Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Beny Steinmetz: Mining tycoon in Swiss trial over Guinea deal (BBC News – January 11, 2021)

A billionaire French-Israeli diamond magnate, Beny Steinmetz, has appeared in court in Switzerland to face trial over alleged corruption linked to a major mining deal in Guinea.

He has always denied his company, BSGR, paid multi-million dollar bribes to obtain iron ore mining exploration permits in southern Guinea in 2008.

He travelled to Geneva from Israel for the two-week trial. If convicted he could face up to 10 years in prison. Steinmetz, 64, was previously sentenced in absentia to five years in prison by a court in Romania for money laundering. Continue Reading →

Mining in Africa and beyond: Tracking the great gold rush – by Patrick Smith (The Africa Report – November 13, 2020)

As demand for gold skyrockets, artisanal mining and smuggling ramps up, financing conflict and corrupt politicians, risking human lives and destroying the environment. The Africa Report tracks the precious mineral on its journey from ¬ rebel-controlled areas to jewellery stores across the world.

The headlong rush for that glistening metal is one of the ugliest market forces in the world.

On July 14, the COVID-19 crisis prompted the World Gold Council to pronounce: ‘Investors have embraced gold in 2020 as a key portfolio hedging strategy. […] the pandemic will likely have a lasting effect on asset allocation. It will also reinforce the value of gold as a strategic asset.’ By 5 August gold had hit its highest price ever, at $2,048 an ounce. Continue Reading →

Eramet faces continued challenges in New Caledonia, despite rescue plan success – by Simone Liedtke ( – Janaury 12, 2021)

Global mining and metallurgical group Eramet’s rescue plan, which aims to ensure the sustainable recovery of the group’s New Caledonian subsidiary, is achieving the expected impact under normal operating conditions, the company confirmed on January 12.

It noted that the subsidiary, Société Le Nickel (SLN), had, in particular, managed to achieve an improvement in production costs.

SLN’s rescue plan is based on three levers, which include implementing a new business model based on plant ferronickel production and low-grade ore exports, improving productivity and reducing energy prices. Continue Reading →

Illegal gold mines in the Sahel controlled by terrorist cells – by Irina Tsukerman (Foreign Policy News – October 1, 2020)

Foreign Policy News

The London based Tactics Institute For Security and Counter Terrorism expressed concerns about the growing threat of Jihadi groups in Africa.

The institute revealed it has received information from local intelligence sources from 3 African countries. Tactics has learned that 8 key terrorists groups in the Sahel region are the beneficiaries of illegal trade with UAE and other countries.

Tactics can reveal that groups which involved in the trade are, Al-Mourabitoun, Ansar al-Dine / Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), Ansar-ul-Islam lil-Ichad wal Jihad (IRSAD), Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), The Macina Liberation Front (MLF) and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Continue Reading →

Jim Bob Moffett, co-founder and former CEO of Freeport McMoRan, dies at 82 – by Dominic Massa ( – January 9, 2021)

James R. “Jim Bob” Moffett, the co-founder and former CEO of Freeport McMoRan, Inc., the Fortune 500 mining and exploration company once headquartered in New Orleans, where he became a business titan, died Friday. He was 82.

His son Bubba said Moffett died of COVID-19 complications Friday at his home in Austin, Texas, according to The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. Moffett had been ill for several years.

Moffett stepped down as chairman of the company he co-founded in 2015. Now based in Phoenix, Freeport extracts copper, gold, and molybdenum from sites in North and South America and Indonesia. In 2019, the company’s revenue totaled approximately $14 billion. Continue Reading →

US sector readies for transition away from pro-coal White House – by Taylor Kuykendall (S&P Global Market Intelligence – January 7, 2021)

The U.S. coal sector continued to struggle under the pro-coal Trump administration and will likely face new challenges on the political front under a Biden presidency and a U.S. Congress controlled by Democrats.

While President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress rolled out several policies and legal actions favorable to the sector during his tenure, coal employment and production in the country hit record lows amid ongoing coal plant retirements.

President-elect Joe Biden will enter office with ambitions to battle climate change among his top priorities, which could create headwinds for the carbon-intensive coal industry. Continue Reading →

Enter the dragon along the Himalayan border – by D Chandrasekharam (Times of India – December 26, 2020)

Why China is very keen on having its presence along the entire Himalayan border, extending from Nangaparbat to the Arunachal Pradesh ranges (including Nepal Himalayas)?

It is all due to abundant natural resources, metallic, non-metallic, and energy resources that include Oil, shale, and geothermal resources. The occurrence of these mineral resources have been documented since the British rule in India and I am sure China must have documented it much before it………maybe during the Qin dynasty by Ying Zheng.!!!!

In the NW Himalayas, the Zanskar region has rich deposits of sapphires. Part of the resources land falls within the occupied Kashmir. The world’s best sapphires are found in Zanskar ranges in Kashmir. These sapphires are also known as the king of the sapphire. Continue Reading →

Ethiopia – Origin of High Quality Gemstones – by Getachew Minas (Ethiopian Herald/All Africa – January 8, 2021)

Gemstones have never played any significant economic role in the long history and rich culture of Ethiopia. It is only in the last two decades that Ethiopia has emerged in the gem trade. Rondeau et al. reported the discovery of large gemstone deposits in the country only recently.

