Archive | International Media Resource Articles

New mining waste dam rules should not be retroactive, says review chief (Reuters U.S. – December 6, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – New global standards for mining waste dams should take into account the difficulties of making existing dams compliant, the chair of an independent panel of experts crafting the new rules said on Friday.

Industry groups object to a standard that would apply not only to the design of new dams, but also require existing dams to be modified – a retro-fitting process they claim may be technically impossible, and at the very least expensive and time-consuming.

The world’s largest mining trade group – the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) – voiced concerns last month about the draft standards, especially how the rules could apply equally to new and existing facilities. Continue Reading →

RPT-COLUMN-Nickel bubble deflates but a bear trap may be opening – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – December 5, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The nickel price bubble is slowly deflating but bears would be advised to tread carefully with a sharp fall in LME inventory threatening a repeat of the time-spread turbulence that rocked the London market in late September.

London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel surged to a five-year high of $18,850 on Sept. 2, from $12,000 per tonne at the start of July, as Indonesia brought forward to a ban on exports of nickel ore to January.

But the exuberance has dissipated with short-term fund money pulling out to leave LME three-month metal around $13,100 per tonne currently. While nickel may be on the electric vehicle (EV) investment grid because of its use in lithium-ion batteries, an old driver is reasserting itself – namely the state of the stainless steel market. Continue Reading →

Trump panel urges U.S. to buy more uranium from American miners – by Ari Natter (BNN/Bloomberg News – December 4, 2019)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

A White House task force is recommending that President Donald Trump direct the federal government buy more uranium from domestic producers, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The purchase of uranium by the U.S. Defense Department is among the recommendations being made by the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Working Group, comprised of cabinet level and other high-ranking officials, according to the people, who requested anonymity to discuss non-public deliberations.

The task force was established to study ways to revive the U.S. uranium mining industry. Continue Reading →

Violent Protests Shut Down Key Rio Tinto Mine in South Africa – by Felix Njini and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – December 4, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Violent protests, often characterized by deadly shootings and barricades of burning tires, are making it harder for the world’s biggest mining companies to operate in South Africa.

Rio Tinto Group shuttered its Richards Bay Minerals unit on Wednesday and paused a $463 million expansion project amid escalating violence in surrounding communities that led to an employee being shot and injured. The stoppage will further sap investor sentiment in a country where business confidence is near the lowest level in two decades.

The freezing of the Zulti South project comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa battles to stimulate growth and retain the nation’s last investment-grade credit rating. South Africa’s economy contracted for a second quarter this year in the three months through September as farming, mining and factory output slumped. Continue Reading →

Gold miners flash the cash in biggest deal binge in a decade – by Jeff Lewis and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – December 4, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

TORONTO/LONDON (Reuters) – Gold miners look set to extend a deal spree after notching transactions worth a record $30.5 billion this year, according to data, the biggest M&A binge since bullion prices peaked nearly a decade ago.

Led by top producers Newmont Goldcorp Corp and Barrick Gold Corp, miners are bulking up to replace dwindling reserves and win back investors who in recent years shunned the sector because of disappointing returns. This year has seen 348 deals worth more than $30.5 billion, including net debt, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

That is up from $10.8 billion last year and surpasses a previous high of $25.7 billion set in 2010, the data show. Gold topped $1,900 per ounce in 2011 and currently trades around $1,484, after hitting a six-year high in September. Continue Reading →

Newmont’s new Borden Mine futuristic – by Adella Harding (Elko Daily Free Press – December 4, 2019)

https://elkodaily.com/

Newmont Goldcorp’s new Borden Mine in Canada has the latest in digital mining technologies, low-carbon energy vehicles, safety controls and processes for underground operations. The company calls Borden the “mine of the future.”

Newmont Goldcorp’s president and chief executive officer, Tom Palmer, said that “Borden’s electric underground fleet will eliminate diesel particulate matter from the underground environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This will help reduce energy costs, protect employee health and minimize impacts to the environment.”

Borden has a fleet of roughly 35 electric vehicles “that you’d expect in an underground hard-rock mine, including bolters, tractors, personnel carriers, jumbos, loaders, a grader and a range of utility vehicles,” said Omar Jabara, group executive for public relations and executive communications for Colorado-based Newmont. Continue Reading →

Cliffs to buy AK Steel in $1.1 billion stock deal – by Jim Lovrien (Deluth News Tribune – December 3, 2019)

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Cleveland-Cliffs, which owns several Minnesota and Michigan iron ore mines and taconite plants, will buy steelmaker AK Steel in a $1.1 billion stock deal, the companies announced Tuesday morning.

The move allows Cliffs to own AK Steel’s existing blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces, and supply the furnaces with its own iron ore pellets. Cliffs had long sold its pellets to other steelmakers.

That “vertically integrated steel company” model is used by U.S. Steel, which mines taconite and produces iron ore pellets at Keetac in Keewatin and Minntac in Mountain Iron that then supplies its blast furnaces throughout the U.S., and ArcelorMittal, which supplies its Indiana Harbor blast furnaces with pellets from its mines and plants at Hibtac in Hibbing and Minorca in Virginia. Continue Reading →

Vale to exit New Caledonia, eyes Indonesia to boost nickel output – by Eric Onstad and Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – December 4, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Brazil’s Vale SA plans to exit its troubled New Caledonia assets but still aims to ramp up nickel output ahead of rising demand for electric batteries, executives said on Wednesday.

