Duluth [nickel mining] Complex – by Charles Ramsay (Mesabi Daily News – October 31, 2013)


DULUTH — By any method that the Duluth Complex is rated, several experts say the nonferrous potential embedded in the geologic region makes it the largest mineral deposits ever.

The complex stretches from near Duluth northeast and north to near the Canadian border. Copper, nickel and precious metals group elements (platinum-palladium) are a major part of minerals in the complex. Two companies, PolyMet and Twin Metals, are preparing for production or getting near that goal after environmental review and permits are obtained. More companies are busy exploring other locations for deposits.

“I have no doubt this will prove to be the biggest undeveloped deposit,” said Jim Miller, a geology professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Another researcher, George Hudak, minerals division director at the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth, agreed. “This is the largest untapped copper-nickel deposit in the world,” he said.

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‘Ghost Mine’: Portlander Patrick Doyle talks about Season 2 of Syfy series – by Kristi Turnquist (The Oregonian – September 4, 2013) [RepublicOfMining.com – Halloween Theme]



Click here for Ghost Mine episodes: http://www.space.ca/GhostMine.aspx

When he’s confronted by skeptics who doubt the possibility of ghosts, Patrick Doyle has a ready response. “I’m very much a skeptic as well,” says Doyle, who is one of two paranormal investigators featured on the Syfy series, “Ghost Mine.”

“I think you have to be honest with yourself and be a skeptic to be in the paranormal field,” says the 42-year-old. “You’re always questioning.” But for those who scoff at the concept of paranormal activity, Doyle says this: “I’d ask them first, have you had something that happened to you, heard something, seen something, that you can’t explain?”

Doyle has, and it’s those experiences that led him to his fascination with eerie phenomena. He continues to pursue his passion in Season 2 of “Ghost Mine,” which premieres tonight on Syfy.

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US resources investor Rick Rule says most mining minnows worthless – by Matt Chambers (The Australian – October 30, 2013)


LONG-TIME US resources investor Rick Rule is in Australia to take advantage of what he sees as a once-in-a-decade opportunity to pick up stocks in struggling mining companies.

But the Sprott Global Resource Investments chairman has a stark message for the junior sector and its investors: most of the more than 800 junior miners listed on the Australian Securities Exchange are worthless.

“In the good times, from 2003 to 2011, the excesses here and in Canada and on (London’s secondary exchange) AIM were legendary,” said Mr Rule, in Melbourne to deliver the opening speech at today’s Mines and Money conference.

“We need to exorcise all of those sins from the system, which is a different way of saying perhaps 60 or 70 per cent of the junior listings here are truly valueless.

“One would hope that those (equity) issuers ultimately go to their intrinsic value, which is zero, and open up more space for the best 30 per cent of your issuers, the best of which are truly world class.”

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Rio Tinto’s former boss says miners were ‘too slow’ to react – by Clara Ferreira-Marques (Reuters U.S. – October 29, 2013)


LONDON – (Reuters) – Mining companies were too slow to respond to changing investor demands from mid-2011 as sentiment deteriorated, failing to spot the wave of change which eventually swept out a generation of executives, the former boss of miner Rio Tinto said on Tuesday.

“We didn’t react fast enough,” said Tom Albanese, chief executive of Rio Tinto (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) until he was ousted in January – one of a string of executives toppled by writedowns at the world’s largest mining firms, as boom-year deals soured.

Recalling Rio’s half-year earnings, released in August 2011, Albanese told an industry gathering that the company had felt at the time that it was announcing positive numbers. Indeed, it reported record cash flow and record profits.

Investors, though, were watching screens “filled with red”, he said, and the mining group’s shares fell. Instead of demanding more growth, investors had begun to feel nervous.

“It felt like panic was setting in… We said this is not us, this is not our problem. We should have said this is us, this is our problem,” the U.S.-born mining veteran said, in one of his first public appearances since his departure from Rio.

