Archive | Europe Mining

UPDATE 2-Strong rouble, one-off expenses hit Russia’s Nornickel’s H1 earnings – by Polina Devitt (Reuters India – August 15, 2017)

MOSCOW, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel reported a 3 percent fall in first-half core earnings on Tuesday, missing analysts’ forecasts, due to a stronger rouble and a jump in social expenses. The mining giant, known as Nornickel, said “one-off” costs lifted its social expenses to $196 million in the first half from $57 million a year ago.

This included the second tranche of a previously announced investment in a ski resort used in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the provisional cost of a long-term social agreement with the Zabaikalsky region, where some of its deposits are located.

Its first-half earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 3 percent year on year to $1.7 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected first-half EBITDA at $1.8 billion. Continue Reading →

Cornish Lithium project secures 1 million pounds for exploration – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – August 14, 2017)

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – British mining company Cornish Lithium has secured 1 million pounds ($1.30 million) to explore for lithium in Cornwall, southwest England, its CEO said, taking the country a step closer to a domestic source of the strategic mineral.

Lithium plays an essential role in electric car batteries, and is produced by evaporation in Latin America, which has been considered the cheapest source. But new technology to extract lithium from brine is helping to make other options more viable.

In January, Cornish Lithium said it had reached a mineral rights agreement with Canada’s Strongbow Exploration. It then said it needed around 5 million pounds to develop its project to extract lithium from underground hot springs and to supply products to the rapidly growing battery market for electric cars and for power storage. Continue Reading →

Major Miners’ Battle to Get Into Batteries Steps Up a Notch – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – August 11, 2017)

The world’s biggest miners’ determination to muscle into the burgeoning battery market stepped up a notch with Rio Tinto Group reporting breakthroughs in cracking the technology needed to unlock its giant lithium project in Serbia that could meet 10 percent of global demand.

Tests at a research facility in a converted shipping container in Australia have successfully produced lithium products from samples from the Jadar deposit, the company said Friday. It’s aiming to bring the mine in Serbia into production as soon as 2023 to tap soaring demand for the metal used in batteries for electric vehicles and power storage.

“There has been, through the phases, a number of breakthrough steps,” Simon Trott, Rio’s salt, uranium and borates division managing director, told reporters at the facility in Melbourne. “The key is that we’re producing lithium carbonate that’s to a specification that we are very confident” will meet customer requirements, he said. Continue Reading →

Glencore turns bigger copper, zinc price bull: Nickel not so much – by Frik Els ( – August 10, 2017)

Miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) raised its revenue and profit outlook for the year on Thursday with the Swiss company citing the fast-growing electric vehicle market as a key driver.

“Most automotive players are now accelerating investment in/adoption of electric vehicle technologies, reflecting, in part, increasingly aggressive Government mandates around emission targets.

Growth in electric vehicle/energy storage systems requires changes in material flows, including the installation, rebuild and replacement of supporting infrastructure. Based on current and emerging technologies, these changes should benefit enabling commodities such as copper, cobalt and nickel,” Glencore said in a statement accompanying its half-year results. Continue Reading →

Greece to kick off arbitration process over Eldorado Gold’s project – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – August 3, 2017)

Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD)(NYSE:EGO) will face Greek officials in an arbitration court later this month as the country’s government sees the move as the preferred way to settle its differences with the Canadian miner.

The country’s Energy Minister George Stathakis met representatives from Eldorado’s local unit Hellas Gold in Athens on Wednesday to discuss the process and issues related to the miner’s projects in northern Greece.

According to the ministry’s statement (in Greek), the process is scheduled to begin at the end of August, though the company noted it has yet to receive formal notice of the looming mediation. Continue Reading →

BMI says outlook for Russian nickel sector bleak – by Staff ( – August 3, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Fitch group company BMI has lowered its forecast for Russian nickel production in 2017, and says the outlook for the country’s domestic production over the next five years looks bleak.

BMI stated this week that Russia’s nickel production would remain on a negative trend this year, following a contraction of 4.8% year-on-year in 2016, citing ongoing operational challenges at Norilsk Nickel mines, which account for more than 80% of domestic output.

