Archive | United States Mining

The Energy 202: Trump talks a lot about coal. But his administration just named 35 ‘critical minerals’ – by Dino Grandoni (Washington Post – May 21, 2018)

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump spoke often about the need to mine more coal as he courted voters in swing states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio. After his election, his administration swiftly took steps to repeal Obama-era emissions rules on coal-fired power plants.

But with less fanfare, the Trump administration is also trying to ease the way for more mining of all forms, arguing that access to certain ores is critical to national and economic security.

On Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey published a list of 35 “critical minerals,” paving the way for the Trump administration to potentially ease environmental review requirements for the mining of titanium, graphite and other commodities. Continue Reading →

Fortune 500 phosphate company Mosaic moving headquarters to Florida – Kevin Bouffard (Orlando Sentinel – May 15, 2018)

Phosphate mining giant The Mosaic Co. is moving its corporate headquarters to Hillsborough County in Tampa Bay from Plymouth, Minn. The statement was short on details, including timing, the exact location of the corporate office and the number of employees to be relocated. All “remain under consideration,” it said.

Mosaic, No. 377 on Fortune 500’s ranking of companies by total revenue, has about 150 employees at its corporate office, company spokesman Benjamin Pratt told the Tampa Bay Times in an email on Monday.

Mosaic currently runs its Florida phosphate operations from a multi-story office building in southeastern Hillsborough. It also has an office to the north near Interstate 75 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Continue Reading →

Mosaic Company reported lower sales volumes but higher sales revenue for quarter – by Tom Meersman (Minneapolis Star Tribune – May 7, 2018)

Late spring planting and rail bottlenecks in Canada affected its earnings.

Helped by higher prices for phosphate and potash, net sales for the Mosaic Company rose by about 19 percent during the first quarter of 2018, although adjusted earnings were negatively affected by the late spring planting and other weather-related issues.

The global fertilizer company based in Plymouth said Monday that its net sales during the quarter were $1.9 billion, compared with $1.6 billion last year.

Mosaic CEO Joc O’Rourke said the company expects the positive momentum to continue because of improving market conditions and strong operational performance. In addition, O’Rourke said in a statement: “Our excellent progress on the transformational initiatives at Mosaic Fertilizantes is expected to generate substantial earnings growth in the second half of 2018.” Continue Reading →

Freeport Indonesia divestment still targeted for this year, Inalum says – by Fergus Jensen (Reuters U.S. – May 7, 2018)

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s (FCX.N) divestment of a controlling interest in Indonesia’s Grasberg mine is still planned for 2018, even though the price and some contract terms are still to be agreed, the head of state mining holding company PT Inalum said.

Inalum, which is arranging funding for the deal, already has a “committed” loan for the transaction with Freeport and Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) for the majority stake in Grasberg, Inalum’s Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a briefing on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the Coaltrans Asia conference in Bali.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo had instructed his administration to complete negotiations to buy a majority stake in the world’s second-biggest copper mine by end-April. Continue Reading →

McEwen reports productive Q1 – by Suzanne Featherston (Elko Daily Free Press – May 3, 2018)

TORONTO — McEwen Mining Inc. reported an industrious start to the year, especially in gold production, development and exploration, in its first quarter 2018 results released May 1.

The first quarter of 2018 “marked the beginning of an important year for McEwen Mining,” said Robert McEwen, executive chairman and chief owner, in an investor conference call. The company achieved production of 44,344 gold equivalent ounces in the first quarter of 2018.

Net cash flow from the business, excluding project development costs, was $12.4 million, offset by $22.7 million related to investments toward long-term production growth at Gold Bar in Nevada, Black Fox project in Canada and Los Azules project in Argentina. Continue Reading →

U.S. aluminum producers urge permanent tariff exemptions for Canada – by Naomi Powell (Financial Post – April 27, 2018)

American aluminum producers have issued a plea to U.S. President Donald Trump to grant permanent tariff exemptions to trading partners including Canada, arguing the levies would hurt downstream manufacturers who rely on the imported metal.

The appeal from the industry’s main trade association in the United States comes as Canada’s temporary reprieve from tariffs of 10 per cent on aluminum and 25 per cent on steel is set to expire on May 1. The U.S. has said the exemptions are dependent on the successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which remains the subject of intense negotiations in Washington.

“I urge you to grant permanent exemptions — without quotas — for our aluminum trading partners that operate as market economies,” Heidi Brock, chief executive of the U.S. aluminum association said in a letter to Trump this week. “I also encourage you to engage China to address structural aluminum overcapacity.” Continue Reading →

Winning victories for coal under Trump – by Timothy Cama (The Hill – April 24, 2018)

Few American business sectors get as strong a defense from President Trump as the coal industry, both in his rhetoric and his policy. As a presidential nominee, he repeatedly pledged to work to revive coal’s fortunes, presenting himself as the “last shot for the miners.”

“They want to be miners, but their jobs have been taken away,” Trump said at an August 2016 rally. “And we’re going to bring them back, folks.”

Trump and his team, particularly Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, have sought to follow through on that promise, repealing a rule meant to protect streams from coal mining waste, ending a moratorium on new coal leasing on federal land and beginning to roll back the Clean Power Plan. Continue Reading →

Freeport Tumbles Most in S&P 500 Amid Doubts on Indonesian Asset – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – April 25, 2018)

(Bloomberg) — Freeport-McMoRan Inc. says it would be impossible to keep mining Grasberg, its flagship copper-and-gold asset in Indonesia, if it were to adopt new environmental standards unveiled by the state this month.

Within the last two weeks, the Phoenix-based miner was blindsided by “shocking and disappointing” environmental claims from the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson told analysts during the company’s first-quarter earnings call Tuesday. “Nobody could mine this ore body in consistency with these decrees. You just physically can’t do it.”