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It is too early to start digging back into the mining sector – by Tom Stevenson (The Telegraph – October 26, 2013)


If you want to know what is going on at a company, it is sometimes better to ask its suppliers rather than its management. They have less interest in telling you everything is just fine.

So it was revealing this week to hear BHP Billiton’s bullish assessment of the outlook for commodities alongside news of slumping demand for the picks and shovels provided by the likes of Caterpillar and Sandvik, two of the world’s leading suppliers of mining machinery and tools.

BHP’s chairman, Jac Nasser, told the mining giant’s annual meeting that demand for some commodities could rise by 75pc over the next 15 years as he expressed confidence that the Chinese government retains the firepower to keep its economy growing strongly.

But Sweden’s Sandvik reported a 17pc decline in orders for its mining business, while US-based Caterpillar once again cut its full-year revenue outlook and predicted another downturn in mining-related sales next year. The mining sector is going through a painful transition after a decade, to 2010, in which China-fuelled growth seemed endless and the sector outperformed the wider stock market by a factor of 20.

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Friedland wows City of Gold with his knockout platinum story – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – October 29, 2013)


JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Mining entrepreneur extraordinaire Robert Friedland came to the City of Gold on Tuesday and wowed his audience with a stirring story of the richness of South African platinum endowment.

The geological marketing wizard, whose name is associated with the Voisey’s Bay nickel deposit in Canada and Oyu Tolgoi copper deposit in the Mongolia’s Gobi desert, delivered an hour-long key note presentation in which he rolled out plans to build a promising platinum mine in the rich Platreef close to the Mogalakwena mine, South Africa’s richest platinum operation owned by Anglo American Platinum.

The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Ivanhoe Mines, which submitted an application for a mining licence to the Department of Mineral Resources five months ago, has well advanced plans for a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Friedland gave his presentation on day-one of the Joburg 2013 Investing in Resources and Mining in Africa conference attended by the who’s who of the South African mining industry. “Africa is potentially one of the most rewarding places to be operating on the planet,” said Friedland, whose Ivanhoe is also developing the Kamoa copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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BHP Billiton defends its track record on assisting black mines – by Brendan Ryan (Business Day – October 28, 2013)

http://www.bdlive.co.za/ [South Africa]

IN AN unusually public and hard-hitting statement, mining resources giant BHP Billiton has disputed claims by Transnet CEO Brian Molefe that the miner is not doing enough to promote black economic empowerment (BEE) in South Africa’s coal-mining export industry.

BHP Billiton described Mr Molefe’s statements as being “far from the truth” on Friday and criticised Transnet Freight Rail’s underperformance in matching its capacity to rail coal to Richards Bay Coal Terminal’s (RBCT’s) expanded capacity.

Previously, individual coal exporters have avoided criticising Transnet “on the record” apparently because of fears that the utility, which runs the all-important coal line from Emalahleni to Richards Bay, would penalise them in terms of availability of trains required to haul coal to RBCT for export.

On the rare occasions when the industry has criticised Transnet, it has come from RBCT, whose members include the country’s most important coal-mining and exporting companies.

Responding to questions last week after his presentation of Transnet’s interim results for the six months to end-September, Mr Molefe accused RBCT members of denying access to the export market to small black-owned coal companies.

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Snakes, Shellfish Traps Add to Mining Hazards as Lake Reemerges – by Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2013)


Usually Mines Have Too Little Water; Barrick Has Too Much

SYDNEY— Garry Pearson recalls precisely when a vast lake appeared on the doorstep of one of Barrick Gold Corp.’s ABX.T -1.56% biggest mines in Australia. It was two years ago, just as gold prices hit a high-water mark.

The area’s name—Lake Cowal—hinted there was water nearby. But for most of the decade that Barrick has been exploring for gold or mining in this remote part of New South Wales state, the land was so dry that local farmers used it to graze sheep and other livestock.

Since the lake reappeared, Barrick has faced a raft of water-driven challenges ranging from a scramble to find a floating drill rig to an influx of venomous snakes.

