Global collaboration essential to realise $1.4tr iron, steel decarbonisation investment – by Marleny Arnoldi (Mining Weekly – September 15, 2022)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

To meet 2050 climate goals, the global iron and steel industry will require $1.4-trillion of investment across the value chain, from mining to steelmaking, estimates research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac).

A research report, titled ‘Pedal to the metal: iron and steel’s $1.4-trillion shot at decarbonisation’, published by WoodMac states that iron and steel emit 3.4-billion tonnes of carbon a year combined, equal to 7% of global emissions. This while steel demand growth is not slowing down, and is estimated to reach 2.2-billion tonnes a year by 2050 – 15% higher than the demand for steel in 2021.

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To buy or not to buy: Russian aluminium dilemma for Europe’s buyers – by Joan Faus (Reuters – September 15, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

BARCELONA, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Europe’s power crisis, production cuts and shortages of aluminium have left consumers in a quandary about Russian supplies of the metal vital for the region’s transport, construction and packaging industries.

Some are choosing to shun Rusal’s metal, while others are more sanguine – pointing to the fact that neither the company nor its metal is under sanctions imposed on other Russian companies after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

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Pacific Islands remain divided on deep-sea mining as trial begins to extract precious metals from ocean floor – by Marian Faa and Jordan Fennell (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – September 14, 2022)

https://www.abc.net.au/

Electric robots will soon be crawling along the sea floor and sucking up precious metals through a giant straw in a controversial trial to mine some of the ocean’s deepest, most pristine environments.

Deep-sea mining operator The Metals Company has been granted approval by the International Seabed Authority to begin testing its collection system in Pacific waters. It will be the first time since the 1970s that this has been allowed to occur.

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Vale Indonesia embarks on $8.6bn nickel projects with Chinese firms – by Erwida Maulia (Nikkei Asia – September 14, 2022)

https://asia.nikkei.com/

JAKARTA — The Indonesian unit of Brazilian mining giant Vale is embarking on three nickel processing projects worth a combined $8.6 billion with partners including Chinese battery materials producer Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and potentially U.S. automaker Ford Motor.

Vale Indonesia on Tuesday signed a preliminary agreement for the latest of the three projects — all on the island of Sulawesi — with Huayou. It comprises a plan to develop a nickel smelter with high pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology near Vale Indonesia’s major operations in Sorowako, South Sulawesi province.

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Burst mining dam in South Africa: what must be done to prevent another disaster – by Charles MacRobert (The Conversation – September 14, 2022)

https://theconversation.com/

Jagersfontien, a small town in the middle of South Africa with over a century of mining history, awoke to a tragic failure of responsibility on 11 September 2022 when torrents of muddy water cascaded over the embankments that were meant to hold it back. The flood killed one person and devastated many homes.

The muddy water was the residue left over from the extraction of diamonds. The Jagersfontein mine traces its origins to a 50-carat diamond discovery in 1870. Mining began in earnest shortly after that and continued until 1971. Notable diamonds uncovered included the Excelsior and Reitz diamonds.

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Column: Can Europe save its industrial metals production sector? – by Andy Home (Reuters – September 14, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – A massive and rapid deployment of renewable energy is central to Europe’s drive to end its dependency on Russian fossil fuels. Solar energy will be “the kingpin of this effort”, according to the European Commission.

The only problem is that the global solar supply chain is currently dominated by China, a dependency that will only grow if Europe continues losing industrial metals production capacity at current rates.

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The Energy Transition Could Be Derailed By A Looming Copper Shortage – by Haley Zaremba (Oil Price – September 07, 2022)

https://oilprice.com/

“Think of copper as a common carrier, so to speak, of decarbonization. It is literally the wiring that connects the present to the future,” writes Nathaniel Bullard, BloombergNEF’s Chief Content Officer.

While many of us imagine renewable energies to be just that – infinitely renewable, with no use of finite resources – the reality is that solar planes, wind turbines, energy transmission infrastructure, batteries for energy storage, and motors for your electric cars and electric bicycles all rely on metals that are not infinitely sourceable.

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The Race for US Lithium Hinges on a Fight Over a Nevada Mine – by Daniel Moore (Bloomberg News – September 5, 2022)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — The high-desert mountain pass overlooking alfalfa fields and RV parks doesn’t look like a battleground that will shape the country’s clean energy future.

