Archive | International Media Resource Articles

UPDATE 1-AngloGold to revive historic Ghana asset after illegal miners ousted – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters U.S. – February 20, 2018

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 20 (Reuters) – AngloGold Ashanti will spend up to $500 million to mechanise its Obuasi mine in Ghana, capping a dramatic saga for an asset rendered worthless when it was invaded by thousands of illegal miners.

The company announced last year that Ghana’s military had cleared out the illegal miners, who had numbered up to 12,000 at one point, from Obuasi in the Ashanti region.

This paved the way for the company to carry out a feasibility study to see if fresh life could be breathed into the century-old mine. Continue Reading →

Mines Linked to Child Labor Are Thriving in Rush for Car Batteries – by Thomas Wilson and Jack Farchy (Bloomberg News – February 19, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labor.

Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the estimates of officials at three of the biggest international suppliers of the metal, who asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak on the matter.

State-owned miner Gecamines estimates artisanal output accounted for as much as a quarter of the country’s total production in 2017. That’s a concern for carmakers from Volkswagen AG to Tesla Inc., who are seeking to secure long-term supplies of the battery ingredient but don’t want to be enmeshed in a scandal about unethical mining practices. Continue Reading →

[Deep Sea Mining: Papua New Guinea] The secret on the ocean floor: (BBC News – February 19, 2018)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

A wave of pioneers is poised to scoop up treasure from the deep sea. But was this ocean mining boom sparked by a 1970s CIA plot?

In the summer of 1974, a large and highly unusual ship set sail from Long Beach in California. It was heading for the middle of the Pacific where its owners boasted it would herald a revolutionary new industry beneath the waves.

Equipped with a towering rig and the latest in drilling gear, the vessel was designed to reach down through the deep, dark waters to a source of incredible wealth lying on the ocean floor.

It was billed as the boldest step so far in a long-held dream of opening a new frontier in mining, one that would see valuable metals extracted from the rocks of the seabed. Continue Reading →

[Northwest Territories Mining] Giant Mine rehab contract awarded (Mining Journal – February 20, 2018)

http://www.mining-journal.com/

Canada’s government has awarded a main construction manager contract as part of a multimillion dollar remediation of the storied Giant Mine near Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.

The abandoned gold mine operated from 1948-1999 when its last owner Royal Oak Mines entered receivership.

The government said the site was one of the highest priority contaminated areas with the federal property inventory and required ongoing management to protect human health and safety and the environment.

The scope includes tailings management, building demolition, pit closures, dealing with contaminated soils and “in-situ encapsulation” of the 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide stored in underground chambers. Continue Reading →

Mining sector unloved as investors find it hard to trust – by Clara Denina and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors are shunning the mining sector, data from Thomson Reuters shows, as they struggle to forget the string of multi-billion dollar takeovers and expensive development projects that left them empty handed.

A decade-long commodity boom coincided with years of economic growth when China took off, but when the global economy slowed, so did the market for commodities from oil to copper.

Data shows that two years after the worst of the raw materials slump is over, investors are still not ready to pour in fresh funds despite a price rally. The mining sector .FTNMX1770 led the FTSE higher in 2016 as it rebounded from the previous year’s deep price crash, but it is still well below levels seen in 2011. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Nickel flies on supply hits; Indonesia could ground it – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Nickel has enjoyed a blistering start to 2018. On the London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month nickel has this week punched up through the $14,000 level for the first time since May 2015 to hit a Thursday high of $14,420 per tonne.

It has gained 10 percent since the start of the year and has bounced 34 percent from its December low of $10,740 per tonne. Speculative money has poured into this hot market, fund managers tripling their net long exposure LME-NI-MNET to the London contract over the course of December and January.

Shanghai investors have been equally enthusiastic, albeit with a Chinese twist of treating nickel as a bullish steel rebar derivative. Nickel is basking in the electric vehicle glow but the full demand impact is still in the future. Continue Reading →

Burkina Faso expects record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018 – minister – by Tim Cocks and Ange Aboa (Reuters Africa – February 16, 2018)

https://af.reuters.com/

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Burkina Faso expects to produce a record 55 tonnes of gold in 2018, a two-thirds increase on five years ago, as new projects in the landlocked West African country come on tap, the mines minister told Reuters in an interview.

Speaking in his office in the capital Ouagadougou late on Thursday, Oumarou Idani said gold production had hit 45.5 tonnes last year. That puts it ahead of Tanzania as Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer — after South Africa and Burkina Faso’s neighbours Ghana and Mali.

The forecast for this year represents a 20 percent increase on 2017, and at current levels would put its industrial production on a par with No.3 producer Mali. Continue Reading →

U.S. Commerce Wants Aluminum Tariff-Quota on Imports – by Joe Deaux and Andrew Mayeda (Bloomberg News – February 16, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Shares in U.S. aluminum and steel companies from Alcoa Corp. to Nucor Corp. surged after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended that President Donald Trump impose a range of restrictions on imports from tariffs to quotas.

In a briefing with reporters on Friday over the results of his department’s investigation, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross proposed a 24 percent global tariff on steel shipments coming into the U.S. and a 7.7 percent duty on aluminum imports. Trump has the latitude to choose between these types of options or even enter talks with producers to find solutions.

