Archive | International Media Resource Articles

[Minnesota] Mine study still a resource – by Charles Ramsay (Mesabi Daily News – July 30, 2013)

http://www.hibbingmn.com/

Document a framework for how future of industry might look

The update came out in early February. The main author, Jim Skurla, director of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Minnesota Duluth, noted in a recent phone interview from Duluth that while the worldwide economy and its need for steel “had slowed down a bit” recently, especially in China, it didn’t necessarily indicate a decline in demand for the metal.

“It really was red hot there for awhile,” he said of the world economy, but its steel demand has continued to be “cyclical.”

The study found, in the 2010 data, that Northeastern Minnesota’s mining industry made up 30 percent of the region’s economy, down from 33 percent found by the original study done with 2007 data. The newer iron mining operations, as well as the possibilities with the non-ferrous mining operations, project almost a doubling of workers and revenues in mining if all projects advance.

Iron mining had an impact of about $3 billion to the state’s economy in the 2010 data, with 3,900 employees directly involved and a total of 11,000 employees, including miners, directly or indirectly employed with suppliers or resulting from additional household spending. For every mining job in the industry, another 1.8 jobs are created directly or indirectly, the study found. Continue Reading →

Tanzanians sue African gold mining firms over deaths in 2011 – by John Vidal (The Guardian – July 31, 2013)

http://www.theguardian.com/uk

Villagers accuse African Barrick Gold and North Mara Gold Mine over killing of at least six people

Tanzanian villagers are suing two African gold mining companies after six people were killed by police and others injured.

On Monday, Leigh Day, the London law firm, served a claim on behalf of 12 villagers against African Barrick Gold (ABG), one of Africa’s largest mining companies, and North Mara Gold Mine (NMGM), to highlight the allegedly serious human rights situation at the mine.

The claim alleges that the companies are liable for the deaths and injuries of villagers, including the killing of at least six men by police.

According to Leigh Day, villagers often try to gather rocks in the vicinity of the mine in the hope of finding small amounts of gold. “Police, which are an integral part of the mine’s security, allegedly shoot at the villagers using tear gas and live ammunition,” said Richard Meeran, a partner at the law firm.

The claims relate to several incidents, including one in which five men were shot dead in May 2011. The villagers allege the mine and NMGM, which are operated by African Barrick Gold, “failed to curb the use of excessive force at the mine, including deadly force used by police on a regular basis over a protracted period of time”. Continue Reading →

Commodity supercycle in rude health despite shale – by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph – July 31, 2013)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

The Oil Drum is closing down after eight years, giving up the long struggle to alert us all to “peak oil” and the dangers of an energy crunch. Readers have been drifting away. The theme has gone out of fashion, eclipsed by shale and fracking in the US.

The demise of Britain’s leading website for oil dissidents has been seized on by critics as an admission that peak oil is just another malthusian myth like so many before. It comes amid a spate of reports from global banks announcing the death of the commodity supercycle, slain by creative technology and a surge of new supply.

Yet if you stand back, it is hardly evident that the world is again enjoying abundant sources of cheap energy, metals or indeed food. Commodity prices have held up remarkably well given that we are in a global trade depression, albeit one contained by monetary stimulus.

The eurozone is in the longest unbroken recession since the 1930s, with industrial production 13pc below the pre-Lehman peak. Average growth in the US has been 1.1pc over the past three quarters as it grapples with the most drastic fiscal tightening since demobilisation after the Korean War. The Economic Cycle Research Institute continues to insist that the US is in recession right now, a claim less absurd than it sounds. Continue Reading →

All Minnesota has stake in mining debate – West Central Tribune Editorial (July 31, 2013)

http://www.wctrib.com/

Northeast Minnesota has a natural attraction of wild land and clear water that draws tourists from Duluth to Ely to Grand Marias. The region also contains valuable ore that created a mining industry that helped develop the region and Minnesota

More than a dozen companies are exploring northeastern Minnesota for copper, nickel, gold and other precious metals. Mining officials claim that hard rock mining can now be done safely and with little or no environmental impact. Many citizens are looking forward to a possible new mining industry and the resulting economic growth.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the prospect of this new mining. Mining critics point to similar operations in the western United States that have polluted many streams, rivers and lakes with acidic runoff. The mining issue is dividing communities in the region as the debate grows over mining potential and possible dangers.