“We have revised down our previous forecast of 1% average nickel production growth this year to a decrease of 5%, meaning absolute production in the country will drop from 256 000 t in 2016 to 243 000 t in 2017,” the company said. Continue Reading →

USGS Assesses Billions of Potential Potash Resources in Ukraine (United States Geological Survey – August 3, 2017)

The Dnieper-Donets Basin of Ukraine could contain an estimated 4.3 billion tons of undiscovered potassium-bearing salt according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey assessment. In addition, previous estimates show that the nearby Pripyat Basin of Belarus could contain 80–200 billion metric tons of undiscovered potash resources.

The term “potash” refers to potassium-bearing, water-soluble salts like potassium chloride derived from evaporite basins, where seawater evaporated and precipitated various salt compounds. In 2010, world potash production was about 33 million metric tons, mostly for use in fertilizers.

Potash resources are often expressed in terms of the amount of potassium oxide (K2O) that can be obtained from the potassium-bearing salt. For instance, the 4.3 billion tons of potassium-bearing salt in the Dnieper-Donets Basin is the equivalent of 840 million tons K2O, while the 80–200 billion metric tons of potassium-bearing salt in the Pripyat Basin could contain 15-30 billion metric tons of K2O. Continue Reading →

Germany’s long goodbye to coal despite Merkel’s green push – by Vera Eckert (Reuters U.S. – August 2, 2017)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Burning coal for power looks set to remain the backbone of Germany’s energy supply for decades yet, an apparent contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambitions for Europe’s biggest economy to be a role model in tackling climate change.

Merkel is avoiding the sensitive subject of phasing out coal, which could hit tens of thousands of jobs, in the campaign for the Sept. 24 election, in which she hopes to win a fourth term. Although well over 20 billion euros are spent each year to boost Germany’s green energy sector, coal still accounts for 40 percent of energy generation, down just 10 points from 2000.

To avoid disruption in the power and manufacturing sectors, coal imports and mines must keep running, say industry lobbies, despite the switch to fossil-free energy. “(Coal) makes a big contribution to German and European energy supply security and this will remain the case for a long time to come,” the chairman of the coal importers’ lobby VDKi, Wolfgang Cieslik told reporters last week. Continue Reading →

Ukraine Coal Exports Part of Trump Bid to Counter Russia – by Ari Natter (Bloomberg News – August 1, 2017)

(Bloomberg) — A Pennsylvania company will send 700,000 tons of coal to Ukraine in a deal the administration of President Donald Trump heralded as an important tool to undercut the power Russia has over its European neighbors.

While Trump has pledged to improve ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his administration says it’s trying to use more U.S. exports of coal, natural gas and oil to curtail Putin’s sway with Russian natural resources. Ukraine had been reliant on Russia for much of its oil and gas, and its domestic thermal coal supply collapsed because much comes from the rebel-controlled eastern part of the nation.

“In recent years, Kiev and much of Eastern Europe have been reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in a statement announcing the coal-export deal. “That changes now. The United States can offer Ukraine an alternative, and today we are pleased to announce that we will.” Continue Reading →

The Poldark legacy: How tin mining could return to Cornwall – by Jon Yeomans (The Telegraph – July 30, 2017)

In Redruth, Cornwall, reminders of the golden age of mining are everywhere. The giant obelisk of the Basset memorial glowers over the town, erected on a hill by miners in honour of Francis Basset, the local magnate, in the early 19th century. Chimneys pepper the landscape, rising up out of Morrisons car parks and housing estates. The derelict mining exchange, once the local bourse for stock trading, sits forlornly in the centre of town.

On the road to Camborne, which still lends its name to the nearby School of Mines, stands a newer, freshly painted metal pithead, marking the entrance to the South Crofty tin mine. Strongbow Exploration, a Canadian listed company, has ambitious plans to reopen the mine and dig up the high-grade tin at its deeper levels.

