Archive | International Media Resource Articles

U.S. Rejects Controversial Alaska Pebble Gold, Copper Mine – by Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Steven Frank (Bloomberg News – November 26, 2020)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg) — The Pebble mine in Alaska was dealt a potentially lethal blow after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected an essential permit for the project.

The proposed mine in southwestern Alaska, which would tap one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits, has been dogged by protests for years, as conservationists warn industrial mining operations near Bristol Bay threaten a flourishing sockeye salmon fishery.

The Army Corps issued a record of decision Wednesday denying Pebble’s permit, after determining the project “is contrary to the public interest,” said Col. Damon Delarosa, the agency’s Alaska district commander. Continue Reading →

Put a forever wish of ethical, environmental hope on her finger – by Amy Oberlin (KPC News – November 25, 2020)

https://www.kpcnews.com/

For those who may be thinking about popping the question around the holidays, there is an ethical dilemma to consider. Where did that diamond come from?

Blood diamonds — also called conflict diamonds, brown diamonds, hot diamonds or red diamonds — are diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts or a warlord’s activity. This is a pronounced problem in African states.

Alex G. Stewart, a public health physician and researcher at the University of Exeter in South West England, wrote an essay describing how all kinds of mining are dangerous to human health. Continue Reading →

Videogames have a conflict mineral problem – by Jini Maxwell (Arts Hub.com.au – November, 24 2020)

https://www.artshub.com.au/

On 28 November 2019, a post on the subreddit r/showerthoughts went viral: ‘lamps in video games use real electricity.’ The line quickly made the rounds of the internet, perfectly and whimsically expressing a hard truth around which there is a growing consciousness: while playing videogames might be a form of escapism for some, they are still part of the real world, use real resources, and are impacted by the unequal social structures of human societies.

It’s an uncomfortable but important thing to acknowledge: consumer technologies, including gaming consoles, do rely on real resources, and the specific minerals they require to function can stoke real-world conflicts.

This issue is so prevalent that the major consumer tech companies release annual reports on their conflict mineral supply chains. We’re going to examine those reports here. Continue Reading →

China’s control of rare earth minerals another challenge for President-elect Biden – by Tom Jurkowsky (Capital Gazette – November 22, 2020)

https://www.capitalgazette.com/

Tom Jurkowsky is a retired Navy rear admiral who served on active duty for 31 years.

In a recent presentation, Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite said he thought “China is probably the greatest threat to our country that Americans do not understand.”

He added he believes what we are seeing emerge is a threat beyond any comparison ever in the history of our country.

Braithwaite was addressing the military threat that China poses. We have addressed the exponential growth of the Chinese military on these pages, along with other issues such as our dependency on China for pharmaceutical products; our reliance on China for countless consumer products, due in part to our diminished manufacturing base; and even Wall Street investing in Chinese companies. Continue Reading →

There’s $500 million of coal on anchored ships off China’s coast – by Aaron Clark and Kevin Varley (Bloomberg News – November 24, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

More than $500 million worth of Australian coal is on ships anchored off Chinese ports, as a diplomatic spat between the two countries cuts into trade, idles a portion of the world’s dry bulk carriers and threatens to spiral into a humanitarian crisis.

More than 50 vessels have been waiting a month or longer to offload coal from Australia, according to separate analyses of shipping data conducted by Bloomberg and data intelligence firm Kpler.

There’s about 5.7 million tonnes of coal and approximately 1,000 seafarers on the anchored vessels, which are mostly Capesize and Panamax-sized vessels, according to Kpler. Continue Reading →

Along Russia’s ‘Road of Bones,’ Relics of Suffering and Despair – by Matilda Coleman (UpNewsInfo.com – November 22, 2020)

https://upnewsinfo.com/

The Kolyma Highway in the Russian Far East once delivered tens of thousands of prisoners to the work camps of Stalin’s gulag. The ruins of that cruel era are still visible today.

The prisoners, hacking their way through insect-infested summer swamps and winter ice fields, brought the road, and the road then brought yet more prisoners, delivering a torrent of slave labor to the gold mines and prison camps of Kolyma, the most frigid and deadly outpost of Stalin’s gulag.

Their path became known as the “road of bones,” a track of gravel, mud and, for much of the year, ice that stretches 1,260 miles west from the Russian port city of Magadan on the Pacific Ocean inland to Yakutsk, the capital of the Yakutia region in eastern Siberia. Continue Reading →

How do cobalt and nickel stack up in race to dominate electric vehicle battery market? – by By David McKay (MiningMX – November 23, 2020)

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THERE is agreement that battery metals of all stripes will benefit from the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). According to a report by Morgan Stanley, the EV market will take a 26% slice of the total automotive market by 2030 from 3% today.

The question, however, is that given the pace of scientific development, which metals with battery application today will come to dominate in the future?

There are divided views, however, on the extent to which price changes will influence the usage of two key contenders: nickel and cobalt. Continue Reading →

Do You Know Where Your Watch’s Gold Came From? – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – November 19, 2020)

https://www.nytimes.com/

A mechanical timepiece is powered by clean kinetic energy and can run, at least theoretically, forever and a day. To support that image of inherent sustainability, many Swiss watchmakers over the past decade have partnered with conservation groups, implemented energy-saving measures at their at their factories and, more recently, experimented with recycled materials for things like packaging and straps.