The planned divestment of nickel operations in New Caledonia comes after Vale said last month it would write down the mine and incur a non-cash impairment charge of about $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter.

A year ago, the world’s top nickel producer unveiled plans to invest $500 million in the mine after failing to find a partner for the operation. Continue Reading →

Copper primed for a pop if U.S./China trade war is resolved – by Melanie Burton and Mai Nguyen (Reuters U.S. – December 3, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Low inventories across the copper supply chain mean that any resolution to the U.S.-China trade war could trigger a snap rally in prices as consumers rush to restock, market participants said on Tuesday.

Combined stocks of on-warrant copper in London Metal Exchange and Shanghai exchange warehouses have declined 50.5% since mid-August metal buyers have slowed replenishment rates.

Declines in warehouse stocks are often seen as a sign of robust demand in the main industrial demand centres for the metal, used in construction and power industries. Continue Reading →

Talon plans more copper-nickel exploratory drilling near Tamarack – by Jimmy Lovrien (Duluth News Tribune – December 4, 2019)

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Talon Metals has asked the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for permission to drill more exploratory borings at its Tamarack copper-nickel mining project near the Aitkin-Carlton county line. The request comes just after the DNR approved Talon’s plans to re-explore several of its existing borings.

On Nov. 22, Talon submitted an exploration plan with the DNR detailing plans to drill exploratory borings in bedrock at four sites on active state nonferrous metal mineral leases about 1/2 mile north-northeast to about 3.5 miles north-northeast of Tamarack.

The borings would be drilled using the diamond core drill method and be temporarily or permanently capped upon completion in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health regulations. The DNR has 20 days from the Nov. 22 submission to approve or deny Talon’s plan. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Requiem for a Climate Dream – by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. (Wall Street Journal – December 3, 2019)

https://www.wsj.com/

If the world isn’t slashing CO2, blame overreaction to the Fukushima disaster.

Rigor could be restored to mainstream climate journalism with a single clause. That clause consists of the words “if climate models are accurate.” A United Nations study issued in advance of this week’s climate summit in Madrid would appear in a different light, though still worrisome, and still a challenge to policy makers, if it were reported as saying:

To avoid any chance of a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius, annual emissions cuts of 7.6% must begin next year if computerized climate simulations are correct.

Such simulations, we should admit, are science. Their findings represent a legitimate pursuit of knowledge. The common failing in the media involves leaving out the necessary caveats. Such carelessness has ultimately enabled a new kind of science denial on the left, where advocates like Greta Thunberg and the U.K. group Extinction Rebellion increasingly talk about climate change leading to a human demise that is nowhere supported in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or other scientific bodies. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-U.S.-China trade pendulum swings toward Beijing; commodities key – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – December 3, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Since U.S. President Donald Trump launched his trade dispute with China one of the best questions to ask in order to assess the current state of the process is who, right now, is more desperate to do a deal.

For most of 18 months or so since the tit-for-tat tariffs began the conventional thinking has been Beijing is more keen to finalise an agreement, given the obvious slowing of growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.

However, the abrupt swing in the Purchasing Managers’ Indexes for both China and the United States, coupled with mounting domestic political pressure on Trump as he heads into his re-election campaign, may have altered the dynamic. Continue Reading →

Indonesia Dangles Cheaper Energy to Lure Billions in Investment – by Tassia Sipahutar (Bloomberg/Financial Post – December 4, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia is touting an abundance of low-cost renewable energy to lure billions of dollars in investment Southeast Asia’s largest economy needs to build processing plants for commodities such as nickel, copper and aluminum.

The commodity powerhouse has potential to develop 33,000 megawatts of hydro power and 29,000 megawatts of geothermal energy at costs as low as 2-4 cents per kilowatt, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said. The green energy will help the country cut its use of fossil fuels and produce more value-added commodities, he said.

Indonesia, home to some of the world’s largest deposits of copper, nickel and tin, is curbing exports of raw materials to force companies to build refineries and smelters to create more jobs and boost export earnings. Continue Reading →

Glencore’s Glasenberg says successor could be in place next year – by Barbara Lewis and Eric Onstad (Reuters Canada – December 3, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Glencore could announce a new chief executive next year once a new management team is in place, its current boss told an investor meeting on Tuesday as the commodities giant laid out its priorities for 2020.

The mining and trading company faces a challenging year as it contends with problems on multiple fronts, from a series of mine fatalities and climate politics to a continuing U.S. Department of Justice investigation and difficulties in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Speculation about Ivan Glasenberg’s departure has intensified after he said last year that he expected to retire in between three and five years. Asked for detail on a planned management transition, Glasenberg said there was “a good crop of people” but did not offer names. Continue Reading →

Chile eyes state-backed lithium push in far-flung salt flats – by Fabian Cambero (Reuters Canada – December 3, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

SALAR DE AGUILAR, Chile (Reuters) – Chile’s Atacama salt flat may get all the attention when it comes to lithium, but the South American nation is looking to develop two lesser-known deposits of the mineral needed to power a global push into electric cars.

Chile’s mining minister, Baldo Prokurica, told Reuters on a trip to the Atacama region the government had asked state-owned copper giant Codelco and smaller state miner National Mining Company, Enami, to forge ahead with lithium projects in the region.

“It seems to me, to say the least, a sin that companies with lithium holdings like this are not even working them,” Prokurica said on a tour of the Aguilar and Infieles salt flats. “What has been missing here is the will to move forward.” Continue Reading →