All in Minnesota have an interest in the prospect of mining and the protection of natural resources in northeast Minnesota. Both the precious metal ores and other natural resources of the region are part of Minnesota’s legacy. Continue Reading →

Long view: Lundin Mining plans to be around for a while – by John Pepin (Marquette Mining Journal – July 31, 2013)

http://www.miningjournal.net/

HUMBOLDT – Lundin Mining Corp. President and CEO Paul Conibear said the company is looking to be a long-term success and pledged that high standards will be maintained for the Eagle Mine.

“Eagle Mine being successful – not just in the construction ahead of schedule or under budget – but to be able to look back in five, seven, eight, 10, 15 years and know this is an outstanding mine and being recognized in the international community that this is an outstanding mine and still being very welcomed by the community, those are our goals, factors for success,” Conibear said.

Conibear made the comments recently to a crowd of about 200 employees, government and business officials and residents who have supported the Eagle Mine. Those listeners were guests invited to a ceremony at the Humboldt Mill commemorating the transfer of the Eagle Mine project to Lundin.

In June, Lundin purchased the Eagle project from Rio Tinto for $325 million and the Toronto-based company will spend another $400 million through 2014 to get the mine and its Humboldt Mill into production by late 2014, earlier if possible. Full production is targeted for mid-2015 and is expected to last until 2022. Additional minerals to be extracted from the mine will include gold, cobalt, platinum and palladium by-products.

Continue Reading →

Ex-Mining Chiefs Plot Comebacks – by John W. Miller (Wall Street Journal – July 30, 2013)

http://online.wsj.com/home-page

Mining CEOs Who Were Sent Packing Return to the Industry.

Mining-company chief executives who were recently sent packing are beating a trail back to the industry, and two have already established investor funds and are looking for backers.

Is it smart to fund people who, if their companies were combined, had billion-dollar write-offs on assets acquired during their watch?

Aaron Regent, the former CEO of Barrick Gold Corp., ABX.T -4.06% thinks so. “There are opportunities out there, and there may be situations where you see value that others don’t,” he says.

Mr. Regent started a Toronto-based fund this year mainly to buy mines in the Americas. He says he signed deals with “a number of financial partners” but concedes it is a challenging market. “The Chinese are going to be competitors for sure.”

Mr. Regent is one of the five major mining bosses ousted in the last two years, due in large part to cost overruns and poor share performance. Others in the group are Cynthia Carroll of Anglo American AAL.LN -0.81% PLC, Tom Albanese of Rio Tinto, Mick Davis of Xstrata PLC, and Marius Kloppers of BHP Billiton Ltd. BHP.AU -0.60%. Continue Reading →

Shale Threatens Saudi Economy, Warns Prince Alwaleed – by Summer Said and Benoit Faucon (Wall Street Journal – July 30, 2013)

http://online.wsj.com/home-page

Investor Says Kingdom’s Economy Increasingly Vulnerable

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has warned that the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy is increasingly vulnerable to rising U.S. energy production, breaking ranks with oil officials in Riyadh who have played down its impact.

In an open letter dated May 13 addressed to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and several other ministers, a link to which was published Sunday on Prince Alwaleed’s Twitter account, he warned that the boom in U.S. shale oil and gas will reduce demand for crude from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. A Saudi official confirmed that ministers received the letter in May.

Not long after the prince issued his warning, a report from OPEC published Monday showed the group’s oil export revenue hit a record high of $1.26 trillion in 2012. However, forecasts from the group raise questions over whether that level of earnings can be sustained amid the competition from shale oil.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is now pumping at less than its production capacity because consumers are limiting their oil imports, Prince Alwaleed said in the letter. This means the kingdom is “facing a threat with the continuation of its near-complete reliance on oil, especially as 92% of the budget for this year depends on oil,” said the prince. Continue Reading →

Women coal miners to gather in Jonesborough this weekend Archives of Appalachia to document their stories – by Sue Guinn Legg (Johnson City Press – July 30, 2013)

http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/

Women coal miners from across the United States, Canada and England will gather in Jonesborough this weekend for a reunion at which their stories will be documented by the Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University.

The first international gathering of women coal miners conducted in nearly 15 years, the Saturday and Sunday reunion will include guests from former underground miners’ organizations that pioneered gender integration in the coal industry in the 1970s as well as representatives from Women Against Pit Closures in England.

On Saturday, representatives of the Archives of Appalachia and ETSU’s Office of University Relations will film interviews of women miners to add to the archives’ existing coal mining collections, to strengthen the public understanding of the histories of mining and labor and to foster a greater appreciation for women miners.

