Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Gundlach Sounds Alarm on ‘Paper Gold’ ETFs Raking in Billions – by Katherine Greifeld and John Gittelsohn (Bloomberg News – April 1, 2020)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Jeffrey Gundlach has a warning for investors piling into gold-backed ETFs: Don’t think you’ll get the physical metal back.

State Street Corp.’s $50 billion SPDR Gold Shares ETF, ticker GLD, attracted $2.9 billion of inflows last week, its biggest haul since 2009, as haven demand amid escalating coronavirus fears boosted the metal. Meanwhile, assets in gold ETFs climbed to a record on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The demand for such ETFs is flashing a warning sign for DoubleLine Capital’s chief investment officer, who cautioned against the products during a webcast Tuesday. Continue Reading →

BofA sees nickel taking big COVID-19 hit – by Henry Lazenby (Mining Journal – April 2020)

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

With global GDP forecast to grow at just 0.3% this year, translating into a 2.8% year-on-year contraction to nickel demand, about 150,000 tonnes of surplus metal or 10% of global supply could accumulate.

Industry players including Vale, Sumitomo, Glencore and South32 have all shown concern over nickel fundamentals, prompting production responses that “should ultimately limit the supply overhang”, according to the bank.

“Similar to copper, we therefore believe prices could rally, when a treatment (not necessarily a vaccine) is found or the isolation measures show success,” BofA said. Continue Reading →

Britain set to decide on new coal mine this month – developer – by Susanna Twidale (Reuters U.K. – April 1, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Banks Mining said it expects an end this month to its near four-year wait to see whether it can develop a coal mine in northeastern England, after it received a letter from the government department responsible outlining its time frame.

Northumberland County Council agreed in 2016 that the developer, a division of The Banks Group, could extract 3 million tonnes of coal by cutting an open cast, or surface, mine near Druridge Bay, Highthorn.

But the local government minister at the time, Sajid Javid, rejected the application following a public inquiry, saying the proposal could hamper the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change. Continue Reading →

Ex-Coal Man Flips the Script By Rallying Appalachians to Plant 187 Million Trees on Abandoned Mines – by Andy Corbley (Good News Network – March 30, 2020)

Good News, Inspiring, Positive Stories

Although the Appalachian Mountains are often only thought of as coal country, the ecosystem as a whole is one of the richest and most biodiverse seasonal deciduous forests on earth.

In addition to the mountains boasting rich populations of freshwater mussels, a corridor for migratory birds, and more species of salamanders than any other range, Appalachia is also home to National Parks like the Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee—a park that may have as many as 100,000 species just on its own.

However, Appalachia also has a darker, decades-long history of toxic coal-mining tactics such as mountaintop removal, surface reclamation, and blasting and tunneling that had done almost irreparable damage to local ecosystems, leaving hundreds of barren and bald hills throughout eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Continue Reading →

The Impact Of Covid-19 On The Mining Sector – by Shabir Ahmed (Africa.com – April 1, 2020)

Home

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. At the time of writing there are over 400 000 confirmed cases across 194 countries. Even the most optimistic analysts expect a global recession.

Mining companies have been affected by COVID-19 outbreaks, and global restrictions to encourage social distancing have meant that mining projects have either slowed or been put on hold until further notice. There is no doubt that mining executives are beginning to feel nervous as the spread of the virus accelerates.

Share-prices of listed mining companies are in a downward spiral. Commodity prices across the industry have been tumbling as the industry considers the devastating aftershocks of this “Black Swan” event. To single out one example: platinum and palladium prices have dropped by more than 40% in just three weeks. Continue Reading →

Pressure builds on China’s raw materials supply chains – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – April 2, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – China is ready to move on from the coronavirus and get back to business as usual. “With the spread of COVID-19 under control, we should actively carry out the resumption of work and production,” President Xi Jinping said this week.

Xi’s comments, reported by state media under the headline “Chinese president unpauses China’s economy”, were made during a tour of Zhejiang province. (CGTN, part of China Media Group, April 2, 2020)

As ever, Xi’s whistle-stop tour was an exercise in subliminal messaging. Those comments were made during a visit to an auto parts supplier in the Daqi industrial park in the city of Ningbo. He also dropped in on Ningbo Zhoushan port, one of the world’s busiest, and praised it for getting throughput back to pre-coronavirus levels. Continue Reading →

Waste molybdenum ore spill in China spreads 110 km downstream (Reuters U.S. – April 1, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

BEIJING (Reuters) – A spill from a tailings dam at a molybdenum mine in northeast China on Saturday has contaminated water up to 110 km (68 miles) downstream, environmental authorities said on Wednesday.

Tailings dams are commonly used by mining firms to store waste remnants of ore but they have come under close scrutiny since the collapse of one in Brazil last year killed more than 250 people.

In China’s Heilongjiang province on Saturday, water containing waste molybdenum ore – mined for the metal used in stainless steel and tools – flowed out of a tailings pond belonging to Yichun Luming Mining Co Ltd and into a river system. There were no casualties reported. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-South Africa lockdown squeezes global chrome supply – by Tanisha Heiberg and Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – March 31, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, March 31 (Reuters) – Samancor Chrome, one of the world’s biggest ferrochrome producers, has declared force majeure because of South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown, removing further supply from global chrome markets.

