Archive | Europe Mining

Peter Hambro ousted from his gold mining company Petropavlovsk – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.K. – June 22, 2017)

LONDON – Shareholders voted for four new board members at Russian-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk (POG.L) on Thursday, ousting Peter Hambro who has run the company since he founded it in 1994. Rebel shareholders, holding around 40 percent of the company, backed nominees to replace four out of six of the board at Petropavlovsk, including Hambro, Hambro said.

The new appointments include Bruce Buck, who is chairman of Chelsea Football Club, and Vladislav Egorov, who works for Renova, Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s conglomerate. Speaking after the annual general meeting at a city lawyers’ offices on the banks of the Thames in London, Peter Hambro said he could not disguise his disappointment.

But he hoped “with all my heart” the new board would build on progress he said the company had made. “I will enjoy my new role as an ordinary shareholder and in it I shall advocate for a continuation of the same transparency, diligence and good corporate governance that I believe we achieved at Petropavlovsk,” he said. Continue Reading →

Bringing Gold Back to Germany – by Moa Fromm (Handelsblatt Global – June 12, 2017)

The German central bank is currently repatriating much of its overseas gold, but part of the reserves is going to stay abroad. It was a scare from Germany’s Federal Audit Office that the public actually paid attention to. In 2012 financial controllers said they were unsure whether the gold reserves of Germany’s Bundesbank actually physically existed.

The Federal Audit Office demanded the central bank make regularly spot checks so that gold reserves abroad should be “physically counted and their authenticity and weight” confirmed. We’re not talking peanuts here. Following the United States, Germany has the world’s largest gold reserve, constituting two-thirds of German currency reserves. And in 2012, around 70 percent of the total of 3,378 tons of the precious metal (total value around €119 billion or $132.98 billion) was in the vaults of foreign central banks.

The Bundesbank took the suggestion to heart and discretely transferred 300 tons of gold stored in the vaults of the US Federal Reserve to Frankfurt over the past years. Over 100 tons were brought home in 2016 alone. Continue Reading →

Miners eye Europe’s largest lithium deposit in Czech Republic – by Robert Muller (Reuters U.S. – June 7, 2017)

CINOVEC, CZECH REPUBLIC – Mining for lithium could start in the Czech Republic in two years, exploiting Europe’s largest resource of the metal that is used in batteries for electric vehicles and home power storage.

The deposits lie around Cinovec, a village with a tradition of mining since the 14th century and situated near the border with Germany, the industrial powerhouse at the heart of Europe’s bid to build electric cars and develop battery technology.

The resource, a term used for a deposit whose extent has yet to be proven by exploration, could amount to 1.3 million tonnes, or about 3 percent of the global lithium stock, according to the Czech Geological Survey. Continue Reading →

UN climate conference 2018 heads to heartland of Polish coal – by Karl Mathiesen (Climate Change News – June 1, 2017)

The pivotal 2018 UN climate conference will be held in the heart of Poland’s coal mining industry, in a move that has angered some campaigners but offered others hope that it symbolises transition away from fossil fuels. The town of Katowice – founded on coal mining – is in the heart of the Upper Silesian coal basin and plays host to one of the European mining industry’s biggest trade fairs.

The choice of town was announced by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the day US president Donald Trump was expected to leave the Paris climate agreement.Poland has long been a reluctant participant in the UN process, dragged into an ambitious EU negotiating bloc but influenced by the powerful domestic coal industry.

Climate Home revealed this week that the country is now part of a concerted effort by eastern European countries to water down the EU laws that would help keep the promises made under the accord. Continue Reading →

UK takes step closer to national electric battery hub – by Costas Pitas (Reuters U.S. – May 31, 2017)

COVENTRY, ENGLAND – Britain is moving towards creating a new national development hub for electric car batteries with officials setting out plans for companies to work together to improve the technology, possibly paving the way for large-scale local production.

Representatives from politics, academia and business in the central English city of Coventry, the historic heart of the British car industry, have pitched plans for a “National Battery Prototyping Centre” which would focus on research and development and testing.

Local government officials set out their plans to create the center, with state help, at an event on Tuesday attended by the business minister and by Ralf Speth, the chief executive of Britain’s biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, who has said he wants to build electric models in the country. Continue Reading →

Turkey’s mining sector to outperform most European peers, but risks persist – by Mariaan Webb ( – May 31, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Turkey’s mining sector is forecast to be one of the fastest growing in Europe, with the country boasting a “healthy” project pipeline of up to ten new projects, but ongoing political and social unrest has been flagged as a threat to the positive outlook.