Though its history dates back four centuries, with evidence of Elizabethan mine workings, South Crofty has been shut for nearly 20 years, taking with it the last of Cornwall’s long mining history. But now that the BBC TV series ¬Poldark has romanticised Cornish tin mining on the small screen, can Strongbow succeed in resurrecting the real thing? Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Eramet plans more nickel cost cuts, to target lower grades – by Gus Trompiz (Reuters U.S. – July 27, 2017)

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) – Eramet pledged further cost cuts after its nickel division suffered more losses in the first half of the year and said it would shift strategy by entering the lower-grade nickel pig iron market via a mining project in Indonesia.

Like other nickel miners, Eramet has been grappling with persistent weakness in market prices, partly due to moves by Indonesia and the Philippines to go back on restrictions targetting the mining sector.

In an interim results statement on Thursday, Eramet reported an operating loss of 104 million euros for its nickel branch, against an 89 million euro loss a year earlier, although a strong performance at its manganese unit helped it post group current operating profit of 256 million euros. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto moves big Jadar lithium and boron deposit in Serbia to the front burner – by Matt Chambers (The Australian – July 25, 2017)

Rio Tinto has upgraded the status of the big Jadar lithium and boron deposit in Serbia to that of its most likely growth project, revealing that if it gets approvals and the economics support it, it will start construction in 2020 and reach first production in 2023.

The announcement, made in Serbia on Monday night, makes Jadar (a potential top-three global lithium producer) the only unapproved medium-term growth project in Rio’s portfolio.

The supply it could bring to the market may be a concern for Australian lithium producers and hopefuls, whose shares have been running hot lately on expected growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries as intermittent renewable power and electric cars take more market share. Continue Reading →

Gold shops: coming to a high street near you? – by Jon Yeomans (The Telegraph – July 16, 2017)

At Baird & Co’s gold refinery, boss Nick Hammond is sorting through a tray of scrap jewellery. Bracelets, necklaces, a horse pendant (called a “banger” because it is hollow, and could explode under high heat) and a military medallion dated 1895 are all destined for the furnace. “It’s sad, but we can’t hold them back – they all go in the pot,” Hammond says, pointing out that Baird would have paid around £30,000 to pawn brokers and other dealers for the contents of the tray.

Baird’s high-security factory, on an industrial estate in East London, is home to the UK’s only gold refinery. The family-held business, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is a supplier of gold bars to the Royal Mint and one of the UK’s biggest producers of gold wedding bands.

It has just opened a showroom and vault in the Hatton Garden area of London, hoping to lure new customers into the world of gold. “If you want long-term exposure to gold, you have to make the case for physical gold,” says Hammond. The yellow metal is famed for its status as a safe haven and a store of wealth in times of uncertainty, but is there really a growing demand for physical gold? And how are companies exploiting the opportunity? Continue Reading →

Kamloops city council votes against controversial Ajax copper-gold mine – by Wendy Stueck (Globe and Mail – July 18, 2017)

VANCOUVER — Local politicians in Kamloops, B.C., voted on Monday to oppose a controversial copper-gold mine that would operate just outside of the city limits.

The city doesn’t have the authority to stop the Ajax mine, owned by Poland-based KGHM, but hopes federal and provincial governments will take Kamloops’s position into account, the city’s acting mayor, Arjun Singh, said. “We’d like, certainly, to be heard in what we are saying,” Mr. Singh said.

“We realize we are not the final decision makers – but I think the work that we have all done to assess [the project] leads at least the majority of us to think it’s not a good idea for the community.” The proposed mine, which is also opposed by First Nations in the region, has been a divisive issue for the city. Continue Reading →

Muted growth forecast for Europe’s mining industry ( – July 13, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Mining and metals companies operating in Europe are set to remain in recovery mode, as a sluggish recovery in mineral prices keep investment activity subdued, while environmental regulations will pose headwinds for coal-producing countries.

BMI Research said on Thursday that mineral prices were unlikely to recover over the coming quarters, citing a drop in Chinese demand owing to an economic slowdown in that country. Poor short- to medium-term growth prospects in Europe’s two mining powerhouses, Ukraine and Russia, over the next five years would further hinder mining development in the region.

“As a result, mining companies will remain cautious moving forward and will focus on improving balance sheets and protecting themselves from potential price volatility, rather than investing in greenfield projects,” the Fitch Group company stated. Continue Reading →