A dam collapse in Brazil has some worried about PolyMet’s plans. Why the DNR says it won’t happen here – by Walker Orenstein (MinnPost.com – August 13, 2019)

https://www.minnpost.com/

In January, the tailings dam at a Brazilian iron ore mine collapsed, killing nearly 250 people. The wave of toxic waste and mud also wrecked two dozen buildings and polluted water for five miles.

In Minnesota, the disaster raised eyebrows among opponents of a copper-nickel mine planned near Hoyt Lakes. That’s because the design of the dam in Brumadinho was similar to one PolyMet Mining hopes to build. In fact, the Vale mining company had used a method to judge dam safety created by a PolyMet adviser.

And the tragedy in Brazil embodied the worst fears of some Minnesota environmental activists and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, who warn PolyMet could pollute the St. Louis River. Continue Reading →

Platinum giant wants to create new battery to replace cobalt, nickel demand – by Rupert Rowling and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – August 14, 2019)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG — The world’s top platinum and palladium supplier has an answer to the electric-car boom that may pose a long-term threat to its biggest market: invent a new battery.

Anglo American Platinum wants to develop a lithium battery that uses platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel. The aim is to create a new multi-billion dollar source of demand for the metals as electric vehicles reduce the need for traditional fuel autocatalysts.

Platinum miners have good reason to be worried. Electric-car sales are forecast to reach 56 million by 2040, making up about 57 percent of the overall car market versus 2 percent now, according to Bloomberg. Continue Reading →

Is Endlessly Recyclable Aluminum The Answer To The Global Recycling Crisis? – by Ariel Knoebel (Forbes Magazine – August 13, 2019)

https://www.forbes.com/

As of August 20, San Francisco International Airport will no longer allow plastic water bottles in airport terminals of foodservice and retail locations. According to the airport’s website, this is “part of an effort to address plastic pollution and the recent collapse of the plastic recycling market.”

China banned imports of foreign plastic for recycling in January 2018. Too much contaminated waste was coming into the country, creating environmental hazards.

Before the ban, 95% of recycled plastics from the EU and 70% from the US were sent to China for processing. In the past six months, Americans have been struggling to continue recycling programs across the country, as processing prices have jumped, and many facilities have stopped accepting many types of plastics. Continue Reading →

EV charging points to bolster demand for copper – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – August 13, 2019)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

As the global adoption of electric mobility accelerates and more charging stations are deployed across the world, demand for copper will increase substantially over the next decade.

A report by research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie states that more than 20-million electric vehicle (EV) charging points will be deployed globally by 2030, consuming more than 250% more copper than in 2019.

To meet these targets, the group says more private and public investment is required. Copper is used throughout an EV, but research analyst Henry Salisbury notes that the need for copper becomes even greater when charging stations and supporting electrical grid infrastructure are also considered. Continue Reading →

Apple and Tiffany & Co. will source gold from miners who have committed to restore streams for fish (MacDailyNews.com – August 13, 2019)

https://macdailynews.com/

There are hundreds of small and large placer mining operations in Alaska actively producing gold in the US. Placer mining sites sit along creeks and streams, giving miners the chance to re-mine for any nuggets or fine gold left over from the Yukon’s Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s.

Meanwhile, since 1991, 12 Pacific salmon runs have been listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These routes that salmon use to make their run to their spawning beds each year are often adjacent to placer mining sites.

The causes for the ESA classification are not limited to mining. Add logging, urbanization, record wildfires and landslides in the region, and salmon runs don’t stand a chance. But RESOLVE, a nonprofit organization tackling some of the planet’s most critical challenges through innovative, unexpected partnerships, wants to fix that. Continue Reading →

South America’s glaciers may have a bigger problem than climate change – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – August 14, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Government geologist Gino Casassa steps down from the helicopter and looks around in dismay. Casassa is standing at the foot of a glacier, 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) above sea level.

The sky over the Andes is a deep blue, but something is not right: It’s July—mid-winter in South America—and yet it’s mild for the time of year, above 0 degrees Centigrade. He takes off his orange ski jacket and walks on the bare rock.

“This should all be covered by snow this time of year,” he says, pointing to Olivares Alfa, one of the largest glaciers in central Chile, just a few meters away. “There used to be one single glacier system covering this whole valley; now it’s pulled back so much that it’s divided into four or five smaller glaciers.” Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay: Opponents to copper mine in Northern Minnesota hope to rally support in Fort Frances, Ont. – by Jeff Walters (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 14, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/

A proposed copper mine in Northern Minnesota will get some attention Wednesday evening at a public meeting in Fort Frances, Ont. The Coalition to Save the Boundary Waters hopes to get some support from Canadians, and wants people in Fort Frances to speak with government to try and have Canadian politicians oppose the mine south of the border.

“This type of mining in sulfide bearing ore inevitably leads to the degredation of water quality,” said Becky Rom, the Chair of the coalition. “And yet, what we have here are interconnected waters, and our water quality is extremely good.”

Rom said water discharged from the mine would lead to the Boundary Waters, and through Quetico Provincial Park before reaching Rainy Lake and Rainy River, which include Canadian and U.S. waters. Continue Reading →

Increased uranium mining proposal carries environmental concerns – by Calvin Cutler (News Center1.tv – August 13, 2019)

News  Center1 TV

OSHOTO, WYO. — A uranium mining company is looking to shift operations at their mine north of Moorecroft, Wyoming. Strata Energy, the US subsidiary of Australian Peninsula Energy is looking to ramp up operations at the Lance Projects.Strata hopes to bolster domestic uranium production.

