Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Rio Tinto boss unfazed by concerns about Chinese economy – by Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume (Financial Times – March 28, 2017)

The head of Rio Tinto, one of the world’s biggest mining companies, said he had no concerns about China’s economy, predicting restructuring of the country’s state-owned enterprises would lead to demand for the iron ore it produces in Australia.

Jean-Sébastien Jacques told the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne that China’s crackdown on polluting steel furnaces would lead to greater demand for higher-quality raw material iron ore, a key ingredient in steelmaking. China’s state council has set out plans to eliminate 100m-150m tonnes of steel capacity as it tries to shift to a more consumption and services-oriented economic model.

Officials are planning a new crackdown on steel production in the key north-eastern city of Tangshan in an attempt to prevent false reporting of mill closures by local governments reluctant to obey shutdown orders, according to an official order seen by the FT this week. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Aluminium sector seeks way to tackle China-induced instability – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – March 23, 2017)

LONDON, March 23 The political heat is rising in the aluminium market, with a trio of industry bodies calling on the G20 to address global market imbalances resulting from China’s burgeoning output.

“China’s state-sponsored support is contributing to an unsustainable structural overcapacity that will impact growth and contribute to heightened instability until it is addressed.”

So wrote the heads of the U.S. Aluminum Association, its cross-Atlantic peer European Aluminium and the Aluminium Association of Canada in a March 15 open letter to the Group of 20 leading economies. What they want is the sort of global forum created to discuss steel overcapacity at last year’s G20 summit. Continue Reading →

Vale taps veteran executive Schvartsman as new CEO – by Guillermo Parra-Bernal (Reuters U.S. – March 28, 2017)

SAO PAULO – Vale SA surprised investors with the appointment of Fabio Schvartsman as chief executive officer on Monday, choosing a commodities industry veteran to lead transformation of the world’s No. 1 ore producer into a company with dispersed share ownership.

Schvartsman, who has been the CEO of Klabin SA, Brazil’s largest paper and cardboard producer, for the past six years, had not figured in media reports as a potential replacement for CEO Murilo Ferreira. The departure of Ferreira was announced last month.

In a career spanning four decades, Schvartsman occupied key positions in companies such as fuel distribution giant Ultrapar Participações SA, phone carrier Telemar Participações SA and U.S. oil driller San Antonio International. Vale’s board picked him from a list prepared by executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart. Continue Reading →

Investors won’t swallow Detour delay – Staff (Mining Journal – March 28, 2017)

Detour Gold’s (CN:DGC) revised mine plan for its namesake operation in Ontario released last week is unlikely to inspire near-term investment, placing the company in limbo until it is able to execute on expansion plans – previously pegged for early next year – in more than three years’ time.

Detour in late January said it had moved development of the West Detour zone of the Detour Lake mine back from early 2018 to 2021 in a new “base case” scenario forced by a local aboriginal group, which wants a federal environmental assessment of West Detour by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. That is typically a two-to-three-year process, whereas the provincial review generally takes a year.

This prompted a rethink on the mine plan, which will mean some uglier numbers than previously anticipated. Though the annual mining rate will increase to 125 million tonnes by adding more mining equipment and the mine life has been extended slightly, life-of-mine costs “site costs” are up 8% to US$758 per ounce. Continue Reading →

Here’s How Apple Is Doing On Conflict Minerals – by Caroline O’Donovan (BuzzFeed News – March 27, 2017)

Apple continues to pursue transparency around its supply chain as the Trump administration considers suspending requirements for businesses that buy conflict minerals.

Apple released its 2017 Supplier Responsibility Report today, as concern mounts over the potential impact of a draft directive from the Trump administration that would suspend legislation requiring companies to disclose whether their products contain conflict minerals.