Research firm BMI is forecasting average growth of 6.8% a year in Turkey’s mining sector over the next five years, with the country set to outperform all other European countries, except for Finland.

In an ‘Industry Trend Analysis’ report, published on Tuesday, BMI identifies gold and copper as the “clear growth bright spots”, forecasting gold production growth of 4.8% year-on-year between 2017 and 2021. Continue Reading →

[Ireland Mining] Glencore starts drilling again at Pallas Green – by Gavin McLoughlin (Irish Independent – May 28, 2017)

Mining giant Glencore has re-started drilling at its Pallas Green prospect in Limerick, the Sunday Independent has learnt.

The project had been put into abeyance for a number of years, but Glencore has moved eight rigs on to the site in recent weeks.

The company, which has had a turbulent run on the back of falling commodity prices and a large debt pile, recently declared “job done” on efforts to cut its debt. A Glencore spokesman confirmed that the company had engaged a local firm for drilling at Pallas Green. Continue Reading →

REUTERS SUMMIT-Poland will rely on coal for next 15 years -PG Silesia – by Agnieszka Barteczko (Daily Mail/Reuters – May 22, 2017)

WARSAW, May 22 (Reuters) – Poland will remain dependent on coal for the next 15 years due to a lack of alternative energy sources and as trade unions retain their grip on the industry, the head of the country’s biggest private miner, said.

Poland currently generates more than 80 percent of its electricity from burning coal produced by its state-owned mines – a level miner PG Silesia doesn’t see changing any time soon.

“Focusing on coal is the only model in Poland. There is no other way, unless you want to close the economy,” Michal Herman, the head of PG Silesia, said in an interview at the Reuters Central & Eastern Europe Investment Summit. Continue Reading →

Exclusive – Chinese company confirms huge UK fertiliser deal – by Alasdair Pal and Adam Jourdan (Reuters U.K. – May 17, 2017)

LONDON/SHANGHAI – A small Chinese company that is key to plans by Sirius Minerals to build a huge fertilizer mine under a national park in the north of England has confirmed it has a binding agreement with the UK firm.

DianHuang CEO Wang Xiaotian reiterated the agreement in a letter to Reuters on May 15, saying it had been signed on May 27 last year. DianHuang would buy 150,000 tonnes of the mineral polyhalite a year from first extraction in 2021, scaling up to a million tonnes a year over five years as part of plans to grow peony flowers and extract edible oil from their seeds, he said.

The reassurance from Wang followed a May 8 telephone interview with Reuters in which he said the two firms were still negotiating. The DianHuang deal is the biggest take-or-pay agreement Sirius has inked so far with a named customer. By demonstrating confirmed demand for its product, it helped Sirius raise $1.2 billion in financing for the mine and win planning permission from the North York Moors national park. Continue Reading →

These were the top producing diamond mines in 2016 – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 9, 2017)

While diamond industry experts warn that demand is expected to outstrip supply as early as 2019, the largest mines keep producing the coveted rocks at full steam. Here are last year’s top 10 diamond mines in terms of output and value, based on data compiled by expert Paul Zimnisky.

1. Jwaneng, Botswana: Produced 11,975,000 carats, worth $2,347 million

Jwaneng, the richest diamond mine in the world, is located in south-central Botswana in the Naledi river valley of the Kalahari. It’s 2 kilometres across at its widest point and patrolled by colossal 300-tonne trucks that labour up the terraced slopes.

Nicknamed “the Prince of Mines”, Jwaneng was opened in 1982, as the diamond trade helped Botswana go from being one of the world’s poorest countries to one of Africa’s wealthiest. Continue Reading →

2017 Global Natural Diamond Production Forecasted at 142M Carats Worth $15.6B – by By Paul Zimnisky (Paul – May 3, 2017)

Mined diamond production in 2017 is estimated to be 142.3 million carats worth $15.6B (see appendix below), which would be an 11.5% increase in carat volume produced over 2016 and an 9.9% increase in total value produced.

The top 10 largest mines in the world by value produced are estimated to represent 58% of global production. De Beers’ Jwaneng mine in Botswana is ranked number one, and is estimated to independently produce 15% of the world’s diamonds in value. Russia is estimated to be the largest producing nation by value at 35%, followed by Botswana at 22%, Canada at 14%, Angola at 8%, South Africa at 7%, Namibia at 5%, and Australia at 3%.