Mr. Pearson, an environment manager whose job at Barrick includes keeping noise levels within acceptable limits, no longer drives to work but jumps into a power boat or kayak. When he reaches the monitoring station, he has to climb atop a three-meter metal chair lapped by the lakewater.

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Toward Electronics Free of Conflict Minerals – by Wasima Khan (Huffington Post – October 28, 2013)


Wasima Khan is a PhD Candidate in Corporate Law, Erasmus University – Rotterdam.

With the acquisition of conflict minerals for their manufacturing, the electronics industry is involved in an ongoing humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Recent law reforms for US listed companies have so far failed to incentivize investors to change corporations’ “bad” practices. Can social enterprises like Fairphone can help achieve a world free of conflict mineral products?

One of the world’s deadliest wars continues to wrack the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and it is partly financed and sustained by the electronics industry. Electronics-makers seek a variety of natural resources for the production of their products in DR Congo. Yet armed militia have taken over the natural resource mines in this region and commit severe human rights abuses.

As the corporations are forced to reckon with these armed groups to acquire natural resources, the latter have effectively become a part of the electronics industry’s supply chain. As a result, aggressive militia, violating human rights, are profiting from the exploitation of raw material resources.

So how do big legal sticks force corporations to remove themselves from this ugly situation? In order to address DR Congo’s humanitarian crisis, law reforms have recently taken place in the United States specifically targeting electronics corporations.

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Friedland in show-stopper ahead of SA listing – by David McKay (Miningmx.com – October 29, 2013)


“People are saying the super-cycle is dead; they are completely idiotic…” Robert Friedland

[miningmx.com] – DEMONSTRATING all the brio that allowed him to raise $504m for mining in two of the world’s riskiest mining domains – the Congo and South Africa – entrepreneur Robert Friedland urged his audience at the Joburg Indaba to ignore the ‘idiots’ who thought the commodity super-cycle was dead.

“People are saying the super-cycle is dead; they are completely idiotic,” said Friedland who added that South Africa as an investment destination was also safe. “The review of mining legislation [in South Africa] has raised some concerns, but nationalisation has ben kicked into touched. Shouldn’t that give us comfort?”, he said.

“You can’t argue that the state should protect its own interests. The referee must be independent, the playing field level. Once investors have confidence in policy stability, the rest must follow,” he said.

Friedland was hitting all the high notes once again promoting this time Ivanhoe Mines, the Toronto-listed exploration and development company that is planning to build South Africa’s largest platinum mine, the so-called Flatreef project, as well as a copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as Kamoa.

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UPDATE 2-Mosaic to buy CF’s phosphate business for $1.2 billion – by Rod Nickel (Reuters U.S. – October 28, 2013)


Oct 28 (Reuters) – Mosaic Co said on Monday that it would buy the phosphate business of fellow U.S. fertilizer producer CF Industries Holdings Inc for $1.2 billion in cash, in a deal that bolsters each company’s core business.

The deal signals Illinois-based CF’s increased focus on its core nitrogen fertilizer products and comes after Mosaic has said it was looking to increase its production of phosphate, one of three critical crop nutrients.

Shares of CF, the largest U.S. nitrogen producer, was up 3.8 percent at $217.62 in midday New York Stock Exchange trading, while Mosaic, the world’s biggest producer of finished phosphate products, rose 0.2 percent to $46.02.

Minnesota-based Mosaic will acquire the South Pasture phosphate mine and plant, a phosphate manufacturing plant and ammonia terminal and warehouse facilities, all of which are in Florida.

The facilities produce about 1.8 million tonnes of phosphate fertilizer per year, topping up the annual 8.2 million tonnes produced by Mosaic and adding about 30 cents per share to its 2015 earnings, the company said. It expects the deal to close in the first half of 2014.