South Africa ordered all underground mines and furnaces be put on care and maintenance status from midnight on March 26 as part of its measures to contain the spread of the virus.

The country is the world’s biggest producer of chrome ore, an essential ingredient in stainless steel, and last year supplied 12.5 million tonnes to China – 83% of China’s total chrome imports. Continue Reading →

Don’t Expect a Crisis to Be Good for Gold – by David Fickling (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – April 1, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Here’s another factor to add to the gyrations in the gold price over the past few weeks: The biggest players in the market may be losing their buying appetite.

Russia’s central bank, one of the world’s largest gold buyers in recent years, is halting all purchases of the metal. It’s not alone: Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, whose central banks have also been reliable consumers of late, have also slowed down.

Rolling three-month additions to official sector gold holdings (those held by central banks and international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund) in January amounted to just 67 metric tons, the slowest pace since August 2018. Continue Reading →

Subsistence miners lose out as coronavirus crushes local gold prices – by Helen Reid and Jeff Lewis (Reuters U.S. – March 31, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG/TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) – Informal gold miners from South America to Africa are selling gold at almost 40% discounts as measures to curb the coronavirus crimp supply routes and dry up funding.

Border restrictions and flight cancellations have created gold gluts in local markets, depressing prices for small-scale miners even as global prices are pushed back towards 7-year highs by investors piling into bullion as a safe-haven asset.

Artisanal miners – subsistence workers who typically use rudimentary techniques – number around 40 million worldwide, according to a 2019 estimate by Delve, an artisanal mining database. Continue Reading →

World’s Top Gold Market Freezes as Chinese Shoppers Stay Away – by Annie Lee and Jinshan Hong (Bloomberg/Yahoo – March 31, 2020)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — The coronavirus pandemic has frozen the Chinese gold market, torpedoing demand at a time when investors elsewhere in the world are clamoring for the safety of bullion.

China is the biggest buyer of gold bars, coins and jewelry, but the national shutdown to contain the virus has emptied malls, while the premium charged to buy the metal in China has evaporated. It leaves the industry staring down a long road to recovery, even as Beijing tries to jump-start broader consumption with a campaign to get shoppers out and about.

The market’s struggles in China may present a headwind for prices, which last month topped $1,700 an ounce for the first time in seven years. The traditional haven also faces a drag from slower retail consumption in India, Europe and the U.S., as well as Russia’s surprise decision to halt purchases by its central bank. Last year, Chinese consumers accounted for about a fifth of total gold demand of 4,356 tons, according to the World Gold Council. Continue Reading →

US ‘far too reliant’ on Chinese lithium: American Battery CEO – by Nick Lazzaro (S&P Global Platts – March 30, 2020)

https://www.spglobal.com/

Pittsburgh — The coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent impact on the global lithium supply chain emphasizes the US’ damaging overreliance on lithium from China, American Battery Metals CEO Doug Cole said Monday.

“If coronavirus has shown us anything, it’s that we are far too reliant on China and other countries for key minerals like lithium, cobalt and nickel,” Cole said in a statement. “The United States is rich in these key metals, and we must quickly increase domestic investment to bring these resources into the supply chain.”

The US is only mining and producing about 1% of the world’s lithium despite having access to large domestic lithium resources, Cole added. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Philippines’ nickel mining hub to suspend operations due to coronavirus – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters U.S. – March 31, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MANILA, March 31 (Reuters) – Mining operations in the Philippines’ southern province of Surigao del Norte, home to most of the country’s nickel mines, will be suspended from April 1 as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, two mining companies said on Tuesday.

Nickel Asia Corp and Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc, the Southeast Asian country’s two biggest nickel ore miners and exporters, said in separate statements that they received a copy of the suspension order dated March 28 from the provincial government.

The two miners account for more than half of the country’s nickel ore output. Nickel Asia said the suspension order also covers the entry of foreign vessels to Surigao del Norte. The nearby province of Dinagat Islands, which also hosts nickel mines, has banned vessels shipping ore to China, local media has reported. Continue Reading →

Gold’s winning streak forgives local miners’ many sins – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – March 31, 2020)

https://www.afr.com/

Gold prices in Australian dollar terms have charged above $2700 for the first time, letting Newcrest Mining and three other big gold miners escape without major punishment from a raft of production downgrades in the past three months.

At $US1679 per ounce on Monday, the gold price was not far below the seven-year highs set in the past month on the back of interest rate cuts and quantitative easing in many nations, including the US.

Fears of a global recession have only fuelled the rush to buy gold, which is the traditional safe haven for investors. The local price exceeded $2000 per ounce for the first time in June 2019, and on Monday was above $2700 per ounce. Continue Reading →

Column: Collapsing auto sector a body blow for industrial metals – by Andy Home – Reuters U.K. – March 27, 2020)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – France’s Recylex has just announced the temporary closure of both its German lead smelter and two battery-recycling plants, one in Germany and one in France.

The decision is due to a “strong drop in demand, especially in the automotive sector, in a context of sharply lower metal prices,” the company said. It will surely not be the last lead producer to mothball its production facilities.

Lead is umbilically tied to the automotive sector. Lead-acid batteries account for around 80% of global usage of the metal. And carmakers just about everywhere have halted their own production lines due to the spread of the coronavirus and the lockdowns on activity that have followed in its wake. Continue Reading →