bloomberg News – June 14, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — The demand for cobalt is a bubble that will burst as new battery technology reduces the need for the metal, according to the head of the chamber of mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congo holds more than half the world’s cobalt reserves, but the market’s negative perception of the central African nation’s business climate means companies will soon find alternative ways to create the power needed for the green energy revolution, Louis Watum of the Federation des Entreprises du Congo told a virtual conference on Monday.

“I’m not a fan of cobalt,” said Watum, who is also an executive at Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. and previously ran their Congo operations. “Cobalt is a bubble that is going to burst.” Continue Reading →