Located in Indonesia’s Papua province, the high altitude mine is surrounded by rain forest; Grasberg means “grass mountain” in Dutch. For 20 years, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer has been dumping Grasberg’s tailings into a river, where they make their way downstream to be stored in a “cordoned off area.” Continue Reading →

[Missouri Cobalt Mining?] Mine execs: ‘this is a real deal’ – by Victoria Kemper (Daily Journal Online – April 25, 2018)

The Fredericktown City Council heard an update from Missouri Cobalt executives Monday night. CEO Stacy Hastie and Vice President John Diehl spoke about the projected timeline and hopes for the cobalt mine.

“I think the best thing to tell you is, this is a real deal,” Hastie said. “We did not spend the millions to buy this property and remediate it to let it set there idle. We are here to mine.”

Diehl said he knows people have tried to tackle this in the past, but he feels Missouri Cobalt has the right team to get it done, and he believes the global cobalt market will help as well. Continue Reading →

Aluminum Stash Visible From Space Turned to Gold for Trader – by Jack Farchy, Andy Hoffman and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – April 20, 2018)

(Bloomberg) — Two years ago, a commodity trading house started stockpiling thousands of tons of aluminum near a bend in the Mississippi River outside New Orleans.

Now Castleton Commodities International LLC, the trader backed by hedge fund luminaries including Paul Tudor Jones, is sitting on a veritable gold mine as a scramble for aluminum unfolds in the wake of U.S. sanctions against United Co. Rusal and Donald Trump’s aluminum tariffs.

Castleton has started selling down its aluminum stash, which at its peak held about 500,000 metric tons of the metal, according to people familiar with the matter. That would be worth about $1.5 billion at today’s prices. Continue Reading →

Goldman Sachs Warns Rusal Shock May Drive Aluminum to $3,000 – by Swansy Afonso (Bloomberg News – April 18, 2018)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says that the extraordinary rally in aluminum unleashed by U.S. sanctions against United Co. Rusal may have way, way further to go, forecasting the metal may spike to $3,000 a metric ton, while raising the possibility of further curbs against Russian coal supplies.

The metal may surge to between $2,800 and $3,000 in the near term as the U.S. moves against the second-largest producer have “dramatically affected” the market, the bank said in a note received Wednesday as it boosted price predictions for three, six and 12 months. The $3,000 target is 25 percent above Tuesday’s close, and almost 50 percent above the price before the curbs.

“U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarchs and the companies that they own or control have dramatically affected the aluminum market,” the bank said. “The uncertainty associated with our forecasts is great. In the event that resolutions are not found quickly enough, prices are likely to exceed our forecasts.” Continue Reading →

Can’t live without them: The U.S. Critical Materials Institute develops new technologies for crucial commodities – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – March 23, 2018)

A rare earths supply chain outside China? It exists in the United States and Alex King has proof on his desk in the form of neodymium-iron-boron magnets, an all-American achievement from mine to finished product.

But the Critical Materials Institute director says it’s up to manufacturers to take this pilot project to an industry-wide scale. Meanwhile the CMI looks back on its first five years of successful research while preparing future projects to help supply the stuff of modern life.

The CMI’s genesis came in the wake of crisis. China’s 2010 ban on rare earths exports to Japan abruptly destroyed non-Chinese supply chains. As other countries began developing their own deposits, China changed tactics to flood the market with relatively cheap output. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Rusal sanctions shockwaves slam into aluminium market – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – April 16, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – The aluminium market has never experienced anything like it. Since the United States imposed sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and United Company Rusal on April 6, aluminium has been in turmoil.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) price hit a six-year high of $2,340 per tonne last Friday. The weekly rally of nearly 12 percent was the largest since the launch of the LME’s high-grade contract in 1987.

Physical premiums in the United States are at three-year highs and the price of alumina is going haywire. The tremors caused by sanctions on the world’s largest producer outside China are still racing down multiple channels of a supply chain that has historically been defined by surplus metal. Continue Reading →

Deti: Wyoming Mining Association director responds to Star-Tribune editorial on coal decline (Casper Star Tribune – April 13, 2018)

‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” So was the text of a cable sent by Mark Twain from London to the American press following the mistaken publication of his obituary. After reading a recent editorial in the Casper Star-Tribune (Wyoming Needs to be Honest About Coal’s Uncertain Future, April 8, 2018), I cannot help but empathize with how Mr. Twain felt.

Most importantly, the piece was seemingly written with the mistaken premise that the Wyoming coal industry and its supporters are laboring under the Pollyannaish notion that Washington’s change in policy direction was like a magic wand being waved to restore the industry to its former heights. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Those who work in and for this industry, as well as those who make public policy in this state, are acutely aware of the current state of Wyoming’s coal industry. We have always known changing Washington’s regulatory approach was not a simple “silver bullet” for the industry’s challenges. However, it has certainly been a welcome and positive change. Continue Reading →

Tribes sue feds over Rosemont Mine, citing ‘irreversible’ damage to sacred sites – by Tony Davis (Arizona Daily Star – April 14, 2018)

The proposed Rosemont Mine will “irreparably sever” three Indian tribes’ connection to the Santa Rita Mountains and devastate a rich cultural tradition dating to 7500 B.C., the tribes say in a new lawsuit.

The lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service says the mine would deprive tribal members of access to ancestral praying grounds, destroy a critical part of their heritage including burial grounds and stop members from engaging in important cultural practices and religious traditions.

The Tohono O’odham, Pascua Yaqui and Hopi tribes filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court, about 10 months after the Forest Service approved the $1.9 billion mine project. Continue Reading →