Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Judge allows DNR review of mining rules near Boundary Waters to move forward – by Jimmy Lovrien (Duluth News Tribune – May 12, 2021)

Minnesota regulators will review the state rules for copper-nickel mining within the same watershed as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness after a judge on Wednesday upheld an agreement allowing for the review and dismissed a challenge by Twin Metals, which is proposing such a mine in that watershed.

Judge Laura Nelson in State District Court in St. Paul remanded the issues to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources so it could “institute appropriate administrative proceedings to consider and make findings and issue an order regarding the alleged inadequacy” and that Twin Metals’ motion to dismiss “fails.”

The order allows a November agreement between the DNR and environmental group Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness to proceed. In that, the state agency agreed to review its 1993 non-ferrous, or non-iron, mining rules to determine if it can actually protect the BWCAW from copper-nickel mining pollution in the Rainy River Watershed. Continue Reading →

UK’s deep-sea mining permits could be unlawful – Greenpeace – by Karen McVeigh (The Guardian – May 12, 2021)

Deep-sea mining exploration licences granted by the British government are “riddled with inaccuracies”, and could even be unlawful, according to Greenpeace and Blue Marine Foundation, a conservation charity.

The licences, granted a decade ago to UK Seabed Resources, a subsidiary of the US arms multinational Lockheed Martin, have only recently been disclosed by the company.

In March lawyers for Greenpeace wrote to Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for business and energy, warning of potential legal flaws in the licences. They have not received a response, they say. Continue Reading →

Sanctioned Israeli Billionaire Cost Congo $2 Billion, Group Says – by Michael J. Kavanagh (Bloomberg News – May 12, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — The Democratic Republic of Congo lost out on nearly $2 billion in revenue by selling mining and oil assets to Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, according to a coalition of Congolese and international organizations that urged the government to review the deals.

Companies owned by Gertler, who is under U.S. sanctions for alleged corruption in Congo, stand to gain a further $1.76 billion in the next 20 years from copper and cobalt projects in the country, said the coalition known as Congo Is Not For Sale. Gertler, who is close friends with former Congolese President Joseph Kabila, denies all wrongdoing and has never been charged with a crime.

“The coalition calls on Congolese authorities to end their silence on this matter and take urgent measures to ensure that Congo’s mineral wealth benefits the DRC Treasury and its people,” the group said in a report Wednesday. Continue Reading →

Electric vehicle shift poised to transform Canada’s miners – by Charlie Mitchell (Financial Times – May 11, 2021)

North America cross-border supply chain aimed at loosening China’s grip on battery minerals

On both sides of the US-Canada border, a regional electric vehicle (EV) supply chain is being created, with the potential to transform mining in Canada and loosen China’s grip on the minerals used in batteries.

While Canada has an abundance of nickel, cobalt, graphite and lithium, the country has little local production of EV batteries. But, as global demand surges, US and Canadian leaders have discussed a joint approach to benefit local miners and manufacturers, as well as cutting their reliance on Chinese imports.

“We’ve been betting 100 per cent on having a vertically integrated value chain in Canada,” says Arne Frandsen, managing partner and co-founder of investment group Pallinghurst, which has invested in graphite and lithium mines in Quebec. Continue Reading →

Remembering Mineral’s mining history – by Toby Cox (The Central Virginian – May 12, 2021)

The names of places often hint at their history. Virginia and Louisa County were both named after members of England’s royal family, recalling the United States’ pre-revolutionary times. The name of the Town of Mineral also recalls its distinctive history, as a mining hub.

Mineral was originally called Tolersville, named after William F. Toler who owned a tavern where the Mineral Volunteer Fire Department is currently situated. The town was renamed Mineral in 1902 when the mining boom in Central Virginia was at its height.

Mineral is located on the gold-pyrite belt that runs from Stafford County southwest through Culpeper, Orange, Spotsylvania, Fauquier, and Louisa counties. Continue Reading →

Indigenous people’s lives depend on their lands, but threats are growing worldwide – by Barbara Fraser (National Catholic Reporter – May 12, 2021)

The threats facing Indigenous people opposing industrial operations on their lands — discrimination, harassment and assassination — all disproportionately affect women. And the coronavirus pandemic has done little to reduce the danger, say Indigenous and faith leaders.

“Indigenous women human rights defenders are at the forefront of the resistance against the effects of extractive industries and, more generally, the model relying on the exploitation of natural resources, including through mining, logging, [agricultural] monocultures and dams,” Sandra Epal-Ratjen, international advocacy director for Franciscans International, said at a virtual event April 26.

The webinar sponsored by Franciscans International, which brought together United Nations officials with Indigenous leaders from Brazil, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Guatemala, coincided with the 20th session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, held April 19-30. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Cobalt, Congo and a mass artisanal mining experiment – by Andy Home (Nasdaq/Reuters – May 13, 2021)

Cobalt epitomises the minerals conundrum at the heart of the green technology revolution.

It’s a key ingredient in the chemistry that powers electric vehicles and, along with other battery materials such as lithium, is facing a sustained demand surge as the world decarbonises.

But the world’s largest cobalt supplier is Democratic Republic of Congo, where up to a fifth of production is generated by artisanal miners working in squalid and dangerous conditions with little if any pricing power for their hard-won ore. Continue Reading →

What Impact Will India’s ‘Clean Energy’ Shift Have on Its Minerals Economy? – by Lou Del Bello (Science The Wire India – May 12, 2021)


Despite what we often hear, the energy transition is not as simple as building solar panels and wind turbines everywhere. It requires an overhaul of some of the key systems underpinning our economy, minerals being one of them.