The Lance Projects lie in Crook County. Inside the area are the Ross, Barber, and Kendrick projects. At the Ross Project, Strata Energy is in the process of testing a different type of uranium mining.

In Situ uranium mining allows companies to extract the product from the ground without digging an open pit. Strata recently shut down their alkaline leaching mines, and are focusing on their experimental acid leaching operation. They’re currently in the process of demonstrating to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality that they can effectively conduct operations at the site without effecting the groundwater. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold eyeing sale of 50-per-cent share in Australian mine – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 12, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. is planning to sell its 50-per-cent share in the Kalgoorlie mine in Australia and has identified two Australian companies as possible buyers.

“There’s a lot of very interested parties in that asset, whether it’s Northern Star or Evolution [Mining]. Those mid-cap Aussie guys are doing extremely well,” Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said in an interview after the release of the company’s second-quarter results on Monday. Neither Northern Star nor Evolution responded to a request for comment.

After Barrick bought Randgold Resources Ltd. for US$6-billion earlier this year, the company said it intended to divest about US$1.5-billion in assets to concentrate on its highest-returning assets, such as its mines in Nevada and its massive Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, which needs about US$1-billion in capital expenditure over the next few years. Continue Reading →

Ottawa gives $21.5 million to Kitikmeot road and port project – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – August 13, 2019)

Nunavut News

The federal government is committing $21.5 million to the Kitikmeot Inuit Association’s slimmed-down request to get the Grays Bay Road and Port project “shovel ready” over the next couple of years.

The funding announcement for the initiative, which is expected to make Nunavut mining projects more economical and potentially reduce cost for community resupply, came Tuesday in Iqaluit. Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau was on hand for the occasion.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) had already announced that it would give $7.25 million to the initiative. “We are very happy with the outcome… we feel good about where we are,” said Scott Northey, CEO of Nunavut Resources Corporation in regards to the financing from the federal government and NTI. Continue Reading →

Greater Asia home to half of the world’s biggest mining companies (Consultancy.asia – August 14, 2019)

https://www.consultancy.asia/

Mining companies based in the greater Asian region now make up almost half of the world’s largest players according to a new industry report.

With Indonesia-based coal-mining company PT Bayan Resources now the world’s 40th largest-listed mining firm by market cap (as at 31 December 2018), the greater Asian region – including Australia and the Middle East – is currently home to almost half of the planet’s 40 biggest players, which collectively pulled in revenues of $683 billion last year according to the latest annual industry report from professional services firm PwC.

Despite growing environmental protests, the revenues at the 40 leading miners rose 8 percent last year, and have jumped significantly from the around $500 billion figure recorded in 2016 – with profits also on the up. Continue Reading →

Geneva prosecutors indict billionaire Steinmetz in Guinea corruption case (Reuters U.S. – August 12, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

GENEVA (Reuters) – A Swiss prosecutor said on Monday he was seeking prison terms for Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and two associates over the alleged payment of bribes linked to the allocation of mining licences in Guinea between 2005 and 2010.

Geneva prosecutor Claudio Mascotto said in a statement the three were accused of “having promised in 2005 and then paid or had bribes paid to one of the wives of former Guinean President Lansana Conte” so as to have mining rights in Guinea’s Simandou region allocated to Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR).

BSGR walked away from Guinea’s massive Simandou iron ore project as part of a settlement announced in February which ended a long-running dispute with the West African nation, the company and Guinea’s government said at the time. Continue Reading →

Arizona copper mine ruling expected to have national impact (San Francisco Chronicle – August 13, 2019)

https://www.sfchronicle.com/

Associated Press – TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal court ruling against a planned Arizona mining project is expected to have national repercussions if upheld by higher courts, experts said.

The mining industry has decried the ruling against the proposed $1.9 billion Rosemont Mine, The Arizona Daily Star reported .

The U.S. Forest Service’s approval of plans for the new copper mine in southeastern Arizona was overruled July 31 by U.S. District Court Judge James Soto. Conservation and tribal groups praised the ruling, saying it recognized the Forest Service’s failure to protect public land and resources. Continue Reading →

Nutrien aims for ‘mine of the future’ as Cory operation marks 50 years of potash – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – August 13, 2019)

https://leaderpost.com/

The visible portion of a Saskatchewan potash mine is dwarfed by what lies beneath the sun-baked prairie.

The gate clangs shut, blotting out most of the summer light filtering into the headframe. Gloved hands reach up to switch on headlamps; the beams jitter across the walls, echoing the nervous energy inside the cage as it descends into the blackness below.

For all the size and complexity of its surface operations — a vast network of mills, conveyors, warehouses and loading facilities — the visible portion of a Saskatchewan potash mine is dwarfed by what lies beneath the sun-baked prairie.

It’s like a small city, mine general manager Leon Boehm said as he drove an electric vehicle through the sweltering underground air toward one of the Cory mine’s active faces, the business end of Saskatchewan’s most iconic natural resource extraction industry. Continue Reading →

Australia should reduce emissions, coal mining: Pacific leaders – by Colin Packham (Reuters.com – August 13, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (Reuters) – Australia should do more to reduce its carbon emissions and giving cash to countries battling climate change was not enough, Pacific island leaders said on Tuesday in a rebuke of Canberra’s latest attempt to improve ties with the region.

Australia will give A$500 million ($339 million) to Pacific island nations for renewable energy projects and to help them prepare for the impact of climate change, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday before a trip to the region.

Leaders from the Pacific’s smallest islands, who say rising sea levels are an existential threat to their low-lying nations, said Canberra’s announcement did not excuse its support for the country’s coal industry. Continue Reading →