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Illinois’ Teachable Moment: The True Cost of Coal, Slavery and Historical Markers – by Jeff Biggers (Huffington Post – October 28, 2013)


As another coal train derailed in southern Illinois last weekend, the Illinois State Historical Society teamed up with the Illinois Coal Association on Saturday for their own collision with history during the installation of a historical marker for the state’s “First Coal Mine.”

The real train wreck: Among numerous errors, the Illinois State Historical Society marker fails to mention that other coal mines abounded in southern Illinois, thanks to enslaved African American labor — including the so-called “first coal mine” — while the Illinois Coal Association took the occasion to erroneously bash “environmental regulations” for mining job losses, as the Prairie State plunges head-long into a new coal rush and a reckless environmental and health disaster.

What gives, Illinois State Historical Society? Doesn’t history matter — at least over the hackneyed phrases of the Big Coal lobby, even if they provided most of the funds for the historical marker?

While our nation now recognizes that “Black History Month” emerged from historian Carter Woodson’s “six-year apprenticeship” in the West Virginia coal mines, isn’t it time for the Illinois State History Society to stop finding excuses in the Land of Lincoln — and Obama — and finally come clean on the secret legacy of slavery in our coal mines and salt wells, if only to remind us of cautionary tales for our own times?

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Rio Tinto Makes Hay From a Water Obstacle – by Rhiannon Hoyle (Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2013)


In Australia, Miner Seeks Help From Agriculture to Drill Deeper for Iron Ore

KARRATHA, Australia—In one of the driest places on Earth, mining companies like Rio Tinto PLC are grappling with a major water problem: too much of it.

As they deplete easy-to-access deposits of iron ore in Western Australia’s mineral-rich Pilbara region, big miners are spending billions of dollars to drill deeper than ever before, vying to feed Asia’s voracious appetite for raw materials. The latest prize: vast stores of ore that lie below the water table, typically located hundreds of yards beneath the Earth’s surface.

Bringing that ore to the surface would ease fears that the global economic recovery might strain mineral supplies and trigger a sharp rebound in commodity prices, potentially damping global growth.

In the remote Pilbara, which accounts for two-fifths of the world’s iron-ore exports, brisk demand, particularly from China, is creating a challenge for both miners and environmental regulators.

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Selling their nickel for a dime – by Shelley Marshall and Omar Pidani (Jakarta Post – October 29, 2013)


Shelley Marshall is a senior lecturer at the department of business law and taxation, the Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University. Omar Pidani is undertaking a Phd at the Australian National University with a scholarship from the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP).

Communities on stunning Halmahera Island in North Maluku that have acted as the custodians for biodiversity for generations are being economically displaced for a nickel mine. A recent report reveals that they have been failed by weak legal enforcement processes and international human rights mechanisms, despite national and international laws that should protect them.

Halmahera Island is the site of spectacular natural beauty and biodiversity, and it is also the arena for an unfolding social tragedy. Extensive blocks of habitat still cover the island, and around 80 percent is still primary forest.

It was here in 1858 that the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace famously wrote to Charles Darwin, outlining his ideas on the development of new species.

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Grupo Mexico will focus offshore if Mexico mining tax enacted – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – October 29, 2013)


Greater production from Grupo Mexico’s mining division increased third-quarter base metals sales, but precious metals sales declined.

RENO (MINEWEB) – Grupo Mexico warned Monday that Mexico’s proposed 7.5% tax on mining earnings–in addition to a 0.5% tax on precious metals revenue and the elimination of the immediate deduction on exploration expenses–“will jeopardize investment in current and future projects in the sector, along with the consequent effect on jobs and infrastructure.”

“If approved, we will conclude our current investment program of US$3.5 billion for 2013 and US$1.5 billion for 2014,” said the company.

“Nevertheless, we will be obliged to re-direct our future investment program of US$5.3 billion for the coming years, which is primarily allocated to Mexico, and analyze opportunities in countries where the investment conditions are more favorable, such as the US, Canada, Peru or Chile which offer a stable tax regime with stimuli and low energy costs,” Grupo Mexico advised.

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