Conflict minerals — substances like tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold — are used in a variety of popular electronics, including smartphones. They are typically sourced from war-torn countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, where their mining and sale has historically funded armed groups associated with murder, rape, and other human rights violations. Continue Reading →

Trump’s Executive Order Won’t Save Coal Mining Jobs – by Jennifer A Dlouhy and Ari Natter (Bloomberg News – March 27, 2017)

President Donald Trump is taking bold steps to boost the declining coal industry, but the moves won’t restore many of the jobs lost by coal miners in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania who helped the president win his job in the White House.

Trump will sign an order Tuesday to dismantle the very foundations of his predecessor’s government-wide effort to combat climate change, according to details provided to Bloomberg News. It will resume the sale of coal from federal land, lift carbon dioxide limits on power plants and end Obama-era mandates that agencies consider global warming in a broad range of decisions.

“A lot of people are going to be put back to work, a lot of coal miners are going back to work,” Trump told a rally in Louisville, Kentucky last week, previewing the announcement. “The miners are coming back.” Continue Reading →

Former yoga missionary could bring Philippine mining industry to its knees (Channel News Asia – March 27, 2017)

The world’s biggest source of nickel is facing a mining shakedown. Philippine environment secretary Gina Lopez has made it her mission to save the country’s watersheds – with the biggest mines as her main target.

MANILA: The Philippines’ environment secretary, Gina Lopez, comes from one of the country’s wealthiest families, with business stakes in media empires, energy and manufacturing. But she had mostly stayed away from the limelight, choosing a life of travelling, spirituality and yoga.

When she returned to the Philippines, she became a passionate advocate for the environment using the charity arms of her family’s media company, ABS-CBN, to fund her projects. That all changed when she was appointed environment secretary under the new Duterte administration and took on some of the country’s biggest businesses, despite little technical education. Continue Reading →

Gold hits 1-mth top after Trump doubts knock dollar and shares – by Marcy Nicholson and Jan Harvey (Reuters India – March 28, 2017)

NEW YORK/LONDON – Gold rallied more than 1 percent on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump’s failure to push through a healthcare reform package on Friday raised questions over his ability to deliver promised tax cuts and spending plans.

That knocked the dollar .DXY to a four-month low versus a basket of currencies. Stocks and U.S. long-dated Treasury yields slipped but recovered lost ground as investors hoped Trump will still be able to bolster the economy. [MKTS/GLOB]

Spot gold XAU= was up 1 percent at $1,256.02 an ounce by 2:28 p.m. EDT (1828 GMT), having touched a one-month high of $1,261.03 and failing to hold above the 200-day moving average for the second time in a month. U.S. gold futures GCv1 for April delivery settled up 0.6 percent at $1,255.70. Continue Reading →

India looms large on the iron ore horizon: FMG – by Glenda Korporaal (The Australian – March 27, 2017)

India could be the next big source of demand for Australian iron ore, according to Fortescue Metals chief executive Nev Power.

“Right now China is our major customer but, through Asia and into India, we are seeing very strong growth rates,” he said in an interview with The Australian on the weekend.

“India is now the fastest growing economy in the world, growing at around 7.6 per cent. “It is still has a long way to go before it catches up to China, but with 1.4 billion people you can see that the demand for infrastructure and commodities is going to increase. Continue Reading →

In Sierra Leone diamond sale, echoes of corruption and conflict – by Eric DuVall ( – March 25, 2017)

March 25 (UPI) — After a pastor found the second-largest diamond ever in Sierra Leone this month, echoes have been heard of government corruption and the nation’s legacy of conflict or “blood” diamonds, leading to rampant speculation about the precious gem’s sale.

The Rev. Emmanuel Momoh was the leader of the freelance mining team that discovered a 706-carat diamond in Sierra Leone, a country known for producing some of the purest — and most lucrative — diamonds in the world. But in a country where the diamond trade financed a decade-long civil war that killed 50,000 people, finding the rare gem almost seems like the easy part when considering its sale.

