Archive | Europe Mining

Macron Aims to Keep Paris Climate Deal Alive – by Mark Deen and Ewa Krukowska (Bloomberg News – December 11, 2017)

French President Emmanuel Macron this week will seek to breathe new life into the fight against global warming and sway debate away from skeptics of the process led by U.S. President Donald Trump.

At a series of events in Paris starting Monday, Macron along with leaders from the U.K., Norway, Mexico and Netherlands will draw attention to a dozen major projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases. They’ll also give a push for increasing climate-related aid to developing nations, in step with a United Nations goal of channeling at least $100 billion a year by 2020. Trump is not scheduled to attend.

The meetings are designed to preserve the the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change sealed two years ago. That deal brought together some 200 nations including the U.S. and China in calling for limits on fossil fuel emissions everywhere for the first time. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Dalradian plans to dig deep for Northern Irish gold (Reuters U.S. – November 27, 2017)

LONDON (Reuters) – Canadian miner Dalradian Resources (DNA.TO) has filed a planning application and secured a new tranche of funds to build Northern Ireland’s first major underground gold mine, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs.

Mining has largely died out in Britain, but the sector sees the potential for a revival as the government pushes an industrial strategy to reboot an economy overshadowed by the decision to leave the European Union. It is also seeking to create jobs beyond the most affluent London area.

Dalradian, which is listed in Toronto and on London’s AIM, acquired mineral rights in 2009 to more than 80,000 hectares of land in Northern Ireland, including the Curraghinalt gold deposit. Continue Reading →

German activists lose bid to halt Hambach mine expansion – by Patrick Grobe (Deutsche Welle – November 24, 2017)

Cries of protest erupted in the Cologne Administrative Court on Friday after the judge ruled that development plans for the Hambach open-pit mine did not breach environmental legislation and could go ahead as planned. Conservation organization BUND, which filed the lawsuit, vowed to appeal the decision.

“We will continue to pursue all legal and political avenues to stop this irresponsible open-pit mine and to save what remains of the Hambach forest,” BUND’s managing director in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) said.

The group argued that NRW authorities should never have approved mine operator BWE’s plans for the 2020-2030 period, saying the upcoming expansion would mean felling trees in the ancient Hambach forest. Continue Reading →

From Out a Darker Sea review – elegiac tribute to Britain’s coal miners – by Dave Simpson (The Guardian – November 23, 2017)

“Our civilisation is founded on coal” wrote George Orwell in 1937; at its peak a century ago, Britain’s coal-mining industry employed more than a million people. Today the figure is under 700 and many of the former mining communities have never recovered.

That gargantuan decline forms the backdrop to this unusual audio-visual show: a haunting and often deeply moving requiem for an industry and its people.

Time spent in England’s mining areas has allowed Brooklyn-based quartet Sō Percussion to develop an understanding of industrial power and the lives of those who once helped build it. Performing in sacred spaces – cathedrals and churches – in these former coal-mining areas gives From Out a Darker Sea an elegiac air. Continue Reading →

Russian Metals Billionaires Hope for Peace as ‘Shoot Out’ Looms – by Jack Farchy and Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – November 22, 2017)

A shoot out is looming in Russian metals. That isn’t a reference to the industry’s blood-soaked history, but to a clause in a hard-won peace deal between two billionaire shareholders of MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, Russia’s largest miner.

The 2012 agreement between Oleg Deripaska’s United Co. Rusal and Vladimir Potanin’s Interros Holding Co. provides a mechanism by which one man can buy out the other’s stake in Nornickel. That mechanism is called a “shoot out,” and becomes possible after a five-year lock-up period expires on Dec. 10, according to a Rusal letter to shareholders published in 2014.

Potanin, one of Russia’s richest men with an $18 billion fortune, told Bloomberg he has no immediate plans to initiate the so-called shoot out — a forced auction where the loser must sell his stake to the winner. Continue Reading →

Russia, China to set up $1billion fund for metal, mining projects – by Inga Denezh (Asia Times – November 18, 2017)

Russia’s Far East Development Fund and China’s state-owned gold mining company, China National Gold Group, are to sign an accord by the end of this year on setting up a joint US$1 billion investment fund targeting new projects in the metals and mining sector.

“Ourselves and China Gold are creating a fund in which private investors too can take part and turn a profit. Our first goal is to invest in projects to mine gold, precious metals and copper,” Far East Development Fund head Aleksey Chekunov told media.

The fund is slated to begin dispensing funds for projects next year and will have an initial capital of US$500 million to put to work. That will increase with contributions from both sides, as well as private investors. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk] Metals Billionaire to Win Whether Electric Cars Boom or Bust – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – November 21, 2017)

There are two major reasons mining billionaire Vladimir Potanin is within a hair’s breadth of regaining his ranking as Russia’s richest tycoon this year.

One is higher prices for nickel used in batteries as metals traders bet electric vehicles are the future of transportation. The other is a jump in palladium on wagers that gasoline cars will be here for a long time yet.

They’ve boosted the value of Potanin’s 30 percent in MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the top miner of both metals, lifting his net worth 12 percent this year to $19 billion. They also show how Nornickel, as it’s known, will gain from auto-industry changes even if optimism on electric cars is overdone. Continue Reading →

Russia miner Nornickel sees capex rising by 2019-2020 – by Eric Onstad and Polina Devitt (Reuters U.S. – November 20, 2017)

LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel plans to increase capital expenditure to an average of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion a year in 2019 and 2020 from about $2 billion in 2018 due to an environmental project and infrastructure modernization, it said on Monday.