Russian diamond production is dominated by ALROSA (RTS: ALRS) which is 58% owned by Russian national and regional governments. The company’s prized Jubilee mine is estimated to produce 9.2M carats worth $1.4B in 2017, which by itself represents 9% of global diamond output by value. Company-wide, ALROSA’s portfolio includes 11 mines and 5 alluvial operations, producing 27% of global diamond production by volume and 33% by value (see Figure 1 for complete company-wide production figures of major producers). Continue Reading →

Memorial to hundreds killed in England’s biggest mining disaster (Yorkshire Post – May 7, 2017)

THE explosion made the ground shake for miles around, and flames erupted from 300 yards below. All around Barnsley – it was just before Christmas – “black snow” and burning wood fell out of the sky.

The apocalyptic scenes of December 1866 claimed 361 lives in England’s worst coal-mining disaster. The Oaks Colliery Disaster, which wrought so much devastation, was remembered yesterday as over a thousand people joined a huge procession, which bought the town to a standstill, for the unveiling of a new memorial.

In a poignant connection with the past, a steam buzzer, used to alert people of a disaster, was sounded before 20 descendants – including a Texan Sir William Jeffock, who bought his family across from the US – stepped forward to unveil the sculpture.  Its centrepiece is “Kitty” whose eyes are fixed directly on the colliery, as her child clings terrified to her shawl. Continue Reading →

[Norilsk, Russia] Global Lenses: Diverse political films tackle war, energy and the impact of history – by Daniel Glassman (Point Of View Magazine – April 26, 2017)

Three new Canadian films take on contemporary global issues through radically different lenses. Stopping off in an Arctic Russian mining city, the ruins of Basra, Iraq and a massive thermonuclear reactor in Southern France, François Jacob’s A Moon of Nickel and Ice, Ann Shin’s My Enemy, My Brother and Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko’s Let There Be Light investigate the entangled issues of history, war, energy and ecology from the bottom up, through intense focuses on individuals and their stories.

Quebecois director Jacob makes his feature debut with A Moon of Nickel and Ice, a multi-faceted portrait of the Siberian nickelmining city of Norilsk. Three facts about Norilsk: It’s the world’s northernmost city with over 100,000 inhabitants; it’s one of the most polluted places in the world; and it’s a “closed city”—foreigners have been banned since 2001, and it was closed to most Russians as well during the Soviet era. Norilsk Nickel’s on-site smelting facility gives the gifts of acid rain, smog and fully 1% of the world’s sulfur dioxide emissions.

You may be wondering how they got 100,000 people to move there. Answer: they forced them. Yes, Norilsk was the site of a Soviet Gulag. Continue Reading →


Norilsk Nickel is seeking its “pound of flesh” to the tune of US$270 million (about P2,5 million) from the Botswana government over a botched deal by BCL to buy a 50-percent stake of its Nkomati Mine in South Africa last year.

The Russian mining giant on Thursday served notice to sue on the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Sadique Kebonang, and the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Matambo and the Attorney General.

Norilsk Nickel announced on its website on Friday that it intends to sue the government of Botswana “in respect of its involvement in the reckless trading of BCL Limited and BCL Investments Proprietary Limited (together “BCL”), with a view of recovering $271 million plus damages and other costs that are owed to Norilsk Nickel in relation to the sale of a 50 percent interest in the Nkomati Mine in South Africa and $6.4 million that are owed to Norilsk Nickel in relation to the sale of the Tati Mine in Botswana. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Russia’s Nornickel says could miss 2017 output forecast by 3 pct (Reuters U.S. – April 27, 2017)

Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) could miss its 2017 production forecast for nickel and platinum group metals (PGMs) by up to 3 percent after first-quarter output fell, it said on Thursday.

Nornickel, one of the world’s largest nickel and palladium producers, added its management was looking at ways to mitigate this risk and confirmed its previous 2017 production guidance.

This year Nornickel, part-owned by Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin and aluminium giant Rusal, plans to produce from Russian feedstock 206,000-211,000 tonnes of nickel, 377,000-387,000 tonnes of copper, 2.6-2.7 million troy ounces of palladium and 581,000-645,000 ounces of platinum. Continue Reading →