Amy Collins, director of the Archives of Appalachia, said interest in the history of women coal miners draws researchers from across the country and abroad to archived collections at ETSU that document women miners’ efforts in the areas of mine health and safety, pregnancy research, parental leave and pay equity. Continue Reading →

Twin Metals Minnesota: Building the state’s Mining Future – by Bob McFarin (Mesabi Daily News – July 31, 2013)

http://www.virginiamn.com/

Bob McFarin is vice president of public and government affairs of Twin Metals Minnesota.

Just over 150 years ago, people came to northern Minnesota in search of gold. Instead, they found a more enduring, but no less valuable resource — iron ore. The rest, of course, is history — Minnesota history shaped by generations of entrepreneurial, daring and hard-working “Iron Rangers.”

Good paying jobs, the ability to raise a family, vibrant communities, quality education and stewardship of the wilderness and environment — these are the past and present values and aspirations that define more than a century of mining throughout Minnesota’s Iron Range.

Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) is excited to be joining Minnesota’s proud mining heritage. Working in partnership with local communities and state and federal regulators, TMM is pursuing the development and operation of an underground mining project that will be one of the world’s largest sources of copper, nickel, platinum, palladium and gold.

These critical metals are necessary components of myriad products, from simple to complex, that support a modern quality of life — Continue Reading →

NUM: Violence in [South African] platinum belt continues unabated- by Greg Nicolson and Thapelo Lekgowa (Daily Maverick – July 30, 2013)

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni expressed shock at the ongoing violence in the platinum belt and appealed to all signatories to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry to meet their commitments to ensure a stable mining industry. The union’s national executive committee (NEC) said violence and intimidation continues almost a month after mining stakeholders signed the agreement, making a “mockery” of the initiative.

“The NUM is of the view that the deputy president must urgently act in operationalising that framework as agreed by the parties,” said Baleni, speaking in the union’s offices. “We are making a call that this framework has not been operationalised. Besides that, being operationalised, crime continues to be committed in terms of intimidation [and] violence.” He said there are 14 murder cases where no suspect has been arrested and in cases where arrests have been made prosecutions are yet to begin. The NUM called on the justice department to shift cases from Rustenburg’s courts to other courts so mine-related cases can be fast-tracked.

Baleni refused to name those responsible, but the NEC statement clearly points to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). The NUM claims that of 42 suspects arrested for violence or intimidation, 78% of them are from Amcu. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe: Mining Sector Has Potential to Turn Around Economy – (All Africa.com Editorial – February 1, 2013)

http://allafrica.com/

Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources and produces more than 40 types of metals and minerals. Mineral exports account for close to 40 percent of the country’s export receipts, accounting for massive employment and 12 percent of the gross domestic product.

Gold belts run along sources of nickel, asbestos, iron ore and pyrites production and contain reserves of antimony, tungsten, corundum and limestone. Zimbabwe is the world’s third largest source of platinum group metals and significant reserves of nickel are found along the Great Dyke.

Coal is one of Zimbabwe’s primary energy sources. High quality coal deposits abound in Hwange, parts of Matabeleland North, the Zambezi Valley and in the south east.

The Makonde basin in the north west of Zimbabwe, contains the country’s copper and graphite mines as well as reserves of lead, zinc and silver.

Diamonds have also entered the scene amid high expectations for the economy’s turnaround on the back of strengthening global demand for the precious gems. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 4-Potash sector rocked as Uralkali quits cartel; price slump seen – by Polina Devitt and Natalia Shurmina (Reuters India – July 30, 2013)

http://in.reuters.com/

MOSCOW, July 30 (Reuters) – Russia’s Uralkali has dismantled the world’s largest potash cartel in a move that it expects to slash prices by 25 percent, heralding a reshaped industry and pummelling shares of companies that produce the key fertiliser ingredient.

The break-up of the Belarus Potash Company (BPC), a joint venture with Belarussian partner Belaruskali, could cause a price war and leaves North America’s Canpotex as the dominant potash export venture.

It could also lead to cancellations of projects by rivals as the industry weighs the effect of lower prices, but may feed through to better deals for farmers and ultimately consumers. U.S.-listed shares of the Canpotex owners – Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc – plummetted, cutting their market value by nearly $15 billion.

BPC and Canpotex had accounted for 70 percent of global trade in potash, and the duopoly had set identical prices in key markets such as China and India.