The incredible find has set off wild speculation in the country about nearly every part of the story. Is Momoh the true finder, or is he a middleman? Was he mining legally when he found the diamond, or had his mining license expired? Is the gem itself, which Sierra Leone’s president showed off on television, even real? Continue Reading →

Threat of Cyclone Disrupts Mining in No. 1 Met Coal Exporter – by Ben Sharples and Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – March 27, 2017)

BHP Billiton Ltd. and Glencore Plc are halting some production in the world’s largest exporter of coal used in steel-making, as the biggest cyclone since 2011 to hit Australia’s Queensland nears the state.

South Walker Creek metallurgical coal mine operations will be suspended from the end of day shift on Monday and preparations are under way to manage increased rainfall throughout the week, BHP said in a statement. Glencore is preparing to temporarily halt output from the Collinsville and Newlands mines, the company said in a separate release.

Severe tropical cyclone Debbie is forecast to cross the coast Tuesday morning with wind gusts up to 260 kilometers (162 miles) per hour, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Previous storms in Australia have flooded mines, swamped machinery and led to price spikes. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Philippines allows suspended miners to ship out nickel ore after clampdown – by Manolo Serapio Jr (Reuters U.S. – March 24, 2017)

MANILA – The Philippines’ environment ministry has allowed eight suspended nickel ore miners to ship out stockpiles of mined ore, sources told Reuters, temporarily boosting supply from the world’s top exporter of the raw metal after a major crackdown.

More than half of all mines in the Philippines have been ordered to permanently shut to protect watersheds in an eight-month campaign led by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez.

Allowing the halted mines to sell their stocked nickel ore is aimed at limiting the potential build up of silt in nearby waters, an official with knowledge of the order said, rather than the government toning down its campaign. Continue Reading →

Vedanta Resources to invest US$1 billion in Konkola Copper Mines (Mining Review Africa – March 27, 2017)

LSE-listed Vedanta Resources has outlined its 50-year vision for mining in the Copperbelt and plans to invest US$1 billion for its next phase of growth. This investment by Vedanta Resources is expected to create 7 000 jobs.

“I want Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to be the largest integrated copper producer in Africa, the pride of Zambia and Vedanta Resource’s hub for copper and cobalt production in Africa,” sates Vedanta Resources chairman, Anil Agrawal.

“The ramp up of KCM is the centerpiece of my 50-year vision. It’s technically very challenging, because of the massive amount of water we have to pump out of the mine, but I’m determined to find technical solutions,” explains Agarwal. KCM is one of Zambia’s largest integrated copper producers. Continue Reading →

Would banning mining jeopardize our quality of life? – by Polando T. Dy (Philippine Daily Inquirer – March 27, 2017)

Anti-mining groups proliferate these days. They want to ban mining because it is anti-environment. Do they really mean what they say? Minerals and metals have been part of our way of life for thousands of years. Unless we go back to the Stone Age. Recall the Iron, Copper and Bronze Ages. Disclosure: I studied geology, mining and metallurgy courses at UP Diliman.

Let’s start with our homes. The refrigerator is made of steel. Stainless steel is made from iron, nickel and chromium. The tin cans for canned goods are made from tin and steel. The aluminum cans came from mined alumina. The glass we use is from silica sands.

And the house we live in is made from cement from limestone, steel bars and nails. And how will electrical appliances, like TV and air-conditioners, work without copper wires? Continue Reading →

China, Russia, Iran: Ports and Power Along the Belt and Road – by Nicholas Trickett and Oliver Thomas (The Diplomat – March 23, 2017)

If the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor doesn’t live up to the hype, Russia may stand to benefit.

China’s planners have studied the art of using economic pacts to pursue strategic objectives. The “One Belt, One Road” initiative (OBOR) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are prime examples. China has pinned its hopes of gaining strategic preeminence in the South and Central Asian regions thanks to its deep pockets.

Infrastructure investment confers power to influence regional affairs. But South and Central Asia are not lacking of powers seeking influence — Russia and Iran have their own regional investments, plans and partners.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is particularly important for China. With access to Pakistani ports, China will be able to expand its market reach and bring in foreign direct investment to ease the devaluation of the renminbi. Continue Reading →