When it comes to the gold and gemstones used to make watches, however, the industry lags behind other sectors such as electronics in understanding and communicating how its materials are obtained and ensuring their extraction has not harmed people and the environment.

“We always compare the watch industry here in Switzerland to the textile industry 20 years ago,” said Dario Grünenfelder, a consultant to WWF Switzerland and lead author of the WWF Watch and Jewellery Report 2018. “They’re not really tackling the big issues: the raw materials that go into their products.” Continue Reading →

Shopify, Barrick Join Exclusive Canada Club With Big Cash Hoards – by Michael Bellusci (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – November 19, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — The Covid-19 pandemic has made for a rare moment in Corporate Canada: three companies entered this quarter with over C$5 billion ($3.8 billion) of cash.

Shopify Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp. joined Air Canada in reporting a hefty pile of cash and short-term investments at the end of the quarter. It’s the first time that many non-financial companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index have been so flush in the last 25 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The three companies have seen their war chests balloon for different reasons. Barrick and Shopify are prospering, while Air Canada has gone on a mammoth capital-raising spree to secure the funds to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue Reading →

The Nome Gold Rush and Three Lucky Swedes – by John Matsuzak (Kelly Codetectors – October 23, 2020)

https://www.kellycodetectors.com/

The California Gold Rush certainly was in a far-off land for the Americans of the time, who had to trek long distances to get to their final destination. But the 49’ers had nothing on those brave adventurers who went to Nome, Alaska to seek their fortunes in 1899. Which brings us to the Nome Gold Rush.

While Nome, Alaska was owned by the United States at the time of the Nome Gold Rush, it might as well have been Mars, both in terms of getting there and in terms of surviving in the harsh and unforgiving climate.

Despite the apocryphal quip often attributed to Mark Twain, that the worst winter he ever saw was June in San Francisco, there is simply no comparison between a miserable Northern California summer and any day of the week in Nome, Alaska. Continue Reading →

Pike River: The 29 coal miners who never came home – by Phil Mercer (BBC/Yahoo News – November 19, 2020)

https://news.yahoo.com/

The Pike River mining disaster was a tragedy that shocked the world. Twenty-nine men who were in the New Zealand coal mine died when it collapsed in a series of explosions. The BBC’s Phil Mercer covered the accident 10 years ago and has been talking to families of victims still coming to terms with their loss.

The day after his 17th birthday, Joseph Ray Dunbar began his first shift underground at the Pike River coal mine in New Zealand.

He was a “strong-minded boy” who wanted to carve his own path in life, but on that day in November 2010 he became the youngest victim of a mining disaster that killed 29 men. Continue Reading →

Gold Is a Hedge Against Bad Government Decisions – by Jared Dillian (Bloomberg News – November 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Investors don’t really have a handle on what gold is or what it represents. Many erroneously believe gold is some sort of inflation hedge, because of our experience in the 1970s.

It’s also not a hedge against stock market crashes, as we discovered in March. Gold is a hedge on government authorities making poor economic choices.

Inflation is usually the result of those poor decisions, but people confuse cause and effect here. Gold is a hedge on policy makers screwing up, and there has been a lot of screwing up in the last 20 years. Continue Reading →

In a Decarbonizing World, Brazil Wants to Be a Uranium Exporter – by Tatiana Freitas (Bloomberg News/Financial Post – November 16, 2020)

https://financialpost.com/

(Bloomberg) — A mining project seen as a priority by the Brazilian government would turn the nation into a uranium exporter and reduce its fertilizer import needs if it proceeds.

Latin America’s largest economy, which currently imports uranium for its nuclear plants and ships in most of its fertilizer needs, will become more self-sufficient with a $400 million project in the nation’s impoverished northeast, according to the consortium formed to explore the deposit.

State-owned INB, which has a monopoly on uranium production in Brazil, formed a consortium with local fertilizer firm Galvani for the Santa Quiteria phosphate-uranium project. INB expects to extract about 2,100 metric tons of uranium a year from the deposit, while it needs roughly 750 tons to supply its nuclear energy plants. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Strategic vigilance and rare earth elements – by Mackubin Owens (The Providence Journal – November 17, 2020)

https://www.providencejournal.com/

Mackubin Thomas Owens is a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

On Sept. 30, President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency in the mining industry with the goal of incentivizing “the domestic production of rare earth minerals [also called rare earth elements (REEs)] critical for military technologies while reducing American dependence on China.”

The EO states that the country’s heavy reliance on critical minerals from foreign adversaries constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

Trump ordered the appropriate departments to study the matter, examining the feasibility of government grants for production equipment, as well as tariffs, quotas or other import restrictions against China and other foreign adversaries. Continue Reading →

Tesla Has a New Public Competitor in Power Storage – by Al Root and Nicholas Jasinski (Barron’s – November 17, 2020)

https://www.barrons.com/

Tesla has a new publicly traded competitor for its battery-based electricity-storage business. Eos Energy Enterprises completed its merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, on Monday, and began trading on Tuesday under the ticker EOSE.

Both companies offer the ability to store power produced by renewable but unpredictable assets such as solar power so that it can be used when demand is the highest.

Tesla (ticker: TSLA), of course, is best known as an electric-vehicle giant and the most valuable car company on the planet. But CEO Elon Musk believes battery storage will be a big business, too. Continue Reading →