In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) takes stock of which and how much mineral resources we’ll need as we decarbonise the world’s energy architecture.

I spoke with Jagabanta Ningthoujam, manager with RMI-India, who specialises on electricity, batteries and hydrogen. Formerly associated with the World Bank’s Climate Smart Mining Facility, he discusses the global race for mineral access through an Indian perspective. Continue Reading →

Glencore boss warns of future China dominance in electric vehicles – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – May 12, 2021)

US and Europe risk being left behind unless they secure cobalt supplies for batteries, says Ivan Glasenberg

The car industry in the US and Europe risks being left behind by their Chinese rivals unless they secure supplies of cobalt, according to the world’s biggest producer of the key battery metal.

Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg told the FT Future of the Car Summit on Wednesday that western carmakers would be naive to think they could always rely on China to supply the batteries for electric vehicle fleets.

Glasenberg said Chinese companies had been quick to realise the vulnerability of their supply chains and “tied up” lots of cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt is a metal needed in the lithium-ion batteries used in longer-range electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Indonesia says no new coal plants from 2023 (after the next 100 or so) – by Hans Nicholas Jong ( – May 12, 2021)

JAKARTA — Indonesia says it will stop building new coal-fired power plants after 2023 to meet its carbon-neutral goals — but the more than 100 plants to be built by then will still be churning out CO2 decades after that.

Zulkifli Zaini, CEO of state-owned electricity utility PLN, said there would be no more new thermal plants after an ongoing program to add 35,000 megawatts (MW) to the national grid — powered mostly by coal — is completed.

That program, rolled out in 2015, calls for building 117 new coal-fired power plants, with only 2,000 MW coming from renewable energy sources. Continue Reading →

Diamond Dealer Jared Holstein on the Limits of Ethical Sourcing – by Victoria Gomelsky (JCK – May 12, 2021)


Don’t come to Jared Amadeo Holstein (pictured) expecting to find answers about ethical diamond sourcing. The San Francisco–based diamond, colored stone, and estate jewelry dealer, aka D’Amadeo, specializes in post-consumer recycled diamonds and colored stones, historical cuts, and known-source gemstones, but he makes no claims about his diamonds’ ethics.

“The word ethical is weighted and freighted and should be used very carefully,” Holstein tells JCK, admitting that he has persistent doubts about the how the goods he’s bought have come to market and the impacts they’ve had on people and the planet along the way.

“But being involved, buying goods that I’m not comfortable with buying, allows me to have conversations with people that are good,” Holstein says. “Everyone just needs to ask questions. It is all of our duty to press industry and to press producers for better information.” Continue Reading →

Australian Government commits $20m to resources strategy (Australian Mining – May 10, 2021)


The Australian Government has unveiled a $20 million Global Resources Strategy to expand the reach and reputation of the country’s resources industry.

Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the strategy would assist Australia’s resource sector in supplying to new global markets during the world’s recovery from COVID-19.

“Australia’s resources sector more than lived up to its reputation as a dependable, resilient and efficient supplier of major commodities to the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pitt said. Continue Reading →

Column: Signs of investor vertigo as copper hits record highs – by Andy Home (Yahoo/Finance – Reuters – May 11, 2021)

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) – Copper continues to rewrite the record books. London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month metal punched through its previous record high of $10,190 a tonne, set in 2011, to touch $10,747.50 on Monday.

Copper sits at the epicentre of the broader rally unfolding across the commodities space, which super-bulls such as Goldman Sachs say is the start of a supercycle analogous to that of the 2000s.

The metal’s usage profile affords it exposure to global manufacturing recovery, post-pandemic rebuild and decarbonisation. Whether the world’s copper miners can meet that demand is a moot point, given chronic past underperformance and a lengthening list of supply threats. Continue Reading →

America’s electric cars need lithium so badly it may wipe out this species – by Matt McFarland (CNN Business – May 10, 2021)

Washington, DC (CNN)Fewer than 40 years after humans discovered Tiehm’s buckwheat, a Nevada plant with yellow flowers, they may drive it to extinction in pursuit of electric vehicles, a technology widely hailed as being environmentally friendly.

Environmentalists say the benefits of Tiehm’s buckwheat could be vast, but its full significance is unknown. What’s certain, they say, is that guarding Tiehm’s buckwheat is important for preserving biodiversity on Earth.

The flower is so newly discovered that it hasn’t been studied thoroughly, they say. But botanists say they’re impressed with Tiehm’s buckwheat’s ability to thrive where few species can — poor soil that’s full of boron and lithium. Continue Reading →

All things bright and beautiful – by Arabella Roden (Jeweller Magazine – May 11, 2021)

There is no denying the appeal of coloured gemstones. From the high jewellery of Paris Couture Fashion Week to Tiffany & Co.’s annual Blue Book Collection – the centrepiece of its annual design calendar – the spotlight in 2021 has been firmly focused on vibrant, vivid gemstones in every colour of the rainbow.

Soothing yet magnetic hues of blue and green, captured in aquamarine and emerald, were emphasised at Tasaki and David Morris, while Bucherer painted a perfect pastel picture with soft pink and purple spinel and sapphire.

Inspired by the natural world, Tiffany’s Blue Book – themed ‘Colors of Nature’ – teemed with tanzanite, tourmaline, and garnet. Continue Reading →