The recommendations pushed up Century Aluminum Co. as much as 11 percent, while Alcoa gained 5.5 percent. Aluminum on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.4 percent as of 5:15 p.m. in London. Continue Reading →

Charging ahead: how Australia is innovating in battery technology – by Jonathan Knott (The Conversation – February 15, 2018)

http://theconversation.com/

Lithium-ion remains the most widespread battery technology in use today, thanks to the fact that products that use it are both portable and rechargeable. It powers everything from your smartphone to the “world’s biggest battery” in South Australia.

Demand for batteries is expected to accelerate in coming decades with the increase in deployment of electric vehicles and the need to store energy generated from renewable sources, such as solar photovoltaic panels. But rising concerns about mining practices and shortages in raw materials for lithium-ion batteries – as well as safety issues – have led to a search for alternative technologies.

Many of these technologies aren’t being developed to replace lithium-ion batteries in portable devices, rather they’re looking to take the pressure off by providing alternatives for large-scale, stationary energy storage. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk Nickel] Deripaska in Faceoff With Abramovich in London Court – by Yuliya Fedorinova and Jess Shankleman (Bloomberg News – February 16, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin have revived a years-old battle for control of the country’s biggest mining company, MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC.

The two tycoons each own roughly 30 percent of Norilsk Nickel and have long jockeyed for power in the company, which operates some of the richest mines in platinum, palladium and nickel, until President Vladimir Putin intervened in 2012. An agreement let a company controlled by Roman Abramovich buy a small stake in Norilsk Nickel in exchange for a promise to keep the peace.

Abramovich’s Crispian Investment Ltd. now wants to sell part of the stake, according to three people familiar with matter. The holding was about 5 percent at the start of 2017, implying a current value of more than $1.5 billion. Continue Reading →

Adani scouts world for coal – by John McCarthy (Mackay Daily Mercury – February 16, 2018)

https://www.dailymercury.com.au/

ADANI is scouting the world looking for coal as its Carmichael megamine in Central Queensland remains without financing and facing a growing tide of environmental and political opposition.

Tensions between the State Government and the industry are also increasing after the rejection this week of environmental approval for the Acland coal mine expansion.

The decision has cost the company $158million so far as investors have sold off the stock in the past two days. Adani said yesterday the search was not for a replacement for the Carmichael, which would become one of the world’s biggest coal mines if it ever reached the original proposal. Continue Reading →

Africa’s broken heart: Congo is sliding back to bloodshed (The Economist – February 2018)

https://www.economist.com/

NO CONFLICT since the 1940s has been bloodier, yet few have been more completely ignored. Estimates of the death toll in Congo between 1998 and 2003 range from roughly 1m to more than 5m—no one counted the corpses. Taking the midpoint, the cost in lives was higher than that in Syria, Iraq, Vietnam or Korea.

Yet scarcely any outsider has a clue what the fighting was about or who was killing whom. Which is a tragedy, because the great war at the heart of Africa might be about to start again.

To understand the original war, consider this outrageously oversimplified analogy. Imagine a giant house whose timbers are rotten. That was the Congolese state under Mobutu Sese Seko, the kleptocratic tyrant who ruled from 1965 to 1997. Next, imagine a cannonball that brings the house crashing down. That cannonball was fired from Rwanda, Congo’s tiny, turbulent neighbour. Continue Reading →

As mining investors push caution, Glencore differs from rivals – by Susan Taylor and Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – February 16, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

TORONTO/MELBOURNE (Reuters) – As shareholders push the world’s cash-rich miners to maintain lush dividends and make the most of existing assets, Glencore is taking a slightly different tactic that positions it for shrewd acquisitions.

Like other big rivals, Glencore is expected to lift its dividend payout when it reports results next week, but the Swiss miner and trader is also “open for business” when it comes to buying mines or companies, its chief financial officer said in December.

“Glencore’s deal-making is now very strategic. They’re trying to find businesses with the highest margin and get into sectors where they will have a competitive advantage,” said David Neuhauser, managing director of Livermore Partners, which holds Glencore shares. Continue Reading →

Fortescue’s Aboriginal programme hits A$2bn mark – by Simone Liedtke (MiningWeekly.com – February 18, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore major Fortescue Minerals’ ‘billion opportunities programme’ has reached the A$2-billion-mark, with 250 contracts and sub-contracts having been awarded to 110 Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures in the seven years since its inception.

CEO Nev Power said on Friday that the programme formed a critical element of the company’s approach to ensuring economic opportunity and participation, which were the focus of the native title agreements.

“Through the programme, we have encouraged and assisted the development of capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses to supply a significant portion of the goods and services we need in our business,” Power added. Continue Reading →

Supreme Court order cancelling mining leases in Goa shows scant regard for mining economy – by T K Arun (Economic Times [India] – February 14, 2018)

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

With the cancellation of iron ore mining leases in Goa, the judiciary has once again stepped into the space vacated by executive failure and legislative lethargy. But the courts cannot compensate for the lack of sound policy and its effective implementation.

The Supreme Court order cancelling mining leases in Goa with effect from mid-March shows scant regard for the mining economy or the people who earn their livelihood from it, focusing only on what the court terms the avarice of the miners and, implicitly, of the colluding politicians who renewed extant leases instead of holding fresh auctions.

That mining should be environmentally sustainable is not in question. That state and society should gain from the mineral wealth of the land is not in question. That mining rights should be allocated not on the basis of legacy Portuguese privilege but on the basis of auctions is not in question. Continue Reading →