Nornickel, part-owned by Russian businessman Vladimir Potanin and aluminum giant Rusal, is the world’s top palladium producer and second-largest nickel producer.

“In the next three years, we are budgeting for an increase in capital investments that will allow us not only to maintain metal production volumes, but also put a solid foundation under new perspective projects,” Potanin, also Nornickel’s president, told an Investor Day in London. Continue Reading →

Coal Back as Flashpoint in Climate-Change Fight – by Jess Shankleman (Bloomberg News – November 18, 2017)

Coal emerged as the surprise winner from two weeks of international climate talks in Germany, with leaders of the host country and neighboring Poland joining Donald Trump in support of the dirtiest fossil fuel.

While more than 20 nations, led by Britain and Canada, pledged to stop burning coal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her country’s use of the fuel and the need to preserve jobs in the industry. Meanwhile Poland’s continued and extensive use of coal raised concerns that the next meeting, to be held in the nation’s mining heartland of Katowice, could thwart progress.

“People don’t have total confidence that Poland wants to increase ambition, to put it plainly,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group. “They’re 80 percent dependent on coal, they’ve been pushing back against European Union proposals to increase ambition.” Continue Reading →

Canada, Britain to tout coal phase-out as U.S. champions fossil fuels – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – November 13, 2017)

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and her British counterpart, Claire Perry, will launch an international alliance to phase out coal-fired electricity at the Bonn climate summit this week, signalling a sharp contrast to U.S. President Donald Trump’s promotion of coal as an important global energy source.

Ms. McKenna will take the stage at the annual United Nations climate summit to showcase Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including a national carbon pricing plan and federal-provincial moves to shut down traditional coal-fired power by 2030.

As the minister touts Canada’s record at the UN summit, some critics at home argue the Trudeau government is not living up its lofty rhetoric on climate change. Continue Reading →

Finnish nickel producer, Trafigura tap electric vehicle boom (Reuters – November 10, 2017)

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s Terrafame nickel mine is planning to start producing material for electric vehicle batteries by 2020, the company said on Friday, after securing $200 million more in funding from commodities trader Trafigura Group.

Trafigura, which will also increase its nickel and cobalt sulphides offtake agreement with Terraframe, is providing the funds with Galena Asset Management and Nordic fund Sampo Plc.

“The new funding package … is a significant factor enabling Terrafame to move from established industrial operations to investing in new business opportunities associated with the electric vehicle battery segment,” Trafigura said in a statement on Friday. Continue Reading →

Russia Bets on Hungry China With $6 Billion Fertilizer Mines – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – November 8, 2017)

China’s dilemma of how to feed its booming population will partially be answered by fancier fertilizers, according to one of the world’s richest billionaires.

EuroChem Group AG, owned by Russian commodities tycoon Andrey Melnichenko, is spending over $6 billion on two mines to produce potash, a reddish mineral found deep in the Earth that’s prized for its ability as a soil fertilizer.

The company is counting on Asian farmers buying more sophisticated crop nutrients aimed at soil deficiencies or different crops, rather than saturating the ground with a blanket of chemicals. China’s farmers have long relied on heavy doses of state-subsidized fertilizer to boost yields, but that’s left fields contaminated. Continue Reading →

North American Nickel forecasts Greenland project launch by 2024 (Reuters U.S. – November 1, 2017)

BEIJING, Nov 1 (Reuters) – North American Nickel should start producing at its flagship Maniitsoq project in Greenland by 2023 or 2024, when demand for nickel from electric vehicle (EV) batteries should be in full swing, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) said on Tuesday.

The Toronto-based exploration company, which acquired the Maniitsoq licences five years ago, has invested over $50 million in exploration so far, CEO Keith Morrison told Reuters in an interview in Beijing, where he was attending the annual Greenland Day at the Danish embassy.

It will be at least another five years before it has finished exploration, completed feasibility studies and construction, and started selling its metals output. Continue Reading →

[Poland] In the Country Where Coal Is King, a Battle With the EU Looms – by Ewa Krukowska (Bloomberg News – November 6, 2017)

The buzzword in the Brussels energy and climate bubble is 450, a number that is dividing European Union lawmakers and making coal-dependent Poland fume over upcoming reforms to the world’s biggest carbon market.

Negotiators representing the 28-nation bloc and its member states will meet on Nov. 8 to overhaul the Emissions Trading System, the EU’s flagship climate-policy tool to reduce greenhouse gases.

Discussions have stalled over a new modernization fund, with some lawmakers pushing to restrict financing just to utilities that emit less than 450 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour, a move that would make aid unavailable to coal-fired power plants. Continue Reading →

Russia expands tax breaks to boost Far East gold mining – by Maxim Belousov (Asia Times – October 31, 2017)

Russia’s government plans to expand a special economic zone in the Far East of the country to secure an initial investment of US$38 million into a gold and silver mining project.

The Ministry for the Development of the Far East of Russia is backing an amendment to the legislation that will allow for an expansion of the Nikolaevsk Advanced Special Economic Zone (ASEZ).

The parameters of the zone are being changed to “help realize a large investment project,” an official at the ministry said. Russia’s NGK Resource, which specializes in geological exploration and production of metals and minerals, is behind the mine project in the expanded part of the zone, an official at the company said. Continue Reading →