The first high-quality emeralds from southern Ethiopia and sapphire from the north reached the market in the past few years.

With all of these new materials reaching the market, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) collaborated with the Ethiopian government to set up an expedition to the sapphire, opal, and emerald sources. Here, we focus only on sapphire. Continue Reading →

Why the lights are going out in China – by ZHAO XUAN, YUAN RUIYANG, CHEN XUEWAN, BAI YUJIE, LUO GUOPING and HAN WEI (Nikkei Asia – December 29, 2020)

As China’s economy picks up steam following the pandemic, there’s been an unexpected consequence: power shortages that forced several cities to restrict electricity use by factories, offices and even streetlights.

As night fell Dec. 14 in Yiwu, the city in eastern China’s Zhejiang province that’s known as the world’s largest small-commodity trading hub, pedestrians were plunged into darkness as streetlights didn’t turn on as usual in some areas. Streets in Yiwu remained dark the next two nights under a government decision to “reduce power consumption and pollution.”

“This is the first time in many years the streetlights were shut down for that reason,” one resident said. Lighting of several landmark structures in Changsha, capital of southern China’s Hunan Province, was also turned off this month. Continue Reading →

Deep dive to new resources – by Graham Lloyd (The Australian – January 1, 2021)

Gerard Barron wants to secure a battery-powered future — from the sea floor.

In the global race to remake the world for a low emissions future, Gerard Barron just may be Australia’s Elon Musk.

Where Musk is obsessed with electric cars and deep space, Barron is focused on the abyssal plains located 4500m below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Barron is leading a gathering push to exploit a base metals resource that has been known about a long time but has been too difficult to exploit for political, environmental and logistic reasons. Continue Reading →

Junior miners bring abandoned iron ore projects back to life – by Jamie Smyth and Neil Hume (Financial Times – January 5, 2021)

Six years after a once-in-a-generation commodities crash forced Noble Group to close the Frances Creek iron ore mine in remote northern Australia, its new owners are restarting it.

Darwin-based NT Bullion is among a host of junior miners from Australia to Canada that are resuscitating operations abandoned by larger producers of the steelmaking ingredient.

Their bets made at the bottom of the mining cycle could prove lucrative. The price of iron ore surged 65 per cent last year to a nine-year high of $166 a tonne on the back of sustained strong demand in China and supply constraints in Brazil, the world’s second-biggest producer. Continue Reading →

Pandemic drives more people to risk lives in India’s illegal mica mines (Deccan Herald/Reuters – January 6, 2021)

When India went into lockdown last March and Tota Rai lost his cleaning job in the textile hub of Surat, he knew working in the illegal mica mining industry back home was his only option.

Rai, 45, and his three sons – two adults and one teenager – now spend their days scavenging for scraps of the valued mineral used to put the sparkle into make-up and car paint and in electronics to sell to local traders in eastern Jharkhand state.

But as the pandemic drives more families to mica, residents, researchers and campaigners have voiced concerns over failings by the government and private sector to regulate the often fatal trade sourced from abandoned mines and to create other jobs. Continue Reading →

SolGold boss wants to end the brawl with BHP and Newcrest – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – January 6, 2021)

SolGold managing director Nicholas Mather wants to repair his fractured relationship with BHP and Newcrest Mining after an acrimonious year that culminated in a massive protest vote against his re-election to the board of the high-profile copper explorer.

BHP and Newcrest both own more than 13 per cent of SolGold and last year made public their respective concerns about Mr Mather’s approach to governance and funding of the Brisbane-based company, which has discovered several prospective copper and gold targets in Ecuador.

BHP and Newcrest were not the only SolGold shareholders with concerns about Mr Mather, with 44.7 per cent of the company’s register voting against his re-election to the SolGold board shortly before Christmas. Continue Reading →

Rio TNT 2: Campaigners warn Mining giant which destroyed Aboriginal site is about to do same again to a sacred Native American tribe – by Francesca Washtell (Daily Mail/This Is Money – January 5, 2021)

The new boss of Rio Tinto is under pressure to scrap controversial plans for a mine in Arizona that would destroy an area sacred to Native Americans.

Campaigners warn it could be a repeat of a scandal in Australia that threw the firm into crisis. Rio sparked global outrage after it blew up two 46,000-year-old Aboriginal caves in the Juukan Gorge to expand an iron ore mine in May last year.

Within months its chief executive, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, and two other top bosses had been forced to resign. Continue Reading →

Decision over future of Oxford’s Cecil Rhodes statue delayed – by Michael Race (BBC News – January 6, 2021)

A decision over the future of a statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes has been delayed until the spring.

Calls to remove the Oriel College statue in Oxford were reignited in June last year after a statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston was torn down in Bristol. A commission was set up to examine the statue’s future and said a report would be released this month.

But the date has been delayed due to a “considerable volume of submissions”. A spokesperson for the commission, set up by Oriel College, said a report would “likely be published in early spring 2021 in order to ensure that all input is given careful and due consideration”. Continue Reading →