Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Alaska Natives and fishermen sue EPA for reversing Pebble Mine decision – by Richard Read (Los Angeles Times – October 8, 2019)

SEATTLE — Trump administration officials broke the law when they reversed course and gave a green light to a proposed copper and gold mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay, mining opponents said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Alaska Native, commercial fishing and economic development organizations said the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision July 30 to step aside and let the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determine whether to permit the Pebble Mine was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion” and illegal.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage is the latest challenge to the project that the EPA’s Seattle branch criticized in written comments July 1 before abruptly reversing course, withdrawing the agency’s option to block the proposed open-pit copper and gold mine. Continue Reading →

When will we finally admit that electric vehicles aren’t the solution? – by Martin Horicka ( – October 9, 2019)

OPINION: Our civilisation is facing a major challenge. We have to choose the right path to an environmentally more sustainable society. At the same time, we should be sure the measures chosen are indeed the best possible.

Replacing fossil fuel cars with electric vehicles seems to be a logical, correct, and even necessary solution to our climate problem. But the issue is far more complex than our intuition tells us.

The banning of further production of internal combustion engines by 2050, 2040 or as soon as 2030 is talked about, even though it could take us into dangerous uncharted territory we know almost nothing about. Continue Reading →

Column: Miners rate social licence, climate change as top concerns. Really? – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – October 8, 2019)

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – The top concern among global miners, for a second year running, is how to keep a social licence to operate, especially amid rising pressure for the industry to tackle climate change.

But knowing what the main challenge is, and knowing what to do about it appear to be two different things. A survey of global mining companies by consultants EY showed that 44% of executives ranked maintaining a social licence to operate as their leading concern, with preparing for the workforce of the future the next most important challenge.

The social licence refers to how much a company’s business practices are accepted by employees, interest groups and the overall public. “The sector is facing greater scrutiny from end consumers, demanding a transparent ethical supply chain as well as a lower carbon footprint,” the report said. Continue Reading →

Mining Ireland: sourcing for sustainability – by Daniel Brightmore (Mining Global – October 7, 2019)

The Mining Ireland conference will examine the scale of Ireland’s mineral potential, mining and mineral exploration projects, and the role Irish companies play in global markets.

The Irish Mining and Quarrying Society (IMQS), in collaboration with Geoscience Ireland, will host the Mining Ireland conference in Dublin on October 8. “If it is not grown, it is mined – a much-used adage, but one that still holds true.

With the Paris Agreement 2016 and the Government of Ireland Climate Action Plan 2019, we are transitioning toward greener energy sources, many of which are dependent on the metals, and it is our responsibility to extract minerals in the most environmentally sustainable way possible,” stated the IMQS ahead of the conference. Continue Reading →

High uranium levels seen in Navajo women decades after Cold war era mining by U.S. on their reservation (CBC News – October 8, 2019)

Albuquerque, New Mexico — About a quarter of Navajo women and some infants who were part of a federally funded study on uranium exposure had high levels of the radioactive metal in their systems, decades after mining for ingredients for Cold War weaponry ended on their reservation, a U.S. health official Monday. The early findings from the University of New Mexico study were shared during a congressional field hearing in Albuquerque.

Dr. Loretta Christensen – the chief medical officer on the Navajo Nation for Indian Health Service, a partner in the research – said 781 women were screened during an initial phase of the study that ended last year.

Among them, 26% had concentrations of uranium that exceeded levels found in the highest 5% of the U.S. population, and newborns with equally high concentrations continued to be exposed to uranium during their first year, she said. Continue Reading →

Coal mines turned into culture mines is new business in Poland – by Louise Miner and Chris Burns (Euro News – October 7, 2019)

Katowice is a city that built itself on coal, turning the 18th-century village into an industrial powerhouse. Now it´s in the middle of another transformation: developing a cleaner, greener, more sustainable way of living and working. In this edition of Spotlight, we look at how this Polish city has turned coal mines into culture mines and new places to do business.

Silesian Museum – art and history

The centrepiece of this urban make-over is the Silesian Museum, built in a coal mine. Along with underground performances and a meeting space, the main hall is two football fields long, 14 metres deep. There are exhibitions about the region’s history, and on Polish art, including works by coal miners such as Jan Nowak.

Nowak said, “It’s amazing. I used to work here, with a shovel, with a hammer, and so on. And now my works are here in this museum, in this mine (Kopalny).” Continue Reading →

South Africa’s Impala to buy North American Palladium for about $750 million – by Tanisha Heiberg (Reuters U.S. – October 7, 2019)

(Reuters) – South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats) (IMPJ.J) said on Monday it would buy Canada-based North American Palladium Ltd (PDL.TO) for about C$1 billion ($751.77 million), marking the miner’s first purchase outside of Africa.

Prices for Palladium XPD=, widely used in vehicle exhausts to reduce harmful emissions, have doubled from a low in August last year as tighter environmental regulations force carmakers to buy more of the precious metal.

“(The acquisition) not only signals our confidence in the prevailing platinum group metals (PGM) market but it also expedites our transition to a high-level multinational producer,” Implats Chief Executive Officer Nick Muller said on a media call. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-United States races to build critical minerals alliances – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – October 7, 2019)

LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland didn’t go down well with either the inhabitants of the world’s largest island or with Denmark, which administers it as an autonomous territory.

The Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen described the idea as “absurd”, triggering a diplomatic fall-out as Trump decided to cancel a planned visit to Denmark.

The idea may be many things but, from a U.S. perspective, it is not “absurd”. There are two completely rational drivers for eyeing up Greenland – its strategic location for North Atlantic shipping and its untapped mineral reserves. Continue Reading →

How does blockchain root out blood diamonds from the world’s supply market? – by Peter Sabine (South China Morning Post – October 5, 2019)

From provenance to payment, blockchain has become an attractive option for major diamond companies like De Beers that want to track origin and other information vital to their credibility with buyers

The diamond industry is getting a boost with a distributed ledger treatment, offering crucial advantages for all supply chain parties. For purchasers of diamonds, transactions can be soured by numerous perils such as origin, quality and fakes.

The concept of using blockchain in the industry is nothing new, but has arguably risen to prominence in response to the issue of blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds.

These are a major problem for the market due to highly publicised controversies, including a connection to everything from war to child labour. The gems are mined in war zones and sold to fund a range of activities, be it an insurgency or a warlord’s reign. Continue Reading →

Polish coal region wants its say on new mines (Reuters Africa – October 7, 2019)

WARSAW, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Local authorities in Poland’s Silesia coal-mining region urged the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government on Monday to drop proposed legislation that would give it the option to open new mines without their consent.

Facing an election on Sunday, PiS has maintained its strong support for coal mining as a key energy source for Poland, which generates 80% of its electricity from coal.

But there is growing opposition to mining in Silesia, one of the most polluted coal regions in Europe, potentially putting pressure on PiS. Opinion polls show the party is likely to win Sunday’s vote with about 40-44%. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Indonesia govt appoints Inalum to buy stake in Vale Indonesia -official (Reuters U.K. – October 7, 2019)

JAKARTA, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s government has appointed state miner PT Inalum to purchase a stake that PT Vale Indonesia intends to sell, the Director General of Coal and Minerals, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said on Monday.

Vale, one of Indonesia’s largest nickel miners, is set to divest around 20% of its stake to local investor to meet new regulations aimed at limiting foreign ownership of its mining resources.

The company had said it aims to conduct the stake sale in October. Continue Reading →

Newmont’s New CEO Plans to Dispense More Discipline Than Cash – by Vinicy Chan and Steven Frank (Bloomberg News – October 2, 2019)

(Bloomberg) — Tom Palmer took the helm at the world’s largest gold miner shortly after bullion had its longest streak of quarterly gains since 2011. Now investors are looking to partake of that windfall.

But before shareholders get their piece of the pie, the new chief executive officer at Newmont Goldcorp Corp. will have to face the challenge of melding the assets from the recently completed mega-merger with Goldcorp Inc.

Newmont’s shares have trailed its peers, even with gold’s meteoric rise that took the metal to a six-year high of $1,557.11 an ounce last month. The stock’s rally this year is just less than a third of the pace of gains posted by its closest rival Barrick Gold Corp., which also sealed a massive merger deal. Continue Reading →

Chile’s attempts to move up the lithium value chain are not working (The Economist – October 5, 2019)

Chile’s economic boom is copper-bottomed. Since pre-colonial times people have worked the metal. Today Chile produces 28% of the world’s output. The industry accounts for almost 10% of gdp, 48% of exports and a third of foreign direct investment. Copper has helped make Chileans the richest people in South America.

Politicians, however, dream of doing more than exporting unrefined commodities. In 2016 Michelle Bachelet, then the president, announced a plan to encourage manufacturing and innovation at home through the use of another metal that Chile has in abundance: lithium.

This is used in batteries for mobile phones, laptops and electric cars. The idea was for Chile not only to mine the metal but also to make components for car batteries, the fastest-growing part of the market. Continue Reading →

One of India’s largest coal mines is flooded, spelling more bad news for domestic output – by Kuwar Singh (Quartz India – October 3, 2019)

An unusually rainy stretch towards the end of India’s monsoon season this year has halted production at a major coal mine, worsening the shortfall in the production of the fossil fuel in the country.

On Sept. 29, the Lilagar river in the central state of Chhattisgarh abruptly changed its course, flooding the Dipka coal mine in Korba district.

Chhattisgarh produced the highest quantity of coal in the country in financial year 2018-19. In the past seven days alone, rainfall in the state has been 261% more than its average for this time period over the last 50 years. All workers at the Dipka mine have been rescued, but some heavy machinery has been damaged. Continue Reading →

Diamond crisis deepens as De Beers reports plunging sales – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – October 3, 2019)

The latest sales data from De Beers reinforces why this is one of the worst years for the diamond industry in a long time.

The Anglo American Plc subsidiary reported sales on Thursday that showed demand for rough diamonds is continuing to plunge as polishers and traders refuse to buy stones when they can’t make a profit.

The mining company holds 10 sales events each year in Botswana, where its chosen buyers — known in the industry as sightholders — are given a box containing plastic bags filled with diamonds. In the past three sales, De Beers made less than $300 million, which is unprecedented in data going back to 2016. Continue Reading →