But when the rock samples here are pulverized, pulled apart and mixed with chemicals, they yield a metal increasingly seen as white gold: lithium, a critical ingredient for batteries used in electric vehicles, solar energy storage, and consumer electronics.

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U.S. step up Russian aluminium, nickel imports since Ukraine war – by Eric Onstad (Reuters – September 7, 2022)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters) – The European Union and United States have ramped up buying key industrial metals from Russia, data showed, despite logistical problems spurred by the war in Ukraine and tough talk about starving Moscow of foreign exchange revenue.

The metal shipments highlight the West’s difficulty in pressuring Russia’s economy, which has performed better than expected and seen its rouble currency surge as buoyant oil revenue has helped offset the impact of sanctions.

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What Do Electric Cars Really Cost? – by Bob Davis (Foreign Policy – September 4, 2022)

Home

Clean cars drive some very dirty businesses and grubby regimes. That’s the main takeaway from Henry Sanderson’s fine new book Volt Rush: The Winners and Losers in the Race to Go Green.

Among the winners he describes are copper miners exploiting child labor, nickel miners dumping tons of waste into the sea, corrupt businesspeople paying off venomous African politicians, and a host of Chinese billionaires. It’s a far cry from the sanitized vision sold to Tesla owners.

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Uranium Risks Becoming the Next Critical Minerals Crisis – by David Fickling (Washington Post/Bloomberg – September 5, 2022)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

Faced with the most serious energy crisis since the 1970s, the world is turning back to one of the biggest beneficiaries of the 1973 oil embargo: nuclear power. That’s good news, but we should take care. This solution to 2022’s energy security problems risks creating its own energy security headache down the road.

That’s because uranium’s supply chain is as susceptible to geopolitical manipulation as those for natural gas, cobalt, and rare earths. If developed countries want to count on atomic energy as a reliable source of zero-carbon power in the 2030s and 2040s, they’re going to need to start locking down the mineral resources now.

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‘We don’t have enough’ lithium globally to meet EV targets, mining CEO says – by Akiko Fujita (Yahoo Finance – September 5, 2022)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

Climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act put the U.S. back on track toward significant emissions reductions, potentially reducing greenhouse gas output by 40% of 2005 levels.

But one miner warned that when it comes to the transportation sector, domestic resources for lithium, the most critical mineral used for electric vehicle production, may not be sufficient enough to meet some of the most ambitious targets. The Biden administration, for instance, aims to slash the sale of gas-powered vehicles to 50% of all new purchases by 2030.

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Environmentalists Have Turned On The Lithium Industry – by Felicity Bradstock (Oil Price.com – August 25, 2022)

https://oilprice.com/

The world is preparing for a lithium boom, mainly due to the anticipated increase in EV production and uptake over the coming decades. Several celebrities and tech billionaires are backing lithium mining in a bid to support a green transition.

In addition, many countries are rapidly developing their mining capabilities to establish their place in the global minerals and metals market, which is expected to expand significantly over the next decade.

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Shares of Australian coal miner Whitehaven have jumped 150% since the Ukraine war – by Su-Lin Tan (CNBC.com – August 24, 2022)

https://www.cnbc.com/

Shares of Australian coal producer Whitehaven has risen 200% this year. The share price of the Australian-listed miner has risen about 150% since the Russia-Ukraine crisis started in late February, and hit a record high of 7.90 Australian dollars ($5.47) on Wednesday.

In other words, an investor who purchased Whitehaven shares late last year would have seen his or her investment increase more than three times. Chatter among stockwatchers on the popular online Australian stock market forum HotCopper has also increased.

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Japan eyes return to nuclear power more than a decade after Fukushima disaster – by Justin McCurry (The Guardian – August 25, 2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Move designed to secure energy supplies would mark a dramatic shift in Japan’s policy stance held since 2011 reactor meltdown

Japan is considering building next-generation nuclear reactors and restarting idled plants in a major policy shift, 11 years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant rocked the country’s dependence on atomic energy.

The prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said he had directed a government panel to look into how “next-generation nuclear reactors equipped with new safety mechanisms” could be used to help Japan achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. His “green transformation” council is expected to report back by the end of the year, he said on Wednesday.

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