“In the last few years, BPC and Canpotex … succeeded by raising potash prices much above their production cost,” a senior official at a major Indian potash firm said, asking not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. Continue Reading →

Emerging economies: When giants slow down (The Economist – July 27, 2013)

http://www.economist.com/

The most dramatic, and disruptive, period of emerging-market growth the world has ever seen is coming to its close

THIS year will be the first in which emerging markets account for more than half of world GDP on the basis of purchasing power, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In 1990 they accounted for less than a third of a much smaller total. From 2003 to 2011 the share of world output provided by the emerging economies grew at more than a percentage point a year (see chart 1). The remarkably rapid growth the world has seen in these two decades marks the biggest economic transformation in modern history. Its like will probably never be seen again.

According to a recent study by Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler, of the Peterson Institute, a think-tank, from 1960 to the late 1990s just 30% of countries in the developing world for which figures are available managed to increase their output per person faster than America did, thus achieving what is called “catch-up growth”. That catching up was somewhat lackadaisical: the gap closed at just 1.5% a year. From the late 1990s, however, the tables were turned. The researchers found 73% of developing countries managing to outpace America, and doing so on average by 3.3% a year. Some of this was due to slower growth in America; most was not.

The most impressive growth was in four of the biggest emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India and China, which Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, acronymed into the BRICs in 2001. These economies have grown in different ways and for different reasons. But their size marked them out as special—on purchasing-power terms they were the only $1 trillion economies outside the OECD, a rich world club—and so did their growth rates (see chart 2). Mr O’Neill reckoned they would, over a decade, become front-rank economies even when measured at market exchange rates, and he was right. Today they are four of the largest ten national economies in the world. Continue Reading →

Emerging economies: The Great Deceleration (The Economist – July 27, 2013)

http://www.economist.com/

The emerging-market slowdown is not the beginning of a bust. But it is a turning-point for the world economy

WHEN a champion sprinter falls short of his best speeds, it takes a while to determine whether he is temporarily on poor form or has permanently lost his edge. The same is true with emerging markets, the world economy’s 21st-century sprinters. After a decade of surging growth, in which they led a global boom and then helped pull the world economy forwards in the face of the financial crisis, the emerging giants have slowed sharply.

China will be lucky if it manages to hit its official target of 7.5% growth in 2013, a far cry from the double-digit rates that the country had come to expect in the 2000s. Growth in India (around 5%), Brazil and Russia (around 2.5%) is barely half what it was at the height of the boom. Collectively, emerging markets may (just) match last year’s pace of 5%. That sounds fast compared with the sluggish rich world, but it is the slowest emerging-economy expansion in a decade, barring 2009 when the rich world slumped.

This marks the end of the dramatic first phase of the emerging-market era, which saw such economies jump from 38% of world output to 50% (measured at purchasing-power parity, or PPP) over the past decade. Over the next ten years emerging economies will still rise, but more gradually. The immediate effect of this deceleration should be manageable. But the longer-term impact on the world economy will be profound.

In the past, periods of emerging-market boom have tended to be followed by busts (which helps explain why so few poor countries have become rich ones). Continue Reading →

The tycoon, the dictator’s wife and the $2.5bn Guinea mining deal – by Ian Cobain and Afua Hirsch (The Guardian – July 30, 2013)

http://www.theguardian.com/uk

FBI investigating Beny Steinmetz’s company BSGR after lucrative deal to extract iron ore from Simandou mountain range

Conakry, Guinea – In Conakry, a gleaming hotel looms over the filth of the city. Behind it a small coastal cove acts like a floating rubbish dump, collecting brightly coloured detritus from the murky Atlantic and distributing it in piles in stubbly black rock pools on the beach. A group of gangly young men sit by an abandoned fishing boat, looking despondently out to sea.

But in the gleaming, chandelier-lit hotel lobby it is easy to forget the scenery outside. Here, European, Australian and Brazilian mining executives, in jeans and suit jackets, sip rosé as they check emails. African businessmen huddle in groups, discussing shareholdings and the possibility of chartering planes to reach remote sites.

Businessmen think nothing of hiring private aircraft to reach Guinea’s abundant reserves of diamonds, gold, uranium, aluminium ore and bauxite, because the returns are unparalleled. The country is an almost textbook example of what some refer to as the “paradox of plenty”: it sits atop some of the most significant untapped mineral reserves in the world while its people live in squalor, without clean water, electricity, education or infrastructure. Continue Reading →